USPS Postage Rate Increase : May 2015

The United States Postal Service has announced postage rate increases that affect all orders placed after 4pm CST on May 27, 2015. Xpressdocs rates for mailed products are being adjusted to reflect this postage increase.

 

Impact of USPS Postage Increases on Current Xpressdocs Rates
Products First Class Standard
Small Postcard – 5.5 x 4.25 in $.02 N/A
Large Postcard – 8.5 x 5.5 in $.02 $.01
XL Postcard – 11 x 5.5 in $.02 $.01
Folded Postcard – 8.5 x 5.5 in $.02 $.01
Mega Postcard – 11 x 8.5 in $.04 $.02
Rectangle Tri-fold Brochure – 8.5 x 5.5 in $.02 $.01
Newsletter $.02 $.01

Please contact any one of our client service specialists with questions by calling 866.977.3627 or email us at info@xpressdocs.com. We appreciate your business.

Part One: Eight Ways to Turn Sales Leads into Valued Clients

Xpessdocs’ list service is great for generating sales leads. But many real estate agents struggle with the next step: turning those prospects into paying clients.

The truth is, there is no “best” method for converting leads. There’s no telling when a potential client is going to make the decision to hire you as their agent. Every situation is different. Every prospect is unique. That’s what makes a sales career so exciting.turn-sales-leads-into-clients-part-1

But there are some lead-conversion approaches that have proven more successful. Included below are four of them. Next month, we’ll be back with four more.

Emphasize what makes you different

In the eyes of most prospective clients, it’s tough to tell a difference between real estate agents – which means, if you want to convert a sales lead, you need to emphasize the little things that make you unique (or at least seem unique).

Consider real estate agent Dan Kingsley. He sets his practice apart from the rest by playing up his paperless transactions:

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Dirty Mailing Lists Are Bad for Business

The last thing you want to do is waste time and money sending marketing efforts to the wrong address, to an outdated address, or to someone who no longer even has an interest in real estate services. If you want your marketing to pay off, you’ve got to keep your direct mail and email marketing lists clean and up-to-date.

Cleaning your direct mail list

dirty-mailing-lists-bad-for-businessAccording to the U.S. Postal Service, about one of every six families moves to a different address every year. That’s approximately 45 million people moving every 12 months. If you don’t have a way to accurately update the mailing addresses on your marketing list, not only are you wasting money, you’re losing touch with your contacts.

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How to Grab Attention of Generation Y

According to a recent report from Redfin, 92 percent of “Generation Y” (those born between 1981 and the early 2000s; also known as “Millennials”) say they’re eagerly awaiting the day they can buy a home of their own. So if you have an affordable city listing that might appeal to a first-time buyer, tap into this group’s desires with marketing they can’t resist.

To make your property listing as appealing as possible to this pool of 100 million young men and women, consider using statements like

gen_y_pic_1“Affordable living in the heart of the city”

Generation Y enjoys renting in urban areas. And that’s where they want to own, as well. They’ll even settle for a home that doesn’t completely satisfy their basic needs if its location puts them where they really want to be – which is within walking distance to shops, restaurants and other support services.

“Located in a cell phone sweet spot”

Believe it or not, nearly a third of Millennials say that the quality of the cell phone coverage is a “deciding factor” in their home-purchase decision. If the home you’re listing is well served by cell phone towers, be sure to promote that fact.

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Three Mailings are Better Than One

three-mailings-are-better-than-oneOne thing that makes postcard marketing so successful is that it’s so cheap. In the direct marketing industry, affordability is key.

If you only have enough money to launch one marketing effort, you won’t generate many fresh sales leads. The same is true for cash-strapped marketers who wait months between mailings. Your target audience will certainly notice your marketing effort(s), but they won’t respond in big numbers. You just can’t build a business relationship with one mailing – or a mailing every once in a while.

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Xpressdocs Platform Updates – Q1 2015

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-happy-young-businessman-using-laptop-image38301926

Xpressdocs is kicking off 2015 with a bang. Our Q1 2015 updates to the platform not only make it easier to upload images, but also we have added enhanced coating options! Click on a link below to get more detail about each update.

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A New (and Free) Way to Market Your Real Estate Services: Instagram

Launched as an online service in late 2010 (and purchased by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion), Instagram is a free social media service that makes it easy to share photos – as well as videos – with your friends and followers.

Using Instagram’s filters, casual shots taken with your smartphone come out looking like something a professional would charge hundreds of dollars to stage and shoot. Plus, Instagram makes it a snap to post those photos to Facebook, Twitter and other popular social media sites.

Instagram is a new and free way to market your real estate businessPeople are naturally drawn to photos and videos – which is why Instagram can be such a powerful force for real estate professionals eager to engage their sphere of influence. Ideas include:

Showcase a home for sale

Selling a home? Instagram makes it easy to share pictures of the property. However, instead of posting five standard listing photos and calling it quits, share one each day. For example, a shot of the house at sunset, with the caption, “The sunsets from the deck of my new listing are something to behold”; or a photo of the master bedroom with the caption, “I wish my master bedroom had walk-in closets and big windows like this (stay tuned for more photos of my new listing).”

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Marketing Messages That Make Baby Boomers Want to Buy

Marketing postcards are an excellent marketing tool for reaching Baby Boomers – a generation that grew up with the U.S. Mail as its primary form of communication to the outside world. While also tremendously tech-savvy (Baby Boomers love Facebook, email and search engines), this group still anxiously awaits each day’s delivery to the mailbox.

But what should you write? When you’ve got a house for sale that seems perfectly suited for an active, fiscally fit senior couple, what are the postcard marketing messages that will make this group sit up and take notice? Included below, eight suggestions.Marketing for Baby Boomers

“A right-sized house with smart updates and thoughtful amenities”

Image, status and neighborhood standing are not as important to Baby Boomers today. They don’t aspire to having the biggest or most expensive home in the neighborhood. They’re focused on practicality and functionality.

 

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5 Smart Phone Apps Every Agent Should Consider Downloading

Apps are like cable TV channels: Most are just a big waste of time. But there are some that can truly make you more efficient and effective – especially if you’re a busy real estate agent. Included below are five that deserve special consideration.5-Smart-Phone-Apps-Every-Agent-Should-Consider-Downloading

WatchMe 911 (personal security)

Personal safety is a top priority for most real estate agents, whose work requires them to meet with total strangers in often vacant homes. With the app “WatchMe 911” installed on your smart phone, you can rest a little easier in these situations. Designed by women, the app includes a “monitor me” function that will send out an emergency alert if it’s not turned off at a pre-determined time. Another function makes it easy to alert loved ones when you’ve safely arrived at your destination. Plus, there’s a panic button and a two-touch system for calling 911. To watch the app in action, see this video. Other options include the Guardly Safety App and SecureShow, an app that allows you to confirm the identity of a client before meeting them in-person.

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Facebook Does an About-face: No More Free Marketing

Free marketing services almost always come with strings attached. For years, Facebook was the exception to that rule, allowing real estate agents to promote homes, open houses and more on their Facebook pages at no charge. Now, Facebook is attaching strings that will have a dramatic impact on your social media marketing.

The good old days: How Facebook used to operate

For many tech-savvy small businesses (including real estate professionals), Facebook has been a Godsend. Instead of paying to promote their products and services via print ads, direct mail and email marketing, they could simply post a “status update” on their Facebook page for all their Facebook “friends” to see. If any of those friends “liked” the post, it would then be broadcast to the Facebook friends of those folks, as well, creating a “viral marketing” effect.Paying for Facebook advertising

For small businesses with the digital wherewithal, Facebook had the potential to be a very powerful – and free – marketing medium. Unfortunately, Facebook decided to end all that as of mid-January, 2015.

The new normal: Pay-to-play

According to a recent announcement from Facebook, any posts that are marketing focused (including contests) will suffer “a significant decrease in distribution.” You’ll still be able to post marketing-focused messages and contests, but Facebook’s powerful computers will automatically squelch their distribution – which means only a small fraction of your Facebook friends will see them.

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