If you don't list, you don't last. This concept is driven into our skulls by real estate trainers year after year, but I would like to go one step further and make the argument that if you don't generate leads, you don't list, and therefore you don't last. Now this may sound quite simple to most of you, and I am quite willing to concede that it doesn't take a doctorate in Realestateology to figure it out. Unfortunately, the big, ugly truth is that even though 100% of you may understand this, we have an 80% failure rate in real estate!
So what is the underlying problem in the quest for making a real estate career work? I often find that it is a lack of understanding the basics of lead generation, and even more prevalent is a lack of DOING some sort of lead generation activity. I can sit here and quote the conversion rates for mailing to people you haven't met (1:50), or lead generating to groups of people who know you, like you and trust you (2:12), but if you don't actually DO something, the only number that will mean anything is the 80% failure rate.
What keeps many people from lead generating is fear. Fear can take many forms, such as fear of rejection, fear of saying the wrong thing, and so on. We cannot allow fear to run our career, because our career will run into the ground. Understand that the only person who is going to really care if you are rejected, or stumble through your script, is YOU. You might not get an appointment, or a listing, or a buyer, but that shouldn't stop you from going onto the next prospect and TRYING AGAIN!
Here are some very simple tips to get your lead generation kicked off. First, don't reinvent the wheel! There are several great lead generation programs out there, so use one! For instance, read The Millionaire Real Estate Agent (Keller/Jenks). There are some very simple lead generation systems that will get your business flying. Go see a national trainer and use some of their programs. Talk to your peers who are successful, and see if they will give you some pointers. Just DO SOMETHING and do it CONSISTENTLY!
Second, pick up the phone and keep in touch with people that you know. Make sure that everyone knows you are in real estate, and remind them in a subtle way whenever you talk. Mention a closing you are about to have, or a trend in the market. After all, the question we always get when someone knows we're in real estate is "How's the market?" Know how to answer them in a way other than, "Doing as well as ever." People want to do business with those that they know, like and trust, so keep in touch with those you already know!
Consistency and repetition. Consistency and repetition. Consistency and repetition. Even if you are doing something small, it will yield some sort of result, if you keep doing it, and doing it the same way. The only person who will get bored by your lead generation activities is you! Now, get out there, and get some leads! After all, I want you to stay in the other 20%!