By Julie Escobar
Not long ago, I had the chance to “listen in” as my colleague Jim Morton re-connected with an old friend and internet marketing guru Dean Jackson. Their goal was to explore ways to streamline the marketing process for real estate agents and systemize it so that agents could essentially delegate the busy work of designing, printing and mailing postcards, creating property flyers, developing property web pages and spreading the word about their new listing so they could concentrate, well — on getting more listings!
More importantly, they wanted to compile all the vital ways, both new as well as tried and true, that agents could get those listings SOLD. After all, as Dean suggests, “listings are a liability…until they’re sold.” It’s been an interesting journey to tap into what these two came up with to help agents across the nation dismiss some limited mindsets and really expand their possibilities and their income potential in the process.
Here’s just a little of what I learned:
Dean first challenges agents to stop thinking like a ‘regular agent’ and start thinking more like a FSBO with a deadline. That is, don’t just put the property in the MLS and hope for the best. Start really asking yourself the compelling question, “What would it take for me to get my listing sold in 30 days?” It’s a funny thing about the mind – ask it the right question and more often than not, you’ll start creating the right answers! Mr. Jackson even helps agents truly grasp the importance of this exercise by teaching them to make it a life or death question. All of a sudden the answers start to become crystal clear.
The first thing that most students realize is that if they’re talking life and death – they’d better be careful about the kind of listing they take in the first place. That kind of clarity can really put the kibosh on taking a listing just for the sake of the listing or letting the seller have free reign over the overpricing equation doesn’t it?
The second thing he teaches is to work with only what he calls “Five Star Sellers.” That elusive breed of seller that embodies all of the best qualities you need to truly take a listing that can sell in 30 days.
What makes them 5 Star Sellers?
- They’re committed to getting the house sold
- They are willing to price the house AT market value
- There are NO obstacles or handicaps to selling
- They are willing to stage the property for sale
- They are willing to help find a buyer
Now, once you’ve found these “stellar sellers” – it’s time to develop your 30 day marketing system! Remember –pretend your life depends on it!
Dean actually shares more than 37 ways to get listings sold faster, for more money and less headaches. Today, I’d like to share just 10 of his top tools, strategies and 30 day marketing plan components.
- Price it right—can’t even get started unless you get this one right! Start with the most attractive financing possible. After all, it always comes down to “how much is it going to cost per month?” You don’t want prospective buyers passing you by because they think your listing is out of their price range. Talk to your lender, get some good faith estimates and work on your, “you can owe for as low as…” dialogues.
- Get those perfect sellers on board; they need to be part of the overall marketing plan. If they’re willing to tell everyone they know, that’s a big start! In fact you can get them to hand out…
- Lead Generation Property Feature Business Cards...
- Overcome buyer objections up front –whatever it is that’s wrong, don’t hide it address it. I love Dean’s idea of creating a “I love the house but…” book to put at the house. He even suggests getting sponsorships from local companies who do all kinds of repairs so people will have estimates of what the upgrade or change will cost! (Remember sometimes your BEST strategy is to answer a question or objection before it’s even raised!)
- Stage the home–BEFORE you start marketing
- Start with the neighbors – Dean recommends you start by zeroing in on the 50 closest neighbors to the property. They are a great source of referrals and better still – a great source for additional listings!
- Direct Response Postcards ––
- InfoBox Flyers. This has got to be one of the most overlooked and underused yet extremely effective tool agents can use. Think about those potential buyers and neighbors driving by –how are you going to get information in their hot little hands since you can’t as Dean puts it, “sit on the lawn 24 hours a day waiting for someone to ask you a question about the house?” Simple, you let the InfoBox Flyers do the work for you. In fact, as Dean recommends, don’t skimp on the flyers – use both sides! He puts the property information on one side and compelling direct response offers, one for both buyers and one for sellers on the back.
- Single Property Website. In today’s world this is a no-brainer. Make sure you’ve got lots of pictures, video if you have it or virtual tours and property details and of course, your contact information! Savvy agents also use tracking codes on their marketing materials so they can track who’s coming to the site and from what marketing medium, i.e. flyers, yard signs, emails, etc.
- Craigslist ad: This is an internet hotbed for buyers! We already know that more than 85% of the people looking for homes start their search online. Beef up your chances of getting seen by placing an ad on Craigslist! It’s easy and free!
These are just the tip of the iceberg tools for making doubling your potential income by selling your own listings.