So many people are considering their 2010 performance – what worked, what didn’t… and how they are going to make a change in 2011. As I talk to our agents about this, there are a couple of questions I think we should all be asking ourselves:
1. Are you wasting your time in front of the computer?
I think Thom Abbott was the first person I saw who used the term “monkey brain.” He was referring to the fact that it’s so easy to sit down at the computer to look for leads, create blog posts, generate links… and all of a sudden you are reading an article that has NOTHING to do with generating leads, or creating posts or ANYTHING that is going to help your business!
How many transactions did you close in 2010 from Twitter, Facebook, Blog Posts? If you didn’t close any transactions, chances are that unfocused computer time is a money-waster. The challenge with online marketing is that it takes time to learn WHAT is effective. In 2011, consider working with a company, or an office, or a mentor that is already creating leads online or can show you how to create your own. If you are the only person in your office who KNOWS this activity can work… you need to look for a more tech saavy group.
2. Be a specialist, Pick a Niche for your marketing
Most top producers focus exclusively on two or three niches where they specialize. Common niches include geographical farms, new homes, estates, relocation, etc. If you are still trying to be everything to everyone, you are probably wasting money by spreading yourself too thin.
Do you REALLY want more listings right now? Is all of your marketing geared towards Sellers? But be careful about WHAT Niche you pick! One friend of mine decided last year to be the “Golf Course Specialist.” Why? Because the houses cost more! Does she play golf? No. Does she know why a house on a Tee Box would be better perhaps than one closer to the Pin? No. Focus all of your efforts on no more than THREE niches that you CAN be an expert in for the best return.
3. Do you have a productive farm and social network?
Have you closed at least four transactions from your geographical farm in the last 24 months? If not, it’s time to do more face-to-face follow-up or to replace this activity with something that is profitable. When you go to all of those Chamber events, are you talking to the same 4 people who don’t have the possibility of sending you any leads? Are you gathering cards and putting those folks in a drip campaign?
Be honest: Are your networking activities generating leads? If you network to generate leads, look at how many transactions you closed in 2010 from your networking activities. If the answer is “none,” you need to openly solicit leads (i.e., stop being a secret agent) or dump this activity because it’s both a time- and money-waster.
4. Create Better Systems!
Even BAD leads can generate business! Do you HAVE the drip campaigns in place to follow up with leads? When was the last time you really looked at your database to determine who you should contact on a regular basis? Move anyone who has been in your marketing program for more than 24 months to a specialized Drip Campaign and has not sent you a lead or done business with you. Spend your money and time on the people who refer you business and stop wasting time and money on those who don’t.
5. Spend Money and Time Wisely!
It’s my experience that each agent is different. Think about YOUR strengths. Do you naturally network well? Then look at the Meetup Groups in your area! Build on what you do well. Spend YOUR time on the activities you are good at and stop worrying about what someone else says you should be doing. Has your website produced more than one closed transaction in the last year? Are your listings current? Can potential sellers find you easily on the Web? If you answered “No” to any of these questions, upgrade how you are marketing on the Web.
A great strategy is to hire a virtual assistant to handle this for you. If you hate Web marketing, spend your Web marketing budget where it will produce better results – hire an assistant who can work 6 to 8 hours a month!
2011 is going to be a GREAT Year for those agents who are in the right working environment, who are FOCUSED on doing those activities that are actually generating leads, and who are DISCIPLINED in their approach to their Real Estate Practice… and it’s gonna’ be HARD for those who just aren’t in it all the way.
ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS FROM THE COMMENTS BELOW:
Christine Donovan brought up something that I wanted to clarify here. I keep all leads forever but I keep them in a different bucket. After two years, I delete them from my group that gets the most attention from me. I place these people on a specialized campaign. It's hard enough coming up with content to fill up a 2 year drip campaign and nearly impossible to come up with enough content to fill "forever" so I place them in a group that has no actual drip emails attached. This group gets all of my holiday emails and monthly newsletters that I write as I go. That way they are still receiving at least 12+ touch points per year and the content is more relevant to them and less likely to get you blacklisted. I share home tips, what's happening in the market and I ask for their business or a referral. Just because a "lead" didn't use me the first time around, doesn't mean they wont use me the second time around or share my name with a friend.
If you have questions about your creating leads from your real estate blog, or how to get your Listing seen by more eyeballs – call Josh Harley, Fathom Realty, 214-228-0301. I”d love to help you, and learn more about what’s working in your market! Are you on Facebook and Twitter? Let’s Connect!