There’s a great story about a fly. This fly was repeatedly bouncing against the clear glass of a closed window, doing it’s best to get out of the room to experience the beautiful world outside. It could see lots of other flies outside enjoying complete freedom and it wanted the same itself.
The fly was so desperate to enjoy its freedom that it kept trying harder and harder to break through the glass.
The fierce whining of the fly’s wings were a clear signal of the the fly's current strategy: try harder.
Unfortunately, trying harder wasn’t getting it anywhere.
The fly’s sole belief was that going through that specific window was the only way to get to where it wanted to go. Yet, no matter how hard it tried, it was impossible for it try hard enough to get through the glass to where it wanted to be.
In the end, with that strategy, the fly would die an unfulfilled death on the window sill below.
Yet, across the room - literally 180° in the other direction - there was another window that was open completely where, with only a few seconds of flying time, the fly could achieve the freedom it wanted.
Literally, if the fly simply shifted its thoughts and what it looked at, it could easily enjoy the outcome it so badly desired.
The reason I share this story is because many real estate agents face the same challenge each and every day in building their business.
They try harder and harder to succeed, not realizing that there’s a better, easier and more effective way to generate and convert leads.
And for most, they either run out of time, run out of money or run out of both before they realize that if they change their approach and start working smarter, instead of harder, they could have long-lasting success in the real estate industry.
The struggle is real
I know this because like most of you, I worked hard - really hard - day in and day out doing everything I could do to get listings and sell them
Many days, especially in the first couple of years, it was a huge struggle to get consistent lead flow and then convert those leads into listing clients that would price their home reasonably so they would sell.
To say the least, I had some tough days.
I tell you all of this because if I knew then what I know now about lead generation and conversion, my life (and business) would have been so much better.
You see, there is a methodology - a proven approach.
It attract leads, nurtures them, turns them into clients and then into raving fans, and it works so much more effectively than the strategy most real estate agents have been using for decades.
And, if you’re willing to stop doing what the fly is doing and take a look around, you’ll see that this methodology is available to you, too.
It can have a profound effect on the results you get in your business if you’re willing to let it.
Here’s a closer look at the proven, 5-step methodology for lead generation and conversion.
Step 1: Attract
Most agents operate with a chase not attract mentality.
What that means is they wake up every day looking for the next deal. They hunt now business and seek out anyone they can that is ready to sell or buy a home in the next 30 to 60 days.
Now, there’s no doubt that a certain amount of hunting and chasing will always be part of a real estate agent’s daily routine.
That said, with a solid marketing plan, a way to add real value to your prospects and clients and a legitimate means to attract and capture good-quality seller leads, you’ll spend way less time chasing business opportunities.
In the attract phase, you make strong offers online to sellers in your marketplace in order to get them to raise their hands seeking your assistance with the home selling process.
These offers are centered around what sellers want: getting the value of their home, getting it sold for the most amount of money, in a time frame that works well for them without a whole lot of headaches.
It’s also about advertising strategically where current and future sellers would be looking for you: think more Google pay per click and less Facebook.
In the attract phase, the quality of the data is crucial.
To that end, you must not only make compelling offers that make sellers want to give you complete information, but you also must have the technology that augments data when the information you get is incorrect and/or incomplete.
Data augmentation adds value to base data you have by adding information derived from internal and external sources.
For instance, if you get a prospect’s name and address, but not a good phone number and/or email, data augmentation searches a variety of social media and other websites to find additional data that you can use to increase
Step 2: Connect
Once you attract a lead, you need to be able to connect with them quickly and consistently.
Certainly, calling the lead at the top of the funnel to engage them, create a relationship with them and move them further down the funnel are activities in which you should still absolutely engage.
However, nothing beats combining that approach with automation.
Having the ability to follow up with a “lead/subscriber” via email, no-ring voicemail (where you literally leave a message on their phone automatically without it ever ringing) and text message - all with brilliantly written copy that will elicit a desired response - is a huge competitive advantage that few in your market will ever have or see coming.
One of our favorite tools in the automated follow-up approach that falls under the connect stage is no-ring voicemail.
I not only love it because it’s a cool piece of technology, but also because it can improve the response you get on an email or directly mail piece by as much at 45%.
Back when I were practicing agents, I had similar technology in place. It made our clients feel like they were super important because they received “calls” from us with warm, non-descript voicemails. What’s even better is that our competitors thought I worked around
the clock and it added to our authority as top agents in our marketplace.
Back then, though, these technologies were clunky and they required downloading and uploading of lists of leads via excel, which made it hard to hit the right audience at the right time.
Today, however, it’s 100% automatic. Your lead comes in, the plan launches and they begin receiving emails, voicemails and text messages at the right time about the right information, positioning you as an expert who works their butt off making them feel like the most important prospect you have.
It’s the most amazing thing in real estate since the fax machine.
Step 3: Nurture
I believe that you have to approach life and business with an attitude of expectation.
When someone is having a baby, they don’t wait to have the baby shower until after the baby. As well, they don’t wait to have a baby to get the nursery ready; pink or blue paint goes on the walls prior to the magic of labor. This is because they are “expecting” a baby and have an attitude of expectation.
When it comes to the subscribers in your database, need to expect that some things are going to happen. You want to expect them to do business with you. You want to expect them to refer you to a friend or family member with pride when and if the opportunity arises.
You want to prepare them to be empowered to do so, ignoring every other marketing distraction out there from your competitors.
To ensure that you are correct in expecting these things from your subscribers, you need to make an initial follow up call as quickly as possible and then, you must have a game plan to stay top of mind and own the mindshare of that subscriber as it pertains to real estate, you and your market.
Today, the most effective way to do that is video. What used to take thousands of dollars, pricey studio time and tons of cash in television commercials now takes minutes for little to no investment.
In fact, getting in front of the right people at the right time with a poignant video message is as simple as pushing a button. What’s amazing is that a single minute of video is equivalent to you sharing 1.8 million words with someone.
The power of video is amazing in helping you nurture prospects and keep their appetites whetted and wanting more from you. The best part is it’s a highly leveraged activity meaning, once it’s recorded, you can syndicate it to Youtube, Facebook, Linkedin as well as send it to your database for them to consume multiple times over.
More importantly, once on those platforms, your video now becomes searchable and indexable, which means if your video’s topic is relevant, it lives there forever making it easy for future prospects to find you.
What’s more, if you transcribe the video to text (literally by pushing another button) you now have readable content for a blog and all of the items mentioned above begin again in a new format.
And it’s all material that you can use to grow your brand and authority with your marketplace.
Done correctly, this strategy also has the opportunity for you to point out all of the flaws in your competitors’ business and offerings without actually doing it directly, thereby positioning you as the go-to expert to the folks that consumer your content.
Think of it like this, attract is the right lure for the right fish. Nurture is every rotation of the reel reeling them in closer to the boat. Done automatically, you literally just have to grab the net and pick them up. It’s the same with a well-done marketing strategy.
Step 4: Close
As sales people, closing is what I do, whether it’s for the appointment, listing or sale.
When the above methodologies are done correctly, closing becomes much more natural.
In Timothy Ferris’ The 4-Hour Work Week, he talks about how being able to test marketing on Google is the best thing for marketing since sliced bread.
In fact, in the book he explains how his testing strategy was how he and his team came up with the name of the book. More people clicked on 4 hour work week than any other iteration of the title they tested.
You see, when someone experiences the magic of your funnel, they find themselves face to face with you. They like you more and more, become super comfortable with you and virtually have no choice but to agree that it works.
The whole process brings prospects to a natural close.
For example, your nurture strategy keeps you top of mind with all of your subscribers and that affects your marketing strategy in regards to why that client should list with you.
As you send out content for them, the more they consume, the more likely it is that they already agree on a deep, subconscious level that your methods will work to help them.
When closing, it merely becomes an education process. The better job you do in demonstrating how you solve your clients problems and educating them why you have the best solutions for their needs, the more you become your prospect’s natural choice.
Step 5: Delight
Here’s a real life scenario for you to consider. One of us had a neighbor that just bought a house. Shortly after closing, they were complaining about their new agent. There was a small issue that arose regarding a permitting issue and the buyer was upset that it even happened. It was a small detail and relatively inconsequential to the transaction, but it caused real dissatisfaction for buyer.
The unfortunate thing here is that the buyer got an amazing price for the home and from our perspective, the agent did a great job with the transaction overall. However, it was this one, small detail that caused the buyer to have a negative feeling about the entire experience.
What made it worse is that the buyer didn’t confine her displeasure to her spouse and a few choice people. She made it public and told as many people as would listen.
You’ve likely seen this type of behavior in action before and unfortunately, it’s really detrimental to the agent, even if the agent could defend her actions.
I wasn’t there for the transaction, so I can’t say for sure how the details of the process were handled. That said, I do know that if you have the right system in place, you can avoid having things like this happen.
Through the use of technology you can eliminate human error.
Good companies build and run systems in their business. Go watch a McDonald’s operate for 15 minutes. The entire operation is a system and there a multiple, subsystems at work as well.
Each employee at the restaurant is running a system and everyone of them is interchangeable, meaning they can run any system within the businesses.
This is a systems-dependent business, which means that when you put the right people in place, the systems will help run the business smoothly. And, if a problem arises, it will likely be a “people” problem, which you can rectify by simply changing people.
You never want your business to be people dependent. Rather, you want it to be systems dependent so that you only need to bring on new people to keep the business running effectively without worrying if something is going to fall through the cracks.
To that end, if you want to delight your clients, you need to have every single detail of a closing in a plan with an individual task tied to that detail that you or someone in your organization owns. This insures that all clients get the same great service no matter what.
It’s also the sign of a mature business and business person.
In addition to a providing a delightful experience, having a documented procedure can limit your liability in issues of loss or litigation.
Once closed and serviced expertly, your clients are still subscribers...they are still a part of your tribe. Making them feel that they are a part of a special group is paramount to delighting them.
Having systems that send them relevant, valuable communication insures they will have the highest probability of not only becoming an evangelist for your business, but also a repeat client or referrer of business.
That’s what happy clients do.
Most agents, sadly, collect their check and rarely if ever communicate with their past clients again. For many that do, there is often little to no consistency how they do it. This is why despite the fact 88% of clients would be happy to refer someone, only 11% actually do.
We can do better, we will do better!
Delighting clients is simply an extension of your marketing efforts ensuring they will be proud to recommend you. No one wants to recommend someone who will make them look bad for their recommendation. These types of strategies will insure your highest success in achieving these goals.