If you want to be a successful real estate agent, you’re going to consistently have a million and one jobs needing attention. You’ll have showings, contracts, business lunches, people wanting real estate advice—and they’re going to want it for free. You’ll need to deal with things like taxes, health insurance, and keeping your car spotless for clients. If you have your own office, you have to keep up with insurance and utilities and remember to order ink for the printer. And even with all that covered, you still have to go out and generate leads.
Lead generation can be hard work, and it’s discouraging when that work doesn’t appear to produce results. However, because you know that feeding leads into your funnel is one of the most important tasks on your to-do list, you keep doing it. In a recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Dirk Zeller, CEO of Real Estate Champions recommended several ways to generate leads more efficiently. Here, we’ve taken those recommendations and expanded on them with tips and tricks relating them to you.
Done wrong, door knocking can be a practice in futility. When you do it right, however, it is a great way to win clients. One way to approach door knocking is to follow a script, which will ferret out and possibly even create listings (a quick google search will provide you with thousands of great script options). Just make sure you are familiar enough with your script to sound natural and engaging!
Integrating door knocking into your geographic farming strategy is another great approach. The first time you knock on someone’s door, introduce yourself and drop off your business card. The next time (about a month later), share some neighborhood info: a list of neighborhood homes that were listed, recently sold properties, or an invitation to an upcoming open house. From there, add them to drip email and direct mail campaigns to slowly develop them into a lead.
There are a several tricks to making direct mail work. The first is getting a targeted list. Knowing that you are targeting FSBO, expired listings, absentee owners, etc. allows you to craft a campaign that’s in tune with the recipient’s needs. Also, remember that mailing someone once or twice is probably not going to create great results. Include at least five or six different mailings in each direct mail campaign.
Another trick is to provide an offer that shows your prospect not only what they gain by working with you, but what they lose by not working with you. Have your offer send them to a landing page where they can download a free checklist, eBook, etc. after they fill out a quick lead form.
Social media marketing
People spend incredible amounts of time on social media, making it a lead source unlike any other. However, the constant influx of new social media content creates an incredible turnover rate. Because of this, continually posting new social content is crucial if you hope to generate leads. Also, keep in mind that while likes and shares are fantastic, your primary goal if you’re looking for leads should be sending people to your website. Consider investing in some Facebook website ads to drive traffic to your website’s lead capture forms.
Homeowners whose property didn’t sell the first time can be disgruntled, especially after they start getting the inevitable calls from agents cueing up for their chance to sell the home. Instead of approaching these prospects with all the reasons they should hire you, start by explaining why their home didn’t sell the first time around. Once you’ve covered what went wrong (proving your value), share how your marketing plan is set up to overcome the problem and result in a timely home sale.
For sale by owner
These DIYers will need some time to figure out just how much work goes into selling a home. Call, text, and email are all acceptable ways to get in touch with a FSBO prospect, but if possible, knock on their door. You’ll stand out and have a better chance to make the human connection if you meet them in person.
Regardless of how you reach out, offer them a free staging guide or a FSBO checklist to help them keep track of the multitude of things they need to do to sell their home. Provide enough information and value to be helpful so that when they do decide to hire an agent, they’ll think of you.
Referrals are the golden eggs of real estate. The only problem is, the number of referral leads has been on a downward trend for the last several years. In his recent webinar on “Creating Listings in Low Inventory Markets”, Zeller pointed out that referrals have gone down by five percent in the past five years alone. This is largely due to how easy it is for prospects to go online and instantly find what they’re looking for, rather than ask around for a real estate recommendation.
To maximize your referrals, ask for them throughout the sales process. If a prospect isn’t ready to buy or sell, ask them if they know anyone who is. Client impressed with your sales presentation? Maybe they have a friend whose growing family could use a larger place. Take advantage of every opportunity to ask for a referral.
Repeat business is a great revenue stream that works very well when you set up planned follow-up systems. The key with these is getting your clients to think of you as their real estate agent. That way, when the time comes and they’re ready to sell their home, they know exactly who they are going to call .
Make it easy for your past clients to get back in touch with you. After their sale is complete, try adding an annual reminder to text your clients on their birthday and sale/purchase anniversary. Also, consider creating a branded closing gift—one that your clients will want to display. For example, take their photo in front of the “sold” sign and turn it into a magnet. Add your contact info at the bottom, and you’ll be proudly displayed on their fridge for years to come.
Clients of agents who left the firm
There is a very high turnover rate for new real estate agents, leaving a whole lot of potential repeat business up for grabs. Your association with the departed agent’s company gives you the foot in the door you need to build a relationship with them. From there, follow your standard procedure for dealing with past clients.
Mortgage lenders are often the first point of contact for prospective buyers—potential buyers don’t want to bother you until they know they can get a loan (wouldn’t it be nice if they all did that?). Build mutual partnerships with lenders in which you add them to your list of recommended lenders if they agree to recommend you as a real estate agent.
Sign level strategy
The “For Sale” sign you put in your listing’s yard isn’t meant to be a decoration. It’s a serious, hardcore lead generation tool when you use it correctly. For best effect, your sign should be designed to include the basics—name, phone number, email address, brokerage, etc. However, also consider adding an option letting viewers text “pics”, “info”, or a similar key word to receive more information on the property. If you choose to include this option, create a canned response to send as soon as you get the message, then follow up directly when you have a chance.
Another way to get leads from your signs is to include instructions to access the property flyer (equipped with a simple lead capture form requesting the person’s name, number, and email address) online. You can also use your signs to show sellers how dedicated you are to your listings by adding a single listing website to the sign, which will highlight the features and benefits of the home.
Homeowner associations often have important distribution infrastructure that you can take advantage of to the mutual benefit of you and the association. Approaching prospects through the HOA can often get you access to the newsletter’s entire mailing list and help brand you as that neighborhood’s agent.
Start by offering to write some guest articles for their newsletter. Cover topics relevant to homeowners in general, but add a short call to action at the end of each article letting readers know that if they are looking to buy or sell, you’re there to help.
You can also find leads by hosting free seminars. If you like, the seminars can take more of a sales approach and include branded handouts with highlights from the topics that were covered. Consider holding a series of seminars so that you can target buyers and sellers separate from homeowners, who may not need your services just yet.
Real estate portals are another great way to generate leads. Homes.com’s focused SEO and advertising strategies target transaction-ready buyers and sellers to help our agents connect with the right leads at the right time. Call us at 888-651-8956 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss which advertising, marketing, or social services are right for you!