Halloween Quotes | Scary and Spooky Quotes With Pictures

Halloween Quotes - Spooky and Scary with Pictures!! BOO!!Here are some of my favorite spooky and scary Halloween quotes with pictures!!! Boo!!

Each year Halloween rolls around and I think, I have enough quotes with pictures for Halloween, but then my inner spooky kicks in and I get all excited about getting some new Halloween pics to make spooky.

When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, ‘tis near Halloween.
~ Author Unknown

At first cock-crow the ghosts must go Back to their quiet graves below.
~ Theodosia Garrison

There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear.
~ George S. Patton

Hold on, man. We don’t go anywhere with “scary,” “spooky,” “haunted,” or “forbidden” in the title.
~ From Scooby-Doo

If a man harbors any sort of fear, it makes him landlord to a ghost.
~ Lloyd Douglas

From ghoulies & ghosties & long-leggedy beasties & things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us! ~Scottish Saying

From ghoulies & ghosties & long-leggedy beasties & things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!
~Scottish Saying

Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.  ~ Brendan FrancisMany of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them. ~ Brendan Francis

This inhuman place makes human monsters.
~ Stephen King, The Shining

So what, ghosts can’t hurt you. That’s what I thought then.
~ Stephen King, Bag of Bones

It’s as much fun to scare as to be scared.
~ Vincent Price

I love finding things that scare me and doing them. That’s how you grow.
~ Vanessa Hudgens

When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, May luck be yours on Halloween. ~ Author UnknownWhen black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, May luck be yours on Halloween.
~ Author Unknown

Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.
~ Orison Swett Marden

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.
~ Samuel Butler

I also have always liked the monster within idea. I like the zombies being us. Zombies are the blue-collar monsters. ~ George A. Romero

I also have always liked the monster within idea. I like the zombies being us. Zombies are the blue-collar monsters.
~ George A. Romero

He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.  ~ George CarlinThere are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.
~ George Carlin

I like to write in a shroud of secrecy because I have to keep finding ways to scare myself.
~ M. Night Shyamalan

Behind every tree there’s a new monster.
~ Todd Rundgren

Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.
~ German Proverb

Ghostly things don’t really scare me, but they really intrigue me.
~ Sophie Turner

The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination. ~ Richard Wright

The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination.
~ Richard Wright

When someone asks, ‘Does success make you into a monster?’ I always say, ‘No, it enables you to be a monster.’
~ Simon Cowell

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.
~ Rosa Parks

There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice. ~ Mark Twain

There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.
~ Mark Twain

Scare answers to scare, and force begets force, until at length it comes to be seen that we are racing one against another after a phantom security which continually vanishes as we approach.
~ Henry Campbell-Bannerman

Anything I’ve ever done that ultimately was worthwhile… initially scared me to death.
~ Betty Bender

I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life.
~ Corazon Aquino

An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself. ~ Charles Dickens

An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.
~ Charles Dickens

Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.
~ Napoleon Bonaparte

Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.   ~ Usman B. Asif

Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop. ~ Usman B. Asif

There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.   ~ Andre Gide

There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them. ~ Andre Gide

There you have it, my favorite Halloween Quotes with pictures for this year!!! Want more? Check out last year’s Halloween Quotes or my first years Cheesy Halloween Email Subject Lines.

Halloween Quotes With Pictures

Becoming An Expert – How To Pick A Niche Market

Becoming An Expert - How To Pick A Niche MarketBecoming an expert is easy. Simply know more than the people who you are talking to. The big question is how to pick a niche market to become an expert in…that is the rub!

I follow a gal who is simply amazing. She has been a hip-hop singer, waitress, coach, author, speaker, and many other things in her life and has somehow found a way to bring them all together in one magic bottle. Good on her! The problem for me is that she is telling other people that they can do the same.

Having worked with hundreds of small business owners over the years, I can tell you that most small business owners are not super clear about having products or services for one niche market, let alone trying to encompass two or even three markets. Entrepreneurs (like me) love the idea that we can do anything, be anything and accomplish it all at the same time, so this idea of multi-channel efforts sounds great.

Unfortunately for most of us, unless we keep our eye on the prize for one specific goal, for a fixed period of time, we veer off in all kinds of interesting and exciting shiney new directions, waking in a couple of months with a joy hangover but having not moved our business forward in any kind of cohesive manner.

Hopefully this post will help you to figure out a topic that you can become an expert in, and then give you some clear, concise steps to take to get you there.

Choosing A Niche Market – Go Broad

There is one school of though that say you should pick a giant niche that you can slice into chunks. I am up in the air about this one because I follow this model (somewhat). I want to be know for “marketing”. I want right of first refusal anytime you have a question about marketing, whether it is for coaching, which training program you should buy or whether I want to write a blog post about it.

That said, there are hundreds of kinds of marketing that I don’t know about/provide support for like Facebook paid ads, mobile marketing, local SEO, viral videos, enterprise level marketing, the list goes on and on.

There is no one I know who is an expert in every kind of marketing, or sports or food or any other topic. That said, what does it hurt to go that high level? Well…

For me to try to rank for the search term “marketing” on Google, I would have to beat out 441,000,000 competing sites like Wikipedia, the American Marketing Association, Entrepreneur.com and host of other huge names. While that term gets 60,000 searches a month, how many of those are for something that is a kind of marketing that I don’t do?

Niche Market – Go Narrow

So what if I go narrow for a niche marketing term like “Customer Demographics”. It only gets 70 searches a month according to Google, but I get almost 2,000 web hits per month to the two main pages that I rank for this term.

That is some powerful Google mojo, but I am not a demographics or numbers kind of gal except as it relates to SEO and searches (then I can geek out with the best of them!) That said, it is a great place to promote my Marketing Strategy Workbook and a Perfect Customer Profile Ebook I wrote with a marketing partner.

Writing about “thin slices” of marketing like “customer demographics” and “choosing a niche” allow me to rank highly for smaller pages on my website which in turn leads to ranking more highly for my top term of small business marketing. Although I may never get to page one for that term, I will have a site that overall ranks highly for many key marketing terms.

Same Expert, Different Target Market

All that said, does that mean you can’t combine passions? Absolutely not! Just recently I met with a gal who was having trouble getting her nutrition business off the ground. She was battling all the other people out there pitching cleanses and eating healthy and getting no where.

We spent some time figuring out what her passions were in addition to nutrition and found out that she is a complete geek about doing nutrition (making her own meade and trying to understand the chemistry behind how a sourdough starter begins). She is a also a HUGE outdoor gal who would spend all her days cooking over a campfire if she could….BINGO!

We rebranded her with “Nerdy Nutrition” and her target market for many of her custom products is going to be for people who are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle while camping and hiking.

The neat thing about this is that if all Chris got to do was spend all her time outdoors, cooking and talking food with other wilderness people, she would be in heaven. When you can find a realistic junction point between your passions, you can really make some magic!

Marketing Your Niche

Okay, here is where the rubber meets the road. Marketing online and offline are much different animals. My offline “Marketing” persona is rock solid. My business card reflects that I am a marketing speaker, author and consultant.

Tara Jacobsen - Marketing Speaker

I speak locally and nationally about all kinds of marketing topics and am super happy with how well branded I am as a “marketing expert”.

Becoming An Expert Online

Online marketing is where you have to be super sure that you are presenting your best “face” forward. Your website and social profiles all need to line up and show that you are something specific.

Website

You need to know what you want to be an expert for so that you can make your website reflect that. There are a number of different ways this comes across, overtly and more subtly.

  • About Us Page – Make sure your about us page states clearly what you are an expert in. I am huge fan of searching for experts in other fields and then modeling their about us page for your industry.
  • Speaker or Other Page – The cool thing is you don’t have to limit yourself to just one page. I have an about us page and a marketing speaker page. It targets marketing speaking and LOCAL Denver marketing speaking. The cool thing is that I get invited to speak at national events that are held here in Denver since they don’t want to have to fly everyone in and put them up! I have my TaraJacobsen.com domain name pointed to this sub page.

Social Media

One thing that I think people get wrong is thinking that someone is going to be looking for an expert using Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook (they might using LinkedIn). Instead there is a slow insidious process behind the scenes where they notice you talk a lot about your topic, then start to realize you are pretty smart, THEN they look to you as an expert.

Another thing that happens is that you get put on lists that other people use. For example I have a list on Twitter of Marketing People I like that is public. Other people have subscribed to that list and now they can follow the cool marketing people I like too!

It is vital that you take the time to figure out on each platform what constitutes being an expert. For example:

  • Twitter – You need to make sure that you have your industry hashtags in your description. Most people sifting through the sea of Twitter handles will look for a #marketing speaker, well before they will try to find a speaker in that mis-mash of humanity. Here is my Twitter description :: Taradactyl on Twitter.
  • Pinterest – You need to have your expert keyword terms at all levels from individual pins, to boards and onto your profile description.
  • Facebook – Facebook’s search capabilities are very limited so you will want to have a page with your expert status listed in the actual title if FB will one of your key marketing channels.
  • Google Plus - There is amazing search capabilities in Google+ so just make sure you have your expert keywords in your profile or page description.
  • LinkedIn - There are whole books written about how to have a great LinkedIn description. Here is a walkthrough of how I optimized my LinkedIn description “perfectly”.
  • Instagram – You may be surprised to see Instagram on the list, but this is hot up and coming network that is owned by Facebook. The key to Instagram search is hashtags so make sure to research those so you can rank well!

It is definitely worth taking the time to optimize your site and your social profiles when you are becoming an expert in a market niche! Each and every little thing you do adds up to help define you as your ideal profession so take the time to review all your profiles and make sure they are up to snuff!

Start Your Own Business – Marketing and Business Plans

Start Your Own Business - Marketing and Business PlansIf you are ready to start your own business or are already started but need hand getting going, this post is for you!

Most people who start a new business spend way too much time focusing on the wrong things. They dink around for months wondering what their logo should look like or what color their website should be. They might even order business cards before they know exactly what they are selling or how to position their business.

(these are the guys and gals at networking who have a fan deck of cards depending on what they are trying to sell today!)

If all this flailing around sounds at all like you, STOP!

Turn off your cell phone, shut down your email and read this entire post before you go any further. Yes, there is a pitch at the end for my workbook, but in between is all the knowledge and information that I have gotten over the years from talking with almost a 1,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs

Where To Start

When you start your own business, you have all the options in the world. The purpose of running your own company is to do what you like, instead of having to work for “the man” and do what someone else dictates all day long. Problem is, we all tend to go about it the wrong way. We try and figure out what people want to buy and then squish ourselves into that, selling more and more and getting sadder and sadder over the years.

Instead you should look at your strengths and skills, building a company around what your core competencies are.

Exercise

  • Write down your sales strategy (how you like to sell)
  • Your strengths as a person and as a leader
  • Your business objectives for the next three months

Lastly, write down your ONE main objective for the next three month marketing cycle. Really, you can only have one main goal to work towards for 3 months (it can have parts, but overall just one main goal!)

Niche-ing Down

When you start your business, it seems like it would be a great idea to “go broad” and see what people are interested in buying. Heck, you might even ask them what they need and try to fulfill that right? WRONG!

Today more than ever it is important that you know EXACTLY what you are selling and EXACTLY which target market is going to buy it. Think about it, there are BILLIONS of internet sites, MILLIONS of business around the world and probably THOUSANDS of people who are trying to sell something similar to what you are. The only way to cut through all that clutter is to be super clear about your product offerings and know exactly who you are selling them to.

For example, the workbook that goes along with this post is made for small business owners and entrepreneurs. It is not intended to be a reference for big business or multinational corporations (that is not my expertise).

Exercise

  • What is your industry?
  • What parts of your industry do you like the best?
  • Who do you like to work with the most?
  • If you could only work with one kind of person for the rest of your life, who would it be?
  • What could you sell them specifically?

Niche marketing statement. Once you have completed this exercise, you will be able to write a niche marketing statement. It should be a declaration of your products, who you are selling to and what they like. The niche marketing statement for my workbook is, “I sell marketing planning seminars, workbooks and consulting to small business owners, entrepreneurs, manufacturers and realtors who love marketing.”

Who You Are Selling To

There is an old saw in the advertising business, “selling to everyone is selling to no one”. When you start your own business it can seem like a great idea to work with anyone who comes along. What could it hurt and there is money coming in the door, right? Well doing the wrong work can lead you down a path that will not be the best fit for your ongoing business AND at the same time takes your eye off the prize of your “real” goals.

One of the people in our networking group has a super funny saying…she sells cosmetics and her perfect customer is “anyone with skin”, which of course is everyone on the planet! While hers is a bit tongue-in-cheek, unfortunately most people starting out really will work with anyone. They are desperate to make some sales and get things going and are not looking for an ideal customer, more-so they are looking for anyone who will fog a mirror.

Perfect Customer ProfileTM

When you are working on who to sell to, you need to think about things like their age and marital status (normal demographic data), but you also need to know about their lives. What they do when they are working and when they are off. Who their family is and what they like to do on Friday night.

It is impossible to write great sales copy when all you want to do is sell your own “stuff”. Instead you need to turn it around and figure out what your ideal customer actually needs, develop a product to meet that need and position it in the marketplace so she recognizes herself when she sees it!

For example the demographics for who will probably buy my workbook are: College educated woman in her late thirties to early 50’s, who has just started a business. There is a good chance she is married. But that barely scratches the surface! Here are two different types of women that I have worked with in the past. As you will see, they are very different and I would need to use entirely different marketing messages to reach each one:

Potential Customer #1

Start Your Own Business BannerThis first gal, let’s call her Chris is 46 and married. I know that she has had a job-job in the past that she was good at and is feeling like a fish out of water right now, although as soon as she is up and running she will be right back in her element. Her heroes are women like Mary Kay and Oprah who have dominated the business world without becoming “bitches” but who are super strong and powerful women.

Her husband is probably a little confused right now as he doesn’t recognize this new entrepreneur in the woman he married. The kids are a little resentful that Mom has to work more at home and she is feeling pulled in a million directions and like she is not being effective at anything anymore.

The marketing message I will use with this gal is to “stop pulling out your hair” or “running in a million directions at once”. The workbook will solve a problem of how to get all her thoughts together in one place and get her on the road to a successful business fast.

Potential Customer #2

Our second gal, let’s call her Lyndsy is 39 and single. She has been in a committed relationship for 5 years now but is not actually sure where it is going. She has saved up a bunch of money (some of it was earmarked for her wedding but that doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon) so she is ready to start a new business. She got her real estate license, signed up with a broker, but now is not even sure what she should be doing next. Some of the people in her office have fancy brochures, some are doing open houses, but she is not sure how to proceed. She needs a plan!

The marketing message I will use with this gal is to “make a plan and work it!” She just needs to set herself some goals and tasks and get started. It is funny, years ago when I went into real estate I knew I wanted to work with buyers because I could prospect them easily on the internet. After working with a couple though, I found out I like the seller side much better! Sometimes when you are starting out, it is best to know what you like to like to do and then craft your business around your strengths instead of trying to squish yourself into someone else’s idea of a perfect business.

As you can see, they both are in the same general demographic, but the way that I have to market to each is very different. Taking the time to figure out who you would like to work with the most is vital to making sure that your business launches well right from the start!

What To Sell – Product Development

The next thing to consider is what you are selling. If you are doing something like financial services it can seem easy, you are “selling” life insurance policies. But are you really? How many people do you think are just going to walk up and want to buy a policy, or car, or house. Instead you need to find out what your product does that is of value to a customer! Key things to consider are:

  • Key features of your product
  • Key problems that it solves
  • The one product you are going to sell
  • Your income goals
  • How many of the product you will have to sell to meet those goals
  • Competitive pricing in the marketplace

Knowing these key metrics will help you position your product in the marketplace and sell more faster!

Creating Business Plans

I have found that most guides for creating business plans (or marketing plans) focus on money. They are totally about projections and estimates, profits and loses. Having worked in the real world for a very long time, I can tell you that EVERY projection that you will make about your business will be wrong. You will “guess” that you will sell X number of Y and then have to revise it all over again.

Business planning is great. Goal setting and affirmations are are a big part of my workbook and I truly feel that help get us where we are going. But business planning, setting a profit and loss report, and doing detailed projected future earnings is a waste of time if you are a small business owner or entrepreneur just starting out.

When you are starting out you need to make sure you have a clear plan for 1) what you are selling and 2) how you are going to be marketing it. Those are the key ingredients for making money. You can have all the business plans, charts and graphs in the world, but truly, nothing happens until somebody sells something.

I have worked with almost 1,000 entrepreneurs over the years and I will tell you that rarely is the problem a lack of effort or that they didn’t have the right spreadsheet. Instead, problems came from a lack of focus, of not knowing what they should be doing RIGHT NOW to sell more and what they needed to invest in marketing-wise to make more money so they could market more, so they could make more money.

Over 15 Years and 1,000 Conversations

I have spent the last 15 years working with entrepreneurs and small business owners, talking with them about what is going right in their business and what is going wrong. I have heard about their stunning achievements and their dismal failures. We have planned, strategized, re-planned and re-strategized right to six figure businesses that they are proud to own today!

If you are looking for a “How To Be Successful In Business Manual”, this is the one. There are worksheets covering everything we talked about in this post as well as tips, tricks and tactics that will get you up and running fast (and in the right direction!)

The Last Business Planning Guide You Will Ever Need

What Works On Social Media? 38 Super Amazing and Popular Listicle Titles

Answering some major marketing questions today like…do listicles work equally well across the social media marketing platforms? Is it worth my time to make listicles?  A will I be able to look myself in the mirror after listical-ing?

What Works On Social Media? 38 Super Amazing and Popular Listicle TitlesSo I heard a question about “Listicles” the other day and wasn’t absolutely sure that I knew that term. Well over the few days I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about what listicles are. Functionally a listlicle is a blog post that has a number associated it with it. So my (ironic) title, 38 Super Amazing Listicle Titles is actually a listicle itself (very meta I know!)

When I started this journey I was very ANTI LISTICLE. I find those types of posts to be hyperbolic and rarely are something that I would be interested in reading about anyways (think, “36 of Usher’s Sweetest and Sexiest Moments“). Now, you might be loving on the Usher and hating on me for bashing this, but really, I am a business person with little interest in celebrity gossip.

Social Media Listicles

Since most of my readers are business people like me, let’s step back a minute and figure out what purpose a listicle serves for marketing. It is supposed to be sharable and create viral-ity so that people are compelled to come to your blog to read about your interesting list.

I find that my listicles work the other way. I get great traffic from the Google search engine to 3 of my top 5 posts that are listicles, 100 Great Email Subject Lines, Real Estate Marketing | 100 Great SEO Keywords for Realtors, and 100 Great Twitter Tweet Examples.

These three posts count for over 4,500 hits a month to my website!

But today I wanted to take a look and see how social media could boost listicles by looking at what the most popular types are according to each social media network.

Here are my findings based on the purely unscientific results of either clicking the “popular” tab on the social sites or doing an internet search of historic data. I made this post because I was fearful that only by turning teeny-bopper and hooking all my lovely marketing posts to celebrity gossip could I survive.

My results may shock you!

Popular on Twitter

Let’s start with my biggest fail. I spent hours searching on “best Twitter Tweets” or “popular Twitter Tweets” and came up with two ho-hum ones in that whole time. On the popular lists for Tweets NONE of them were about listicles. They were funny and clever, biting and caustic, but none where “link bait” listicle articles.

Not a good start but nice to know my lovely Twitter feels like I do about these types of posts!

Popular On Google Plus

Next I headed over to Google Plus to see what was trending using their Explore tool. Now, Google’s idea of popular (4 likes and a couple of shares) is a little different than mine. None of the posts listed here had even a hundred likes, but that is what Google+ is saying is popular so who am I to argue.

This site seemed the most interested in listicles with about a 1 in 20 ratio of “normal” posts to listicles. While not out of hand, at least the Google+ algorithm seemed to think that listicles were okay to show.

(note: I think that it depends who you are following. Based on the fact that most of the ones shown on my account were marketing related, I used a couple of client accounts to check for popular posts that were not marketing related!)

Current listicle titles that Google+ is showing as popular:

Overall I have to say that photography posts and less hyperbolic business posts were considered popular more often than celebrity or “shocking” posts were.

Popular On Pinterest

The next site I checked out restored my faith in humanity! Using the “popular tool” in Pinterest I was able to find a great array of kinder, gentler listicles without the major come-ons or puffery.

While listicles were present, about 1 in 30 popular posts, “Pinterest Popular” is much more about the pictures and less about shocking headlines.

While it is just an observation (after looking at about a gagillion Pinterest posts), the ladies of Pinterest are looking for “cute, easy and fast” more than any other kind of listicle!

Popular On YouTube

There is a “Popular on YouTube” channel. Now, I am not sure if this is an official channel, but after having checked out a bunch of other sources, this one seemed the most on target.

I was super surprised at the video listicles that were popular on YouTube (only about 1 in 50 videos). Because so much of YouTube is dominated by celebrity news and gossip, I expected that the listicles that would shine would be of the “Usher” variety. But NO! Many of the most popular were actually useful and not over-the-top screaming “read me”.

Popular On Facebook

So where are all those over-the-top, crazy sounding, hyperbolic blog posts being shared if not on social media sites like Pinterest, Google Plus and YouTube. Well, you guessed it! On the Facebook!

While I cannot share the links to these posts as Facebook is a closed system, here are the top listicles:

  • 30 of the Most Powerful Images Ever
  • 40 Must-See Photos From The Past
  • 40 Maps They Didn’t Teach You In School
  • 22 Unbelievable Places that are Hard to Believe Really Exist
  • 33 Amazing Ideas That Will Make Your House Awesome
  • 31 Haunting Images of Abandonded Places That Will Give You Goosebumps
  • Top 10 ways to ensure your best people will quit
  • The better than Ultimate Guide To Landing Page Optimization

(Note: Some of the listicle posts from Bored Panda list and some others from the internet randomly.) 

Overall really pretty tame based on some of the titles that I have seen out there (think, 23 Frightening Tinder Messages That Prove Romance Is Dead.) It seems that even the people cruising Facebook for entertainment are not wiling to go that far off the reservation when posting listicles.

Additional Listicle Research

What Works On Social Media? 38 Super Amazing and Popular Listicle Titles

Wrapup

Well I have to say that overall the listicle seemed at the end of the day more meaningful than I originally thought, but ultimately less important than it gets credit for. None of the sites popular lists were crawling with listicles in any true way, although there did seem to be a place for them in the marketing mix. I am not sorry that I wrote my 38 Super Amazing and Popular Listicle Titles that work on social media post, although I do feel like the outcome was a little bit ambiguous.

Where I actually see the most opportunity, based on my admittedly flawed research data is YouTube and Pinterest. Both seem to have a spot for listicles that is not quite so skeevy feeling as they are on Facebook!

How To Get More Listings | Creative Realtor Marketing

How To Get More Listings | Creative Realtor Marketing If you are a Realtor and believe in common wisdom, learning how to get more listings is a vital piece of the puzzle as each listing will result in two buyer side sales. While there are some tried and true ways to get listings (like door knocking and prospecting FSBOs, these ideas are intended to be more a part of a well thought out marketing campaign than a tactic of making phone calls or knocking on doors.

Open Houses / Nosy Neighbors

When I was a Realtor, lo these many years ago now, I got 42% of my listings from open houses. Those nosy neighbors who come by are actually potential sellers and often are looking for a Realtor at open houses (only finding buyers agents manning the table who are not picking up on their cues).

With a determined plan you can convert these potential sellers into listing appointments relatively easily. Simply ask or have materials out that appeal to sellers and then really work the ones that “bite”.

1. Would you like me to pop by and price your house for you? As Realtors we often want to hedge our bets and say the market sets the pricing and finagle around saying that we need to look at the market statistics, blah, blah, blah. Potential sellers don’t care about all that, they just want to know what their home is worth. Having split tested lots of questions like “Would you like to find out your home’s value”, “Do you want to know your house value”, etc. the question, do you want me to price your house for you won hands down both online and in real life.

I think it is because it is non-threatening (I am not asking to come list them) and shows authority (less dancing around about the market and a more definite phrasing.

2. Top 10 Mistakes Home Sellers Make Guide. If you have a stack of these guides sitting on the table, potential sellers will sort themselves out and take one. Even better, just have one and if someone asks if they can have one, ask them for their address and let them know you will pop by with their very own copy in the next couple of days AND will take a peek and have the price of their house there at the same time!

3. Drip on them. It goes without saying that you should have a sign in sheet and ask for name, address, phone and email address. Because email and the phone were so easy, I found that mailing information about once every three weeks to these potential buyers actually resulted in more listings. I would send a hand written thank you note, mail them a couple of marketing pieces and then “popby” with something a little more special to leave at their door. The fuzzy flower in a bag with birdseed resulted in two listings! But it was the consistent contact beforehand that made that happen!

Expired Listings 1 Month Out

Every sales trainer for real estate will say that you have to pull the expired listings each day and dial for dollars, hoping that you can turn them into a quick listing. This makes sense as it is easier to convince someone to list with an agent who has already listed before. That said, I hate to have to spend all my time making up for the sins of others. YES, you may be able to jump in there and save the day, repricing the house and getting it sold fast, but there is probably a reason it didn’t sell before and that reason will not just disappear overnight.

That said, there are a fair amount of these listings that don’t have phone numbers included or who don’t go right back under contract and these are a gold mine for marketing.

1. Only pick ones that you would like to list. If you are going to prospect expired listings this way, don’t just pull down every one that comes along. You are going to have to do some research and put in some effort so having a smaller, better curated list makes more sense. Look for the price range you are farming or would like to start farming. Pick neighborhoods that would help your business grow.

2. Once a month check through your expired listings list and see if they have listed with another agent yet. The ones who have, toss, the ones who haven’t and which are listings you would like to get, either popby with something fun or send them a note with a piece of material that will help them (maybe a CMA-like overview of their current neighborhood but decrypted for humans).

Don’t Leave Orphan Buyers Lying Around

This is pretty shocking, 25% of home sellers used the agent that they previously worked with to buy or sell a home but 65% said they would definitely use the same agent again. (report) That leaves a delta of 40% who say they would use the same agent but who ultimately don’t.

1. Set up a database of past buyers and start loving on them. Those past buyers are now potential sellers! Send them twice-yearly reports of what their home would be worth (you can rotate these reports so they don’t all have to be done the same month). If you haven’t done this before you can simply search your MLS number and start working from the oldest sales you have had back to the newest. Stop reading this and start today. Do one or two a day, sending a personal note until you have all of them in order. DO NOT apologize for not having contacted them sooner. No one is sitting around thinking about how often you have mailed them. They will just think it is nice now!

2. Have client appreciation days. There is nothing more important to humans than feeling appreciated and a thank you party once or twice a year is a great way to make them feel loved. Now, these do not have to be extravagant affairs, but could be a 4th of July picnic in your back yard or an open bar for drinks at your club.

Neighborhood Mailings

Deb Ward - Realtor BrandingMuch like “pick a niche”, you should pick a neighborhood and pound on it with mailings, open houses and even door knocking if you roll that way. There is a service from the post office called “Every door direct” which allows you send postcards, flyers, etc. to every mailbox or home on a mail carriers route.

1. Pick a neighborhood you love. There are many different ways to pick a farming area in real estate, but my absolute favorite is because you love it. If you are spending time growing a true farm, you better be sure that you are going to enjoy the locations and types of people who live there. For example, if you pick a high end waterfront community, you better enjoy talking about sailing and maybe even join the local marina.

2. Mail 3 times a year. Sending a neighborhood mailing out 3 times a year is affordable ($.17 piece mailing + print costs on a flyer is about $200)

3. Be distinctive. My friend. the Irish Realtor, Deb Ward, mails to fewer people but does so in a distinctive green envelope and prominent shamrocks.

Prospecting Likely Sellers

Home Sellers - 9 years in homeOkay, this is the big one to watch out for. Every MLS or Tax Records has the ability to do database searches that can find people who have lived in their homes for a given period of time. Common wisdom said that people would be staying in their homes for 7 years so you would be best to start prospecting them specifically in 6.5 years. But wait! Those numbers have changed over the years due to economic circumstances and the timelines for moving have stretched out!

Now you should be looking in 9 year range, meaning you should contact them when they have owned their homes for 8.5 years! According to the National Association for Realtors, statistics for sellers were that the typical home seller in 2013 was 53 years of age, had a median household income of $97,500, and lived in their home for 9 years. (source)

1. Prospect wisely. Say a subdivision has 150 homes and you want to farm it. You can send your 3X a year mailings out as normal, but there are homeowners in there that who are better prospects for hiring you as a sellers agent and you need to target them more aggressively. In the opposite months of when you are sending your mailings to everyone, you should be sending them something very specific, showing your knowledge of the area and your real estate expertise. This could be a guide to home selling, a CMA report for their subdivision or even a direct “Want me to come price your home for you” postcard.

2. Be consistent. With this gang the key is consistency and your efforts will pay off. If they have been in their homes for 8.5 years or more, the percentage that will be moving are much higher than the average homeowners so it is worth your time to be there for them right around the time they decide that they have to move!

How To Get More Listings

Well there you have it! Creative ways to get more listings that are hard work (I didn’t say creative ways to get more listings the easy way!) That said, all of these ideas involve getting systems in place and then just “working the system.” You won’t have to guess and grovel anymore about what to do, instead you will be able to pick and choose the listings that you want to take in the areas that are most friendly to you!

If you would like to learn more about how to work with Tara on your realtor marketing, check out our Realtor Marketing Strategy page!