The strategy around creating a lead-generating system is key for your ability to attract more buyers through online and offline methods of prospecting business. Everyone needs leads. Without them there would be no business.
But what’s important is not how you close the lead, it’s how you communicate with the lead. Not everyone is ready to move. Not everyone is ready to sell their house. But everyone is ready to talk. Someday, that person may be ready. When that day comes, who will they talk to?
The person that they’ve BEEN talking to.
This is the simplest and easiest method to drive leads. It’s simply talking to people. It’s asking them questions. Remember: the person who asks the question leads the conversation. But more than that, every person everywhere loves it when people ask them about them. Get people talking about their favorite subject – themselves.
Steer the conversation to place it logically makes sense. Unless someone says, “I’m looking to sell my house,” then you don’t need to beat them over the head with the fact that you’re a realtor. Be a normal functioning person and hold a conversation.
The key to marketing (all marketing everywhere) is emotion. It’s a relationship that stirs an emotion. Networking is the best chance for you to create that emotion in a person while being right in front of them.
What emotions do people need fulfilled when they look to sell or buy their homes?
- They need to know their realtor is there for them
- They need to know their realtor cares about their needs
- They need to know their realtor knows their stuff
- They need to know their realtor will put them first
Can you generate those 4 emotions in a face-to-face conversation?
Prospecting Expired Listings
Not every house sells. It’s a fact. Listings expire. What happens next is up to you.
If you see a listing that goes dark are you moving on it? Are you reaching out to the owner? What about when a listing is about to expire?
What are the emotions are person needs fulfilled by their realtor? Do you think this expired listing’s agent met those needs?
Yes, a lot of questions but a lot of important ones because this is how you approach your expired listings. The listings expired because something went wrong. You can not approach them like every other realtor. You need to be the one who goes into it meeting the needs the others let down.
If you wanted to go out to dinner and you saw an ad that said, “We are the best restaurant in the city,” would you believe it?
If you wanted to go out to dinner and you asked 6 of your friends and they said, “THAT is the best restaurant in the city,” would you believe them?
Between an ad and your friends, who do you put more faith in?
There is a reason that Yelp exists. There is a reason that Google uses reviews as a ranking signal. There is a reason that we trust our peer groups above people talking about themselves.
Referrals are you STRONGEST marketing arm. People trust their friends and family more than they trust almost any other form of communication. I say almost because chances are you’re not going to get a statistically relevant and peer reviewed scientific study that truly declares you are the BETS realtor in your market. If you can get this, then THIS will be your strongest marketing arm and then you can back it up with referrals.
But you can’t get people to go all over your market talking about how great you are all the time. It’s very hard to be the main topic of conversation in a community unless you do something really great or something really awful.
But you CAN use referrals digitally. Facebook reviews, Google reviews, compiles reviews and host them on your website.
You can include them in your marketing collateral.
Just help someone buy a new house?
Their friends are going to have a little FOMO (fear of mission out) when they come see the new place. Ask if you can leave some of your business cards with your client in their new house. They can help hand you out to people you don’t know.
If you are good at handling the 4 needs that people need fulfilled then your clients will champion you for you and become you brand ambassadors.
It’s not JUST past clients either.
“Oh you want to move? My son just used Jane as his realtor and she did an incredible job. Let me give you her contact information.”
“Yeah my buddy just used Dave to sell his house. The house sold in three days it was insane. Let me get you his contact information.”
Working Open Houses
We CANNOT stress the importance of your open house enough. In fact, we’ve stressed it so much that we made a webinar on it and we’re giving it away for free.
This could be a book in and of itself, but what’s important is that you’re spending 2-3 hours every week in an open house.
Imagine, for a moment, if you were stuck in a house with potential clients where you got the opportunity to showcase how well you meet their 4 needs AND while there you can get their contact information. This is your open house.
What you do in that time will impact that next 6 days of your life. If you’re just sitting around waiting and hoping, then guess what you’ll be doing for the next 6 days.
If you aren’t using your open houses well then you’re not using your time well enough. Sign up for the free on-demand webinar and you will get a one-hour training session that we recorded live that you can watch whenever you need to so that you can be at the top of your game.
Generate Leads from Homes.com, Zillow, Realtor, etc
Where do people go when looking for houses? Gone are the days when a user waits for the realtor to do all their work. Homes.com, Zillow, Realtor, these are necessary aspect of selling houses. The average buyer is going to be proactive. The average buyer is going to send properties to their agent that they find on real estate search sites.
Should you use them? Should you use The Homes.com, the Zillows, the Realtor.com’s?
That depends? Do you want people to contact you?
Or do you want to hope that a person’s realtor finds the house you’ve listed and connects the dots for their client and brings them by.
I have a team member, named Joshua. He and his wife bought a house. Before they even contracted their realtor, he and his wife went into over two-HUNDRED open houses.
They found each of these on Zillow.
They did this because they wanted to see available inventory, see their likes and dislikes and refine their search to streamline things for the relator when that time came.
They also sold a house. At one point they used Zillow’s “make me move” feature. They did that without a realtor under contract.
The house they bought? Found on Zillow. Went into it without their realtor because Zillow told them it was open and they were bored.
They brought their realtor back a few days later to “talk them out of it”.
They took full control of their home buying process and their realtor was their “insider expert” to help them navigate the landscape that was uncertain to them.
The internet enables people to take more control. They give the buyer power, opportunity, and options. How badly do you want or need to be one of their options?
Social Media Marketing
Social media is everywhere. It’s on every site, tracking your every move and watching what you do in the world. It listens to your conversations when you’re not even aware of it. Don’t believe me? Facebook was recently busted for doing just this.
There’s a reason you see ads for things you talk about.
You can either fight this….or you can use it.
The key to social media is to use it knowing you’re not going to make a sale. You’re going to build a relationship. You’re going to lay the groundwork for something greater.
How great you make that is entirely up to you.
Have your own hashtag, build a brand on twitter, use Instagram to showcase new houses. Whatever you do, your goal is to start (or continue) are relationship with a potential buyer.
Ads are and will be a staple of the real estate game. If you’re in a brokerage, odds are they help out with the ads portion of everything.
Look at what other realtors are doing. Look at what other brands are doing. See and ad you like? Be analytical in it. What do you like about it? Color, layout, message, images, etc. How can you leverage that to your advantage.
It called out to you for a reason.
It’s being used for a reason.
Understand that reason and integrate into your own advertising plans.
Your website can do much of your lead gen, if you use it right.
Chances are you will not be able to automate any of it but when used in tandem with Social Media Marketing and print ads, you can expand you reach and start your relationship with people by adding value to them.
“Fill Out This Form to See How Much Your House is Worth” is a simple way to appeal to people’s FOMO and want for more money. Figure out the LEAST amount of information you need to help them, collect the information, provide the answer.
Then, you know they are interested, so follow up.
Price too low? “Let’s see how we can raise that value.”
Price too high? Yeah…right.
Or, you can use it to get your foot in the door.
“This is an estimate – use this form to set up a time for me to come and view your home and let you know how to maximize value.” You can then embed a simple Calendly form that is literally pulling open times on your calendar and letting people set appointments.
See that form on the right hand side of our site (assuming you’re on desktop)? That’s a Calendly form. That lets you set up time directly with me for a free strategy call. This means you can put yourself on my calendar simply, easily, and without hassle.
Once you have a form in place your social media strategy, your ads, and your conversations essentially write themselves.
But maybe your clientele isn’t interested in how much they can get for their house. Maybe they want something else.
Use your site to give people what they want.
Here is What You Do Next
There are methods and ways to generate leads that we didn’t cover. But no matter which ways you use, you need to have a plan, then stick to the plan.
Write down your top 4. If you’re feeling “extra” pick your top 5. Pick realistic ones that you can do well. It’s better to do one thing great than many things poorly.
When writing your top 4 down, also write down your primary focus. How are you going to get these leads?
If your primary lead gen is to point people to your site and have them fill out a form that gives the potential lead tremendous value – your ads, your conversations, your business cards, your print ads, your website…all need to be directed at that.
If your primary lead gen to use referrals, then you need to be focused on how to leverage that, use that, and expand that effectively.
If you’re going to Primarily use X and secondarily use Y – then you need to figure out your path from X to Y. For example, “Use a website form to drive cold leads and referrals to expand reach and bring in more.” You can’t just expect referrals to do your work for you, you need a plan. How will you take happy buyers to brand ambassadors to ensure you get that referral?
You have to plan things out. You can’t just “wing it” and accidentally find your way to success. Success takes planning.