Category Archives for "Lead Generation"

Deadly Lead Generation Trends

Over the last 5-10 years there’s been a conventional wisdom develop that “real estate is all about lead generation!” After all, if you don’t have leads you’ve got no business, right?

Well, the fact is you could have hundreds of “leads” and still have no business.



If you have 100 leads and you call them all…how often do you get voice-mail?

See according a study done by Pew Research Center and the American Association of Public Opinion Research, in 2012 the total number of people answering their phones had dropped by more than 76% over the last decade.

What’s worse is that same study concluded that less than 9% of all calling attempts ending in an actual conversation…more than 91% of all calls were not answered or ended in less than 30 seconds.

So what does all this mean?

Prospects have Caller ID, voice-mail, free email accounts, social media and every other imaginable technology to make us more… Social?

If only…

No… Whether by fate, accident, or grand design these tools are building massive barriers, like stone walls, between you and your prospects.

Now let’s take this challenging picture a step further. If you go to the time, effort, and expense to generate 100 leads and you call them all, based on the Pew Research stats, you’ll talk to less than 9 people.

Worse yet, when do you think you’ll connect with these folks?

While they’re sitting down to dinner with their families?

As they’re heading out the door to take the kids to the soccer game?


When they’re thinking…“Gee, I hope a real estate agent calls me right now?

Now I’m being facetious to make a point.

The point is “lead generation” is a challenging uphill battle in today’s market. Prospects are fed up and have had all the interruptions they’re going to tolerate. And if they don’t answer their phones and talk with you…do you actually have anything?

Well actually…you do!

You’ve got a big fat expense of $1,000-$2,000 or more and generally little to nothing to show for it in the way of new business.

However, there is a better way. Focus all your efforts on attracting perfectly-timed conversations with interested prospects who actually want to talk with you.

Real Estate Lead Generation in the Age of Social Media

Lead generation is critical when it comes to a real estate agent’s marketing efforts. If leads aren’t coming in then you will eventually go out of business.

In the past a real estate agent could depend upon tools like direct marketing mailers and response hotlines. Now social media and all it’s promises of great lead generation have come along and seduced a lot of agents without delivering any verifiable goods.

Don’t get me wrong…I like social media and think that it can be a great networking tool. But there are some key things you need to think about.

First off you need to stop saying things like “I need a Twitter account” or “Oh man, Pinterest is blowing up…I need to jump on their and get started using it for homes and stuff.”

That’s jumping the gun and putting the horse before the cart.

Instead you need to think more strategically.

Understand your prospects

Good lead generation always starts with knowing your target prospect inside and out. This means good research about this audience. Go door to door, call them on the phone, talk to them at the local groceries or park. Get to know them. A good social media lead-generation strategy is always established on good customer research.

Understand the local economy

How has the recession impacted your market? Is unemployment high? Foreclosures high? When it comes to social media you need to be sure you are talking to your audience with a sensitivity that respects the local economy. If you sound like you are out of touch then you’ll ruin your reputation.

Capture and maintain leads

Once you’ve understood your market and the economy, your social media lead generation strategy needs to look at how you intend to capture and maintain data on your leads. CRM programs like Batchbook can help you manage social media leads.

Give good customer service

You need to think about how you treat customers is going to impact your social media efforts. Reviews on your services could show up in places like Yelp. People are always looking online for opinions. What they read will definitely impact what they think of you. You have to make sure you are giving great customer service. Bad feedback can easily hurt your efforts.

Evaluate tools

The worse possible thing you could do is jump onto every new, shiny social media platform that comes online. Instead you need to think about what you are trying to accomplish, who your ideal customer is and where he or she will likely spend time online. Facebook has proven to be very effective lead gen social media for real estate agents, with Twitter a distant second. Blogging has also proven to be effective in generating leads. Pinterest has potential in that you could build boards of house or interior designs ideas people could follow. YouTube might be helpful, too.

Your Turn

The goal with your social media lead generation campaign is not to waste your time. And that’s exactly what can happen if you don’t approach social media thoughtfully.

So tell me: have you had any success using social media to generate leads?

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

Related Articles

What Kind of Time Are You Putting into Social Media?

Nine Dead-Simple Ways to Persuade People

The 3 Best Social Media Ideas for Improving Your Sales

How to Use Your MLS System for Growing Profits Every Week, Month and Year…

I just got a call from a client who shared a positively brilliant strategy for using your MLS system’s auto updating capabilities.

See most MLS systems have the ability for you to put prospects into a “drip system” to receive auto-email updates of the kind and type of property their looking for. It’s a great tool for staying in touch with your buyer prospects. They can look at properties, get updates branded with your info, and all while keeping you and your real estate services “top of mind” with them.

Well…don’t stop there.

This auto-updating feature has far more potential. Yes. It’s great on the buyer side. It incubates leads, matures prospects and helps you serve clients at a much higher level. But the implications are much farther reaching.

Consider the idea of putting your sellers into the system too. When you take a listing prepare your seller with the idea that every time a new listing in the area comes on the market you’re going to send them an email with that info.

This way they can be completely aware of “their competition.” Your sellers will continually be seeing all the properties that represent competition.

What will this do?

It will position you for easier price reductions. In fact, if you position the updates correctly and present it well, you’ll have some clients calling you saying things like, “Well, based on the ‘competition’ we’ve thought about it and we want to consider a price adjustment.”

But even if they don’t call, and it gets to where you want to break into the subject of price…this lays the groundwork for a much easier price reduction.

Isn’t that great? So it’s not only a buyer incubating tool…it’s an easy price reduction tool.

Now…for the final strategy!

How about this? You want to be known as your local “real estate expert” right? How about taking your updating service and using it to stay in touch with your sphere of influence?

Here’s how that works.

Anyone you call, mail, or place advertisements in front of, offer to update them concerning their neighborhood whenever a house goes on the market. Plug them into your MLS updating service, select the neighborhoods they’d like to stay informed about, and let your MLS system stay in touch with them…using the email updating service.

It serves two fantastic benefits. First, it keeps you first and foremost in their minds because the email is branded with your info. Second it positions you as the “neighborhood expert.”

Isn’t that awesome? It’s a simple tool that takes about 3 minutes per client, past client or prospect to enter and now you’re in front of them until they buy, sell or die. Better yet, it’s all automatic…with information they want…and with information that brands YOU as the expert.

So to recap…update buyers quick and easy…position your listings for easy price reductions…and third stay in touch with past clients and your sphere of influence with relevant, valuable information that brands you as the neighborhood expert.

Isn’t that awesome?

So there you have it…take it and run with it.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

2009 in 12 Posts [Exploit These Ideas for a Great 2010!]

Okay. It’s nearly the end of 2009. The recession is officially over. The market has at least stabilized in most areas. If not improved.

The only dark spot? Foreclosures will continue. Unfortunately that’s a loss for a homeowner or two. On the bright side, that’s a gold mine for short selling hungry agents.

With all this in mind, though, one thing is for certain: We can’t let up. We need to exploit every strategy, tool and tip we can to not only survive…but thrive. That’s why I present to you the best ideas of 2009.

My Unofficial Guide to Short Selling January

January was a good month to short sell. Heck, with the home market hitting it’s lowest point and all. 2010 isn’t thought to be any better. Bad news for home owners. Great news for lover’s of the short sell.

One of the Most Persuasive Formulas for Writing Persuasive IVR Ads February

Let’s face it: Pain and problems dominate us. Every day and every hour people are constantly looking for solutions to their pain and problems. Here’s how you can help them.

Five Proven Tips to Help You Negotiate in a Buyer’s Market March

Before the dismal collapse of the housing market, negotiation skills weren’t quite as important as they are now. In many cases, all you had to do was put the house on the market with a reasonable price and get out of the way. Things have changed.

Make Sure You Know the Answer to This Question Before Your Next Listing Presentation April

April wasn’t any better of a month. In fact, I knew too many people flailing. But I knew so many who weren’t. What gives? Sucky listing presentations.

Nine Dead-Simple Ways to Persuade People May

Jay Leno gave some great advice on relationship building, which, in the end, is all that matters–great market or not.

Eliminate This Behavior and Become More Effective June

We’re all guilty of trying to aggressively pin down buyers during desperate times. But that’s not always the best way to go about it. In fact, a sales approach where you create pressure-free conversations with buyers is more effective. Much more effective.

Six Effective Ways to Win More Negotiations July

When the funnel dries up…negotiation skills become all the more important. That’s why in July I tried to focus on sharing some basic negotiation secrets that once mastered will hopefully help you close more deals.

How to Stop Ridiculous Buyer Offers August

Lowball offers from buyers…you can’t avoid them when you’re in one of our nation’s deepest recessions. But you can control them. And keep buyers at the table even if they think they are in control.

Your Real Estate Career: How to Have a Happy Ending September

In the face of stress and potential tragedy, successful real estate agents have the power of being able to overcome the natural human tendency to react to things as they happen. Instead, they plan.

Need a Damn Good Referral System to Save Your Career? October

People like to work with wise, friendly people. And once you lock into the ebb and flow of your prospects and clients, you’re business will be on the fast track. That’s why a good referral system is essential.

Gimpy Website? 5 Techniques to Create a Killer One November

Odds are you have a website. The million dollar question, though: Is it a good one? If not, here are some ways to help that stumbling old coot develop into a strapping stud.

25 Year Veteran Explains Her Mouth-Watering Success December

This gal become one of the nations top 50 agents in a tiny market during a dismal market. How’d she do it? You’re going to love her story.

Like what you read? Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add.

And if you like what you read, subscribe to the real estate marketing blog.

7 Ways to Turn Your Ad, Email or Blog Post Upside Down and Get More Responses

Lead generation. It can be a real witch.

Likely, in the early days of your career as a real estate agent, you’dinvest heavy amounts of time and energy into crafting ads, emails or blog posts. Finding sources to place those ads. And emptying your wallet to pay for them.

Thus, it can be frustrating to do all this work and find that no one is listening. Let alone responding.

It’s like being a slave. No, worse. It’s like being a crippled slave.

Yet, not advertising or generating leads will leave your career deformed and lying in the dust…far behind your competition. What should you do?  

A Clever Tactic That Generates Calls and Text Messages

Well, what I want to share with you is one of the simplest tactics I’ve found for effectively getting people to call you. It’s obvious and very basic. But so many real estate agents don’t do it.

The tactic is simply to turn your ad upside down…and make the caller’s response the primary focus.

 Here are a number of ways to do just that.

Start a Debate: Pick a controversial topic or one that you think people have strong opinions about. State the two sides of the argument and let your audience go at it. Your voice mail and text messages will rack up with leads.

Ask for Advice: State a problem that you or your target consumer has and ask for help. Ask for a solution or advice. You could call this a community workshop and turn it into an event down the road.

Ask for Tips: Choose a topic that your target consumers might know something about and ask them for pratical help. You might then compile the tips and share them in an email, blog post or newsletter with those who call or text you. 

Ask for Examples: Give callers an invitation to submit examples of a topic that’s important to you or them. Again, you can then turn around and share the results with them in an email, blog post or newsletter.

Ask for Experiences: Propose a question about “your worst buying nightmare” or “best listing experience you ever had.” This is another great opportunity to share the results at an event or online. 

Run a Poll: Pick a topic–say, the economy–and survey people. Ask them how they’re fairing in this new economy, if they’re insecure or super secure in their jobs. Then ask them to expand. Share the results as you like. 

Here’s the thing to remember: You need to promise your audience that you’ll share the results, then actually share the results online or in a newsletter. The main thing is make sure you share. 

This Is the Problem You Want to Have

Like I’ve mentioned before, this approach works extremely well with our MVR system because it can deliver any voice or text information you’d like, it captures your lead information, and it gives you a platform that makes it super easy to interact with your audience.

That’s the name of the game…ENGAGEMENT!

Engage with your audience, your COI, and all your various marketing sources.

Don’t let procrastination or fear hold you back.  

This is lead generation 101. All you really want to do is get people calling or texting you. You could generate 30-50 leads a month this way.

That’s not a bad problem to have. Because once they call or text you the door is open for engagement.

Tell me what  you think. And feel free to share other examples in the in comments!