The New Way To Get Real Estate Clients

There are a gazillion real estate agents out there.  Well, not quite.  But you get the picture.  There’s no shortage of competition trying to take the bread off of your table.

To compete, win, and get real estate clients before our competitors do, we must stand out.  And be great at what we do.  And evolve with changing strategies and tactics that work in the modern world.

The one constant is that real estate is a relationship business.  There must be a significant level of trust between you and your client before they’ll fully hire you to represent them.

The thing that changes though is how we develop that trust.  If you’re lucky enough to meet with your client/prospect in person a few times, you’re in a pretty good position for someone to get to know, like, and trust you.  And then hire you.

But meeting someone in person isn’t the typical situation.  More often, we’re getting leads online or getting a referral somehow.  It’s these situations where we really need to prove ourselves just to get to that step where we can hopefully meet in person.

So how do we real estate agents “sell” in a world where no one seems to want to buy us?

new way to get real estate clients

Know This First

The first thing to consider is that our modern culture has changed in the way that we buy things.  So, we cannot continue to try and sell in an out-dated way.

We must change how we sell so that we can change how prospects see us (actually, I don’t like the word “prospect” so I’m just going to use the word “people” from here on out).  We must change their understanding of what we do.

In my experience, both buyers and sellers have done a ton of research by the time I get to them (at least the serious ones do, anyway).  That’s partially because data is EVERYWHERE and partially because the general consumer is smart enough to at least make an effort to find the stats and data that they believe is relevant to their cause.

Because of this, data is no longer what we have to offer a home buyer or seller.

Data is now a commodity.  Having it does not separate us from anyone.  It doesn’t even separate us from a dumb computer algorithm any longer (think: Zestimate).

However, what we do have to offer – and what separates us from our various forms of competition – is information.  Data is the coal and what we as agents can do is squeeze it in just the right manner so that it becomes diamond.

And diamonds are worth lots more than coal.

It’s information that people want, yet they generally don’t know how to get it from the raw data.  It’s these insights that we agents have that make us special.

Build Authority

I mentioned earlier that we don’t buy in the same way we used to just a few years ago.  You’d agree that, as compared to 3 or 5 or certainly 10 years ago, you research major purchases much more than you used to, right?  Don’t you know a lot more about the car you want to buy?  Heck, don’t you now even research that $30 knick-knack on Amazon before you take out your credit card?

Home buyers and sellers do the same.  They want to know more about buying and selling a home so that they don’t get screwed some way or another.

This leaves us a great opportunity to be there for them before they even know they need help.  We do this by building authority in our local market.

There’s lots of ways to do this.  Some are as simple as building up your reviews on Yelp or any of the major home search portals.

Or maybe you’ve got a blog where you write about local market stats in your town/area.

Maybe you promote free ebooks on buying/selling or other types of checklists or toolkits to help educate and empower your future customers.

I like to use Facebook Ads to build my pipeline.

However you do it, your goal is to be in front of people and show them that you know what you’re talking about.  Be the expert in your area.  Build authority and people will feel easier about asking you for help.

Be Useful

Authority helps show you know what you’re talking about.

But being useful is when this authoritative knowledge can be applied to someone’s specific situation to help them.

Usefulness is really what we’re after here.  This is what our clients really want from us.  Actually, this is what they need from us.

If we’re not useful, then there’s no need for us to exist.  There is no need for someone to hire us.  They might as well just go back to trying to figure things out on the internet by themselves.  Or, worse, hire someone else who’s proved that they can be useful.

Being useful to someone may or may not include real estate-related items.  Maybe usefulness is simply giving someone a phone number for a vendor that they would have had to find on their own.  Or maybe it’s a 30-page CMA for someone who thinks they already have all the info they need.

Whatever the task at hand is, help someone out.  Be there with a purpose and provide the information that makes you worth someone’s time.

100% Transparency

“Hurry, time is running out!”

“But wait, if you order now…”

I’m not sure about you, but I really don’t like fake urgency.  I understand the concept of pressure to get a person to decide on something, but I think most people can see through the thinly-veiled methods to get them to sign on the dotted line.

That’s why I believe in total transparency.  I want people to know that I’m genuine in what I say and what I do.  I could have made more money in this business by now, but some deals I let go because they weren’t the right choice for that particular client.

I think if you demonstrate an intention to save someone from a bad decision in the short term, you’ll gain more in the long-term by the trust you’ve built.

The New Way

People buy differently.

So, we must sell differently.

If you can combine authority, usefulness, and transparency with a marketing plan that works for you, you won’t have to worry about not having enough clients.

 

 

How To Set Up A Facebook Business Page For Real Estate

If you’re a real estate agent, broker, or manager, having a facebook business page dedicated to your real estate business is a great idea.

The main reason you want one is because Facebook works to generate leads.  Not only can you use it to create a network of prospects, clients, family, and friends that “like” you, but you can also use it for advertising on Facebook.

With over a Billion (yes, Billion) users actively using it each month, there are lots of people who are potential prospects for home buying and selling.

If you’re wondering how to set up Facebook business page so you can take full advantage of this audience, here’s the tutorial you’ve been looking for.

how to set up a facebook business page for real estate

Step One

Before you can set up a Facebook business page, you need to have a Facebook personal account.  If you don’t have that set up already, here’s how to do it.

Step Two

Head on over to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php so you can start your page.  You’ll have 6 different classifications to choose from.  As a real estate agent or brokerage, I’d recommend choosing the “Local Business” category.  Once you click that box, fill out the following info:

  • Choose “Real Estate” from the drop-down box.
  • Enter your business name.  Careful!  This will be the name of your Facebook Page.  It does not necessarily need to be the actual name of your business.  For example, you could name your page “Joe Smith, Real Estate Agent.”
  • Enter the rest of your contact information.

choose a facebook business page classification

Step Three:

Add the “About” section:

  • Type in “Real Estate” into the category section and then choose the most appropriate tag.
  • Add a few sentences regarding what your page is about.
  • Add your website, if you have one.
  • Choose a URL, which will be the web address of your facebook page (make it simple and short).
  • Click “save info.”

 

facebook page registration - about

Step Four:

Add a profile picture.  This is the main icon that will show up in the news feed.  An optimal image size is 180X180 pixels.

upload a facebook profile picture

Step Five:

Add your page to your favorites.  This will allow you to easily find your page in the left-hand navigation bar.

facebook registration favorites

Step Six:

Enter your preferred page audience.  You can add basic information such as location, age, gender, and interests.  I’d recommend adding the towns you service as the location.  You can consider targeting a certain gender, age range (if you tend to work with a younger or more mature audience), and adding real estate-related interests such as “zillow,” “trulia,” “real estate,” and/or other real estate interest topics.

audience preference for page registration

Step Seven:

Click on “About”.  At this point, you can then add more information under your page profile.  Although many of these fields will already be filled in, you can add additional information, such as hours, a longer description, and other items important for people to know.

page profile additional details

Step Eight:

Add a cover photo for you page.  If you don’t have one already, check out a free and easy tool like Canva that will allow you to create a Facebook cover photo with correct image dimensions of 851X315 pixels.

add facebook cover photo

Step Nine:

Add content to your page.  At this point, you have zero “likes” and no content.  So, add a new post to share information that you think people would like to know about.

Keep your content fresh, informative, and useful.  This means you should post at least 3 times per week and vary your content to be roughly 80% “non-sales” information (like community events) and 20% “sales” info (like your listings, open houses, testimonials, etc.).

When you post, consider what people would like to know about.  What images will appeal to them?  What local market stats might they want to know?  How can they be more informed home buyers and sellers?

Step Ten:

Now that you’ve got a completed page that looks great and has relevant content, you can start inviting people to your page.  Start with other agents in your office.  Next, ask people you know to like your page.  Third, ask your current clients and prospects to like your page.

Step Eleven:

Remember that a Facebook business page for your real estate business isn’t going to magically win you new clients just because you post new information about the local market.  You also won’t be a mega-agent just because you have a ton of Facebook fans.

What I’d recommend you do with this page is start running ads to get people into your “sales funnel.”  Yes, this process will cost some money, but it is the best way to make your Facebook business page generate legitimate real estate leads.

 

What Is A Facebook Custom Audience?

You can do some amazing things with Facebook Ads.  Of course, with any of our ads, our number one goal is to sell in one way or another to achieve a specific result.

What Is A Custom Audience?

One of the best ways that we can increase the effectiveness of our ads to maximize our results is to advertise to a group of people who already know who we are.  But how can we do that?  The answer is to use Facebook Custom Audiences.

So, what is a Facebook Custom Audience anyway?

facebook custom audiences

Well, it’s essentially a collection of people who already know us – or at least have a connection to us in one way or another.

Examples of people you already know in your real estate business that could be a Custom Audience are:

  • current clients you’re working with
  • past clients
  • prospects you keep in touch with
  • people you meet at open houses
  • contacts you get from your online lead generation activities
  • new people you meet at business-related social gatherings

The above examples are all groups of people who you likely already have some decent connection with and may have possibly even met with.

But what about lower-level prospects?  What about those people who have just come across you briefly online but haven’t made any real connection with you yet?  How can you use them as a Custom Audience?

Facebook is really helping you out here because they allow you to keep an “invisible list” of these people.  The way they do that is to allow you to add some special code to your website to keep track of visitors to your site.  You can even add this code to landing pages that may not be a part of your site so you can keep track of these people, too.

Why Are Custom Audiences So Important?

Custom Audiences are so important because they allow you to effectively and inexpensively reach the people who know you and are thus the most likely to do business with  you!

As a real estate agent, you’re busy with all types of activities trying to not only close existing deals, but also create new deals by staying in touch with people.

Think of Custom Audiences as the cheapest way to consistently and effectively be in front of people who are your next deals.  By automating ads that go out to these Custom Audiences and paying relatively little for them, you’ve got a reliable system of being top of mind that actually works.

Stay tuned for additional articles on Custom Audiences and how to integrate them into your real estate marketing…

 

What If There Are No Comps For My CMA?

Sometimes, you just can’t find many comparable sales for your comparative market analysis.  What do you do if you only find one or two or, worse, don’t find any at all?

Your best bet to find comps will be to start altering your search within geography and time.

comps comparable cma

Since location is a prime factor in value, you’ll first want to stay as geographically close to the subject property as possible.

So, for example, maybe you have a condo building or a specific neighborhood you’re researching.  If there’s not a good comp in that building or area within the last 3 months, stick to the same area, but start going further back in time.  Go to 6 months, 9 months, then to 12 months.

If I found a comparable unit in the same condo building as the subject that was 12 months old, my opinion is that this comp is more relevant than a 3-month old comp in a different condo building that was 7 blocks away.

For me, 12 months is about the maximum time limit that I will put into a CMA.  This time period will depend on your local market conditions, but I start expanding the geographic range if I can’t find anything newer than 12 months.

Going back to my condo building example, if it was the case that there was a choice between a 24-month old comp in that building or a 3-month comp in a different building, I’d now start using the newer unit as my comparable even though it wasn’t the same building.

Of course, I’d need to now start making adjustments for what is different about these units.  I need to compare not only location, but also bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, garage space, and other relevant attributes.

Let’s say though that you’ve got a property that’s a single-family home in a subdivision with various home designs and layouts and styles.  If I didn’t have a direct comparison that was newer than 6 months old, I’d start considering similar, but different, styles of homes that were in the direct area instead of going back further in time to find the same exact home style.

I’d do this because a subdivision typically has homes that are relatively similar in price, size, and attributes.  Because a typical buyer isn’t usually dead-set on an exact style of home, you can substitute one 4-bedroom for another on a nearby block.  Although they’re not exactly the same, they could be substitutions for each other in a buyer’s mind.  Therefore, I’d pick the more recent comp as my primary gauge as long as they have some significant similarities.

Of course, determining value is both an art and a science.  Your own individual skill and expertise plays a big role here in determining what kinds of adjustments you should make and how you should apply them.

In the end, your approach should be to gather as much information as possible.  Once you have as many relevant data points as you can find, start sorting them to see what makes most sense in your exact situation.

As a summary, stick to nearby geography first.  Go back further in time, if needed.  If that doesn’t yield results, start expanding the geographic range you’re searching in and apply necessary adjustments to make them as equal as possible.

What would you suggest in this situation?  Would you do anything differently?  Leave a comment and let us know what you do when you can’t find a great comp for a new property you’re working.

What Should You Put In A Listing Presentation?

The real estate listing presentation is often the barrier between an agent getting a new listing or losing it to someone else.  So, with so much on the line, what should you put in a listing presentation?

There are countless formats, templates, and suggestions on what makes for a “winning” presentation.  And with each individual agent having his/her own style, to say that there is only one way to do it would be incorrect.

However, there are certain pieces that make for a good foundation that you probably want to consider using. Below are some of these key ingredients.

listing presentation guidelines

Know Your Ultimate Goal

The goal of any listing presentation is ultimately to have the seller agree to use you as their agent.  Sometimes, you get lucky and the seller is already planning to use you at the time you meet.  In this case, don’t sell when they’ve already bought you.  Just get them to sign right then and there.

How do you know if this is going to happen?  Ask questions before you get there and when you first walk in the door.  If they told you “my neighbor Betty told me to use you,” then probe more to see if you can skip right to the signing on the dotted line part and skip all the fluff.

Remember, never sell once the buyer has bought.  Just stop talking and have them put their commitment in writing.

Have Confidence

If you don’t believe what you’re saying, then the best listing presentation in the world isn’t going to help you.

You must have confidence and belief in what you’re saying.  If you don’t, then there’s no possible way that your seller is going to have faith in you when you don’t even have it in yourself.

What Would You Want?

A great way to start to narrow down all the possible choices of what you could incorporate into your listing presentation is simply to first think of what you’d want to hear if you were sitting on the other side of the table.

If there are 100 things you could discuss, consider what you’d want to hear as the seller.  This is an easy way to filter out things that really aren’t that important.

It’s Not About You

Remember that you’re meeting with the sellers for one thing and one thing only: to talk about THEM.

This discussion is not about you and your awards and your rankings.  What sellers really care about is that you’re going to help them.  If you happen to be number one in your market, that’s fine and good but it’s not the reason you get hired.

You get hired if and only if the seller hears enough about how you’re going to solve their problem.  You can talk until you’re blue in the face but none of it is going to matter if it’s all about you.

Sellers care about themselves.  It’s that simple.

Questions…And More Questions

Related to the point above, ask questions.  Lot’s of ’em.

You want to know about THEM and the only way to find out is to ask them.

Every detail is important:  Why are they moving?  Where are they moving to? When are they planning to move?  Are they buying a house before they sell?  How much do they plan to sell for?  Have friends/family given them any suggestions?

Motivation

Selling a house comes down to two things:  price and motivation.

If you know their motivation “hot button”,  you can incorporate that into your listing presentation.

Talk about all the things that are important to them.  If your sellers are planning to move to Denver from Chicago for a job transfer, then you know that the motivation is probably pretty high because that job isn’t going to wait forever.  Talk about all the benefits of being in Denver by quickly selling their Chicago home.

Price

Of course, sellers want to know what they are going to be able to sell for.

Provide 3-5 examples of current “active” listings, 3-5 “sold”, and possibly 3-5 “expired” if your market is pretty rough and you want to instill a little fear that the sellers won’t sell if they price too high.

Whether you do your CMA by hand or by computer, make a simple summary page as well as lots of thorough documentation.  Some people like to know just the bottom line and some like all the details.  If you provide both, you can’t go wrong.

Charts, Graphs, Etc.

Depending on how fancy you want to get, you can include a variety of market stats and data.

There are a gazillion different tools you can use here, but one solid and reliable system you can use is Realtors Property Resource.  As a Realtor, you have free access to this tool through the National Association of Realtors.  It’s got excellent in-depth information.

Marketing Plan

What are you going to do to actually sell the house?

HINT:  Don’t tell them you’re going to take professional photos and put it in the MLS.  Everyone does that.  Make your marketing plan unique.  Remember, this is essentially the answer to the common question “what are you going to do to get my house sold.”

Keep It Simple

Less is more.

If you’ve got a 75-page listing presentation, perhaps you’re drowning your client in too much information.  People want information, but they want it in manageable pieces.  Keep it simple and to the point.

Be Yourself

In the end, sellers are not hiring your listing presentation. They are hiring you.

Make your conversation with them “real.”  Be yourself and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine.  People buy from those that they know, like, and trust.

You won’t win EVERY listing because it’s just not possible to be a match for every seller out there.  But when you’re focused on being sincere and authentic, the right clients for you will identify and bond with that.

Then, you get the listing.

What else?  Is there anything that you put in your listing presentation that you think should be in this list?  Let us know in the comments below.

Review: Odometer+ Mileage Tracking App

If you travel a lot for work like I do as a real estate agent, having a mileage tracking app on your phone is essential.

mileage tracker real estate

Although there are a ton of apps for this type of application, my favorite one is Odometer+.  As of the date of this writing, you can find a version for both the iTunes Store for $0.99 as well as what appears to be an older version on the Google Play Store for free.

I used to keep a written log of my mileage and that was cumbersome, inefficient, and prone to errors.

I’ve also used other apps that were clunky or had too many features that I didn’t need or want.

What I like best about Odometer+ is that it’s simple and easy.  I can get in my car on a way to a listing appointment or to show some homes, hit the “start” button, and then forget about it until I get home and click the “stop” button.  It keeps track of my mileage to the hundredth of a mile and I don’t need to do anything else.

mileage tracking app

When you’re finished with a trip, you can also save that entry with a title and details.  For example, I will write a basic headline such as “Jen Smith showing.”  If I go on the highway with tolls, I’ll add more info to the entry by adding the toll amounts to the description so I don’t forget how much I spent.

IMG_0712_1

For tax purposes, of course you want to be able to pull up a record of all the miles you’ve driven.  That’s easy in Odometer+.  All you need to do is have the app email you your history and you’re set.  Everything you did for the entire year is right there in a simple file.

IMG_0713_1

Not only can you use this handy app for driving, but since it’s just a general GPS tracker, you can use it for walking, running, biking, or any other motion activity.

In real estate, I’m in my car a lot.  The Odometer+ app makes remembering where I went easy and efficient.

 

How To Use Feedly (To Be Smarter Than Your Competition)

Here’s how I stay up to date on topics that interest me:  I use Feedly.

With the demise of Google Reader, I was looking for another system that I could use to keep track of all my favorite blogs and news sources.  After a fair amount of research, I decided that Feedly was the next best system.  In fact, it’s probably even better than Reader ever was.

32 feedly

What Is Feedly?

Feedly, in their own words, is “the news you need to keep ahead.”  Further, it’s “a single place for all the stories you care about.”

It’s basically an online newspaper that only has the information you’re most interested in from your favorite writers and news sources.

You tell it what topics and news sources you want to keep track of.  It is completely custom for you and you alone.

feedly

How Do You Use Feedly?

I use Feedly mostly for work-related information.  Being that I work in marketing and real estate, I mostly keep track of blogs in these two industries.

There are lots and lots of blogs that I follow.  So, instead of keeping bookmarks of every one of those sites and going from site to site every day wondering if there’s something new (or being on all of their email lists), I just add their RSS feeds to my Feedly list and can then easily see which news sources have new information at any given time.

This saves me a ton of time and is an easy way to stay up-to-date on topics that are important to me.

How To Get Started With Feedly

Simply go over to their “Discover” page and type in any topic, keyword, or URL of a blog.  As you type keywords, it will give you suggestions on blogs you might be interested in.

feedly for real estate

Of course, you can create an account and then start saving feeds as well as categorizing them.  Here’s a view of how I have organized a few different topics that I’m interested in.

feedly categories and topics

Every day in the morning, I check my feeds and see what articles I want to read.  I think that spending a few minutes every day learning something new is a great way to start off the day before work really begins.

How Much Does Feedly Cost?

The basic version is free.   That’s currently what I’m using and it’s great.

If you want to upgrade, you can get a ton more features such as faster syncing, better searching and a bunch of other improvements for only about $45/year or $5/month.

You can use Feedly on your desktop computer or your phone/tablet.

If you’re looking to stay ahead of your competition and stay current with the topics that are important to you, give Feedly a try.  You’ll probably really like it and start using it daily.

How To Focus Your Real Estate Business

I’m a sucker for the “latest and greatest” shiny new object.

The benefit to that addiction is that, when I find a “winner,” I’m ahead of the curve on that topic because I was one of the first to try it out.

The downside is that I’m often chasing things that turn out to be losers, waste my time, don’t apply to real estate, and just generally shatter my focus.

So, this year, I’ve already begun a very concentrated effort to focus my real estate business on just a few things that have either worked for me previously or have shown strong potential.  Everything else is getting less of my attention – a lot less.

The way I’m doing that – and the way I’m focusing with laser-like targeting – is just to turn everything “off” that doesn’t help me get to my goals.  I’m looking at things in a very black or white manner.  Either they clearly help me or they clearly don’t.

focus on your real estate business

The first thing I’ve done is to eliminate much of my email.  I’m on a ton of real estate and marketing email lists and decided to weed out everything that doesn’t provide a ton of consistent value.  To do that quickly, I created an account with unroll.me so that I could easily unsubscribe from any email senders I didn’t want any longer.

The next thing I did was to go through all my marketing efforts over the last few years.  I evaluated what efforts clearly and directly made me money.  Most didn’t, so they were crossed of my list.

Of anything that has shown potential, I prioritized how well each marketing tactic worked, what I like doing, and what I feel I can do consistently.  I was left with this real estate marketing plan.

I’m currently in the process to evaluate all my expenses from the last year.  By going through each expense, line by line, I’m taking notes on where exactly my money is going and if I can do without that particular investment in my business.  Of course, the goal to my refocusing efforts is to make more money, so it makes sense to figure out where I don’t have to spend it in the first place.

I turned off all “notifications” of emails and texts on my phone and computer.  These are notorious drains on your ability to focus on one thing.  I don’t hear any sounds or see any pop up notifications any longer.  I have to manually go and check for new messages and I’m trying to do this only sporadically throughout the day.

My office is super clean, too.  I took some time to throw away a lot of papers and items that I know I’m just never going to take the time to look at or read.  A clean office is an efficient office.

I’m getting better at planning certain times of the day for certain activities.  In an interview I did with Brian Icenhower, a lot of what he suggested that separates top agents from everyone else is their ability to build lead generation activities into their day just like any other scheduled appointment.

My days are not perfect and I’m not expecting that they ever will be.  But focusing my real estate business in the ways mentioned above has already started to increase my productivity and happiness.  I’m going to continue to forget about the 80% of things that drain my focus and concentrate on the 20% of things that make me productive.

How about you?  How do you stay focused in your real estate business?

 

30: The One Thing Your Real Estate Marketing Must Accomplish

Most advertising and marketing is horrible.

That’s because it doesn’t do the job it’s supposed to do. It doesn’t matter what industry that advertiser is in or how big of a company they are.  Usually, they miss the mark.

I don’t want you to miss the mark, too.

You are a real estate agent and I know that you do not have millions of dollars to sink into “brand awareness.”  You don’t have time to waste waiting for “image advertising” to take hold in consumers’ minds.  You don’t have teams of people doing your twitter and facebook and pinterest and instagram for you.

real estate marketing goal

You are a small business and every penny and every second must be used to their maximum potential.

I know that you need only one thing: buyer and seller leads.  Right?  So, remember this:

Advertising has only one goal:  TO SELL.

The one thing every one of your real estate marketing/advertising efforts should do is to get people into your sales funnel. 

Every ad you place MUST have a goal of making someone take a specific action.  Preferably, this action involves them giving you their contact information so you can follow up with them with valuable insight and help.

If your advertising is not asking your audience to take some type of action to get them into your sales loop, then stop the advertising in that medium.  For example:

  • If you are advertising in the local grocery store on the back of receipts or on the carts, STOP.
  • If you are in the local newspaper or magazine with your picture saying nothing more than “call me for all your real estate needs,” STOP.
  • If you are sending out farming postcards that say nothing but “I’m #1,” STOP.
  • If you are buying Trulia or Zillow leads without an automated follow-up sequence that goes on for more than a year, STOP.

I know agents who have had gotten leads with the things I just said not to do.  Maybe even a deal here or there.  But that “success” is sporadic at best.

However, with targeted ads that make a specific request, you’ll have a much better chance at getting a lead that is serious and has potential to turn into real cash in your pocket as a closed transaction.

I don’t mean to imply that your ad’s goal is to get a complete stranger to instantly trust you with the biggest financial asset of their life.  That’s just not going to happen.

But, you can get them to the point of using you as their agent in tiny baby steps over time.  Each ad you run should help guide them to taking an action towards the first – or next – baby step in the process.

Do that consistently and your advertising will actually start to work.

29: How I’ll Triple My Real Estate Production In 2015

January, 2015 will mark the beginning of my 3rd year as an agent in residential real estate.  And I plan to triple my real estate production from what I did in 2014.  Here’s how.

Prior to being an agent, I ran (and still own but have delegated the management of) a pet services company where we get 90% of all our new business from the internet.  And the majority of this new business comes to us for free without paid advertising.

In fact, one of the reasons I got into real estate was because I felt I could leverage what I learned in this other business to produce real estate leads.

Well, as it turns out, some of my internet magic works for real estate, but I learned that a lot of it doesn’t produce results in quite the same way.  So I had to look for new solutions to get buyer and seller leads.

how to increase real estate production
Over the last 2 years I’ve experimented in all types of ways with internet-based lead generation techniques.  As I start year 3, here’s what I’m going to focus on.

Note that none of what I’m doing is related to traditional techniques of cold calling, door knocking, farming with direct mail, open houses, or other typical activities.  Further, I’m also not using any pay-per-click systems related to getting buyer leads with IDX or anything like that.

I truly feel that there is a NEW way to do things in real estate.  And I’m doubling-down on my bet by forgetting about every traditional technique I’ve been taught.

This is all I’m doing for the next year.  And I think that this 4-part approach is going to work:

1.  Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are not at all related to what we’ve traditionally learned about Facebook and social media.  To me, the social media component of posting stuff to my Facebook timeline and getting “likes” is a bottomless pit of effort with no real tangible return.

Facebook Ads, on the other hand, give very specific results.  I know that if I spend X dollars, I will get Y number of leads.  If I don’t get as many leads as I want, then I know I need to change some component of the advertisement or lead capture process.

I’ll be using the ads for 3 main types of campaigns:

  1. Ads to bring cold traffic to sign up for a webinar
  2. “Retargeting-Loop” Ads for warm traffic
  3. “Custom Audience” Ads for those very familiar with me

See below for more info on the Webinars.

If you’re not sure what “retargeting” is, it’s a way for you to target ads only to people who have already come to your website.  So, for example, I’m going to be running ads to drive cold traffic to my website for local market updates.  Once they’ve been to my site and have some familiarity with me, I’ll be running retargeting ads directly to those people to have them sign up for a webinar or get other valuable content from me that’s specific to their interest (location, seller, buyer, etc.)

If you’re not familiar with “custom audiences,” it’s a way for you to target people you already have on some type of list.  So, for example, I’ll be uploading my list of clients and then running ads to those people every so often to remind them of my services and to think of me for referrals.

2.  Webinars

Webinars are online presentations.  I conduct these at my computer in my office and webinar attendees can watch and listen from where ever they are via phone, tablet, or computer.  It’s very convenient and cost effective.

Why webinars?  Well, the short answer is that they’re a great way for prospects (who are typically complete strangers) to get to know me and understand that I know what I’m talking about.

With webinars, people can see me live on video, hear my voice, get a sense of my personality, and learn something – all at the same time.

Plus, if a prospect is wiling to spend 45 minutes online with me, don’t you think they’re probably more serious than someone who spends 5 seconds clicking a PPC ad to sign up to get emails of new homes?  You bet they are.  Webinar attendees are A-level prospects for sure!

My webinars will revolve around seller and buyer-related topics.

3. My Email List

My list of real estate prospects is a crucial component to my plan.  Since you need to constantly be in contact with people, an automated email campaign is a must-have system to have in place.  Often referred to as a “drip campaign,” my email list will receive short messages from me generally related to buyer and seller tips and tricks.

4.  Video Testimonials and Referrals

You can’t go wrong with referrals, of course.  I’m definitely going to be more conscious of asking people for referrals and staying in contact with past clients.

Further, I’m taking the typical testimonial and cranking it up a few notches by getting video testimonials.  I’ve been able to get about 9 so far this past year.  Not everyone is wiling to be on camera, but I’ve noticed that those who are will typically be very excited to talk about me and my services.

These videos get uploaded to my youtube channel and put on my website.

 

Would you like to see how my plan turns out?

Get regular updates from me.  Copy my ideas and learn from me regarding things that go right and what went wrong by getting on my email list right now.

My list gets regular updates on what I’m doing and exactly how I’m doing it.  Plus, I often interview top agents to learn their story of what they’ve done to make it big in real estate.

All this is free, so make sure to get on my email list by clicking here.

What about you?  I’d love to learn how you’re going to make 2015 the best year ever. Leave a comment below.  Thanks!