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Sep 21 2017

Meaningful Holiday Marketing Ideas For Real Estate Agents

As a real estate agent, the holidays provide quite a few unique marketing opportunities. Unlike retail businesses, this probably isn’t going to an incredibly busy time for you as far as listings go. So instead of pushing deals, sales and freebies, you’ll want to use this time to build and maintain relationships within the community and with past and current clients. If you aren’t busy with listings, focus on increasing your brand awareness and engagement so that when people decide to sell, you’ll be the one they go to.

Say “thank you.”

If you’re still in business, you have your clients to thank for it. So thank them! It’s important to touch base with all clients – whether it’s through email, direct mail, phone calls or in person – and let them know how much their business and referrals mean to you. We always release a variety of beautiful and uniquely designed postcards and holiday cards which are perfect for communicating with your farm or social list. We can also convert these designs to email headers and social media images.

For clients that have been particularly loyal, or given quite a few referrals, you may want to consider giving them a gift. We’ve found some truly unique client gifts over the years and shared them in a recent holiday giving blog post. You can also find more ideas by visiting our Pinterest page.

Buddy up.

You can double your impact by partnering with a local nonprofit. It’s best to contact the nonprofit and ask how you can best support them this holiday season. Common partnership ideas include donating a portion of your profits, collecting donations on their behalf, or sponsoring one of their events. This increases your brand exposure, demonstrates your company values and, most importantly, helps improve the local community and benefits residents.

Engage the community.

There are so many opportunities for engagement during the holidays. Take advantage of the many community events to get to know fellow residents. This isn’t the time for a hard sell, but it never hurts to mention what you do and hand out a business card. Here are some specific engagement ideas:

  • Hand out branded treats to trick or treaters
  • Sponsor an HOA holiday party
  • Hand out a holiday schedule of events while door knocking
  • Go Christmas caroling
  • If your neighborhood does Christmas lights, set up a hot cocoa station in the driveway

Don’t forget lead generation.

While fostering relationships will be your primary focus this holiday season, successful agents are still going after those listings in very specific ways. Many unique life situations could force a homeowner to put up a For Sale sign instead of Christmas tree, and you should be the one they call. Try some of these lead generation tactics specific to the holidays.

  • Send a postcard or email detailing the benefits of selling during the holidays
  • Make holiday open houses extra special with holiday cookies, hot cocoa, carols playing in the background, and some subtle holiday decorations.  
  • Call past clients to wish them happy holidays, update their contact information, and ask if they have any real estate needs.
  • Follow up with leads and let them know about any special promotions or partnerships with nonprofits you have at this time.
  • When you send Christmas cards to clients, tuck in a few referral cards that they can pass out to friends and family.

Need help creating a detailed marketing plan for the holidays? Call 949-587-5301 for a free consultation with One Step Services.

Sep 19 2017

Holiday 2017 Direct Mail Marketing Schedule

Want to make the most out of the holidays? Download our 2017 direct mail marketing schedule. We tell you what to mail every week, taking into account deadlines for holidays. Our schedule includes our content ready postcards as well as full custom content. Pick and choose what you want, or simply give us a call and ask us to set up weekly mailings based on the schedule. We’ll handle everything for you!

Download 15 Weeks of Holiday Mailing_OSS

 

Sep 13 2017

2017 Halloween Postcards for Real Estate Agents

Our Halloween postcards are fun and festive, with carefully crafted messaging to generate phone calls or drive traffic. They are an eye catching relevant way to tell people about your real estate business.

Here are 5 ways to use Halloween postcards:

  1. Send to your real estate farm.
  2. Send to list of past and current clients.
  3. Having an event? These can easily convert to invitations
  4. Hand out with candy to trick or treaters
  5. Use digital versions in emails and on social media

Plus, if you place a mailing order of 300+ before by September 29th, you’ll get 100 free print and return postcards. Download the order form Halloween Postcards fill it out, and email to info@onestepservices.com

Halloween Pumpkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boo-tiful House

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star-witch Halloween

 

Sep 07 2017

Lead generations postcards that make Real Estate Agents’ phones ring

Sometimes buyers are hesitant to sell because they don’t think buyers are interested. This postcard lets them know that you have interested buyers and motivates them to give you a call.

Download Buyers and Boxes Postcard order form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many homes in Southern California have more equity than owners realize. This postcard encourages recipients to contact you to find out the value of their home.

Download Money Tree Postcard order form

 

Sep 05 2017

September Tip Tuesdays – Make Your Holiday Mailings Stand Out

Whether you are a real estate agent thanking clients for their business, a nonprofit asking for donations, or a small business promoting a sale, holiday mailings are crucial for client/donor relations.

#1 – Segment your list

Chances are, you don’t want to send the exact same holiday cards to everyone. There are some people you may want to send handwritten, very personable cards too. There are others you may want to send a postcard to, with automated personalization using variable data. And there may be a good chunk of your list that is going to a beautifully crafted email.

Also, keep in mind that you can change the list based on the holiday. For example, if you want to touch base on Thanksgiving and Christmas, you can save money by sending everyone an email on Thanksgiving but doing cards and postcards for Christmas (or vica versa).

How you divide your list will depend on your sales goals and your budget. But it’s a vital first step when planning your holiday marketing strategy.

#2 – Use handwriting and color

The direct mail pieces that stick out the most are those that have a handwritten addresses and a colorful envelope. While it does cost extra than a regular mailing, it’s actually one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to make your mailing stand out. And you can save even more money by hand addressing yourself.

One Step Services does offer hand addressing and hand stamping as a service. Just make sure you get your order in early (like, October) so there is plenty of time to get everything set up and sent out.

#3 – Use variable data

Variable data allows us to customize any piece quickly. This is a great tool for those who want to customize their big mailings printed on our digital press. Perhaps you are a nonprofit wanting to thank a donor. We can create a template letter and insert individual names and donation amounts. Or maybe you are a retail wanting to give different discounts depending on buying patterns. Simply give us a spreadsheet with the person’s name and the discount they should get, and we’ll insert that variable data into a templated piece.

The way you send over variable data is extremely important. Be sure to talk with one of One Step Services’ customer reps before placing an order to be sure everything goes smoothly.

#4 – Consider a gift

It can be something as simple as a coupon or store credit, or something a little more elaborate like a gift basket. Check out our recent article about client gifts we’ve given for more inspiration.

It’s a good idea to choose gifts that will remind the recipient of your company. Include a handwritten note and business card with food gifts. Put your logo on office supply gifts. Or send a free product or sample to entice them to order again.

Sep 01 2017

Client Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Summer is over and we are speeding towards the holidays. Every year, I make the mistake of waiting too long to come up with client gifts and at the beginning of December there is great snarling and gnashing of teeth as I curse last minute shipping costs. But not this year! This year I am determined to have the gifts picked out and bought and landing on clients’ doorsteps before Thanksgiving.

If you’re trying to get ahead of the game as well, here are some client gift ideas for you. All of these are ones we’ve bought in the past and they’ve been a big hit. Got another idea? Share it in the comments below.

Here are few more gifts that are a bit more expensive and personalized. We’ve sent these to consultants, vendors, even our boss.

  • Jerkygram from Mancrates 
  • Custom Bobblehead (can’t remember which company we used, but there are lots of different ones).
  • Custom tie from Zazzle 
  • Personalized lifetime artwork from Your Memory Lane   

 

Jun 06 2017

Tip Tuesday: What NOT to post to your business social media profiles

Our lives are lived online. We post the mundane details and the life changing events. But, there is such a thing as oversharing, particularly on your business page. Posting certain things could jeopardize the safety of you and your family, unnecessarily upset a lot of followers, or detract from your main brand message. Here are a couple tips on what you should keep off your business social pages.

  • Personal details. Things like where your kids go to school, where you live, the fact that you eat at the same breakfast spot every Thursday, should all be kept OFF of your business page. You don’t know who is monitoring your activity and may want to use that information to harm you and your family.
  • Vacation details. Don’t post when you are going on vacation or where. If necessary, Avoid posting pictures until after you are back. Believe it or not, there are people who track when people go on vacation so they can rob them.
  • Strong political or religious views. Occasionally something may come up in the news that is political or religious in nature but also directly related to your business or industry. In that instance, it may be good to comment in a moderate, rational manner to open up a discussion amongst your followers. But most of the time, your opinions about religion and politics are better left offline. No need to frustrate or annoy customers over something not even related to your business.
  • Your net worth. Most people are not posting a specific number of their net worth. But all those pictures of your new car, new jewelry, kitchen remodel, vacations, etc speak volumes about what you’re worth. Again, robbery and identity theft are big concerns here. You don’t want to make yourself a target.

BONUS TIP

  • Watch what others are posting about you on Facebook. This only applies to your personal FB profile, but you can set up filters so that nothing gets posted to your timeline without your consent. And on any social media channel, if someone posts to their profile something about you that makes you feel uncomfortable, ask them to take it down.

Have you ever posted something to your business profile that you later regretted? Let us learn from your mistakes, share in the comments below.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Mar 16 2017

Instagram, Baby Moccs and a Mom Marketer’s Weakness

I’ve never been particularly fond of moccasins, and I’ve always thought baby shoes were a waste of money. But I’m currently obsessed with Freshly Picked baby moccasins. This, dear reader, is a story about storytelling and how one shoe company has used it to to build an incredibly successful business.

I was introduced to Freshly Picked at a friend’s baby shower, when my son was two and my daughter was simply a twinkle in my eye. While I wasn’t super impressed with the look of moccasins, the idea of soft soled shoes appealed to me. I quickly followed them on Instagram while I munched on cake. When I got home, I looked at the website and saw that the cost averaged $60. Sixty bucks for baby shoes? No thanks.

But I never unfollowed them. I watched as they released new designs and I started to actually like the look of the shoes. I saw pictures of chunky legged babies and energetic toddlers living fantastic lives, so it seemed, because of the moccs. I read testimonials from other moms claiming these were the best shoes ever. And now, as we approach my daughter’s first birthday, I am saving up to give her a pair of Freshly Picked moccs. I’ve caught the bug, and I’m not even sorry about it.

Surely, a company hasn’t turned me into a believer simply through their Instagram feed? They have. Honestly, it’s the only interaction I have had with them. Here’s how they did it:

Powerful visual storytelling

They’ve dubbed their shoes “memory keepers.” After a while, the baby’s footprint will appear at the bottom of the shoe. Their instagram feed is full of mom’s sharing old pairs of moccs that they hang onto because they love the footprint. It reminds them of park days, birthdays, first steps, first vacations, games of tag with siblings. Other FP posts show pictures of these events, smiling babies on a swing, sleeping newborns, big kids walking off to kindergarten. Scrolling through their feed is like looking at photo albums of a million happy, healthy, mocc wearing babies. Who doesn’t want that story for their kids? And while I know my kids can be perfectly happy without these shoes, cute shoes certainly don’t hurt.

Focused messaging

About 90% of Freshly Picked posts are about their moccasins. Whether it’s introducing a new design or showcasing a babe wearing their shoes, it’s mocc talk most of the time. When they do sway from the messaging, they still remain in the same sphere of family and baby products. This is important because it builds brand consistency, reinforces the message, and reduces risk of conflict or offense. As the old adage goes, do one thing and do it well. They do moccs and they don’t pretend to do anything else.   

Lots of engagement

I think they average one contest a week. And generally they are the same…in order to enter, you have to like their post and tag a friend. My friend and I tagged each other in every contest for a  year before one of us won (she did, not me. Sad day) And we could tag multiple friends for multiple entries, so I introduced a few friends to the brand through tagging. Those are simple actions for followers with a big impact for the brand. They have 724,000 followers. If even just 10% of those followers tagged one friend every contest, that’s exposure to 72,400 new followers every contest.

Freshly Picked not only encourages engagement from their followers, they do their part to engage as well. They respond to comments and questions on their posts, they like comments, and they repost photos of their customers sporting the moccs.

Through this engagement, they have created a community. While their Instagram feed is definitely a place where they introduce new product, advertise sales and encourage people to buy, it doesn’t FEEL like one big advertisement. It feels like a community, like a series of small stories. That’s why I keep following.

As someone who works in marketing, I like to consider myself immune to the “tricks of the trade.” But the truth is, the tricks work. Which is why baby girl will be getting a pair of ridiculously priced moccs on her first birthday. Sometimes, you just  gotta give into the emotional marketing, even if you know better.

Freshly Picked Baby Moccasins freshlypicked • Instagram photos and videos

Jan 24 2017

6 Tips For Strong Marketing Start To 2017

2017 is three weeks old. But if you’re like me, the first three weeks were spent putting away the Christmas stuff, getting sick, complaining about the rain, taking care of sick family members, returning gifts, and getting sick again. I’m just now making some headway on my resolutions and getting into a productive routine. SO, if you’re like me and getting a slow start to 2017 DON”T FRET! A slow start can still be a strong start. And for the next 6 weeks, we’ll be sharing some tips for getting a strong start in terms of marketing. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to easily see a new tip every Tuesday. If you’re inpatient, you can just see them all here.

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Feel free to share these tips and images on your Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest page

Jan 04 2017

3 Guidelines For Making Resolutions You Might Actually Keep

new years resolutionsIt’s that time of year…resolution time! The time when everyone buys gym memberships, starts diets and begins one of the 12 self help books they are supposedly going to read this year. I don’t always make resolutions, in fact, the past 5 years or so I’ve been staunchly anti resolution. But I spent half of last year pregnant and the other half surviving life with a newborn and a toddler so I need to get back on track and live life with a little more intention. I created a list of reasonable resolutions and I’m pretty confident I’ll keep about half of them.

When I was creating my list, I kept the following guidelines in mind to help me create reasonable resolutions.

Improve on something you already do.

I have a three year old and an infant. This is not going to be my year to try new things. It is going to be the year I learn to live normal life with two kids. With that in mind, I decided that my “increase physical activity” goal for the year would be to simply do more of something I already do: walking. I usually load the kids up in the stroller and go for a 30 minute walk once a week, and looking at the year ahead I decided that I could reasonably increase that to 3x a week. It’s not glamourous, and it probably won’t be as much fun as the Zumba class I want to try, but it is a reasonable action that will help me obtain my overall goal of maintaining health and general sanity.

As you determine your goals, both professional and personal, I encourage you to look at the good habits you already have in place and think of ways to improve them. It’s a lot easier to keep a resolution when you’ve already got some momentum going.

Focus on the “do” more than the “do not.”

The horrific and divisive climate of 2016 caused a deep loathing in my soul for social media and my phone in general. One of my resolutions was to limit my phone usage. However I, much like my three year son, do not like to be told “no” even if I’m the one saying it to myself. Instead of simply having a resolution that says “no phone” I came up with resolutions that encouraged other activities. There’s the “walk 3x a week for 30 minutes” one, as well as the “read 16 books by the end of the year” goal. If I’m busy walking and reading, there will naturally be less time for heated debates with internet trolls about Obamacare.

As you determine your goals, both professional and personal, I encourage you to focus on things you want to do, rather than things you don’t want to do. If you’re going to free up time by NOT doing something, you better have another, better activity to fill that void so you don’t fall back on bad habits.

Have a “why.”

With every resolution I wrote down, I ask myself “why?” Why do I want to do this? Then I asked myself “is this ‘why’ strong enough to keep me going for a whole year?” One of my more fun resolutions was visit every regional park in my county with my family. Why? Because it will encourage more time spent with my family. It will give me new environments in which to walk. It will get me and my kids outside more and in front of screens less. I have a lot of “whys” for this resolution so it’s more likely I’ll keep it throughout the year. And I wrote those “whys” down so that when it’s Saturday morning and I’m tempted to let the TV do some babysitting while I search Instagram, I’ll hopefully find my motivation to get outside.

As you determine your goals, both professional and personal, I encourage you determine a “why” for each one. Write it down, and think about it for a day or two. Is this why strong enough to motivate you all year? Is this why still going to be a why in February? If the answer is no, ditch the resolution.

Why New Year’s resolutions did you come up with? How likely are you to keep them?

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