Real Estate Agents: How To Increase Your Chances Of Getting An Expired Listing

Who wants to stand apart from the competition and increase their chances of getting a new listing?  You do.

More and more agents are going after expired listings every day.  Some call. Other’s mail. And then you have the doorknockers. The competition is swift.

If you are fortunate enough to get a listing appointment, you’re halfway there. Now you have to win the homeowner over and land the listing. The average seller interviews three agents before choosing who they want to hire, so you’re probably not the only one going in for an appointment.

Remember, they have already experienced an agent, so how you prepare for your appointment will make all the difference. This is your chance to go above and beyond and impress the heck out of them.

I will show you how to package their home prior to the listing appointment so they can see how you will present their property to the market rather than just hearing about it.

But first, aside from what their home is worth, what’s the one thing the seller wants to know?

What you will do to sell it in the shortest amount of time.

If you are dealing with an emotionally attached seller, they want to feel confident that their baby is in good hands.

Prior to your appointment, go into the MLS and analyze the previous listing.  Check out the quality of the photos, marketing remarks, and see if you can identify reasons the home didn’t sell.  Often it’s improper pricing or poor presentation.

Re-write the remarks as you would if you already got the listing.  How would you tell the home’s story? That’s the key here. Show the seller how you will showcase the benefits and functionality of their house.  If the previous listing remarks are great, then put your spin on them.

The marketing remarks are your opportunity to sell the lifestyle and benefits to your prospective buyer, not a ramble of features and fragment sentences.

I know it’s tricky to write remarks without a visual inspection of the property so piece the story together the best you can. Reference the previous agents remarks, photos, and do a Google search of the neighborhood.  Often you will find some interesting facts or history that will spice up your version.

In two recent cases, I discovered that the neighborhood surrounding a listing was developed by one builder of Macys Herald Square in NYC.  He wanted to create an enclave for the rich City folk to vacation during the summer. Leading with this information hooks the reader into your story.  It’s interesting and would make most people want to read more.

The second listing was in the 7th wealthiest zip code according to a recent Bloomberg study.  That will definitely get some people’s attention.

Now for the visuals.  If you break your listing appointment into two parts, snap some interior and exterior photos during your first meeting. Create a slide show with text overlay highlighting the functionality and benefits of the house.  

Animoto is a great tool for creating eye-catching home tours and you can export them in high definition.  For this to have maximum effect, the seller needs to see their house in the video.

The key is to show them what you will do rather than just hearing about it.

You may think this is a lot of work to do before you get a commitment.  You’re right. And your efforts will impress the seller. If you put this much thought and work into securing the listing, they’ll be interested to find out what you’ll do to keep it.

Even if you don’t get the listing, you’re practicing for the next.

How To Find Your Niche In Real Estate and Connect With Your Ideal Client

One thing we must get right in real estate marketing is identifying our ideal client. But that’s not enough.  We have to understand why these people are ideal and will they feel the same. Finding a niche is one of the best things you can do for your business.  

Let me explain.

In the early days of the web, we were expected to be on the mountaintop talking to everyone. No longer. With an online world more cluttered than a grandma’s attic, we need to figure out who we’re talking to from the start or risk wasting a lot of precious time and money. 

If you are trying to talk to everybody, you’re most likely talking to nobody. 

A broad message is impersonal.  Personalized messages bring a significant ROI and have a better chance of being noticed.

Take social media ads, for example.

They are everywhere and here to stay. We can’t control that.  But we can control the type of ads we see. Would you rather see ads that speak to your specific interests and needs or random ads that don’t pertain to you?  

I’ll bet you you chose specific targeting. That’s how you want your desired audience to feel when they come across your content.

I know that creating a niche sounds limiting.  Don’t be afraid to specialize; you won’t lose business. Instead, you’ll attract people who want what you offer.  You can specialize in one area or expand into other niches later on.

Meet Ben Caballero.

He is the founder and CEO of HomesUSA.com and holds the Guinness World Records title for the most annual home sales transactions through MLS by an individual sell side real estate agent.  You may have seen him in a recent Realtor.org feature.

Ben attributes his success to one primary factor.  Specialization.  

In his own words:

“Specialists dominate all professions from ditch digging to rocket science. I can’t overstate its importance to success in any profession. Real estate has many areas in which agents can specialize. I choose to be a corporate specialist.”

Whether you realize it or not, you are already attracting people who connect with your bio and online presence.  It’s the law of attraction.”

Let’s do an exercise.  Grab some paper and we’ll get started.

Write:

  • All of your past and present skills.
  • Why you got into the real estate business. 
  • What you enjoy most about selling real estate.  
  • The buyer/seller you work with most often?  
  • What is the average age?  Where are they located? 
  • The real estate you sell most.  

Look over your list. You’ll notice a theme. See what fills a need or if much of your business is associated with one or more items.  

Think about how your education, career history, and skills have helped in the past and how they’ll help your clients today.  If you are unsure of your skills and talents, check out the Clifton Strength assessments by www.Gallup.com

Do you have a corporate background?  Are you an investor? Own a vacation home or other specific property?  Work with a lot of divorcing couples? Have bank relationships or a finance background?  

If so, you are best suited to help these types of buyers and/or sellers.  I feel first hand experience adds a lot of value to someone who knows nothing about the process.  You can empathize with them and share your personal journey.

People want an expert not someone who holds many titles but masters none.  Specializing allows you to be the go-to person in a particular area of your field.  This is where the niche says loud and clear “You have found the right person”.

Potential niches:

  • Co-ops.
  • Condos.
  • Vacation homes.
  • Relocation clients.
  • New development.
  • First-time investors.
  • Divorce and estates. 
  • Waterfront properties.
  • First-time home buyers.
  • Corporate professionals.
  • Short sales and foreclosures.
  • Foreign investors or home buyers.

I want you to do one more thing.

Beginning today, erase “I can help anybody looking for X” or “I help buyers and sellers” from your sales pitch or “about me” page. Can you do that?  Good. 

Now that you have formed a niche, let’s fill in your blanks with a new brand positioning statement. It will consist of WHO your ideal audience is and HOW they will benefit from working with you.  Sounds easy, right? It is. But also requires considerable thought.  Take your time!  

Going forward, this statement will shape every single marketing decision you make.  

It is also the foundation of your elevator pitch and will help others talk about your business when referring you.  The clearer you are, the easier it is for them.

 

 

Below are some examples of a brand positioning statement.

  • I help first-time investors make calculated decisions and grow their money.
  • I help relocation clients find their place and adjust to life in Westchester County, NY.
  • I help improve communities by getting sellers the most amount of money for their home.

You’ve identified your niche.  Crafted your benefit positioning statement.  Now you’re ready to brand yourself and market to your niche.  I’ll show you how in my next post.  Stay tuned.

Until then, look at your competition.

  • Identify agents who focus on the same niche.
  • What do they do well and not so well?
  • What would you do differently to set yourself apart from the competition?

Know someone who needs clarity and guidance?  Share this post with them!

3 Best Ways To Promote Your Business And Show Your Value As A Business Owner

The online world moves fast, like a freight train barreling down the tracks! And, it’s pretty congested too.

How can you cut through the noise?

I will show you three of the best ways to maximize your reach and exposure. Then, you can repurpose these ideas across your various social media channels and website.

#3 – Check out HARO – That stands for Help A Reporter Out. It’s an online resource for journalists to get feedback and input from business owners like you. A little-known fact is it started out as a Facebook group in 2008 and quickly grew to a 100,000 person email list. Now it’s a tremendous opportunity for you to position yourself as an authority in your industry.

You can sign up for free or get a paid subscription, and up to three times per day you’ll receive an email digest of inquiries from journalists looking for your input on your preferred topics.

#2 – Interviews – They offer you an opportunity to tell your story, add credibility to your business, and help you develop a relationship with the interviewer.

Collaborate with other industry service providers. You can interview each other and then repurpose the interview to reach a broader audience online.

Bonus Tip: When you receive the audio file from the interview, add it to your website. Transcribe it for SEO purposes. Google crawls through text more efficiently than video or audio.

#1 – Public speaking – In the form of hosting a class or a workshop. There’s no better way to let people experience the person they are considering hiring than getting in front of them and showing your value.

Unlike social media, you won’t have to worry about who hears you because you’ll have an audience who made a conscious decision to come and hear you speak.

 

Critical Elements Of A Compelling “About” Video

A compelling “about me” video could be all a potential customer needs to determine whether your product or service is right for them.

In this 60-second video, I will demonstrate how to incorporate the key elements listed below.

* Who you are.
* What you do.
* Who you help.
* How you do it.
* What makes you different from others.
* Call to action – add one mid-roll and at the end.

The optimal length is 30-60 seconds.

I recommend writing a script to organize your key points. Your finished product will serve as your elevator pitch as well. If you are clear others will be clear when they talk about your business, especially at networking events.

The next time someone asks “what do you do?”, you will have a compelling response!

How To Sell A Home With The Neighbors Help

Selling a home is a big job, but sometimes the buyer is hiding in plain sight, the surrounding neighborhood.  That’s right. I am willing to bet that most neighborhoods have a resident who knows someone looking to move there.  But how do you find out if they know a buyer? Ask them.

Some of you may be thinking “I don’t need to do that my listing will sell in a week” or “the market is hot, it will sell quickly.”  The market won’t always be hot, and there’s more to this plan then just selling a listing.  

Let me explain.

We are going above and beyond to make a lasting impression and build relationships with potential sellers in a neighborhood.  

The old way of thinking: you sell a listing without engaging with the neighborhood on a personal level.  You send out the same generic just listed and sold cards like everybody else and never make a human connection.  You’ll need to send out more cards to build a presence than you will if you follow-up a mailing with an in-person visit.  

A new way of thinking: You personalize your postcards AND walk the neighborhood knocking on doors after sending them.  

Which do you think will have a more significant impact?

 

Here’s how you can do it:

Walk the neighborhood and knock on doors.

When your new listing hits the market, cast a net around the ten homes on either side of the subject property and across the street (or more if you like).

Tell the residents that you have just listed a house on their street and you want to give them an opportunity to help find their new neighbor.  You are planning an exclusive event and invite them to bring any potential buyers for a first look. This is your opening to a conversation. Build some report.  Even if they don’t attend, you may make a lasting impression on them.

TIP: If you are squeamish about knocking on doors, bring a colleague.  Having a familiar person to feed off of can add a layer of fun to the conversation and may put you at ease because the focus isn’t solely on you.  I am not much of a door knocker but find this method makes me more comfortable.

Host a neighbors only open house event.  

I say event because it should be unique and not just another open house.  This idea excites me for a few reasons. You get to meet new people and develop a relationship.  Relationships in the real estate business are everything.

Approach the guests with a genuine interest in getting to know them rather than “what can I get” mindset.  Even if they don’t have a buyer in mind, it will make planning a housewarming or block gathering easier when the right buyer comes along (more on that later).

Take ten minutes and present the home.  

Every home has a story; this is your chance to tell it.  Share what the current owner loved most, how they cared for it, and any interesting facts or history.  Create a unique take away gift that people will want to keep around or share with others.

One of my favorites is a branded key-shaped USB drive.  

You can load the virtual tour video, property details, and business card onto it.  

TIP:  Purchase a drive that has at least 4GB of space (easy to find on Google), so the guest has the option for personal use.  The idea is to give them the property info and something of value that they will keep around. Every time they use it, they will hopefully think of you.

Invite some neighbors to talk about why they love living there on camera.  

You may get some resistance here but go for it anyway.  Even if you get a couple, it’s worth it. Be careful they don’t unintentionally violate any fair housing or other laws.

Even though they said it, you are responsible because you used them in your marketing.

Tip: Look for the outspoken neighbor who is passionate and heavily involved in local happenings.  Every neighborhood has a mayor.

Be transparent with your plan to use the video and always get their permission.  You can repurpose these testimonials in a few ways.

  • Weave them into your property tour video.  Embed into an email blast for other real estate agents and your sphere of influence.  
  • Share them on social media.
  • Embed them into a blog post about the neighborhood.

The after party: Follow up with a handwritten thank you note.  If you received any phone numbers or email address at the event, get there feedback on the home.  

Once you find the right buyer for your listing, help coordinate a block party or house-warming event.  

The experience you create is what people will remember the most.

I would love to hear about your experience with neighborhood open houses or events.  Please share them with me in the comments.

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