If you aren’t a fan of ours on Facebook yet, you may not be aware that we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary this year. Time flies when you’re saving people money!
Don Taylor founded Help-U-Sell Real Estate in 1976 as a consumer-friendly alternative to the high percentage-based commissions most other real estate agents charged. He believed a low set fee, information without obligation, and freedom of choice were the wave of the future. Four decades and thousands of happy clients later, and we’re still helping sellers (and buyers) across the country!
To commemorate this milestone, we’ve created an anniversary logo and marketing collateral (with more to come), including website banners and a new postcard. The EDDM postcard will be available in the next co-op from our print vendor, Excel Printing and Mailing, on April 1.
Brokers can access variations of the new logo and the website banners in the Office Management System’s Download Library. The postcard will be on Excel Printing & Mailing’s website soon.
Update: Excel Printing & Mailing now has eight postcards of varying messages and sizes with the 40th anniversary logo. They have their own section on the site. Look for the “40-Year Materials” title to see the selections and customize your order.
The first full week of the year is usually focused on catching up from the holidays, but the 51 weeks ahead should get some attention, too. What are your marketing plans for 2016? We have outlined five ideas to get you started.
1. Website Content. The new Help-U-Sell Real Estate broker website template will debut shortly. The new site is responsive, meaning it adapts to the size of the user’s device screen whether it’s a desktop computer, a tablet, or a smartphone. We have created new pages for the broker sites that will replace the outdated, text-heavy pages on most of our brokers’ sites now. We encourage brokers to localize the new pages’ content and to consider making landing pages on other topics that fit their market and their expertise. Ask yourself: Whom do you want to attract to your website and, ultimately, as your clients? We can help you with the creation of any pages you might want to add to your broker site.
2. Video. The new website template prominently features video, on the homepage and on many of the new landing pages. These videos are narrated by James Dingman and can be used in your marketing, as well, but we strongly suggest filming your own videos that can replace the landing page videos and the ones on the homepage. The personal touch means a great deal in this day of social media, where consumers want to get to know people before they conduct business.
3. Social Media. Speaking of social media, do you post consistently to your accounts? Take stock of your social media profiles (update any contact information, photos, etc.) and make an editorial calendar with what to post when. Think about adding new networks, such as Instagram or Periscope, to the mix, or removing ones that you never use. Also, you might want to advertise on these platforms, especially Facebook. You can target specific audiences based on place of residence (down to zip code), age, income level, and other factors for a low cost.
4. Co-Op/EDDMs. Print marketing isn’t dead, it just needs to be highly targeted to make the most impact. Our print/mail vendor, Excel Printing and Mailing, is running a co-op through January 15 on EDDMs (the U.S. Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail program), where you can print and mail customized postcards for only $0.29 each. The mailings go to the post office’s carrier routes that you select. We recommend doing research using your MLS to discover the carrier routes in your market that have the highest turnover rates. Read more about how to do this on James Dingman’s Set Fee Real Estate Blog (see the Target Your Market post).
5. Center of Influence Postcards. If you didn’t participate last year, or even if you did, the CI postcard program is a must for staying top of mind with your colleagues, past clients, friends, acquaintances, et al…anyone who knows you. This year, we’ve expanded from eight to 10 postcard mailings for the year. Excel Printing and Mailing handles the logistics of the program, and you can opt in and customize your postcards via your OMS. Read more about the CI postcards.
With a focus on marketing in the right places, you can make 2016 your best year yet. If you’re a Help-U-Sell Real Estate broker and you want any guidance from the corporate office, send us an email. We’d be happy to help you!
Next year, the program will have four additional postcards, an increase of 50 percent, so that recipients will receive one card per month. In addition, we recently enabled agents to send out postcards to their own contacts.
The 4.25-inch x 6-inch postcards’ topics include seasonal tips such as spring cleaning ideas and back-to-school organization, as well as real estate messages, from financing programs to how Help-U-Sell Real Estate helps buyers. The postcards’ messages cannot be customized in order to keep costs down, but brokers and agents can add a personal testimonial or choose a sold-and-saved example for the reverse of the cards.
The program was created to help our brokers (and now agents) stay in touch with their centers of influence (CIs), who are loosely defined as anyone who can put your name with your face. These people are highly important because most buyers and sellers turn to people they know to help them with their real estate needs. According to the National Association of REALTORS, in 2014, 52 percent of buyers either used a former agent or found an agent by referral from a family member or friend. That figure jumps to 60 percent for sellers.
Agents and brokers can send out as many or as few postcards as they would like. The postcards will cost approximately 45 cents each, postage included, depending on how many are sent out collectively. The price can drop by another 15 percent if the agent or broker opts to take advantage of a co-op with Movement Mortgage, which simply requires including the company’s logo and disclaimer on the reverse of the postcard.
The last mailing of 2015 has a holiday message, and the 2016 postcards will begin mailing out in January. Look for reminders toward the end of the year. If you did not participate in the program this year, get prepared for next year by uploading your contacts into the OMS. If you have any questions, please contact us at support.
Online marketing may be growing in popularity, but, especially in real estate, old-fashioned, on-the-ground marketing is still powerful. It helps you to be seen and interact with your people in your community and enables you to build relationships with them face to face.
A few of our offices have recently implemented marketing tactics that increase their visibility in their markets.
Help-U-Sell Conejo Valley wrapped a moving truck with their logo, contact information, and marketing messages. The truck is available for their clients’ use, and when it’s not helping someone move, it’s parked strategically for high impact.
Help-U-Sell Dream Homes set up a tent in its parking lot in front of a popular car wash to be able to introduce themselves to potential clients and answer questions about how the brokerage can save sellers money and help buyers secure a mortgage.
Help-U-Sell Options Unlimited has increased its brand awareness in its hometown of Terre Haute, Ind., by marching in the city’s annual Labor Day parade. Read more about it here.
Other offices have wrapped their vehicles and sponsored children’s sports teams. What have you done to get the attention of your potential clients?
Whether you are planning to expand into new markets this year or you’re a new office, we have created a new postcard for you to announce your debut in an area. The “Now in Your Neighborhood” design is available through our print vendor Excel Printing & Mailing.
The postcard can be customized in almost every aspect, from images to message. Tailor it to fit your climate, your target clients, and your office.
The new postcard is available as an EDDM (every door direct mail) item, so you can target a specific area to receive the mailing. Excel Printing & Mailing has set up a co-op for Help-U-Sell Real Estate franchisees to enable a lower cost per piece. The postcards, with postage and shipping, are only $0.28 each.
Once you’ve logged into Excel’s site, you will click on Office Co-Op to see all six of the available designs, customize them, and place your order. The co-op ends Mon., Jan. 19.
Be sure to order enough postcards for the next three months. The next co-op for EDDMs will start in April.