Agent Insider Survey 2019 – Win Starbucks $$

Agent Insider Survey 2019 – Win Starbucks $$

As a productive agent you are probably busy with clients. It’s prime home buying season after all. This is only going to take a minute …

I need your help shaping the future of AGENT INSIDER (this email newsletter), so I can send you exactly the information and advice you are looking for.​

Here’s a short 6 question survey. Please click the button and complete it right now – it only takes a minute.

​​Let me know if the AGENT INSIDER helps you in your business. I don’t want to spam your inbox. I also don’t want to waste time creating content no one reads.

Give me your honest feedback on how AGENT INSIDER can be improved, and what topics you want covered.

The survey will only take a minute. And, you get a chance to win a Starbucks Gift Card.

Don’t wait!

As always, I wish you a productive and successful week!

We help struggling agents become top producers (without sacrificing their personal lives). Give me a call or text at (614) 395-7375 and let’s help build you into a top producer!

Should You Jump on the Opportunity Zones Bandwagon?

Should You Jump on the Opportunity Zones Bandwagon?

It’s Tax Day – an unpleasant day if you still owe money to the IRS.

To make your day a little more enjoyable I’d like to share my thoughts on Opportunity Zones (OZ), and how you could build a profitable business around this tax incentive.

What Are Opportunity Zones?

Opportunity Zones are low income census tracts. Most of the OZ’s are in areas that could use investment to improve the economy.

The Tax Cuts & Job Act created an incentive to invest capital gains in OZ’s. It works like this (for specifics go to IRS.gov or talk to your tax advisor):

If you invest capital gains in a business or project in an OZ, the tax owed on the capital gains is deferred for up to 10 years.

After 5 years you get a 10% discount and after 7 years a 15% discount on the capital gains taxes you owe.

If you sell your investment after 10 years, the gain from the investment is tax free.

This is a long-term incentive. It allows investors to defer paying capital gains taxes and profit from tax free gains in the future, while supporting economic development in low income areas.

Who’s Interested in Opportunity Zones?

During an OZ event at Columbus Realtors, Mark Lundine from the Economic Development Division of the City of Columbus said he never got that many calls on a single program from investors looking for projects.

There’s a lot of capital gain out there. And investors are looking for projects to put this money to good use, to pay lower taxes and to do something good for our community.

How Can Agents Profit?

Even without your own capital gains to invest Realtors have a unique opportunity to develop a profitable niche around this tax incentive.

As a Realtor you should specialize in finding projects. This could involve land development, older buildings for redevelopment, or simply properties for companies who want to move their business to an opportunity zone.

Here’s a map of all OZ’s in the State of Ohio. Figure out how you can market to property owners in the designated census tracts, possibly list their properties or represent investors.

Tip: According to this article by Zillow home values in OZ’s have skyrocketed by as much as 25%.

Will you pursue this opportunity? Reply or comment and let me know.

For more expert tips and strategies please visit:

www.ColumbusRealEstateCoach.com/blog

How to Become a Successful Listing Agent

How to Become a Successful Listing Agent

If you are like most agents, you spend a lot of time with buyers instead of listing homes.

In this changing market it is critical to become a listing agent for leverage, profitability, and your long-term survival.

Why You Should List More Homes

If you are working with buyers you spend all your time driving around, showing houses, and submitting offers.

More often than not you are faced with multiple offers on the listing your buyers really want. You fight the bidding war and lose most of the time. Your buyers get frustrated after missing out and decide to lease for another year – another commission lost.

Most buyers don’t have to buy a home right now. However, most sellers need to sell.

Listings give you leverage. You can service more listings than buyers at the same time.

Most importantly, listings will attract both buyers and sellers to you. They are the perfect advertising tool for your business.

Without listings you don’t have anything to sell. It’s like you own a store with empty shelves.

How to Become a Listing Agent?

There are many ways to attract sellers. It’s important to focus your marketing on homeowners.

​The strategies that work for us are geographic and niche farming.

We target subdivisions with high turnover (geographic) or homeowners who are likely to sell (niche).

Mailing postcards to homeowners on a regular basis is still working well. Offer them a free home valuation. Homeowners who are interested in the value of their property may consider selling.

You can enhance your results with door knocking, open houses, and targeted online ads. Of course, consistent follow-up is key.

What You Need as a Listing Agent

Here are 3 “must haves” if you want to succeed as a listing agent:

Marketing Budget – You need to spend money to market to homeowners and generate listing leads. You also need financial resources to list the property, advertise your listing, and take professional photos and videos.

Listing Presentation – Once you attract potential sellers you probably have to compete against other listing agents. A great listing and pre-listing package are important. It will set you apart from the agents who show up to the listing appointment with an MLS print-out of comparables.

Well-Recognized Brand – Your chance of succeeding as a listing agent are 100 times better if you associate with the #1 real estate brand. Sellers want a brand name sign in their yard.

Before we owned our RE/MAX brokerage we lost listings all the time. Home owners who purchased multiple properties from us refused to list their home with us because we were with an independent brokerage.

Today, I have a special offer for you, but time is running short …

If you want to become a listing agent and want access to the best marketing materials and listing presentation and be part of the #1 real estate brand in the world, I invite you to join us before April 1st.

You can join RE/MAX 24/7 for $0 per month for the first 6 months and test drive our office.

I promise you will love it.

RE/MAX is not for everyone, but if you are motivated and eager to succeed, I will personally work with you and help you establish a substantial listing portfolio.

If you are interested in joining RE/MAX 24/7 give me a call at (614) 395-7375 and we can discuss how to grow your real estate business with a solid global brand backing you!

Part 2: Online Lead Generation – The New Conversion Strategy

Part 2: Online Lead Generation – The New Conversion Strategy

Online lead generation has exploded. Approximately 30 Internet leads are created for every real estate transaction in the US.

This means a lot of competition and a race to improve conversions.

Today I want to address a paradigm shift in online lead generation, and what you need to do to win in a world with too many online leads.

Traditional Lead Follow-Up Does Not Work

You’ve probably been told to immediately call any online lead that lands in your inbox. And to keep calling, texting and emailing every single day for a week until they pick up the phone.

I know many agents who do exactly that. Unfortunately, they waste a lot of time with little to show for it.

Here’s why this approach does not work in 2019.

Today’s customers don’t want to talk to you on the phone until they are ready.

Most of them won’t pick up if they don’t recognize your number. If they actually pick up and don’t know who you are, they are annoyed and look for a way to get you off the phone quickly.

The New Follow-Up Paradigm

The best way to determine if an online lead is worth your time is to let technology sort them out for you.

If a prospect registers on your landing page they should get a text and an email automatically. Then you keep sending quality content relevant to the lead – automatically.

Let them read or watch the content and wait till they raise their hand and contact you. That’s when you get on the phone, have a meaningful conversation, and schedule an appointment.

Inbound Leads Convert Better

​We’ve been following this approach for a while, simply because we did not have enough time to call everyone who opts in.

Prospects will sort themselves out. The ones who are really interested will respond to your texts and emails when they are ready.

When a lead replies they are ready to talk. That’s when we can call them and schedule an appointment. They are usually very motivated buyers or sellers.

Is the New Paradigm Profitable?

If you ever paid for online leads you know how expensive they are and that they convert poorly. You have to go through lots of leads before someone responds.

Can this approach yield a positive ROI with conversion rates of 1% or less?

It only works if you can get inexpensive leads. Zillow, Realtor.com, and Boomtown are too expensive.

The best solution is to run your own Facebook Ads and generate your own leads for less than $5.

Who Can Teach You Facebook Advertising?

Many gurus and coaches promote their Facebook advertising systems on Facebook. Here are four I saw in the past week:

Most of these services charge monthly membership fees ($299 +). You still have to pay for your own campaigns.

Here’s my question?

Shouldn’t your broker or manager teach you how to run Facebook ads and help you set up a well converting follow-up system?

If they don’t, I can help you …

We run Facebook ads and other online lead capture systems on a regular basis. I can show you how to set them up and what it takes to convert these leads.

The only thing you need to do is click here and schedule your FREE 30-minute Business Breakthrough Strategy Session!

Online Lead Generation to Quickly Grow your Business (part 1)

Online Lead Generation to Quickly Grow your Business (part 1)

Online leads are a hot topic for many real estate agents who want to grow their business. Over the next few weeks I will explain how you can generate online leads, the technology you need, how to outsource it, and how much you need to invest.

A Strategy to Break Out of Your Sphere

If you rely exclusively on your sphere of influence for referrals you probably sell $2 or $3 million, each year. That’s not bad.

But after your splits with the broker and paying taxes you end up with less than $50,000 – hardly enough to support the lifestyle you envisioned when you got your license.

To expand your business beyond your sphere you have to market to people you don’t know, yet. You either prospect, cold-call, door knock or network, activities which do not cost you much money, or you invest in advertising.

The Benefits of Inbound Marketing

I am a strong believer in inbound marketing. This means you invest money to “advertise” so that prospects contact you.

We’ve built our real estate business that way, and we are doing it consistently. So, I know from personal experience that it works.

There are many benefits to inbound marketing:

  • No need for cold-calling or door knocking
  • No need to stalk friends and family for referrals
  • You can leverage your time
  • Easy to systematize and expand

Why Agents Like Facebook Advertising

When it comes to “marketing”, many agents are attracted to online and social strategies. As you can imagine the gurus figured that out, as well, and they are ready to sell you their systems.

No other strategy is more popular than Facebook advertising. It is way less expensive than Zillow, Realtor.com or even Boomtown or any of the marketing platforms that sell you $100 leads.

Most solo agents can’t pay thousands a month for these platforms, so Facebook advertising seems the best solution.

If you want to learn how to set up your own Facebook campaigns, simply google terms like “Facebook advertising for real estate”. You will find countless services that help you run your own Facebook ads.

The Process of Generating Online Leads

There are 3 steps to generate online leads:

1. Online Ads You create an ad on Facebook, Instagram, Google or anywhere on the Internet to capture the attention of the viewer. The goal of the ad is to get the viewer to click a link.

2. Landing Page After they click the link, the prospect ends up on a landing page that offers something of value in exchange for their name, email and phone number. You could offer a home valuation, a list of properties with specific criteria, or a report on how to get your home sold quickly.

3. Follow Up System Now that a lead has been captured you try to contact them and stay in touch for a long time. This system is probably the most critical if you want to have success with online leads. 

In 2019 I noticed a paradigm shift in online lead generation which mostly affects the follow up systems. 

More on it next week …

Don’t hesitate to contact me with your marketing questions at (614) 395-7375. I wish you a wonderful week!

3 Challenges that may Derail your Business in 2019

3 Challenges that may Derail your Business in 2019

I implore you to make plans now so you are ready to deal with the 3 major challenges you will face in 2019:

Shrinking Home Sales

Home sales were down by 2.2% in 2018 over the previous year. That’s not too bad.

What’s more concerning is that in December closings plummeted by 9.2%, pending contracts were down by 5.8%, and new listings fell by 5.6%.

This means the pie is shrinking. There are not enough homes to sell, and it does not look like this situation will improve in 2019.

More Competition

The Columbus Association of Realtors has now 8,404 Realtors, an all-time high. There’s more competition for fewer transactions.

Top producing agents will have an edge on part timers and new licensees. It will become harder for inexperienced agents to find new business. Both buyers and sellers will demand experience and impeccable customer service.

Commission Discounts

All full-time agents I know claim they are not “discounting” their commissions.

However, closing statements reveal a different truth. Even large, well-known teams are listing for less than 3% – they just don’t advertise it on the radio.

Technology creates some efficiencies in the office. But if you help desperate buyers find a home you will spend a lot of time showing houses, writing offers, and negotiating contracts.

My Recommendations

I suggest you attack these challenges head-on. Here’s how you will win in 2019:

(1) You must commit to become a full-time Realtor. It’s getting increasingly harder for part timers to deliver the experience and quality of service clients expect and deserve.

(2) You need the backing of an experienced broker or team leader. If you are just a number in a mega office and can’t get instant support when need it, you should switch to another office.

(3) Provide a memorable, exceptional experience to get more referrals from your clients. You must be on top of your game and constantly learn and improve.

(4) Market like crazy! Personal branding on social media is not enough to generate business. You have to be pro-active whether you invest in advertising or knock on doors.

(5) The best way to thrive in a challenging market is to find a niche and be the best (and maybe the only) agent to serve this niche.

My Offer for You

If you don’t have your business plan ready for 2019, I invite you to schedule a FREE Breakthrough Strategy Session.  

During this 30-minute session I will help you:

  • Uncover the critical challenges that hold you back.
  • Set business and income goals for 2019.
  • Show you how to overcome the challenges above.
  • Develop action steps to create a consistent income.
  • Inspire you to take action and stay on track.