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Breakthrough Ideas for Greater Real Estate Success!

 

Vangie Berry, REALTOR
Vangie Berry,
REALTOR®

"How I Get 2 to 5 Extra Listings
Every Month Using A New &
Unusual Marketing Strategy..."

I'm a broker in central Florida, and I discovered a way to get 2 to 5 listings from referrals every month using a 20-minute marketing strategy.  I put together a 17-page report about how this strategy works that you can request here...

Unstoppable Just Listed/Just Sold Strategy

The main problem with real estate marketing is it gets “stopped”. What I mean is, your promotions don’t get results because they can’t get over three common hurdles for every marketing message:

  1. Getting opened
  2. Getting read
  3. Getting acted-upon

Take Just Listed post cards for example.  They may get delivered, but do you think they ever get read?  They should be called “Just Go” cards because they just go in that round file known as the waste basket.

Here’s a better way to use the Just Listed and Just Sold strategy…

How To Use “Unstoppable”
Just Listed and Just Sold Letters
To Sell More Listings and
Get New Clients

HURDLE #1: Getting your message OPENED

You can’t sell your listings if your prospects never see your promotions.  That may not be a shock to you, but what are you proactively doing to get your message in front of the right prospects?

When I list a home, I do the following to sell it quickly:

  • Get a list of names and addresses for other homeowners in the community/subdivision/area (hopefully 100-150 contacts).
  • Get normal sized envelopes that you’d use to send a letter to a friend (use colored envelopes if near a holiday, like Red for Valentine’s day).
  • Handwrite the names and addresses with my sellers FROM address.

IMPORTANT: I do not put my name or brokerage on the envelope!  This will sabotage your results.

You’ll understand what I’m about to do in a minute, but for now… realize that there IS a way to get your mail opened.  You have to make it personal.  Like their relative sent them a birthday card.  Or, in this case… like they just received a nice letter from their neighbor.  They will open it.  Curiosity will get the best of them.  Wouldn’t YOU open a personal letter from a neighbor?

The idea here isn’t that the neighbors will buy the house.  They probably have several friends or coworkers with the ability to buy in their neighborhood.  Getting the entire neighborhood to see your message is the first step toward having them help you find a buyer.

Many agents try to use postcards to get attention.  But the glossy look identifies them as junk mail.  These postcards may get a 2-second glance but you won’t get people to read the details (except maybe price) or call you…

HURDLE #2: Getting your message READ

I’ve overcome the first hurdle of getting my message opened.  Now I have to do something subtle but extremely important to get my message read.

People hold our promotions in front of them looking for something (anything) to tell them to stop reading.  They’re trying to identify the letter as junk mail so they can move on with their day.  Don’t say you don’t do the same thing.

This happens whether it’s other homeowners in the neighborhood of a property you just listed/just sold or even prospects who are visiting your website.  We’re all asking… “Am I going to get something that interests me or fulfills something I desire?  Or, is this just another promotion I can ignore?

BREAKTHROUGH TIP: I put the letter in my client’s voice.  More specifically, I do the following:

  • I have my seller clients approve a just listed letter I wrote for them in THEIR voice.  And after the sale, I send out a just sold letter in their voice.
  • I also put the letter on nice stationary that’s personal.

I’m close to the finish line but have one more hurdle to go before I know my promotion will be effective…

HURDLE #3: Getting your message ACTED UPON

The biggest thing missing from Realtor promotions is a motivating reason to respond.  This is especially true of Just Listed/Just Sold cards which most agents treat as blasting a news update to people.

I find it more effective to offer something of value with a method to respond.  Here’s how I do this:

  • Offer free information for those wanting to buy or sell (must be specific — see my example letters below).
  • Use a “hotline” number that has a Free Recorded Message (so people feel comfortable calling).

Below are the real estate letters I use as examples:

JUST LISTED & JUST SOLD LETTERS

(click the images above to open the letters in a PDF file)

When I send out the Just Listed letter, I now have an additional 150 neighbors trying to sell my listing.  I know they’ve opened and read my message, and they also have a specific way to send me leads!

After the listing is sold, I send the follow-up Just Sold letter.  This is when I start getting the calls from neighbors who want me to sell their house.  They are great clients.  They trust me from the start.  Why?  Because I was referred by their friend and former neighbor!

Go try this strategy with your listings.  You (and the neighbors around your listings) will be glad you did.

And if you’d like a bank of letters proven to boost your production, plus the knowledge you’ll need to make them work, click here.

What do YOU send for Just Listed / Just Sold notices?



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How To Sell More Homes Spending $0.00

Would you like to use a marketing system that costs nearly $0.00 and can bring you a steady flow of quality, motivated buyers — even during this slow economy?

Then keep reading because in this article I’ll show you one of the highest-return, lowest-cost marketing strategies you’ll ever use in your real estate practice. I’m dead serious. This is working today to get more exposure and contracts for your listings. As a side benefit it also demonstrates your unique value to sellers and helps you get more listings.

Here’s how this 2-step marketing strategy works:

STEP #1: Get a quality list of people to EMAIL

STEP #2: Send them a “valuable update” at least once a month

The best way to explain how this strategy can help you sell more homes is by answering a few common questions about email marketing…

QUESTION #1:Is email effective?

  • Emails are quick and easy to create and send, and they cost you nothing…
  • Emails are welcomed when they’re part of a “valuable update” (as long as you’re sending something people want to read and not all real estate info, more on that in a moment)…
  • Emails are seen more than Facebook posts or Twitter updates because they arrive in someone’s in-box rather than on a website someone has to go and check…
  • Emails are the most reliable way to get visitors to your website anytime you have an updated listing (no more running ads, printing flyers, or paying for traffic to get potential buyers to see listings on your website)…

Are emails opened by everyone?  No.  Email open rates depend on many factors including:  1) your relationship with the people you’re emailing, 2) the nature of your previous emails, and 3) how often you email your contacts.

If your contacts know you personally, you can expect 25% to 40% to open your emails within the FIRST DAY of you sending an email, spending $0.00.  That’s why email marketing is the best way to promote your listings — it’s the highest-leverage tool you can use for free to get exposure for your listings.

QUESTION #2:What if I don’t have email addresses of my contacts?

The most valuable business asset you’ll ever own is your “Power List” — some agents call this your sphere of influence. It’s your past clients, quality leads, friends, family, or acquaintances who know of you from a common organization or group. These are people most likely to welcome and respond to your emails.

Many of these contacts are already in your current email program. You can easily export these contacts and put them in an email marketing system. Then you’ll be able to send a “broadcast email” where you message all your contacts at the same time (instead of one-by-one). The email can still be personal by having the email system merge in the FIRST NAME of each contact.

But what if you still don’t have ALL the email addresses of your contacts, or you want more? I’ve created a quick reference guide with 15 easy ways to get more email addresses, organized into the following FOUR categories:

  1. FREE (7 strategies to collect emails for no cost)
  2. CHEAP (3 inexpensive and effective strategies to get more emails)
  3. BIG BANG (2 strategies that cost money, but can help you build a huge email list quickly)
  4. LEVERAGE (3 strategies to get emails from high-quality contacts that other people know)

I’ve numbered each of the strategies so it’s quick to scan the list, pick the ones you want to use, and start building your email list. To download this guide, click the image below…

* One agent I know was averaging at least 2 new people every day added to her database, and in her first year alone made over $122,000 in commissions from this group.  And she keeps making a $6-Figure income each year from them, even in this economy.  This is worth it.  Follow the reference guide and keep at it.  You’ll be glad you did.

QUESTION #3:What do I email so it’s welcomed, opened, read, and acted-upon?

OK, so you’ve got your “Power List” with email addresses. What do you send them?

If you blast off a “pitch” email promoting your listings to these folks, many of them will be upset or wonder why you’re spamming them. Instead, you want to send them something that will be welcomed and valued. It needs to be something radically different than the “email flyers” you see used to promote listings to other agents.

How do you send something that sets you APART from other agents, brings great VALUE, bonds a deeper RELATIONSHIP, while ALSO promoting your listings and giving specific REASONS to contact you?

The answer is to send a “valuable update.” That’s a little vague. Let me explain it using the Service For Life!® real estate newsletter as an example.

Each issue of Service For Life!® is engineered with:

1) Articles people want to read (not all about real estate) to make your email welcomed and valued…
2) Teasers, trivia, odd facts and helpful resources to get people involved (the longer they spend with your emails the more they’re bonded to you and the more they’ll see offers to contact you)…
3) 14 specific OFFERS to convert leads, generate referrals, word of mouth and repeat business (including multiple places to promote your listings in each email)…

You can see a sample of the email version here.

The bottom line: sending the “right” kind of email allows you to notify all your contacts about your listings at least once a month… where they THANK YOU for emailing them. Now that’s powerful. Thousands of agents are using this strategy today to get more listings sold, for no cost, while also deepening their relationship with each person for more referrals.  This also demonstrates a marketing system you have to promote listing, which will bring you more seller clients.

There’s a lot more I could say to describe this strategy, but you can learn all the specifics on this webinar training.

What you need to know right now is: produce a “valuable update” email, once a month, that has all the right elements to get opened, read, engaged-with, and that motivates response.  More specifically, you’ll need to…

  • Spend 15 to 20 hours a month researching, writing, editing, rewriting, etc. the articles on your own,
  • Layout the entire email in HTML (or pay a graphic designer to do it),
  • And find an email marketing system to send broadcast emails.

Or, you could become a Service For Life!® member and have it 95% done for you each month…

** Your contact info and photo are already loaded into your email issue…
** You take 5-minutes to add a personal message so it looks like you created it (this personal touch is very important)…
** You can add links or listing information directly to the email template through a simple editor that looks and works just like a word processor…
** All articles are also modifiable through the email editor and there’s an article library with dozens of new articles available each month, ready to cut and paste in about 30-seconds…
** Press SEND, and you’re done.

All the right elements are already engineered into the Service For Life!® email template, plus there are videos and guides to export and upload your contacts into an email sending system, pre-written email openers that bonds people to you for life, and information for getting more emails opened with the right subject lines, along with the best times of day and days of the week to send emails.

Your time is really better spent working with clients and closing deals. The choice is yours: create your own “valuable update” email each month, or have it done for you.

Either way, putting in place this cheap, and amazingly effective marketing strategy could be the ONE thing you need to prosper in today’s new economy.

How To Make Your Real Estate Success A 100% Certainty

Did you ever take physics in high school or college?

I cringe when I hear the word. But if you did take physics, you might have learned about an amazing concept called “Critical Mass.”

What is “Critical Mass” and what on earth does it have to do with real estate success?

“Critical Mass” occurs when an object or process in motion reaches such a momentum that it continues at that momentum…even increases that activity for long sustained periods of time – even forever!

And did you know that your real estate production can hit a point of “Critical Mass”?

It’s true. In fact, after teaching more than 34,000 agents how to get breakthrough production and lasting profits in real estate…

 

I Have Never Seen a Real Estate Practice Achieve Long-
Term Success WITHOUT Reaching Critical Mass™…

Yes, it’s that important. Let me explain further…

See…about 19 years ago…when I was working with small groups of agents, I coined the term “Critical Mass™” to explain the dynamic of growing such a strong “marketing momentum and personal market share” you actually start to generate 70%, 90%, even 100% of your clients from your created marketing momentum.

But more than that…I discovered a way to make your production continue to grow and grow almost automatically year-after-year no matter what happens with the economy.

Picture your real estate production like a small snowball in your hand. If you take that snowball and start rolling it down a hill, it will start growing bigger. And as it grows bigger it will start to take on its own momentum and start rolling itself.

And as it starts rolling faster, it also starts to get bigger…and bigger…and bigger. And as it gets bigger, it starts to roll faster…and faster…and faster.

Do you see what’s happening here?

At some point your snowball reaches a point of “Critical Mass™” where its accumulated momentum will keep it rolling and rolling and rolling.

 

What happens when your real estate practice
starts reaching Critical Mass™?

Amazing things start to happen…

Your production will multiply, and continue to grow for as long as you practice real estate, because you’re creating your own momentum…your own personal market share – it’s a mathematical certainty as you’ll soon see…

You will never cold prospect again…never face the humiliation and frustration of cold marketing – nearly all of your clients will come to you the easy way: by referral, word of mouth, and repeat business…

You will work half as much and stress a fraction of the amount you do now…and in the process you’ll make multiples of your present income.

Why will all these good things happen? Because…

 

You Will Spend Your Time Only On the Most Productive
Real Estate Activities: Working With Clients,
Closing Deals and Getting Paid!

Imagine if you could wake up each morning, and, instead of dreading your day cold prospecting or wondering where your next client is coming from, you relish in a steady flow of clients who want to work with you and only you.

It’s not a pipedream. It’s not a fantasy – agents are doing it today.

But there’s a small problem.

See, most agents never reach Critical Mass™. They lurch from one bad effort to the next, because they never learn about the concept, or how to get there. So they either quit the business, or give up and sadly assume real estate needs to be a constant struggle – jumping from one marketing fad to the next.

And many of those who actually reach Critical Mass™ get there by accident…or take 10 to 20 years to reach that point.

Well, I’m here to tell you: You don’t have to be a victim of ignorance. You don’t have to struggle and strain or take 20 years to finally “make it” in real estate.

You can “short-cut” your success by 90% or more if you simply build your own personal “Critical Mass™” momentum and market share.

Which brings me to our little formula for building Critical Mass™ in your practice…

It’s a simple calculation for building any size real estate practice you desire…a calculation that will reveal to you the exact size of your “power list”…your personal market share required to reach Critical Mass™ in real estate. It’s my…

Critical Mass Targeting System™

Follow along carefully, because this is the most important little calculation of your real estate career. I want you to understand the dynamics here as well as the simple math.

 

Take out a piece of paper and follow these 3 easy steps…

STEP #1:

Write down the number of real estate transactions you want to achieve to reach Critical Mass™ in your real estate practice.

Critical Mass™ is a different number for everyone. For some agents, it may be 15 transactions a year. For others it may be 40. And for others it may be 400.

Another way to calculate the number of transactions you desire is to back into it. Simply take the “net income” you desire, and divide it by the average NET commission you make per transaction (that’s after all expenses: broker split, marketing costs, employee expenses, office rent, auto expense, etc.).

For example, if you want to make $200,000 and your average “net” commission (after expenses) is $5,000, then your Critical Mass™ number is 40 transaction sides ($200,000/$5,000 = 40).

As a side note (and food for thought): the higher the average price of homes you sell, the fewer you need to sell to meet your Critical Mass™ income level. But you already knew that, right?

STEP #2:

Write down how long the average person in your area owns their home, and multiply that number by #1 above (the # of transactions you need to reach Critical Mass™).

National home ownership average is about 5.5 years. But to be conservative, let’s assume its 7 years in your area (you can use 6 or 8 or 10 for that matter). Check with your local MLS or REALTOR® Association if you’re not certain – or just assume for now.

For example, if the average homeownership period in your area is 7 years, multiply 7 times 40 transaction sides (from #1 above). 7 Years x 40 = 280.

THE RESULT: In our example, you will require 280 homeowners on your “power list” to generate 40 transactions EVERY year (your Critical Mass Target™) – Remember, this doesn’t include the referrals they could send you.

It’s just the number of direct transactions that will come from this group (and you can check your math: 280 people divided by 7 years = 40 deals per year will come from this group).

 

But HOLD ON!

Those 280 are your goal ONLY if you get ALL of their transactions. Let’s be reasonable: You won’t get all those transactions.

Regardless of your efforts, some will go FSBO. Some will go to “Uncle Charlie.” And some will go to another agent.

That’s why we now need to adjust for your “Personal Market Share™” with that group to get your true Critical Mass Target™.

 

STEP #3:

Divide your “power list” number (from #2 above) by the estimated “Personal Market Share™” you have with those folks – to get the “actual” number of people required on your power list.

What do I mean by “personal market share”?

Market share is the propensity of these people to think of YOU FIRST (and final) for real estate services before any other agent

How do you figure your personal market share %?

Over time (a year or so) you’ll understand your market share because you’ll know how many transactions came from your power list or target farm.

 

And remember, marketing to that group over time will have a cumulative effect, and actually increase your market share with them.

Agents using a special marketing tool called Service For Life!® that’s designed to look like a real estate newsletter harvest between 30% and 80% personal market share with their “power list.” So let’s work an example…

Continuing with our previous example, let’s say you have a 30% market share with your folks. That means you should divide your 280 people by your 30% market share: 280/.30 = 933 people.

So if you have only a 30% market share with your power list or target farm, you’ll actually need to have 933 people on your “list,” not 280.

But what if…because of your relationship contact systems – like our Service For Life!® members – you actually harvest 50% of those people?

280/.50 = 560 people. You now need only 560 people to harvest your 40 transactions every year (not including referrals they could send you). You just cut your list size almost in half!

And what if, because of your relationship contact systems, you actually harvest 80% of those people?

280/.80= 350 people. You now need only 350 people to harvest your 40 transactions every year (not including referrals they could send you). You just cut your list size by one-third again!

Do you see the “dynamic” that’s happening here?

The SIZE of your list required to reach Critical Mass™ depends on the QUALITY of your list.

 

And the quality of your list is controlled by YOU.

The higher the quality of your list (i.e. the closer the relationship), the fewer people you need to reach Critical Mass™. The fewer people required means lower marketing costs and higher profits for you.

By the way, I’ve seen agents create power lists larger than 700 in their very first year – and they closed an extra 20 to 50 transactions just in the process of building that list.

And remember, the “Critical Mass Target™ number does NOT include the referrals you could harvest from these folks – it’s just the direct transactions that will come from that group.

Many of our Service For Life!® agents actually add up to 40% more business from the referrals they generate from their power list.

Question: WHO will be the agent representing these people when it’s time to buy or sell?

Answer: The agent who’s created the closest relationship with them.

  • The agent who has nurtured the relationship.
  • The agent they can trust.
  • The agent who’s demonstrated their competence over the years.
  • The agent who brings regular, welcomed value.
  • The agent who has differentiated themselves from every other agent out there!

Don’t fall prey to the thought that you need to carpet the area with your one-time contact – this is about more; this is about QUALITY RELATIONSHIP.

The only thing that’s missing for you is…

How Do You Get Your Personal Market Share™ with
Your power list as HIGH as it can Possibly Get?

How Do You Make Yourself the ONE Agent Your Market
Thinks Of Before Any Other Agent Comes To Mind?

The Answer: You need a consistent contact system that involves them. Gets read and shared. Automatically builds a deep relationship worthy of referrals, word of mouth and repeat business.

A tool that brings your prospects and clients value so they’re subconsciously forced to reciprocate and do business with you. A tool that bonds them to you like family.

Doesn’t it make sense? It’s intuitive but most agents nod their heads and do nothing to increase the quality of their power list each month.

Try This Amazing Formula…

Let’s have some fun.

Today I want you to dream a little. Whether you’re a new agent or veteran top producer…I want you to calculate your Critical Mass Target™ for your own practice.

I want you to see how greater success with less stress and strain can be a mathematical certainty – and how your production can continue to grow automatically, year-after-year…regardless of the economy, competition or interest rates…if you just follow a simple strategy.

Here’s the easy exercise:

Step #1: Write down the number of transactions you need each year to be at “Critical Mass™” in your business: __________. (Example = 50)

 

Step #2: Write down the average length of home ownership in your area. Check with your local MLS, or if you already have an estimate, enter it here (nationally is about 5.5 years, but you can use 7 years to be conservative): __________.

 

Calculation #1: Now, MULTIPLY Step #1 by Step #2. (Example: 50 x 7 = 350). This will give you the number of people needed on your power list (or farm) to generate your “Critical Mass™” number of transactions (IF you get ALL of them), not including referrals they could send you.

But remember, you won’t get all of those transactions – so we need to make a small adjustment for your “Personal Market Share™.”

 

Step#3: Estimate your “Personal Market Share %” you can expect when marketing to this group: _______ %. (Example: 30%) If it’s a cold list (like a new farm) it will be quite low. If it’s a well-nurtured power list of past clients, friends, family, acquaintances – it’s going to be much higher – even as high as 80% or more.

 

Calculation #2: Simply divide your results from Calculation #1 above by Step #3. (Example: 350 / .30 = 1,167) This will give you the number of people you’ll need to build on your power list to reach your Critical Mass Target™ at a 30% Market Share.

 

Now, let’s do something called “Sensitivity Analysis.”

Let’s assume you had a great “Relationship-building” system (like Service For Life!® ) working in your practice…

What if your Estimated Market Share % went to 40%? Divide your results from calculation #1 above by .40. What did you get?

What if your Estimated Market Share % went to 60%? Divide your results from calculation #1 above by .60. What did you get?

Did you notice that, the better your Market Share %, the LOWER your Critical Mass Target™ becomes?

A lower Critical Mass Target™ means you spend less time and money marketing your services. You work with higher quality clients – friends. And what you don’t know is that these people REFER others just like THEM!

Want to know a secret?

Most agents never think about Critical Mass™ or “Personal Market Share™.”

Rather than create a “Strategic Approach” to building their business, they force themselves to constantly prospect…or just hope and pray that clients will somehow, some way find them.

Not you. Not any longer. We’ve just completed an important step in targeting your success – and believe it or not, most agents never even get this far.

We’re starting to fill in the blanks in making your astounding success a “100% Certainty.”

Stay tuned for more articles about how to build the size and quality of your power list.

[Ed. Note: If you’d like to attend a free webinar training on how to use a relationship marketing system to increase your Personal Market Share™ and build Critical Mass™ in your real estate business, spending less than 30-minutes a month to manage, you can see upcoming event times by clicking here.]

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How to Use Kisses to Close More Listings

Would you like a powerful idea for increasing your closing rate on listing presentations?

No, you don’t need to kiss anyone – especially any frogs!

I’ve shared this quick and easy strategy with agents over the years, and several told me it boosted their listing presentation closings to over 97%. Of course, it will never replace a first-class professional presentation, but it could become a powerful closing tool for you.

It’s based on an important psychological element called, “Obligation and Reciprocation.”

What is “obligation and reciprocation”?

Basically, we, as humans, are programmed to return the same kind of treatment we receive from others.

So, for example, if someone opens a door for you, you’re more likely to open a door for them. Or when someone lets you into traffic, you’re more likely to return the favor.

This “quid pro quo” is culturally ingrained in our behavior as a society.

Why is this so important to you as a real estate professional? Because when you learn how to bond people to you by doing things that are genuinely thoughtful and helpful, you will naturally receive the same kind of treatment in return from them.

And when that “return” is making a decision to work with you, this little element becomes a very powerful tool in your sales arsenal (just don’t abuse it).

So here’s the idea you can start using tomorrow morning.

I learned it years ago from a friend, who closed over $35 million in homes last year, and I want to get it into the archives for our Agent Inner Circle® community website .

During a lunch meeting she said to me,

“I’ve got a secret weapon I use to close my listing presentations.

When I show up for my meeting, I carry a simple coffee mug filled with Hershey’s kisses or some other chocolate treat.

I had it made by calling one of those marketing specialty companies you can find in your local area by looking in the yellow pages.  Or, you can just search for “personalized coffee mugs” and there are places that do this for cheap.  You can get 24 mugs for about $5 per mug at bargainmugs.com.

On one side of the mug, I’ve written boldly: “SUSAN IS MY REALTOR” and a big red heart. And on the other side, I simply put my phone number, but an agent could add their email or web site address if they want.

When I show up at a listing presentation I present the coffee mug with Hershey’s kisses as a gift to my potential clients. I’ve never received anything but overwhelmingly positive response.”

Now, initially this doesn’t seem to be such a brilliant strategy, but you have to think deeper.

Here’s what she’s doing that’s brilliant:

  1. First, she is subconsciously (and overtly) telling them who they should select as their agent by placing her name on that mug with the statement, “Susan Is My Realtor“– Believe it or not, very few agents are this confident, and that makes a tremendous difference.
  2. Second, she is giving them a gift, which naturally compels them to reciprocate, and as they munch on those chocolate treats day after day they keep thinking of her.
  3. And third, it completely knocks other agents off their game.  She told me: “You should see the look on other agent’s faces while they’re trying to give a listing presentation sitting in front of a coffee mug staring them in the face, filled with Hershey’s kisses that says, [[Your Name]] Is My REALTOR.”

Try using this idea or something similar with both listing AND buyer prospects and watch your client relationships and closing rates take-off to new heights.

[Ed note: If you're looking for ready-to-use marketing tools to get more listings and buyers, check out the 3-STEPS ULTIMATE™ Real Estate Success System. To learn more click here.]

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