Ok, gang it’s time (FYI: ‘gang’ means Help-U-Sell Brokers). Mike Paholke and the folks at Excel have opened ordering for the Co-op EDDM program. You can order your mailers now through Jan. 15, in bulk, for close to half what it would cost at any other time. The Co-op program runs four times a year, so if your target market is, say, 2,000 households and you want to be in their mailboxes once a month, you probably need to order 6,000 pieces now to get you through to the next Co-op date. In fact, I’d probably order 8,000 just to be sure. Mike will warehouse your pieces for free and send them out whenever you tell him to.
Just to be sure you understand what a deal this is, if you were to order 2,000 EDDMs at random, your cost, including postage, would be about 50 cents per piece. Ordering during the Co-op run, the cost drops to:
29 cents per household!
Not too shabby!
So let’s get serious about marketing in 2016, make regular EDDMs to your target market a key component and minimize your cost by ordering during the co-op. Just in case you forgot, here’s the website: www.husmailnow.com.
If you haven’t seen them yet, Mike Paholke and the folks at Excel Print/Mail have a couple of great new marketing products. First are standard sized post cards Excel is calling ‘Rounds.’ I have called them ‘Arounds,’but it’s the same idea: When a new listing comes on the market (listed by some other office) in your target market, you quickly mail your marketing message to the neighbors. ‘Rounds work because when a new listing comes on the market or a new Sold sign appears, people tend to be more open to receiving real estate related messages. Since your message is the best one in existence (sell fast, save thousands), you have a high probability of achieving good results. Excel will fully customize the cards, print them and mail them to whatever radius you specify around a property. The cost is (get this) 25 Cents a card.
When you go to the Excel website you’ll notice upgrades to their card editor. Now there is GREAT flexibility in designing your marketing pieces. Every box, every photo, every bit of text can be edited. It’s great!
The other new product is called the Office Co-Op. It’s an 8.5″x 11″, two sided, card stock mailer. Again it’s fully customizable, but for me, the best content would be to emulate the old ETM: pictures and descriptions of homes for sale, sold and saves, testimonials and an Easy Way. Excel will print, bundle in lots of 200 and mail them for you for 27 Cents apiece! Now that’s a special price only good through February 27, so don’t drag your feet.
You can see these great pieces at Excel’s Website: www.husmailnow.com. Go there, create an account and get busy.
A special note to those of you who may have abandoned the idea of geographical target markets during the downturn: that may have been a good idea at the time, but you are going to drive yourself into inefficiency and non-productivity (not to mention grey hair) if you continue. These new products present a great opportunity to return to the basics you know work. Do your Market Analysis (McCoy will be happy to help you – he has so much fee time!) and then spend a little coin on building your business. You can dominate your target market by year’s end if you get started today.
The first thing I noticed when I went into the bathroom stall was the white card with a QR code on it, sitting on top of the toilet paper dispenser. I picked it up. ‘Search for HOMES on the MLS, just like an agent,’ it said. Of course I pulled out my Android phone, opened Google Goggles and clicked on the QR Code.
I was taken to an agent’s Listingbook sign up page. It is a standard webpage Listingbook creates for each agent who registers for their program. This one was pretty good. It had the agent’s picture and contact information, and a crisp bulleted description of Listingbook, how it works and why it is superior to other property search tools. To the right there were input boxes for First and Last Name, Email Address and Phone (Optional).
Yes, I am in real estate. I am intrigued by QR codes and I love Listingbook. But I don’t think my reaction would be all that different from anyone else mildly interested in the local real estate market. I would have completed the fill-in boxes on the spot (or on the throne as it was) to get access. Of course, then the agent would have my contact information and as I used Listingbook to search for homes, he/she’d also be able to see what I was looking at.
Here are the lessons in this:
- Marketing. Superb! Can you imagine a fully loaded campaign structured around the phrase, ‘Search for HOMES on the MLS, just like an agent?” Thousands of QR codes like the one described scattered all over town, Blitz signs with the same message and code, Maybe even a mailbox campaign like the one Mike Paholke at Excel is doing for us these days. Almost everyone interested in real estate in your target market would at least click the code to get more information and many would sign up . . . and each of them would be that much closer to being your clients.
- The power of Listingbook. I have been on a real kick the last few weeks to get you guys (you Help-U-Sell brokers) to start selling your websites as the great search tool they are. Because they receive information every night from the MLS, they are far more up-t0-date than, say, Zillow or Trulia. However, if your MLS has Listingbook, it’s even better! Listingbook is not an IDX feed that happens overnight. It’s real time. So an active listing that goes pending at 1:15 pm will show in Listingbook as pending at 1:16pm. The IDX feed will take a day to catch up. More important, the only way a consumer gets a Listingbook account is through an agent and then that agent can see every listing the consumer looks at, can see at a glance when their criteria changes, when their areas change, when their searching activity picks up (usually heralding a more imminent purchase).
- QR Codes. Have you noticed? They are everywhere. And just as DVD marketing was all the rage 7 years ago (we were distributing DVDs because there was a good chance the consumer would view them), QR Codes are the hot ticket today. One relating to anything of interest to the consumer is likely to produce a click . . . and clicks start the relationship process.
I know I sound like a broken record, but: Call you MLS and ask if they have Listingbook. If they do, decide whether you want to signup for the free account for the very moderately priced upgrade. Then start marketing it! Everytime anyone signs up for an account through you, you have their contact information and a basis for staying in touch. Once you get the account take advantage of the free training offered. There’s a lot to Listingbook and much of it is easy to miss if you don’t take a moment to get up to speed.
I can think of no better local campaign to generate leads today than the one described here. Drive people to your Listingbook sign up page – which will be perceived as a high-value offer – where their contact information is gathered and then start building a good working relationship!
On Another Note: I sent each of you an email today about Website Lead Generation and Operational Areas. I didn’t want to publish that here because, frankly, I don’t want the competition to know what we’re doing. Please check your Help-U-Sell email and look for that message, read it and make any adjustments you need to make.
We all know Help-U-Sell marketing has changed. It’s moved from a largely direct-mail oriented program to one driven by the Internet. However, that does not mean that mail is no longer part of the mix. Quite the contrary. Over and over I hear from successful offices that judiciously placed, highly targeted mail is a key part of their marketing program. Just Listed and Just Sold postcards targeted to a specific geography and to a CI list are essential to establishing the top of mind awareness that leads to major market share in a Target Market. Even ETMs are important.
In the olden days, ‘ETM’ usually meant a super-market circular or Penny-saver stuffer, usually on thin, slick paper that presented the seller message to a broad geography – 7,000, 8,000, 10,000 households and more. That ETM is pretty much gone. Not only was the cost steep, the effectiveness of these mailers dropped to nearly nothing as the market shifted. Today, ‘ETM’ usually means a large format postcard with pictures and descriptions of homes for sale, Sold & Saved listings, Testimonials and an Easy Way. Instead of blanketing an area via a circular stuffer, the idea behind the new ETM is to use it to zero in on the highest potential areas within your target market – those areas where equity sellers are most likely to be hiding.
Excel Print and Mail has done an outstanding job of handling these kinds of needs for Help-U-Sell brokers for a number of years. Best of all, they’ve redesigned their website to be more user-friendly and have a whole new selection of cards available for instant customization. Check it out: www.husmailnow.com . Set up a user account and you’ll be taken to a product page where you preview what’s available. Excel has also done some customization of cards in the past and may be able to help you with a more specific message. It’s a turn-key solution: postcards with your contact information, mailed using their lists to any size or shape geography you might choose.
Definitely check out the site now, but our rep, Mike Paholke, will be joining us at the Success Summit next month in Anaheim. He’ll give us an overview and answer questions over lunch on Tuesday, Nov. 15.
*The Help-U-Sell Success Summit takes place Nov. 14 – 16, immediately following the NAR Convention in Anaheim, CA. Our special room rate at the Menage is available from the 11th – when the NAR meeting begins – all the way through the Summit and even beyond. So take advantage of it to come in early, go to NAR (help us in the booth!), or stay over for a day at Disneyland. Don’t miss this great opportunity to grow your mind and your business! Register now by going HERE (it’s free). And then make your sleeping room reservations at the Hotel Menage: 714.758.0900