How many times have you heard the complaint, “There’s just no inventory”? Well, Jared James, an expert on real estate sales and productivity, claims the problem isn’t an inventory or a leads shortage. It’s a demand issue.
In fact, according to the most recent statistics from NAR, 2021 is on track to have 6.34 million sales, an increase of 26.8 percent over the typical number of about 5 million sales per year. So, how can real estate professionals create more opportunities for themselves during this time?
At the most recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) meeting in San Diego, James shared his top strategies for creating a productivity mindset. Plus, how to create email, social media and video marketing campaigns that produce real results.
1. Take control of your business by creating a productivity mindset
According to James, the real issue that blocks most agents’ success is their mindset. “You either run a business or you run around.” Here’s his advice on how to create a productivity mindset.
- The real estate business has always been about being people-focused first.
- “Visibility trumps ability.” The more visible you are, the more opportunities you will create.
- Competition does one of two things — it eliminates you or it makes you better.
- There are three ways to generate business. You can wait for it, you can pay for it, or you can make it happen. When you pay for it, you pay with money or your time. James says, “Paying with money is much easier.”
- The quickest way to underperform is to get “romantic about how you got here.” Consumers are constantly shifting strategies. If something is working for another agent but not for you, that agent is providing consumers with what they want. You’re not.
2. Tap into the secret of email marketing
Because it has a 20 percent open rate, James believes email is the most effective form of marketing. For email working to work, as noted above, you must provide the recipient with something they want.
James shared the three following email marketing campaigns that “work like gangbusters” because they provide consumers with what they want to hear.
‘You won’t believe this’
Subject line: “You won’t believe this.”
You won’t believe this, but I’ve got two buyers looking for a home in (blank — the neighborhood where the recipient lives), that are ready, willing and able to go. Unfortunately, due to the extremely low inventory, we’ve been unable to find them anything. That’s why I’m reaching out to you. If you or anyone you know is even considering selling, please let me know right away. I may be able to sell your house without it ever hitting the market.
Use ‘Zillow’ in the subject line
Subject line: “Who knew Zillow could be so off?”
Did you know the former CEO of Zillow sold his house for 40 percent less than the Zillow Zestimate? Who knew Zillow could be so off? Here’s the good news. If you or a friend want to know the true value of your home or a house they’re considering buying, just reply to this email with the address, and I’ll let you know what it’s really worth.
‘I’m worried I can’t find another house’
Subject line: “I want to sell, but I’m worried I can’t find another house.”
You may be facing the dilemma of wanting to sell, but you’re unsure that you can find another house that you would want to move into. For that reason, I’ve decided to offer my services free of charge to keep an eye out for you and what you might be looking for. That includes notifying you of off market properties when they are brought to my attention. Because of the scarcity, I only do this for my top buyers. So please reply to this email with your needs ASAP to reserve a top spot on my list.
James recommends going to local investment groups like the National Real Estate Investors Association that has 120 chapters nationally. Search for at least five investors you can contact whenever you have a listing lead. (Please note most of these investors have a hard money line of credit they can tap when they want to make an “all cash” offer.)
There’s a second strategy you can also use that relies on what is known as “Power Buyers.” Power Buyers are companies that either purchase the home for the seller and then sell it to them once they sell their existing home or provide a mortgage solution that lets them purchase without selling their existing home.
Companies like FlyHomes, HomeLight, Homeward, Knock, Opendoor, Orchard and Ribbon provide different versions of these programs.
3. Marry old school and new school: postcard and letter marketing
‘Just sold’ cards
When it comes to using “Just sold” cards, the old school way of marketing is to include the property address and your contact information. James says, “Your contact information is not a call to action.”
If you had multiple offers and sold a property over asking price, James advises to take credit for it. Here’s what to say on your “Just Sold” postcard:
Our marketing programs allowed us to create enough interest in our listing at 333 Elm Street that the property sold over asking price with multiple offers. Did you know that the sale of your neighbor’s property may have changed the value of your property?
If you or a friend want to know the true value of your home or a house they’re considering buying, contact me with the address at (your phone number or email address) and I’ll let you know what it’s really worth.
Note that he didn’t say the property had increased in value. The beauty of James’ script is that it can work in any market whether prices are increasing or decreasing.
Marketing using USPS
In terms of marketing using the regular mail, James recommends using a service from the USPS called “EDDM—Every Door Direct Mail.” Rather than sending stamped mail to given addresses, this program lets you target specific areas based on mailing routes. It’s also much cheaper than regular mail.
Here’s the new school approach in terms of using the letter. Any time you show a property in a neighborhood that your buyer loves and the property isn’t right for them, send out a letter that describes what they’re looking for in generic terms. Follow up by saying:
Due to the low inventory, my buyers have been able to find something so far. If you or anyone you know is even considering selling, would you please let us know right away. We may be able to sell your home without ever hitting the market.
James explains that this shows that you have buyers who are ready, willing and able to purchase right now.
4. Utilize powerful video campaigns
Below are two video campaigns that really work.
Make it happen! Use Google Earth to reach people who haven’t transacted with you
Here’s how to use Google Earth to make an extremely effective video campaign using Zoom, BombBomb or any other video tool that allows you to share your screen and make a recording. Here are the steps to follow:
- Log into your video platform site (Zoom, BombBomb, etc.).
- Open Google Earth.
- Share your screen. If you only want to be heard on the audio feed, but be seen on the video feed, minimize the video feed window.
- Press “record.”
- Type the property address of the person whom you will be sending the video into Google Earth.
- While Google zooms over the area, explain what has happened to property values over the last year.
- Email the video to them.
When they see it’s video about their property, they’re going to open it. As James says, “You can wait, or you can make it happen.”
The ‘2-number’ video
This is another great blending of old school and new school using email. Begin by making a video that discusses two different numbers: the amount of appreciation in your local market and the amount of appreciation in the national market over the last year.
On the video, you will explain what those numbers mean to the seller’s property value just as you would on a listing appointment.
Next, take a screen shot of the two numbers that you will include in an email to the owner. This piques their curiosity about what those two numbers mean. This in turn increases your visibility. Remember, “Visibility trumps ability.”
5. Leverage the Facebook algorithm to gain additional visibility
The Facebook algorithm is no longer driven by “likes,” but by the number of comments a post receives. You can capitalize on this by doing a little research. For example:
- On a scale of one to 10, how likely would you be to sell your current home if I brought you the right buyer at a great price?
- On a scale of one to 10, how happy are you with your current home?
In addition to posting to your main Facebook feed, you can also use this approach on Instagram and Facebook stories, the two places where views still count. People love polls, but more importantly, the beauty of these is that they disappear after 24 hours. This means you can reuse the same or similar polls repeatedly.
Each of James’ strategies noted above have a proven record on success. Try implementing at least one or two of them in 2022, and watch your lead generation and profitability soar.
Bernice Ross, president and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.