Posts Tagged ‘Agents’

Ask Denise: Open House Tools

May 25, 2011

Q: Denise, I saw the samples you had at the “Unforgettable Open House” class. I can see that having all these materials would be super impressive to visitors, but I’m absolutely overwhelmed at the thought of how much work it would be to figure out how to do everything. I really have no idea how to get started on all this.

A: I’m glad you could attend the live class!  And you’re right – having amazing open house materials definitely is a big component of what I like to call “The Unforgettable Open House”. Don’t worry if you don’t have the skills, or the time, to figure out how to create these materials on your own. If you wish, you can simply purchase the CD of all 37 templates for these materials from us! And thanks for joining me in class.

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Fresh From The Lones Group’s Instant Identity Portfolio: “Slim Line”

May 23, 2011

Stripes are classic, and stylish. “Slim Line” offers a beautiful stripe design, in a simple palette designed to focus attention on you and your listings.

Whether you want to develop a completely custom brand, or select from one of the amazing designs in our “Instant Identity” portfolio, we are here to help.

Interested in learning more about developing your custom branded image? We can help with that too! Please send an email to support@thelonesgroup.com or call us at 360-527-8904 to learn more.

Fresh From The Lones Group’s Instant Image Portfolio: “Calming Nature”

May 18, 2011

If you’re looking for a brand that imparts a sense of nature and serenity, look no further.  “Calming Nature” does just that.  It would also be a great brand for agents who specialize in the “green” market.

Whether you want to develop a completely custom brand, or select from one of the amazing designs in our “Instant Image” portfolio, we are here to help.

Interested in learning more about developing your custom branded image? We can help with that too! Please send an email to support@thelonesgroup.com or call us at 360-527-8904 to learn more.

Ask Denise: Signing in at Open Houses

May 17, 2011

Q: Denise, how do I get visitors to sign in so I can get their contact information?  I’ve tried telling them the seller requires that for security reasons, but I’m getting some pushback from clients … or they use fake names.  Last week someone signed in as Betty Rubble. Help!

A: No one wants to be forced to sign in “for security reasons”. Unless you’re checking IDs at the door, and confirming people are who they say they are, it’s pretty obvious to visitors that security is not the issue.  Here’s a new approach to try:  Instead of demanding that guests sign in, instead allow them to tour the home. While they are there, make an effort at building rapport and showing your expertise. As they are finishing their tour, offer them something of value – such as neighborhood sales data or an analysis of appreciation in the area. Visitors are far more likely to be receptive to sharing at this point during their visit.

Not sure how to frame this up? How about asking a visitor, “Would you like me to send you an appreciation analysis of the neighborhoods in the Claremont area?” I think you’ll be surprised by how many visitors say yes, and happily provide their contact information.

The Unforgettable Open House!

May 5, 2011

Join us for our “Unforgettable Open House” event, and we’ll teach you how to design and conduct a truly unforgettable open house experience. You’ll learn the secret “props” needed for success, and how to captivate open house visitors. Discover the art of truly showing a home, rather than simply standing in the kitchen while potential clients walk in (and out!) the door. Hear the simple secret to capturing client contact information, without seeming like a pushy salesperson, “masculine talk” versus “feminine talk”, and much, much more!


We’re offering this amazing opportunity in conjunction with Washington REALTORS® in support of the National Association of REALTORS® Open House Weekend, scheduled for June 4th and 5th. Master all of the insider secrets to a successful open house … then participate in the National Open House Weekend by holding your best open house ever. Public awareness of open houses will be high, and their expectations will be as well. You need to be ready to deliver!

Event details:

Tuesday, May 24
Master Builders Association
335 116th Avenue SE
Bellevue, WA   98004

9:00 – 12:15    OR    1:00 – 4:15

Attend for no cost* … or receive 3.5 clock hours for $35 ($40 at the door).  We’re limiting attendance to this event, so sign-up today!

If you want to create an unforgettable open house experience – one that will generate income for you – you must join us for this memorable class.

RSVP for “The Unforgettable Open House” class, today!

*You must RSVP for this event, even if you are selecting a complimentary ticket.

This event sponsored by:

Kathy Tarabochia
Mortgage Consultant

Ask Denise: Personalized Open House Signs

May 5, 2011

Q: Are personalized open house signs really all that important? My company provides us with very nice signs that we can use.  

A: You absolutely need personalized open house signs! In the sea of open house signage on any given open house day, you will never stand out if you only use your company’s signage. Buyers and sellers tell us over and over again that they want to talk to a real live person when they want information. Be that person, by providing easy to read, personalized signs, with your name and phone number prominently placed. Yes, custom signs cost a little more, but all it takes is one buyer or seller who closes a transaction with you and you’ve more than paid for your personalized signs.

Of course, before you purchase personalized signs be sure that you check with your parent company to ensure you are working within any signage guidelines they may have.

Fresh From The Lones Group’s Instant Image Portfolio: “Evening Stripes”

May 5, 2011

“Evening Stripes” creates a luxurious feeling with the use of black with gold – a classic high-end combination.  It’s the perfect backdrop for marketing both you and your listings.

Whether you want to develop a completely custom brand, or select from one of the amazing designs in our “Instant Image” portfolio, we are here to help.

Interested in learning more about developing your custom branded image? We can help with that too! Please send an email to support@thelonesgroup.com or call us at 360-527-8904 to learn more.

Ask Denise: Working with an Overpriced Listing

April 28, 2011

Q: An extremely overpriced listing in our market just expired and the sellers have contacted me to do a listing presentation for them. Do I even bother to meet with them? They didn’t reduce the price the entire time they were listed before – and I suspect that they will stick to their guns on price even now.   

A: OF COURSE you meet with them. If you can provide these sellers with concrete data and strong compelling visuals to back up your price opinion (you can find details in my April 1, 2011 Zebra Report, Powerful Pricing Tools), you have a great opportunity to help the sellers see the importance of pricing their home right this time around. The right pricing tools are not only critical to helping a seller see where they need to be priced to get a sale; but they will help you give a strong and confident presentation.

Fresh From The Lones Group’s Instant Image Portfolio: “Argyle & Stripes”

April 28, 2011

Are you looking for an Instant Image brand with style and pizzazz? “Argyles and Stripes” may be just the ticket! As timeless design elements, both argyles and stripes resonate with clients of all ages. The use of blue solidifies a design that might otherwise be too whimsical for some. If you’re considering a brand that really “pops”, look no further!

Whether you want to develop a completely custom brand, or select from one of the amazing designs in our “Instant Image” portfolio, we are here to help.

Interested in learning more about developing your custom branded image? We can help with that too! Please send an email to support@thelonesgroup.com or call us at 360-527-8904 to learn more.

Powerful Print Marketing Tools

April 21, 2011

This is the fifth article in my series on powerful listing presentations, where we’ll be covering pricing, communication, technology, marketing, and home presentation & photography.

This week I want to discuss the power of your print marketing tools … and why you simply must spend time creating a portfolio of materials that represents your professional expertise and shows your sellers exactly how you’ll market their home.

As I’ve said in each of the previous Zebra Reports about listing presentations, sellers want to see how you are going to sell their home. They expect you to outline the steps you will take, and they want to see “real life” samples.  You probably remember from previous Zebra Reports in this series that my term for these samples is “props”.

If you’ve ever taken one of my classes, or read any of my previous Zebra Reports on marketing, you’ll remember that one of the cornerstones of my business is my belief that agents need to develop their own personal “brand”.  The materials that we’ve talked about throughout this “Powerful Listing Presentations” series should all be created using your brand.

If the materials you use when marketing homes – the same materials you showcase during your presentation – aren’t beautiful, colorful, and extremely high-quality, you are doing your sellers a disservice. A seller’s home is a huge investment – they deserve nothing but the absolute best from you!

Before I explain what I believe are the most important items, I want to talk for just a minute about what I often see. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven by a house and stopped to take a flyer out of a flyer  box … only to find it printed on plain white paper. And sometimes the colors aren’t even accurate. Here’s an example: That lovely taupe house that I’m standing in front of … with the crisp white trim and black front door? On the flyer it looks dingy yellow and muddy brown! And the interior photos on the flyer certainly aren’t going to get me excited about seeing the home.

Remember – even if the contract and the negotiation phase of real estate is where you shine (and what you enjoy!) you can’t get to that point if you don’t market the house properly and attract buyers to the table.

I want to start by addressing how you present your marketing plan. Do you have something in writing that tells your sellers exactly what you are going to do, and when you are going to do it? Do you have a calendar that you leave with them that they can refer to? A lot of agents over-promise and under-deliver when it comes to marketing.  When you give your sellers a calendar of activities you are reinforcing the fact that you do what you say you will do.

Now let’s talk about all of the printed pieces – the “props” – which you need for a very polished and professional listing presentation. I’m going to give you lots of ideas, but it’s up to you to choose the ones that best fit you and your market.  However, regardless of which tools you use, it is absolutely critical that those tools be created using your brand. If the sellers are interviewing multiple agents, the use of your brand will absolutely elevate you from “ordinary” to “extraordinary” in terms of memorability!

Here are the tools you may want to consider for your next listing presentation:

1. Marketing Binder: One of the most impressive items you can give your sellers is a full-color copy of your customized marketing binder. This is the package that pulls your marketing calendar and all of your samples together into a ‘leave-behind’ for your seller to review and refer to. The cover must have a beautiful photo of the seller’s home. Where appropriate, each of the sample pieces in your binder should also include that photo.

2. Flyers: Regardless of whether you create one-page, two-page or four-page flyers, the photos you use must be amazing. I also encourage you to use high-quality, gloss paper. Remember – your flyer says a lot about you to other potential sellers, as well as to buyers. Keeping the flyer box full of extremely well-done flyers reinforces the fact that you are a true professional.

3. Photo gallery CD: Many agents create a photo gallery CD, which they reproduce and leave at their listing for prospective buyers to take. Print an exterior photo for the CD jacket and include the same photo on the CD label.

4. Advertising: It goes without saying that regardless of whether you are marketing your listings in a newspaper, a magazine, online or on your flyers, including truly engaging descriptions is imperative to attracting buyers. Before the listing appointment, spend some time thinking about the profile of likely buyers for the home. Then write two to three different ads based on that target audience. Preparing in this way will definitely impress a potential seller!

5. Marketing Boards: These boards are the perfect way to present a visually compelling story of how you are going to market the seller’s home.

6. Just Listed postcards: Never underestimate the power of a beautiful postcard. Send these cards to the neighborhood, your database, and other potential buyers. Postcards don’t cost a lot, and your potential sellers will love that you send them.

7. Home Book: This is one of my favorite pieces. You might remember that I mentioned it recently when talking about your communication tools. The home book is a notebook that you leave at the house during the time it’s listed. Include items such as home care and warranty records, the most current inspection report, tax and appraisal records, and neighborhood and community information. Show potential sellers what their home book will look like. They’ll immediately understand the value of the book, and of hiring you.

8. Home marketing cards: This is another idea that my coaching clients have found particularly useful … and that sellers love! Print business cards that feature the home (a photo on the front, and details on the back), and give them to the sellers to pass out to their friends and neighbors. It’s their home, and they are undoubtedly proud of it – so let them be a part of your marketing efforts!

9. Open house materials: Most sellers still want you to hold open houses, regardless of how much other marketing you are doing. It comes up at nearly every listing presentation. When asked, the typical agent simply responds: “Sure, I can do an open house for you.” Or they might even say: “You know, I don’t do open houses and here’s why.”  Open houses can be a gold mine when done correctly! Without going into a lot of detail, here are the open house props that will ‘wow’ the socks off of potential sellers.

  1. Open house invitations: Postcards are quick and easy. Let your sellers know exactly who you are targeting, and why.
  2. Open house display boards: Many agents use small easels that fit on a kitchen counter or dining room table to present neighborhood information. These could include maps of the area, as well as information on schools, parks, and shopping.
  3. Open house feedback forms: Sellers like to know what buyers are thinking! Show your sellers what your feedback forms looks like.  Even better, ask them if there is anything in particular they want buyers to provide feedback on.

10. Database marketing: I talked about this in the Zebra Report just a couple of weeks ago. Show your potential sellers the type of marketing you are doing with your databases, and where their home may be featured in this marketing. Do you feature your listings in a newsletter, or send out your ‘just listed’ postcards to your database as well as targeted buyers? If so, bring samples! Sellers will appreciate your extra efforts to find a buyer for their home.

I want you to remember one thing about marketing that is easy to forget in this high-tech world. Print marketing – if done well – still has enormous impact. While buyers may be looking at homes online, they still want a beautiful brochure or flyer to take home, to look at again, and to share with friends and family.

Remember – sellers expect their home to be showcased in full-color and beautifully presented to potential buyers, both in print and online. Don’t let them down!  With your brand as a starting point, create beautiful printed materials for your next listing presentation.

Next week we’ll feature our sixth and final topic in our “Powerful Listing Presentations” series: home presentation & photography. Be sure to watch for next week’s Zebra Report!


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