Xpressdocs Continues Offering Marketing Solutions Across the Realogy Franchise Group’s Preferred Alliance Program

acing-the-presentationXpressdocs recently announced its continued service to the Realogy Franchise Group’s Preferred Alliance program. Xpressdocs has been part of the Preferred Alliance program for 6 years.

The Realogy Preferred Alliance program provides cost-effective solutions to its network of independent sales associates doing business in more than 100 countries and territories around the world. Sales associates affiliated with Realogy brands – including Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, ERA®, Sotheby’s International Realty®, and more – will have access to the Xpressdocs platform to produce high-quality marketing materials efficiently and economically. 

Xpressdocs offers an unbeatable selection of Realogy-approved marketing collateral and has a deep knowledge of the group’s brands. With this experience, Xpressdocs is equipped to build individual strategies to customize each brand storefront based on user preferences and corporate needs. 

Eric Chandler, CEO of Xpressdocs, stated, “Realogy and Xpressdocs have maintained a collaborative relationship for many years, and we look forward to continuously meeting the marketing demands of their real estate franchises as a member of their Preferred Alliance program.”

Click here for more information on who Xpressdocs serves.

STOP Scratching the Surface


If you browse your social media accounts long enough, you’re guaranteed to encounter a slew of “Throwback Thursday” hashtags (commonly known as #TBT).

Well today is Thursday, and I want to share a marketing-related #TBT with you.


Last month Xpressdocs launched Xpress Mobile, and its release stirred up the memory of SoLoMo.

SoLoMo was a popular term amongst marketers, and it focused on the importance of combining three critical marketing elements: social, local, and mobile.

When these three marketing vehicles are aligned, the reach of a campaign goes far beyond what any of them could achieve on a standalone basis. And while SoLoMo may not be the hot term it once was, the practice of incorporating these elements into your marketing strategy has not lost its wind. (Psst… if you’re looking to SoLoMo your marketing, be sure to explore Xpress Mobile, Social HQ, and our hyperlocal list building options!)

Today’s world is segmented, and multi-tiered campaigns are a must. Adding a mobile marketing element with geo-targeting capabilities provides the powerful opportunity to reach your desired audience at the right time and place – ultimately shortening the gap between your business and a potential customer.

Back to the Now

Time spent using the internet on mobile devices is now greater than time spent using desktops, with mobile accounting for 51% compared to desktops at 42%. Plus, more consumers are using mobile devices for discovery and search. (It’s a major reason we developed the Xpress Mobile product!) If you’re serious about reaching your targeted audience, focus on the medium they use most.

Now take your efforts a step further with in-app advertising. Consumer time spent on mobile apps is 89% compared to that of mobile web browsing at 11%.

In-app advertising is heightened by location data, a key element to increasing engagement with your mobile ad. Location data offers an opportunity to target the right audience among different customer groups – down to even the narrowest parameter – at the right time and encourage them to interact without interruption. So if you’re looking to boost a time-sensitive event, or give your brand more visibility overall, in-app mobile ads are the ideal marketing vehicle you need to consider.

Direct mail remains a fundamental marketing vehicle, along with email and social, but you need to promote your business by optimizing where customers find you – through their smartphone and other mobile devices.

Fan the Flames

Like any goal (…I’m looking at you weight loss…) you don’t reach it with a solitary attempt. You must regularly work mobile ads into your marketing behavior.

In-app mobile marketing allows for precision analysis by tracking ad views, clicks, calls, emails, maps, and more, making campaign optimization an ongoing process as well. These ongoing efforts will deliver results, encourage renewed interest, and set your marketing achievements on fire.

So… you know that non-existent mobile strategy you have? Let’s fix that.






The Perfect Season to Grow Your Business with Marketing

Spring Forward


The busy season, spring, is now upon us! Colder, darker days are a thing of the past, which means the real estate market is stirring.

Homebuyers and sellers are coming out of the shadows, and you need to warm up your marketing efforts so you don’t miss out on opportunities to bring in business.


If you’re in need of motivation, here’s a list of reasons you shouldn’t sit on the sidelines this spring:

  • First impressions are crucial, and nice weather adds warmth to available properties, inviting interested shoppers.
  • People are psychologically geared up to get out and do new things – like visiting an open house perhaps.
  • With weekends to complete renovations around the house, home values tend to grow.
  • Tax returns mean interested buyers could have extra cash on hand for down payments.
  • The number of spring shoppers hitting the market this season, combined with a very limited inventory, creates the perfect opportunity to convince potential sellers it’s an ideal time to list their home. 
  • An increased volume of interested buyers creates competition to outbid each other on homes hitting the market.


Speed-to-market and visibility are crucial in this competitive climate, so your marketing needs to be regular and effective. But time is one of your most limited resources – we know.

 Save yourself time and stress following these helpful tips:

  • Brainstorm marketing ideas in one, easy-to-access location (like a note in your smartphone or a travel-sized notebook) so you don’t scramble last minute.
  • Plan your marketing campaigns well in advance to avoid getting caught off guard and sacrificing revenue-driving opportunities (but if you do have a last minute marketing need… we’re called Xpressdocs for a reason!)
  • Block off time in your schedule to flesh out strategies and determine logistics without distractions!
  • Automate your marketing efforts as much as possible – this includes developing content and direct mail pieces ahead of time with a pre-scheduled publish or send date.


Remember, if you plant the seeds of success now, you can focus on your growing customer base all season long.


Have you downloaded the 2016 Xpressdocs Marketing Guide yet?


10 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know about Email Marketing

If your small- or mid-sized business is like most, email is a key component of your marketing program. Even still, chances are good that you may be under-utilizing some of its strengths and overlooking a few of its weaknesses. Included below are 10 insights that will make you a more effective email marketer.

1.     Email is highly measurable

When measuring success, most marketing mediums can leave you guessing. But when you launch an email marketing campaign with Xpressdocs, you can track who received your marketing message, when they opened it, what they clicked on, how many forwarded the email to others, plus more.

2.     The “from” is key to your success

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-key-to-success-image15109597Too many novice marketers overlook the importance of the “from.” Big mistake. In this age of email overload and online security fears, recipients won’t open your email if they don’t know and trust the sender. Use a name your target audience will recognize right away (usually a brand name or a company name). Only use the name of a specific contact person if the recipients will immediately recognize it; this is not the place to try and build name recognition. Then, to establish consistency, use the same “from” name for all your future marketing emails.

3.     Spammy words are cause for trouble

Every marketer wants to grab the recipients’ attention with subject lines that are exciting. But if you use the words that spammers use (e.g. “free,” “trial,” “money,” “limited-time”) and/or exclamation points and dollar signs, your message is going to be automatically relegated to the spam folder.

Instead, be direct. Mention the main benefit of reading the email. Include your company name. And limit the entire subject line to less than 50 characters (including spaces).

4.    Landing pages increase sales

If you include a hyperlink in your marketing email, it should send anyone who clicks on it to a special landing page, not your home page. Your home page is cluttered with all kinds of extraneous information. A landing page, on the other hand, is a page created just for promoting one particular marketing effort, which makes it so much more effective at closing the sale.

5.     Less text is more effective

Email is no place to be long-winded or all-encompassing. You have a limited amount of space and only a few seconds to prove yourself before the reader hits “delete.” That means, for each email, you need to communicate just one over-riding message, communicate it well, and make it fun to read.

6.     Xpessdocs offers a “new-movers” mailing list

“New-movers” are households that have been living at their current address for just 12 months or less. And according to studies by the U.S. Postal Service, 80 percent of those folks are actively searching for businesses to establish long-term relationships with. These are people who need to find a new bank, a new gym, a new gardening service, a new tanning salon, new service providers for their pets, new doctors and so much more. Talk about a target market with potential!

Best of all, with the new-mover email list from Xpressdocs, it’s easy to target the ones who have recently relocated to your marketing area.

 7.     You need to encourage forwarding

Any time someone forwards your email to someone else, they’re giving your company an implicit nod of approval. It’s referral marketing at its best. Of course, to accomplish that, your message needs to include information that people really will want to share. But you also need to encourage each recipient to take the next step. All that’s required is a straightforward sentence like, “If you have a friend or family member who might also find this interesting, take a moment right now to forward it along.”


8.     Timing makes a difference

There are certain times of the week when most people

are more receptive to a marketing email. Tuesdays seem to be the best day. Mondays and Thursdays are also good. And mornings are the optimum time of day (usually 8:00 or 9:00 a.m.). If not then, shoot for early afternoon mailing (about 3:00 p.m.).

9.     It’s illegal to email without permission

Ever heard of the CAN-SPAM Act? It’s the 2003 federal law that makes it illegal to send marketing emails to people who haven’t requested them. To avoid the penalties, make sure you have permission from everyone on your mailing list. To get that permission:

  • Offer a free white paper, a limited-time trial or a special discount to anyone who adds their name to your email list.
  • Create a sweepstakes and make email registration a requirement to participate.
  • Add a button to your website (and a poster to your trade show booth) that says, “sign up for our free email newsletter.”
  • Send marketing postcards to all your customers and prospects encouraging them to sign up for your emails.

So long as your email sign-up list clearly states that the signee agrees to receive marketing emails, you’re good to go.

10.  Best of all: It’s easy

If you’ve ever used Xpressdocs for postcard marketing, you’ll be pleased to learn that sending a marketing email is just as easy:

  1. Choose one of the professionally designed templates.
  2. Customize your email.
  3. Upload your mailing list(s).
  4. Schedule your campaign for immediate or future delivery.

That’s all there is to it. In minutes, you can create and launch a powerful email marketing effort with no technical expertise whatsoever.


Need an email marketing solution? Click here to learn more about Xpressdocs robust email engine.

How Top Producers Generate More Sales Leads

Everyone knows that top real estate producers are extremely hard workers. But, after years of helping these overachievers with their marketing, we’ve noticed they also rely on the following tricks to keep sales leads rolling in.

They leverage the power of different marketing mediums

Top producers have learned through trial and error that every marketing medium has its own unique strength:

  • Direct mail is best for finding new customers and getting them to make a purchase.
  • Email is ideal for getting them to make another purchase, provide a referral and otherwise interact.
  • Facebook, Twitter and other social media are great for encouraging feedback, having conversations and building long-term relationships.


They’re consistent

Typically, top producers roll out a new marketing effort about every two or three weeks. And that strategy really seems to work. The more mailings, emails and social media people receive from these agents, the more comfortable the prospect becomes, and the more likely they are to trust the top producer with their business.

They impress people with data

Any real estate agent can promise results. But top producers tend to back up their claims with facts, figures and statistics – which can make all the difference if you want the recipient to believe what you say.

They team up with other businesses

Top producers are much more likely to team up with another business to cross-promote their products and services. The advantages of this arrangement are multi-fold:

  • Both businesses get immediate access to the others’ marketing list.
  • An endorsement from the partner business can generate powerful referral business.
  • Combining budgets usually produces higher-quality marketing materials (and often reduces overall marketing costs).

They target their marketing messages

Instead of mailing one generic marketing piece to their whole list of prospects, many top producers send targeted messages and special offers to sub-groups (new-movers, retirees, renters, referral sources, etc.). The smaller the group, and the more targeted the message, the better the results can be.

They use special offers

Top producers use special offers to inspire prospective clients to take action:

  • They hold contests (for a trip, a TV, or some other big-ticket item) to gather the contact information of potential clients.
  • They offer rewards (a $20 gas card, movie tickets, etc.) to generate referrals.

They analyze results

To determine how well different marketing efforts are performing, top producers track how many contacts, sales and referrals result from each. Some also use Google Analytics (a free service from Google) to analyze how many people are visiting their website, and what they do on each website page.

They’re always testing new approaches

Even when their marketing is working well, top producers are always tweaking the offer, trying new headlines, changing the text – anything to try and make the marketing produce even more sales leads. They’re also very good about supplementing their current marketing with all-new approaches.

How to Pique the Interest of Past Prospects

There’s no telling why some folks choose not to move forward with a home purchase / sale. Don’t take it personally. And definitely don’t toss those sale leads.

In the world of real estate, a sales lead is almost never dead, no matter how old it may be. Because a home sale / purchase is such a rare event, years can pass without you hearing even a peep from old prospects and clients.

The trick is to keep your name and face front and center, so that when those folks do want to move forward with a real estate transaction, it’s you who they’ll turn to for advice, guidance and assistance.

Included below are eight suggestions.

Host an event

Ever considered hosting a party for prospects and past clients? It’s a great way to emphasize one-on-one time in a setting where people are willing to let their guard down.

Become a social media maven

Wildly popular social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are fantastic for interacting with past clients on an informal basis. You can easily let everyone know about new developments in your business and personal life, as well as monitor what’s happening in the lives of others.

Past Prospects

Send a handwritten Note / Card

Handwritten notes are classy, unique and memorable. Plus they speak volumes about your commitment to client service and customer relationships.

Compose a newsletter

Newsletters (printed or electronic) are an excellent way to get your name / face in front of past prospects on a regular basis – and impress them with your industry insights and advice at the same time.


Offer tips and reminders

Sending postcards with holiday reminders, tax tips, home-maintenance advice and other popular information is another proven way to stay relevant. Plus, implementing this strategy is a snap with Xpressdocs’ seasonal and consumer tips postcard templates.

Send off-season holiday cards

Most people are overwhelmed with greeting cards at Christmas and Hanukah. To stand out from the pack, consider sending cards that celebrate the minor holidays – like St. Patrick’s Day, the dawn of spring, or national Good Neighbor Day.

Send a gift

Promotional products (everyday items with your company information printed on them) are also effective.  Stay away from the stuff people take for granted (like pens) and instead choose something unique. Examples include: healthcare products (thermometer, ice pack, etc.), environmentally responsible products (like a reusable grocery bag), party products (like a wine bottle stopper) or safety products (like a hollow-rock hide-a-key).

Be consistent

Unfortunately, when it comes to remembering the names of service providers, most people have very poor memories. If you don’t pique the interest of past prospects with some sort of marketing or public relations effort at least every six to eight weeks, chances are low that they’re going to be remembering your name anytime soon.

Developing a Personal Brand (That Potential Customers Will Remember)

People don’t recommend run-of-the-mill real estate professionals to their family and friends; they pass along the names of agents that are standouts. To achieve that kind of status, you not only have to be uniquely talented, you also have to establish a unique personal brand.branding

A personal brand not only projects a positive image, it also allows you to emphasize what it is that makes you better suited than your competitors.

Time for a self-assessment

The best personal brands combine some warm and memorable personal attributes (your red hair or oversized glasses, your company mascot, your big family, etc.), with some serious business advantages (your years of experience in a particular niche, your record of accomplishment, your one-stop collection of value-added services, etc.) Examples include:


  • The urban-living specialist with the cute Chihuahua dog.
  • The unpretentious “girl next door” that buyers and sellers can always count on.
  • The rugged former home builder who can help buyers discover the hidden potential in properties.
  • The successful business woman with an inside track on luxury properties.


Forget about the personal-brand basics, attributes like “friendly,” “experienced,” “ethical” or “knowledgeable.” Those are things all your competitors can easily claim as well (and usually do). They don’t set you apart from the pack, and they’re so basic that prospective clients expect them. Instead, focus on the attributes that come naturally, have real appeal to your target audience, and are good for the bottom-line.


For most agents, this kind of self-assessment can be really tough. Consider asking family, friends and long-time clients for their honest feedback and input about what makes you unique.


Add a tag line

A tag line does not make a personal brand. But it is an important component. Consider hiring a professional writer to help you create one that hits all the right notes (differentiates you from other real estate professionals, sticks in the minds of consumers, but isn’t overly corny). Or, consider adapting one of the examples below:


  • Your edge in a competitive real estate market
  • A trusted resource for local real estate
  • Luxury real estate services for select clientele
  • The urban-living specialist
  • The Central area specialist
  • The right realtor for this market
  • Setting the standard in San Jose real estate
  • Leading the way in the local real estate market
  • Building real estate relationships since 1984
  • Opening doors for real estate deals since 2001
  • Service that goes beyond the sale
  • The service you deserve. From people you can trust.
  • Service so superior it’s legendary
  • A passion to perform
  • Same price. Better real estate services.
  • A tradition of trust
  • Our local real estate roots run deep
  • Two real estate experts for the price of one
  • The advantage of a neighborhood specialist
  • Everything I touch turns to sold


Hire a graphic artist

Once you’ve settled on the attributes that best represent and differentiate you, it’s time to hire a graphic artist. A professional designer will be able to turn all of the above concepts into a memorable logo and a complimentary palette of colors that you can incorporate throughout all your marketing materials.


The final step

To make your new personal brand catch fire, you need to use it consistently – incorporating your new logo, tag line and corporate colors into everything you do (from business cards to blogs, marketing postcards to event sponsorships).


After a while, you’ll probably grow weary of using all the same things in all your marketing materials. And you’ll undoubtedly think of new ideas you could incorporate. That’s a mistake. Remember: Prospective clients are not seeing your branding on a regular basis, like you are. They come across your marketing materials only occasionally – and your branding needs to be consistent each time they see it. A strong, consistent personal brand is the way to build a memorable reputation.

Generate More Money with a Good Listing Photo

Now that every prospective home buyer is using a computer or smart phone to review property listings, the quality of the property photos has moved to the top of the list in terms of importance.

goodphotosIn the latest home-buyers survey from the National Association of Realtors, 97 percent of the home-shopping public ranked the photos on a listing as being one of the most important factors.

A study published in the Wall St. Journal some years ago even tried to attach a dollar value to a good listing photo. Their conclusion: Listings with quality photos get more online attention; and the property can sell for anywhere between $934 and $116,076 more than a listing with average photo quality (unless the home is a loser to begin with).

So how can you generate more money from your real estate photos? Keep reading.


The study mentioned above found that the type of camera used was particularly important. But that’s not all you need to capture a high-value listing photo. Here’s a list of the bare necessities:


A quality SLR camera – Photos taken with a phone or a point-and-shoot camera almost always lack the richness and detail necessary for a printed marketing document. A quality digital single-lens-reflex camera will allow you to adjust for low-light situations (especially when shooting indoors), take wider-angle shots, generate high-resolution results, manipulate your photos in post-production, plus much more.


A camera tripod – Once you start adjusting the exposure on your camera to account for the amount of light present, it becomes much harder to hold the camera steady enough to avoid blurring. A tripod solves that problem (plus ensures that the camera isn’t tipped at an odd angle). Quality isn’t that important; even an inexpensive tripod will work.


Two clamp lights – You’ll find clamp light fixtures for sale at most big-box home-improvement stores. They’re often used to temporarily light a room while construction work is ongoing. The light housing is made of highly reflective, lightweight aluminum. In the center is the light bulb holder. And attached to the back is a simple clamp that allows the light to be temporarily attached to doorways, furniture, etc.


Two Cree light bulbs – Traditional incandescent light bulbs (100 to 150 watts) have always proven effective for lighting interior settings for photography (when used with a clamp light fixture). But they’re being phased out in exchange for lower-energy alternatives. Plus, they’re too fragile to be used in movable fixtures. A rugged replacement that gets high marks is the Cree 18-watt LED bulb (equivalent to a 100-watt incandescent bulb).



Want to create the same kind of stunningly realistic images you see in glossy home magazines? Switch on your camera’s automatic exposure / bracketing setting, and start using high dynamic range software.


Step 1: Select the right settings

Set your camera to automatic exposure / bracketing. And set the shutter button to rapid-fire or drive.


Step 2: Take the photo

Each time you push the button, the camera is actually capturing three images at various exposures. Needless to say, it’s very important that you use a tripod to keep the camera from moving while the camera is snapping the photos.


Step 3: Edit the photo

After the shoot, upload your images to HDR software (Photomatix is the most popular) and blend the three exposures into the most accurate rendering of all: one image rich with detail, highlights and shadows.


Don’t go overboard

HDR-processed photos can sometimes show so much detail that the final image looks faked. The trick is to find a balance between highlighting the details and bringing out too much detail.



Prospective home buyers will study the interior photos most, because that’s where they’ll spend most of their time if they buy the place. Unfortunately, taking accurate, attractive interior photos is the hardest part of listing photography.


Interior lighting

Proper lighting is one of the most important aspects of taking a quality interior photo.


The built-in flash feature on your camera is excellent for lighting things within three feet of the camera but, by itself, it’s hopeless for lighting up the interior of a room. At best, it creates a flat-light effect that makes the room look lifeless. Instead, use the clamp lights and Cree bulbs recommended above. Place the lights on both sides of the camera (as far as 8 feet from the camera in a large room). Move them around to see the effect lighting can have on the space.


Other tips for proper lighting:


  • Learn how to adjust the shutter times on your SLR camera to drink in the available light. But remember: Longer shutter times mean the camera must be held perfectly still (with a tripod).


  • Try using two different bulbs in the two different clamp light fixtures (one 13.5-watt and one 18-watt) to create a subtle, three-dimensional shadow effect.


  • Try using your camera’s built-in flash in combination with the clamp lights.


  • Replace the bulbs in the room’s light fixtures with 150-watt versions to not only help illuminate the room, but also make the fixture pop in the photo.


  • If the natural light is too bright, wait until dusk. Shooting at twilight is another option. But avoid taking photos after sunset.


  • The effect you’re going for is even, balanced lighting, with some subtle shadows. To achieve that, try taking the shades off some of the out-of-frame lights, opening/closing doors to adjacent rooms, opening/closing shades.


Interior angles

You never want to make a room look smaller than it really is. So use the wide-angle setting, and position yourself in the doorway (or tight in a corner of the room).


To avoid distorting the edges of the room, keep the camera lens parallel to the floor – then bend down, or kneel, to get all the furnishings in the picture.


Try also taking a few shots from atop a step ladder, with the camera angled down.



Attractive exterior photos are easier to capture but still require the right lighting and angles.


Exterior lighting

Use the clamp lights mentioned above to light up outside areas, too – like covered porches/entryways, which can often be too shadowy even on a bright, sunny day.


Exterior angles

When possible, choose a camera angle that allows you to crop-out utility poles and wires, not-so-nice next door houses and other things that might make potential buyers think twice.


If the footprint for the home is good-sized, include some shots of the front that also include a view of the side so potential buyers can see the home’s depth.


Use a tripod. While blurring is less of a problem for outdoor shots, a tripod will help guard against crooked, wide-angle shots.


Some houses look better when photographed above ground level. You can use a ladder to increase the height of the shoot, or there are special camera extension poles.



Even if you don’t use high dynamic range photography (see description above), you can still edit your photos after the shoot using photo-editing software (adjust the colors, crop the edges, etc.). Photoshop is the software program used by most professionals. But free software is also available online (and may even be included with your camera).


The ethics of editing

Whenever you edit a real estate photo, you want to make sure you do not materially misrepresent the property:



  • Removing cars, garbage cans, chairs, children’s toys and other mobile objects from the photo.
  • Brightening the sky, removing dark clouds and making other weather changes.
  • Adjusting the resolution and contrast to improve the image quality.


Less than ethical:

  • Improving the look of fences, walkways, grass and other permanent features.
  • Demonstrating what it would look like if the carpet was removed and the hardwood floors underneath were refinished.
  • Repositioning the sun in the sky so it appears an area of the yard gets more sunlight than it really does.
  • Removing utility poles, power lines and not-so-nice neighborhood houses from the photo.


The best way to learn more about photography is to take a hands-on photography class. But if you’re an agent with a listing that just can’t wait, we’ll leave you with one last bit of advice: Take lots of photos. Try a variety of different angles and lighting techniques. Position yourself – and the furnishings – in different places. Take some multiple-exposure shots, and some single-exposure versions. When all is said and done, and you’re staring at it all on your computer screen, you’ll be glad to have so many options to choose between.


The Listing Presentation: Eight Keys to Success

We all know how important the listing presentation is. Do it right, and you’ll be one step closer to claiming the top-salesperson honors. Fumble it, and you’ll be back out on the street knocking on doors and looking for potential clients wherever you go.

Whether you’ve performed dozens of listing presentations or very few, the following tips will help you be more successful.

  1. Talk on the phone firstlisting

The last thing you want to do is show up with a generic listing presentation. Instead, call the sellers before the presentation and get a feel for who they really are – then use that insider information to customize your final presentation materials.

This is not the time to be selling yourself or your services. Your goal for the pre-presentation phone call is to ask the questions that will allow you to learn all you can about the motivations, objectives, expectations and concerns of the sellers.

  1. Create a guide

Home sellers are desperate for information, but they’ll only remember some of what you say during the presentation. So create a supplement that answers the most common home-seller questions and leave it with the homeowners after your presentation. Long after you’ve left the premises, your supplement will continue to sell your services.

  1. Be charming

No matter how experienced and knowledgeable you are, if the homeowners don’t feel a personal connection, you probably aren’t going to win the listing. The best way to get a stranger to like you is to mimic the person’s actions and personality. You have to be like them to be liked by them. It’s human nature.

  1. Learn to use visuals effectively

The best visual presentations are graphic-heavy and text light. Don’t make the mistake of including so much text on each page of your presentation that you’re just reading it. If you want to create a personal connection with the buyers, you need to engage them (and be engaging), not read to them.

  1. Go electronic

If you’re still using a physical book to make your presentations, it’s time to seriously consider switching to a tablet. Young sellers will think you’re too old-school to represent them if you use paper. And even older sellers will be expecting a little technology razzle dazzle.

  1. Turn the pricing question around

The number one thing every seller wants to know is, what you think their house could sell for. Before you present your research and recommendation say, “Before I tell you my opinion, tell me what you think your house is worth.” (If they’re a couple, be sure to ask both people, because they may disagree.)

The seller’s answer to this question will help guide the pricing part of your presentation. If their answer is, “I’m not willing to sell for anything less than …” and that price is high, you know you’re going to have to do a lot of explaining and convincing. But if the seller’s pricing expectation is in-line with yours, you can use your presentation time to confirm that.

  1. Sell softly

Selling a home is so stressful for homeowners that the soft-sell (even a bit of reverse psychology) is almost always the best approach. Tell them to take their time making a decision. Encourage them to interview other agents. Put them at ease and they’ll love you for it.

  1. Follow up with a note

If you really want to make an impression – and set yourself apart from the competition – send the sellers a handwritten note the day after your listing presentation. Tell them what a pleasure it was to meet them, and how you’ve been thinking about their house ever since the listing presentation.

If you don’t succeed, ask why

If you don’t land the listing, follow up with the sellers by phone and ask what made them choose the agent they did – then use those learnings to improve your next listing presentation. Make it clear that you simply want to learn from the experience, and most people will give you their honest feedback.


Get Creative: Design Tips for Custom Marketing Postcards

Most agents love how simple it is to launch a prospecting effort with Xpressdocs’ pre-designed marketing postcards. But did you realize there are blank templates you can design yourself?

For those who want to let their creative side shine, here are some tips from the Xpressdocs design team:

designInvest in a quality SLR camera – Photos taken with a phone or a point-and-shoot camera almost always lack the richness and detail necessary for a printed marketing document. A quality digital single-lens-reflex camera will allow you to adjust for low-light situations (especially when shooting indoors), take wider-angle shots, generate high-resolution results, manipulate your photos in post-production, plus much more.

Make sure your image is 300 dpi – Any image you include on a postcard (a photo, a logo, a graphic) should have a resolution of 300 dpi. Lower-resolution images (typically 72 to 96 dpi) are fine for viewing on a digital device. But for a printed postcard, the quality needs to be much higher.

Get inspired – The best (and easiest) way to develop ideas for a custom design layout is to study other great layouts. Click through the Xpressdocs postcard designs and make note of the elements you find particularly attractive (layout, design, colors, images, fonts, etc.), then combine, rearrange and replicate those ideas to develop something totally unique.

Leverage the power of color – According to Pantone, the world-renowned authority on all things color, every shade has a direct impact on a person’s emotions and psyche:

  • Red: Sexy, passionate, provocative, exciting and dynamic.
  • Hot pink: Shares the same high energy and spirit of red, but it’s more energetic and youthful.
  • Orange: Generally preferred by extroverted personalities, it’s perceived as playful, gregarious happy and childlike.
  • Yellow: Cheerful, mellow and soft to the touch.
  • Brown: Rooted, secure, down-to-earth and durable.
  • Blue: Reliable, trustworthy, dependable and committed.
  • Green: Refreshing and fresh.
  • Purple: Sensual and spiritual; artistic and unique; with a futuristic quality that speaks well for new concepts and technologies.
  • Neutral tones such as beige, gray and taupe: Solid, dependable and classic.
  • White: Perceived by the human eye as a brilliant color, and most often used as an eye-catching contrast color, white communicates clarity and cleanliness.
  • Black: Powerful, dramatic, elegant, expensive and strong.

Be consistent with your brand colors – Using color to establish a personal brand is relatively easy: Choose a combination of colors that defines your business’ attitude (and makes it stand out from competitors), then use that palette consistently on all your marketing pieces, everything from sidewalk signs to marketing postcards. The key is to be consistent. Trouble starts when you get tired of seeing those colors over and over, and you start mixing in new colors – which voids all the brand recognition work you’ve done to that point.

Consider using a professional – Designing marketing materials is a lot of fun, but creating something that looks truly professional is a lot harder than most people realize. So if your best try doesn’t produce the result you want, hire a freelance graphic artist to help.