How to Get and Convert Buyer and Seller Leads?
The simple answer to this question is in 4 words “Effective Marketing & Lead Conversion”.
It would be ideal if doing it was as easy as saying it or writing it in this case. In other words, it’s much easier said than done, however, it is not rocket science either.
Not long ago, I learned that people do not rise to the level of their expectations but they fall to the level of their systems. Ever since, it has become my favorite quote since it applies to any situation, family, relationships, business, etc. And generating buyer and seller leads and converting them is no exception. A realtor must adapt an effective system to generate leads, take them through the sales funnel and convert them to happy buyers and sellers.
Within that system, there are tools, networks and strategies that must be utilized efficiently and cost effectively for a realtor to succeed in his/her efforts in generating and converting leads. Below, I will address some of the challenges realtors are facing and provide solutions to them in an effort to address the above question.
The tools, the strategies and techniques or the know-hows to generate and convert leads may be broken to 2 main categories, Free Tools and Services and Paid for Tools & Services. Not all free things are good, but fortunately there are some effective one among the free ones. The same applies to the paid services too, not all of them are effective, but the ones that are work really well, however, those may not be so cheap. Fortunately, there are ways to get them an affordable cost.
Let’s discover some freebees first.
If you are an old school realtor, you are familiar with the term door-knocking. Door-knocking was a most effective free marketing strategy of the past. A realtor picks a neighborhood consisting of 100 to 300 houses or more, referred to as his/her farm, and on a regular basis walks the neighborhood, knocks on every door, hands out informative flyers and marketing materials and gets to know the residents. He/She offers free market evaluation, garage sale signs and bonds with the residents, establishing a reputation of a go to person, a problem solver and a real estate expert in the neighborhood. This is still an effective marketing strategy with the baby boomers and older generations, but not so much with the younger generations such as millennials and Gen-Z population, as they are more accustomed to social media and online platforms for information and resources.
Speaking of online and social media, regularly posting on social media, connecting and bonding with the younger generations is the equivalent of door-knocking and bonding with the older generations. It’s free to post on every social media, facebook, linkedin, Instagram, twitter, and our own M&M (moreandmorenetwork.com), where you are reading this article now. The more established social media offer a bigger pool of members and more eyes on your posts, however, not every member on it is a real estate buyer or seller prospect. On the other hand, people who sign up on real estate focused sites such as M&M tend to pay more attention to posts by real estate professionals. Just like the old adage goes, no one goes deer hunting in the ocean. But since all social media posting comes at no cost, I highly recommend posting everywhere for a couple of reasons. For one, it helps your branding and secondly, it helps you with honing your marketing and effective content writing. After all, success in real estate is a numbers game. The more people see your material, the better chances you have on getting a client.
Another very effective and free or almost-free way of marketing is networking. Joining networking groups such as LeTip, BNI and similar organizations, meeting weekly or monthly for breakfast, lunch or dinner and getting to know other professionals such as attorneys, accountants, financial advisers, lenders, etc., is a fun and an inexpensive way of generating leads. There are a few expressions defining success and one goes like this: Success is not about what you know, but about who you know. And yet, there is a better one and that goes like this: Success is not about who you know, but about who knows you. I like this one a lot and networking is all about making sure people get to know you. For people to do business with or refer business to you, they have to like you, to like you, first they have to know you. Networking is a very effective way of displaying your character, personality and skills and allowing people to get to know you.
The problem with door-knocking and networking is that it’s hard to scale it up. But since it comes at no or little cost and it serves more than one purpose, they are both highly recommended by real estate coaches and trainers.
Being a member on our platform affords you both the opportunity to post your content on our newsfeed as if you were door knocking in a farm and to network with other professionals on our site, as if you were a member of networking group, both at no cost to you. In fact, the Group feature on our site, not only allows you to join smaller groups with similar interest, but also affords you the opportunity to form your own group and establish a followership and enhance your chances of doing business with them.
Let’s move on to some paid services available to realtors for generating and converting leads.
One option is paid advertising on social media. While you may advertise on social media with as little as $5 to $10 a day, unless you know what you are doing when it comes to having the right message for the right audience and where and when and how often to post and all the particulars of social media advertising, you are about to waste your money. This option is best to be handled for you by professionals and only after you have honed your lead conversion skills and are closing transactions.
Another option is to purchase buyer and seller leads from online lead providers. If you choose to embark on this option, be sure you are purchasing high quality exclusive leads. High quality leads tend to be pricy, but if you are skillful in converting your leads and closing them, it’ll be worth it. Stay away from the low quality leads as they will waste your time and money.
The option I would recommend over purchasing leads is subscribing to lead generating platforms. They range from $200 to $500 per month, but offer many advantages over purchasing online leads. To begin with, they serve as a mini website for the agent with smart CRM capabilities. They offer advance chat bots and automated lead conversion tools. In addition, an agent may bring in a lender to partner with and promote him/her on the site and share the cost with him/her. Should you consider signing up for one, Real Geeks is an industry leader in the space and their plan is offered at $250 per month with a 12 months contract. Here is the good news, you may retain Real Geeks platform through M&M for $80 per month for a limited time on a month to month contract with no minimum terms. In addition to Real Geeks customer support, M&M offers you additional level of support when you sign up for the program through M&M.
Whether you generate leads through door-knocking, networking, social media or online platforms, you will need to have a robust lead conversion system in place.
Many variables play a role in what and how to communicate with a new lead for the first time when they come in contact with you. The same applies to how often to follow up with them and what to say. To master this skill, one needs to retain the services of a good coach and a mentor. For now, below are a few tips on what is needed to better take a lead and convert it into a closed transaction.
To start with, let’s learn about the principles one must be mindful of when talking to leads, prospects and clients:
- For people to do business with you, they have to like you, they have to trust you, and they have to see what’s in it for them to work with you as opposed to working with other.
- For people to like you, they have to know you. Like I said earlier, success is equally about, if not more about who knows you than what you know and who you know.
- People get to know you and then get to like you through repeat positive, informative and uplifting message, calls, conversations and interactions.
- The content you deliver to people, whether is through conversation on the phone, by text or in person, articles or videos, in a subtle way, must display your trustworthiness, experience, skills and resourcefulness.
- When you compete with others over one’s business, which you will on a regular basis, you need to find a way to establish yourself as an authority, a legend and a problem solver in your field.
Now let’s expand a bit on the above principles.
Get people to know you
Many realtors have their own websites and social media pages. It’s all good for branding and that’s about it. Almost, all realtors have them. Being one of thousands with a website and social media pages doesn’t do you any good, unless your pages are technologically capable of capturing the visitors’ email or text number (with their consent) and start communicating with them.
Once that connection is established, a series of communication, referred to as sales funnel, must take place to display your character, personality, skills, and resources. Through these communications, the consumer gets to know you and if they like who you are and if they see the benefits of working with you, you’ll win them over.
Get people to like you
People rather do business with those whom they like. To a degree, they compromise service and cost, just to do business with friends and people they have a relationship with.
Your personality and character, which has been shaped by your upbringing throughout the years are an important factor in getting people to do business with you. Kind, caring, giving, warm and friendly people definitely have an advantage over others with lesser degree of the aforementioned. Aside from personality and character, below are other attributes that may be developed and retained anytime that could help.
Knowledge: Consumers like knowledgeable people. Not only the knowledge in your trade, but in general, knowledge in history, world, current affairs, other crafts and hobbies, will attract people to you. Be sure to stay out of religion and politics, even if you know your audience and your views align with them. It becomes a habit and you never know when you shoot yourself in the foot. When you talk to others, be mindful of their interest and hobbies and see if there is a commonality between you. People love to do business with those with common interests. Removing watching junk TV from your schedule and replacing it with reading books, articles, blogs and listening to podcasts will broaden your general knowledge base and taking classes, courses and signing up on workshops and with coaches and mentors, will help you hone your trade skills.
Experience: When it comes to financial and legal matters, experience is huge. It doesn’t get any more legal and financial than real estate transactions. Experience is something that is built over time. If you are an experienced agent, be sure that comes across in you communication, not directly but subtly (no bragging). If you are a new agent or you lack the experience needed to compete with other experienced agents, I highly recommend joining in and working within a team of an experienced agent ‘till you gain some experience.
Resourcefulness: People with resources are perceived as problem solvers. If you know a plumber and someone needs help with their kitchen pipes, when you make the connection, you score points with them. When someone is in need for an accountant, an attorney, or a lender or roofer and you make the referral to a good service provider, you display your problem solving skills. Problem solving skills are essential to the success of a real estate transaction. In my 30+ years of real estate career and hands on in over 3,000 transactions in some form, I have never seen a transaction closes without some sort of a problem that had to be solved before closing, not even one.
Community Involvement: Being involved in your neighborhood and community is really important in earning people’s business. First and foremost, it helps you build your knowledge of your community. Secondly, it helps you build your resources, getting to know and connecting with the CPAs, attorneys, lenders, plumbers, roofers, etc.. You may get to know these people online, and that’s fine, but it won’t be like getting to know them in person over coffee, lunch or a drink. Being involved in your community, makes you a legend and people like working with legends. If you have the skills to build your own networking group, that establishes you as a leader. Again, people like to work with legends and leaders.
Podcasts: There is a new generation of buyers and seller hitting the market and they are Gen Zs. The newer generations, millennials and younger, listen to and get their information from podcasts. You may start your own podcast, but I can tell from experience that it’s time consuming and costly. A better alternative is to join other and collaborate with them to share the cost and cross promote one another services to your listeners. If you are interested, you may check M&M podcast services, as it is a great solution for those who are qualified.
After everything said and done, you have to spend money to make money. In other words, tools, technology, training, marketing and all the services you need to get training and learn, generate leads, showcase you knowledge, experience, personality and character, put them through sales funnel and convert them to closed transactions cost money. There is no free lunch in the world. With that said, you have to be smart with your money.
There are brokerages that pay you 100% commission less a small flat fee from each transaction. I have ran the numbers for an average house in So Cal with the value of $700,000 with an average commission of 2%, the savings for a brand new agent who is at 70% commission split with a traditional broker, is about $3500 per closing if he/she worked in a 100% commission program. There are quite a few of them out there and there is one actually advertising on our network. As a brand new agent working full time, if you close, let’s say 3 transactions a year, your savings exceed $10,000 year which will cover almost all expenses necessary to build a successful real estate career. In addition, we have vetted service providers in our Business Partner Portal on our site, and they will offer you their services, to include coaching and training, lead generation CRMs and more at a discount to our members.
Be sure to explore that page to get to know them and enjoy the savings they offer.
Cheers to You & Your Success,
Saeed Ghaffari, Founder
Money, Real Estate & More
PS. Here are some free features on M&M you may take advantage of:
- Business Directory: As a member you may list your business in our business directory at no cost. It’s additional exposure and helps your branding.
- Calendar of Events: You may post any events you are holding or promoting on our calendar of events, open houses, previews, or anything real estate related.
- Newsfeed: Our newsfeed is visible to visitors and members. Any post you make there will be seen by anyone on the site. In addition, if your post is found valuable, we may talk about it on our podcasts and give you credit for it. On top of it, depending our podcast guest schedule, we may invite to talk about your post on our podcast for free. Our podcasts are heard in 25 countries and 43 states as of today.
- Groups: M&M’s group feature provides both public and private group options. You may set up a public group and invite people you know or those who may benefit from your group to it and introduce them to your services. You may also set up a private group, in which it is not for public viewing, and you may admit members by invitation only. On both cases, the group feature allows you to share documents, have discussions and feeds and much more.
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