Discovering or Building the Best Home

Zero one would like to pay out more as compared to necessary while building some sort of property. Nevertheless only the particular experts recognize how to be able to save dollars on design, right? Not really necessarily. In this article are ideas that will may assist keep your current building spending budget within cause, without diminishing on the actual home an individual want. Buy any large whole lot with some sort of friend or even family representative that can easily be divided into a pair of smaller a lot. Some regarding the the majority of appealing components may become much much larger than precisely what you desire or may afford, however the retailer may not necessarily be inclined to split up any large package. So in the event that you could share the particular cost together with someone otherwise (preferably an individual you avoid mind getting as some sort of neighbor), a person might end up being able to be able to pick upwards a fantastic building at this source for any reasonable price tag.

Think about a supposed problem good deal – some sort of hillside, thin, or additional house. Normally, these varieties of tons are certainly not as desired as other people, so that they don’t offer as swiftly and frequently go with regard to a a lot lower selling price. With the actual right prepare and the capable company, however, some sort of potentially challenging lot may possibly be best for your current new residence. Acquire salvaged components from some other sites. Aged barnwood, employed bricks, and also distinctive wooden doors put inexpensive personality to some sort of home without having exorbitant price. To find out more, visit here.

Ideas For Travel Agent Marketing

You may be wondering how to begin travel agent marketing if you are thinking about starting your own company or need to give the organization you work for a little boost. The first thing you must be aware of is the fact that you need to be prepared to put a little money, as well as creativity, time and effort into your marketing plan. This means dedicating hours beyond your normal work week to achieve your goal.

The whole point to marketing is to promote your business and draw in customers. However, attracting consumers is only half the battle because you need to make sure you have something good to offer them that will motivate them to stay and not turn to the competition.

The following are some travel agent marketing ideas you can put to good use:

Create a travel website – All businesses need an online presence. Shopping on the World Wide Web is a convenience many enjoy. You need to provide people with many different ways that they can contact you and create their travel plans. The more methods you provide, the larger the market you will reach.

Advertise in your local papers – The papers in your city can give you exposure and help you establish yourself in your community. Take the time to advertise deals, events and so on to raise people’s interests. Be sure to also include your Travel website url in the advertisement.

Make your agency appealing – A large part of travel agent marketing is making sure things look great. This includes you and where you work. If you have an office where you meet with clients, make the environment very bright and inviting. Don’t clutter up a room with furniture or other knickknacks. Keep the area fresh, modern and all about travel. Contact suppliers and request new posters and displays. The same goes for your travel website. Do not junk it up with too many options. Keep it simple and make it easy for consumers to contact you, use your travel resources and search tools.

Network – You should have business cards created so you can give them out whenever an opportunity presents itself. It is also important to have your friends and associates spread the word about your travel company and make sure to return the favor whenever you can. Attend business conventions and make yourself known.

You need to give people a reason to want to take a chance on you. The right travel agent marketing techniques can do this for you. If you are really stuck for ideas, don’t forget that there are marketing professionals who can help you. Just remember to never make promises you can’t keep. Only advertise what you can deliver.

Real Estate Agent Marketing – How to Develop Your Unique Message

Talking to colleagues and clients, I’ve discovered that the vast majority of real estate agents are wasting money on marketing, implementing marketing strategies without a message behind them. Your edge in a recession: communicate your brand effectively.

Don’t spend another dime impeccably implementing strategies that deliver NO message. First, invest in identifying your brand as a real estate agent. Here’s exactly how to do it:

1. Develop a Vision of where your business is going, and the role your brand will play in getting it there. Describing exactly what success will look like will make it a lot easier to build a road to get there. In your Vision, describe all the ways you make money as a real estate agent, and what your clients, competitors and marketplace are like.

2. Assess the alternatives to your brand. When people don’t choose you to be their real estate agent, whom do they choose? Don’t forget that some choose “for sale by owner.” How, why and for whom are you actually the better choice?

3. Define the clients you want to work with, your target market. Exactly who needs what you offer and will most value how it helps them?

4. Isolate your specific point of difference or Unique Selling Proposition. It must be clear, compelling, authentic and consistently communicated.

5. Write a value statement of whom you’re for and why after you’ve discerned what makes your brand different. For example: “ABC Real Estate works with first time home buyers [target market] who don’t know how to move from renting to buying [problem or need]. We take them through the first-time home-buying process step-by-step to give them the confidence they need to make a solid decision [differentiation and proof].”

Also, you should develop a look-and-feel for your brand that includes a logo to represent it, color scheme and visual style, imagery and a “voice” to use in your marketing communications. Your brand could be formal, playful, or modern.

6. Finally, select the marketing strategies you’ll use to deliver the message of your brand to your target home buyers. Great ways to emanate your message include writing articles or speaking on signature topics. Networking is a strategy about delivering your message face-to-face. Blogging can help you build a loyal following of hundreds or thousands who are interested in your brand benefits.

If creating your brand right now seems like a luxury you can’t afford, consider the money you’re currently wasting on ineffective marketing strategies. Simply adding a clear brand message about the value your business brings can transform lost opportunities into more prospects, better quality clients (who actually want what your brand promises), higher prices and a more profitable and joyful business.

Agent Marketers – Do They Really Care About Your Interest?

Insurance industry can be regarded as one complicated world. Insurance that used to be a simple concept now has developed in to vast category with multiple further specializations and classifications. Why because it is the need of the day.

Initially insurance started as single concept the insurance companies used to have different departments dealing in life, home, health or business insurance. If you look at some decades back you would see companies emerging especially in home, life or business insurance. This industry has grown so rapidly that now probably you would even find a company only specializing in pet insurance only. Insurance companies face cutthroat competition of getting business. Now you would receive calls and emails every day from insurance agent for giving you the most competitive rates and quotes for your or your business coverage.

Insurance Agent marketers can be most annoying too sometimes since they do have their targets for business generation and that’s the most important factor that you should keep in mind while considering any company or its agent marketer.

You do need insurance agent because they are the ones who completely understand the complicated world of the insurance. A right professional not only gives you the right advice and choice for the right coverage policy but can also get you the cheapest insurance quote with respect to risks associated with you or your assets.

There is no doubt that and an insurance agent can really turn things for you when it comes to finding the right and the most effective policy but you need to know the exact position of your insurance agent. First of all you need to know whether the agent that is planning and devising the whole insurance coverage policy for you and your family happens to have a captive or a non captive status of his employment. In fact this is very big and important factor to figure out whether the specific insurance agent is best for your interest.

A captive insurance agent is the one who is bound with a specific employer whereas the non captive is the one which works independently with many insurers or insurance companies.

Now that’s obvious that the captive insurance agent will always portray his or her insurance company as the most appropriate for you, your family or your business needs regardless of what you need. The way careers work in insurance industry is that almost every independent agent starts as captive insurance agent by working with one insurer. Now these captive insurance agents do learn a lot of about the industry and they happen to know each and every detail of the policies and loop holes of their insurance company.

In some cases after spending reasonable time as a captive agent marketer and switching from lots of insurance companies they end up as an independent insurance agent. Now the total decision making depends on you, its best to look for an independent agent who comes with lots of experience and if you can’t find one, then its best to go for a captive one as he or she happen to know the most about their companies internal policies and actual practices.

Further it also always to best keep updated with all kinds of insurance news and happenings as these things help you lot while choosing an insurance agent for your needs.

Brand Touchpoints and Real Estate Agent Marketing – How to Avoid Hidden Dangers

That which is not intentionally branded may be accidentally branded. This can pose dangers in real estate agent marketing. But why? What are some examples?

Last time I drove past a sandwich shop in the local area, I noticed someone standing next to the garbage having a cigarette – namely, the guy who prepares the sandwiches. That is rather unappetizing, and tarnished my impression of the brand.

When your message are inconsistent, your brand equity is damaged, because you let doubt intrude about your ability to live up to your brand, your promise. At my hometown bank, the “k” in their sign hasn’t lit up in months. Don’t they care? Or perhaps they can’t afford to fix it? This reflects more broadly on their business. Will they pay more attention to their ATMs – or my deposits, for that matter? I don’t care to find out!

When every contact you have with potential home buyers builds on the previous messages you have imparted, you make the customer experience ever more robust. That is consistency in brand messaging.

This doesn’t have to be expensive. I recently met a copywriter with a unique visual style. Her business card is shaped like an exclamation point, her brand symbol, and lists some copywriting tips on the back. I’d expect to see creativity and intentional branding in her office, work for clients, web site, email signature and her presentations.

Here’s the branding opportunity for real estate agent marketing:

1. List all your brand touchpoints. Brainstorm for awhile so you don’t leave any out.

2. Decide how each touchpoint should communicate your brand promise. For instance, if one of your differentiators is efficiency, you could return calls within three hours, have a value statement about efficiency on your business card, and strive to provide tools through your web site that help home buyers increase their efficiency. Have fun and be creative as you think about this.

3. Begin to implement your ideas. And remember – follow through all the way. Rather than do 60 things halfway, do a few things completely.
4. Enjoy the rewards! Well-branded real estate agents enjoy clients who appreciate them more, pay premium prices, refer their friends and are more
loyal. This will increase your profits and reduce your spending on realtor marketing.

For your brand to be effective, you have to communicate your differentiators until potential home buyers know them in their sleep.

5 Insurance Agent Marketing Tips – Work Smarter, Not Harder in a Bad Economy

Times are tough.  We all should have taken actions yesterday to put our businesses in a better position today.  Well since we are already past that point, then what can we actually start doing now?  There are very few short term fixes out there.  However, in this article I attempt to list 5 tips that are low hanging fruit.  What that means is that these are tips that you can take actions upon today, cost you nothing to less than $20, and more importantly you should see some results within a short period of time.

1) Don’t Cut Advertising Expenses

To stop your finger from bleeding, would you cut off your arm?  I would like to think that the answer is a quite obvious, “no”.  A lot of times when we need to tighten the financial belt at the office, one of the first items to go is advertising and marketing.  You are actually curing a symptom while making a bad situation worse (my finger’s not bleeding because, well, it was attached to my arm) rather than attempting to fix the problem (the bleeding finger).  So what we need to do is become a lot smarter about our advertising and marketing.  Instead of spraying a money hose blindly at advertising efforts, you need to create ways to track the direct response from your advertising efforts.  Without data about your advertising, you cannot make intelligent decisions about spending money.  It starts with one simple question you need to burn into every Agent and CSR at your office: “How did you hear about us?”  It’s so simple, yet it can reveal so much.  If you are spending equal amount of dollars in radio, newspaper, and telephone directory and call-ins are saying they heard about you on the radio, what does that mean?  It means that only 33.33% of you advertising dollars are generating you revenue and you might as well be throwing 66.66% of that budget into a fireplace with the same result.   Rather than cutting your advertising budget, refocusing 100% of your ad dollars in radio should statistically triple your revenue at no additional cost.  And it can all start with a simple question.

2) Mine Existing Business

Most Insurance Agents have a gold mine of business sitting on their desks that just falls through the cracks and never turns into premiums.  You can capture this business with a less than $10 investment at your local office supply store.  The solution is implementing a Suspension File System.  It works like this: All Agents and CSRs have access to a common filing cabinet.  In the cabinet there is a folder representing every month covering a two year time frame from this month. As your staff gets quote requests they cannot sell at this point (for example, the prospect’s existing auto policy doesn’t expire for another four months), the staff member puts a sheet of paper with the client information, files, and that staff member’s name in the suspension folder representing four months from now.  All you need to do is have the staff review the prospects sitting in the suspension file every week and then you will never have a prospect fall through the cracks because of a lost note sitting somewhere on someone’s desk.  All potential business can be seen by Managers, Agents, and CSRs.   

3) Maximize Web Site Exposure

Web sites are often overlooked as an active marketing medium.  Many Agency owners take a fire and forget approach to their web sites — once they are built, they are never touched again.  What you have to realize is that a web site is a 24/7/365 brochure that is actively and consistently viewed not by visitors, but by search engine crawlers!  So when a prospect visits a search engine and types “car insurance orlando florida”, there’s a good chance that you will appear and you may get business.  This type of marketing is called “organic searches” and the best thing about this marketing is that it’s 100% free!  The only cost to you is making sure your web site is up to date, error free, and has all the right things tweaked so that the search engine crawlers find your site so yummy and filled with information that they eat up every word on your pages.  Besides maximizing your web site for search engine crawlers, you should be marketing and branding your web site in every piece of advertising associated with your Agency.  The general rule is that if you print your phone numbers on it, then you’ve got to print your web site on it.

4) Use existing technology

If you are currently using a Multi-Rater or an advanced Client Management System, you may want to take a look at the latest evolutions of their products.  Many of these vendors have launched or developed online versions of their tools that allow you to embed their technology in to your own web site.  What does that do for you?  It will allow prospects to not only automatically enter themselves, 24 hours a day into your system, but it will give your web site the ability to quote online.  If you go this route, then also be sure to promote your new 24-hour quoting ability in all your advertising.  You are no longer limited to doing business at regular office hours, and you did it without making any staff increases.  What if you do not have a Multi-Rater or Client Management System?  Believe it or not, there are some initiatives in motion by non-profit associations such as The Professional Insurance Agents of America to provide Independent agents with affordable access to such technology.  These incentives are backed by the power of cooperative advertising

5) Look for inexpensive alternative marketing

The Internet has given way to incredible marketing opportunities for Insurance Agents.  With a little bit of research, you can find some advertising opportunities which are free or next to free. I do not suggest paying any outrageous fees for any online directory listing.  Remember, at some point this has to translate into revenue so the less we are out of pocket, the better our Return on Investment. So the first thing you should do is get your agency listed in online directories.  Even though these sites may not be frequented by your prospective visitors, they are frequented by search engine crawlers — the more web sites out there that link back to your site, the higher you get listed in organic search engine listings.  You may want to spend a little money to get a better quality listing, but how much should you spend?  I can’t tell what your top end limit should be, but I do have a secret web site that is sitting at the low end of the dollar range.  It’s a brand new site and concept for car insurance selling exclusive zip code listings at $2.50 per year!  That’s right, for the cost of a fancy cup of coffee you can market your Agency for a whole year!  The site covers every zip code in the USA and only allows for 10 agencies per zip code.  I suggest you check them out yourself to determine if it’s worth a try.  Click here to visit the site at http://www.CarInsuranceRivals.com.

Commercial Agents – Marketing Presentation Kit Ideas and Tips

When it comes to selling and leasing commercial or retail property, the marketing presentation kit that you use has to be optimised for your area and your property type. The marketing kit something that travels with you each and every day as you meet with clients and prospects in a variety of situations. This then suggests that the kit itself should be very useful and relevant to help you close on any listings or marketing strategies.

You never really know when the opportunity will arise to present and pitch for a listing. If you sell, lease, and manage commercial property the kit will need to be suitably versatile. If you work on Office Property, Industrial Property, and Retail Property, then the kit will also be comprehensively adjusted to suit these property types.

In your marketing presentation kit, you should have a selection of the following:

  1. Provide samples of advertisements that have been used on the other properties of various types. These should be local properties of a quality nature. When the client sees samples of good advertising with other quality properties they are likely to accept your marketing strategy and recommendation.
  2. Give details of the diversity and depth of your database. The database is a significant opportunity in the listing process providing you explain its relevance to the client. The client is unlikely to discard your agency from the presentation process if you can comprehensively connect them to the relevance of your database in providing the appropriate seller or buyer for the property.
  3. It pays to have a two phase strategy when it comes to marketing campaigns. Given that most of the marketing is focused on the first three or four weeks of the agency, this is what we call the primary marketing time. At least half of your marketing effort should be directed into that primary window of time. Most of the enquiry will typically come to you during this period. The balance of your advertising money and campaign can be directed across the remaining agency period which is the secondary promotion time. Throughout the campaign you should be tracking the results of advertising in the different types of media used. If something appears to be working well then it needs to be encouraged. If another segment of advertising or marketing is not getting any enquiry, then there is a need to adjust your campaign. There is no point in wasting time or money when it comes to marketing property. The vendor is seeking enquiry results and that is what you should be creating.
  4. Email marketing of commercial property through the database is a very effective strategy to attract enquiry. It is low cost and also easily undertaken. Show the clients some samples of email marketing and how they can tap into this opportunity.
  5. The signboard on a property is still one of the most effective tools of promotion. It is relatively cheap, and is usually seen by all the local property owners and business proprietors. Given that most enquiries come from the local area, the signboard is fundamentally important to creating enquiry. Show the client some differences between specially designed signage verses generic signage. Make your recommendations accordingly.
  6. Subject to the property type and the chosen method of sale or lease, you can show the client three levels of campaign as they can apply to a particular property. For example that can be the gold package, the silver package, or the bronze package. You may like to call them something different but the inference is that different levels of advertising commitment are available depending on the appropriate levels of vendor paid marketing. When you use this strategy, the client tends to select the middle package as a suitable solution.

As mentioned earlier, you may be involved with different property types. Because of this, you should carry within the marketing kit photographs of quality properties within the category of property. The client will generally only relate to their particular property type and the location.

Real Estate Agent Marketing: Raise Your Profile, Increase Profits

The old marketing adage says credibility plus visibility leads to profitability. You’ve spent time and money to build your identity as a credible, expert real estate agent. Marketing consistently can help you to stay visible and get the profitability you deserve.

Here are five ways you can raise your profile in your market:

Get on Board! A fabulous way to get on the radar screen of influencers while doing something good for your community is to serve on a Board. People who serve on boards tend to be active, well-connected in the community and socially conscious. Generous people like those who donate their time, are good to know and connect with. Find a Board that is likely to need your credibility-building expertise in real estate, such as an organization dealing with affordable housing. Follow your sincere interests so you’ll have a fun time while making powerful contacts.

Drip Marketing. As a real estate agent, marketing yourself may feel uncomfortable, and that cause you to do less than you should. The idea behind drip marketing is to get on the radar screen of your prospects and contacts on a regular basis, just like a drip from your leaky tap. Eventually the teeny drip fills up a tub to overflowing, and your “touches” lead to new clients, referrals and other opportunities. The best way to stay in ongoing contact with your community is with a monthly newsletter that shares useful information, either by email or print. Other good ways to touch clients are with postcards and special occasion mailings. For key influencers you can even place phone calls to touch base, drop off gifts on a quarterly basis or meet for coffee.

Strategic Visibility – Referral Partners: While it’s good to have a high profile in your community, it also works to be strategically visible with those key influencers we just mentioned. If you follow the 80/20 rule, you’ll know that 80% of referrals come from just 20% of your contacts. Knowing, and nurturing relationships with, a select group of referral partners can keep you stocked with all the leads you can handle. In addition to the obvious ones like mortgage brokers, title companies and home inspectors, seek out divorce attorneys, remodeling contractors and well-connected past clients.

Know the Corporate Relo People in HR. If your community has large businesses, you can build a nice niche helping executives relocate and find homes in your area. When I returned to the US after 7 years overseas, the HR department at one leading soda company set me up with a relocation specialist who normally worked with their foreign executives (guess I was one too after 7 years abroad!) For this agent, marketing to international companies and being known as a relocation specialist was key to getting leads.

Build Online Visibility with a Blog. We’ve talked before about the importance of blogging for your real estate agent website, but did you know it’s also a visibility strategy? Blogging is a powerful traffic generator and can attract qualified leads to your website. How do you know they’re qualified? If you blog using key search terms, then you’ll connect with Internet searchers who are looking for the information you are providing. Busy people don’t search for information online for no reason; they’re usually motivated to act now. The beauty of a blog is that you become more credible as an expert. After all, anyone regularly publishing informative articles week after week must know her stuff, no?;-)

Let’s face it: Real estate is a competitive field, and you’ve got to stand out to be a successful agent. Marketing yourself on a regular basis will ensure you are able to help more people and enjoy a profitable business. Isn’t that why you went into this career in the first place?

Insurance Agent Marketing – Differentiate Yourself From Competitors to Sell More Policies

What makes you, as an insurance agent, different from all the other agents competing against you?

If you don’t know, or you can’t clearly state what unique qualities you have, then you probably are losing sales to the agent down the block who can clearly state what makes their insurance agency different from yours.

It’s a matter of position. For nearly forty years, marketers have spoken of “positioning”. Step back for a minute and think of your agency and your competitors–local agents and the big direct brands. Now think of your insurance leads, and visualize for a moment where all those different players fit inside your prospect’s mind. For a more in-depth look at the concept, check out the (still-classic!) book that started the entire concept, read Positioning by Ries and Trout.

“Alas”, you say, “most of the prospects I’m calling on haven’t heard of me or my agency, so I don’t have a position.” Well, that’s not exactly true. Unknown is a position, and it drags along all types of associations with it–distrust, skepticism, and impatience.

If you are truly unknown in the mind of a good insurance lead, one way you can quickly establish a position is to latch onto something they already identify with. Let’s say your insurance agency is just two blocks west of their kids’ school. You know they’ve driven by your building dozens of time. At a minimum you can establish a subtle trust in their mind that you are local and aren’t going anywhere by mentioning not only where you are but also how near to them your location is.

This example may seem like Feature and Benefit Insurance Marketing 101; the Feature being where you are and the Benefit, implied or deliberately spoken, is that you are convenient and local, not far away.

Remember, you’ve just moments to establish a position in the mind of the customer. Quick, take just ten seconds to sit on their side of the desk. Now ask yourself: “Where does this insurance agent currently reside at in my head”?

Only when you know the answer can you map out two or three different approaches to the prospect that will springboard you from where you currently are. More in our next article.

Insurance Agent Marketing – Escape the Lead Avalanche

Leads. Every insurance agent needs an inflow of qualified insurance leads. No matter how big your current book of business, attrition will surely erode it. People move, pass away, or–heaven forbid–find another agent for their insurance needs.

Of course, you know a key component of your insurance marketing plan must be the ongoing retention of your clients. It’s vital for you, as a top-producing insurance agent, to keep frequent contact with your current customer base.

But, no matter how skilled your efforts at marketing insurance products to your customers, there is simply no way retention efforts alone can sustain a healthy agency’s growth incline.

You need new clients.

And that means you need to source insurance leads.

Don’t fall into the trap so many insurance agents do–avalanche. Agents are extremely busy people. Like most salespeople, agents tend to prospect heavily and discover several new clients, then back off on the prospecting efforts.

Avalanches tend to bury people. If a person feels inundated with new business to write, then it’s critical to keep prospecting.

Yet this is just when many insurance agents stop prospecting altogether. The agent becomes buried under a snow of new business, and so makes the seemingly rational choice that a client in the hand is worth two in the bush; and so focuses exclusively on the new business.

This is the avalanche trap. You’re buried with new business because you’ve been prospecting hard. But, you’re too busy to follow up leads. And the leads are piling up and you keep paying for more and pretty soon you simply stop buying the leads.

And then you write all the current business and follow-up with the leads and at the end of the day you are just too busy to prospect.

Avalanches bury agents alive…they think they have a good month based on sales, when in reality they let dozens of opportunities pass them by.

But, as we’ll see in another article, right at the start of the avalanche is precisely when lead-generation systems must take over for you.