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Real Estate Leads on Craigslist: Announcing the AIDA Formula

AIDA: Attention. Interest. Desire. Action.

It’s a very old ad formula that’s made hundreds of advertisers and copywriters the golden boys and girls of business. And it’s perhaps the most effective tool, or framework, you can use in real estate marketing.

In fact, with a simple little tweak, it could be a very potent inbound lead generation strategy for you over the next year.

I know this for a fact.

Since the beginning of the year I’ve been systematically testing this formula on Craigslist–and the results have been outstanding.

AIDA: What Is It?

First things first: What is AIDA?

AIDA is a simple formula that guides you down a step-by-step path to writing compelling and powerful ads. In a nutshell, you simply attract attention, capture interest, provoke desire and ask for action.

Attract Their Attention

What makes your audience tick?

That’s the #1 question you have to answer, especially when clutter, media and noise dominate our culture. You need to find their hot buttons, pleasure boxes, value ranges. You need to be specific, enticing, dramatic and bold.

Fortunately, inside Craigslist’s real estate listings, you don’t have much competition. I mean, really: Browse the top 100 listings for the day and you’ll fall asleep. Posting after posting of boring, eye-twittering copy.

However, with a minimal investment of ten minutes, you can create a post that people simply can’t turn away from. More importantly, a post that will bring you quality inbound lead calls.

So, how do you demand attention?

Ask yourself, “What’s the most beneficial promise my subject line can make to the reader? Is it compelling, unique and powerful? Or is it easily dismissible? Will it stand out?”

One of my favorite examples of a headline that rivets eyeballs to the screen:

“Ferrari-driving, High Tech Recluse to Sell Westgate Hideaway: it’s on 2 lots and has a 5.5 car garage”

Here’s another great headline.

Capture Their Interest

Now, once you’ve got their attention, here’s what you do next: Satisfy their curiosity and give them what  you promised.

In the example above, ask them if they are a ready to buckle up for a ride through a sensational home with an astounding story to tell.

Then tell them how the home will sooth their housing pain or satisfy their housing pleasure. Really stroke that ego. If you don’t, they’ll go away.

And by the way: don’t just give them the price without teasing them with it in the ad. Ever. I’ll explain how in a minute.

Provoke Desire

At this point you need to build a strong desire for the home.

Paint a picture of bliss, ease, prestige, pleasure. Tell a real-life story that causes something to stir within their hearts. Something that touches their deepest fears and desires.

Furthermore, make everything you write unique, useful, urgent and ultra-specific. But don’t cross the line: Overstate, and you’ll blow your credibility.

Call to Action

What is the most-overlooked element of advertising?

Unfortunately, it’s the call-to-action.

Too many people either neglect asking for action or simply tag “call or visit today” as an afterthought to their ad. Wrong.

If you want action, you have to direct your reader to the next step. This is the point where all your hard work pays off.

Here’s the little gem I used to make my real estate posting on Craigslist light up my cell phone with 57 leads in 48 days on 1 listing:

Automated Information – 24 Hours
Call or Text 1-800-959-6550 ext. 1000

The call-to-action is the most important part of your posting. It’s an essential piece you cannot forget. Neglect it, and you’ve wasted your investment.

Proof That It Works

Think back to an ad that you found irresistible. One that compelled you to lose sleep until you acted. Likely that was AIDA in action.

Any ad that persuades and charms you into action probably owes its success to AIDA. This holds true for real estate listings on Craigslist. My testing and experiences are proof that it does.

Why Should You Tease Prospects with the Price?

Well, if you didn’t figure it out already, teasing with the price is the bone-weary, panting fox hunted by a relentless pack of baying hounds. It’s what creates the hot pursuit after your listing.

To conclude, inside your ad write a line of copy that says “Due to changing market conditions, for current up-to-the-minute pricing call or text our 24-hour automated information line. Again, for current pricing call 1-800-959-6550 ext 1000 anytime 24 hours.” Something along that line.

And I promise you: this call-to-action tweak is the number one strategy to trigger a significant flow of inbound lead calls for you.

By the way, Let me know what you think. I’m curious to hear if anyone else has a Craigslist success story to share.

“Why Should I List with You?” [This is Crazy Effective]

Imagine your next listing appointment…

…it’s an awesome home.

…the sellers are highly motivated.

…and this listing would be a huge win for you, because it’s right in the heart of an area where you’d like to become the dominant player.

The sellers are cordial.

They show you around.

…and then they drop the bomb!

They inform you they’ve been talking with the top agent in your market.

The husband turns to you and asks, “So why should I list with you, over Bob Smith, who’s the top agent in this market?”

So What’s Your Response?

Are you fired up?

Are you filled with anticipation?

…just chomping at the bit to compete nose-to-nose with Mr. or Ms. #1?

…or are you thinking, “DAMN…why am I even here?”

Interestingly, the second response is what our clients inspire in other agents.

Quite often, when other agents find out they’re competing with a client of ours, they just cancel the appointment and don’t even bother trying to compete.

Granted, these agents have built a killer reputation that causes other agents to just cave in and walk away.

That type of reputation can sometimes take years to develop.

However, we hear stories all the time from new clients who don’t have that type of reputation yet, who are winning listings away from other top agents consistently. And…

It’s Not a Fluke!

…or some inside relationship that’s doing it either.

It’s a very well-rehearsed presentation that clearly articulates (and demonstrates) our client’s Unique Selling Proposition, or USP.

It’s a presentation that, in very clear terms, shows sellers how and why our agent has a unique advantage that other agents can’t match.

When asked the question, “Why should I list with you?” our agents light up with excitement and can’t wait to show sellers what they’ve got.

It’s a marketing system and process that pinpoint targets the sellers’ “most important potential buyers.”

It’s a system less than 1 in 100 agents in your market have access to.

And it’s a system, where even the 1 in 100 with something “sort of like this”…those agents don’t have the slightest clue how to present it…NO CLUE!

So It’s Truly Unique!

…because no other agent can match the impact you create with your sellers.

Everyone else is presenting in a passive way.

They’re telling the sellers things…and showing them things.

Our clients actually get sellers physically involved in their presentation…in a way that actually demonstrates their value to the sellers.

This process is a little bit like a “stage production” because it has…

…a “screen play”

…a “main character”

…and your surprising “star moment” that builds and creates a very real emotional impact on your sellers.

These are the elements that slice through all the noise in your market and…

It Makes You Memorable!

Would you like to know how can you replicate it?

Listen to this short recording and imagine using this approach in your next listing appointment.



I guarantee you it will help you seal the deal!

Talk soon,
Gary

How to Generate an Extra 3-5 Quality Listing Leads a Week Using This Simple Strategy

Would you rather be competing with 1,000’s of agents in your area…or zero?

Simple answer, right?

It’s a lot easier to get a prospect’s attention, stimulate interest, build desire, and then prompt action if you’re the only agent the prospect is seeing, right?

The major challenge with virtually every marketing source you’re using to find and generate listing leads is…

All Your Competitors Are Too!

Virtually all your competitors are doing the exact same things!

…Facebook, Google PPC, Retargeting Ads, you name it!

With any of those sources you better have deep pockets and be a positively brilliant direct marketer to have any hope.

Anymore, those sources are getting so over-crowded, that you’ve got to be a world class copywriter to have any chance of cutting through all that noise.

In fact, the “advertising noise” is getting so loud it’s like you’re trying to have a conversation at a rock concert!

So with all the noise blasted at prospects 24/7 by all your competitors…

What’s Your Edge?

If Facebook, Google PPC, Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com are all so over-crowded and the noise is deafening…what’s your plan for how to get real estate listings and slice through all that noise to actually compete?

Frankly, I’m a fairly good copywriter, and I’ve sold over 26,000 agents our services using direct marketing sales copy, but what agents are facing in all these sources is pretty intimidating.

You can spend thousands, and even tens of thousands of dollars online and come up with a complete goose egg.

Agents are constantly telling me things like, “I’m spending $2,000…$3,000…even $4,000 a month or more for Google PPC, Facebook ads, and other online lead sources…and I’m barely breaking even.”

…the crazy part is agents saying that are the better examples.

Most of the agents I talk to are bleeding badly from those sources.

So how do you fix it…

Use the Original Walmart Strategy

In the early days of Walmart, Sam Walton made a strategic decision to “go where the competition isn’t.”

Now obviously Walmart is everywhere today, but in the early days of the company their biggest strategic advantage was building stores in small underserved markets.

That laid the foundation for massive future growth.

Well I encourage you to use a similar strategy. I call it…

“When the Crowd Zigs…You Want to Zag!

A perfect example is a strategy our agents are using to target baby boomers in…(drumroll please)…small local newspapers!

Yes…newspapers!

I know, I know.

Everyone else says, “Print is Dead!”…

Well for millennials, who make up 18% of all homes sellers, it might be dead.

However, for baby boomers who make up 54% of the all home sellers it’s alive and well. Boomers will pick up those “throw-away” newspapers in the morning, grab a cup of coffee and browse for 5-10-15 minutes.

Then, when that potential listing prospect sees our agent’s ad, there’s no competition…it’s the only one of its kind.

Our agent has effectively, “gone where the competition isn’t.”

There’s No Competition WhatsoeverNONE!

However, what’s every bit as important as “having no competition” is effectively targeting potential home sellers and getting them to actually pick up their phones and call you.

That’s the key, and to accomplish that it’s a three step process…

Step #1 – ZAG!

The crowd is zigging, overusing Facebook, Google PPC, and other extremely expensive channels that are all getting overrun with competition. So…

You ZAG and “go where the competition isn’t,” like Walmart in the early days.

Step #2 – Target Home Seller’s with a Headline that “Calls Out to Them!”

Once you get in front of a potential seller, through sources your competitors aren’t using, you have to be skillful with your message.

You can’t simply pound your chest with things like, “I’m #1” or “Multi-Million-Dollar Producer” or my personal favorite…

“I Need Listings”

Really?

You Need Listings?

If I’m a seller…should I actually care that you need listings?

If I’m a seller…am I supposed to have a concern about what “you need”?

No…not really…unless maybe I’m your mom!

Other than that, sellers don’t give a rat’s fanny what a real estate agent needs!

All they care about is, “What can you do for me?”

…how can you help me sell my home for the most money

…in the least amount of time

…and with the fewest hassles and frustrations possible?

That’s all sellers care about!

What you need is of ZERO interest to them!

So keep your ad copy focused on them because…

IT’S ALL ABOUT THEM!

For example, here’s a headline from an ad in one of our listing lead generation action plans that works with amazing consistency.

“11 Things You Need to Know to Pass Your Next Home Inspection”

Now think about it…

Who would respond to this ad?

Who would care about passing a home inspection?

Yep.

You got it.

The person responding this ad is thinking about the selling process.

So you’ve effectively “called out” to that person…now what?

Step 3 – Build Interest, Desire and Then Prompt Action

This is where the rubber really meets the road, because you can get attention, but if you don’t lead them to respond to you…you’ve got nothing!

So here’s where your ad copy has to grab them by the collar and sit them straight up in their chair.

You’ve got to take that tiny spark of Attention you just generated with your headline and lead them through the Interest, Desire, and Action phases of the real estate lead generation sequence.

You ‘ve got to build up their interest, intensify their desire and have them wanting your solution so badly, that they’re willing to pick up the phone and call for an “automated message” to get their free copy of your “special free report” that explains everything.

Yes, this approach has been around for years.

Yes, it’s somewhat “old school.”

…and yes, if you ask 20 other agents about this right now, 19 out of 20 will tell you it doesn’t work.

However, I Can Tell You…

Right now in August of 2017…they’re wrong.

We’ve got agents generating good quality seller leads every single day.

What’s even better, is I’ve got some who are actually doing it for free.

Yes…FREE!

I discovered it just a few months ago, when I client of ours in an extremely hot market, told me about a simple little test he did in a Penny Saver!

Whoa!?!?!?

A Penny Saver?

I thought those things were gone!

I didn’t know those free papers even existed anymore.

That’s when he told me, “I’ve been averaging 3-5 listing leads a week using Penny Savers”…

HOLY SMOKES!!!

All I could think was, “You’ve got to be kidding, really?”

That’s when he further confirmed and said, “Yeah, I’ve been running this ad for over 3 months and it keeps working. About half the leads don’t pan-out, but the other half have turned into eight sold listings and counting.”

Yeah, my response was probably about the same as yours…

I Was Stunned!

…but it’s true.

It’s pulling in free seller leads for this guy.

Since then I’ve shared it with a small group of agents, and each one who’s found a Penny Saver has had similar success.

One last thing though, not everyone has access to a Penny Saver.

Those types of papers are a dying breed.

However, while they last I’d recommend getting all you can from them.

The other, more sustainable lead source, is the small throw-away papers that survive through paid advertising.

If you have a paper like that in your market, you can run advertorial type ads successfully if you have:

  • A proven direct response ad
  • You negotiate a reasonable ad rate
  • You get the “jump page” upper right corner placement
  • You have a system to deliver an “automated message”
  • A well-thought-out follow up process
  • All the necessary follow up tools and resources
  • …and consistency

This simple strategy of “going where the competitors isn’t” is extremely powerful and incredibly effective…if you have all your ducks in a row.

Use Our Complete Actions Plan FREE!

If you’d like to have a complete real estate marketing action plan, with all the necessary tools and resources to deploy this strategy successfully, it’s Action Plan #6 in our training materials.

If you’re not a client, but would like to have access to this strategy, sign up for our 14-day free trial where you can download everything you need to execute this strategy flawlessly.

No Strings Attached…

It’s a full-fledged 14-day free trial where you can download all our training, and it’s yours to keep forever, whether you continue on with us, or not.

It’s our view, that if you see all we offer, you’re going to want to stick around.

However, even on the outside chance you don’t want to stay with our service, again all those resources are yours to keep and use for as long as you like.

So, get signed up and let’s ramp up this simple listing lead generation strategy, and help you generate 3-5 solid listing leads a week from sources your competitors are completely ignoring!

…and here’s to your success!

10 Must-Read Posts on Great Real Estate Listing Ideas

Like I mentioned on New Year’s Day, I’ve started a short 4-part series on the four critical areas of real estate success: sales, prospecting, listing and negotiating.

Each post is made up of 10 must-reads from the past year or two. This is some of our best material for each topic, intended to help you kick butt in 2012.

Today, great real estate listing ideas.

All ten articles in today’s post will probably take you about 30 minutes to read altogether, so when you are ready to read, sit back, relax and absorb as much of the material as you possibly can, because as I’ve said before, deliberate practice will  make you a master.

Enjoy!

10 Must-Read Posts on Great Real Estate Listing Ideas

The Secret to Making a Living Off of Expireds

Tell me if you see yourself in this scenario: you’re scanning the MLS for expired listings. You find more than 20. It’s a good day. You then grab the phone and start dialling. If that’s you, then you’re not alone. Unfortunately, it’s a huge waste of time. Here’s why. Read more.

Lure Buyers in Without Lowering the Price

While necessary [and something, by the way, you can do near pain-free with this method], price reductions are no fun for your clients. That’s money they lose and you lose. Read more.

10 Effective Ways to Build a Profitable Business in a Lousy Market

But what if you don’t live in one of these comeback cities? What if you live in a city that looks to suffer even more foreclosure losses? Well, one way to approach this problem is simply to attack it at it’s source… Read more.

How to Ride the Wave of Foreclosures to Your Best Year Ever

Working pre-foreclosures is less about padding your pocket and more about helping another human being. I can’t stress that enough. So, when approaching pre-foreclosures for the first time use these ideas to prove to them that you are truly their to help can save their home. Read more.

10 Home-staging Tips to Attract More Buyers

What a couple of easy tips to help you make a home look attractive to a buyer? Look no further. Read more.

How to Win (Almost) Every Listing Presentation

Long ago I believed that winning listing presentations meant having a mental toolbox full of witty comebacks, sly counter objections and a persuasive delivery that would allow me to deflect arguments, shut down concerns and steamroll the prospect into signing with me. That’s all changed. Read more.

10 Things You Don’t Want Homeowners Saying to You

With the housing market is not expected to bottom out any time soon, you could probably use a little jolt of laughter to shake the blues that’s plaguing us in this distressed economy. And after you read this top-ten list, why not share one of your own frigthening comments you’ve heard homesellers make. Read more.

My Unofficial Guide to Short Selling

Short selling is nothing new. Especially with the collapsing home market, and all. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to gather all the best ideas on short selling I can find. Read more.

Use the Problem-Agitate-Solve Formula to Sell More Homes

Pain and problems dominate us. Everyday and every hour we are constantly looking for solutions for our pain and problems. This holds true for home buyers and sellers. That’s why it’s a great idea to use the PAS formula in your sales presentations. Read more.

Social Media Matters: Selling Houses During Hard Times

Everyone knows that in today’s market, it’s not enough just to get the listing—you need to have an aggressive marketing plan. While printed flyers, signage and the basics will always have their place, we all know that over 80% of home buyers begin their search for a new home online. In fact, second only to over-priced home, no internet marketing strategy is the biggest reason homes don’t sell. That’s why you need advanced online marketing strategies–social media strategies–to help you create a compelling online presence. Read more.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

The Secret to Making a Living Off of Expireds

Tell me if you see yourself in this scenario: you’re scanning the MLS for expired listings. You find more than 20. It’s a good day.

You then grab the phone and start dialling.

Expireds Can Be Time Wasters

This is not an uncommon scene played out in real estate offices around the country. Unfortunately, chasing expireds this way is a huge time waster.

Nothing against expireds.

In fact, expireds are a great source of leads. I highly recommend agents pursue them. These are people who are motivated. They’ve demonstrated they want to sell and move.

And actually, I believe you can make a pretty good living off of expireds when you approach them the right way.

But the problem is timing.

Real estate agents often approach expireds too soon. Like the moment the expired is out of his old contract.

That’s the wrong time because hundreds of agents are knocking down that poor guy’s door. And did you know that an expired listing gets anywhere from 15 to 25 calls a day?

In that kind of environment you’re liable to get trampled, frustrated and ultimately lost in the crowd.

Expireds Probably Hate You for the Moment

And don’t forget about the feelings of the expired.

Most likely real estate agents ARE NOT one of their favorite  people. In fact, they more than likely have a sour taste in their mouth towards you. These people are upset because they did not get what they wanted: a sold home.

It’s a time when emotions run high. What you need to do is back off and wait. Let the homeowner re-group and consider his next moves.

How long should you wait? About a month.

Expireds Will Wait for You

I hear you screaming foul right now. You’re afraid the expired will be gone after waiting so long.

Nonsense.

Homes tend to stay off the market for months. And trust me: expired home owners shun and shut out agents every day. In my experience, I’ve learned that expireds are not going to fall right back into a new contract.

Besides, you won’t look like a desperate agent if you wait a month. Desperate agents are dangerous. And nobody wants to hire them.

Give it time. Let the fruit on that tree ripen. And when it’s ready, it should fall into your lap.

This does mean that you’ll need to create a database of these expired listings and engage software that reminds you when the month is up and it’s time to give them a visit. Any contact management software will do.

Your Turn

So tell me, what’s been your experience when it comes to working with expireds? Have you had luck contacting them the day their listing expires? Is 30 days too long to wait? Should agents wait longer? Let me know what you think. I look forward to your thoughts.

And if you like what you read, subscribe to the real estate marketing Blog by email or news feed.

Related Articles

Use the Problem-Agitate-Solve Formula for Killer Sales Presentations

Social Media Does Matter: Selling Houses During Hard Times

Lure Buyers in with Out Reducing the Price

Lure Buyers in WITHOUT Reducing the Price

RealityTimes.com reports that for the first time in a year fewer sellers slashed their prices. Trulia.com is the company tracking the numbers.

In the RealtyTimes.com report Trulia CEO Pete Flint said this:

Consumer engagement on Trulia remains at an all time high, but home sales have dropped nationally during the past few months because there has been a lower sense of urgency to ‘buy now’. As we get closer to the government incentives running out, we expect price reductions to increase as sellers begin to feel the pressure to lure buyers in, in advance of the tax credit expiration.

It’s that line “we expect price reductions to increase as sellers begin to feel the pressure to lure buyers in” I want to focus on.

Here’s what I know: While necessary [and something, by the way, you can do near pain-free with this method], price reductions are no fun for your clients.

That’s money they lose and you lose.

In fact, unmotivated sellers may simply resist the suggestion and let the home expire. You don’t want that. So how do you lure in buyers without having to drop prices? Here are a few suggestions:

10 Home Staging Tricks to Attract More Buyers

Here’s the single best piece of advice I can give you about staging homes: People are looking for things in a new home that they DON’T have in their current homes. Your job is to make the house look that way. These tips will help you.

Capitalize on This Buyer Quirck to Sell Any Home

In a slow market, a typical bidding war begins–if it begins at all–with the marketing of a slightly undervalued home. That means selecting a price that is at the low end of the expected selling price range. This may not please your seller one bit–but it may result in multiple offers. And naturally, multiple offers tend–no promise, though–to drive the selling price up.

Find Buyers in Just 25 Minutes and 25 Seconds

This is a five step plan to tackle all the leads you’ve accumulated with IVR or any other method you use…you know those leads that you haven’t called back. [Unless you work strictly work off of referrals, which is the sweet spot you want, you need to work ALL the leads you get. It will eventually lead to success. But interestingly enough, most agents who fail at IVR don’t call the leads back. It’s a shame.]

Conquer Call Reluctance Once and For All

Now the thought if calling people you don’t know makes your heart jump out of your chest…please read this post. Do it for yourself. For your career. For your family. Go for it. I know you can do it.

What about you: How do you lure buyers in without lowering the price? Is it even possible? [I argue it is because I’ve seen it happen using the above tips…but I’m curious to know what you think.]

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

Use the Problem-Agitate-Solve Formula for Killer Sales Presentations

Social Media Does Matter: Selling Houses During Hard Times

The Ultimate Real Estate Listing Presentation

10 Effective Ways to Build a Profitable Business in a Lousy Market

Seattle. San Francisco. Pittsburgh. Rochester. Memphis. Oakland. Birmingham.

What do these seven towns share in common? If you said they’re all predicted to post gains in average home price, then you are correct.

What accounts for these predictions? For places like San Francisco, a roaring comeback is expected because much of the cities inventory will have been sold.

For a city like Rochester a come back is likely since it hasn’t been burdened by toxic mortgages, has a unemployment rate below the national average and has a healthy stock of good-paying jobs.

If you’re a real estate agent in one of these cities, your future looks bright.

But what if you don’t live in one of these comeback cities? What if you live in a city that looks to suffer even more foreclosure losses?

Well, one way to approach this problem is simply to attack it at it’s source: Go after pre-foreclosures. That’s good advice.

But there’s also another way to boost your production this year: Systematically employ the 10 most effective marketing strategies for real estate agents [based upon Homegain’s survey]:

Need a Damn Good Referral System to Save Your Career? Think about it: what’s it worth to you to find and nurture a handful–say, I don’t know, 100–clients who love you to death? Referrals

Stage the Home to Attract New Buyers Want a couple of easy tips to help you make a home look attractive to a buyer? Then you’re at the right place. Featured Listings

Nine Things That Make Email Effective Despite the endless talk about social media–Twitter or Facebook, for example–-emails are still the workhorse of online prospecting. Email Campaigns

Postcards: Why Your Adverting Never Works The reason your advertising doesn’t work–whether it’s a billboard or email newsletter or postcard mailing–is simple. Postcards/Mailers

How a Cocky CEO of GE Can Make You a Better Blogger How can Jack help you in blogging? Easy. Figure out what market you can enter where you are guaranteed to be #1 or #2. Blogging

Gimpy Website? 5 Techniques to Create a Killer One Okay. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you’re a real estate agent, you probably have a website. The question is, is it any good? Hm.

Why I Use Twitter [It’s for the Cocktails, Stupid!] But let’s get one thing straight: I don’t have any delusions on what Twitter can accomplish. So what can you hope to get out of Twitter? Good question. Social Media

Social Media Matters: Selling Houses During Hard Times Second only to over-priced home, no internet marketing strategy is the biggest reason homes don’t sell. Here’s how to change that. Social Media

How to Make Emotion Your Most Potent Weapon Why is emotion so important to your advertising? In the end, every decision–to list, to sell, to buy, to call–boils down to how a decision makes a person feel. Let me explain. Outdoor Ads

Cheatsheet on How to Make Your Ads Stick in People’ Mind How do you create ideas that are sticky? You use these six principles found in the book Made to Stick. Print Ads

Did you find this article helpful? If so, leave a comment or subscribe to thereal estate marketing Blog by email or news feed.

How to Ride the Third Wave of Foreclosures to Your Best Year Ever

The Daily Beast tells us that a third wave of foreclosures looms. What, with unemployment expected to jump from 8.9 into the double digits, even homeowners with solid financial histories will find themselves going under.

However, while it might be raining in the front yard, it looks like the sun is trying to peek through the clouds in the back.

Maybe.

Realty Trac tells us that it’s “premature to declare victory yet” [February was a considerably slower month for foreclosures] since foreclosures were still at record highs.

In fact, 2.8 million households stood on the brink of foreclosure in 2009. That number is expected to rise to 3 million this year.

Welcome to the third wave.

What does that mean to you? Opportunities to help some people out. Before they lose their home. Yes. I’m talking about the pre-foreclosure.

Now, remember, working pre-foreclosures is less about padding your pocket and more about helping another human being.

I can’t stress that enough.

So, when approaching pre-foreclosures for the first time use these ideas to prove to them that you are truly their to help can save their home:

  • You can sell their home. Goes without saying, but some people need to be reminded.
  • You aren’t out to fleece them. Just the opposite. You want to help them save equity. Credit. Face. And you must mean it. You must have a heart. That means listening liberally and talking conservatively.
  • You are a legal expert: You know all the contracts, forms, disclosure statements backwards, frontwards, inside and out. If they did it solo–or worse, not at all–chances are high they’d miss something.
  • You are a professional: Like a doctor or lawyer, you’re an expert. You live and breathe this stuff. Ask them how many people would defend themselves in a court of law? Or, how many people feel confident performing surgery on themselves? Tell them this is your bread and butter.
  • You are a master of the market. You know the market and can price the homes competitively. Explain to them the importance of pricing right the first time and the danger of over-pricing. The last thing they want to do is waste time.
  • You are a expert on financing. You know how to pre-qualify, qualify and point prospects in the right direction for financing. But with those who want to buy pre-foreclosures, in my experience, have normally got the cash. Let them know people with ready money can buy their home.
  • You are a specialist: You can handle criticism, objections and demands objectively and professionally…a must when trying to persuade someone to buy a home that is close to foreclosure.
  • You are a negotiator. You know how to balance offers, counteroffers and negotiate contingencies that often will drive a FSBO bananas. Offer your batting average for selling homes at full asking price. If you’re good, they’ll think you’re a genius.
  • Finally, you are a network. Develop a list of the tasks that must be completed before closing, including all the inspections, insurance, permits. Then explain to them you know all the right people and could have everything arranged in an afternoon. They’ll get the point.

Listen: I think you’ll agree, if you step out there and help some good people sell their homes and save face…it will be your best year ever.

Besides, put yourself in their shoes. There’s nothing better than doing for others what you’d want them to do for you.

So tell me…have you been working pre-foreclosures? Any success? Any tips to help improve this list? I’m looking for ways to make the first encounter a lasting impression.

And if you like what you read, subscribe to the real estate marketing blog by email or news feed.

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10 Homestaging Tips to Attract More Buyers

What a couple of easy tips to help you make a home look attractive to a buyer? Then you’re at the right place.

Understand, most buyers are looking for things in a new home that they DON’T have in their current homes.

Maybe it’s nothing more than a master bedroom. Or a fireplace. Or simply space. Then again, they may be nosing around for a showcase living room…you know, a living room you’d find in a major magazine.

If you can make the whole house look that way…then you should be looking at multiple offers. Here are a few steps

1. Everything should be clean. The furniture. The window sills. The appliances. All parts of the house should pass the white glove test.

2. Simplify. Every room should be expansive and airy. No clutter. If it’s a living room, keep the sofa, coffee table and flat screen. If it’s a bedroom, keep the bed and a dresser. That’s it. Put everything else in storage.

3. Remove family photos. Nothing personal, but you never see family photos on the walls of the homes in home design magazines, do you? You only see art.

4. Borrow some great paintings and large photographs of nature or an urban region from friends and families. And decorate the walls.

5. Paint. You can work some serious magic if you paint. This is a must do. But keep it neutral.

6. Bed linens. Borrow or buy some plump, fresh linens and pillows for the beds.

7. Remove the blinds and drape over-sized curtains from poles.

8. Invest in some large rugs. Rugs are great for covering up spots and anchoring a room with some depth and color.

9. Minimize the landscaping. Too much of it and you’ll give the person who doesn’t like to landscape an excuse to put this home on the back burner. Yes, good landscaping creates great curb appeal. Too much of it, though, and you create fear in some people.

10. Buy a kick-ass cool front door. Buyers are going to spend a minute or two at your front door while the agent fumbles with the lock box. You want that first impression to growl and say, “You know you want to come in.”

Staging a home might sound like a lot of work. But it’s worth every penny. In fact, you might stage the home and not want to leave. Better yet, you might sell the home in record time. Which is what you want.

Like what you read? Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add.

And if you like what you read, subscribe to the real estate marketing Blog by email or news feed.

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10 Things You Don’t Want Homeowners to Say to You

With the housing market not expected to bottom out until mid-2010, you could probably use a little jolt of laughter to shake the blues that’s plaguing us in this distressed economy.

And after you read this top-ten list, why not share one of your own frigthening comments you’ve heard homesellers make.

1. “This House Pretty Much Survived the Explosion.”

Yes, houses do blow up. Some by gas. Some by fires. Others by meth labs. It’s that last one that should raise a red flag.

2. “The Neighbor Was Released from Prison Yesterday”

Your response to this question should be, “Oh, so…what did he do?” Even if it runs along the gamut of white-collar crime [you know, embezzlement or extortion or tax evasion], nobody wants to live next door to a criminal. Be careful.

3. “Cars Only Drive Fast Down This Road in the Evening”

The operative word, of course, is ONLY. The rest of the time the road is mild. Perhaps there’s the rare Monte Carlo that zips down the road and doesn’t make the turn and ends up in your yard…but no worries. That ONLY happens once a year.

4. “Those Homeowners Back There Just Sold to a Guy Who’s Going to Build Some Apartments”

Hear that sound? It’s the sound of property values dropping. Fast. Run. For. Your. Life.

5. “The Basement Gets Damp When It Rains”

Translated: “Water levels reach about to my knees when it rains…but it’s all gone within a day or two.”

6.  “I Think Somebody Died in the Bathroom”

Drug overdose? Murder? Natural death? Help me here. HOW they died is just as important as THAT they died. Though the creepy factor still remains.

7. “My Husband Got Busted Growing Pot in That Room”

The follow up statement from the homeowner might resemble a fumbling recovery, something like, “My eyes. My eyes. I have really bad cataracts. The marijuana helped me…not that I smoke it any more.”

8. “Michael Jackson Was Born Here”

Or, insert any famous, historical person. If that’s the case, you’re likely to get a lot of unwelcomed visitors pausing in front of the house to take pictures or snooping in the backyard or peeping through a window. At least that’s what a potential buyer is probably thinking.

9. “You’ll Be Close to the Airport”

Wonderful, if you’re a commercial pilot. Everyone else, welcome to Camp Insomnia.

10. “Sure, The House Is Settling a Little”

Will it settle more? Maybe. Maybe not. Are you certain about everything in life? Have a little fun. Live large. Take life by the horns. Seize the day. Live over abandoned mine shafts. Besides, it’s a great topic for cocktail conversations.

So, got any juicy zingers homesellers floated your way? Please, share. And if you haven’t already, check out R. U. Darby’s gold mine story. And see what it means to you and your real estate career.

And if you like what you read, subscribe to the real estate marketing blog by email or news feed.

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