I have much to say on this topic. Most answers below are helpful. I've been in NJ real estate market for well over 20 years. I've consistently closed 8-16Million per year. the past three in down markets I've averaged 13-16million. My business is a combination of primarily mailings, Open Houses, and web prescence, and naturally referrals.
Here's some things to start out with for now:
1) mailings don't usually work until you've built name recognition... no more than six months to develop that but consistency is the key. So keep mailing... every other week or minimum once per month. creativity and consistency is the key. I always try to separate myself from the crowd in my pieces.... always offer a free market analysis in them. Always describe yourself as that neighborhood's specialist... then become it. Find out the story and details on every home for sale in that area. If there's another agent in your office with listings there, offer to do open houses for them. Nosey neighbors wil show up, get their info and database it. Then follow up.... Don't just sit on the info you collect. I use Microsoft Outlook for datbase management. I've used Top producer but found it very time consuming inputing and managing the data, although it has some nice features. I prefer outlook because when I get leads via e-mail (into outlook) I can easily capture all info into a contacts section, and categorize by price range, home type, inquiry date, etc. and then do follow up from there. I run everything from there. New listing e-mail balsts, back on the market, price reductions, open houses etc. There's lots more to it but most important is separate yourself from the crowd, increase name recognition, and be consistent.
2) same principles for website as above
3) Do lots of open houses, get all their info and databse them all and categorize in contacts section. Follow up the following Monday with a thank you e-mail or letter for sellers. My word template thank you letter has my picture on it, as well. I generally only use the letters for sellers leads. I use e-mail and phone for the buyers..remember this, by Wednesday they have forgotten you. Get them to come into the office for a showing appointment is the bottom line. I explain the benefits of working with one agent and ask them to e-mail me any listings that they've seen on interent websites prior to coming into the office. I also send them listings that I think are good matches... then we go out looking and hopefully a short time thereafter get them in a home...
I'm happy to share alot more if you email me or call.
Good luck and don't give up!
Gloria Zastko Realtors
1582 Route 130
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
cell: (732) 439-0472