Today E-marketing is widely used within the real estate industry. Now, when real estate agents hear terms like lead generation, drip campaigns, and landing pages, they are very well aware of the terms. Today, 60% to 65% of real estate agents are out there regularly employing plenty of lead generation methods with Google, Youtube, Facebook, personal websites, and more.
So most likely, in your own city, there are colonies of real estate agents running around in a frenzy creating mass amounts of real estate buyer and seller leads through e-marketing.
With real estate, however, agents and brokerages typically have a lot of traffic going to their website but they do not know how to convert the traffic into real prospects.
This brings me to the all too common weakness that the majority of real estate agents have.
1 .The Achilles Heel of Real Estate
When asked in a national survey conducted in June 2018, 88% of home buyers said they would use the same agent that helped them buy a home. This is a stat that the real estate industry should gloat over, right?
Do they so??
Well, they don’t… and why not? Further research reveals that although 88% said they would use the same agent the next time they wanted to purchase a home, only 20% actually DID.
This blog is not another real estate lead generation strategy to add to the surplus of over-hyped methods crawling the web today. But it is a way to fill in a critical Gap that the majority of agents unknowingly have. And the filling of this gap can put them in a whole different dimension of results.
A common characteristic of agents’ mindsets are that of Make A Sale Now! Get leads NOW, write offers NOW, Get listings NOW!
On the surface this makes sense especially for a brand new agent, who needs a paycheck yesterday, but look a little deeper and the scars of frustration for these agents all stem from this very same mindset of Getting the sale done NOW.
How Agents act in Business?
Agents come into this business wanting to build a career. And while their intentions are sincere, their actions speak in another direction. Whether intentional or unconscious, the common agent REALLY wants to make a sale NOW as a primary goal rather than BUILD A CAREER longer term as their primary goal(whether they know it or not, their actions speak loud and clear).
But is it really their fault? They are being bombarded by ads that boast “get high quality leads that close this month!” Even renowned real estate “coaches” are training them to find out if prospects are buying in the next 60 days!
Any prospect out of this 60 day window… “You need to kick to the curb! “Remember this.
So, unknowingly they are creating a virus of sorts that slowly eats their business alive and this is how.
Time is Money in Real estate
Real estate agents spend lots of time and money on lead generation and may or may not create the leads they want. If they cannot create the leads, they’ve wasted time… and time is money.
Now, whether they can create leads with traditional or e-marketing methods,both are very costly.
The truth is some of these agents CAN create descent leads, but they THINK the leads are junk! And it’s obvious why! A barrage of agents is coming out of their bunkers in an all-out free-for-all to make that lead buy now.
Are leads seemed like junk?
Now, some are junk, but we are talking about legitimate leads that are self-generated. They could be BANGING leads but the agent somehow thinks they are… well… junk!
Why is this? Are the leads really crappy leads? Maybe… but I guarantee a large portion of those “junk” leads will eventually end up buying or selling a home from... someone…
Remember how I said they’re constantly being brainwashed to work with only NOW leads? And how they are even being trained to kick the “junk” leads to the curb?
Listen to this! Home buying is a process. It’s a cycle of casually looking online, to a semi-interested inquiry to an agent, to finally contacting an agent to view homes, to an average 50 day pending to closing process(if the home is being purchased with a mortgage - which most folks do).
According to realestateagentu.com, home-buyers search online for over 6 months before even contacting an agent to view homes! Then it may take months to find the right home to make an offer on… then those offers may be turned-down or beat-out by others in a multiple offer situation.
THEN (once an offer is accepted) it may take another 50 days to close on the property according to realtor.com.
Bringing it back to the much perceived “junk” leads. This is very important to understand. Why are agents calling leads that will eventually turn into a commission… junk?
Think about it… Since you now agree that the buying process is a cycle that takes 6-8 months. Look at just ONE part of my explanation – buyers look online for 6 MONTHS before even wanting to speak to a real estate agent!
This is where the common agent totally screws up!
- The buyer fills out a form online…
- An agent calls that prospect…
- The agent tries to “sell” that prospect a home!...
- The prospect is not ready(remember 6 months until they are even close to being ripe?)...
- The homebuyer runs away and the agent says “awww that was a junk lead!”
Is this starting to click for you?
Here’s another statistic. NAR says 70% of homebuyers work with the first agent they speak to! Now I am sure this statistic does not include the agent/s that try to sell them 6 months before they are ready. But when the buyer IS ready to start physically looking at homes, the first agent who is TOP-OF-MIND will be the agent they work with whether it’s by chance or planned.
The smart agent can make ONE...just ONE critical adjustment and close a profuse amount of sales more than just about any other agent out there!
Automation is the key. But not with autoresponders, robodialers or text marketing (although these can supplement).
It’s a way to be IN FRONT of prospects without the hassle of old and annoying real estate follow-up techniques.
Let me paint another picture for you.
Take an online homebuyer lead that just hits the real estate agent’s inbox. This time the agent does NOT try to sell that prospect. Instead, she justmakes contact to say “Hi, I hope you’re not offended by my call but I wanted to say THANK YOU… for using my site…. I’m here if you need anything later on… by the way there’s a way to get brand new home listings without having to speak to an agent … can I send you how to do it?”
What a difference, right? Now some trainers will say this is ludicrous and awaste of time. Why would an agent spend so much time following up when they can sell homes to other buyers who are ready now?
You know the answer, don’t you? Most will not be ready now and the other leads will be tossed around like a hot potato among tons of other agents all trying to sell the same prospect a home!
So…. the achilles heel of real estate agents is Follow-Up.
They just don’t do it. Partly because the amount of follow up it takes for just one viable prospect can take a lot out of an agent. Now imagine having to follow up with 100s of leads within a database!
Here are some techniques that may work on a small scale but, in the end, they prove inefficient. Then we will go over the ultimate follow-up tool that you will use to help real estate agents conquer this task.
Real estate follow-up tool -
● Phone calls - almost impossible to call all prospects in database every day, week, or month(and if they do, it gets pretty creepy)
● Email drips - this used to work fairly well, but homebuyers and sellers are getting drip campaigns spewed out on them every day by multiple agents in today’s market.
● Postal mail - You know how much junk mail you get, don’t you?
● In person visits (popping by their home or meeting at a coffee shop)
It amazes me that coaches actually train on this. How impossible is it to do this with just 10 contacts? And today’s buyers really don’t want to be your close buddy - they want the agent to help them buy Or sell a home.
2. Sphere of influence marketing - What Agents Are Doing Now
We’ve been talking about Follow-up as it relates to new leads, but we cannot leave out another just as important(maybe more important) part of the smart real estate agent’s marketing strategy.... Past Clients.
For decades, agents have been using a marketing method called Sphere of influence marketing or SOI marketing.
This initially involves the agent marketing to a close group of associates, friends, and family every month. This is an older method of Top-of-Mind marketing to people who know, like, and want the agent to succeed.
The other half of SOI marketing involves those prospects that eventually buy or sell a home from that agent. Since the whole idea is for the customer to have a good experience with the agent, it’s understandable that these past clients should graduate into the SOI group. Mainly, Because if the agent did his/her job, that client will like the agent and want the agent to succeed.
In other words, the agent’s goal is to stay top-of-mind to this close group in order to get more business in the form of direct sales and, more importantly, referrals. This is typically done with phone calls, letters, and emails.
The methods just mentioned, worked at one time. But today, with technology shaping the habits of so many consumers, statistics show that customers and clients are much less loyal than before making this method ever harder to deploy with adequate effectiveness.
What if you had a more effective way for your real estate clients? If you could show them a way to follow up much more effectively while freeing up their time to do what they do best - which is show and sell homes – could you also benefit?
Yes! You could benefit by not only providing an exceptional service that works, but also reaching your goal of making a consistent income that opens the door of potential for ongoing services to offer.
And listen to this: I said it before… the real estate niche fits like a glove!
Read on to see how you can use this same method with
- The right niche…
- The right method (agents already understand SOI)... and
- The right tool -Retargeting.
3. The Real Estate Agent’s Online BillBoard
How many real estate agent billboard signs do you see while driving down the highway? Have you ever bought a house because you saw an agent on a billboard?
Probably not, right? And do you know how much those things cost? About $1000-$1200/month in tiny towns, About $3000-$5000 a month in small cities and about $12,000 in higher traffic metro areas!
So why do agents pay for these if they really can’t track any closed business back to a billboard?
The idea is not for lead generation. It’s for top-of-mind marketing. And what I mean by this is name recognition. I’m not talking about an ego-trip(although some do it to satisfy ego), but recognition from a
“Repeated exposure” standpoint.
Geico does it… you can save 15% in 15 minutes by…. I bet you finished that line, right?
The whole idea is for the agents to expose themselves over and over to a chosen market in an effort to become a household name. Over the long haul, they will start to see business come in automatically.
I personally don’t believe in traditional billboard marketing, but the idea is still the same. Whether billboards, online banner ads, postcard mailing, or whatever… the goal is to become top-of-mind.
Now what if a real estate agent could take this highway billboard and condense it to the size of business card and easily put it in front of home buyers and sellers every day at a fraction of the price without seeming pushy or creepy?
It’s called retargeting or remarketing. You and I have seen it. You are surfing the web, and that pair of Newbalance shoes that you forgot you looked at last week just magically appears in the sidebar of a totally non-related website!
Just a coincidence? Is it a sign from God that I should buy? Is big brother watching over me?
It’s all done with what’s called a pixel. A small piece of code easily placed on the user’s website that tracks visitors. This code allows the seller(Newbalance) to “follow” you around the web and appear on any participating website’s ad space.
It’s a known fact, that online buyers need multiple “touches” before they buy.
Naturally after repeated exposure, the buyer has a much higher chance of converting into a sale. Makes sense?
With real estate, it’s easy to understand how this online billboard method can translate into a follow-up machine. And the niche(real estate) fits like a glove!
The news I gave you earlier about homebuyers taking 6 months before being ready to speak with an agent is more than just news for the smart agent. When there entire market is fighting to sell clients NOW. The smart agent knows the buyer isn’t ready and nothing they say can change the buyer’s mind. So they use this to their advantage.
This is where a smart consultant like you steps in.
You know now, that all the agent has to do is somehow stay in front of that prospect or past client to create a top-of-mind conditioning within that prospect’s psyche. Then, when month 4, 5, or 6 rolls around and that home buyer is ready… who do you think they will call? You got it! They’re going to call your client - the smart agent who used retargeting in the form of an online billboard!
By the way, this method makes even a newer agent appear to be advertising everywhereCreating that “busy agent” persona. But really they are only using one platform to do this! Facebook.
3.1 How Real Estate Agents Can Use Retargeting
There are 2 areas of most real estate agent’s client profile. One is new buyer and seller clients. These are clients that have not purchased or sold a home through the agent yet, but they’ve shown interest.
Then there is past buyer and seller clients. These are clients who have either bought or sold a home from the agent in the past.
The first segment of new clients is what most oblivious real estate agents spend ALL their time on.
If you dissected a balanced agent’s daily Real Estate Contact Crossfire - Top-of-Mind marketing with an edge business activities, you’d find a portion of their time spent on new client activities and a portion on past client follow-up activities.
The agent’s past clients are sacred to them if they want to ensure a referral based sale producing business in the long run. After all, who wants to continue chasing clients to stay in business year after year? And in most markets home-buyers eventually turn into home sellers. And those same buyers and sellers know families who have to buy and sell.
So, again, how does an agent follow up with their lifeblood(past clients), while creating new business, all while handling the daily administrative tasks of their business? What if you could show that agent that they no longer have to rely on just calling past clients, sending postcards, and vomiting a puddle of emails on them weekly and monthly to stay top-of-mind?
What if you could show an agent you can help them to avoid being that nagging agent that calls every month. And you can do this in a much more effective manner... for less cost… without a billboard, without radio ads, and without TV ads.
3.2 How to Retarget to Past Clients and Current Leads
This is how you’ll do it. First you’ll help the agent follow up with past clients by retargeting to their current database. Real Estate Contact Crossfire - Top-of-Mind marketing with an edge.
The cool part is the agent has most likely already done the hard work for you. Most agents keep their list of past clients separate in a CRM database. And most CRMs(customer relationship manager) have a feature to upload that list of past clients into an excel spreadsheet or csv format.
That’s all you need. You will follow the instructions I give you to deliver top-of-mind reminders to that agents base of past clients.
The second part is their collection is present prospects. Since most agents are participating in some sort lead generating activity, they will have a second group of contacts; Present leads or prospects.
These are leads that come in from websites, landing pages, their company, etc that are looking for homes online and haven’t bought or sold yet. NOTE: These would include sellers or future sellers too because sellers are indeed skimming the web for their next home months before putting their current home on the market before it’s time to sell.
I know you remember(since I’ve beaten this into your head) that this group of prospects are somewhere within the 6 month window before they are ready to buy… and your goal for that agent is to JUST keep them as the TOP-OF-MIND real estate agent so that when the buyer is ready to speak further to an agent… BAM!...
That agent is everywhere online setting her up perfectly for ready, willing, and able home buyers and sellers to reach out to the your client… the top-of-mind agent.
Continue reading our next blog on How FB Business Page help Real estate agents in their business?