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It’s no secret that video is a great way to get business.  People will not hire you unless they know, like, and trust you.  Video is a really easy way to accomplish this.

But there are secrets to making this work well.  Sadly a LOT of agents are doing it wrong, so let’s fix that!

Speak to the Client You Want

YouTube is the perfect platform for attracting your ideal client.  Think of it as your very own TV show.  Do you need to work with every single buyer and seller in your market?

No, of course not.  So why not make videos that speak to exactly the person you want to attract?

Let’s say you want to get listings and you enjoy working with empty nesters.  What would a couple that’s downsizing be interested in learning about?  Maybe whether or not a single story house is more energy efficient than a two story.  Or 5 great neighborhoods where the HOA mows the lawn for you.  Think of topics that would appeal specifically to that person.

Be Specific

If you like working with first time military buyers you can make videos talking about using your VA entitlement to buy a house, subdivisions within a half hour commute to the local army post or air force base, how to buy a house and have the monthly payment covered by your BAH.
You attract your ideal client by the content you put out. Simple!

By being yourself on camera you attract people with similar personalities.  I talk with my hands, I laugh a lot, I crack jokes, and I am kind of a goofball.  I’m competent and I talk with confidence on camera, but I don’t take myself too seriously.  My clients all tell me that they love that about me.

People who are very serious or introverted or negative will not call me because they won’t like my personality.  AND THAT’S GREAT!  Because we probably wouldn’t really enjoy working together.  If they don’t call me, it doesn’t hurt my feelings.  I don’t need everyone in the world to like me – just my ideal clients.

Now, how do we get them to know, like, and trust us?  We offer value and expect nothing in return.  This is the concept behind content marketing.  You give, give, give and ask for nothing back.  But because of the law of reciprocity you DO get something back – a lot!  Don’t analyze this to death.  Just trust me when I tell you this works.

Be Yourself

So make videos, smile, show your personality.  If you’re funny in real life be funny on camera!  If you’re serious, you can be serious but don’t be boring or a downer. Be happy and friendly but you don’t have to be a comedian.  At the end of the video you can offer them a free download on your web site that goes along with the video, or ask them to join a private FB group that’s all about offering them more value.  Do not ask for their business, just offer them something to help them.

Now if they have to enter their name and email address in order to get that freebie, that’s fine!  Because when you call them to follow up I guarantee they’ll usually say, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m talking to you!  I feel like I know you already.”  I get that a lot and I love those calls!  It’s super easy to convert those people into clients because they already know, like, and trust you.

So don’t be afraid to be yourself on camera.  When you attract clients with similar personalities, not only is it great to get the business but you enjoy working with those people too and will probably make some great friends in the process.

Ready to step up your YouTube game?  Download my free YouTube Success Checklist…Just go to www.YoutubeforAgents.com.

Also- want a list of questions to ask yourself to discover WHO your ideal client is? Check out this previous article from Agent Inner Circle- https://agentinnercircle.com/how-to-attract-the-perfect-real-estate-client/

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I would estimate the average agent loses between $20,000 and $80,000 a year because they don’t know how to handle sign calls, ad calls, or any other inquiries from buyers or sellers.  And chances are, YOU are losing money too.  Even many veteran agents, who think they knew how to work a call, are making costly mistakes.

If you simply master the art of handling inquiry calls, you will see an strong increase in your income…and you’ll stop letting money run through your hands when you prepare correctly and know what you’ll say even before someone picks up the phone to call you.

Here’s the 5-step process:

 

STEP 1

Understand Your Primary GOAL.  Most agents think when they receive a call, their job is to sell real estate.  It’s not, and this could be the very first mistake you’re making.  People don’t buy real estate from a stranger over the phone.  The primary goal of your conversation over the phone is to…

Get A Name, Phone Number, And Face-To-Face Meeting!

STEP 2

 Be Prepared Beforehand!  Your success will be related to how well you prepare for the calls you’ll get. PEOPLE WILL TELL YOU WHAT THEY WANT IF YOU’LL JUST ASK. 

You need to think through the questions you’ll get from prospect calls, and have a prepared, straight-forward answer for them in a way that sells your services.

For example: If you have a listing in a resort subdivision, you better know about dues for joining the club, complete market values, EVERYTHING about the home you’ve listed, and other benefits of living in the area (schools, shopping, transportation, community services, etc.).

You also need to think through the questions you’ll ask your buyers to do 2 things:  1) Qualify them as real buyers/sellers (their motivation), and 2) Motivate them to meet with you. 

STEP 3

Know Your Inventory So You Can Motivate A Phone Number, And A Meeting.  If you have a listing in the $250,000 price range, you need to know at least 5 additional GREAT homes in that price range.  The chances of a caller buying your home can be thin, but the chances of selling them “A HOME” are good – if you know what you’re doing.  Here’s the approach you use to motivate a phone number and a meeting.

No one will want to meet with you without a specific, irresistible, self-serving reason for meeting with you. And no one  wants to get sold!  They simply want their problems solved.
So, what will you DO for them? 

For example, if you get a sign call, you know a lot about them because they called you regarding a listing or other property. And you know what they’re looking for because they answered your questions above.  What do you think will motivate a meeting?  The perfect HOME!

  • Mr./Ms. Prospect, I have  2 homes – and perhaps one more if it’s still on the market – that perfectly match what you’re looking for.  Let me pull out my information on them and I’ll call you back with details.  Are you going to be around in the next 15 minutes?  What’s your phone number? 

You now have a lead…now it’s time to find the exact home they described to you from your questions above.  AND CALL THEM BACK EXACTLY WHEN YOU TOLD THEM…NO LATER THAN 15 MINUTES! And when you call them back, you need to tease them with features and benefits of the homes – to perfectly match the ones they gave you earlier.  And you need to set-up a meeting to look at those homes.

STEP 4

Take Detailed Notes.  Don’t rely on your memory.  I know this sounds simple, but you could get 20 calls a day, and you need to keep track of details.  So, go out and buy a set of 5 X 7 inch cards.  And on each card, get down as much information as possible on your prospect’s desires.  Also get as much personal information as possible.  And work your cards diligently, or put them into your online contact manager for regular follow-up.

STEP 5

Get Your Head Straight. 90% of working prospect calls is YOUR mental state and preparedness.  Here’s what I suggest you do to close your calls to clients:

  • Get prepared mentally.  When your phone rings, tell yourself, “I’m going to meet with these callers.”  That’s your single goal.
  • Create a script of items or QUESTIONS you need to use during your prospect calls.  Don’t rely on your memory to come through during a tense situation.
  • ASK FOR THE APPOINTMENT.  “Ask and you shall receive.”  I can’t tell you how many agents I meet who simply don’t ask for the meeting…or the sale.  Many agents lack the confidence to ask for the business.  Don’t expect to be successful in real estate if you can’t ask for the business.

We’d love to hear from you- what’s your go-to plan for dealing with prospect calls? Please share them with us and the other Agent Inner Circle member agents!

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The 500 Client Strategy

I once had an agent ask me if I knew just one marketing strategy that was so powerful you could get 500 clients from it. My answer was, “I don’t know one strategy that will get you 500 clients, but I know 500 strategies to get one client.” There really isn’t “one” way to succeed in real estate – not for everyone in every area.

There’s no one miracle strategy that’ll do it all. But from nearly every top agent I’ve ever met, I’ve found that ultimately they generate most of their clients through some type of credible relationship – whether the client already knew them (or knew of them) or was referred to them from a trusted friend or source. Established agents generate as much as 90% of their business this way. But what about the rest of agents who don’t have massive lists of past clients and huge market awareness?

The Hungry Agent

Is there help for the new or hungry agent wanting to get to the next level? Yes, there is. The process of building a real estate business is no different than any other business. It’s ultimately about building market share. There are 2 ways to establish market share: 1) work your way into the market, or 2) buy your way into the market. If you have no money, you’re forced into manual labor to get clients. There are really 4 basic areas to think about when building your business. They include:

  1. A unique and beneficial product or service for which there is a definable, proven market…
  2. A sales generation system to market and sell that product and retain your clients for as long as humanly possible to generate a) more sales, and b) referrals, word of mouth and repeat business…
  3. A unique product or service delivery system (remember I said “unique”)…
  4. Measurement systems (to know how you’re doing).

For most agents, the biggest stumbling block is generating enough client flow to make real estate a lasting business – it’s all about marketing and sales generation. So here are 6 important tips to consider in creating a stellar marketing and sales generation system…

#1. Nothing Worthwhile Was Ever Achieved without a PLAN.

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. Smart agents think through their marketing strategies, examine where their current business comes from, and plan the future strategically. You can do the same thing too. Just number out 3 or 4 major marketing efforts, set a goal for them, and focus like a laser beam. Here’s an example of a super-simple 30-transaction annual plan:

  1. Goal: 12 transactions. Build my “house list” to 500 names in the first year and create monthly contact.
  2. Goal: 6 Listings. Select the highest probable farm areas (# of listings, short market times, high turnover, fewer agents, etc.) where I’ll send Service For Life!® and walk the area weekly to become a neighborhood specialist.
  3. Goal: 6 Listings. Generate 1 buyer from every listing I take by employing buyer magnet strategies with my listings (800 sign tags, info tube flyers, classifieds, etc.).
  4. Goal: 6 Buyers. Create a classified ad buyer generation system (see your Classified Ad Secrets bonus you received when you joined Agent Inner Circle).
#2. Prioritize Your Marketing Time, Money and Effort According To the QUALITY of the Prospect or Market.

“Quality” is defined as how well the prospect already knows you and is most predisposed to use or refer you over any other agent. You’ve only got a limited amount of time and money to spend, so you need to spend it on the highest potential prospects. Don’t go chasing cold prospects at the expense of higher potential prospects. Without a doubt, your highest priority market is going to be past clients or friends who have already sent you a referral.

The second highest priority will be the rest of your “house list” (friends, family, etc.) who already know you and have the ability to do business with you or send you referrals.

The third highest priority would be inbound transactional leads. These are people who have called you from signs, info tube flyers, ads, and other “pull” marketing – most agents fail to follow-up properly and convert these people to clients.

Your fourth highest priority would be leads or clients generated from cold outbound sources: phone calls, farming, expireds, FSBOs, etc.

And the lowest priority would be the general population who neither know you, nor care to know you – yet remember (before the “no call” lists) how many “gurus” told agents to open the phone book and start calling? There’s a reason why they outlawed that method!

#3. When Starting Out (or starting over), Spend 80% of Your Time on Prospecting and Client Acquisition Strategies.

Whether it’s cold prospecting or establishing marketing systems, ads, sales letters, press releases, walking neighborhoods, etc., focus your resources on getting business. Don’t allow distractions (self imposed or otherwise) to interfere with this task. Too many agents are busy doing the wrong things. They spend their time previewing, running documents or anything except nose-to-the-grindstone prospecting. If it ain’t going to bring in more business, it can wait. At the same time, don’t neglect establishing marketing “pull” systems so you can quickly stop manual outbound prospecting. You only make money when you work with clients and close deals, so anything you can do to automate your ability to generate leads and clients is going to naturally increase your income.

#4. Create a “House List” and Market To Them as Your Primary Marketing.

You already know that 75% of all real estate transactions occur from a relationship – they know the agent or are referred. Here’s something you don’t know: If you built a “house list” (database of personal contacts) with 300 people (homeowners) on it, and the average home ownership period is, for example 7 years, then 42 of those people will buy or sell every year – not including the referrals they could send you. 600 people and it’s 84 transactions every year, etc.

You won’t get all 42 deals, but who do you think would be the odds-on favorite: the stranger who cold-calls them over dinner or sends a recipe card, or the person who’s been in their life each month, brought welcomed and valuable assistance, demonstrated their professionalism and follow-up each month, and also confirmed they’re committed to the relationship for the long haul? That’s what I call “market share”. Get your house list going, and start bringing them welcomed, value-oriented contact. If you need ideas, browse our archives here on this blog – or start asking questions of your fellow agents over at our Facebook page and group.

#5: Use Direct Response in ALL Your Marketing.

There are many elements to direct response, but remember this:

No one will reply to any of your marketing without a specific, self-serving REASON to respond.

95% of the agent community is hopelessly ignorant of this fact and they keep using “image” advertising with the same lousy results. I’m talking about making an OFFER to prompt response from prospects: a special report, an area analysis, your “Maximum Home Value Audit,” a “Free Home Package” of a listed home, etc. All of your marketing should include an irresistible offer and call to action to prompt response. Check out Service For Life! for a direct-response system that already has offers like these plugged in to your monthly personalized contact – it’s ready to go with little to no editing!

#6. Market Off Your Listings to Generate Buyers and Other Listings.

I’ve had dozens of agents who used this system and consistently add $100,000 to $250,000 per year in extra business. So listen up. Do you know the purpose of taking a listing? Did you say, “Sell the home?”

If so, you’re like most “average” agents, and only partially correct. The purpose of taking a listing is to attract buyers and other listings to your services. Think about this: buyers drive by the neighborhood, view your classifieds, open your info tubes, read your listing display ads, read your signs, and yet most agents give them no meaningful reason to contact them – to respond and get a hot lead.

Imagine how your business would grow if you implemented buyer and listing attraction systems with every listing you take? That’s what I mean by “leveraging” your efforts for more business.

In closing, you need to think of your marketing as building “systems.” Systems act like spokes on a wheel, with each spoke being one system. The more spokes you have working for you, the stronger, more powerful the wheel. Most agents have only 1 or 2 systems working for them, so if they lose a system, the whole wheel collapses. Plan your business around these 6 simple strategies, and you’ll see an immediate and lasting improvement in your production and your life.

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“Are You Really Listening to Me?”

That is the question so many people would like to ask you from the other side of the table in a negotiation or sales encounter. Here’s a tip to prove to them that you are. When you ask a question, listen carefully to their answer. Then ask another question on the same topic that probes deeper. They will know you are fully engaged in the conversation!

We don’t tend to think of listening as a power activity because in and of itself, it has historically been thought of as a passive behavior rather than a proactive one. Now is the time to change that. As my good friend, Harvey Mackay, said in one of his recent articles, “None of us can learn anything when we are talking”. When you are conversing with a client, prospect, superior or even a family member, clarity of communication is critical. Being a skilled listener is not only a respectful activity, it will improve your efficiency in negotiating with others. It will also help you be more convincing and build trust that can facilitate desired outcomes.

Here are 7 tips to help you become a better negotiator by asking insightful questions and maximizing your power listening skills:
  1. Vow to concentrate on what the other person is saying. Maintain eye contact. Take notes when appropriate, and remember that first and foremost we must discipline ourselves to always listen for context and understanding.

  2. Seek clarity on the topics you present to assure that effective communications is taking place. To do this, ask concise questions regarding the topics being discussed based on what you have heard and noted. This verifies to them that you understand their position so far. Probe for detail when appropriate and you will gain enhanced understanding.

  3. Remember that open-ended questions will get you more in-depth answers than closed-ended questions. An example of an open-ended question might be: “Based upon what you have told me so far, what are the two or three top outcomes you and your company are hoping to achieve?” (This is a great place to refer to the notes you have taken!) Conversely, a closed-ended question could be along these lines. “Are you hoping to get a solution in place before the end of the month?” (This could elicit a one-word answer.)

  4. Repeat key ideas you have identified from the conversation so far to confirm to your customer that clear communications are taking place. Restate some of their thoughts and conclusions so that you can take the dialog to the next level. As you extrapolate their thoughts into an advanced understanding of what they want, all of your customers and prospects will be impressed with your skills and pleased with your action-oriented spirit.

  5. Confirm what your resourceful responses to their ideas will be going forward. They will respect your demonstrated ability to truly understand their position. This can soften the often confrontational spirit of many negotiations.

  6. Perform the promised function or actions with timeliness and expertise and you will be in the minority of great communicators. Your customers will appreciate your on-time follow up and conscientious approach. That builds trust!

  7. Check back to confirm that actions agreed upon have been taken, what the results are so far, and how their expectations going forward are being addressed, so that your next steps will be clear. Your customers will always respect and value your proactivity.

​​​​Ask great questions and engage your power listening skills, and you will enjoy more successful negotiations and greater achievement than ever before!

Want to get in touch with Don Hutson? For more information, go to www.DonHutson.com or call 901.767.0000
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I am constantly battling with people about the leads they generate using social media platforms. I’m sure you’ve heard the hype about being able to generate a lead at just a few dollars. But the real question people should be asking is, are these leads converting?

Do Your Leads Really Suck? - YouTube

So let me be 100% transparent with you. Let’s for example say we generated a single lead right this second. Here is what that person can expect:

  • 33% of people can expect to be followed up with in 24 hours
  • 38% of people can expect to be followed up with in 1 week
  • 29% can wait up to 90 days to be followed up with

Data Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2018/10/08/how-real-estate-agents-today-can-turn-leads-into-contacts-faster-and-more-often/#269b137c177e

Looking at the stats above, it’s painfully obvious why most agents and brokers feel that internet leads are crap! Most agents simply aren’t working them!


The On-Demand World

In the world we live in today, everything is on demand. From groceries, to Uber, to even alcohol being delivered within the hour, people don’t want to wait to get the information they want.

What this means from a “lead” perspective is that when someone submits their information, they expect to hear from you instantly. Ok, well maybe not instantly, but to be fair, let’s say within 5 minutes.

But let’s also be honest about the fact that you don’t want to be a slave to your leads. Especially if it’s late at night, or you’re on an appointment. That’s just simply not practical. But how can you ensure this happens? Well, there are a few things you can do.


What to Do To Work Your Leads (Without Slaving Away)

First, set up automation. The initial text or email when you get a lead can be set up to go out for you automatically. Setting up these kinds of automations can be done with most CRMs and I highly recommend using these features.

You can hire an Inside Sales Agent or Outside Sales Agent that contacts your leads within a minute or two after they are generated. This is the preferred method as you can find a high quality ISA that charges under 10 dollars per lead, that you can provide your scripts to… and the best part is they will work that lead for you 24/7!

The Script:

Now that we have covered the fact that it’s imperative to contact your leads within moments of them being generated, let’s discuss what you should be saying to the leads.

First and foremost, make sure whatever script you’re using is being somewhat customized to the types of leads you’re generating. If you’re going after sellers, make sure the script is about qualifying them as a seller. No more than 6 qualifying questions, and then go in for the appointment.

Similarly, if they are being generated off a specific home you’re advertising, lead by asking them if they have questions about that specific home or homes similar to it.

If they’re expired leads, ensure you hit the pain points on what they want to hear. Why their home didn’t sell before, or why you can do a better job than their previous agent.

The scripts you use can be adapted in many ways, and they should always be designed to get you that appointment. They should be specifically geared towards you qualifying that lead prior to you wasting any time leaving the office.

The idea should always be to only have your phone ring when someone wants to see a house with you, or list their home today. By following up in a timely fashion and using the right scripts, you will be able to spend more time with your loved ones and close even more deals!


Happy Advertising! OH- and a FREE SCRIPT (link below)

Oh, btw, here’s a sample of a script we give our clients to use when we generate leads for them on individual properties. As you’ll notice, it’s not only designed to get them the info they want, but to qualify them further and see if the agent can help them further.

Download Here!

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Do you know what you really do every day? Maybe, upon waking, you head straight for the coffee, or start your day off with some yoga. No matter how you start your day, your actions are tied to your habits.

These habits have a collective impact on your productivity and your life. Starting every day with a brisk run will yield a considerably different outcome than a daily donut run. Are you in control of your habits, or are your habits in control of you?

Predicting Your Day – And Your Profits

These same actions produce what Darren Hardy refers to in his book, “The Compound Effect.” While predictable outcomes are due to the quality of our habits, Hardy shares that the accumulation of specific activities moves you forward or sets you back, producing desired or undesired results.

If you’re in sales, your daily habits will predict your profits—so what can you do to stay on track? Top producers use the Daily Success Habits Tracker* (see end of the article) to ensure their time is focused on revenue producing activities.

How the Tracker Works

This system helps you track and record what you do in 30-minute increments every day, awarding points for different activities. When done judiciously, you know you’re on track when you reach your goal of 61 (or more) success points daily.

Let’s say your day includes a closing for 10 points. Give yourself another 10 points if you have a listing appointment scheduled. Showing buyers two homes? Add 10 more points. Writing an offer? You’re up for another 10 points.

It’s important that you live your life by design and not by default, which means you need to block your “Big Rocks” on your schedule first. These activities, like family time, church, or working out, are as important to your success as the income producing activities. Block these activities in red, and make them non-negotiable.

Use the color green to block appointments with prospects. This can include anything from listing appointments to meeting with buyers to show them properties and writing and negotiating contracts.

Block and schedule the remaining times in yellow for working in your business. Make it a priority to reserve at least 60 minutes every day strictly for prospecting, incorporating specific time increments for contacting your A, B or C leads during regularly scheduled days throughout the month. Block out one week every month to contact your sphere of influence and to execute the current month’s Top 50 touch strategy for top-of-mind referrals. At the end of each day, tally up your points with a goal of accumulating a total of 61 points.

Eliminate Wasted Time

When you schedule daily blocks of time tied to scoring, you can begin to eliminate time-wasters and “fake” work, replacing those time slots with profitable actions. Your goal is to get as close to 61 points every day as you create habits to establish a “rhythm” for success. Effective use of your time, plus solid habits that produce results, will help you to stay focused, making it less likely that you become distracted by non-productive activities.

As Hardy states in his book, success is really a series of small, scheduled activities that compound daily to create successful outcomes. The day will pass anyway, and when you deploy daily habits that yield 61 points of rhythm, you’re on your way to increasing your bottom line.

For a complimentary copy of the Daily Success Habits Tracking form, please click here: http://bit.ly/2zSyD4k

Terri Murphy is a communication engagement specialist, author, speaker and coach. She is the author/co-author of five books, and founder of MurphyOnRealEstate.com. Contact her at TerriMurphy.comMurphyOnRealEstate.com or Terri@TerriMurphy.com.

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Most of us have had it happen, usually at the least opportune time…

For me, this article has some personal meaning, as I’ve had 2 hard drives fail in my computer in the last month. Luckily, one of the courses I wrote covers the best practices for making sure you never lose your data, so I was back up and running in no time.

Today – I’ll teach you how to correctly back up your files, and get yourself running again overnight – if you should have the misfortune of a computer dying (it’s bound to happen at some point- best to be prepared!).

For most people, when a computer dies the first fear becomes – ‘what work did I lose?’ followed by the question everyone gets asked – ‘did you have everything backed up?’ After that, the big headache is getting yourself back up and running quickly.

First, we’ll cover the correct methods for making sure your files are all safely stored. Then, we’ll dive into some best practices you can use up-front to make restoring a breeze.

Surviving The Dreaded Computer Crash! - YouTube

(Before we get into the specifics – let me relay a little story for all those folks who will point to paper as a means to back up. A few years ago, after speaking for the North Carolina Association of Realtors I was told quite the story. A brokerage, who will remain nameless, decided to store all of their paper files in a secure facility built for that purpose. In an unfortunate turn, a sewage pipe broke on the floor above, soaking the records… and since it was sewage, it’s federally mandated that all of it be destroyed as a biohazard. So, in one fell swoop, they had all of their records wiped out at once.)

What are the Best Practices for Backing Up?

When it comes to backing up files, I always have a goal in mind. Could I start up a brand new computer or phone, and be back up and running tomorrow as though it was the same machine? To accomplish this, let’s focus on 3 things:

  1. Organize Your Files – Correctly
  2. Back Up in 3 Places
  3. Sync All Your Devices
Organize Your Files – Correctly

One of the toughest parts of backing up any computer is organizing your files so it’s an easy process. What does that mean?

Many folks think about the files on your computer, and the files in the “cloud” as 2 different things. You might even have a folder that you have Google Drive or DropBox sync for you, but then you store a bunch of files in other places. (It’s amazing how many of those files stored in other folders are things you really end up needing.)

As a best practice – set up 1 main folder on your computer that holds everything and then sync that folder to the cloud. As a real estate professional, I know that a concern might be separating your business and personal work. Guess what- easy to do! Inside of the main folder, create 2 folders – Business and Personal.

Sounds simple right? It is! – but you have to be diligent about putting your files into the right folder.

Back Up in 3 Places

Back up your devices in a minimum of 3 places – that’s right, I said 3. If you ask any data security expert, they’ll tell you the same thing for a bunch of reasons. The short version – amazingly, the main version and backup versions can corrupt at the same time, so the safest bet is always 3.

Where should I back up you ask?

  1. Your Local Computer
  2. A Cloud Service
  3. A Secondary Local Hard Drive

The first, your local computer, is pretty self explanatory. Make sure you organize your files correctly on your computer, and this step is organized and done.

Second, and probably the resource you’ll lean on the most, is a cloud service such as Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, or iCloud. I personally use Google Drive for a number of reasons but they all generally do the same thing. Additionally, if you’re using all Apple products, iCloud has certain benefits as it also manages your contacts and a few other features from your phone. I will note though, a lot of real estate professionals have taken to DropBox over the years, but if you’re using them I would strongly suggest you move away from that service. They’ve had a bunch of data security issues over the last few years, including releasing 68M user emails and passwords in 2016.

Third – a backup hard drive you keep locally and schedule periodic backups to. Just in case your computer and cloud service happen to go bad at the same time, it’s always good to have something you only update once a week or every few days. (Enough to give you time to catch the error and restore from the hard drive.)

For an Apple device, the best option is to set up Apple Time Machine. There is a helpful article from Apple that you can use to set this up.

For Windows users however, you’ll need to set up another service. If you’re looking for the best and will spend roughly $40-50, both PCWorld and TechRadar agree that Acronis True Image is the best out there. As for free software, you tend to get what you pay for, but EaseUS Todo Backup Free or Cobian are good options.

Sync All Your Devices

When you’re thinking about your backup plan, you want to make sure to include your mobile devices and tablets in the mix. Both Android and Apple come with built in backup services you can use. Android is built into the Google Drive service mentioned above, while Apple recommends their iCloud service. Note – iPhones can use Google Drive, but some things like contacts will still be backed up via iCloud and not on Drive.

Usually, when you setup your mobile device each service will ask if you want to turn syncing on. If you’ve chosen “yes” you’re probably set to go! But if you’d like to learn more about backing up your Android or Apple device you can check out these articles to learn more.

Closing

Having one of your devices go down can certainly be frustrating, but if you stick to the principals above it won’t be the prolonged headache it could be.

Has this ever happened to you?? I’d love to hear your stories- leave us a comment below.

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If you’re in the Real Estate world, you’ve probably heard people talking about the importance of generating leads. Right? “You need leads!” – “Get more leads!” – “Leads are critical to your business!”

Two weeks ago, we covered free and inexpensive ways to get leads- THIS week is about BIG BANG and Leverage lead prospecting.

Big Bang Ways

8.) Host Your Own Event (Read this past article for more details)

Leverage Ways

9.) Asking People In-Person

10.) Personal Connections From A Local Association or Group

11.) Use Strategic Partners To Add Hundreds of Contacts (this strategy could be your new #1 lead generator)

Big Bang Method #8 – Host Your Own Event

Once or twice a year hold a special event for past clients, friends, and family. Refer to this article about how to host a Client Appreciation Party and get a rush of new business. The key is to have a door prize/raffle with the winner notified by email.

You can reserve a local venue – baseball park, theater, winery – and share the costs with other strategic partners (more on strategic partners in a separate section below).

Also, when you have a buyer close, offer to send out Change of Address postcards and include an offer for their friends to signup for your email newsletter.

Leverage Methods

The following 3 strategies take more time, but are worth extra effort because you’re building your database with higher-quality contacts who know you, like you, and trust you enough to send you referrals… OR, they were endorsed by someone they know and trust and that credibility can transfer to you, if you do it right.

#9 – Asking People In-Person

Think of all the people you come into contact with on a daily basis. Each conversation opens the door for you to get new contacts for your email newsletter. This includes new clients you are currently working with but here are other examples:

Your dry cleaner, banker, grocer, repair people, and even the other parties to any transaction you complete (hint: their agent will forget about them, so they’ll easily be yours when they buy or sell again).

What do I say?

Instead of asking if someone is ready to buy or sell real estate, try asking them if they want to receive your monthly email newsletter. Tell them why they might want to get it and why you’re offering it to them: “It has the most amazing consumer and health information, and I share it with my friends for free. It’s my way of keeping in touch and passing on valuable information I find, not just real estate updates.”

Notice how you’re not asking if they want to sell or their home or buy one of your listings? You’re not asking them to do anything for you. You’re leveraging your in-person interaction with them to build your email list. There are other times to ask directly for referrals, but this “indirect” approach can get you referrals without feeling like you’re begging for business.

#10 – Personal Connections From A Local Association or Group

Every club, organization, association, or group you’re apart of is an opportunity to build your contact database with email addresses.

  • Are you part of a workout club, yoga club, biking club, or other exercise group?
  • Are you a member of a local church or other religious organization?
  • Are you part of any other local associations where the other members share a common goal or connection?

These are great people to add to receive your email newsletter – you’re leveraging what you have in common to get them on your email database. Plus, they’ll be the ones who read your issues every month and send you referrals.

#11 – Use Strategic Partners To Add Hundreds of Contacts

There are other local businesses in your area, right now, who would love to introduce YOU to their customer/patient/client list if you do the same for them. This is called a “Strategic Alliance” – a relationship with a compatible (not competitive) product or service provider (accountant, financial advisor, dentist, veterinarian, etc).

Finding Strategic Partners can be as easy as asking members of a local “networking group” or your Chamber of Commerce if they want to do a promotion that benefits both of you. For a complete breakdown of exactly how to create strategic alliances, including a letter you can use to attract strategic partners, click here.

More ideas: If they have an email newsletter, ask to have your website link included. This way their contacts can sign up for your email newsletter (if you have an opt-in form on your website). You could also send their contacts a letter or postcard with a “special offer,” because they’re preferred customers/patients/clients of your strategic partner.

The sky’s the limit with this strategy, because you can form partnerships with as many local business owners as you want to get thousands of email addresses in the next year.

Have more ideas you use to generate leads? Tell us about them in the comments below!


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If you’re in the Real Estate world, you’ve probably heard people talking about the importance of generating leads. Right? “You need leads!” – “Get more leads!” – “Leads are critical to your business!”

Today, we’ll be covering some of the best strategies you can use to generate leads for FREE, or inexpensively. (Make sure to check in NEXT week for Part 2- Big Bang ways, and Leverage ways to generate leads)

Before we get to all of these methods though, there’s 1 tactic you need to implement to get the most from the strategies below – and that’s called reciprocity. What that means is, the best way to get someone to give up their email address is to give them something of value first.

To give you some ideas – Items of Value:
  • Educational Report – (with a catchy title like “8 Secrets For Saving Thousands When Buying Your Next Home”)
  • Free Resource – (a list of homes in their value range)
  • How-To Video – (7 Costly Mistakes When Selling Your Home)
  • A Monthly Newsletter – (Service For Life!– free, fun and helpful articles that they’ll want to save for later)
  • NOT on this list– flashy marketing materials that scream “I’m selling to you!)
Building Your Email List - YouTube

Once you have your item of value, there are a number of places and ways you can use it to get emails. A lot of our examples below use a newsletter because it is one of the easiest things to collect emails for, but you could easily swap in your item of value from the example list above.

Free Options
  • Call Your Contacts
  • Email Signature
  • Opt-In Forms On Your Website/Blog
  • Use a Signup Sheet At Events
Cheap Options Free Methods #1 – Call Your Contacts

If you’re on a tight budget, you could start a simple call program to get the email address of the rest of your contacts. See the Phone Call Script you can use below:

GAME PLAN:

Use the next 1 to 2 weeks to call everyone on your database (or have your assistant do it). You’ll probably double your email list size and get likely get a few referrals in the process. Not bad to make money while you grow your email list.

PLUS:

If you get people “live”…don’t be afraid to ask who else they know who would like to receive your issues. Get the phone number and call this “friend of a friend” to confirm their FREE subscription to your email newsletter. Referencing your mutual connection (how you got their phone number) will give you credibility to ask them about their current need for your real estate services. And you can continue this process with each new connection!

NOTE: Include “Forward To A Friend” links in each piece of value you put out to make it easy for your contacts can send it to their friends at any time. This forward feature automatically adds a new person to your email list without you having to do anything. You’ll probably need to talk to your email service provider or read their help articles about how to set that up.

#2 – Use Your Email Signature

Add a note to your email signature with directions on how to get your piece of value or sign up for your email newsletter. Again, include the benefits someone will get by doing so, something like this:

#3 – Add Opt-in Forms on Your Website/Blog

Include a form to opt-in to get your piece of value like an email newsletter on every page of your website/blog. Include a similar message as your email signature to describe what someone will receive by signing up.

#4 – Use A Signup Sheet At Events

Any time you have an open house, put on a “live” workshop, or host an event in your office, collect email addresses on a printed signup sheet. Let people know on the signup form that you’ll send them a monthly issue, their email address will never be shared, and they can unsubscribe at any time.

Inexpensive Methods #5 – Facebook Ads

This is something we’ve recently covered in depth here. Check out this article:

#6 – Put An Offer on Your Business Cards

This is a no-brainer. Put an offer on the BACK of your business cards for people to sign up for your email newsletter and get a free buyer or seller report as well. Simply print the same text as what you’ll use for your “email signature” (shown earlier) under #2. 

#7 – Send Postcards to Your Contacts

After you send the letters to get updated information from your existing database, you can use postcards to remind them to signup for your email newsletter (if they haven’t signed up already!). Postcards are inexpensive to produce and send. They’re less personal but will get seen more since there’s no envelope. Include your phone, email, or website to contact you and join your email list. And remember to give your contacts a specific reason to sign up – this may be to get the helpful information in your monthly email newsletter, but it could also be a to get a free report or gift when they register.

EXTRA TIP: If you upload your contacts and find some emails bouncing, you can call them or use postcards to request their updated information.

Leads can both be the lifeblood of your business, or if you aren’t managing them correctly, they can turn into distractions that pull you away from closing business. Make sure you have systems in place in your business to deal with leads correctly- collect, manage, and follow-up! 

Share your ideas about how YOU generate leads with us in the comments below- and, don’t miss next week’s article for more tips!

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