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How to Reach Prospects FIRST…and Close 2-3 EXTRA Deals from Every Listing You Take!

Do you feel like you’re leaving business on the table?

…you know, according to NAR stats, people driving up in front of your listings are some of the best buyer and seller leads anywhere, but the challenge is how do you reach out to them?

…how do you engage them?

…what can you do to get them to CALL YOU FIRST?

Right now, they drive up, pull up your listing on Zillow or Realtor.com, and just drive away and you’ve got NOTHING!

…a big fat ZERO!

So how can you bust out of this cycle, of the big boys stealing your prospects, and you grab that prospect’s attention and open up a real live conversation with them?

It’s not an easy answer and there are no “quick fixes”…

However, there is a way.

It’s a process that takes a little bit of effort.

It’s a system that takes thoughtful implementation.

And here’s the utterly ridiculous part, many of your uniformed real estate colleagues will tell you it doesn’t work.

They’ll say, “Why in the world would someone call or text for info, when they can just look the house up on Zillow?”

Well I’m here to tell you there is a way to beat Zillow at this game.

In fact, do you know the #1 reason prospects use Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com?

According to page 59 of the latest NAR Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report 87% of the reason prospects use those big web sites is…

Based on the vast amounts of data NAR collects, the most compelling marketing content in real estate is…PHOTOS!!!

Photos are #1! They’re your most potent marketing resource and your hottest prospect trigger.

So how do you leverage photos to beat Zillow at their own game and at the same time generate the highest quality listing leads in your market?

It begins with 94% of all real estate searches that starting online. Both buyers and sellers start their search and research online.

However, the far more important question you need to ask is…

What Do Prospects Do Next?

The reason this is such an important question is it’s at this precise moment, when prospects are taking their next step, that you’ve got a very powerful strategic advantage over Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com…IF…

…you know exactly what to do and how to do it.

See it’s at this one single solitary point in time that you can quickly and easily cut all the big web sites completely out of the picture.

So what do prospects do next, after they’ve gone online?

For that answer let’s look at page 47 of that same NAR report…

So the #1 thing more than 3 out of 4 prospects do after searching online is they get in their cars and go drive by homes!

Isn’t That Amazing?

After going online the very next step is driving by the home!

So more than 3 out 4 amazingly HOT prospects are jumping in their cars, and it’s right at this precise moment that you can smash Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, like a Zika-filled mosquito, and deliver the fatal blow!

However it’s right here where…

Nearly 100% of Agents Completely BLOW IT!

It’s at this single solitary point in time that you’ve got your hand on the guillotine and can slice their lousy lead-stealing heads off…

In fact, it’s the ONLY time throughout this entire sequence of events, from initial online search, clear through to closed transaction, that you’ve got such a commanding position and can cut them off at the knees.

However, if you don’t know what to do, or how to do it, they’ll just continue stealing your leads right out from under your nose and selling them to one of your competitors.

The worst part is when agents have this phenomenal advantage, they just roll over and submit to Zillow, letting them win without putting up even the slightest bit of a fight for the prospect, as if they have no control.

Well that’s complete and utter baloney!

Because right in this moment, when these amazingly valuable prospects are in their cars, you can totally and completely kick their butts!

In fact, it’s actually quite simple…

Step #1 – Appeal to the Exact Same Desires and Motivations that They Use to Steal Your Leads!

If prospects want photos, detailed information and pricing… GIVE THEM PHOTOS, DETAILED INFO and PRICING!

However, rather than just giving away all your ammunition, use these key points of understanding to entice your prospects.

Use your prospect’s desires to trigger a response! You want to get their Attention, build Interest, amp up their Desire…and then prompt Action.

It’s the proven AIDA formula.

Then it’s onward to…

Step #2 – Make It Easier to Respond to YOU Than Zillow!

In this moment, when they’re in their car looking at homes, you’ve got to make it completely frictionless. You want to make it so easy to respond to you that they don’t even think about Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com

And then…

Step #3 – For Pete’s Sakes Don’t Distract the Prospect!

When you’ve got their attention for a second…don’t screw it up!

All you want to do is get them on the phone, connect with them and have a good quality conversation, and then move that conversation to a face-to-face meeting as fast as possible…

Make sense?

Plus here’s another amazingly valuable EXTRA BONUS with these ready-to-do-something-right-now “drive-by” prospects…

46% of Them Have a Home to Sell!!!

YES!

YOU READ THAT RIGHT!

Again, it’s all buried in this year’s NAR Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report. That report is filled with some amazing insights!

On page 24 it says that 46% of buyers “owned their previous residence.”

In other words they “sold” it, which by direct inference means…

46% of buyers have A HOME TO SELL!!!

Here’s a screenshot of that page…

So when we’re talking about the amazing quality of these “drive-by” prospects, please understand we’re NOT just talking about buyer leads here…46% of the time these are LISTING LEADS!

Now let me show you how we do it.

Here’s a brochure done our way…

Slow down and look real close at this brochure.

Pay particularly close attention to all the subtle little details.

Notice how we put photos (87%) front and center?

Then there’s the promise of detailed information (84%)?

And then the last incredibly important psychological hook, or emotional trigger we use to real them in, is current “up-to-the-minute” pricing.

Now really consider the psychology and precise language of this brochure

We’re very quietly taking advantage of a deeper understanding of your prospect’s behavior, and our timing is absolutely perfect. We’re engaging your prospect right in the midst of their actual sales cycle.

That’s why we call these “perfectly-timed live conversations.”

Again, we know they search online, proceed to drive by homes, and then with this brochure in their hands we’re able to effortlessly set the hook.

Make sense?

So the first reason our flyer will have you beating the pants off of Zillow is we’re appealing to your prospect’s strongest desires.

The second reason our flyer will have you taking back control is your carefully crafted marketing message will fly into your prospect’s radar at the absolute perfect time.

We’ve all heard that “timing is everything” right?

Well in this invisible tooth-and-nail battle for the prospect, you’re going to deliver the knock out blow to Big Z by having the absolute perfect “sales cycle timing” on your side.

Then the third reason our flyer will have you busting up The Big Three “Lead Cartel” is it employs one of the most powerful laws of influence and sales psychology, “The Law of Scarcity.”

This is what Dr. Robert Cialdini wrote about in his groundbreaking book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

In that book he lays out the six universal laws of persuasion. These laws are THE primary drivers in virtually every speech, marketing campaign, or any sales message that compels people to take action.

This is one of those subtle little moves, a key psychological trigger, that over 99.9% of your competitors won’t have the slightest clue. They won’t recognize it. They won’t perceive it. And they simply will not get it.

But what our flyer does, with the words “up-to-the-minute pricing,” is it subtly implies an exclusive channel to the latest “insider information.”

…i.e. “The Law of Scarcity!”

… 🙂 I know!

It’s kind of tricky, isn’t it?

It’s like we’re playing secret little Jedi mind tricks!

Well if you’re fighting with the likes of Zillow, who wants to steal every last dime they possibly can from you, and they’re extremely smart to boot, you better bring your A-game, right?

However, we’re not done yet!

I’ve got one more golden nugget for you… 😉

This process, this “simple little brochure” that’s been through tens-of-thousands of tests, split tests, and comparisons, works like your own personal marketing Stealth Bomber because absolutely no one in your market sees it coming…no one!

Your competitors think it’s old-school. So you will have a wide open playing field to exploit this for months and years to come.

The best part is prospects respond to you over all the other “apps” out there because it’s smoother, simpler and easier for them.

And with the way we channel their response, the biggest benefit is you get to TALK with nearly every prospect RIGHT UP FRONT!

Plus, you’ve got the added benefit that these are THE BEST LISTING LEADS in real estate!

In over 20 years of working with real estate agents, I’ve never seen a more potent opportunity for you to harvest both buyer and seller leads with your curbside marketing done like this!

And candidly, if you don’t market like this, Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com will just continue to win by default, end of story.

However, right now, today you can change all of that!

Want to know how?

Attend our next webinar and we’ll show you exactly how we do it…

Together we can kick Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com’s butts…check out our webinar info and together let’s help you take back control!

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

 

Here are Two CRAZY SIMPLE Listing Strategies for 2018 That Cost Almost Nothing to Deploy!

After 22 years of helping agents generate over 28 million real estate leads it’s extremely rare that a new strategy gets me excited.

Today most things in real estate are simply a sales pitch appealing to agents’ weaknesses, promising amazing production with little to no work or sales skill.

So, if you’re cynical and distrusting, I get it.

I am too!

However, today’s post comes from a private conversation I had with an agent whose team has closed over 500 units a year for 11 consecutive years and two of the strategies that came out are positively BRILLIANT!

The best part is any agent can use these to double, triple or even quadruple your listing inventory in 2018…for literally pennies per listing lead.

The first strategy involves leveraging every buyer side transaction you close…to get more listings.

It’s Super Easy!

You put this in your buyer agency agreement and explain it to every client that once you help them find, negotiate, and close on the home of their dreams, you’d like to put a sold sign in their yard for three weeks after closing.

So on the day of closing you go pull the listing agent’s sign out, give it back to them, and put your sign up with a SOLD rider on the top, and a brochure box and rider combo at the curb.

Then you follow that up with Just Sold cards to the neighborhood offering a seller-targeted free report like, “11 Tips to Pass You Next Home Inspection” or “How to Avoid 7 Costly Mistakes When Selling Your Home” that gets them to call or text your MVR automated info line to get that report.

What this does is gives you three weeks of...

Pure Listing Lead Generation GOLD!

Now every neighbor driving by will have your name emblazoned in their mind as the agent who’s selling homes in their neighborhood.

The other, even more important, thing is you keep your flier box full with fliers aimed at sellers in the neighborhood!

The beauty is when a neighbor picks up one of your fliers our MVR system can automatically text them a link to your pre-listing video, or you can cross reference the phone number with county records and mail them your pre-listing packet or book.

…or you could take it a step further and use it as a reason to drop by their home and personally deliver your pre-listing package to them.

Isn’t That Awesome?

You’re getting 21 days of pure seller-side marketing GOLD…just by getting permission on the front end with your buyers and putting it in your buyer agency agreement.

Then come closing day…you’re off and running…picking off every other seller lead in and around your client’s new neighborhood.

So, fliers in a flier box, that look like a buyer lead generation tool…NOPE!

You’re getting some of the best quality listing leads anywhere.

Plus, you’re branding yourself, like a red-hot branding iron tattooing your name across the minds of virtually every seller in and around your client’s new neighborhood.

This incredible strategy is literally pennies to deploy, and with a little smart upfront work you can be gearing up to dominate the listing side in the neighborhoods where you’re selling homes!

Which Brings Me to Strategy #2...

This one is even more powerful than the first strategy.

It’s newest best listing source anywhere!

It’s your BUYER LEADS!!!

It may seem counter intuitive, because you view them as “buyer leads”, but the fact is last year, according to the NAR, 46% of buyers had a home to sell.

Stop and really think about that for a moment.

Nearly half of all buyer leads, from whatever source, have a home to sell.

Now here’s the magic…take every buyer lead you generate and immediately begin a seller-side texting campaign.

This takes every buyer lead you generate and makes them massively valuable…IF…you actually do something about it.

Here’s an Incredibly Powerful Example…

With every drive-by lead you generate with our system, you can automatically initiate a seller-side texting campaign.

You can text them a link to your pre-listing video…

You can text them pre-planned text message aimed at seller-side questions…

You can cross-reference the phone number we capture for you with public records, and if they’re a homeowner, VOILA!

Now you’ve got a seller lead you can call, text, or stop by and deliver your pre-listing video, book, or resources.

…and if you don’t have a good quality pre-listing video, package or materials put those things together ASAP!

So…

Step 1 – Get SOLD signs out in front of your client’s newly purchased homes and buy three weeks of pure seller-side marketing GOLD! And use the flier boxes to generate seller leads!

Then…

Step 2 – generate more and more “buyer leads” so you can cross-reference them with public records to identify seller opportunities. You’ll find there are typically anywhere from 20-40% of your buyer leads are homeowners…meaning they’re going to need to SELL!

Once you’ve identified them, launch into your pre-listing text, call, and door-knocking campaign to deliver your pre-listing materials.

You do these two things well and you’ll easily double, triple or even quadruple your listing side business in 2018.

Lastly, check out our free 14-day free trial to learn other equally powerful buyer and seller lead generation strategies!

…and here’s to your continued real estate success!

Happy Holidays!
Gary



How to Generate Quality Real Estate Leads…and Instantly Triple Your Conversion Rate!

Which would you prefer? 

Lead source #1 - you convert 1-2 listings or sales from every 100 leads. 

Lead source #2 - you convert 3-5 listings or sales from every 100 leads. 

Lead source #3 - you convert 10-15 listings or sales from every 100 leads. 

…seriously it’s not a trick question. 

What’s so counter intuitive about this question is the source with the highest conversion rate is also your least expensive lead source.

Sounds even better, right?

Well, even though the source yielding the most transactions per 100 leads, at the lowest cost, would seem like the clear winner…

Most agents choose
lead source #1

I know. It sounds completely backwards, doesn’t it?

Why would agents pay more for inferior results?

Candidly, it’s because lead sources #2 and #3 require a little more work.

Now it’s ironic, because we’re only talking about an extra 1-3 hours a week to produce dramatically better results.

However, agents just continue to buy into the “no-work, done-for-you” solution to lead generation because it just sounds so appealing.

You buy or generate leads online, plug them into a follow up system, and voila!

You get instant listings and
 sales on the other end!

It sounds awesome, right?

The problem is you buy or generate 100 leads at a very high cost, and most of the time you rarely ever talk to those leads.

You call, text, or email them endlessly…only to have them close a transaction with some other agent the vast majority of the time.

Now let’s contrast that against lead sources #2 and #3…

These two sources have the highest conversion rates and are the lowest cost per lead. However, like I mentioned they do require a consistent 1-3 hours a week to implement and maintain.

Also, both sources require a modest understanding of marketing, how to write ad copy, and reasonable sale skills.

What are these two lead sources?

They are Call Capture and our newest Enhanced Call or Text Capture with Preemptive Direct Connect. Preemptive Direct Connect has you TALKING with 80-90% of your leads instantly!

It’s this ability to connect instantly with 80-90% of your leads that has you converting 10-15 clients out of every 100 leads you generate.

So, rather than talking into voicemail over 90% of the time, like online leads, you’re actually talking with buyers and sellers as they inquire.

This is extremely powerful and the reason for our sky-high conversion rates.

If you talk to prospects immediately, right when they inquire, your chances of converting them to a client go up by over 800%!

Online leads have you getting voicemail over 90% of the time, when you follow up. Our process has you talking with prospects 80-90% of the time.

Which one sounds better to you?

Talk to 80-90% of your leads…while they’re interested?

Or leave voicemail 90% of the time…and never hearing from them?

Seems like common sense, right?

However, our approach does take a little more time and effort…

…but in the end, it’ll yield a much higher conversion, at a lot lower cost, producing far more bottom line profits for you!

Like to know how our agents do it? Attend one of our upcoming webinars…

To your real estate success!

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!

How “Lead Generation” Could Be Costing You Repeat and Referral Business

Most good agents have at least 50% of their business coming from repeats and referrals.

If you’re in this category, I’m going to suggest an idea that may very well shake up your sense of security when it comes to your sphere.

See the “lead generation” tools you may be using could be unknowingly undermining your efforts. You’re capturing data and plugging people into automated systems.

Here’s a little secret…prospects get it. They already understand it. And what’s worse is, so does your sphere.

The challenge you run into with your sphere is when they visit your web site and “opt in” to your drip campaign…they become “data.” And the automated systems you plug them into lack warmth and feel impersonal.

So what’s that feeling going to do to the value of your relationship?

Sure, everybody does it.

But from the eyes of someone in your sphere, they expect to be treated differently. Even though everyone else does it, they know you and expect more from you.

An automated email to your sphere doesn’t deepen the relationship. It feels cold and lifeless. And from their eyes your relationship with them should mean more than that.

Those relationships closer to you require a much higher level of touch and on occasion a real live meaningful conversation.

For example, let’s talk about someone in your sphere who’s a distant contact. Contrast your email drip campaign with, that same person, calling into a “recorded message.”

They listen and, at the end the recording, it asks them if they would like current pricing. They say, “Yes” and a couple seconds later you’re on the phone having a real live conversation with them.

No they weren’t expecting it, but it comes as a pleasant surprise. After a few minutes of discussion you discover their daughter just gave birth to their first grandchild. You congratulate them and a couple days later you send them a nice handwritten card.

Now how’s that for relationship building?

Again, contrast that against your automated email campaign that does nothing to deepen the relationship.

Please understand that person knows 2-3 other real estate agents. Is the cold impersonal feeling of being “data” in your email drip campaign going to keep them committed to you?

Sure, some of those people will still do business with you and refer others. But over time, step back and really think about the effects of this cold, impersonal “technology-insulated” world we’re building around ourselves.

You’ve taken it to a deeper, more personal level.

A conversation, like the one I described, with a handwritten note will bank you a listing, because they’re downsizing, a buyer side transaction to help them move, and a few years down the road another listing because they’ve decided to move into an assisted living community.

Isn’t that amazing?

It’s the power of having meaningful, perfectly-timed conversations combined with solid repeat and referral systems…vs. data capture…

Honestly confront the reality of today’s consumer and the fact that they can see through all the automation tools and there is no real connection unless you have a meaningful conversation.

It’s a harsh reality, but it’s the truth.

I’m not one of those “touchy-feely” kind of guys, but facts are facts. Real estate is all about relationships and you need to fight hard to initiate, build and deepen your relationship base…or the network you thought was solid may soon be at risk.

Always remember…leads are NOT conversations!

As real estate professionals we’ve got to get back to basics. Real estate is fundamentally always going to be a relationship driven business and relationships start by talking to people…having perfectly-timed conversations and bonding with people.

Now here’s my challenge to you, over the next couple days find an hour or two to deeply contemplate the effects of lead generation vs. having perfectly-timed conversations.

Why “Lead Generation” May Be Damaging Your Reputation

Have you been to a government building lately? Where you had to grab a number, wait in line, and have your number called?

Your number gets called, you walk up, and the employee behind the counter is nearly expressionless. They look at you as if you’re not really there and ask, “May I help you?”

It’s a lifeless interaction that makes you feel kind of like the number on that little slip of paper you just handed over.

Well, I’m going to suggest that your lead generation efforts could be having the same effect on people you would like to do business with.

Agents are implementing highly-sophisticated lead generation strategies that capture tons and tons of “data.” Agents are generating names, email addresses and phone numbers right and left. One agent bragged to me recently that she was “generating over 300 leads a month.”

My response was, “Really? So how much business are you closing from those leads?”

It’s funny, ironic and sad.

I thought we had gotten disconnected. The phone went stone cold dead. I almost hung up to call her back when she quietly said, “I’ve only closed 3 buyers in the last four months from these leads.”

WHAT?

Three buyers?!?

Those three buyers cost her over $12,000 to generate and by the time she was done with broker splits, she had almost nothing to show for it.

See the massive problem our agent didn’t seem to grasp is that she wasn’t having real live conversations with her leads. She turned lead generation into nothing more than “data capture.” She captured a lead, plugged them into an email drip campaign, and somehow expected that system to do the work for her.

It’s kind of like having a drive-through restaurant and not going to the window and saying, “May I help you please?” Customers are in need of help, no one is attempting to engage them in a meaningful dialog, and they drive off frustrated.

Imagine if that were you. If you drove through, saw people inside, yet no one came to the window to see if they could be of service.

Would you ever go back?

Well, consider what’s happening when your leads begin to feel like data, and you’re not engaging them in a meaningful conversation. In fact, the ill effects of that model could be reaching far deeper than you may realize.

In my next post I’m going to shed some light on how this impersonal trend in real estate lead generation could even be costing you repeat and referral business too.

So keep your eye out and we’ll talk soon.

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.

How?

Simple.

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?

Or…

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.

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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 by email or news feed.