1) Acquire email addresses from all prospects and customers.
Always work on building your network and acquiring email addresses. Ask for email addresses! Email marketing is incredibly cost-effective and effective when done right. Send email requests no more frequently than every two weeks and follow all regulatory guidelines outlined in the CAN-SPAM Act.
Key aspects of the law include:
a) Do not use false or misleading header information – you must have a valid From: address.
b) Do not use misleading subject lines – the subject of your email should relate to the content of the email.
c) Provide your recipients with an unsubscribe option – give your customers an email address or link that allows them to stop receiving email messages from you. honor their requests.
d) Identify your email as an advertisement.
2) Develop and distribute monthly e-newsletters.
E-newsletters allow you to provide your customers with valuable information on market conditions, area news, subdivision updates, industry trends, active listings, etc. Your e-newsletter should allow you to build a long-term relationship with your customer by continually delivering value-added information. You should stick to around 80% value-added information and 20% advertising. Content is king!
NOTE: If you are distributing a large number of e-mails through your company’s e-mail server or through your ISP’s e-mail server, you have limited distribution options. If you send large amounts of email, your email service provider may block your Internet access, thinking you’re spamming. You can bypass this limitation by scheduling the delivery of your e-newsletter in 15-minute increments. With SmartSerialMail you can schedule your email distribution based on a predefined schedule and send large volumes of emails over a period of time.
3) Adjust, adjust, adjust.
As I mentioned earlier, content is king! However, content alone will not win. Your content must be tailored to the interests of your customers. Divide your customers in your database by their area of interest. For example, you may deal primarily with real estate investors. Some investors may prefer to invest in single-family homes, while others may prefer to invest in multi-family homes. You should develop two separate e-newsletters with customized content for each group. You create more value for your customers, increase your advertising effectiveness and become better informed about the different product types in your real estate market.
4) Use software to stay organized.
Every day we try to achieve more in less and less time. Most people try to achieve more every day by working harder. You shouldn’t be working harder. You should work smarter to increase your productivity by taking advantage of new technologies. This is called leverage (achieving more with less effort). Specifically, you can use the calendar and contact management features in Microsoft Outlook, or purchase a customer relationship management program such as ACT or Goldmine. All these applications work very well. The key is to learn one and use it to the full. You will be more productive and successful.
5) Know your market – research and analysis.
Good market research and analysis can make you and your customers very rich. Market Research role includes: Financial Feasibility, Location/Site Analysis and Market Analysis. You should be able to identify supply and demand by product type (single family, multi-family, office, industrial, warehouse) in your market. This way you can unlock the hidden investment opportunities for your clients.
There are many companies that offer market research and analysis. You can also buy market research reports online.
6) Automate your business.
Automation is the mechanism you should strive for throughout your organization. Ask yourself, “What routine tasks do I complete every day?” Then ask yourself, “How can I automate these routine tasks to become more productive?” The answers to these questions can change the scope of your entire business!
You can use new technologies to automatically send emails based on a predefined schedule, run and distribute reports throughout your organization, and remind yourself, your team, and your clients of scheduled meetings.
7) Use a virtual office.
A virtual office allows you to work from a remote location just as effectively as from your own office. Virtual office technologies give you access to all computer files, software and resources over a secure internet connection. You can work effectively from literally anywhere in the world that has access to an internet connection.
If you have a small business (fewer than 75 employees), I recommend Microsoft Small Business Server. This server offers your company a complete solution for file/print sharing, e-mail, firewall and remote access. The cost is very affordable and can increase as your organization grows.
8) Go global.
Today we live in a global economy. The state of our economy affects the state of other countries’ economies and vice versa. Globalization can offer tremendous opportunities for real estate professionals. For example, the US dollar has fallen significantly compared to many other currencies around the world. This allows foreign investors to purchase real estate in the United States at a significant discount. In addition, the median cost of a single family home in the United States is much lower than the median cost of a single family home in many other developed countries.
You can use the internet to reach these global markets through search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and virtual meeting software. Search Engine Optimization allows your prospects from all over the world to find your website. Your prospects enter keywords (Myrtle Beach Real Estate) into a search engine like Google and your website appears on their screen. Pay-per-click advertising is a form of online advertising where you pay each time a prospect clicks on your ad. The best provider of this service is Google AdWords. Virtual meeting software allows you to give a presentation to a prospect living anywhere in the world. A virtual meeting program includes: http://www.gotomeeting.com
9) Measure advertising effectiveness.
Remember the old adage, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” That applies today more than ever. You should use technology to measure advertising effectiveness. You can use your database management system to track the effectiveness of promotions. For example, most customer relationship management programs allow you to enter your lead source for your contacts and then generate reports on the number of leads generated from each lead source.
You can also use phone billing systems to measure advertising effectiveness by tracking the number of calls made to specific numbers. You can purchase a unique phone number for each of your marketing campaigns and set up the phone number in your phone system for tracking purposes. When your prospect responds to the marketing campaign and calls the unique number, the call billing system tracks the number of calls received and gives you an accurate report of the leads generated. You can then track the prospect through the remainder of the sales cycle to determine your cost per lead, cost per sale, and overall return on your marketing campaign investment.
10) Integrate technologies.
The technologies I’ve described are very powerful individually, but when integrated, they can revolutionize your life and business. For example, you can easily learn to use a customer relationship management system and you can grow your contact database, but you have very little leverage.
The real leverage comes when you integrate your customer relationship management database with monthly e-newsletter campaigns, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, live website chat, and virtual meeting software. The combination of these technologies will dramatically increase the number of leads generated, reduce the time it takes to move the prospect through the sales cycle and provide you with a mechanism to identify the most effective marketing campaigns. Market research and analysis allow you to better serve your prospects by analyzing their needs. I encourage you to learn more about these technologies and implement them right away.
Please let me know if you would like more information on any of these technologies. We have Microsoft Certified Professionals with over 50 years of applied technology experience. We can offer you a wide range of services from online computer repair, database design, server installation, network installation, website development and search engine optimization. Please contact us today to arrange your free technology assessment.