For Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate Postcards: An Underappreciated Lead Generation Method

In the Dianna Estates subdivision of Franklin, Mass., homeowners know the name Barbara Todaro well. She has listed or sold many of the almost 200 homes in this executive neighborhood – and some of them more than once. She says she owes it all to a combination of direct mail marketing and social media.

In fact, before the recent slowdown in the Franklin market (with a tight 1.6 months of inventory), Todaro netted an average of five listings for every 200 postcards she mailed.

Sure, real estate postcard marketing is a throwback. And no, it’s not as sexy as something with the word “app” after it – but it is positively worth another look. “Never eliminate a method because it’s basic,” Todaro advises.

Could postcard marketing be the magic bullet that remedies “lack-of-business-itis” for real estate agents, without causing harmful side effects? Of course, consistency is key, but the tried-and-true method of postcard marketing can work wonders for a new or stalled real estate career.

Real Estate Farming (and Farming Postcards) Still Works

Despite the fact that Todaro first used real estate postcards as her lead generation technique of choice when she entered real estate 36 years ago, she swears that direct mail marketing is still effective. The recipe for success lies in identifying a target market and then mailing it on a consistent basis. That target market, or farm, represents your best potential clients. continue reading

9 Tips to Make Online Buyers + Sellers Happy and Win More Clients

Erin Renzas
August 8, 2014

Online customers are fickle… They are only interested in finding the very lowest price… Today’s consumers want instant gratification… They’re not interested in quality, just quantity… It’s hard to keep in touch with customers and leads online… People have such short attention spans these days…

Have you heard any of these sentiments before? Maybe you’ve even thought them yourself. It’s a fact that technology is changing the way we do business and the way we interact with each other. Sometimes it seems like it changes so quickly, it’s hard to keep up. But, regardless of your opinions about where technology is headed, one thing is certain: in order to be successful in business, you must embrace every communication medium that your leads and clients embrace.

In this must-have guide, we’ll teach you the simple tips and tricks for delighting the most motivated online buyers and sellers and show you how you can convert them into your top clients.

Related downloads:
Simple Scripts for Responding to + Converting Online Leads
Break Out of the Box with these 5 Smart Marketing Strategies
The Basics for Using the Cloud in Real Estate

5 Listings to Avoid at All Costs

Jovan Hackley
August 7, 2014

Contrary to popular belief, “real estate agent” and “magician” aren’t synonymous terms—especially when it comes to selling.

Unfortunately, no market is all opportunity and there are clients and homes you should steer clear of. Why? Because, you only get paid when the deal actually closes.

Here are five homes that guarantee you won’t have that chance. Avoid these and save yourself valuable time and money during this market’s hot season.

1. The Young and Reno-less

When sellers are ready to sell, it shows in the work they’re willing to put in. If your seller prospects object your ideas about staging, updating, and improving to sell, you may want to reconsider working with them.
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5 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Get People to Your Open House

Melissa Zavala
August 7, 2014

An open house is one of the oldest and easiest ways to meet prospective homebuyers and home sellers. In theory, all you do is throw a few yard signs around the neighborhood, unlock the door, and the buyers and sellers come flocking in like people to a giveaway. But, the truth is that it isn’t quite so easy—is it?

On weekends during the summer, folks have summer on the brain—vacation, trips to the beach, and bike rides. Unfortunately, your next open house may not be on their mind.

Have you ever held an open house and been the only one there? Have you ever sat for three hours until your tablet and phone run out of power and no buyers or sellers walk in the door?

Here are 5 surprisingly simple ways to get people to your open house: continue reading

4 Reasons Former Clients Forget You Exist

Jovan Hackley
August 5, 2014

You work hard to win, educate, and close clients. And, the investment you make doesn’t always add up if you break down a sale’s commission by the hour. The real hope is that every client becomes a repeat client and sends others your way.
Unfortunately, too often, this fairytale flow of deals isn’t an agent’s reality and there are a few pretty good reasons that all carry the same theme: Your clients don’t remember you.

Here are four reasons you’ve slipped from the top spot in your clients minds and a few suggestions for climbing back just in time for their next referral or transaction.

1. You Were No Better Than Google

The best way to keep your self from being remembered is to give forgettable service. If you’re sending forms with no context or getting hit with a barrage of questions after each meeting, you should believe that you’ll be replaced when it’s time for that client to close their next deal (if you make it to the end of this one). continue reading

4 Ways to Help Buyers Win In a Seller’s Market

Geoff Bray
August 5, 2014

Oh my, how the tables have turned. It seems like just yesterday we were deadlocked in a buyer’s market where a seller had to do just about everything a buyer asked to become “the one.” Reminds me of dating in college. I digress, enough about me.

Everything was bad during that buyer’s market. Bad job outlook, bad stock market, bad media coverage and bad attitudes. Well, I guess there was one good thing, though; the housing market if you were a buyer. Fast-forward to summer of 2014 and a buyers are frustrated with that multiple offer situation, even if they find THAT one good enough to be THE one.

Time to get real. When one of your prospective purchasers finds themselves vying for one of the keepers, there’s no need to passively watch as others get the signatures. If you are sure of the value of the property they are going for, try a few of these tactics for improving your chances of winning the day for your clients:

1. Here’s a Thought: Offer What the Sellers Are Asking!

Give your buyers the assurance (with a disclaimer of not having a crystal ball, of course) that real estate values are back on the rise again making their chances of gaining equity a few years down the road a lot more likely. I like to call our offer price in a competitive situation “Aggressively realistic” meaning that it needs to be realistic based on the market values, but aggressive enough to get the house if they actually want it. Be real. Be aggressive. Heck, be really aggressive!
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Real Estate Trends: Can Local Markets Predict Changes in U.S. Home Prices?

Is there a local housing market whose performance indicates how well the national housing market will do? If so, could we use such a market to anticipate the next big real estate boom or bust? The idea of having a “crystal ball” local housing market is certainly an attractive one; the mayhem caused by the 2007-2008 housing bubble could have been avoided (or, at the very least, mitigated) if the real estate industry and the U.S. as a whole knew it was coming.

To find out, Trulia’s Chief Economist Jed Kolko looked at home price changes between 1980 and 2014 in the 100 largest U.S. metros and compared them to U.S. home price changes over the same time period. Each metro was given a “crystal-ball score” that shows the correlation between its year-over-year home price changes with the year-over-year home price changes in the national market one year later. continue reading

Top 5 Lies Buyers Tell + How to Stop Them

Jovan Hackley
July 31, 2014

While the phrase “Buyers Are Liars” makes most client-focused professionals cringe, the reality is that in some cases it can be true. The distrust that comes along with beginning a big transaction can cause quite a few nervous knee-jerk reactions. Also at work is general mis-education, which can cause some prospects to lie before they even know it.

Here are 5 of the most common lies buyer leads tell and how you can help them come to terms with the truth:

1. My Price Point Is…

The way today’s housing market is changing, most buyers don’t have a firm grasp on what they can afford in the locale they want. That’s why they need you.

Correcting their misconception and getting to the bottom of this little “green” lie, can unlock a whole new world of shopportunity or help save time by adjusting their search to more reasonable targets. Question this statement whenever you hear it. You might agree after unpacking the details and even if you don’t, your buyer prospect will be thankful and a bit more confident that you understand their needs and can help. continue reading

You’re Looking Good! Introducing the New Trulia Profiles

When it comes to meeting the best buyers and sellers on Trulia your first impression counts. If you sign into your Trulia account today, you may notice something different! In order to help you look even better than you already do, we’ve given our free Trulia Agent Profiles a makeover.

The improved profiles make it easier for Trulia’s 54 million monthly consumers to research and contact agents that have the unique skills and experience that address their specific needs.

So, what’s new? Your profile now features larger photos and infographics, enhanced editing tools, and a prominent lead form. Plus, we’ve also added in 5-star ratings and reviews. These new ratings and reviews are your chance to get a free endorsement from your past clients and offer the social proof needed to generate even more business from your free Trulia Agent Profile. Remember! According to the most recent NAR study, the #1 feature consumers look for in an agent is trust and integrity. Reviews on Trulia profiles are specifically designed to address this opportunity.

The new profile experience is also mobile optimized, enabling the more than 19 million monthly unique mobile visitors to Trulia to see agent profiles while they are on-the-go, for example touring neighborhoods and viewing open homes.

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As we said! These new profiles make you look good! Ready to take a look? Click here or watch this video to learn more about your new Trulia profile!

We’ve been working on these new profiles for awhile now, so we hope you love them as much as we do, but also know that we’ll be continuing to enhance and improve them over the next few weeks. We’ll share new updates as they come and we look forward to hearing what you think!

Related articles:
Training Handout: How to Add Past Sales to Your Trulia Profile
How to Learn Who’s Viewing Your Profile on Trulia
Add Your Brand to Your Trulia Profile