Real Estate Marketing Blog

Morris Real Estate Marketing Group’s blog is your home for up-to-date information that is vital to every REALTOR®. Visit us regularly for the latest real estate marketing tips and REALTOR® resources. The information we share is designed to provide real estate agents with the tools they need to succeed on a day-to-day basis. Our blog is constantly updated, so be sure you check back often.

How Successful Real Estate Agents Choose their Geographic Farm in 5 Steps

how to choose a geographic farmGeographic farming (also called community marketing) is by far the best way to generate high quality contacts.

You can’t be the number one real estate agent in every community across the country, but you can be the number one real estate agent in a specific community. And being first in one well-chosen area will get you more business than would coming in second place in several areas.

With that said, you cannot simply point at a neighbourhood on a map and declare yourself the real estate ruler of that town or subdivision. To be the top agent in your geographic farm, you must choose the right community to target, and keep in touch with the homeowners consistently and with the right messaging.

But how do you choose the right geographic farm to keep in touch with? Simply follow these 5 steps.

geographic farm real estate5 Steps to choosing your geographic farm:

  1. Map and list possible communities (towns or sections of a town, intersections, suburbs or condos, for example).
  2. Narrow the list of neighbourhoods to those in which the residents share demographics and common characteristics. For example, young families who are first-time buyers.

BONUS TIP: Look for a community that has a name that homeowners use. For example, “I live in the Beach,” or “There’s a festival in The Valley this weekend.”

  1. Perform competitive research. Is there another Realtor who already “owns the farm”? If so, this will be a huge barrier to entry, and it might be best to look for a less competitive space that still meets your criteria.
  2. Of the remaining communities on your list, choose the ones that have a 3% turnover rate or higher. Of course, a wealthy neighbourhood with a lower turnover may offer the same income as a mid-income neighbourhood with a higher turnover. Do the math but also decide if you’re comfortable with the possibility of less sales in a year.
  3. Finally, scrutinize the neighbourhoods on your list based on personal fit. For example, if you’re considering a skiing village but you don’t ski, you may not be able to sell as well as a Realtor who knows all the slopes and can speak the community’s language. Or, if the demographic of a neighbourhood is baby boomer-heavy and you’re a millennial, it may be difficult to connect on a personal level with the residents.

Personal connection is arguably the most important aspect of geographic farming because you cannot be number one if you don’t build relationships with the residents.

Now that you’ve chosen a geographic area to farm, it’s time to set yourself up for success with a comprehensive Community Marketing System that guarantees you reach your geographic farm with the right messaging at the right intervals. Before you know it, you’ll be THE go-to real estate agent among homeowners and buyers in your chosen community.

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4 Field-Tested Time Management Tips for Real Estate Agents

break bad, build good habitsThere’s no doubt about it. As a real estate agent, the more you get done each day, the more likely you are to reach your success goals. For example, if you’re able to manage your time just a little bit better this week, you’ll be able to see more prospects, connect with more buyers and, quite possibly, close an extra deal.

That’s definitely going boost your income!

With that in mind, here are some tried-and-true time management tips especially for real estate agents.

1. Maintain a task list and calendar.

This has been a time management basic for decades. Each morning, write down what you need to do and when you plan to do it. In practical terms, that means maintaining a task list (aka to-do list) and calendar. Old-fashioned, yes, but it works.

Appointments, of course, go on the calendar, but time management experts recommend you also block off time for major tasks. For example, if you have a pile of paperwork to do, you can schedule that activity on your calendar (ex. “3:15pm-4:15pm”). That way, you’re not scrambling to fit the task in here and there throughout the day.

2. Use an effective Real Estate CRM.

Best Real Estate CRMYou can easily double your productivity with an effective CRM system. A good one will not only make it easier to manage your tasks and appointments, but will also streamline contact management, the buying and selling process, marketing activities and more.

Your choice of real estate CRM is important. Writing about time management in The Balance, real estate agent and author James Kimmons points out that, “The best these days are online and available on any of your devices, whether computer,
tablet or smartphone.”

3. React to disappointments in a healthy way.

Real Estate Time ManagementA “sure thing” prospect goes with another agent… a deal falls through… a client calls and is angry… Every real estate agent has a bad day once in a while. When that happens, it’s natural to want to brood about it over a long lunch or even go home early.

But that will kill your productivity and may even make you feel worse.

Experts say the best antidote to disappointment is action. That means sticking to your plan for the day and working through your tasks and appointments. Doing so makes you feel more in control — which, in fact, you are.

4. Leverage your mobile device.

Got an appointment across town? Google Map it so you know how long the drive will be in current traffic. Need to make some quick notes about a property? Use a speech recognition app that turns your spoken notes into text.

Your mobile device is like a toolbox filled with ways to manage your time better and get more things done, more easily. Always be on the lookout for apps that can help your business.

So there you have it. Four proven time management tips for real estate agents. Now ask yourself, “Which one will I implement this week?”

If you work from a home office, read this article for additional tips: 7 Ways to Stay Productive in your Real Estate Home Office.

 

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Real Estate Agents: Here’s how 2-minutes prep can make or break a sale

When you’re a real estate agent, EVERY impression matters.

Case in point: I recently decided to purchase a cottage/income property. I chose an established tourist zone, far outside of my home city, and called my preferred real estate agent who referred me to a Realtor in the area.

When I returned from our first tour of available homes, I immediately called the referring real estate agent. “Have you ever been in his car?” I asked.

Things had started well. As I stepped into his office, I felt calm and relaxed. I arrived on time and he was waiting for me. His office looked tidy and comfortable, and he offered me coffee in a to-go cup, which was fantastic because we had an early start. I followed him to his vehicle and that’s where things started to go downhill.

Real Estate Agents TipsThe outside of his vehicle was dusty, and I could see children’s stickers stuck to the windows. The door creaked as it opened, and I had to move someone’s coat to sit down. My foot landed on a McDonald’s wrapper and, when he started the car, an electric guitar sliced through the speakers. He quickly turned off the radio and we entered traffic in silence.

I mulled over my impression of him in his office vs. his car while he cut off another driver to turn into a gas station. As he filled the tank, I hoped we’d make it to our first appointment on time.

The takeaway from my experience is that every impression counts. When someone’s about to make a large purchase such as a home, they’re more likely to look for any clue or indication that something could go wrong. Not surprisingly, I was uncomfortable going with a Realtor who lacked attention to detail, basic time management and organizational skills.

So, Real Estate Agents. Before you offer a new or prospective client a ride in your vehicle, take two minutes to give it an inspection:

  1. Have you run your vehicle through a car wash recently?
  2. Are there miscellaneous items or clutter on the seats or floor?
  3. Is your interior clean? Look for dust on the dash or windshield, and stains on the upholstery.
  4. Is your gas tank full?
  5. Is your radio turned down or off?
  6. Are there any annoying noises, warning lights or something that might rattle a nervous passenger?
  7. Does your car smell fresh and clean?
  8. Do you have the route mapped out or pre-programmed into your GPS?
  9. If your phone is connected to your car via Bluetooth, is your phone turned off?
  10. Is your trunk clear? This will matter if the client must catch a flight right after the showing or some other extenuating circumstance pops up.

This two-minute inspection should be done weekly, not just a few minutes before you meet your client. That way, you’re not dealing with stress or emergencies.

Your vehicle may not be the most expensive, sporty or luxurious but that won’t matter to most buyers. What will matter is how well you care for and service your vehicle, as buyers are likely to make a mental connection between that and how you might provide care and service throughout your agent-client relationship.

Visit our website for more real estate tips and advice.

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How Top Real Estate Agents Set, Track and Reach Goals

Top Real Estate Agents Goal SettingWhat do top real estate agents, sophisticated real estate teams and all successful brokerages have in common?

They set and track specific success goals.

Unsuccessful Realtors often set financial goals but neglect to break down the steps required to achieve them. Goal-setting must go beyond how much money a person wants to make. Activity goals must also be set. Let’s say your financial goal for the year is $100,000, and your average commission is $5,000. That’s 20 houses you need to close in 50 weeks (52 weeks – 2 weeks vacation), an average of 2.5 sales per month.

Great! You’ve set financial goals. Now it’s time to break them down.What activities do you need to accomplish to reach your financial goals?

HOW TO ESTABLISH ACTIVITY GOALS

STEP ONE: REVIEW YOUR DATABASE

Start by looking at your database of past clients. On average, your past clients can recommend you to others two or three times a year – if you stay in touch with them the right way and at the right frequency. Can you reach your targeted financial goal with the existing past clients in your database? If not, you’ll need to set activity goals to maintain relationships with past clients as well as activity goals for establishing relationships with potential clients.

STEP TWO: LIST YOUR ACTIVITIES

Separate past clients (referral opportunities) from potential clients and then create lists of relationship-building activities for both categories. This includes all touch points: real estate direct mail newsletters, ] e-newsletters, handwritten cards, phone calls, pop-ins, etc. Now record how often you will need to carry out this activity with each contact. For example, real estate direct mail newsletters should be sent to past clients once per month, with two or three supplementary postcards per year. Phone calls or pop-ins should be performed two to three times per year.

STEP 3: SET YOUR GOALS

Now it’s time to set your activity goals. 12 real estate direct mail newsletters need to go to all past clients each year. So, your activity goal is one newsletter per month. A little more math is involved for one-on-one touch points. Multiply the number of required one-on-one touchpoints with the amount of contacts in your database. For example, say you have 100 past clients in your database, and your goal is to personally call each of them 3 times over the course of the year. You will need to make 300 calls in 50 weeks (if you are planning two weeks’ vacation), which means you will make 6 calls per week. Continue moving down the list of activities until you have created a full set of activity goals.

STEP 4: SET AND FOLLOW THE SCHEDULE

Now that you’ve set your financial and activity goals, you must schedule your activities into your calendar and get to work. And yes, it’s a LOT of work. But the good news is, our real estate marketing systems come with tools that can help you track your goals, build your database and automate your real estate direct mail newsletters as well as email and social media communications. Our real estate marketing success systems will even help you set up and track your goals, and then send you task and activity reminders! And we’re just getting started. Our real estate marketing success systems offer:

  • Customizable real estate direct mail newsletters that are designed, written, printed and mailed for you.
  • Fully automated email marketing, including done-for-you e-newsletters and mass email send-outs with customized headers, professionally written content, DRIP campaigns and more.
  • The best CRM in the real estate industry, complete with automated lead capture, contact management at your fingertips with our mobile app, detailed contact profiles, contact history, and “Social Intelligence”, text and phone call integration and more!
  • A professionally designed and written, fully responsive and mobile-friendly Realtor website with lead capture and social media tools.
  • Done-for-you social media marketing.
  • Expert marketing advice at your fingertips.
  • And more!

Contact us today to learn more about how our real estate marketing success systems can help you become a top real estate agent.

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7 Ways to Stay Productive in Your Real Estate Home Office

Real Estate Home Office TipsMost real estate agents who work from home quickly realize that it can be a double-edged sword. After all, working from a home office has many advantages – flexibility of hours, family focus, comfy clothes, a stocked fridge and zero commute, just to name the most obvious. Unfortunately, these advantages can easily spiral into productivity-crushing disadvantages.

The key to remaining productive is to minimize distractions and keep a strict schedule. Of course, this is easier said than done. Fortunately, we have some tried and true tips to help you accomplish both of these goals:

  1. Follow a work schedule.

Block off time for relationship calls, note-writing, pop-ins, listing management and even social media. End your day with a To Do list. Schedules and task lists will help you maintain your work-life balance as it will not only discourage a day-time Netflix marathon, it will also help you stay away from your home office during family time. Don’t forget to also schedule AND time your breaks. Many people will attempt the first step, which is scheduling breaks, but few will bother to time them. Set the timer on your phone so a 10-minute coffee break doesn’t turn into a 2-hour conversation with a family member.

  1. Pack a lunch.

This may seem silly but packing your lunch the night before will save time the next day, keep you focused and stop you from turning your lunch break into a meal prep for that night’s dinner. A colleague takes this a step further. She brings her lunch to the park or goes out for lunch, avoiding her kitchen entirely.

  1. Make sure you have what you need at your fingertips.

Office supplies should not be stored throughout the house. Even going to the kitchen to grab scissors or a stamp can prove a distraction, if you have dirty dishes in the sink or the dog looks at you with sad, hopeful eyes and a leash in her mouth. I even have a kettle and tea supplies in my home office so I’m not leaving every hour for a refill.

  1. Dress for work.

This does not mean you have to put on your best heels or a silk tie. At minimum, get out of the pyjamas, shower and dress business casual before you step foot into your home office. A colleague tells me that he schedules off-site meetings for as early in the day as possible. This helps him get dressed and in the right mindset for the rest of the day.

  1. Set goals.

Goal setting is one of the most helpful tools for keeping you motivated to stay on track. Set daily goals, short-term and long-term goals. Your goal-setting should not only include your financial success but also the activities you need to accomplish your financial goals. We will have more goal-setting and tracking tips in a future post, so stay tuned!

6. Get automated.

You have mass emails, e-newsletters, direct mail, social media marketing, not to mention phone calls, client thank you cards and canvassing to cover! And this is outside of managing your listings, showings and more! You can’t do it all. That’s why you need to invest in a real estate marketing system that will automate your marketing activities. Our Referral Marketing System, for example, provides professionally written and designed real estate direct mail newsletters, e-newsletter, social media marketing messages, and more, all powered through the best CRM and email marketing program in the business. It will even help you stay on track with reminders, scheduling and goal setting.

7. Get your family on board.

This is a tough one to accomplish. After all, your partner, kids and pets have minds of their own. With that said, the more seriously you take your routine by implementing the tips above, the more likely it is that your family will follow your lead. This is especially true if you’re not sneaking back into your office during scheduled family time.

These are our 7 best tips for staying productive in your real estate home office; we hope you found them helpful!

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