HouseHunt Network

A Blog for Real Estate Agents

Month: February 2012 (Page 1 of 3)

Good Drip Campaigns Can Lead to a Flood of Clients

By Jaime Westman

Drip CampaignMillions of people watched the Super Bowl in January, with many not knowing the difference between a first down and a touchdown. But the networks and advertisers couldn’t care less about the viewers’ sports knowledge. The latter was more than eager to take advantage of the opportunity – at $3 million-plus per ad – to put their companies, products or services in front of a captive audience’s eyes.

Many of these company ads didn’t introduce or discuss the quality of its product or service. They didn’t say their chips tasted better or their cars drove smoother or their beverages had superior flavor. It was mostly about humor, name recognition, glitz, shock value or creativity.

So why would giant companies spend millions of dollars on advertising without trying to establish an image of product supremacy? It’s because they understand the power of repetitive exposures, or, what we call in the real estate, the power of a drip system.

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Converting Mickey Mouse Prospects

By Jim Droz

Existing-home sales fell in June amidst contract cancellations, according to the National Association of Realtors.

NAR president Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I., said home sales should be higher.

“With record high housing affordability conditions thus far in 2011, we’d normally expect to see stronger home sales,” he said. “Even with job creation below expectations, excessively tight loan standards are keeping many buyers from completing deals. Although proposals being considered in Washington could effectively put more restrictions on lending, some banking executives have hinted that credit may return to more normal, safe standards in the not-too-distant future, but the tardiness of this process is holding back the recovery.”

Existing-home sales did rise marginally in the Midwest and South, but all regions are down from the same time last year. The Midwest is now a staggering 14 percent below June 2010. The South is down 5.6 percent.

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Bruce LaMaster on Lead Response Time

By Jaime Westman

Real estate agent Bruce LaMaster knows the importance of quick responses in today’s fast-paced world. The owner of LaMaster and Company in Folsom, whose office covers about 15 cities in Northern California, has a protocol to follow when a lead is received.

“The team member assigned to that territory will check our database to determine if the lead is new or a returning lead that has been assigned to a team member,” said LaMaster, a member of HouseHunt’s Hall of Fame. “If it’s a new lead, we attempt to call within the first 15 minutes, but no longer than an hour after the lead comes in. Regardless of the outcome of the call – answered, not answered or bad number – everyone gets an e-mail immediately, in addition to being set up on our MLS search system and our 28 touch action plan.”
Visit one of Bruce’s sites

If an agent is unavailable when a lead arrives, LaMaster said another team member is alerted and a prompt response is made.

“Being on the road is really of no consequence since cell phones, laptops and mobile hot spots know no boundaries,” he said. “I can follow up a lead, check the database and set up the MLS and action plan and usually never leave the highway.”

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Make Sure the Home Listing Price is Right from the Start

By Jim Droz

Converting Mickey Mouse Leadsa>Even though you’ll never sell a house to Mickey Mouse or Fred Flintstone, you’ve likely received e-mails from these guys in the past. Maybe you’ve even heard from George Jetson, Dudley Do-Right or Yogi Bear as well.

Unless it’s Halloween, these people obviously don’t exist, but real people did type in those names when looking at your real estate site. And since they’re looking, chances are they’re thinking about buying a house. But is it a good lead or a bad one? Since you don’t know at first, you have to treat it like the former unless you get a bounce-back or other error message immediately after responding.

If any portion of the lead has what appears to be valid information, it needs to be worked. If it’s a good e-mail address, a personal e-mail from you should say something like this:

“I got your request for homes and I respect your desire to remain anonymous and not speak to me yet, so I’m setting you up to receive listings in your area and when you’re ready to talk we can customize the search to your exact needs. … Even if you’re not looking to buy for a year or two or need help with credit issues, I’d be glad to help any way I can. I’ll stay in touch via e-mail as long as you want to keep getting information. Thanks for visiting my site. Feel free to e-mail or call me anytime.”

If humor seems like an appropriate ice-breaker, perhaps your response could start with

“Hey Fred, Wilma here. Don’t forget to pick up 10 pounds of brontosaurus for our burgers tonight;” or maybe, “Hey Yogi, don’t forget we need hot dogs for our picnic this weekend.”

Then you can get into the nitty-gritty of your message.

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Agents in the Business of Thinking Long Term Will Have the Best Careers

By Jim Droz

Get a job! Say what? Most real estate agents would be offended if someone yelled that sentiment at them. But the statement is true because when you pursue a career in real estate, you’re not getting a job, you’re opening a business. And to prosper, you must think along those lines.

The dictionary defines employee as “a person employed by another for wages or salary.” Employees work scheduled hours and perform tasks determined by others. They have limited responsibility and their ability to prosper is in the hands of others.

These are difficult times in the real estate industry, but agents still can control the important things by thinking like a business owner and treating the profession as a career. When things slow down it’s time to invest a greater percentage of your time and income back into the business. If other agents pull back or pull out of the industry altogether, that’s a greater opportunity for you to increase your market share.

In every market atmosphere there are going to be people who have to sell and others who want to buy. Because the number of existing buyers, hopefully for the time being, is shrinking, you need to get a greater percentage of those who are still in the marketplace. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, but following this blueprint is a good place to start. As a business owner, you must:

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