Xpressdocs Blog

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November 2014

5 Ideas for Marketing Your Real Estate Business at the Holidays

Many real estate agents take a break from marketing during the end-of-year holidays. Business is slow. There are so many activities outside of work to keep you busy. And there’s all that holiday shopping, cooking and preparation to do.

But make no mistake: Home buyers are out there; sellers, too. In fact, this is the time of year when the people who are active in the marketplace are serious about doing a deal. So if you aren’t marketing your services at this time of year, you’re missing out on sales – quick sales with motivated clients.

Sending marketing and public relations materials at holiday time is also a great way to sow the seeds for next year’s success: Make a name for yourself now, and people will think of you first when they (or their friends) need an agent for the spring selling season.

Hold a photo contest

Want to get your Facebook, Twitter and other social media followers excited (and talking about your business)? Hold an online contest for the local home with the best holiday decorations: people can submit their own photos of decorated homes and/or vote for their favorite.

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October 2014

Five Reasons Why That Reporter Isn’t Calling You Back

You’ve sent press releases and made follow-up phone calls, but your ideas for featuring your company in news articles aren’t getting any attention. Sound familiar? Included below are the most likely reasons:

You’re targeting the wrong reporter

Reporters typically work “beats” – which means each of them covers a specific type of news issue. If you’re targeting the wrong reporter, chances are very slim that person will forward your idea to the right reporter. Sending your story idea to an editor or the general “news tips” email account means it will have to clear a number of gatekeepers before reaching the right reporter.

You could call the front office and ask which reporter covers your issue. Or, sometimes the information is listed on the news outlet’s website. But, even then, the details can be vague.

By far your best option is to monitor the publication/broadcast and see for yourself which reporter tends to cover issues/businesses like yours.

 

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Learn from the Best: Tips from the Top Marketing Gurus

College marketing professors spend their days researching which promotional techniques and strategies work, and which don’t. They’re unbiased sources of information with a deep understanding of what drives sales, referrals and bottom-line profits. So we searched out some of the collegiate world’s most respected marketing experts and gathered their best advice below:

Tip #1 – from Philip Kotler (Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management):

Stop soliciting everyone and anyone and instead identify a specific category of clients you want to acquire. Figure out what that target audience really wants, then build a reputation for doing that better than anyone else. Write articles, give speeches and send marketing materials that all position you as the best of the best in those key areas.

Tip #2 – from Jeffrey Pfeffer (Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford):

Too often, sales people view networking as something uncomfortable and inauthentic; a marketing effort cloaked in personal friendship. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Before trying to network with someone, use social media to learn as much as you can about them. Once you find something(s) you both have in common, it will be far easier to strike up an honest, heartfelt conversation that could lead to a long-lasting and productive working relationship for the both of you.

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September 2014

How to Become a Faster, Better Writer

Even if you don’t think you have much writing talent, you can always become a better writer. And even the best writers can always learn to write faster. Included below is a process that will improve anyone’s writing skills.

Give the subject some thought

Many people think a good writer can simply sit down and start typing out scintillating sentences. Not true. And if you try to do the same, you’ll most likely end up with a nasty case of writer’s block (nothing to say).

Instead, let the subject matter knock around in your head a bit. A day or two is good. Consider different ways to present the content. Focus your thoughts. Think about real-life examples. Read what others have written about the same subject.

Consider your audience

Think carefully about who’s going to be reading what you write. How much do they already know about the subject? Do they have some preconceived notions that you need to address head-on? What’s the one learning you really want them to take away? Are they naturally interested in the subject, or will you have to draw the reader in with a hook in the first sentence? How much time will they be willing to spend reading what you write?

Try to picture someone you know who personifies the reader you really want to influence. Then write with that person in mind. It’s okay if some readers aren’t going to relate to what you write. If the writing is going to be good, you need to single out those you want to really engage.

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Fall Seasonal Marketing Ideas from Xpressdocs

Have you decided on your marketing plan for the fall season? Xpressdocs seasonal marketing is a great way to connect with customers and clients because it applies to everyone in your sphere and can be done year-round. To see the full collection, log in to your Xpressdocs account and click on the Seasonal tab.

Cozy up […]

300 Million Potential Referral Resources Are Waiting to Meet You on LinkedIn

Facebook and Twitter are great tools for engaging your clients, past clients and potential clients online. But when it comes to finding referral resources and gaining their trust, that’s where LinkedIn excels. In fact, with 300 million people currently using the service, you could spend years getting to know them all.

If you haven’t already, open a LinkedIn account today (it’s free).

If you already have an account, but you’re struggling to grow your network of connections, try these tips:

Sign up for the premium version

LinkedIn is a free service. But if you pay for the premium version (it’s cheaper than you might think), you’ll gain access to the functions and features that make this a truly powerful networking tool.

Use the Find Friends feature

If you’re new to LinkedIn, the first thing you’ll want to do is click the Find Friends button in the upper right corner of the LinkedIn screen to search for old clients, friends and coworkers, current clients, friends, family members and coworkers, and accept the invitations of other LinkedIn users.

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How to Get More Attention, Be More Interesting and Close More Sales (with Your Marketing Emails)

Xpessdocs makes it super simple – and cheap – to promote your business and real estate services via email. But it’s up to you to make the content of those marketing emails interesting for your target audience.

Someone searching for a house to buy today can easily find hundreds of listings online with just a few clicks of their computer mouse. Neighborhood information, school-rankings, agent reviews, mortgage rates and buying tips are just a few more clicks away. So if you want those folks to read your marketing emails, you’ve got to provide them with something they can’t easily find elsewhere, in an engaging format.

To make your emails must-read marketing, you should …

Get the reader’s attention right away

The best way to grab your reader’s attention is to state a question, a fact, or a truly compelling benefit right off the bat. Imagine how much more interesting your marketing email would be if it started with a sentence like, “Prices for new homes are down 16% from last year!” or “Are you wondering when’s the best time to sell?” or “My client didn’t think there was any way she could sell her home for a whopping $600,000. I proved her wrong.”

Dangle a special offer […]

August 2014

Turn Your Car or Truck into a Moving Billboard (Without Embarrassing the Family)

There’s a reason why semi-trucks, city buses, delivery vans, work trucks and even some passenger cars are covered with advertising: Moving vehicles make good billboards.

But what if your work vehicle is also your family car? How can you leverage your vehicle’s advertising capability without your children – and spouse – needing massive-embarrassment therapy?

Magnetic door signs are passé

The magnetic door signs people slapped on their cars in the 1980s and 1990s are old-school. While the easy-on/easy-off nature of the signs was supposed to make it simple to switch between your work and personal lives, few people ever took them off. Then they became popular with construction contractors and lawn-mowing services. Once every beat-up work truck in the city was sporting a pair, magnetic door signs eventually came to symbolize the fly-by-night operator.

Use vinyl lettering instead

It used to be that custom, vinyl-lettered vehicle advertising was only an option for big companies. It was too expensive for independent real estate agents. But as the technology took off, the prices came down. Today, you can transform the rear window of your vehicle into a vinyl-lettered ad for about $50.

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July 2014

Why Some People Are Ignoring Your Marketing Emails

When you send a marketing email, do you assume most of the people who receive it will open it? Big mistake.

Most novice marketers don’t realize it, but you need to entice recipients into opening a marketing email. Most newbies mistakenly focus all their energy on the words and photos in the text of the email but pay little attention to one of the real keys to success: the subject line.

If you want to experience more of what email marketing experts call “opens,” you have to be creative (and smart) with your email subject lines.

Make them interesting

Think of your subject line as an advertising headline. It’s got to grab the recipient’s attention and make that person want to open and read the email. Examples include:

How to sell your house when no one is buying.

An 8-week plan to finding your dream home.

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June 2014

Use a Single Space between Sentences (and Other Grammar Tips)

There are plenty of high-achievers and successful professionals who have poor grammar. It’s not for a lack of smarts.

However, prospective clients often don’t see it that way. When they find a grammar goof in your marketing materials, sometimes that’s all the reason they need to go someplace else for their real estate services

When it comes to marketing materials, your first goal should always be to engage your target audience, put them at ease and write in a way that makes them want to keep reading. Marketing materials that are too formal and grammar-restrictive are just plain boring. But you don’t want to do anything that will embarrass you or your business.

The biggest stumbling block for non-professional writers (and even professionals) is that there are a number of different interpretations of the grammar rules. The so-called “laws of grammar” would never hold up in court. More conventions than rigid rules, they change with the times, are different in academic and professional environments, are always being updated, and are much debated among individual writers. The truth is, much of the English language is open to interpretation (“style” it’s called). Yet, every stylebook differs somewhat. Even more confounding: Most large companies have their own proprietary stylebooks.

The best strategy is to choose a style (based on a respected style guide) and use it uniformly and consistently. Consistency is the key. Most professional marketing writers use the same style guide that newspapers use (the Associated Press Stylebook), combined with a personal style guide they’ve compiled on their own.

Included below are suggestions you can use to resolve some of the more common grammar goofs.

Use single spaces between sentences

The practice of putting two spaces between sentences is a carryover from the days of typewriters and their monospaced typefaces. Including two spaces made it easier to see where one sentence ended and the next began. Computers – as well as modern-day typewriters – use proportionally spaced fonts, so only one space is required today.

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