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Changing the game with Sophie Carter

Sophie Carter Exclusive Properties

"Everything has an SMS to it, and then everyone is categorised."

A fourth generation real estate agent and a brilliant communicator, Sophie Carter from Sophie Carter Exclusive Properties in Coolangatta in Southern Queensland launched her own agency with her business and life partner, marketing ace, Cara Duncan two years ago.

A classy, contemporary brand, Sophie Carter Exclusive Properties focuses solely on sales. Wanting to do things differently, Sophie’s office is on the first floor, with no receptionist, and clients are seen by appointment only.

Blending digital and traditional marketing strategies, Sophie is making her mark by working mainly with time poor investors. Sophie has found a digital approach appeals to this market because they are time poor and it allows her to answer buyer questions and provide them immediately with the information they want and need. She says, “If you haven't given them the right information, and you're waiting for them to call - it's just a lost opportunity. Give them everything possible they need to make a decision and go from there. They're less about us, more about the property."

It’s a strategy that has taken off. Sophie says, “Where it's taken us is unbelievable, compared to what we were selling. We were selling generally lots of $500,000 - $600,000. Now, on average we're probably selling $800,000."

"The Data is so clean - it makes consequent interactions targeted and beneficial."

Robot Marketing is a Key Marketing Strategy

Early adopters of robot marketing, the team puts SMS codes on any signage, DL campaigns or print marketing. They use robot marketing to send out their detailed Web Books which have in a sense become buyer booklets that provide every single detail on a property. Sophie has found that if people are looking at five units, or ten units, they want to know what's the body corporate? What's the sinking fund? They need and want as much information as possible. Sophie says, “It’s just absolutely wonderful. All our clients love it.” Any person therefore who makes an enquiry on a property through realestate.com.au or domain.com.au automatically receives a property Web Book with all the specifications.

Sophie and her team also prospect using robot marketing to deepen, connect and clean all incoming data into the business. For example, they ran full-page ads through the local press and drove people to SMS a code word, from the newspaper to drive data collection. Sophie says, “Then we also did letterbox drops. So, we knew that those letterbox drops were in a certain area and we used Facebook. So, if you're on Facebook, which most people are, your mobile number is one of the things that is compulsory. So, with the SMS system, people SMS code words, but you don't get their names. Well, if you log into Facebook, and put their mobile number into Facebook, you get their full name, who they are, where they're from, and then you can really start to clean the data. That's how we're connecting the prospecting side of things. We're giving people information, but we're also getting their data, and through other tech software, just other little things, we're cleaning it as much as we can." The data is so clean, it makes subsequent interactions targeted and beneficial.

Sophie says, "We're spending a bit of money to get the data, but it's actually so easy to clean it without annoying people, that then we're eliminating the print down the track. That's the goal anyway.”

When Sophie and Cara sat down and worked out a plan of how they could connect digital and print marketing with robot marketing, she says, “The cost per use - it's unbelievable. It’s good information. We can put it everywhere." She believes her CV is now a Web Book and that Web Books and running campaigns on social media tied in with print and DL's has simplified everything. She says, “We don't do magnets or anything like that, anymore. We do very, very simple, just listed, just sold. We’ve connected it all. Everything has an SMS to it, and then everyone is categorised."

In a beautiful example of modern connective marketing, blending DL campaigns, robot marketing and Facebook, Sophie explains, “We had a local photographer resize images for the iPhone. I think I found six in iPhone 7 wallpapers sizes, but we added a small branding of us down the very bottom - just an embossed logo. What we then did was a DL campaign of the image and said, "If you want this as an iPhone wallpaper, and you won't receive anything but this - SMS TURTLE" and the client received a beautiful image, be it a turtle, or a bait shot, or something local." Targeted at people who lived in a particular area, when people texted in for the image, Sophie and her team then cross-referenced those numbers with Facebook to find their names and other details. She adds, “All of a sudden in the future, when we say, 'We need to get to these people', we no longer need to DL and print to get to those people." They already have them captured.

Sophie also employs a virtual assistant based in The Philippines for $700 a month, full-time. Sophie says, “She can be cleaning these databases and she’s amazing." Sophie is certainly a person who looks to the future with confidence and is constantly on the look out for new and more efficient ways to run the business. She says, “We have always looked at what we've done, what we're doing, and I guess what we've got planned, and then made sure it's not like anyone else's. We find that a lot of it is duplicated through the area. My partner gets quite annoyed about that, but for me, I just think, 'Right. It's somewhat of a compliment. Let's move on'.

It was Dad who always said that to me. He's like, 'Just change it. Just constantly change it. There's got to be something you can think of'. So, that's what we do."

 

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