Gary Elwood

Author Archives: Gary Elwood

Why Real Estate Lead Generation Stalls…and How to Easily Fix It!

If you’re not generating enough leads…

…good enough quality leads

…or you’re not converting enough of your leads

The answer may be easier than you think.

It starts by knowing exactly where buyers and sellers find their agent, which ironically begins by avoiding the deadliest mindset in real estate.

It’s a toxic thought process that leads to never-ending frustration.

…a mentality that leads to constant bouncing from one lead generation idea to the next, and never getting consistent results.

It’s a habit pattern that no agent is totally immune to because…

It’s The Dream!

We all believe, at some level, someone else must have figured it all out, and if we can just borrow their “magic formula” life and business will be great!

The “dream” is the perfect real estate transaction producing sales funnel, the completely automated listing and sales machine.

It’s like an Amazon store, and every day you just check in to see how many people bought or listed a house with you, right?

It’s The Perfect Picture.

You could go on nice vacations 3-4 times a year.

…live in the nicest home.

…even have a second home in the mountains or on a lake.

…drive the nicest cars

…send your kids to the finest schools

…and frankly it would be a living paradise, right?

It’s “the grass is always greener over there” syndrome.

Unfortunately, it’s never actually greener…

Agents relentlessly pursue the newest, latest-greatest magic pills, all while lasting success is sitting directly in front of them, just waiting to be harvested.

The challenge with success is, it takes consistent hard work, an unwavering discipline not to get pulled off task, and an unrelenting focus on fundamentals.

Those are the Real Keys to Success!

Yet, agents constantly chase the next new “shiny object” in hopes of discovering the dream!

Well, sorry to pop anyone’s bubble…

…but the automatic transaction producer DOES NOT exist.

…and the newest super-revved up website or Facebook strategy…nope!

Those things are just more of the “greener grass” hook that keeps draining agents’ pockets, and ultimately drives agents deeper into debt, frustration, and ultimately completely out of this business.

Look at the numbers put out by the NAR and you’ll see what I mean.

For example, let’s take a look at a source of business 93% of agents believe is important to their success going forward.

When asked if this source of business was part of their business plan this year, 93% said “yes” or “I will be making it a part of my plans.” So…

This is a REALLY HUGE Deal, Right?

Nearly the entire agent population believes this is VERY important.

What is it?

It’s social media, specifically Facebook, and Facebook marketing.

It’s the newest, latest RAGE in real estate marketing!

Now my question is: If social media is so important, how much business is it producing, and does it justify all this attention? See…

I’m Obsessed with Numbers!

I don’t care about opinions, everyone and their cousin Joe has one.

I’m interested in what the data, the numbers, and what the hardcore facts are telling us, because that’s what I like to base my business decisions on.

When it comes to social media and its ability to drive business through your doors, I want the smoke to clear, all the hype on the shelf, and let’s just take a good hard look at the numbers.

So, for answers I turned to the National Association of Realtor’s 2017 Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report.

Based on that report, let’s see what it says about social media and its effect of driving business through your doors.

On page 72 of that report it shows you exactly where buyers found their agent, and on page 133 it shows you exactly where sellers found their agent.

See, one thing that will change everything for you, almost overnight, is knowing exactly where all your business is coming from…

…not guessing!

…not sort of knowing!

…but KNOWING EXACTLY where all your business comes from!

If you know exactly where all your business is coming from, you can focus all of your time, energy and money on improving those sources of business, right?

It’s Basic Common Sense

So what are those sources of business?

What is it that’s really driving business through your doors?

…and specifically, how much business is social media producing?

Well the 2017 trends report gives it all to you in black and white, and answers that critical question, “Where do buyers and sellers find their agent?”

On page 72 it says…

…less than 1% of buyers

And on page 133 it says…

…less than 1% of sellers

…find their agent through social media.


Now stop.

Pause for a few seconds.

And really think about that.

…less than 1% of buyers

…and less than 1% of sellers

…find their agent through all sources of social media COMBINED!

That Means…

…99% of buyers

…and 99% of sellers

DON’T find their agent through social media!

I know.

It’s hard to believe, right?

With social media being all the rage, agents are spending BILLIONS of dollars, and countless hours every single day trying to figure it out…

Yet 99% of buyers and 99% of sellers…

…DON’T find their agent through social media!

And again, it’s all right there in in black and white on pages 72 and 133…

Now am I saying you ignore online marketing and social media?

No, you’ve got to be online, visible and easily accessible…

But That’s About It!

Where your online visibility is crucial, is after you’ve had your first conversation with a prospective client, because it’s their natural default to go online and check you out.

Once you’ve had a good conversation, they’re thinking, “Gee, Bob or Sally really seems like a great agent. I think I’ll go online and check them out.”

Well, if they can’t find you…

…that’s a problem!

Or if you’re web site looks like you’re partying and it’s 1999…

…that’s definitely a problem!

But The Real Question Is…

How much of a website, social media and online profile do you need to solidify that feeling they already have about you?

The answer is…not that much.

All it takes is a good LinkedIn profile with a dozen or so client recommendations, your Zillow profile with 15-20 five-star reviews, and then a very average Facebook fan page and your own personal website.

That’s about all you need…and all those things can be set up for a few hundred bucks and you’re good.

Beyond That…

…if you’re trying to fish from the social media lead generation lake

…you just might be fishing in the wrong lake!

…unless of course, you’ve got really really deep pockets!

Which that’s a completely different story for a different day.

Today I want to focus on those sources of business you can easily afford, that actually drive clients through your doors!

…like those on pages 72 and 133 of the Generational Trends Report.

If you focus on your most important sources of business first, the “greener grass” mindset will never get the best of you, like it does for so many agents.

Then, when you want to leverage your key sources of business and produce 3-4-5X the response, get signed up for our 14-day free trial.

We’ll show you how to drive new business through your doors predictably, consistently, and all for pennies per lead!

The decision to take our service for a test drive is a complete no-brainer.

It’s completely free-of-charge and you gain instant access to all our marketing resources, action plans, ads, scripts, follow up pieces – everything!

You’re free to download all our materials, and even if you don’t stay with us, you’re free to keep our materials and use them for as long as you like.

Then you get access to our new cloud-based MVR technology, and all the tools you’ll need to have interested new buyers and sellers CALLING YOU!

Better yet, those buyers and sellers will be calling you, before any of your competitors have even the slightest clue how you’re doing it.

So get signed up for our 14-day free trial, and take advantage of all those free resources, that again are yours to keep regardless. And…

Here’s to your continued real estate success!

An Easy Free Lead Source

In our last post we talked about blogging and got quite a few replies. One of the most common was, “I’d like to blog but I don’t know what to write.” and/or “I just don’t have time for something that only returns modestly.”

Well if you fall into that category I’ve got some good news. We’re planning on publishing a ready-made blog post for you right here every 2-3 weeks. The goal is to put out 20 free “copy-paste” blog posts for you right here.

Just copy, paste and publish. You might need to tweak the language slightly to reflect your given market, but 99% of the heavy lifting will be done for you. All I ask is that you maintain our citation as the source.

So here’s your first blog post of 2015, if you so choose…

=== NOTE ===

This post is no longer available for syndication. However, if you would like a free piece of content crafted uniquely for your site and your audience, fill out the brief form below.

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If you’re an agent reading this feel free to call the recorded message line. It’s an automated demonstration that will show you how this little ad on Craig’s List, your Facebook page, your web site, a local throwaway newspaper, your farming newsletter, a postcard or virtually any other marketing source can have you actually talking with sellers immediately!

I’m not talking about capturing a lead, calling them back and interrupting their dinner. I’m talking about having a live conversation with them immediately, right when they call, while they’re interested and have questions.

Would you rather interrupt people in the middle of something, barge into their lives and attempt to strike up a real estate conversation…or talk with them while they’re actually interested and want to talk?

Based on our clients feedback, catching people at the right time increases your chances of having a meaningful conversation by over 1000%! So check it out!

It’s 1-800-959-6550 Ext 5505 – 24 Hours

Call and it will show you how we help you break down the voicemail barrier and actually talk with sellers while they’re actually interested and want to talk.

That said…

Feel free to use this blog post with or without the ad. If you don’t have our MVR service, just post it without the ad. If you do have our MVR service, publish this blog post with that ad and watch your blog leads pick up substantially!

Until next time Happy New Year!

All the best,
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Gary Elwood
President/CEO
Proquest Technologies, Inc.

Should You Be Blogging?

Once you’ve read this post reply and let me know if you agree or disagree with our thoughts on blogging.

Tons of people have been touting blogs as this awesome business building tool. Yet, others seem to feel blogging is a complete waste of time.

Who’s right?

After dozens of conversations, searching high and low for good information on real estate blogging, and reflecting on my own experiences, our feeling is you should probably have a blog on your web site.

However…

You need to keep it in the proper context, just like social media. Don’t get sucked into wasting tons of time on something that typically only produces a modest trickle of business.

See the vast majority real estate blogs are very poor traffic or lead generators.

However, a blog can be a solid source of quality leads if you craft relevant messages and then lead your prospects to take action.

Frankly, the idea that you should be the ultimate “community resource” with your blog is unrealistic. There are too many good community web sites who already control most of that traffic. To compete for that traffic isn’t practical.

So what’s more important is to focus all your energy on what’s relevant to those blog readers you do attract.

You’re a real estate agent and when people read your blog they are reading it for a reason. Therefor it’s okay to talk about real estate.

Keep the focus narrow and all about your visitor’s wants and needs. Again, stop trying to be all things to all people with your blog. Ask yourself…

What’s the goal?

It should be the same goal as every other marketing channel you have, to create a live conversation with someone who’s interested in buying or selling real estate, right?

So how do you do that with your blog?

Stop posting recipes, pet stories, or funny happenings from the county fair.

Sure, those things can be interesting. But the fact is most people will never bookmark your blog or see it as their go-to source for local info.

Instead, take that brief moment of opportunity, while your prospect is reading, and convey something that’s highly relevant to their buying or selling decision.

In that moment do everything you possibly can to get that prospect to respond to you, because when they leave your blog…

They are GONE!

Thinking they’re going to come back is delusional. Your mom might. Your close friends might a couple times…but the prospects of your market…nope.

The prospects of your market are hit and run artists. They hit your site, they hit you blog, and they run.

So while they’re there you’ve got to focus every ounce of marketing energy you’ve got on getting them to respond to you!

If you waste your one and only chance…well…good luck!

Quit trying to play the big content company’s game posting every day.

Forget it.

The better approach is to post highly relevant articles once every 2-3 weeks and get prospects to respond to you so you can have a live conversation. Then meet them for coffee or get them to come to your office.

The bottom line is if you don’t talk to people…they don’t do business with you!

So when you’ve got a prospect’s attention…focus all your resources on getting them to a live conversation with you.

Create a “call-to-action” that causes them to respond to you for more information, and then guide them down the path that leads to an immediate conversation.

Emailing, texting, or pinging them on social media is NOT a conversation!

You’ve got to engage prospects and lead them down the path most likely to create a live conversation immediately! If you don’t these hit and run artists, ‘er I mean prospects, are instantly lost – back into the sea of Internet noise.

There are 5 basic steps to crafting a highly effective call-to-action, regardless of your marketing source.

To help you with bring it all I’ve put together a special free report “Five Simple Steps to Successful Lead Generation,” because the fundamentals of lead generation via your blog are the same as any other marketing source.

So if you want to ramp up the number of buyers and sellers in your pipeline you can check out that report here…“Five Simple Steps to Successful Lead Generation”

Happy Holidays!
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Gary Elwood
President/CEO
Proquest Technologies, Inc.

PS Don’t forget to reply to gary@proquesttechnologies.com and give me your thoughts on blogging.

7 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Beat a Winter Slump

Depending on where you live, from about November through February the real estate market slows down – if not altogether dries up. What can you do to make the most of these dead months?

Here are a few suggestions:

Have an Open-House Party

Open houses can be pretty lame. A pair of buyers or two milling around a home while you sit and tap your pencil on the desk, staring out the window. Instead of treating an open house like a visit to a museum, ask the seller if you can have a happy hour.

The hitch is this happy hour is on Sunday from 2-4.

Bring food, drinks and music–and let people browse and have fun. And if you keep this strategy for the winter months only, then people will actually look forward to house shopping in winter. And keep in mind–you may not sell more houses, but you will make out like a bandit when it comes to generating leads. You will be the talk of the market.

Take a Poll

Ask your prospects, customers and former clients to help you gear up for 2018. Get suggestions for marketing, listing ideas and even staging tips. People love it when you ask for their opinion. Treat this like a monthly exercise and people will anticipate your next poll.

Go Shopping

Look for discount and deals on items you need for your office and work space. The winter may be a good time to buy that iPad or new printer or scoop up those $1 items that the retailer picked up for a penny. Look for closeouts as businesses are shutting down. Search out auctions to buy staging furniture. Heck, be on the look out for a house or two, too.

Got to Conferences

Go to regional or national conferences you weren’t able to attend during the busy months. Use this time to network with agents from across the country who might be great sources for relocation leads.

If you are of the ambitious sort, why not start your own conference or mastermind group? You can play host, become the authority in your community and pile up those leads as winter warms.

Penny pinch

Now that you aren’t rushing off to a showing every afternoon, take the time to reduce all of your expenses. Hunt down new prices for your phones or insurance. Investigate independent service companies and find out their competitive prices (think home inspectors or title people–anybody who can help your clients).

Take a Class

Now is the time to enroll for some higher education. Find a college course in accounting or seek out a mentor. Is there an online certification that you’ve been hoping to get? The winter is a great time to get it.

What other ways can you think of that will help you beat the winter doldrums?