Whether you’re an experienced real estate professional or a newbie, consistent lead generation is the key to success and longevity. I have been a top-producing agent for 46 years because I market regularly and mostly for free. So can you.
Especially now when there is a such tremendous shortage of inventory, you must proactively engage in lead generation to reach your annual sales goal. In addition, you want to have so many clients in the pipeline that you can afford to turn some of them away. Specifically, sellers who want an unrealistic price and buyers who aren’t loyal or just people you find distasteful to work with for one reason or another (just don’t violate any fair housing laws).
The first step to successful lead generation is to have multiple sources of potential clients so if one dries up the others will keep giving you clients. Later in this blog I’ll give you several ideas for easy and cheap ways to find clients, so read on.
The second step to getting more business is to find a marketing technique that you enjoy doing. Every broker tells their agents to “knock on doors” if they want more clients. Most agents would rather walk across a bed of hot coals in their bare feet. Also, the odds of someone wanting to list their home with an agent they just met on their doorstep are lower than hitting the lotto.
Sure, farming works but it usually takes years to develop a productive geographic farm. Few people are going to list their home with you just because they see one of your postcards. You usually must hit them at least once a quarter for 2.5 to 3 years or longer to have any impact at all. If you’re not willing to do this, don’t even start.
A much easier and more effective way to get leads is to hold open houses on the weekends. This way interested buyers and some sellers will come to you over a short period of time. However, to be successful you’ve got to be skilled in the art of building instant rapport, quickly qualifying visitors and effectively following up. I love open houses because I’ve often written 2-3 offers on properties that I’ve held open and gotten 3-4 very qualified buyers. If you don’t have any listings now, talk to a busy listing agent who has several and ask if you can hold one of theirs open.
Another fun and effective marketing technique is social marketing. I love hiking so I belong to several local groups, and we spend 3-4 hours twice a month in the woods. When you’re hiking there’s not much to do but commune with nature and talk with your fellow hikers. As a result, I get at least one seller and several buyers every year from each group. Even if I didn’t get clients I got to go hiking! What can you do that’s fun and brings you into contact with potential home buyers and sellers? Think about biking, tennis, swimming, bowling and whatever else you would do for fun.
One technique you don’t want to miss out on is using your vendors as part of your marketing plan. I get dozens of leads every year from my contractors, plumbers, electricians, and landscapers. They often know who is about to sell a home before anyone else because there are only two reasons someone fixes up a home. Either it really needs improvement, or they are thinking about selling. We have so many vendors to choose from that I make it a requirement that if I’m going to use them, they have to let me know if they hear about a customer who’s thinking about moving.
Lead generation doesn’t have to cost hundreds or thousands of dollars a year and be a dreaded chore. I have a book called 111 Lead Generation Techniques, most of which are free or cost under $25. You can get it through the REALTOR® Store.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael Soon Lee, Ph.D., CRS, is a top 5% earning agent and trainer who speaks to real estate agents around the world. He has spoken at 14 NAR conventions and is the author of nine books including, “Black Belt Negotiating” and “Cross-Cultural Selling for Dummies”. He can be reached by email at: email@example.com.