Category Archives: Working Tips

The magic number for closing deals

Bernice Ross of RealEstateCoach.com lays down the law on how to close more sales, and it’s the Law of Three. When you offer a client options, give them three choices and three only, she writes in an article for Inman News.

“The Law of Three is a widely used sales strategy that assists clients in arriving at decisions more quickly,” the CEO explains. “When there are more than three choices, the consumer becomes confused and often walks away without buying anything.”

She cites practical examples in the real estate business:

◼ If possible show house hunters three homes at a time, not six or 12.

◼ When you end up showing multiple areas or homes, ask buyers to rank their top three.

◼ If they find a fourth choice they like, ask them which it replaces on the top three list.

Bernice also suggests applying the Law of Three on the Internet to cut down on clutter. Focus on delivering the three things consumers want to know about: properties for sale, the value of their own homes and community info. Note that property photos are exempt from the law. A listing needs more than three of those.

Otherwise, it pays to remember: “Too many choices can kill the sale.”

Give reluctant sellers a little push

Got homeowners teetering on the very brink of listing but not quite ready to commit? There’s a strong case to be made for going ahead.

Rick Munarriz of investing website Motley Fool offers homeowners four good reasons to sell now:

◼ Mortgage interest rates are still low but likely headed up

◼ Existing homes are selling quickly

◼ Houses stand out in a relatively uncrowded market

◼ You can lock in a low interest rate on your next place

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Ask for just 5 minutes

Real estate trainer Jared James takes on the task of converting seller leads in a recent post for RealtorMag. Among his three suggestions to help you get in the door with a hesitant homeowner: Ask for 5 minutes. The time limitation reassures the homeowner that you won’t eat up much of his time, and there’s no big commitment.

Jared starts the conversation: “Would you be offended if I came by to do a quick five-minute onsite price consultation?” Get the homeowner interested by explaining that automated online estimates are often inaccurate. A local agent will know better.

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Give a little, with a flourish

Reciprocity is something you don’t have to explain to people. They just get the idea of mutual exchange. According to a blog post from marketing and sales software company HubSpot:

“One study found that when waiters gave customers a complimentary mint, their tip increased 3 percent. Giving two mints saw a 14 percent increase. When the waiter left one mint, then turned around and said, ‘But for you nice people, here’s another mint,’ his tip increased by 23 percent.”

The blog’s conclusion: “Going above and beyond for your prospects — especially with a bit of theater — will make them want to help you if they can.”

As a Realtor, what’s your mint? Small gifts like magnets or calendars are nice, but a gift doesn’t have to be material. One sincere compliment can go a long way, and good information and outstanding service are most always appreciated.

Read more about “18 Tricks to Convince Prospects to Buy”

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Your best buyer may be overseas

International buyers snapped up $104 billion dollars’ worth of residential property in the U.S. from April 2014 through March 2015, according to the new “Profile of International Buying Activity” from the National Association of Realtors.

That figure represents 8 percent of the dollar volume of U.S. existing home sales during that 12 months, and it should be of particular interest to agents selling luxury properties. The average price of the homes purchased by international buyers was $499,600, nearly twice the average price of $255,600 for American buyers. Chinese buyers tended to pay more, an average of $831,800.

For the first time in NAR’s report, buyers from China were responsible for the largest portion of foreign sales, spending $28.6 billion on American properties. They were followed by buyers from Canada, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom. A majority of the transactions were all cash.

SELLING LUXURY WORLDWIDE

The easiest way to reach high-dollar international buyers is right in your own backyard. Homes & Land sends qualified luxury listings to the websites where those buyers look, including the Wall Street Journal’s editions for Asia, Europe and India, and the Chinese and Spanish-language versions of Mansion Global, mansionglobal.com.

Buying that exposure on your own would cost approximately $1,400 per listing. When you advertise with Homes & Land, it’s part of the package.

Click here to read NAR’s report on international sales

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What Every Agent Should Know About Marketing

There is an overwhelming amount of information about the “best practices” of marketing. Classes are taught about it, books are written, and coaches pitch their programs. One of the most important tenets of marketing, and often the most forgotten, is that successful marketing requires patience and persistence.

This can be difficult for impatient real estate agents who want to see instant leads from short-term efforts. However, studies show consistent contact turns prospects into clients and generates a second wave of upcoming business. Your goal as an agent is to make sure prospects that are in the researching stage become convinced that you are the agent to contact when they are ready. Win them over through a well thought out marketing plan and determination.

It’s a well-known fact that real estate is a constantly flowing and changing business, as evident by the current market and the ups and downs experienced over the past decade. Successful agents, and anyone who advertises for that matter, grew their business during these cycles by staying in front of potential customers with the following three objectives.

Raise Your Visibility in the Market

Reach your target audience everywhere they might look. To be effective, reach them through multiple avenues: your website or blog, real estate search MM Graphic April 2013sites, social media, print advertising, and don’t forget direct mail. Yes, a combination of online and offline methods is best. Magazines and direct mail put you in front of prospects, eliminating the need for them to search for you. Simply asking for their business can make an impression upon a potential seller and resonate with them down the road.

Your goal is to be so high on the visibility scale that people immediately think of you when they think about real estate. In his book, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, Gary Keller said, “…buyers and sellers seem to have room in their minds for only one or two real estate agents. In the battle for real estate consumer mind share, you’re either first or second or you’re out of contention… So the big question and challenge is how to win those first two positions of real estate mind share with enough people.”

Earn Your Prospect’s Trust

Advertising when others are not can make you appear more stable than your competitors. How and where you advertise impacts whether or not you receive serious consideration. The real estate market, as an indicator of the overall economy, has been in the news so much lately that people are paying attention. All real estate is local, right? So where is the best place for people to get local market information? It should be you. Use market reports, testimonials and real estate niche magazines to provide information and enhance credibility. Consumers trust magazine advertisements and content over all other sources of media. Add to that word of mouth referrals and you’ve covered both the front end (credible advertising) and the back-end (happy customers) to explain why they should choose you. The more consistently prospects see you and your message, the more likely they are to trust and respond.

Stay Top-Of-Mind

To be effective, implement your plan no matter what the market is doing. That may involve budgeting ahead. When the market is hot, you need that Marketing Minute Sales Contact Graphic-01contact to prevent your competitors from stealing your visibility and therefore market share. When the market cools, the consistency is even more important. If prospects stop seeing you, they stop thinking of you. When others have put their marketing on hold, you’ll have gained attention and remain top-of-mind when things pick up.

This graph of time-honored statistics shows us that the decision to act is made not after 2 or 3 encounters, but after many, repetitive exposures. If you’ve ever engaged in a marketing campaign to promote your business, you probably have seen this to be true. If you haven’t reached your target audience at least 5 times, you may have quit too soon to win them over.

Go the distance. Often we’re tempted to give up without realizing how close we are to reaching our goal. An inspirational scene from the hit movie Facing the Giants  illustrates that we often create our own limitations based on what we see and not on our true potential.

Every step you take toward increasing your visibility, gaining trust, and holding that top-of-mind spot brings you one step closer to increased prosperity. Don’t lose your hard-earned visibility. Elevate your presence and remember patience and persistence will pay off!

Contact your Homes & Land marketing partner today to learn how Homes & Land’s integrated offerings can help you with your marketing strategy.

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