Picture in your mind a bucket – but not an ordinary bucket. Think of this bucket as one you must keep full – full of leads so that your real estate business doesn’t dry up.
The good news: directly above this bucket are 10 faucets. We can call them “lead faucets.”
The bad news: many REALTORS® don’t use them.
That’s unfortunate, because each lead faucet has powerful potential. And just a little tinkering can mean a steady gush of leads that will keep your bucket filled to the brim.
Let’s look at these 10 ‘faucets’ and how to create a fire hose-strength flow.
1. Past Clients – Vital because their referrals come with an implied endorsement of your services. Put past clients into two categories: A – Those who’ve given you referrals, and B – Those who haven’t given you referrals. Set a reminder system to stay in touch with each regularly with cards, calls, small gifts, etc.
2. Internet – A must if you plan to stay in business. Put your focus on responding to the site visitors. Can you respond in 15 minutes? If not, fix it so you can.
3. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – The hotline numbers buyers can call to learn about properties. Again, ignore technology at your peril. (Incidentally, I have a client who landed 11,298 calls from his hotline number in 2005. His secret? An irresistible call to action.) In fact, visitwww.CorcoranCoaching.com/rismedia and take a look at the sample Homes Magazine ad that’s there and notice what information we show and more specifically what we DON’T show.
4. Sphere of Influence (SOI) – The more you think about your SOI (basically your family, friends and acquaintances) the larger it gets. That “acquaintances” category, for example, should include everyone you’ve met. Think how you interact with those you meet casually – develop the effective 10-second “elevator” speech for them. You can visit my website, www.CorcoranCoaching.com/rismedia for a free proven system to make the most of your SOI.
5. Signs – Revisit your signs. How can you make them more effective with more eye-catching color and contrast? Do they include an IVR hotline number?
6. Direct mail – It can be expensive, so find out what’s already being sent in the area you’re considering. The two keys here are differentiation – will your mailer stand out and will the offer and the call to action actually produce desired results.
7. Broadcast radio and TV ads – Yes, some may be too expensive. But don’t rule it out completely. Both radio and TV have massive reach and there are deals out there. The key is, if you do go with these mediums, use them regularly. Frequency beats reach – so don’t buy for just a one-shot deal.
8. Print Ads – Give them a fresh and thorough inspection. What’s keeping them from really grabbing your target audience by the collar? Often, they lack contrast and that prevents them from being noticed in the first place. Don’t forget to add muscle to your call to action.
9. Prospecting – Absolutely essential. It’s one of just four real dollar-producing activities a REALTOR®can do. The trick is to schedule time everyday to do it – the so-called ‘hour of power’ – usually in the morning because it’s the most controllable time of the day.
10. Networking – Choose where you network carefully. There are literally thousands and thousands of groups out there. Be strategic by examining what potential business they bring to the table.
And here are a couple ‘faucet maintenance’ tips:
Keep a balanced approach with all faucets flowing regularly, and avoid relying on just one or two lead generators. What if you put 90 percent of your lead efforts into your Web site and it goes down for a few days? Where will that leave you until it’s up and running again?
It’s fine to focus on three or four lead generators, but never ignore the rest of them. You might, for example, work to generate a third of your leads from past clients or SOI. Then maybe 20 percent from ad and sign calls. Another 20 percent from prospecting. The rest can fall into the five to 10 percent range.
Always keep track of where your leads are coming from – understand intimately how each one came to you. Then readjust your efforts on those that work best for you. -Bob Corcoran