15 Power Prospecting Tips for Lead Generation – Merrily Hackett

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Merrily Hackett of Sutton Group West Coast Realty Vancouver

Merrily Hackett, CEO of Sutton Group West Coast Realty is enjoying a phenomenal career in real estate. I’ve talked about her a number of times because she’s a great role model for any salesperson or business person.

Having built 3 separate brokerages in the Vancouver area, and leading SG-WCR’s 25 office brokerage, she’s showing us how to outcompete the competiton.

Last year, U.S.-based author and speaker Stefan Swanepoel ranked Hackett at No. 15 on his list of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in Residential Real Estate. Sutton – West Coast made 16,500 unit sales and over $11 billion in sales volume in 2014, which Hackett calculates brings them in at No. 5 in North America.

Create Quality Time for Relationship Building

Let’s not say “prospecting” anymore. Let’s call it relationship building.

You absolutely need to develop productive relationships with mortgage agents, renovators, landscapers, home inspectors, and prospects that include seniors and young couples.

Comprehensive Agile Digital Marketing Programs for Realtors




In an interview with Real Estate Magazine, Merrily talks about the importance of relationship building and how realtors need to focus on this key business development activity.

“It’s what I see over and over with agents that fail. I used to block off three to four hours daily for lead generation. That included calling expired listings, door knocking and cold calling, reaching out to a sphere of influence on a daily basis, asking people for referrals and to keep me top of mind. I was on the phone connecting with people, ensuring that pipeline was full. Consistency was key. You need to believe in yourself. Many times as a commissioned salesperson, you have those fearful thoughts and moments. A new agent has to have the expectancy and positive feeling that it’s going to come together.” — Merrily Hackett interview in REMonline.

15 Prospecting Tips to Build your Focus and Optimism

Here’s 15 useful prospecting tips –  a process to optimize your realtionship building.

  1. Vary your approach and method. Know your scripts, but go easy. A script is just a testing tool, not a final approach to relationship building. Be a friendly person first because people may find talking to a realtor boring. A warm introduction, maybe a comment on weather and economy to gauge their mood, then tell them your call is short and to the point – do they know anyone in their neighborhood, and about their family and friends that might be moving, BECAUSE, buyers are very eager to buy and you’d like to help them get a better price. Those are legitimate reasons.
  2. Segment all your prospects into relevant groups (hot, cold, buyers, sellers, advocates,mortgage agents, home services, etc) so you can develop unique approaches to each and have unique value for each. Think about how you’ll describe and present your unique value proposition for each type of prospect or advocate.
  3. Coach your advocates and give them support –  the people who may refer business to you sometimes need a little guidance if they have a hot lead. Tell them how to present you to them. Find out why they’re buying or selling — what’s the payoff for the person? With that knowledge, you can explain to your advocate how you’re relevant. With a little purpose, your advocate will make you look good, as opposed to you being part of an offhand comment.
  4. Relax — if you can afford it, you might want to consider getting a massage before you do your prospecting on the phone — you’ll appear friendlier, less threatening, more trustworthy, and more fun to talk to. Call them with a smile on your face and with your goal being networking, enjoying the moment, and finding good prospects. Sales comes later. Right now, you’ve gotta be thinking people and fun.
  5. Set aside 3 hours every day for phone calls to generate interest, gather information and make appointments. Build a positive attitude toward prospecting, that it’s the most important part of your day.
  6. Forgive prospects who waste your time and forgive yourself for wasting their time — this helps you to avoid guilt and other feelings that’ll weigh you down
  7. Remind yourself often that what you’re doing is important.  You’re helping people achieve their dreams and that’s more important that anything they’re doing right now. Their friends and contacts should be glad you’re in this to help them.
  8. Spend more time with your hot or top prospects — when you’re getting close, keep in touch and always be ready to offer help, information, and support for their decisions
  9. Have more value to offer — the more value you have to offer, the less likely prospects and advocates will consider you irrelevant. They’re not rejecting you really, you’ve failed to provide value in insight, help, and support.  How about mentioning the mortgage calculator on your website, the great mortgage agent you know who could save them money, or renovator/designer who could help them with a quick remodel to lift the selling price?
  10. Use consultative selling techniques to find every person’s most important needs and hurdles — be the person who creates a path for everyone to their dreams
  11. Spend your face to face time wisely by discussing the buyer/seller’s dreams – find out what their success symbols are and their favorite places to visit. Whether country or city, new home or old, the faster you find out what they want, the more likely they’ll choose you.
  12. Calculate how much prospecting/phone time and marketing effort it took to generate a successful lead.
  13. Keep in mind what buyers and sellers really want — a better lifestyle and ask them what their key priorities are as they begin to plan for their purchase/sale. In the end, it’s all about lifestyle and knowing what it is they’re really after is vital
  14. Study up on a new community that you haven’t explored and become an expert on the lifestyle value of that community
  15. Ask prospects what’s holding them back and ensure you develop a list of responses to help

Here’s Kevin Ward with his tips on prospecting. How about finding more people to talk to via Google and Social Media? Just a thought.

And Liz of Keller Williams with social media prospecting. Build relationships first then nurture them along with value, entertainment, and recognition.

Prospecting is a key part of good sales process and it hasn’t hurt Merrily Hackett’s business success. If your lead funnel is too weak, this might be the best thing ever for your career.  Now you can justify pursuing a strong Internet marketing program.

Let’s get started right now!

 

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Gord Collins — Real Estate SEO Expert serving businesses in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St Louis, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Charlotte, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Oshawa, Hamilton, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Oakville, Calgary, Kelowna, Mississauga, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Fresno, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Mountainview, Palo Alto, Portland, Washington, Atlanta, Irvine, Nashville, Sunnyvale, Salt Lake City, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Costa Mesa, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Raleigh, Albuquerque, Glendale, Oceanside, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Carlsbad, Santa Clarita,  Henderson, Mesa, Temecula, Kirkland, Redmond, Kansas City, St Louis, Stockton, Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Indianapolis, Columbus, Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Chula Vista, Escondido, Santa Monica, Miami Beach, and Honolulu.

8 Crazy Good Lead Generating Tactics You Need to Use this Selling Season

It’s 2016 and the Outlook is Excellent

We’re getting close to the 2017 spring selling season where 60% of your sales happen. It’s crunch time! Try these Top 8 Lead Generation tactics to grow your contacts and build a buzz about working with you. Ramp it up and one day you may be running your own brokerage.

Any luxury realtor, whether selling presale condominiums or million dollar mansions, can amp up their sales prowess by strategically adding on sales tactics and honing them within a more skilled strategy. The payoff for some might be millions in new commissions.




2016 is already off to a near record breaking start.  There’s plenty of economic factors in the Canada and US markets that will drive sales this year. And a surprising amount of demand is coming from China. It turns out that only a small number of realtors are pursuing Asian buyers. That leads us to tactic #1.

  1. Offer to pay Asian and Arab investors travel expenses if they visit and buy a property with you. You can set up a travel itinerary for them using Air Canada. They pay the airlines fee and a hotel room in your town. You pick them up at the airport. Ensure the accommodations look good online. You can dress this invitation up as a wonderful vacation of a lifetime. Many Asians would love to visit cities in the US or Canada. Places such as San Diego, Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto have drawing power. You can leverage that.

chineseTreat the prospects trip like a vacation and let them know they have an opportunity to park their investment dollars into something with potential. San Diego is becoming a hot market, and Vancouver, BC, and Alberta properties are a bargain because of the 40% exchange rate.

A few realtors have gone to China to arrange visits by the plane load. It’s not hard to see the potential in 300 Asian investors landing in your city. They’ll be buying something. If they don’t buy, they have to pay their $5000 bill themselves.

Because the Yuan is depreciating, Chinese investors need to buy a property or something here as soon as possible. Build a new website in Mandarin and make your special offer. Add investment advice, and a little about how wonderful it is to live in a free country with lots of room.  A firm can make your site visible in Baidoo and Google.cn and other popular Chinese websites. These investors are often looking for big luxury properties.

  1. Use Google Adwords. Really? Yes, Adwords has incredible reach to people who are hunting for real estate or selling. Can’t beat it. But you need to do it well. What I’ve learned about Adwords is that you must test, test, test. Your quest is to find the best ad wording, landing pages and value proposition. Even after you optimize your ads and have amazing landing pages, you must have the best value offer.Analyze your UVP and your hook, and ask others what’s weak about them. Get lots of feedback. If you optimize your lead funnel, it will pay off despite the cost. Marketers are discovering that even with PPC, content marketing tactics are necessary to build prospect’s interest.  Buying real estate is a high involvement purchase and good content is something that increase comfort and and increase desire.
  1. omnichannelmarketoUse all Digital Channels. Yes, it is a lot of work, but one or two channels doesn’t cut it.  When you increase touchpoints with customers, you give them more emotional justification for working with you. And the repeated exposure is good. Omnichannel digital marketing works best with lots of content – infographics, long and short blogs, downloadables, whitepapers, case studies, videos, persuasive emails, and PPC advertising. Keep throwing value at the prospect and eventually they’ll break and give in. Persistence.
  1. valuepropositionbookImprove your unique value proposition. Are your tactics, brand and value proposition the same as thousands of others? That’s not good. You can run a fantastic marketing campaign, but if your UVP sucks it will bring everything to a halt. Every agent has a UVP. It’s what your prospect believes about you and your ability to make things happen.You must be compelling, relevant, and unique.  Your UVP is you and your offer of professional help. What can you add to your UVP to push you by your competitors. What will the others not do? Do that. Tell prospects they are going to get some special, wonderful treatment, other than hellos and smiles. That’s not enough.
  1. Create new original interesting types of content and optimize them for Google search rankings. Don’t say you know how to do this. I’m an SEO guy. I know how to do it. I see agent’s blog and pulse posts all the time and they get no traffic and don’t generate value. People don’t have time to read unless you get it into an exciting format such as a video, infographic, downloadable pdf charts, graphs, or photos. It’s not easy but it does set you out as someone to remember. Part of your content should be for use on other people’s websites, which creates inbound links to your website.
  1. Blog about, network with, and even promote other agents/brokers. Other agents can bring business to you. Coopetition has been a good tactic for a while. Link with as many other agents as you can on Linkedin, and retweet their tweets on Twitter. Create a friend as they will last longer than any other relationship. Work together like sheep dogs! Linkedin is a great tool. I’m linked with thousands of real estate agents.
  1. retweet-elmerBuild your email list and do direct marketing. A lot of agents don’t nurture their email lists. Build unique, valuable, and entertaining content to stay top of mind. email is still a powerful lead conversion tool. Set up an account with Constant Contact or MailChimp. Within your email campaign, run a contest for a 4K TV for men or a new wardrobe for women — use it to grow your contacts.
  1. Setup multiple Twitter accounts and a Facebook account to reach diverse local audiences on topics they’re interested in. Most people don’t want to talk real estate. It’s boring, stressful, and they’re so distracted today. Create accounts or even websites on interesting topics such as investment, travel, retirement, health, local sports, and health and wellness.Hire a great copywriter like me to fill these sites with relevant, engaging content. How about a site that is constantly updated with local sporting and events activities? Whenever they wonder about what’s happening in town, they’ll go to your site where it’s all laid out.
  2. There’s other services such as Follow Rocket that can help you get more followers and reach more people.

That’s 8 of the most powerful tactics you can use within your superb digital marketing strategy. As you get into this, even more opportunities will appear. They don’t appear until you get into it. Winners and leaders are more nervy and creative. Don’t be ultraconservative, old school, or burdened under the weight of your own skepticism. Get started.

Your future in business is completely in your hands. You decide right now what direction your business, income, and lifestyle will take. Make a good decision.

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I have experience in every industry from real estate to hotels to travel to medical services. You’ll be my next success. Let’s talk now at 416 998 6246.

 

Social Media Marketing Works if You Have a Plan!

Generating Leads with a Social Plan and Strategy

While blogging and epic quality content generation are the workhorse for digital marketers, social media still has a vital role  With your social media strategy built on a great unique value proposition and great content, it will take your marketing high.

To understand social media’s role, you need to disregard its typical reputation – as a frivolous time waster where nothing of value is shared.  Good social media actually uses good content as a focal point, whether it’s brand building party pictures or published whitepapers or clever contests.  There’s a “something” in the middle of all that chatter. That something is good content that helps get your UVP and brand positioning across really well.




You may not make a sale right away on social media, but you can make impact, and a lasting impression around specific issues that are personally relevant to your network. At the very least, prospects will see your spirit, openness, and that you’re involved and active. People buy from people who share the same values and who make them feel good. The more you have going for you the better so make your prospects feel good.

Social traffic is growing. Allowing your business to fall behind in this rising channel is not wise.

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The use of digital media constantly evolves and Google Alphabet is proof that Google knows it’s search engine is becoming less important. Facebook and Linkedin are the future of digital marketing.

I’ve got an easy to learn process to build your social media plan for Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Each platform has its own user base and strengths, yet your digital marketing plan can bring them all under one umbrella.

The issue with Social Media is a lack of a cohesive plan to build an interesting customer experience with people. Each social channel has its own type of users and you can create a unique customer experience for each of them. And if your website doesn’t offer an emotionally charged, uplifting experience, then social is the perfect solution. You can make your brand look very interesting, interactive and even overcome your weak branding. And let’s not forget how good social media can be for your SEO.

Now That Sounds Like a Plan!

Your social media plan helps create an interesting, ready made experience for the visitor, regardless of what time of day they arrive, and let you funnel them onto your target conversion page. And if you do time your posts to reach the maximum audience, let’s say Thursday, that might be the only time you will ever get these people’s eyeballs. Any other time and they ignore you. Social is very good for reaching the unreachable.




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A realtor may only be able to reach home owners and home buyers in the evening or weekends when they’re active on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. You’ll want to post at those times. They may respond right away, and you can begin a conversation. If you know how to carry out these conversations, you can make quite an impact and generate a new client (and referrals).

Most social posting is done aimlessly, with posters acting on a hope that someone will find it. But most social posts disappear fast and are never viewed again, particularly Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Considering the speed and volume of posts today, you have to be particularly good at timing publishing and to ensure your wording carries that visitor to where you want them to go. No doubt it, Social Media strategy is challenging but so necessary. This is the future.

If you have a plan and you commit to the effort, you’ll start to see results. So let’s take a look at the structure of your social media blueprint and how it’s the foundation for a great strategy.

The Social Media Plan – An Infrastructure to Create Your Customers

Think of your plan as a network of roads and your strategy as how you direct traffic along those roads. Give people the proper signs at the right place and if they enjoy their driving experience, they might all become customers.

  1. set your social media marketing goals
    • specific
    • measurable
    • attainable
    • relevant
    • time bound

2.  create the customer experience model: describe how users will experience your social content and understand it clearly within a branded and topical context
3.  choose the social channels that will work best for you
4.  choose and describe your business persona or profile — your brand in social
5.  describe types of content that you hope to make sharable — be specific
6.  select dates of publishing and frequency – to coordinate content so it generates an impact and action
7.  select your call to action and goals for prospects – how will you get visitors to follow your ideal click path?
8.  set up Google url shortener for better social tracking – put urls on a spreadsheet and generate the corresponding shortened urls for use on your social posts
9.  identify social influencers in the field and large groups of like-people to target
10. Assess your social media goal attainment and refine it iteratively to improve results

Now that you have a methodical plan to visualize and create your material, you can begin building your strategy from start to finish.




Now You Can Brainstorm Your Strategy!

Your strategy describes how you’ll move the visitor from social sites to your blog or website (the final conversion goal) contact form or your phone number. In realty, a phone number is important. You want to capture the prospect while in they’re in the mood. Because one hour from now, they’ll be onto something else, or they’ll go to one of your competitors. That’s a horrible thing to let happen!

Within this social media strategy, you have to create a reason for influencers and other social users to share your content. That requires creating content of value for them — which will make them look good and more valuable to their audience. You need to develop awareness of their expertise and how you can engage with them.

It’s wise to write down a description of your social media account purposes. Give your accounts a pet name (your favorite celebrity?) so you have a theme that people can easily understand and like. You can use a little fun, dry humor and drama if needed to build a compelling social brand image. This image should be okay for influencers and make you look relevant to them. Social influencers are powerful catalysts if you can get them to support you.

The BIG Kahunas of Social Media — The Influencers

For instance, if you’re a realtor or mortgage agent looking to leverage the millions of mommy bloggers or real estate notables out there, you need to look at things from their perspective. How will your tweet or end goal matter to them and their audience? How about a story on how your home buyer’s lives improved after they bought their house? How did the kids change and become happier and healthier? What in the home was a catalyst for great things?

You can connect that catalyst to your realtor or mortgage services. It makes you relevant to the whole process of their lives. Now they have a reason to click through. Your hook might be how finding a new home can mean the difference between happiness and a poor quality life. The page you point to could be a home search or an article on the “7 features of a happy home.” Mommy bloggers will like that!

As you become more familiar with your strategy, you’ll get better at discovering what moves your visitors to click and to contact you. And you’ll discover trending topics might put you in front of a huge volume of people. You might even advertise if you have some content that’s capable of going viral.

We can’t avoid social media. Facebook is already refering more traffic than Google. That is monumental in the digital era. Things change so please don’t fall too far behind. You’ll regret letting this stuff go.

Top social media performance is no small task. Ensure it’s wired throughout your omnichannel digital marketing strategy. To outcompete, you need to use all resources effectively.

Here’s my phone number. If you’re a moderately successful agent, a digital marketing program with all the bells and whistles is what I offer.

 

A more desirable alternative to hiring a digital marketing agency or taking in an in-house college grad, is to hire a dedicated digital marketer from Toronto.  Together we can collaborate and build the most cost effective yet productive digital marketing solutions. And as an experienced and versatile SEO specialist, Social Media Strategist, and content strategy expert  I offer clients knowledge equity in addition to outstanding revenue results. 

2016 — The Year You Launch Your Own Brokerage

Autonomy, Freedom, Money, and Equity

When you work for a big brokerage, you give away your autonomy, freedom, income and equity. You create value for Remax, Royal Lepage, Sutton Group, Century21, Sothebys, Home Life or the new kid, Engel & Volkers. How about hanging onto that equity?

I’ve known a few very successful people and what they all had in common was initiative. They didn’t sit around, coast, let opportunities pass, or let less important things get in the way. They always had their mind geared for the business they were passionate about building. They weren’t smarter. They seemed to have this vision of where they belonged and they were compelled to follow that path.

A guy I went to high school with was in the news today. His US/Canada company is valuated at a Billion dollars and it’s growing. He had that leadership quality and now all these decades later, it’s apparent he had to be at the helm of a successful firm.

Entrepreneurial leaders have faith and clarity in the sense that they knew something great was going to happen — the journey and the destination. It’s that expectation that’s made them resilient and creative to navigate their way through to success. Richard Branson, Larry Page, and Elon Musk are a few entrepreneurs who have very positive expectations. Do they have regrets?

Here’s what they really want:  Freedom, Autonomy, Money, Self-respect, and to make other people happy. They’ve given themselves the licence and freedom to create their ideal, emotionally fulfilling lifestyle.

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Merrily Hackett

Smart Long Term Decisions

Out of millions of realtors, mortgage and insurance agents and other professionals, only a select, special few will launch their own company. The rewards are intense. Realtors such as Darryl King, Merrily Hackett, Barbara Corcoran, and Sam McDadi started off humbly and they’re doing phenomenally well. Merrily’s brokerage Sutton West Coast Realty did $22 billion in sales last year.

What About the Complexity?

Launching your brokerage rids you of your broker split, office and desk fees and gives you more funds for marketing. If you fear the paperwork and compliance tasks, you can outsource to a company such as Realty Point. They could rid you of administration tasks. And when you incorporate, you can defer income to tide you through low sales years. It’s just plain smart.

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Do you Need to Start Now?

If you’re of the opinion that you should build this dream incrementally (coasting) you probably won’t have the momentum and power to get there. You can’t coast uphill. It’s wiser to start with the intent of building your realty or insurance brokerage sooner, especially during peak sales years. This intensity gets you focused to create an advantage. If you have good confidence you might even choose hypergrowth strategies to get a smart jump.

How Will You Stay Competitive?

If you’re going to be competitive and build significant revenue, you’ll want to leverage the best tools, strategies and talent. There are plenty of agents who actually need to work under your wing. All you need is a system to generate leads and convert those leads. That’s where I come in. If you and your team have a good attitude and pleasant interpersonal and business skills, clients will gravitate to you.

Clarify your process:

    1. create a marketing plan that specifies the source, reach and capture of leads
    2. use a digital marketing strategy that leverages all digital channels
    3. use a prospecting strategy that quickly discovers good leads
    4. maximize your leads with wide exposure on the Internet and local media
    5. increase your conversions by clarifying your UVP to prospects
    6. build your unique value proposition even further
    7. decide on your brokerage business model
    8. bring on one realtor who believes in what you’re doing and can help you build the correct business model
    9. use social media to engage all your connections and build that word of mouth network
    10. test, reiterate tactics, until your lead generation machine is purring like a kitten

I’d be delighted to help you design and manage your complete digital marketing campaign. You’ll get incomparable value and avoid making beginners mistakes.

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Toronto and Vancouver 2016 Real Estate Market Forecast

2016 & 2017 Sales Potential is Looking Good

Has there ever been a better time to be a realtor, property developer or mortgage agent in Toronto and Vancouver? Probably not. CREA, Royal Bank and CMHC are giving the thumbs up for realty transactions over the next few years. Pros are going to do well.

Agents and brokers should be looking for new ways to be the BIG Kahunas of their markets through digital marketing strategies. The payoff for some will be shocking. I hope you’re looking at 2016/17 with an eye for income growth.

Sutton Group = West Coast Realty for instance had a record $11 Billion in transactions last year and this year probably higher.  If you’re a broker, you may want to look more closely at building a cohesive digital marketing presence, one that’s innovative and above common thinking about how to build realty business online.

Royal Bank: Outlook is Very Good

RBC is forecasting continued prosperity for the Toronto and Vancouver regions including stronger employment, rising exports, low loonie, low interest rates, and strong consumer spending.  BC is forecast to be the strongest at 3.1% GDP growth, with Ontario and Saskatchewan just behind.

2015 was ruined by a huge drop in energy company expenditures and unfortunately, Alberta will see further retraction. As the dust settles in the energy sector, the Ontario and BC economies will grow stronger. In fact, RBC believes Ontario’s growth will pick up steam in 2017 to 2.7%.  Both provinces are expected to see full time job gains in 2016 and beyond.

“Although frothy in some areas (e.g., Toronto), we believe that the provincial housing market will continue to be supported by strong demand, which will maintain housing construction at historically elevated levels.”

Toronto and Vancouver: Home Prices Remain High with limited Availability

Toronto and Vancouver home availability and prices will continue as a big story. Nationally, CMHC predicts that home prices will continue to climb over the next two years, but at a slower rate – 1.3 per cent in 2016 and 1.4 per cent in 2017. In this first graph from a report on the GTA housing market, it’s suggested that sales are edging lower due to affordability, however the real underlying problem is a lack of housing stock for sale. Realtors need to be more creative in enticing homeowners to sell.

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In Toronto, new housing starts may fall by 5% and another 10% although experts are not in agreement about that slowdown, especially regarding the new condo market. Most growth occurred in only 5 property developments, meaning there may still be untapped demand in the greater Toronto area.

Fewer new detached homes will be built in Toronto and multifamily construction will actually make up more than half of new homes constructed there in 2017. Existing home sales will drop to 87,500 units by 2017 as prices grow much too high for first time buyers. If China’s investment rule stays relaxed, more Asian buyers may support a less precipitous drop from 2015’s record home sale numbers and prices.

In Vancouver, CMHC forecasts Vancouver’ s host housing sales will slow only slightly in 2016 and 2017. Affordability is the issue that will cool sales from their record hot numbers. New housing starts are expected remain strong with 20,000 units under construction. The home resale market should grow to their highest levels in the last 10 years and moderately slightly in 2016 and 2017. 2015 was a sizzling year, rising 9% so a further 3% grow is actually fairly positive for realtors and mortgage agents.

Seniors in Vancouver and Toronto

In another story in the Advisor, it’s reported that seniors in Toronto and Vancouver may not want to sell their homes even though they may not be able to afford to live well in retirement. When seniors run out of money, they may have to sell their homes. Some may turn to reverse mortgages which are becoming a hot type of financial service.

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From a Report in the Globe and Mail

That means much of the available housing stock may not be sold. Seniors can live in them until they die and that means a good portion of the resale market will not enter the market. Of course, creative real estate marketers may find a way to help seniors understand the advantages of selling now while prices are so high. Seniors have options such as living in low cost Caribbean or South American countries, or moving to regions of Canada that are cheap.  With more babyboomers entering retirement, the sales potential of senior sellers and buyers will be of interest to innovative real estate agents.

Realtors who build their own brand of innovative services can get an edge in the coming years. Persuading homeowners to sell their home and progress with their lives, is just one example of innovation that top selling realtors will use. What else will they be doing? Take a look.

Looking for some more useful tips for Realtors?  What to do first?  A digital marketing audit can give you the insight you need to make better decisions about to be a winner in the digital wars.  Avoid the pain of being an unsuccessful realtor. It’s all in the insight and planning.

Is a high powered, responsive IDX-based website the only asset you need for the years ahead in your career? Actually, such sites are a great, but small part of the total integrated success program.

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21 Success Tips for Top Selling Realtors

BIG Kahunas Lead — And Make a Lot More Money

Millions of realtors, mortgage agents, new home builders, custom home builders, dentists, insurance brokers, architects, medical specialists, and vacation resort managers are all competing to be the Big Kahunas of their markets. Some will, and from humble beginnings.

The title graphic is courtesy of Inman. In the US, almost 10k agents had at least one transaction per week, or at minimum $20M in sales.

What do these BIG Kahunas do that sets them apart and launches them into continuous success?  They:

  • establish an unbeatable/incomparable unique value proposition
  • find the right clients, customers and business partners
  • find the best mentor
  • get the funding required
  • make their clients very happy
  • go all out to make their client successful
  • help their client learn
  • take the burden and pain away from their clients
  • think creatively, innovatively and persistently to solve client’s problems
  • strive persistently to become the BIG Kahuna in their market
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Lead in everything you can

Here’s 21 Big Kahuna Success Tips

  1. Visualize your customer –  Yes, think about who you’d like as your clients and build your marketing to capture those exact prospects – dig into their lifestyle and dreams
  2. Build a great digital content strategy as the foundation of your  marketing strategy — do this strategically so each channel drives the other simultaneously (omnichannel)
  3. Build inbound content that’s interesting, informative and sharable – this builds excitement into your brand image
  4. Build one very strong niche – such as ecology-mindedness, tax reduction, technology, entrepreneurialism, health, local sports, business trends, job trends, education, etc — whatever subject you believe will make your agent brand stronger.
  5. Advertise in local news flyers/sections have good reach to homeowners and buyers
  6. Advertise via Facebook, AdWords, and Linkedin ad platforms using excellent advertising techniques
  7. Design a new MLS fed website – look at the benefits of my real estate website development services.
  8. Rewrite your listings – using verbs, brand names, and desirable new product names – make it sound elegant
  9. Accelerate your leads through your sales funnel – use high quality digital content they like and need. answer key questions, build desire, and indicate fulfillment is just ahead.
  10. Build a great social media brand image — it makes you look good and builds trust!
  11. Use Facebook to build likability and engage prospects with fun, practical, entertaining material
  12. Use your successful website to attract and partner with other agents
  13. Create original and valuable stories/statistics/events for reporters/bloggers to talk about
  14. Use your linkedin account, plus your own prospect search to connect with investors, agents, and professional people who may need to buy or sell
  15. Use an email strategy to build prospects into your inner circle
  16. Be Generous  –  Do lots of good deeds – refer business, compliment, promote, offer help to your prospects with any issues they’re having, and set a tone of giving
  17. Be Awesome — this means being yourself but extending your sphere of interest to touch prospects dreams
  18. Stop thinking negatively — there are no limitations, only an abundance of leads and sales – create your own leads
  19. Take a vacation – Get Fresh! – you can’t lead if you’re depressed and worn out.  Get away from the source of your stagnation or low productivity to refresh or renew yourself – wipe the hard drive for a fresh, new, strategically effective start
  20. Use interesting apps such as Hyperlapse to create interesting videos to showcase your homes/condos/neighbourhoods.
  21. Hire a creative/innovative digital marketer with a winning program just for you

 

Building and maintaining a leadership position in your market requires professional help. How many helpers do you need?  Start with one, but pick someone who is awesome.  If they don’t add tremendous value, you’re wasting your money and time.

Gord Collins has been a leader in San Diego SEO, Montreal, Los Angeles SEO, San Francisco SEO, Vancouver SEO, Boston SEO, and Toronto SEO for 18 years. Your SEO strategy is in good hands.

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Top Real Estate Agents: In any Market be the BIG Kahuna

Market Kahunas Draw the Best Leads Possible

I was driving by a familiar area in town one day and noticed that a large 14 acre ranch was up for sale. Right in the heart of my town. Very rare and valuable land. I wondered how many millions it would go for in the market right now.

The For Sale sign was from Daryl King, a top millionaire realtor in this area (he has a small army of 34 agents working for him now), at least tops in selling high value properties (a great niche). The property owner has many other superb realtors to choose from, however they chose Darryl King, one of the top real estate agents in North Toronto.

darylking

This happens frequently in other areas of business where people choose whoever they think is the “BIG Kahuna” in the market. It’s probably why Donald Trump sits on a mountain of cash. Despite his horrible personality, real estate executives want to work with him.  When the idea of selling a luxury house comes to mind, so does Daryl King’s team.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether they’re like Mother Theresa or Genghis Khan, the BIG Kahuna’s get the business. More people are drawn to who they believe is the top dog, rather than choosing someone who is more in line with their true interests and situation. BIG Kahuna’s make the most of wide visibility, authority, and opportunity. They leverage everything from advertising to partnerships to after-sales support to ensure everyone believes they are the best and will get them the best price.

BIG Kahunas pursue marketshare, aiming to monopolize any market they can.  And monopoly, arguably, is the goal of most millionaires. Of course, excellent branding and marketing can help move toward a type of uniqueness that is monopoly. By hiring me, you are very likely to dominate your city market. Be the BIG Kahuna.

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Show You Believe what They Believe

Foremost in the matter of choosing the BIG Kahuna is the belief they’ll ensure success via their network, skills, or marketing power.  So begin to develop a BIG Kahuna image yourself and they’ll believe in you. Good incentive to brush up on brand image strategy.

It’s one of those buyer core beliefs worth looking closely at. Simon Sinek says people will buy from you if you believe what they believe. Big estate owners believe Darryl King  has similar values and beliefs, and he is singly most able to get that extra one or two million dollars, and that he might be networked with multimillionaires. Maybe he isn’t.

Buyers and sellers believe the BIG Kahuna has the connections, selling power, persuasiveness and klout.

The BIG Kahuna removes the fear and paves the way to a big sale price. Big Kahunas seem to get rid of all the pain (okay, it’s the Witch doctor that actually does that:)

King has been a top real estate agent and broker for a long time and of course over the years has built a lot of connections whom he has likely groomed. And he has 34 realtors on his own team — a telling sign of a BIG Kahuna.

Sam McDadi sells over 700 homes a year. That tends to create some believers in the BIG Kahuna
Sam McDadi sells 2 homes a day. That tends to create some believers in the BIG Kahuna

In Vancouver, Merrily Hackett is the BIG Kahuna in a market with plenty of top earning real estate agents. Every community has its top dog. The huge opportunity for you is that you could be the BIG Kahuna of your market. All you have to do now is dominate the digital marketing space!!

And a lot of what is digital marketing today is barely understandable as marketing anymore. It’s social word of mouth, being found, being helpful, and building personal connections, and supporting important causes. In the realm of high priced real estate, Adwords, Facebook, and Linkedin Ads are used more to dry up opportunities for competitors.

As an agent you need to be thinking about how you can leverage digital marketing to extend your personal reach and strengthen your personal connections. It’s the perfect high definition medium to marry your beliefs to your prospects and clients. It’s all about shaping belief.

The first order of priority is to have me assess your site and give you ideas on how to position your business online and use digital marketing tools to begin your ascent to the top.  I’ve helped clients worldwide from San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Boston, London UK, to Montreal and Toronto. Use the lead generation companies or build your own empire.

Yes, You Can Become a Millionaire Real Estate Agent

If Someone Else Did it, You Can Do it – Become a Millionaire in Real Estate

oldlife
Like Tony Robbins says, “you will make a decision right now whether to improve or stay stuck.”

If you’re a 21 to 36 year old realtor, you’re very smart. Most agents are approaching retirement and they’re going to leave the whole housing market to you. That’s brilliant positioning. But how’s your business development going? Are you ready to take charge and become a millionaire real estate agent?

Is there an easy way?

Everyone reaches a point in their career when they need to let go of their “shtick” and adopt a new approach — changes that will position you to go to the top. And yes, even 25 year olds have a Shtick.




Remove the Small Mindedness

Open your mind because here’s how you’re going improve your career outcome.  If you view yourself as an entrepreneur, investor, thought leader, and mover and shaker, you’ll get things moving. The real value is what spins off this train you’ll get rolling.  Your original idea may not work, but once in motion, the very best opportunities appear.

  • vastly improve your leads by leveraging digital media
  • improve your lead quality by attracting the best qualified prospects
  • explode your reach to tens of thousands of people
  • be present everywhere so you’re easy to find
  • increase variety of investors and buyers
  • open your presence in home services, mortgage, travel and other industries to access new types of business that you can refer to others
  • better capacity to capture and close any deal that comes along
  • exposure to multi-millionaire investors
  • more visibility as a credible expert
  • more time to focus on critical areas of your business
  • hiring agents to start your own office
  • help your new agents expand their networks
  • leverage their networks for results at scale

Sometimes We Have to Reinvent Ourselves

Merrily Hackett, a Vancouver real estate agent, was in danger of bankruptcy and seemingly going nowhere. But necessity made her more creative. She improved what she was weak in. Her company is now the biggest real estate agency in Canada with 25 offices and earning billions in sales.

Sales brought that (competitive spirit) out in me. I strive for excellence. I’m driven. When people say that I can’t do it, that tends to motivate me even more. — Merrily Hackett, Sutton Realty.

topbrokersinCanada
Merrily Hackett, Managing Partner and General Manager of Sutton Group – West Coast Realty, created Canada’s top real estate agency in Burnaby BC . From humble beginnings to $8.6 Billion in annual sales.

Millionaire agents build their success through prospecting, constant prospecting. They sleep, but they never stop. Their marketing machine works round the clock. This marketing persistence is only one of the keys. You’re about to go to more parties, if you leverage digital to get invited in on all the sweet deals.

Feed Your Drive

If you become content with a sale every few months, you lose that driven spirit to build your presence and huge volumes of leads for yourself. Competition is intense now.

With thousands of realtors now, you may fail, if you don’t outcompete them with a smarter digital marketing strategy. Real estate marketing is reasonably challenging, but top realtors such as Merrily Hackett master it by leveraging technology, experts, and other real estate agents.

Now, it’s all about 2016. It takes time to gear up. Time for you examine the top realtors and study what they do.

 

Some of what today’s top digital realtors do:

  • try something new even if they don’t know how to do it
  • build a lot of high quality, useful content
  • create new content that is optimized for Google rankings
  • have an attractive website with full MLS listings
  • have an effective, friendly brand image
  • promote and advertise extensively – including in person events
  • be customer focused – showing you are truly working for them
  • be likable – project an image of helpfulness and positive spirit
  • be authentic and honest – build transparency
  • be trustworthy – show you believe what they believe
  • use determination – a calm, confident, no quit attitude
  • create a positive, engaged presence on Facebook and Twitter
  • use an omnichannel strategy that focuses all effort and resources
  • communicate a clear, significant, personalized, unique value proposition
  • use a drip email campaign that adds value
  • follow up on leads in a helpful, information seeking and engaging style

With these in mind, here’s a winning Realtor’s plan of Action:

  1. Target Persona: Build the best view of your target persona — you must know your target audience well. If you’re a North or West Vancouver, West Bay, Sandy Cove, Kerrisdale, or Shaunessy area realtor for instance, your ripest target is upscale, perhaps Asian, an investor, between 30 and 50. Your time should be spent studying your prospect’s lifestyle, beliefs, values, attitudes, personal expectations and what they don’t know.
  2. The Real Goal: How will you attach yourself to their dreams? How will you establish yourself as an important, helpful person in their lives? How will you get them to let go of their “preferences” and hire you?
  3. Relevant, Personalized and Persuasive Content: Before you can go big with advertising, you need highly relevant content – your content confirms to them that you believe what they believe. It also shows your expertise and commitment to hard work. Keep in mind that to them, you are your content.
  4. MLS Property Listings – your MLS listings fed through your MLS associations listing feed is published into pages that your SEO guy can optimize. One top realtor has 8 million pages indexed in Google from his site. That creates a lot of visitors and they like looking at homes.
  5. Big Promotion. Don’t spend your money until you have your content in place and you’re ready to engage them strategically via social media. And when everything’s ready, don’t get cheap with your ad budget – do Facebook, AdWords advertising, and local print news flyer sheets too. Top realtors have ad budgets well above $100k per year. Advertising works.

Powerful CRM and Lead Management Software

If you can’t afford a real estate webmasters account, there are other CRM tools you can use to help you engage your contacts and build your database of customer prospects. And, of course, you’ll have more time to personally engage with your prospects and customers, rather than struggling with digital marketing tasks.

Real Estate SEO Company | LA Real Estate SEO | San Diego SEO | Boston SEO | Real Estate Leads |  Housing Expert Forecast | Vancouver SEO | Real Estate Blogging | Social Media for Realtors | Real Estate SEO Specialist | Prospecting Strategy | San Francisco SEO | Predictive Analytics & Realtors | MLS | SEO Expert in Real Estate | Lead Generation Companies | Aurora Newmarket Real Estate | US Weather Forecast 

Real Estate Market Forecast Housing Outlook Vancouver 2016

There’s Cause for Optimism in Vancouver and the Rest of BC

bcforestgraphThe irony of it all. BC is now Canada’s economic darling and yet some are complaining (justifiably, those who can’t pay the high rents). The question is whether politicians will try do something negative to spoil this growth.

The BC economy is expected to expand nicely at 2.9% to 3.1% next year. BC exports are growing as new liberal international trade deals are increased and as our loonie keeps falling to .75US.

CMHC believes there will be 30,000 more households in BC next year, and that will support sales of rising new homes being built. Mortgage and borrowing rates will stay low, energy prices will stay low so it’s a superb business situation for BC companies who need the investment money.

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Exports to China strong. Growing trade will make Vancouver the key city in Canada in the next 5 years.

BC’s latest jobs report is pretty good too. BC is leading the country with 12,400 jobs added, while the rest of Canada lost jobs. And 2016 has a nice look to it — supporting a healthy real estate sector.

The big controversy is the influx of Chinese investment money into the BC commercial and residential real estate sector. If the Asian markets continue sliding, more rich Chinese will be seeking to park their money in Vancouver and Toronto property. This is a short term financial anomaly that won’t continue so why bother trying to kill it?

September report from RBC paints a rosy picture of BC's growing economic power
September report from RBC paints a rosy picture of BC’s growing economic power

A Better way to Manage the Influx of Billions

Chinese investing in Vancouver
Chinese buyers surfing the Net to find Canadian Properties

There are those who want to end the infusion of investment from Chinese property buyers.

Rather than making these investors use devious ways to buy property here, we could make it easier for them to buy in the Okanagan, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Toronto tax-free, since this investment money could go elsewhere instead. We could lose it all.

If Asian buyers can’t buy here, they will choose the US to park their cash. San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami and New York are very attractive too. But Vancouver’s better.

A report in the Globe and Mail states:

Dan Scarrow, vice-president of corporate strategy at Macdonald Realty Ltd., estimates that 16 per cent of his firm’s 1,500 sales of detached houses, condos and townhouses within the city of Vancouver last year went to buyers from China. Of his firm’s 544 sales of detached homes in Vancouver proper last year, 150 of the purchasers were from China, or 27.5 per cent.

Another Globe and mail report suggests Chinese sales are aided by a tax loophole that allows them to avoid tax by listing the purchase in the name of a relative.  33% of all these purchases are bought under these circumstances. If this loophole is closed, it could send a shockwave through the real estate market.

Big Sales but fewer Homeowners are Selling

The G&M report also revealed that number of listings in Vancouver has dropped 27% from last year.

In Vancouver, housing starts are expected to grow from 9500 in 2015 to 9600 next year. Resale home sales will rise from $820,000 in 2015 to $835,000 in 2016. According the BC real estate association, the average price of a single detached home will rise from $885,000 currently to $920,000 next year. That’s up more than $100k from 2014.

The GVREB HPI index price for a detached property rose to nearly $1.41 million in Sept 201, up 11.5% from last September.

If the Liberals win the October 19th election, which is very likely, we could see a boost in the economy with them increasing spending.  The latest jobs report is a rise of 73k part time jobs and a drop of 62k in full time jobs.

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What is Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Digital Marketing’s “Big Three”

The pillars of digital marketing are: SEO Strategy, Content Development/Strategy, and Social Media Strategy.  They’re interdependent and very powerful when they work together. This post is about how to develop a social media strategy — easy to digest, giving you the overview you need before you go about Tweeting, posting and liking.

Without a good strategy, it’s almost certain you’re wasting your time. No need for that. I’ve got a series of blog posts to help you build your value proposition, understand your prospects, create great content, use persuasive copywriting,  build your brand, and optimize your sales conversion funnel. Let’s begin with social media!

This graphic shows realtors are using social media, but are they using them together with content and SEO as a strategic force?

This graphic courtesy of Adrian Bishop of  Overseas Property Professional
This graphic courtesy of Adrian Bishop of Overseas Property Professional. Read his excellent account of how realtors are using social media today.

Social Media is the fastest growing marketing channel because it’s free (unless you’re using advertising), allows you to be very creative, is fun, and has tremendous reach into customer’s lives.social-media-bandwagon

Without a strategy, you’re very likely to get confused and frustrated with social media. This complicated medium needs a strategic path.  It’s simple really if you’re  a good marketer who can research, write, develop pictures and stories, network widely, and keep the conversation going.  If not, hire someone who is into it, create a strategy, and get this going.

Social media success doesn’t mean you have to go viral. A success is when you create prospects and engage with them, helping them understand your unique value proposition.

A good example is the realtor targeting the young millennial buyer who rents right now, then establishing themselves as “the realtor for millennials” is the right strategy. The content and dialogue should be focused on the millennial’s beliefs, pursuits and values, and their current situation — student debt, need for low down payment, renting, mobile, with parents who may have money to invest. Of course, you already know this.

Before we embark on this journey into social marketing strategy, let’s get our definition set first:

social media marketing strategy is a plan of action to focus and magnify the reach and persuasiveness of all the diverse content and conversations a company generates for social media, and to create the greatest impact for sales revenue.”

There has to be a bottom line goal. When marketers talk about brand impressions, they’re basically admitting that they can’t create a customer via social media. As Google chokes out its customer base via its algorithm, only social media will be available for SMB marketing campaigns. Social media is already producing customers, so we might as well jump on the bandwagon and start making real money with it.

Photo courtesy of Buffini & Company — Real Estate Coaching for Agents and Brokers – Carlsbad, CA

A Strategy isn’t so Difficult — Just one thing to the Next

SimplicityldTo use social media effectively, you’ll need a simple strategy to help you select the best channels and use them to gain real results. You don’t do social, you must be social. That’s the key mindset as you head into social channel use. The process isn’t all that difficult, however you may want to hire a social media expert who you can bounce ideas off of. It is a partnership.

Research shows that most businesses use an ad hoc social media strategy (shotgun or hit and miss approach) while a small portion use a defined strategy (rifle or narrow path approach). Either way, it should be driven by strategy not tactics.

Some businesses get too narrowly defined to the point where their content and conversation is stiff and unattractive. It’s better to be human, personable, generous, expressive, and engaging since social media is really not for business — it was meant for everything that isn’t business.

Create something Compelling about You through your Content and Conversation

If you’re a realtor, mortgage agent, landscaper, insurance company, mortgage broker, construction services provider, dentist, plumber, medical services provider or other professional services provider, you can post material about almost anything that your prospects and customers find interesting (opinions, reviews, statistics, photos, video, infographics, news commentary, personal stories, sports and cultural events, neighbourhood events, etc). If it’s relevant and gets your messages across, you connect in a deeper more relevant way with your prospects.

78% of consumers say that the posts made by companies on social media influence their purchases — Forbes

And by messages, I mean your significant, compelling, unique value proposition. If you don’t know what that is, you can hire someone like myself to research and develop it. I can help you create a picture of more value and a brand that exudes trust, generosity and sharing; Excellent traits that customers like.

5 Step Strategy for Social Media Marketing

  1. Set your goals and objectives: how many followers do you want for each channel, and ideally what action do you want visitors to take? (e.g., sharing an infographic or video, visits to your website, comments, and actual leads). Do you only want to make branding impressions or get them to download something or get them to ask a question? Which metrics will you use to evaluate performance of your social strategy?
  2. Choose the most relevant channels: B2B marketers will likely choose Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook. B2C may choose these plus Pinterest and Instagram.
  3. Who is your customer target? You’ll need to create a customer persona — a description of your ideal prospect, what they believe, what they do, and about their online habits. Are they older and sophisticated buyers who are all business, or young millennials who have broader interests?
  4. What content will you need to curate or develop that your prospects will feel passionate about? Your products may be boring and your value proposition might not be the most exciting. This is where imagination comes in handy.
  5. How will you interact with them? What will be the tone of your interaction? Will it be friendly, humorous, very helpful, participative, or a more detached, corporate voice?

A thorough strategy would drill down into the details of value proposition, content, interaction, and execution.

Good luck with your social strategy. When you’re ready to launch your presence with digital marketing, then it’s time to give me a call at 416-605-7026.

Here’s some further helpful info on social media for real estate agents:

http://blog.wishpond.com/post/58926524787/social-media-for-real-estate-agents-21-tips

http://www.inman.com/2015/02/12/canva-evangelist-guy-kawasaki-on-how-real-estate-agents-can-dominate-social-media/

http://maximizesocialbusiness.com/how-realtors-are-using-social-media-8788/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/06/25/100-killer-ideas-for-your-social-media-content/