4 Strategies to Improve Your Email Open Rates in 2019

What good is the content of an email if no one opens it? If you are dedicating time and effort into creating valuable email marketing campaigns, but finding that your emails have a low open rate, you may want to rethink how you are approaching the creation and distribution of your emails. Here are six strategies that can help you improve your email open rates in 2019.

Fix Your Subject Line

Think of the subject line as a first impression. It is the first thing the recipient sees and it helps them determine whether or not they are going to open the email. Many people will open an email solely based on the subject line. By being honest with your readers about what the topic of the email is within the subject line, you will increase your open rates. Be creative, but concise and don’t lure recipients in under false pretenses with misleading subject lines. The shorter the subject line, the better. Don’t use capital letters or a lot of punctuation.

Be Timely

Timeliness is a big factor in whether an email will be opened. If someone signs up to receive your newsletters in October and they don’t see anything from you until March, your open rates will not be very high. By sending an automated “Thank you” email or a “here is what you can expect from my newsletters/emails” message, you can ensure higher open rates. Set a schedule and keep it consistent. Use testing to see what send times your emails have higher open rates for.

Be Personable

The biggest way to increase your open rate is to be real and be human. People are far more likely to open an email that is from someone they have a personal connection with. Never send emails from a generic email address and try to personalize the content as much as possible. Spam filters are much more likely to see an email from a business as spam than from a person. If your email comes from a person and not a business, it has a much higher chance of being opened.

Don’t Purchase Email Lists

This is a given. You are practically asking for your email to be sent to a Spam folder if you purchase an email list. Open rates are always low and bounce is always high in these situations. This isn’t worth the risk. If you are looking to increase open rates, you need genuine subscribers. Add a subscribe form to your website and your email signature. You should also consider sifting through your email list and eliminating old email addresses or duplicates and removing inactive subscribers.

Recap

A great subject line, sending the emails out at a prime time, sending to genuine subscriber lists and including personable content can help increase open rates. Since email marketing is one of the top forms of marketing in today’s world, as a real estate agent, you need to be utilizing all it has to offer your business.

5 Mistakes All Agents Are Making on Social Media

Social media is a powerful force in the modern world. Statista estimates that by the end of this year, over 2.7 billion people will be using some form of social media. With this much opportunity, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be taking advantage of a free and built-in audience for your real estate business, just make sure you are avoiding these five mistakes.

Not Engaging

Social media is built for interaction. It gives you as an agent the opportunity to directly interact with your clients and prospects in a professional but casual manner. The goal of a social media post isn’t to just send out info, but to get people to engage with it. If people are commenting on your posts, you need to make sure you are responding so that your prospects and clients don’t feel neglected. Make sure your responses are timely and informative.

Bad Branding

If you choose to use multiple different social media platforms, you want to make sure you are branding yourself appropriately and consistently across all platforms. Simple things like using the same username or profile photo can go a long way in keeping your profiles in sync. When prospects see you on multiple platforms, you will give your brand a larger presence in their mind.

While you want to instill consistent branding, you also want to make sure your content is adhering to the different types of audiences on each. For example, LinkedIn is very professional, whereas Twitter is more conversational and casual.

Only Posting Listings

One of the quickest ways to lose business is to only post your listings or your deals. These types of posts can bore your audience if that is all they see from you. It is perfectly fine to pepper in listings every now and then but don’t make it the sole focus of your social media content. Try to only post unique listings and keep it to once a week.

Having Outdated Information

Social media is a platform for you to provide info about yourself, your business, your services and what sets you apart from your competitors. A half-written LinkedIn profile can deter people from wanting to connect with you or engage with you. A Twitter profile with no profile photo will not do you any favors in trying to gain followers. Try to update your profiles as often as you can so that your information is always fresh and your audience knows that you are active.

Never Posting

If you are on social media, but you don’t post content, you are going to quickly fade into the background and may even find yourself being forgotten. Find a healthy balance and try to post at least 2 times a week to stay relevant. Find solid articles that potential homebuyers may find valuable or comment on others’ posts and start a conversation. After all, that is what social media is for — to spark conversation and keep us all connected.

 

Update Your LinkedIn Profile With These 5 Steps

LinkedIn is a hub of business professionals. It’s a prospecting tool, a way to stay on your clients’ radar and a place to share content to establish yourself as a thought leader. The key to utilizing all that LinkedIn has to offer is by keeping your profile fresh and as up to date as possible. Here are five steps to keeping your LinkedIn profile updated.

Have a Current Headshot

An old headshot will hurt you more than it will help you in the digital world of LinkedIn. You want connections, prospects, and clients to be able to recognize you both online and in a crowd. If you do not have a current professional headshot, make sure your LinkedIn profile photo is high resolution and professional. You don’t want to leave your profile without a photo either as this can deter people from connecting with you.

Update Responsibilities

Have you switched jobs recently or taken on a new role or title at your current job? Make sure your current job responsibilities are completely up to date so that connections know your current role. Things like your title, company, responsibilities, and location should all be updated. This is one of the first things people will look at on your profile.

Rewrite Your Headline

Your headline is the first thing people see when they look at your LinkedIn profile. Every single time you change positions or companies, LinkedIn defaults your headline to this new title. This isn’t the best way to attract new connections, so you will want to come up with an original headline that separates you from others.

Follow the Right People

LinkedIn goes far beyond your personal network. This social media platform helps you connect with people in your industry along with influencers who inspire you. Through following these influencers and leaders, your LinkedIn newsfeed will be full of knowledge, advice and plenty of content that is relative to you and your goals.

Along with following the right people, you should also follow companies you are interested in or are interested in working for or with. Having a company’s content filter through your feed can give you valuable info that you could find useful in certain professional situations.

Ask for Recommendations

LinkedIn’s recommendations are the perfect shortcut for references. Those who scroll through your profile will see all of the wonderful things others have said about the work you have done for them or with them. Take a few moments and ask a boss, colleague or current employer to write you a LinkedIn recommendation.

LinkedIn is a valuable tool for connecting with other professionals and staying at the forefront of prospects and clients minds. Carving out a few minutes a day to keep your LinkedIn profile updated and to share relevant content your network will enjoy. You never know what kind of value you may find from simply sharing articles, reaching out to other professionals in your industry and scrolling through influencers’ content.

 

Brokers: Know These 4 Things to Recruit and Retain Millennials

Millennials are the future, especially the future of real estate. Right now, millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. Brokerages are competing heavily to attract the young guns of the industry who have the tact and drive to thrive in such a fast-moving career. In order to find these rockstar professionals, brokers need to know these four things about recruiting and retaining Millennials.

Establish Your Culture

What kind of culture does your brokerage have? Do you have solid camaraderie among your professionals creating a supportive and collaborative office environment? Or maybe you have solid training and lead generating processes. These are the types of things you need to promote to the younger workforce. One of the biggest reasons millennials are attracted to brokerages is because of the culture and one of the reasons they stay is because of the work environment that is established by the culture.

A great way to establish culture is to host various events that bring the office together, such as happy hours. A laidback event that is still in a professional setting can help millennials see the culture without the pressure of a formal introduction.

Offer Career Training and Development

According to Ladders, 86% of millennials said that if they had “career training and development” through their employers, they would not leave. Presenting young brokers with plenty of opportunities to learn alongside successful real estate professionals will give your brokerage an edge above the others seeking out these millennials. For those who are entering a fast-paced industry, career training and development can be a big ticket item.

Establish Mentors

Millennials want time from their brokerage. They want to know that their employer is taking the time to nurture and mentor them in their career so that they feel comfortable venturing out on their own and performing the work to the standards of the industry’s most successful brokers. Mentorship programs can be a big attractor to millennials and through this type of established relationship, millennials will choose to stay.

Technology is Key

Millennials are some of the most tech-savvy people in the world. These young professionals will expect their brokerage to offer the same high-tech tools. They want to be able to work on the go, communicate easily and simplify business procedures. Mobility is a huge attractor for millennials. If a brokerage has outdated technology and old processes, it will be difficult to appeal to these young workers. Even if the outdated technology isn’t apparent at first, you will certainly not retain these millennials real estate professionals with old technology that has a lot of downtime.

Millennials have a lot to offer to the real estate industry. These well-educated, young workers are dedicated and driven to do what it takes to be successful in the industry. These four things can help brokerages compete for and retain the best talent out there in the generation that has over 56 million people currently in the workforce.

 

4 Things You Should Do Immediately After a Listing Presentation

So, you have just finished a listing presentation. You have spent hours preparing and planning to nail the presentation and you checked all of the boxes to ensure it was a success. What happens after the listing presentation? What is the next step?

Here are four things you should do immediately after a listing presentation.

Email Leads Hours After the Pitch

It doesn’t matter how you think the pitch went, an immediate follow-up via email is a must. You need to send a follow-up email containing the presentation information. You never know when you will earn your next client, so even if the next prospective business opportunity is on you aren’t too excited about, earning a commission is much better than not earning one.

Even if this lead turns cold after the listing presentation, they may still be able to refer you, so don’t close that door, at the very least, keep in touch with them.

Include Information You Didn’t Share During the Presentation

You should be establishing yourself as the go-to resource for all things real estate in your market, which means you need to provide a wealth of information. If you fail to do this, you will not impress or turn leads into clients. You need to quickly answer any questions your prospects have following the presentation. If sellers are looking for more comparable deals you have done for nearby homes. Give them a quick rundown of your online and offline marketing strategy.

Add Them to Your Email Drip Campaign

One easy way to stay top-of-mind is to add the client to your email drip campaign. They will then receive all of your emails and if you have testimonials and reviews in these email campaigns, you can show in a non-pushy way how you have helped your other clients achieve their real estate goals. The best referral is word of mouth, so this can be a deal maker for you if the client is iffy on whether to use you as their real estate agent.

Schedule a Reminder Follow Up

If things are trickling along and not moving as fast as you’d hope, schedule a reminder to send them a follow up comparative market analysis of their home 30, 60 and 90 days out so they can see the price fluctuations in the market. This can spark new conversations and might get the client moving faster; the key to remaining relevant without being too salesy or pushy. This is a way to get back on their radar by giving them the information they can use.

If you don’t end up winning the listing, take a step back and try to determine where you can improve. Give a mock presentation to friends, family or even colleagues for honest feedback. Maybe ask the client what you could have done better in order to earn their business and how you can make your presentation more effective. Ensure you have a solid real estate lead generation strategy so you can own every listing presentation.

6 of the Best Marketing Blogs to Keep You Inspired

It takes a conscious effort to successfully market yourself as a real estate agent. You have to know what to market, how to market and where to market. If you are looking for some inspiration, here are six of the best marketing blogs to keep you inspired. The blogs will keep you informed and inspired so you can be the top real estate agent with the best marketing strategy.

Moz

Moz is a leader and resource for learning about SEO. This blog is a hub of resources and even offers a Beginners Guide to SEO along with hundreds of Whiteboard Friday video tutorials. Moz experiments with different content types and both shows and tells visitors how great content can help power their marketing efforts. This is a great example of a marketing blog implementing video marketing.

HubSpot

HubSpot has taught so many people digital and inbound marketing via HubSpot’s blog. Between the years of daily blog content on all things marketing, hundreds of downloadable resources, free marketing courses, free tools and certification, HubSpot basically provides an entire curriculum for people to learn how to market. Every blog hits on a pain point and covers a lot of things like tech trends, marketing news, and just general business advice.

Unbounce

This is another marketing blog that offers far beyond just marketing content. This company offers a lot of effective ways to help improve landing pages and conversion rates. This can help agents get the most out of their websites in order to gain new leads. Their webinars and virtual events have a great reputation and an established community that has now evolved into an in-person conference.

Polymail

Polymail doesn’t publish as often as many other blogs, but the ones they do publish are full of information that is both inspiring and helpful to marketers and salespeople such as real estate agents. Their quality is truly top notch and everything they publish is full of useful information. Their blog is full of data-packed reports and touches on topics like how long people take to respond to business emails. Polymail assists both prospective and current users with their content and they don’t just share raw data but implement it into meaningful narratives.

RIS Media

RIS Media places a heavy focus on actionable marketing tips in their blog. You can read articles specific to real estate marketing that can guide you through things like community pages and landing pages. If you are looking for marketing advice and tips specific to real estate, this is the blog for you. This is an exceptional blog for those looking to find a real estate mentor.

Easy Agent Pro

The primary goal of Easy Agent Pro is to help people become better real estate agents. They offer actionable tips and tricks to help agents gain more business and they cover everything from real estate marketing ideas to SEO tips to keep your website at the top of the search queue.

 

A Sad But True Fact About Real Estate That Successful Agents Understand

Your marketing means nothing without focus.

Many, many agents & brokerages waste copious amounts of their money and time marketing without any focus.

“It’s just a numbers game!  Make enough calls, send enough postcards, run enough ads, and the deals will follow!”

Now, there’s nothing wrong with old school marketing techniques – cold calling, door knocking, and direct mail are tried and true ways to reach qualified prospects.

But where most agents we help have gone wrong is in marketing too broadly.

Scorched earth marketing works but in the Data Era it costs extra!

For example – John from Acme Realty and Loans decides to take massive marketing action for 2019:

He walks his farm and knocks on 100 doors a day.

Most of them aren’t even home, and 95% of those that do answer the door brush him off as fast as possible.

He’ll spend money sending everyone a postcard as well and of course he’s running Facebook ads.

You have to, right?

If there’s time, he may be able to get in some cold calling also (just have to scrub his list against the Do Not Call list first).

 

Ever feel like John?  Spinning your wheels but not really getting the desired results when it comes to your prospecting and marketing?

ProspectNow lets you quickly filter out low-quality prospects, leaving you with more time to focus on the most likely candidates in your sphere.

And it’s not just for real estate agents – lenders, insurance, and bankers all can use ProspectNow’s powerful search filters to identify deal opportunities, as well as massively enrich any existing database.

If you want to check out a FREE trial of ProspectNow for your business, its easy to get started by clicking HERE.

 

What is ProspectNow?

ProspectNow is a searchable online database made up of over 10 million commercial properties, 100 million residential properties, and 30 million businesses.

Easily find contact such as phone numbers and emails, as well as property portfolio information for:

  • Any property owner or business owner – even those behind LLCs and trusts.
  • Real Estate Investors with multiple properties
  • Absentee Owners
  • Apartment & Commercial Owners
  • Motivated Sellers

There’s also a LOT more inside and this email is starting to run long – we’ve been adding features for over 10 years now and have been described as “the best kept secret in real estate marketing.”

You can check out the entire platform for FREE.  It’s super easy, just click the button below to get started!

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6 Marketing Trends to Master Before 2019

There are countless tools and strategies to use to market yourself in the real estate industry. While there are plenty of options for marketing, there are a few that stand out among the rest. Let’s take a look at a few key marketing approaches to master before the new year.

Virtual & Augmented Reality Experiences

One of the biggest challenges with real estate marketing is that consumers want to be able to experience the home in person before engaging deeper. A host of new technologies including virtual and augmented reality are making it easier to show the property to potential buyers in a digital format. For homes in communities that have not been developed yet, real estate agents can market the properties before construction on the home even breaks ground.

Marketing Automation

Are you utilizing your CRM to its fullest? Many CRMs offer automated marketing and will automatically send emails like newsletters, etc. With the right CRM, you can automate tasks like tracking leads, running drip email campaigns and delivering targeted pieces at the right time. The good news is as more of these automated marketing platforms emerge, they will become even more powerful and cost-effective.

Advanced Social Media

Social media is a free platform that has an exponential reach. The opportunities are limitless. Social media is an effective way to market yourself, your properties and your thoughts. Post LinkedIn blogs, share valuable listings via Twitter, market your recently closed transactions via Facebook – there are countless ways to use social media to market yourself to potential and current clients.

Featured-Listing Ads

Digital platforms like Facebook & Google have evolved into pay-to-play platforms for businesses. Real estate specific channels are now beginning to follow this model. Consumers have often looked to sites like Trulia and Zillow to find properties, but now many agents are paying to list their properties prominently on other sites.

The move toward paid placements has allowed Facebook and Google to develop sophisticated tools to help real estate platforms. In 2019, making an investment in featured listings ads will give consumers access to new properties and targeting options that have not been available in the past.

Video

Video is a real estate marketing trend that really emerged in 2017. In fact, 73 percent of homeowners say that they are more likely to list with a real estate agent who offers to create a video for them. While photos are useful, they don’t offer the same exposure that a video can. A video can offer consumers neighborhood tours, overview videos the market and testimonials to build trust for potential buyers and sellers.

Drones

Drones are a unique way to market listings. For buyers, drone shots offer an opportunity to quickly look at the parameters and surrounding areas of the property. This can help market a property as a whole, including the neighborhood. This gives consumers a unique look at a home from a bird’s eye view.

ProspectNow is the most effective prospecting system in commercial real estate and can help you expand your brand online. Contact us today with any questions you may have and try out a demo to see how our software can help you boost your sales.

4 Ways to Engage Your Sphere Over the Holidays

The holidays can be a slow time for real estate. Many people don’t want to buy or sell a home during the time due to the weather and of course the hustle and bustle of all of the holidays. While this may be a slower time for real estate transactions, you should still be engaging with your sphere over the holidays.

Here are four smart ways to engage with your real estate audience over the holidays.

Holiday-themed Open House

You still have a few listings to push through the holidays, so why not make them a little bit festive? Decorate with little touches of the holiday to bring warmth to the listing and give potential buyers an idea of how cozy this future home could be around the holidays. Don’t go too overboard but bring a little bit of seasonal spirit like strategically placed candles and maybe some quick and subtle Christmas lights. You can also light the fireplace and offer Christmas cookies and apple cider.

Give Back to the Community

As a real estate agent, you are well connected to your community. If you have specific cause you would like to volunteer for or give back to during the holidays, make it known and send out a quick email invitation to have your clients and leads join you. Write a quick blog post about the charity and link the blog post in the email invite. This is a great way for clients to get to know you better and drives traffic to your website.

Winter-Themed Content

The content you push out on your blog and on your social media channels can have a little winter twist to go along with the holidays. Give tips on how to decorate for the holidays, suggest local events for the community to attend, and showcase your listings with a unique holiday-themed social media campaign or email campaign. Use images in your marketing materials that feature homes decorated for the holidays, etc. to keep the merry vibe going.

Sponsor a Local Event

Another great way to engage with your sphere is to sponsor a local event like a holiday market or fun run or really any event that you can connect with your community and sphere. Be sure to look at all of the sponsor benefits and see which events will likely cater to your targeted audience. Can you showcase your real estate services in any way? Can you list your name and agency anywhere in the event’s marketing collateral? These are things to consider when trying to choose an event.

These tips can help you stay top of mind during the busy holiday season. Consumers can be focused on holiday traditions, gifts, and food, but you can also be on their mind if you sponsor local events, push out winter-themed content, give back to your community and even host holiday-themed open houses.

ProspectNow is the most effective prospecting system in commercial real estate and can help you expand your brand online. Contact us today with any questions you may have and try out a demo to see how our software can help you boost your sales.

5 Tips Real Estate Agents Can Use to Convert Leads Via Email

Email is one of the most effective marketing tools used today. Real estate agents are using emails to connect with clients, seek out new leads, engage their audience with newsletters, promotions and information and of course, turn leads into clients. If you are struggling to convert leads via email, here are five tips you can use to boost your lead conversion.

#1. Use it to Reconnect

One of the best ways email can serve your real estate business is by helping you target pre-qualified leads. If someone visits your website and opts in with their email, their marketing efforts you put into converting this lead are more likely to pay off. Instead of assuming the prospect is not interested because they leave the site, you can now use email to remarket to the prospect, nurturing the lead and then converting them into a client.

#2. Personalize Emails

Email is so effective because there are so many opportunities to personalize the message, making it more likely that a lead will open the email. Use the prospect’s first name in the subject line to make it even more personalized. Personalized emails are 75 percent more likely to be opened and also have higher click-through rates. Not every lead is looking for the same thing, so you need to tailor the message.

#3. Keep the Message Short

Long emails will inevitably be deleted. No one has time to read through paragraphs of text. Keep the message directed, short and targeted. Use bullet points to get the message across. Try to include visuals if possible and make sure your contact info is bold and easily accessible. Don’t waste time including fluff and excess information.

#4. Send Emails at Different Times

One way to help convert leads via email is to make sure you are sending emails at the appropriate times so the lead sees it and opens it. Sending an email late at night, during lunch hours or early in the morning may send the email into a black hole. Try to test out sending emails at various times throughout the day to see when you have the best open and click-through rates.

#5. Insert Open-Ended Questions

If you want a lead to truly convert, you need to engage them in the email. Ask open-ended questions. Don’t just spout out information and expect a lead to engage with you. You have to find out as much information on the lead as you can and tailor this message by asking the right questions. If a lead feels like they are a part of a generic email campaign, they will likely read the message and delete it without reaching out further.

These tips will help you convert leads into clients via email. The biggest takeaway is to keep the email messages targeted and specific to the lead.

ProspectNow is the most effective prospecting system in commercial real estate and can help you expand your brand online. Contact us today with any questions you may have and try out a demo to see how our software can help you boost your sales.