How to turn 15 minutes of fame into instructions

Awards.

If you have ever won one you’re within your rights to claim to be an award-winning agent.
Forever.

But as all good agents who look to the future know, the more recent your award is the better.
I like awards because they give my clients plenty of PR opportunities which if used properly often result in new instructions.

And I practice what I preach. I don’t just urge my clients to enter awards I throw my hat in the ring myself.
Yesterday I found out I’ve been shortlisted in The Negotiator magazine’s Supplier of the Year – Professional Support category.

I’ll find out the result when I head up to London on October 31. But the result doesn’t matter really.

And that’s because the countdown on my 15 minutes of fame has started.

Now I don’t expect to win. I’m a small fish against some very big fishes, but, and here is a key point, I’m the only PR fish in that pool.

In much the same way that two of my clients who have been shortlisted in categories are the only agents in their areas to have been so. It’s about creating a positive point of difference when promoting it.

And here is what I’m doing to ensure being shortlisted for this award will benefit me and bring in new business.

The five steps I’m going to layout below apply to estate agents who have been shortlisted for any award so it’s not just me bragging.

1) Social media the sh*t out of the news I’ve been shortlisted – Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and I’ll blog about it. This can be done until the awards ceremony giving you weeks of potential publicity material.

2) Send a news release to the local media – I’ve already done that this morning and will feature in next week’s Brighton Argus – ‘Local business in running for national award’.

3) Update my email signature with the Shortlisted logo I’ve just been sent by the good people at The Neg.
4) Send an email about the news to my database informing them – which I’ve done by you reading this.

5) The final step is that speaking from my own experience getting shortlisted gives you an extra spring in your step and is great for morale especially when you employ people. I’m buzzing today.

I’ve already had an enquiry off the back of a Linkedin post I put up yesterday and I’ve always gained business off the back of previous short listings.

And as you know I like to share I’m happy to send you my entry form so you can see the approach I took and, with a bit of creativity, how it can be adapted when your agency goes for golds.

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry

PS: If you want to be sent the entry which got me shortlisted just ping me an email with: ‘14 minutes left’ – in the subject line.


Was it A Con Job and Why the Secret is out for Estate Agents

Just over four years ago there was a young trainee plumber in Dublin.

He was skint, hated his job, drove a clapped out old banger and his career prospects were to use how own words, ‘pretty shite’.

But he had a vision (literally as it turns out) and strange things happen.

On Saturday 26 August 2017 that young man took part in the richest fight in combat sports history.

The Notorious Conor McGregor took on and ultimately lost to Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.

It’s said McGregor will eventually bank around $100m from the fight – and that’s a conservative guess.

A lot of people hate him. They saw the fight as a farce. A con job with the punters being treated as suckers. An ugly orgy of excess and egos.

But there’s something we can ALL learn, especially estate agents, from how McGregor has achieved his meteoric rise.
I must admit that before his tangle with Mayweather I knew very little about Mr McGregor.

I knew he was Irish and flashy but that was about it.

But I got sucked into the hype. I started reading more about McGregor and his rapid ascent to becoming a world-famous millionaire was intriguing.

If you dig deeper and look beyond the trash talk and bling McGregor is a very intelligent man, with a genius for self-promotion and branding and, say it quietly, a decent bloke by most accounts.

Here’s five reasons why I think estate agents can learn from McGregor and how he’s achieved in four years more than 99.99999999 per cent of Planet Earth’s population will ever do.

1) The Secret is out – McGregor said that a best-selling book about positive thinking and something called the law of attraction changed his life. It was called The Secret. Now I’m not suggesting you run out and buy it (I watched the film on Amazon Prime) but it highlights one aspect of success in any field – You must believe in yourself. I’ve met plenty of agents who are negative about pretty much everything and, low and behold, are still struggling their arses off.

2) You never lose – of course we know by now that McGregor was comprehensively beaten by one of the greatest boxers ever in Mayweather. But McGregor describes all his losses and ‘failures’ as learning. It’s a great approach to take with marketing campaigns – if it didn’t work, learn from it and do something different based on those learnings. If it did work to win instructions do more of it – but look to improve it.

3) Obsession – He admits to being so obsessed with his fighting career that he is a little insane about it. The best agents I work with, or have worked with, are genuinely passionate about what they do. And my definition of passion is something you’d do for free because you love it so much.

4) Hard work – since his early days McGregor training (both mental and physical) regimes have been brutal. Nothing worth achieving is ever easy. You can visualise all you want but you need to put in the shifts to be a success.

5) Give it a go – McGregor, as mentioned in point 2 is always learning. Added to that he’s not afraid to give something new a shot as he proved with his bout against Mayweather. Too often I see agents dismiss marketing ideas out of hand without trying it or having any useful evidence to argue against other than ‘it’ll never work.’

Imagine if Mr McGregor had listened to all of those who told him a few years back that his vision ‘would never work.’

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry


Is Your Agency Missing out on Instructions Right Under Your Noses?

I met with an agent recently who was charm personified.

His agency is award winning, successful and expanding his office has very comfortable chairs and a proper espresso machine.

He has a system in place for pretty much everything.

Everything except for making the most out of his database – which came as a surprise to me as this guys is good.
His agency has more than 3000 names on its database built over five years.

That’s a bloody big bundle of potential clients. Sure there’s a percentage of duds but trust me (he did) there’s money in that list.

To cut to the chase we agreed on a way of making the most of his database in a systemised and thoughtful way.

Here’s how I advise my clients on how to turn a list of email addresses into a steady stream of enquiries, valuations and ultimately instructions.

1) Have a compelling reason for someone to part with their email address. ‘Sign up for regular updates’ is a little lame. Offer a useful guide of some sort. For example – How to get your home ready for a successful sale and / or A landlord’s guide to lettings without the pain.

2) Once you’ve earned their email address, respect it. By that I mean don’t bombard them with sales info. Which leads me on to the next point – and it is a very important point.

3) Have a plan to send a weekly email that does a lot more telling than selling. Think of what problems you can solve for the reader and how you can share your expertise with them to make their lives easier. Once a month simply ain’t enough – once a quarter – forget about it.

4) Stick to that weekly plan and have a set time when the email will be sent out. For those of you who have signed up to Peter Knight’s excellent emails on agency excellence you’ll know that when you open up your emails after 7am on a Monday his thoughts / ideas for the week await you.

5) It takes time. Don’t expect instant miracles. But I’ve seen with EVERY client that has an email marketing system that it pays big, inexpensive dividends.

6) End every email with a call to action – offer to help the reader with any property related questions. Be seen to be helpful.

7) And don’t worry about people unsubscribing from your emails – it happens all the time for a myriad of reasons. Think of useful email updates you’re signed up for – if they help you and entertain do you unsubscribe?

For me this kind of marketing is the best value for money over the course of 6-12 months and is also highly trackable.

I follow an agent along the south coast, let’s call him SA (he reads these emails, he’ll know who he is).
He sends out weekly emails filled with interesting, useful and handy information and property news.

If I lived in his patch and I was selling he’d definitely be on my list to call in for a valuation as, although I’ve never met him I feel like I know, like and trust him from his email updates. That gives him a huge head start in the battle for the instructions.

There’s also something absolutely devilishly brilliant about producing weekly engagement emails that will 100 per cent, guaranteed, without doubt, cast iron, no questions, make you and your agency stand out head and toes from your rivals.

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry

PS: I practice what I preach and send out a weekly email to estate agents and over the course of a year it’s worth on average £1200 a month to me.

For an agency this approach would be even more valuable. Drop me an email – Jerry@propertyprexpert.co.uk and I’ll tell you about a great way of making email marketing a lot, lot easier and more affordable


Getting instruction winning articles and Save £549

Regular readers of my blog will know that I like to practice what I preach and stay in touch with you guys.

I do that through these weekly emails. You should, if you are not already, be doing the same and keeping in the mind’s eye of your audience.

Also, I hope you feel my regular emails offer enough advice, tips and value, that the very occasional sales message isn’t an intrusion on your valuable time.

And talking of time I’ve got something that can save you time and money.

The weather this summer hasn’t been the best has it? So, I thought I’d try and cheer people up with a special offer.

I’m having a flash 48-hour sale (ends Friday 2pm) where for just £250 (+ VAT) you can receive all 60 of my pre-written, instruction winning articles to send to your database.

The BIG bundle is usually charged at £799+VAT so you’ll be saving £549 if you act quickly.

How long would it take you or a team member to write articles? This way you’re getting an award-winning journalist to do it for you for a tiny fee?

Why so cheap?

I could say it’s an end of line offer, or a scratch and dent sale – but frankly that’d be poppycock. I’ve got a VAT bill looming and have spent too much money on bicycle stuff. Hence the sale. Needs must etc.

But still it’s incredible value and is quality content which is fully guaranteed. It works out at just over £4.15 an article – madness.

Why EA Articles are worth it?

The packs contain 60 professionally written and copyrighted articles all on subjects your potential clients find interesting. If you were to run one article a week you’d be sorted for more than 14 months!

Also, it’s postcode exclusive it – when you buy it – your rivals can’t. Guaranteed.

If you want to have a look before you decide on whether to buy simply send me an email at:

Jerry@propertyprexpert.co.uk with your agency’s postcodes (so I can check it’s not already gone to a rival).

I’ll then send you a Dropbox link giving you access to all the articles so you can see if they are for you.
Thanks for reading and this offer will really help you win more instructions.

Jerry

PS: Kyle Clark from Daniels Estate Agents in NW10 has said this about the EA Articles: “We have invested in an email marketing system covering all our branches but didn’t have regular content to share. Jerry’s articles are the perfect way to do it and it’s incredibly affordable when compared to alternatives. And our rivals don’t have access to it.”


The ONE thing that your estate agency’s marketing MUST have now

I’ve just come back from the wilderness.

Well our first family camping trip to a very well-equipped campsite in Dorset.

It was less painful than I thought it would be to be fair.

But more expensive than I had originally planned.

However, the whole outdoor experience cemented in my mind the one thing estate agents should be bringing to the top of their marketing mix.

Let me explain.

A month ago we needed a new tent. And my knowledge of camping, tents, inflatable sofas etc was zero.
I was the proverbial blank canvas looking for temporary family accommodation.

Like many ‘house hunters’ we looked online first.

So, we fired up the Google machine on the inter web and tapped in ‘Family tent for six’ (there’s only three of us but Mrs L wanted extra space).

There was loads of companies offering loads of different options.

But the ones that caught our eyes offered videos explaining the differences in the types of tents.

The best example was a company called Go Outdoors which obviously has video marketing at the forefront of its marketing efforts. Clever.

They have lots of videos covering the many different aspects of camping and outdoor holidaying.

Not just videos explaining about tents but plenty of how to mini films.

How to put one up. How to take one down. Top tips for people new to camping. What to bring and even how to make a kid friendly camp set up.

Go Outdoors were offering me not just products but much needed help and showing off their expertise.

This sealed the deal and we bought a package from them – even though it wasn’t the cheapest advertised.

So why pay more?

Isn’t that the big question online agents are asking the public about traditional agencies?

We paid more for our portable abode because Go Outdoors had establish the value of their company in our mind. Their videos included staff members who seemed nice and knowledgeable.

They showed why buying from them was worth that little bit extra. It felt like a safe bet.

I’m hoping you can see the parallels with estate agency.

But if not, here they are.

Video is THE best tool to win the attention of modern homeowners.

And not only to market homes you’ve been instructed to sell or rent.

For many buying and selling home is stressful and confusing.

Video is THE best way of showing your agency knows its stuff and alleviate that stress and win homeowner confidence.

I advised a client recently and helped script and film videos for a range of ‘How to’ short films (two to three minutes long).

Subjects included:

How to present your home for sale – How to declutter – What to look for in a good estate agent – Conveyancing – What a good estate agent does.

These will help the agency stand out from the crowd and establish their value in punters’ minds.

So, whether it’s six berth tents or three bed terraced houses you’re selling using marketing and helpful videos is THE thing you should be adding to your marketing mix and including in your advertising budgets.

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry

PS: Now’s a good time to buy a tent as it’s nearing the end of season. And now’s a great time to buy my Email Article Bundle – 60 articles written by me for agencies to use to entertain, inform and educate their audiences. Clearance price £399+VAT – Ping me an email with your postcode to see if your patch is still available.


How would Usain Bolt react to losing out on an instruction?

The curtain has drawn on the individual career of the greatest sprinter of all time.

Usain Bolt lost out to in Saturday’s 100m race at the London World Athletic Championships.

Bolt may have tasted a very rare defeat but he showed us another side of his brilliant personality and attitude.

Just seconds after losing he embraced the winner (I’m sorry I can’t bring myself to name here as he’s a double dope cheat -get caught once? Ok you’re human you make mistakes – twice? Really?).

Bolt offered words of congratulations to the winner.

And in his post-race interview was gracious, honest and left us all in no doubt that not only is he an incredibly gifted sportsman but he knows how to handle something that for him is a rarity – losing.

So, let’s use our imagination and put Bolt in a suit, give him a nice leather looking folder full of comparable property prices and marketing stuff, and send him out on a valuation.

And let’s say he tries his best but finds out he didn’t get the instruction. And to make matters worse his rival across the road who overvalues won it.

How do you think he would handle it?

I don’t think he’d throw a strop.

I can’t see someone of his calibre calling the vendor’s decision into doubt.

However, I could imagine him wishing the vendor luck and thanking them for the opportunity.

And in that last sentence my instruction winning friends is this week’s blog’s main message.

What’s your policy and procedure for when you lose out on a valuation?

Do you send a letter thanking the vendor for their time, consideration and the opportunity to value their property?

Do you offer them help with ‘any advice you need or questions you may have in the future’ to keep the door open?

This shows class. A professional approach. A lasting positive memory.

In ‘defeat’ you may just make the vendor question their decision and put you in the running should things change.

So, farewell and thank you to Usain Bolt – I’m sure we won’t see his like for a very long time.

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry


My Dream Estate Agent – In Six Simple Steps

Mrs L and I were talking at the weekend.

It happens from time to time. Especially when our internet is down.

The central subject of our conversation was you lot – estate agents.

We counted the times we’ve bought and sold or used a letting agent.

SOLD – five times.

Bought – four times.

Let a property – once.

Different numbers but one unifying factor – none of the agents impressed us, I mean really impressed us. One I wanted to sue and two left me feeling I’d worked harder than them to sell the property.

In fact, the bloke who came to put our fence up recently was a lesson in how great customer care could be and impressed us more than any agent ever has.

His quote was almost instant with a range of options made clear. He double checked the date and time to do the work, he was clean, tidy and super-efficient.

He did more than he needed to do by kindly removing a couple of hedge stumps I struggled my backside off trying to tear from the soil. And he didn’t charge any extra for it.

While not being the chattiest bloke in the World when he did communicate it was timely, necessary and without waffle.

The whole job went like a dream. I gave him a shout out on a neighbourhood Facebook group, already referred him to a friend and he’s got our decking contract next year.

The chat with Mrs L and my recent experience with the Fantastic Fencer got me thinking about what my dream experience with an estate agent would be.

Here it is in six simple steps.

1) Give me some idea about you as a person or your agency as people when I visit your website for the first time.

2) Be friendly when I make my initial call / contact – it ain’t hard, and if it is then surely it’s a case of the wrong person in the wrong job. Also, be consistent – if the valuer was super nice but the receptionist taking my calls as miserable as a wet cat that creates doubts in my mind.

3) Don’t bullshit – Yeah, I get some people’s heads are swayed by over valuations – but that’s not me, and lots of people like me respect an honest, evidence based valuation.

4) Keep me informed – I shouldn’t have to chase up feedback from viewings – I want to know what people think, where the weak points in the property might be and what feedback can be acted upon to improve the chances to sell the property.

5) Earn your money – If I have to chase you to chase solicitors then I’m left thinking what are you doing for your fee?

6) Remember how it all ends is often how it is all remembered. On every single occasion we’ve bought or sold the agents missed a trick. Buying a home is a big thing unless you’re an oligarch or bog standard Premier League footballer. But every time we’ve done it the only thing we’ve been given at the end of the process is a bill and a set of keys. Where’s the theatre? Where’s the little moving in gift from an agent that we’d share on social media and tell friends about? The trials and tribulations of the moving journey are forgotten about and that little, unexpected extra appreciated and remembered.

And please don’t say yeah but that moving in gift costs £10 / £20 blah blah blah – what it costs shrinks into nothingness compared with the goodwill value and social media / referral potential.

So that’s my dream agent next time we come to buy or sell and on that note here’s to your next instruction.

Thanks for reading,

Jerry

PS: I’ve a very cost-effective way of helping you keep in touch with past, present and future clients – simply email me your agency’s name and postcode and I’ll send the details and a special offer.


So you say you’re a property expert – show me the money!

It’s easy to say you’re an expert.

A lot of long standing agents have a bee in their bonnets about a certain company, let’s call them Blue Cement, declaring they’re franchisees are ‘Local property experts’.

Saying it is one thing – proving it is something else.

One of my clients, the Land & New Homes Network, helps agents prove they know they’re stuff in this growing and competitive sector.

They don’t just say they do – they show they do.

Below is an example of their show and tell, taken with their permission from their website.

We recently agreed a deal for one of our estate agency consultancy clients which really highlighted why there will always be a need for ‘traditional’ agents.

We were asked by our client to look at the home of a couple in their late fifties which had been on the market for a long time with an online agency – the one which has ‘local’ property experts.

Based on what we saw those claims, especially the property expert part, could be called in to question.

During the time it was marketed the property received barely any viewings. The people who did come around to view were largely unqualified and couldn’t afford the £850k the home was on the market for.

On inspection, it was crystal clear to me the opportunity which the online agent had missed and our client could realise.

This property had development potential in the shape of a plot of land which had not been identified until we informed the vendors.

Our advice led to our client agreeing a sale of the plot of land for an additional dwelling which will yield an extra £350k to be split between them and their neighbour.

And with very little impact on the value of both of their existing properties.

In the vendor’s world that’s an extra £175,000.

The icing on this particular cake was the only reason they wanted to move was because their huge garden was proving overwhelming to maintain.

Selling the plot made things much more manageable for them so they decided not to move.

They are now £175,000 better off, do not have the hassle and extra cost of moving such as stamp duties and still live in a home they love. They didn’t even have to pay a penny as the builder paid their fees.

In the past, I’ve spoken about agents missing opportunities. This is a classic example and to be honest, I’ve seen traditional agents miss deals such as this in the past.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we help estate agents earn far more commissions get in contact with us.

ENDS

I’m always on at you guys about the power of telling stories – in this blog the Land & New Homes Network told a true story with a BIG moral to it – ‘It pays to use real experts’.

And that’s all folks.

If you want to find out more about what the Land & New Homes Network can do for you ping me an email and I’d be delighted to make an intro to Kevin and Ian who are the very experienced brains behind this fast-growing business.

Here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry


It’s About You, Your Photos and What People Think About You

Very quick message this week as everything I want to share is covered in an article I’ve written for The Negotiator magazine. (Attached to this email or on Page 50 of this month’s issue if you have it).

As I’ve mentioned previously it’s so important to have well written profiles on your website.

And it’s also crucial that you have good team profile pics, which the article covers in more detail.

If your website is your agency’s ‘shop window’ then your Meet the Team profiles are for many prospective vendors the stock on display because people buy people.

A well written team and about the agency section is a marginal gain but can have a big impact on the public’s perception of you.

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry


Don’t put a bumper sticker on a spanking new Jaguar

When I was growing up my Uncle Tighe knew a fella who was in the building game just like he was.

This chap was a fellow Irishman who had a rather loose grasp of the tax laws- basically he thought it was optional.
A cash is king approach.

He was nicknamed Frank the Bank due to his lavish lifestyle, permanent bundle of cash in an elastic band and that he changed his car every six months.

The locals in the pub used to call his wife Judith. Her real name was Mary.

The nickname was due to her perma-tan and love of going on holiday every other month, like her nickname sake Judith Chalmers of Wish You Were Here TV fame.

Frank the Bank was rough and ready, and that was putting it kindly.

He had all the charm of a hungry shark and the table manners to match.

I’ll never forget him pulling up outside the social club our family was in one evening in a spanking new top of the range Jaguar. It was so new it glowed. It was beautiful.

And in typically Frank fashion he had whacked a bumper sticker on it.

I swear to god, not just any old bumper sticker but the following: “Don’t get too close – I might fart”.

A case of class clashing with crass. An expensive car totally spoiled by what was stuck on it.

The VAT man eventually caught up with Frank and he scarpered to Ireland. I don’t know what happened to Judith – perhaps she was left high and dry in Kos or is now working for Trip Adviser?

The story of Frank the Bank teaches agents two lessons.

1) Pay your taxes.

2) And don’t spoil something you’ve spent lots of money on by sticking rubbish on it. In the case of agents, I get called in to rewrite the content for lots of websites. They are often all singing, dancing and expensive but the content, the actual words on the site, is an afterthought and lets the whole project down – big time. The equivalent of the sticker on the Jag.

Anyway, thanks for sharing a trip down memory lane with me and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry

PS: For any bookings made for Meet the Team profiles or other bespoke articles in July I’m offering a 50 per cent discount. Usually it’s £60+VAT per 250 words – just email me ‘Frank the Bank’ if you want to know more.