September is Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. That means we’re talking to the chief marketing officers at major brokerages about how the pandemic is changing their jobs and what it means for agents. We’re publishing a suite of tactical Inman Handbooks for marketing on digital portals. And we’re looking at what pages of the traditional marketing playbook still work. Join us all month long.
Last week’s Connect Now was packed with innovative marketing strategies, powerful tactics for winning at listing appointments, plus several apps you’re sure to love — all of which can help you earn more commissions this fall.
Could this possibly be true?
A major theme at Connect Now was the power of brand. Brad Inman referenced a study that claimed the search term “Zillow” had more searches than the words “real estate.”
To check this out, I went to Keywords Everywhere, a Google extension that tracks monthly traffic for various search terms.
Here are the results:
- Real estate: 450,000 searches
- Realtor: 4,090,000 searches
- Zillow: 16,600,000 searches
Here’s some sage advice: If you go on a listing appointment and have positive reviews on Zillow, be sure to include them on the front page of your pre-list package. The sellers definitely will read them.
Create a ‘mindset gym’ to exercise your ‘mindset muscle’
To flourish in today’s environment, a positive mindset is a must-have. Author, speaker and strategist Dan Smith outlined how to create your personal “mindset gym” where you can exercise your “mindset muscle.”
The “exercise equipment” you will need includes a pen, a journal, and inspirational or motivational reading materials, podcasts, and videos. To build your mindset muscle, follow the exercise routine below.
- Create a “victory log” where you record your big and small wins for the day. Writing these down at bedtime focuses your brain on the positives, allowing you to sleep better.
- Whenever you have a negative thought and want to shift back to being more positive, recall a recent win from your victory log.
- When you wake up, spend 5 minutes writing down the most important things you need to accomplish during the day.
- Next, spend 60-90 seconds repeating your affirmations. To get even better results, repeat them to music. This synchronizes both sides of your brain, which makes it easier to achieve peak performance.
- At lunch, watch a 5-minute motivational video on YouTube.
- At 2 p.m. read one or two positive quotations.
- Listen to inspirational or motivational podcasts whenever you’re in your car.
- If you start feeling down, open your victory log to review your wins.
Important marketing advice
What can you do to be more effective when marketing your business? Here are three great tips that can help propel you forward.
1. Don’t tell them — show them!
A lot of agents market themselves as the local neighborhood experts. Joe Rand advised, “Don’t tell them you’re the neighborhood expert — show them!”
To achieve this goal, interview the head of the planning commission, the local football coach, the owner of the most popular pizza place in town, etc. Participate in local charitable causes and interview volunteers. Post your videos on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and on your website to establish your expertise not only locally, but online as well.
2. The ‘magic buyer letter’
Jeff Lobb had a fantastic strategy for generating leads from sold listings. Here’s what to say as an agent:
“The property at 123 Main St. just sold, but we have dozens of buyers from Realtors and Zillow who have not yet purchased. Would you be interested in having your home shown to any of these buyers?”
3. Explain why these properties sold
Lobb had another great strategy — explain the reasons certain properties just sold. Here are two headlines you can use in your print, digital and social media marketing.
- Why these properties sold in less than 7 days
- 3 reasons these properties sold over asking price
You can explain the reasons live on Zoom and also record them to use for future marketing.
Listing appointment advice
If you want to convert more listing appointments into signed listings, check out these tried-and-true strategies.
1. Bring an offer to your listing appointment
This idea from Elmer Morales is a proven winner. He calls it his “flip-your-own-house program.” Before he goes on a listing appointment, he obtains an offer from Opendoor and takes it to the appointment. It’s a great way to circumvent other iBuyers as well as stand out from other agents.
2. Know your market statistics
Top producers know the market cold. When you go on a listing appointment, you must know how many properties have been listed recently and what percentage of those homes sold at what price.
Here’s an example:
One hundred properties have been listed in your area during the past 90 days, and 56 have gone under contract during that time. That means you have a 56 percent chance of selling in the next 90 days, and there is a 44 percent you will not sell.
3. Always ask these three questions on every listing appointment
Whenever you go on a listing appointment, always focus on what matters most to the sellers by asking the three questions below.
- What is your greatest concern about selling your home?
- What are the top five things you have loved most about living in your home?
- What are the top five things you will miss?
4. Discuss virtual home tours
Ryan Schneider, the CEO of Realogy, and Josh Team, the president of Keller Williams Realty, explained how today’s consumers are searching for properties with virtual home tours.
According to Team, data from Google shows there are 15 million consumer leads out there looking for virtual or 3D tours. There has also been a 400 percent increase in searches around 3D or virtual tours. Key search terms include “virtual home tours,” “virtual open house” and “3D tours.”
Given how important this is to consumers searching online for property, on your next listing appointment, make sure to discuss how you conduct virtual home tours and open houses. If you’re using 3D tours, show the sellers examples from your previous listings.
5. Use ‘tender-touch’ videos
Kendall Bonner recommended using what she calls “tender-touch” videos. These are highly personalized videos that serve much the same purpose as a handwritten note.
Videos are not only easier to make, cost nothing and can be delivered immediately, but they also have an additional advantage: The recipients can hear your voice and see your body language as well.
For example, after her listing appointment, Bonner sends a video to the sellers thanking them for the opportunity to discuss marketing their home or for giving her the listing. After the buyers complete their physical inspection, she sends a video letting the sellers know the inspection has been completed and the report will be coming soon.
Cool tools and apps
These days, there are so many nifty tools and apps that can help elevate your game as a real estate agent. Here are a few that popped on our radar recently.
Highnote.io allows you to send your pre-list package in a mobile format. You can view how often the sellers opened your package including which pages they viewed. This allows you to focus on what matters most to the sellers when you go on your listing appointment.
This is a terrific tool for estimating the cost of physical inspection repairs before taking the listing or for any repairs the buyers may request after inspecting the property. Punchlist will send out an inspector to evaluate the property, but you can also obtain a detailed repair estimate without an inspection in as little as one business day.
Vixer allows you to produce professional-looking videos from your mobile device. You can stitch together your videos and photos with ease, merge “live photos” into videos, add music, rearrange clips and much more.
The “live photo” feature is particularly intriguing because your phone stores these “photos” as a video file. This means if you took a number of sequential photos at one time using your phone’s “live” feature, you can stitch them into a single video.
If you’re ready to end 2020 on a high note, decide which one or two of these strategies you want to implement in your business, and start using them now.
Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateC