Every week I meet with anywhere from 10-100 real estate agents who ask me about real estate lead generation. There are hundreds of ways to lead generate, some revolve around your sphere of influence, others involve buying leads, some people do it online, some people do it offline. In a nutshell there’s a lot of great ways to skin this cat. But what works, what doesn’t, and how do you maximize your leads to really make them count? In this part 1 blog I will go through the top 5 tips that have worked for agents I have worked with in my home town of Grand Rapids and across the US.
1. Don’t bother with buying leads until you have mastered marketing to your sphere: I get a lot of heat from this one because everyone wants the easy way out, but to be fair to yourself and your pocket book you shouldn’t waste money on buying low-mid quality leads until you have mastered the art of closing deals from hot leads from people who already know and like you. You want to perfect all of your systems and bleed dry the free ways to get leads before you take the easy way out (buying leads can be very profitable, but you need to get your systems perfect first).
2. Call back in 5 minutes or less: Whether it is an online lead from your website or a referral from a friend…. the real estate market is hot and if you wait more than 5 minutes to call someone back they may have already called someone else. Online leads especially need to be called instantly. Maybe this means you have a dedicated person to reel them in when they are hot, or maybe you chat them up for a couple minutes just so they develop a bond with you and stop filling out their info on your competitors’ websites. The average internet lead calls not one but 3 agents/lenders. They have no loyalty yet at this point. Remember nights and weekends are the same, it is not good enough to call a Friday lead back on Monday morning. If that is your style, you need to get comfortable with losing out on business (sure if the lead is your brother or a good friend you might not lose out, but don’t these people deserve even greater service?)
3. Work them harder and longer: This isn’t supposed to sound like an innuendo, but its the only way to say it! When a lead comes in you have to remember it’s potential value. It might not be an instant deal/commission– you might have to call/email/mail to the potential client a couple times with different types of messaging before they bite. First give them a call, then a couple hours later send a follow up email (keep it short, friendly & personal). The next day if you haven’t heard back, try again! You don’t lose anything by trying here. A week later repeat, if you have an address send out a hand written note. Still no luck? Put the client in a CRM system (try mailchimp to start, its free) filed under a certain list “internet lead didn’t hear back”. Then once a month email the whole list. Eventually you will have a couple hundred people in this list, and every time you do a bulk email you will get a couple people who are finally ready to go. If the lead is warm, put them in a follow up system so you don’t forget to stay in touch. Basically every lead should get filed somehow: Do not call again, Hot Lead, Call in 1 week… etc.
4. Be Personal: Nobody wants to work with you just because you are an experienced real estate professional (although that helps). People want to work with you because you are likable and have similar interests. Try stepping away from the generic and cold marketing that many agents send out and stepping closer towards high touch activities. Calls/texts/Facebook messages/hand written notes. When you email a new client try to sound like a real human not a robot. Come up with a bio that you can send to new clients who don’t know you. If you are looking for a simple place to host a bio, you can add a page to your website or make an about.me page. Here is an example of one we made for an agent.
5. An Actual Strategy That is Free: We are all on Facebook and your trainer might tell you that you HAVE to have a business page for your real estate business, this is simply not the case. Although it doesn’t hurt, the real money to be made for Realtors on Facebook is through personal accounts. Here is an easy strategy for getting leads from people who already like you: your friends: Start by sending individual facebook messages to 10 people a day. Start from A on your list and work your way down to Z. Just say “hi” and engage them in conversation, then eventually mention something positive about real estate. Usually this can be done when they ask you a vague question like “hows it going?” or “how are you?”. This strategy is free and it keeps you and your real estate business top of mind for people who kind of know that you are facebook friends but don’t think of you as a Realtor. Agents we did this strategy with saw on average 1 new lead/prospect for every 8 messages sent.
About the Author::
Matt Muscat is a real estate marketing expert, professor and public speaker based in Grand Rapids, MI. He has spoken at numerous real estate conferences on topics including SEO, digital marketing, real estate lead management and many others. Through his work at Treadstone Funding, Matt provides local area Realtors with free marketing advice, tips and training.