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.

 

 

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.

24: Top 7 Ways To Improve Your Real Estate Facebook Ad Conversion

There are 10 gazillion facebook ads competing for your attention every time you visit their site.  Well, maybe it’s not quite that many, but it’s a lot, to be sure.

With that much competition, it’s imperative that you create ads that have a super-strong call-to-action so you can increase your conversion rate of your real estate ads.

What’s a “call-to-action” you ask?  Well, it’s basically the request that you’re making of the viewer.  Maybe you want them to sign up for something, download a free report, or take some other action.

When you’ve got a great call-to-action, the conversion rate of your ad goes up.  So, here are the top 7 ways to increase the effectiveness of your ad and drive that conversion higher and higher.

tips to increase facebook ad conversion rate
 

1.  Inspire Action

The whole point of your facebook ad is to get your prospect to take some type of action, right?  So, the very first thing any ad must accomplish is to tell the prospect exactly what it is that you want them to do next.

Use words that inspire and propel action.  Examples of these types of words include:  register, download, attend, visit, sign up, call, email, click, etc.

For example, if  you were trying to get someone to sign up for a webinar on home selling, your ad might say:

  • “Register for our Home Seller 101 webinar.  Click here to sign up.”

2.  Be Direct

People on facebook are in a passive state of mind.  They’re not looking for your real estate services.  So, you must be direct in what you are asking of them so they don’t have to think about it too hard.

If you want them to download a free home buyer checklist, be direct and say “Download this homebuyer checklist.”  Don’t confuse your prospect by sugar-coating your words and trying to make your offer sound fancier than it really is.  Just get to the point and make your call-to-action as direct as possible.

3.  Add A Deadline

When people are faced with a limited-time offer, they’re forced to make a decision or lose out.  So, adding a deadline and creating a sense of urgency helps people make their decision sooner rather than later (and hopefully they will decide right then and there).

If you’re advertising an open house, you have urgency built into the ad because there is a very specific time and date of the event.  If you’re advertising a webinar, again, you have a specific time and date and you could also throw in “limited space available.”

4.  Make It Free

Whatever it is you’re offering in your facebook ad, make it free.  Everyone loves free stuff.

Examples include:  Free home buyer checklist, Free webinar, Free home seller net sheet, Free list of local lenders/inspectors, etc.

You’re trying to increase your conversion rate, so don’t put a price on anything at the beginning.  Make your offer “free” and you’ll reduce the friction your prospect has to giving you their contact info.

5.  Introduce a Fear Factor

I don’t generally sell “fear” to my clients, but introducing a small bit of a “fear factor” can make a difference to some people.  No one wants to make a mistake, especially people who have already had a bad experience with a real estate agent or who have been involved with a real estate deal gone wrong.

Effective headlines that have a bit of fear built in include:  “don’t hire the wrong real estate agent”, “will your house ever sell?”, and “are you paying too much for your house?”

6.  Be Brief

Related to point #2 above, your ads should be brief as well as be direct.

No one is going to read a novel-length advertisement in their newsfeed.  So, your ad needs to be short and to the point.  It’s a mistake to try and warm people up with a bunch of copy before making your call-to-action pitch.  No one cares what you have to say.  Get right to the point and be brief.

7.  Use A Testimonial

One really cool thing about facebook is that it will essentially add testimonials to your ads for you.  For instance, if you’re advertising to a pool of people and a friend of someone in that pool has liked your ad, it will say “Sally Jenkins Likes This.”

But you don’t want to leave the testimonial piece entirely in facebook’s hands.  Instead, you can proactively highlight testimonials by including them in your ad.

Maybe you’ve got a high-profile client that is letting you use their image for your ad.  Or, more likely, you’re using a local client who has given you permission to use their picture or video for your marketing purposes.

Testimonials and recommendations can often help strangers trust you just that little bit extra to send them over the edge and take you up on your call-to-action request.

Summary

There is an art and a science to increasing your facebook ad conversion rate.  Use these tips and see your real estate ads perform better.

 

 

 

21: [TB] Does Facebook Work For Real Estate Agents?

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Does Facebook work for real estate agents?  Is it something that can help you generate real leads?

In my opinion…

…YES.

does facebook work for real estate agents?

First, it’s important to consider that Facebook is NOT a great fit for every business.  For example, besides being in real estate, I own a local pet services company where we do things like dog walking, running, and pet sitting.  Facebook doesn’t work that great for this type of business in terms of generating new customers (but it’s awesome for keeping current customers and generating referrals).

The reasons for this are many.  Chief among them though is that, unlike with real estate, people shop for dog walking services quickly and they’re proactive about it.

This means that they know what they’re looking for, do a search on the internet, and then are likely to give their business to the first seemingly-reputable business they can find.  It all happens within a matter of minutes.  So, to win in that game, you have to be found exactly when someone is looking for you.  That’s where organic SEO and Google PPC come into play.

However, in real estate, we know that this is not at all how things work.

Real estate shoppers aren’t looking for real estate agents.  They’re looking for homes or information about homes in regards to selling or buying.  Agents enter the picture only after they’ve already done research of some sort.

And, often, agents are only in the equation because that have to be, not necessarily because a home shopper wants them to be.

Plus, we know that home shoppers and sellers don’t start their research on the internet and then buy their dream home 10 minutes later.  Instead, the buying and selling cycles are typically drawn-out affairs that last for 3, 6, 12, or even 18 months or longer.

This might sound bad at first.  But it’s precisely because of this long sales cycle that helps Facebook be a great fit for real estate agents.

Second, it’s critical to know that Facebook won’t be successful for your real estate business based on the typical “social media” mindset that we’ve been taught for the last few years.

Instead, you should be thinking of Facebook as your “social advertising system” and not as just a place to post your latest open house info and latest community home sale stats.

Indeed, you’re going to have to pay a few bucks to make Facebook work for you as a real estate agent.  This “pay to play” mindset makes some people mad because they’ve been used to a free ride for so long.  But paid advertising really is the secret to generating real estate leads with Facebook.

You need to forget about the “old days” when you could post something and have 90% of your fans see it.

Now, you’re lucky if 10% of them see it.

That’s why you must adapt to how Facebook is working today.

You’ll need to get used to promoting posts (no, not with the “boost post” button, but with the Power Editor).  You’ll need to be able to create ads and “lead magnets” that get people into your sales funnel, email list, and/or into a Facebook custom audience.  And you’ll need to get used to building a relationship with these people and following up with them on Facebook, in paid ads, with email, and in other creative ways.

That last point is really where Facebook shines.  Remember that this is a place to build trust and a relationship over time.

Where most real estate lead generation systems like direct mail, cold-calling, and pay-per-click ads fail – or, at least break down – is that there’s a lack of relationship building.  Getting a complete stranger to trust you these days off of a one-time connection is brutally difficult.

So, face that facts and accept that instant conversions aren’t going to happen for you.  No one is going to go from stranger to your customer in 8 seconds.

Instead, embrace the opportunity of building a relationship.

It’s going to take some work, but this relationship-building is where Facebook is different from other lead generation things you can do.  And this is precisely why it can work for you as a real estate agent.