Successful Methods Of Real Estate Lead Generation
Acquiring leads is the single most important and difficult aspect of the real estate business. Without a lead, there is no client, so all realtors dedicate a significant amount of time to collecting contact information and establishing relationships with potential prospects.
There are many ways to generate leads, all of them with their respective advantages and disadvantages. Whether traditional or modern, it?s well worth your time and effort to try each one until you find the best combination that is expense-effective, time-saving and successful.
This articles aims to discuss the most common methods, the decision ultimately belonging to you.
For the sake of organization, we have split lead generation methods into two large groups: traditional methods (printing materials, phone and mail advertising, networking and others) and modern methods, that take advantage of the continuous growth of the importance of internet for home buyers and sellers.
Use your friends
If your friends don?t trust you enough to do business with you, then who will? So talk to them about their real estate plans, get their contact information and ask for referrals and testimonials. Your friends have other friends and family as well, so this circle will keep expanding with a domino-like effect. You might even get 100 names or so, at the very least and they will come with a trust factor already in place.
The disadvantage? There are many people that believe in keeping business and personal life separate, so they might refuse dealing with you professionally for various reasons. However, you can still ask them for information and feed-back, even help if the situation occurs.
This classic method involves basically going around the neighborhood and knocking on doors. Stay for a short chat, let the people know you and in the same time, you will get to know them. Don?t use the aggressive approach (?Hello, do you want to sell/buy a house? Then come to me, the greatest realtor on this side of the Atlantic.?). You?re not a door-to-door salesman. Farming a community is a long-time process.
So start slow, explain that you wish to become the trusted neighborhood realtor. Ask for information, let them tell about their experience with other realtors, their plans for the future. The idea is to introduce yourself first and foremost. Then ask if they wouldn?t be interested in getting a monthly newsletter or printed material with useful information of general interest or specific information about buying or selling. If they say yes, then your effort paid off. Take their contact information (email, phone number) and continue to keep in touch, coming back to chat every two months or so and regularly sending them the promised leaflets or emails.
Disadvantage? It?s time consuming most of all.
First of all, what is networking? Networking is the process of finding out about potential clients from friends, business contacts, co-workers, acquaintances, and fellow members in professional and civic organizations. Sounds simple enough. But where do you go to practice your networking skills?
Well, there are various opportunities from family gatherings, to business cocktails, to seminars, conventions or presentations. The important factor is to determine whether you will find possible leads at these events. For example, you are sure to find people interested in getting in touch with a realtors at a neighborhood barbecue or an open house but less so at a medical congress.
Be sure to bring plenty of business cards and brochures.
And remember, networking is about planting seeds. Do not expect to find the next big deal, instead nurture a possibility of a collaboration at some point in time.
Cold calling involves basically plowing through a list of phone numbers and hoping that the people that don?t slam the receiver right away might be willing to meet with you. It?s not a method we recommend. It might have been efficient in the past, but today?s consumers have no wish to waste their time listening to someone blabbering advertising text on the phone. This is especially true where real estate is concerned. Who wants to entrust their home over the phone?
Still, there might be some benefit to it, if you carefully choose your target. So, if you decide to do it, we recommend you treat it like a real conversation. Instead of reciting memorized scripts, recognize that there?s a person at the other end of the line and talk to them normally. Sell yourself and try to get an appointment that way, don?t sell your services. Or give them the URL of your website or article page and then let them decide if they want to get in touch.
Direct mail is also know as mass mailing and involves sending your sales letter or brochure to a targeted mailing list. It?s usually pretty efficient in getting your name out there, though it can cost quite a lot, since the best response rate is around 1%.
The key is to make your letter stand out against all the other junk mail your targets receive. Be sure to write your sales letter with the client in mind. Instead of detailing your great skills, try to address their concerns and give them a possible solution. This will give them the reason to contact you, which is your primary goal.
Take great care of the appearance of the envelope and the contents. They need to look as professional and as official as possible. You need to create a serious, trustworthy image.
You can always try postcards instead of letters. One of the most important advantages of this method is the direct impact. Your targets will see the attractive design immediately. Use creative and compelling copy on the back and include testimonials if you have the space. The text, combined with the appropriate visuals will increase the possibility of your postcard being read.
Don?t forget to ask your recipients to take action. It?s a detail many forget. Ask them to contact you or to visit your website.
Direct mail can be also used to keep in touch with your prospects and the neighborhood you are farming. Remember, constancy is tantamount in building and keeping trust. Also, you need to contact your target as many as eight times before they will consider doing business with you.
Your business cards, often overlooked, can be a very effective means of collecting leads. Beside your contact information, you can also include on the back: pitch phrases, your website?s URL, a call to action, a freebie offer and many more.
Try to make your card stand out. That way, you will ensure it does not end up in the trash.
These modern methods have appeared with the advance of internet. More and more homebuyers and sellers use the web to acquire information.
Direct marketing (email)
Email marketing is very similar to classical direct marketing, except instead of paper you use electronic text. The greatest difference? It?s FREE. And you can change the design and content as often as you like.
Email can also be used with a feed-back form. It's much likelier to have your targets whip up a quick email with a couple of questions than write a letter, or even give a call.
You can use it to offer a free gift such as an e-book, or free courses or a chance to subscribe to your newsletter.
The newsletter is an excellent way to get and keep good leads. Since your recipients need to subscribe first, they will be already interested in your and your services, for the future at least.
But put together a real newsletter. That means to include quality, informative articles, not self-promotion. Your recipients don?t like to be cheated. When they sign for a newsletter, they will expect a newsletter, not a sales letter.
Don?t worry if you?ve never written an article in your life. It?s easier than you might think. Draw from your experience and you?ll be sure to obtain a good result. You can also take articles from free-for-reprint resources.
Having a website will ensure you have a 24 hour connection with your prospects. Include information about yourself, showcase your listings, put up testimonials and of course, lots of quality information with your special insider?s tips.
Don?t forget to add a subscription box for your newsletter.
No matter which methods you will end up using, remember these three important aspects:
1. Even if it?s ultimately about you, always develop an approach that is about them. In other words, your targets do not care how great you are, they only want to know what?s in it for them.
2. Your primary goal is to acquire contact information (name, address, phone number, email address) and the permission to use them. That way, you will ensure your leads are actually valuable, being people genuinely interested in doing business with you.
3. Always follow up. The results of an one-time campaign of any kind are very low and the impact decreases exponentially.
About the Author: Amanda Smith is the content editor of the NetReal.net website. NetReal.net is a complex marketing platform that offers, among other things, the NetRealinTouch.net newsletter system http://www.netrealintouch.net. You are invited to try NetRealinTouch.net, by taking the 30-day FREE trial.