November Marketing Ideas

Autumn is here! Things might look a little different these days, but in Texas, the fall months usually mean football, unpredictable weather, and the chance sighting of a leaf changing color. There’s still a distinct feeling in the air throughout the fall months, and with some of the ideas below, you can use it to your advantage when it comes to lead generation.

Give Back

This is a great time to sponsor a food or clothing drive for the less fortunate, and there are more people in need than ever before. Partner with a local business and spend a day collecting items for those in need. Bring along some refreshments to hand out to your new friends.

Refer Your Fall and Winter Weather Vendors

Remind your mailing list about your favorite gutter cleaners or lawn clean up crew. As your clients prepare their homes for colder weather, you’ll be able to keep yourself in the top of their mind by helping them find good help quickly.

Help Your Clients Prepare

Create a Winter Weather Prep checklist or ebook that visitors to your site can download by signing up for your email list. The information will be useful, and you’ll be able to keep their attention with future emails.

Beat Them to the Punch

Every business sends Christmas greetings, and most homes are so inundated with cards that promotional mailing gets completely overlooked. Get a step ahead by sending a Thanksgiving card and recipe to your mailing list!

Sources and Further Reading:
Fall Real Estate Tips
20 Fresh Fall Ideas for Generating More Leads
3 Fall Marketing Ideas for Real Estate Agents

The Resource: November 2020 Social Media Calendar

We often hear our real estate friends say they’re short on time and can’t handle regular posting to social media. So, each month, we collect a full month’s worth of posts for you to pass along to clients, friends and family.

The Holiday Season

5 Decluttering Projects To Help You Get Ready for the Holidays (Houzz)
15 Simple Thanksgiving Centerpieces (Shelterness)
Bring Farmhouse Touches Into Your Home for Thanksgiving (The Spruce)
Thanksgiving Hosting Hacks (Better Homes and Gardens)

Texas Living

15 Songs That Embody the Texas Spirit (Wide Open Country)
Texas Meals You Have To See (and Taste) to Believe (Texas Hill Country)

Just For Fun

DIY: Make a Fresh Magnolia Wreath (Houzz)
The Top Travel Destinations of 2018 (Elle Decor)
Peek Inside the Homes of 23 Classic Hollywood Stars (Veranda)
Home Decor Ideas for People Who Love Their Dogs A Little Too Much (Realtor.com)

Around The House

What To Store in the Laundry Room, And What You Shouldn’t (The Spruce)
Composting How-Tos (Better Homes and Gardens)
The Ultimate Stain Removing Guide (Better Homes and Gardens)
Garden Trends for 2018 (HGTV)
Garage Organization Ideas That Will Give You Your Parking Space Back (House Beautiful)
A Tightwad’s Guide to Getting Organized (Organized Home)

Decor Inspiration

15 Cool Shared Spaces Where Kids Can Study (Shelterness)
Stunning Ways to Redecorate the Dining Room (Good Housekeeping)
Natural Fall Decorating Ideas (Real Simple)
Unexpected Patterns that are Perfect for Fall (HGTV)
Luxurious Headboards for a Dreamy Slumber (Luxe Daily)

Buying And Selling

The Problem with Tiny Houses That No One Talks About (Elle Decor)
10 Home Maintenance Myths Costing You Time and Money (HouseLogic)
Should I Bail After A Bad Home Inspection? (The Mortgage Reports)

Have You Found Your Niche?

Even if you’ve been in business for a while, you might find yourself struggling to feel “at home” in your career. If this sounds like something you’ve experienced, it may be time to identify your niche. In real estate, there are so many to choose from. And, while you may want to keep yourself available to a large audience, tightening your focus could unlock much bigger success.

From first-time buyers to seniors to luxury buyers and sellers, there are benefits to finding and developing your particular market. But where do you start?

Entrepreneur.com advises to ask yourself the following 4 questions for starters. Now, this is no quick quiz. They suggest taking a full hour to process each question, 15 minutes for each one.

1. What do you do best?

Make a list. What are your best talents and skills? Determine both what you do best – and what you don’t. It takes maturity and confidence to take an honest look at yourself and your business.  If there is something you don’t do well but would like to, is it worth whatever time and money it may take to develop the skill? It may be more beneficial for you to focus solely on what you already have.

2. What about your job do you enjoy the most?

With this question, your goal is to make sure that your heart and head are in the same place. You may be great at something that you don’t particularly enjoy. You may really enjoy something you aren’t particularly suited for. Your aim is to find that “sweet spot” where you heart and brain agree. Take a look at your list from Question 1 and rank your skills in order of most to least enjoyable.

3. What do people need?

Back to your list of skills – now take another look at determine which skills are most needed in your industry. If you’ve got a great skill that isn’t needed, it won’t do you or your clients any favors. Think about the questions your clients ask and the needs you see in your current audience – which needs can you match with your skills?

4. Where can you find the most financial benefit?

Consider the different niches in which you can see yourself. First time buyers make up a whopping 37% of the market while luxury homeowners are in at just 8%. Seniors make up 50% of the home buyers and sellers market. You’ll need to match your skills with the market and financial set up that brings you the most benefit.

With these 4 questions answered honestly, your niche should become clear to you, giving you the information you need to market yourself properly and reach an audience that needs you the most.

Ready to Be Seen?

In the not-so-small Real Estate World, it’s easy to feel lost in the crowd. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or ready to make a splash as a newbie in the industry, the competition is fierce. How can you set yourself and your services apart from the rest?

Find A Niche To Call Your Own

If you’re new to the world of real estate, this one might not come as easily as it would to a more experienced agent. However, focusing on mastering a sub-section of the market is important. Just as in any other business, potential clients are looking for someone who can understand their unique needs, whether it’s a veteran, a luxury buyer, a senior citizen, or a first-time buyer. General knowledge is fine, but finding your niche allows you to shine.

Newer agents may want to focus on a particular neighborhood or zip code, a specific type of property, or a specific kind of client. Seasoned agents can look at their past clientele and transactions to find both their strength and source of joy to find a niche.

Highlight What Makes You Different

In both personal and professional circles, your personal characteristics, hobbies, and relationships are the most interesting thing about you. Take advantage of any memberships you hold in social organizations, churches, or academic environments and look to serve your fellow members. On social media and on your website, highlight your passions. You may love rescue dogs, local theater and art, or running marathons. These differentiators certainly won’t hurt you, but they will absolutely make you easier to find for a potential client who shares your interests.

Become An Expert

One great way to separate yourself from the crowd is to offer training events or workshops that connect with the public in a meaningful way. Local libraries often offer space for free and these spots make great locations for community classes. You don’t have to stick to the classic first-time home buyer class either. If you’re an expert stager, offer a course on staging a home to sell. If you’ve found a niche working with seniors, offer a class in helping elderly parents move. There are a wealth of topics to teach that could both help the public and help your business.

Are These Phrases Costing You Clients?

Anytime you meet a new client, or even a colleague, you want to make a great first impression. Here are a few commonly used words and phrases you probably want to avoid. These phrases make you sound like you have less experience than you do.

“I Don’t Know”

None of us have all of the answers all of the time. But by replying to a question with “I don’t know” make you look uninformed and less than capable. Instead, let your clients know what you do know. Try “I can tell you that…” or “Let me confirm some things before I answer that question.” Even “I want to have more information before I give you an answer on that” is a completely honest answer that lets your clients know you’re on their side.

“Is That OK?”

This question sounds like you’re not sure if you’ve given the right recommendation. Instead of looking for reassurance, try “Let me know what you think of that.” It puts the ball in their court without sacrificing your knowledge and confidence.

“Very ________”, “Extremely ________”, Etc.

Remove unnecessary words from your language. Remember the scene in Dead Poets’ Society where Robin Williams’ character says “So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted.” Remember this rule and find a better word for what you’re trying to say. OR eliminate the excess words altogether and simplify your statements.

“My schedule is wide open.” or “Let me know what time is convenient for you.”

Admitting that your schedule is empty is a sure sign that you might not have all the business you need or want. Instead, offer windows of time, like “I could meet you on Tuesday or Thursday morning” and see what they reply with. If the time doesn’t work, they’ll let you know and you can open up another time slot in your schedule to meet.

October Social Media Calendar

We often hear our real estate friends say they’re short on time and can’t handle regular posting to social media. So, each month, we collect a full month’s worth of posts for you to pass along to clients, friends and family.

Halloween Tips

36 Stylish and Spooky Halloween Decorating Ideas
A Ghosthunter’s Guide To Buying A Real Haunted House
81 Cool Fall Table Decorating Ideas
Decorating For Fall…A Love Letter to October
“You’ve Been Boo-ed” Neighborhood Game

Food

Pumpkin Bread Truffles
11 Scary-Easy Halloween Cupcakes
Indulgent Caramel Apple Desserts
6 of the Best Types of Apples for Cooking

Just For Fun

Laundry Secrets From 5 Star Hotels (Bright Side)
Where To Travel for the Best Fall Foliage (House Beautiful)
5 Tips For Making Guests Feel At Home (Luxe Daily)

Around The House

Oh So Organized Kitchens (HouseLogic)
Keep Your Home Clean When You’re Short On Time (HouseLogic)
The Best Houseplants for the Bathroom (The Spruce)
Cleaner Linens for Better Dreams (Better Homes and Gardens)
6 Things Your Should Never Flush (Bright Side)
DIY Firepit Ideas (Better Homes and Gardens)

Decor Inspiration

How To Find A Headboard that Suits Your Style (Good Housekeeping)
Redecorate for Better Sleep (Real Simple)
Get A Farmhouse Style Kitchen (Houzz)
6 Reasons To Consider Wall Paper (Houzz)
Paint Colors You Need For A Happy Home (Elle Decor)
19 Designs That Blossom (Luxe Daily)

Buying And Selling

Avoid Overspending When You’re House Hunting (HouseLogic)
Would You Crowdfund Your Downpayment? (The Mortgage Reports)
Home Buying Costs That Veterans Should Keep In Mind (Realtor.com)
Credit Score Comebacks to Give Buyers Hope (Realtor.com)

What Do Your Brand Colors Tell Prospective Clients?

Whether you are creating a logo, customizing your website, or creating flyers and business cards, your goal is to tell your potential clients what they can expect from you. Color plays a big part in this process as most of us associate certain colors with concrete feelings, attitudes, and tones. So what is your logo saying about you?

Branding and Color

RED

Red is powerful and dynamic, reflecting youth, boldness, and energy when used in a brand. Depending on the other visual elements of your brand, it can portray friendliness and strength or come across as aggressive. If you want to get attention quickly, red is your color.

ORANGE

Orange comes across as friendly, cheerful, and confident when used in branding. Borrowing power and strength from red and optimism from yellow, orange is a great option for conveying comfort and warmth.

YELLOW

People tend to associate yellow with optimism and happiness. It is the easiest color for the human eye to see and the first color that infants respond to.  However, if you use too much yellow, it can convey anxiety and caution (think warning signs when you’re on the road). You’ll notice that most successful brands that use yellow use it along with another color to neutralize it just a little bit.

GREEN

Green makes us think of peace, healthiness and positive growth (whether in plants or in wealth). It is a color of balance and harmony. If you want your customers to think of restfulness, peace, and a balance of logic and emotion, consider green in your logo. It has one of the most positive responses among the colors.

BLUE

Blue is the most popular color according to personal tastes of both men and women. It evokes feelings of trust and dependability. Blue is reliable and responsible – we associate it with sensibility. When used the wrong way, it can be perceived as cold or unfriendly, because it is one of the last colors our eyes recognize, as opposed to yellow, which is the first color most people notice. If your focus is on building relationships based on trust, blue may be your perfect color.

PURPLE

Purple gives us several different meanings, including creativity, wealth, and spirituality. Using red’s energy and blue’s dependability, purple conveys imagination and balance and mystery. Interestingly enough, purple is the color most likely to cause our minds to wander, so you may want to couple it with another color in your logo.

PINK

Pink, being a softer and less intense version of red, reflects compassion, care, and understanding. Obviously, it has romantic and feminine notes as well, which complement that nurturing feeling. Where red stimulates, pink soothes. Too much pink can come across as submissive and immature, but can be coupled well with others to convey your message.

BROWN

Brown is high on the list of least favorite colors among both men and women. While it’s not very visually stimulating, it does reflect stability, sensibility and structure. The “boringness” of brown lends our minds to dependability and protection. It’s a serious color, so if you’re looking to give a feeling of being down-to-earth without coming across as bland, adding another color is a great idea.

BLACK

Black is serious, disciplined and luxurious. It also reflects control and sophistication. It is a powerful color. If you want to be taken seriously, incorporate black into your branding.

Steal Some Of Retail’s Biggest Tricks For Your Next Open House

Did you know that when stores pipe in a vanilla scent, customers are more likely to impulse buy? When preparing an Open House, a vanilla scent may lure buyers into considering the property, but impulsive decisions don’t often end well for either party. Likewise, the smell of cleaning products, particularly orange scented products, gives consumers a feeling generosity.  The clean, orange smell may help your potential buyers see the value of a home.

There are so many things that influence the way we buy. Retail stores have used psychological triggers to their advantage for years. And some of those same tips may help you sell more quickly!

SCENT

As stated above, vanilla scents lead to more impulse purchases, while clean scents lead to generosity. And of course, most of us have heard that the scent of baking bread, or even bacon, gives many people a feeling of “Home Sweet Home”. So, for your next open house, ditch the vanilla candle and try something new!

COLOR

Our minds are easily provoked by color, which is why color psychology should be considered when staging or even repainting a home to sell.

Red – Red gives consumers a sense of urgency and encourages people to take action quickly.

Blue – Blue gives us feelings of trust and security. It may be the perfect choice for a great home in a less-than-ideal neighborhood.

Green – Green is calming and soothing and linked to growth and wealth.

Black – Black evokes class and sophistication, used most frequently when marketing luxury items.

MUSIC

If you’re hoping your potential buyers will linger and take their time as they walk through an open house, the right music can help. Music with a fast tempo increases heart rate and encourages us to move quickly. Conversely, a slower tempo helps us slow down and take our time.

Genre can make a difference as well. Consumers listening to classical music in a retail environment are more inclined to spend their money on luxury items. Customers listening to Top-40 pop music usually make smaller and cheaper purchases.

 

Sources and Further Reading:

Using Colors and Shapes to Convert Shoppers
6 Psychological Triggers that Win Sales
Smell Manipulation
Sight, Smell and Sound and Consumer Behavior

 

There’s No Better Time To Get Organized

Staying organized during a busy season can be daunting, or even impossible, for some. Here are some great ways to cut down on the clutter and keep your clients’ files controlled.

In The Office

  • Before you file anything, take a real look at what you’re putting away. Many of us stack papers and pile things up that we may never need or look at again. Realtor.org recommends that you “organize those you must keep so they correspond with how you transact business. For instance, arrange papers by prospect or neighborhood. Make one file each for maps, expense reports, and legal documents.”
  • Use different colors for folders or tabs to indicate the types of files in your system. And of course, make sure everything is clearly labeled for easy retrieval.
  • If something can be scanned and saved electronically – do it. Keep it all safe in a cloud-based system like Google Drive, Dropbox, or similar.
  • Finally, use a quiet day to organize the paperwork and do it frequently to avoid getting overwhelmed.

On The Road

  • Keep your papers in a plastic file case to make things easier to tote so that your important documents won’t be left behind, damaged by rain, ruined by food, etc.
  • Find a container that you can easily store on the floor of the backseat to keep the things you often need, like an umbrella, clipboard, measuring tape, air fresheners, etc. By keeping it all in one handy container, you’ll be able to carry things easily into the house and unload at your own office or home.

Helpful Apps

  • Apps like Everlance and MileIQ will track your mileage automatically so you’ll have it at your fingertips at tax time.
  • Circle Back will clean and complete contact information and merge duplicates so that your list can stay up to date.
  • If you’re looking to simplify your social media pursuits, Pocket is an easy to use bookmark tool that helps you to save content and articles you find on the web to your “pocket,” making it much easier to access (and remember) for your blog or newsletters later.

What tools do you use to keep your business in order? We’d love to hear about them!

September Slump? No problem!

Every year as the school year begins homes sales invariably decline in September from August – kids are back to school, families are adjusting to the new routine, and buying or selling is the last thing about which most of your potential clients are thinking. Instead of waiting for the phone to ring or complaining about the lack of business, now is the time to get to work and make your business the best it’s ever been! Here are ten great places to start…

1. Send some handwritten notecards to clients.

You may start with the best of intentions, planning to send follow-ups and thank yous shortly after your clients are in a new home, but did you actually do it? Now is a great time to reconnect. Thank them, inspire them, and just say hello. But make sure you’re sincere in your approach or your time will be wasted!

2. Take a good look at your brand.

Branding is so much more than just your logo, but it certainly starts there. What message are you trying to send to your audience? Does your logo reflect that? And when you’ve made sure that it does, how does that message filter through your business cards, social media, print materials, and more? With time on your hands, you should be able to streamline your message, ensuring that your potential clients get the same first impression, no matter where they find you.

3. Round up some testimonials.

Send out a sweet email asking for reviews, or search your business name to see what people have been saying about you. Did you know you can embed any tweet in your website? Simply click “More” on the Tweet you want to embed, then select “Embed Tweet,” then copy the code that pops up and place it on a Praise or Testimonial page of your website. Boom.

4. Revamp your website.

Old-fashioned or outdated website design can do more than turn off customers — it can tarnish your reputation and hurt your search rankings. It’s important to do a website redesign every so often to keep things fresh, update your look and keep the technology current on the back end as well.

5. Create a solid marketing plan.

Break down your promotions (New Year, Fourth of July, Back To School, etc.) and plan what you’ll need to do on a weekly and monthly basis.

6. Make a Social Media Calendar and schedule your posts.

Two of the key elements for social media are timing and consistency. In your downtime, plan what you’d like to post and use Facebook’s scheduling services (or a tool like Hootsuite, if you’re using more than one social network) to plan months in advance!

7. Write a few blogs.

Blogging is a great way to add content to your website, offer great information, boost your search results and MORE. What are you passionate about – can you relate that to your business? Are you a foodie who knows the best spots in town? Are you really into staging? Turn these into blog posts and schedule them regularly – with some real time set aside, you could schedule and write 12 blogs – enough to post once monthly for a year!

8. Make a financial plan to save up for that next big purchase.

What purchase would change your business? Have you been putting it off? Evaluate the cost of your existing business tools and services and see if that money might not be better spent toward the purchase of something more effective. Make a chart or a schedule if that helps and you’ll be well on your way to better business growth.

9. Do something that has NOTHING to do with your business.

Take a cooking class, write another chapter in your novel, paint or sew…give your brain a break from the stress of work and use your time to refresh and renew your soul

10. Organize your computer files.

Seriously – how many times have you complained to yourself about your computer’s lack of organization. It’s a simple change, but one that will really make your life easier and your work more productive.