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Breakthrough Ideas for Greater Real Estate Success!
In this issue...
  • How To Multiply Your Commissions On Each Listing
  • The Perfect Closing Gift For All Occasions
  • QuickTip: A Different Way To Reach Expireds
  • How To Get Paid and Build Your Business In A Slow Market
  • Horror Story: “I Sold the Wrong House 2 Weeks In A Row...”

How To Multiply Your Commissions On Each Listing

Do you send “Just Listed” notices to neighbors, clients and your House List when you take a listing?

For most agents, sending a “Just Listed” notice seems like a waste of time and money.  That's because they're completely void of the essential elements that cause people to read and RESPOND to your contact.

One thing I love about using a “Just Listed/Just Sold” system in your practice is, at the very least, it demonstrates that you're a busy agent.  And we all know, people want to deal with experienced, active agents.

Today I want to share with you a quick and easy way to use “Just Listeds” (and “Just Solds”) to “leverage” the commissions you make from every listing.

Remember, there are THREE reasons to take a listing:  1) To sell the home and make a commission (you already knew that, right?  Just checking...), 2) To use the listing as a “buyer magnet” to generate quality buyer leads, and 3) To leverage the listing into additional listings.

Here's an example that does ALL THREE at one time.  But you have to use the right elements to make it work correctly...

Here are 6 key elements you want to include:

  1. Decide what you want your reader to do as a result of reading your notice, and WHY they should do it.  In most cases, you want them to call you.  And they will if you give them a self-interested, irresistible reason for calling you or your hotline.
  2. You must use a benefit-rich, attention-getting headline!
  3. Tell a story to capture interest
  4. Transition from your story into your OFFER for something important to the reader
  5. Tell why you're making your offer;
  6. Give motivating reasons, urgency, to respond NOW.

Here's a quick example you can use to guide you to creating better “Just Listed” post cards (or any type of mailing).  Don't forget, you can use the same elements and “psychology” for letters, oversized cards, flyers and even email notices too.

Watch how the following example makes a specific OFFER – giving prospects a self-serving reason to actually pick up the phone and call you.  As I've mentioned before, if you give no offer, you'll get no response – and you've wasted your money.

EXAMPLE:  A Direct Response “Just Listed” Post Card...

Example 1
click to enlarge image

Notice the 6 key elements in this example?...

This postcard gets results because it, 1) grabs your prospect's this case the neighbors of the listing, 2) offers a compelling story that draws the reader in, 3) transitions into an offer important to the reader, 4) makes the offer irresistible...the free report, 5) gives clear reasons why you're making the offer, and 6) creates urgency to call you.

How many of these Just Listed notices do you think you could send out over the course of your listing, and make enormous returns on your marketing dollars?  A lot, I'm sure!

Plus, here's a special tip:  Couldn't you send a “series” of post cards, letters, or emails to neighbors in the area...each one following up on the previous one?  They can even continue the story as well.  Then you can watch you marketing returns multiply!

[Ed note: This article is a small excerpt from the "Fast-Track to Success" Turn-Key Real Estate Business Building System. To learn more about this system click here.]

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The Perfect Closing Gift For All Occasions

Could there be a closing gift that is valuable to clients AND keeps reminding them of you for years to come?  I'm not talking about giving them a simple magazine subscription here.  This is one of the most unique ideas I've seen in a long time.  But more than that—it works to bring referrals multiple times a year, without having to give the gift more than once.  If you're interested in what this is all about and if it could work for you...

Check out agent Stan Vaught's description and an image of his unusual closing gift...

“I have always struggled with the perfect closing gift.  It's difficult to have one idea that matches all clients and is useful all year long.  It would be great to have a gift that will remind them of you and also have your contact information handy when they need you again.

I really wanted to take advantage of the 'memory power' of the ladies (and we all know how big their role is in the decision process in real estate).  And I noticed how popular the seasonal mailbox flags are in my area and how much my wife enjoys changing ours...and the idea took off from there...

Now, before you see my need to know it's kind of a 'wacky' gift.  But the fact that it's DIFFERENT (they can get this unique gift nowhere else), and VALUABLE (it gives clients something special they enjoy), makes it a winner for me.

Here's how I create what I call the 'Perfect Closing Gift For All Occasions' in 3 easy steps (with picture below):

STEP 1:  Get Your Materials
Go to a local 'flag store' and get the following:

  • 5 seasonal flags
  • 1 flag hanger that screws into the wooden mailbox post
  • 1 plastic, multi-slot, file folder that comes with a hook attached to allow it to be hung in a closet.

If you don't have a local flag store you can check at a Dollar Store or order some basic flags online.  You can get the multi-slot holder at Staples.

STEP 2:  Assemble Your Gift
I glue my business card to the front and lay the flags over each of the file dividers to prevent wrinkles.  This is the best way I've found to display the flags.

You can assemble several yourself at the same time to have them ready for each closing.  Or, have an assistant make these for each new client as you go.

STEP 3:  Give To Clients At Closing
You can give them this unique holiday flag holder at closing (that usually works best for me).  The ladies love the idea and it creates a new hobby for them to add to for years.

Each new season and for all the different holidays, they will have a new flag to display and more importantly for you...each time they return to the collection they will see your card on the front cover and be reminded of you for years to come.

The total cost was around $50. This cost can be adjusted by the number of flags you include, making the gift suitable for other clients – not just ones that closed a transaction with you.

This is a way to give a gift ONE TIME and continue to get business and referrals from your network for months and years in the future.  It's working for me anyway.”

Here's what my closing gift looks like...

Stan Vaught Closing Gift
click to enlarge image

QuickTip: A Different Way To Reach Expireds

“Instead of calling expireds...I show up at their front door with an expired listing package with a picture of their house already on the front cover!  It communicates I've done some background work on their home and is just different enough to get my foot in the door.”

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How To Get Paid and Build Your Business In A Slow Market

“When the market slows, I have three goals:  first, add more prospects to my database, second, practice my sales skills, and third, make money.  Here's how I accomplish these and come out of hard times stronger than ever...

I follow these three steps in slow times to build my business:

Step 1:  Show Rental Properties

I search the MLS and identify good rental properties to show.  I also start advertising rental properties on free websites or put cheap classified ads in the local paper.

Here are two great (and free) places to post local ads for renters online:

Here's an example classified ad I use to pull in renters:

Renters!  Find your perfect place.  Free
consumer report shows you how to
negotiate your lease and save money.
Call 24 hr. recorded msg 888-8888

Step 2:  Provide Excellent Service

Even though I'd rather sell someone a home, with renters I want to build a life-long relationship for future business.  So, I take them through the same process as I would with buyers and provide just as excellent service to WOW them.  This really pays off in referrals as renters are around other people who are just like them—ready to find another place to rent or buy a home.

Step 3:  Follow-Up After the Transaction

After a renter signs their lease, they get added to my database and I follow-up with them throughout the year until they are ready to buy a home.  You can use regular post card mailings or a monthly newsletter for this since you know their exact address!

Rentals usually pay anywhere from $200-$500 and I now have a prospective home buyer. I love it!  And these steps will help you too during this slow market.”

Flip video camera

Could you use this cool Video Camcorder in Your Business?
Share Your Best STUFF!

Real estate can be a tough, lonely business. Even top agents need a continuous flow of guidance, support and new ideas to keep going strong. When you share your best stuff with our community, everyone wins!

AND…remember, each month we hold a drawing to award one amazing FLIP video camcorder to an agent who submits an idea we use. So submit your best prospecting, marketing, horror story, or other real estate idea that makes you more successful, and you'll automatically become eligible to WIN a BRAND NEW FLIP video camcorder. Be sure to include an example if you have one! Click Here

Horror Story: “I Sold the Wrong House 2 Weeks In A Row...”

“Believe it or not, I sold the wrong house two different times and one week between each mishap.  Here's what happened...

My clients and I drove up to the first house and we were chatting up a storm.  We drove up and saw the real estate sign and I glanced at the address on the house.  The house was missing the 3rd number out of 4 digits.  It had apparently fallen off.  No biggy though.  I use the lockbox on the front door and we proceed to view the property.

My clients loved it.  So we wrote the offer up that afternoon.  It was accepted and everyone was happy....for a week....until the home inspection.  I show up, using my GPS on my vehicle to get to the house.  When I get there I am surprised that the house doesn't look familiar.  When I get in the house I know I have never been in this house before.  Uh Oh!

So, I call my clients and tell them, 'Well, you are buying a house but it isn't the house you think you are buying.'  They were freaked out and we stopped the inspection.

They showed up to see the 'new house' and discovered that they liked it BETTER.  As it turns out it was 3 doors down from the one that they thought they were buying (the one with the missing address number).  They proceeded to close on the house.  Now here's how this happened a second time...

A week later, I showed another couple a house.  I was very careful to make sure the real estate sign had the appropriate agent named on the sign.

My clients were sitting in my vehicle with me with the husband in the backseat and the wife in the front next to me.  We viewed several homes and they found one they liked.  And it was priced great.  As we were driving around the husband made a comment of it is 133rd street. I responded with, 'No, it is 132nd street.  See here on the listing printout?'

Well he made no further comment and we viewed the home on 132nd street.  We wrote the offer that afternoon and I presented it that same day.  Anyway, I was happy that our offer was accepted and I was talking and joking with the listing agent.

As we were talking, I told him about the first house that I sold in error.  He said that he could definitely see how that could happen.  He told me he had a house listed on the next street over that was literally the same as the house my clients were buying.

All of a sudden I had a recollection of my buyer's comment from the backseat and I broke out in a real sweat.  Could it be that we had offered on the wrong home?  I asked the other agent what the house numbers on that house were.  They were 1 number off from out of 5 from the house we wrote on and they were not on the house, only the mailbox.  Not Again!?!  I had to know for sure...

So, I drive over and sure enough.  I wrote the offer on the wrong house again.  I called my clients and told them that they were buying a house...just not the house they thought they were buying.

Once again, I get the clients in the car and drive over to the house they actually wrote on.  Luckily for me, the other agent had been correct in that they were virtually the same house.  Although the house was flip-flopped, they both had 3 bedrooms, 1 bath.  They both had a covered patio, air conditioning (which is rare in this price range) they both had fireplaces and hardwood floors in the living and dining areas.  I lucked out even more because my clients liked this house better.  Although both had fenced backyards, this one had a fenced front yard too and they had children.

A miracle...I sold the wrong house and it closed with happy clients...and then did the same thing again the next week.  Amazing, but true.”

Issue #1156