Working a farm means staying in front of prospects and putting yourself in position to compete for the listings that are up for grabs. Email and social media, paired with leveraging your time with tech tools and services, will help keep you top of mind in your farm.
In our latest episode we shared options for email newsletters, non-real estate related emails and automatic email campaigns for specific types of prospects. Then we shared social media tactics and tools that leverage your time and allow you to keep in touch with people in your farm effectively.
With so many social media networks and types of content, it can be overwhelming to find your niche and generate actual leads through social media.
In our latest live episode we shared The Four Knows of social media:
Know Your Ideal Client - Who are they, what social networks are they on, etc.
Know Your Content- what's important/exciting to you outside real estate, whats important/exciting to your target market
Know Your Personality- Be goofy, be controversial, whatever, just don't be boring.
Know Your Medium- If you want to build an audience on a social media network, your posts have to be perfectly adapted to that medium. You can't treat every medium as another Facebook.
How do some top agents generate hundreds of leads through postcards and mailers?
Marketing consistency is the key, and in our latest live episode, special guest Chris Burnley, CEO of Corefact, shared how you can dominate your farm by sending personalized postcards linked to trackable home value sites, combined with a follow up system of calls or door-knocking.
3 Key Takeaways
We started by sharing how top agents approach their direct mail campaigns, starting with their monthly budget, their target market, their message and Call-to-Action to their online components and follow up systems. Your follow up system could be the difference between a massively successful direct mail campaign or a total failure, and top agents have great follow up systems in place before any postcard goes out.
Greg then shared what’s working for his team in the Bay Area, showing examples of their actual current postcards, including the messaging and personalized map that makes their postcards so compelling to homeowners who receive them.
Then Chris shared some of the common misconceptions and mistakes agent make with direct mail, including the “cutesy” marketing and large, one-off campaigns, and weak calls-to-action. Over years of testing, “home value estimate” calls-to-action have proven most effective in generating real, trackable responses. Agents often fail at direct mail because they make the marketing about them, when it should be about the homeowner.
We talked about how to get started with direct mail, minimum number of homes to market to and the budget required, and how to follow up on your direct mail campaigns with door-knocking and follow up calls to create the ultimate listing lead gen system.
We finished by talking about mailers in the context of dominating your farm over the long run, and how to “domino” the success of one listing or one sale into many more. The key is to look at every listing or sale as the part of the marketing process, not an event. This a universal marketing principle, and if you think in these terms, you’ll give yourself a huge advantage over other agents who don’t maximize every listing, every Open House or every sale.
Done well, direct mail can be the foundation of your lead generation efforts and help you establish a solid 15-20% market share in your chosen area for years to come. If you have a long-term outlook, a set amount to invest each month and a solid farm area with good turnover, you can become the dominant agent in your farm in just a few years, maybe even months. So get out there and start dominating!
3:30 The secret sauce that separates the top producers from those who fail at direct mail marketing- Consistency, commitment, and follow-up
6:00 Elements of successful direct mail- Personalization, Clear message, Clear call to action, and Follow-up
10:30 Sending a homeowner a message that’s important to them- Messaging that works in low inventory environments
15:10 The ultimate listing lead generation system- Combining door-knocking with direct mail and a consistent follow up system.
18:50 Why stick with old school marketing that’s been proven to work rather than chasing everything that’s new- Have a plan and trust that the plan is going to work
20:15 Why 300 homes is a good minimum number for direct mail - minimum effective spend to get started
24:30 Why direct mail is becoming even more effective as social media becomes more popular - the problem with digital campaigns and the impact of a direct mail campaign on your door-knocking efforts
33:50 How to leverage success through Just Listed/Just Sold/Open House direct mail and domino one success into many more and build your brand recognition in your farm
37:30 Why a listing or a sale is not the goal, it’s just part of the overall farming process - the goal is to dominate your market over time
38:40 Subtle ways top agents maximize their marketing potential in their target neighborhood
44:05 The secret is in follow up that has the right cadence for your market- the better your “back end” follow up system is, the more chances you can afford to take on the “front end” - your lead generation systems - People respect diligence
46:25 How to get testimonials and then leverage that content to help close leads
Holding Open Houses in your farm gives you multiple opportunities to meet potential clients and build your reputation as the neighborhood expert, and there are many ways to capitalize on an Open House.
In our latest episode we shared our favorite ways to combine high-tech methods like native videos on Facebook and virtual open houses on Periscope, with high-touch methods like neighbors-only Open Houses, door-knocking and calls to drive targeted traffic and capitalize on your Open Houses to attract new clients.
Prospecting doesn't have to be painful, uncomfortable and full of rejection. There are multiple levels of prospecting - cold, warm and hot - based on what level of relationship or connection you share with a potential client.
In our latest episode we broke down a multitude of prospecting options and methods, and gave you strategies to apply those methods to different levels of potential clients.
There are multiple "pain levels" of prospecting - And every agent can find a pain level they're comfortable with, and pain also refers to the level of relationship you have with a potential client.
Each pain level has some unique prospecting methods - however, many methods can be tweaked to serve multiple pain levels.
You can use technology for a variety of purposes, but it will replace or outperform high-touch methods like phone calls and pop-by's.
We talked about prospecting methods ranging from old school techniques like outbound calls and door-knocking to high-tech options like Blab.im, SlyDial, Google Hangouts, BombBomb videos sent via text and much more.
We even shared how to use Zillow's Make Me Move feature as a 'secret MLS,' what other top agents around the country are doing for lead follow up, and methods for keeping in touch with your sphere of influence through Facebook and happy birthday videos.
Now that you have your menu of prospecting methods, and the pain levels they fall into, just pick the prospecting methods that work for your comfort level and get out there and start meeting potential clients!
8:54 Prospecting doesn't have to be painful and uncomfortable - Options for Cold Prospecting
12:00 Why "cold" means your prospect's level of comfort and relationship with you - How prospects move from cold to warm and hot
18:00 How to use Zillow's Make Me Move feature as a secret MLS
22:00 Warm prospecting- Pop-by's and Greg's other favorite warm prospecting methods
24:25 What top agents do for warm prospecting and lead follow up
27:25 More options for warm prospecting- Sending personal happy birthday videos via social media
29:30 Hot prospecting- Sphere of influence, past clients, anyone you have a basic relationship where they know who you are and what you do - Options for hot prospecting
33:30 Keeping in touch via FB by uploading segmented lists of contacts and commenting/liking posts on a regular basis - Handwritten notes and how Greg used to get Thank You notes for his Thank You notes
Stop chasing clients and start growing them. One of the best ways to grow clients is by building a platform and putting out content on a regular basis. Done right, your platform works 24/7 to position you as the neighborhood expert, blow away your competition and attract your ideal client. In our latest episode we covered the main ways to build a platform for real estate agents, and the mediums you can use - written, audio and video content.
1. Find your medium first - What you are most drawn to and best equipped to produce- written, audio or video content.
Set a regular schedule to put out content- Whatever you decide to do, do it consistently
2. Make it easy on yourself to create content - watch what top agents are putting out and look for opportunities in your daily life to share information that people in your farm will be interested in
We started by sharing Greg’s story of transitioning from very traditional farming, with door-knocking, mailers and brand marketing like moving trucks, over to video blogging, email newsletters and other high-tech forms of marketing. Then we outlined what a “platform” is and why you should build one and start putting out content.
We talked about how to pull together your own email list from different sources, why use LinkedIn to build your email list, and why you shouldn’t worry about sending your content out to your entire contact list.
Then we shared how to get started with a written blog, some options for hyper-local and micro-niche blogging to position yourself as an expert, and explained why consistency is so important when it comes to your platform. We moved on to audio blogging, also known as podcasting, gave you the optimal running time for a podcast and shared some options to outsource the technical work and get your podcast syndicated to iTunes.
Next we went deep into video blogging, screensharing Greg’s actual Bay Area Real Estate Video Blog, including all the different topics Greg has covered and video series he’s produced, which range from market updates and local business profiles to “Why You’re Wrong About Real Estate” a series of myth-busting videos for buyers and sellers. We also shared how to use native video on Facebook and how to use social media networks as your platform rather than your own website.
We finished by giving the key to dominating a farm area with blogging and two different FREE sites where you can detailed stats, demographics and interesting market information to share. This is a topic that’s near and dear to both of us, so we had a lot of fun while covering a lot of ground. We know there’s a lot of options and it can be a little overwhelming if you’re a solo agent, so our best advice is just Get Started!
4:25 Shout-out to listeners and people who have reached out to Greg for personal advice
6:21 Greg’s transition from traditional farming to building a video blog platform to communicate with their past clients and farm areas
9:00 Don’t be scared to email your content to your entire contact list - Those who aren’t interested will unsubscribe (and it’s usually a low percentage)
11:45 Written Blog- options include area-specific, community or farm area, or niche topics such as school districts, youth sports, churches or other hyper-local topics
14:50 The key to blogging is consistency
16:15 Audio blogging, or podcasting, and options such as turning your videos into podcasts, using Soundcloud to publish your audio, or using Libsyn to syndicate to iTunes
20:15 The optimal time for a podcast is 22 minutes
21:00 SCREENSHARE: Greg’s Bay Area Real Estate Video blog, including the topics Greg uses in his videos, including market updates, myth-busting videos for buyers and sellers, testimonials, local business spotlights, community events, etc.
27:45 More ideas for local videos - School profiles, local business and non-profit profiles, public service announcements (weather, potholes, etc.) contests, client appreciation parties and more
31:00 Greg’s experience posting New Listing and Open House videos straight to Facebook, using Periscope and Blab.im
35:27 Using a social media network as your platform rather than a website or blog - What to talk about in your videos or blog posts
39:14 The key to dominating a farm area with blogging - Two different FREE sites where you can get detailed stats and demographics information you can share on your platform
Any agent who wants to farm a neighborhood runs into dominant agents - do you take them head on? In our latest episode we share strategies to outflank that dominant agent so you don't spin your wheels competing directly against them.
The first step is to go after the low hanging fruit - buyers - and get ahead of the buyer population moving into that neighborhood, and we shared some ideas for bringing buyers into your target neighborhood, throwing housewarming party and meeting new potential clients, including a unique tech tip for getting cell phone numbers instead of giving out your business card.
We also shared other strategies for outflanking a dominant agent such as door-knocking, email newsletters with HomeActions, attending events in your farm area, prospecting Expireds/FSBO's and more.
We see so many agents trying to grow their business by dabbling with things other agents are doing, trying something once and then moving on.
Building your business on prospecting that doesn't suit you is unsustainable - inevitably you hit a ceiling where the only way your business grows is by you doing more of what you're unsuited to do.
In our latest episode we share a better way, which is to start with your personality and select from the spectrum of prospecting - cold to warm to hot - to find the prospecting methods that work for you.
The pop-by is exactly what it sounds like - you “pop by” someone at home. This works great for anyone in your sphere of influence, including current and past clients, referral partners, friends and family, and even prospects you’ve been in contact with.
In our latest episode we talk about the beautifully simple, old-school tactic known as the pop-by. Greg inherited his love of the pop-by from his father Terry McDaniel, a 40-year veteran of the business, who masterfully used the pop-by to keep in touch with past clients and sphere of influence to generate referrals.
We talked about the mindset of the pop-by, such as WHO deserves a pop-by, why you should even do them and how to approach them with the confidence of knowing that people honestly want to see you.
Then we shared some specific scripts for breaking the ice, starting conversations and wrapping up your pop-by with powerful questions that add value. We also shared proven ideas for value-add items to bring, and what to leave if no one is home.
We finished by sharing a powerful script called The Carousel, which you can use to generate solid leads off pop-by’s, and how to use personalized messages and videos on Facebook as a “digital pop-by.”
By the end of this episode you’ll be armed with the mindset, scripts and tactics you need to effectively use pop-by’s to generate leads and referrals!
5:00 Results from October’s high-intensity prospecting program - Greg’s two-step listing process - Using TouchCMA for professional-looking CMA packets and follow-up
8:45 Outsourcing paperwork so you can focus on lead generation - How Jeff Cohn hired a TC as his first hire
11:45 Mindset of a pop-by - What it is and why make it part of your lead gen strategy
15:45 Who deserves a pop-by?
17:35 Scripts for a great pop-by - How to bring value and transition into the FORD script
22:30 Idea: Use Zillow Zestimates print-outs with handwritten notes as leave-behind items
26:37 How to overcome the anxiety of feeling like you have to steer the conversation
28:07 FORD questions are better than scripts for pop-by’s - Script for answering the question, “How’s the market?” -
31:00 How to smoothly exit conversations and leave - 3 script ideas for wrap-up questions that add value
32:00 How to use personalized Facebook messages or Facebook videos as a “digital pop-by”
37:00 The Carousel Script- How to use pop-by’s to generate solid leads - How to introduce yourself to those leads and put them into a follow-up process
In our latest MiniHangout, we talk about the elements of a killer farm, starting with an area that you LIKE to sell in. It's so important to have a genuine passion for the homes you're selling because it comes through in every aspect of your communication.
We also looked at turnover rates and demographics, making sure they match your age group, experience level and have enough turnover to justify staying in front of that market consistently. Number of homes is also important, and most people get this wrong. Check out the Replay to learn why!