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.
There was so much NEW at this year’s Summit! The large group of attendees brought an energy that sustained us for three days and made it hard to say goodbye to Las Vegas. In no particular order here are SOME of the cool things that happened:
- Mr. Westman attended! Head of our parent company, Infinium, Ron Westman tends to stay in the background usually letting his team navigate the important Help-U-Sell meetings that occur from time to time. Not so this Success Summit! He was present and involved for every minute of meetings and social functions as well. It was a wonderful opportunity to interact with the man that got us through the worst real estate market in history. Thank you, Ron Westman!
- A new CI followup program was unveiled. Working with Mike Paholke and Excel Print/Mail, Jack Bailey, John Powell and the home office team developed a series of 8 customizable postcard mailers for staying in touch with past clients and other Centers of Influence. The program is remarkably inexpensive and provides automatic followup to our most important friends. Watch your email and attend the weekly Power Hour meetings for details.
- A partnership with Movement Mortgage was presented. This rapidly growing mortgage banker comes with an interesting proposition. Instead of waiting to process a loan application until the closing date is imminent, they process everything immediately, completing the package in 7 – 10 days regardless of closing date. This enables buyers and sellers to close early if they choose but more importantly, exposes problems EARLY so that there is no last minute panic. In addition, Movement Mortgage has agreed to undrewrite 25% of the cost of the new CI program mentioned above! Now it is an even better bargain!
- Robbie Stevens showcased our new corporate website, slated to go live around the first of the year. It knocked my socks off! Really: clean and sleek, very forward looking and modern, it makes our competitors’ sites look ancient. And the functionality – rich in video and short on verbiage – is superb. There is a great new home search function that includes a drawing component where any customized geography can be searched.
- OMS Lite was presented. This is a new app available at the Apple Store for Iphone and pad that enables Help-U-Sell brokers to add a new listing on the fly. It includes the ability to upload photos and even phone-shot video directly into OMS. An Android version is running through the approval process and should be available soon.
- Platinum Edge got a dusting off and an update. This tool for use with luxury properties has a new look: stunning black and silver. Guidance on how to use this tool when working with the top of the market will be a feature of future Power Hour meetings.
- Ron McCoy presented a revamped awards program that recognized top listing offices, top buyer side offices and top closed side offices as well as a new Don Taylor Award of excellence. Congratulations to Jack and Cheryl Bailey and Help-U-Sell Greensboro for being tops in Buyer Sides with 59, and to Richard Cricchio and Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties for being tops in New Listings with 151. Honolulu Properties was also #1 in total Closed Sides with 167. The special Don Taylor Award went to Brenda Fischer at Help-U-Sell Options Unlimited in Terre Haute, Indiana. In a smaller market with a lower average sale price Brenda, through some aggressive and very creative marketing has captured a BIG share of the market and shown us all there is more to parades than marching!
- Maurine Grisso, back from almost two years of illness, delighted the group with her newly published book ‘Before You Sell Your Home.’ Available on Amazon.com and Kindle, it will be on SPECIAL for one day, October 22, for the ridiculous price of $.99. Mark your calender, buy the book and then give Maurine a favorable review on Amazon.
If there was a theme about this meeting is was that marketing – particularly core marketing to your geographical target market – is supremely important today and that no group deserves more attention than our CIs. Systems to get those two things done automatically (and others) are key to growth.
Having missed last year’s Summit, I have to tell you I spent many months hungry for the kind of interaction that only comes when Help-U-Sell brokers from across the country come together to share and learn. I am delighted that I could attend and if I ever miss another – I’ll probably be dead!
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.
Julie Munro McCoy’s wonderful cupcakes!
Help-U-Sell at work
Mike Paholke, Excel Print/Mail
David Bartels, Home Loan Advocates
Charlie Alexander, The Alexanders Printing