IF YOU HAVE TO CHASE LEADS, AS A MINIMUM, PLEASE MAKE CERTAIN THAT THEY ARE MEANINGFUL TO YOUR BOTTOM LINE?
Why is it that no one can offer 3 guaranteed leads to real estate agents who subscribe to any of the multitudes of paid lead generators out there? I would be thrilled to hear one of their salespeople say "I can do that". Yes, I have been a subscriber and although the leads were plentiful the quality was surely lacking. Those that know me also understand that follow-up is my middle name when it comes to real estate. That being said, my need to seek paid leads no longer exists and is now a faded memory. I do not say there isn't a need for them only that what they're selling may not be anywhere close to what you are expecting in return.
Here's how my experience with paid leads panned out. For approximately $150.00 per month the leads arrived sporadically but at least every other day. Maybe 80 to 120 emails rolled in each week and were sent an immediate response. Depending on the sense of urgency indicated they were grouped accordingly. The market I was in rarely had anything available in the price points being inquired about. That's FAIL #1.
Is there anything more disconcerting than a lead that goes nowhere. Lost time is something you'll never be able to retrieve. I like to believe I'm a systems oriented person and had mapped out the input I would give to these leads so as not to disrupt my normal business. Most of the contacts were email only and others just cell or office numbers with a few of them having both. To handle the amount of tracking and touches we utilized Google calendar and it was opened to all agents who wanted to participate. At any given time 5 people might be adding their notes and calling, texting or emailing with the goal of finding anyone who could commit to an appointment. A lot of effort was expended with virtually no return and none of us were "new" here either. These contacts supposedly weren't cold calls, we were told that introductions had already been made. Many times we would soon find out that there was NO introduction which created FAIL #2.
There's always the possibility that they were never going to buy in the first place. That is not the expectation when you write a check each month which is more than likely where we failed initially. You guessed it, we paid a highly discounted fee when the payment was made for the entire year. Sting #3 hurt the worst because it was self imposed and we knew there was no recourse to regain that sum as written in the contract. We were SOLD! Salespeople should not get SOLD, although, that's exactly what happened and it didn't taste good at all. Lesson learned, we moved forward. The only highlight was how great our Excel spreadsheet looked with every communication notated and color coordinated. After only 4 months I think someone determined if printed it would be almost 11 feet long. Great wallpaper eh! Without including hours spent we did break even dollar wise. No residual activity exists and no "Clients for Life" created. None of us ever repeated the effort for obvious reasons.
Some leads seem like the low hanging fruit but beware of Red Flags. When a Seller becomes more passionate about the solution than he is of the Buyer, that can be a red flag. If a customer cannot commit to deadlines it might be time to politely move on. Keep your bridge intact but know that this one will usually cost you some money. Not getting any honest answers in your communications will make you see red too. It can also relate to no answers, evasive answers and anytime that the communication simply disappears. Too busy to talk, to learn or give a moment of their time indicates there is no investment in the relationship, especially if it's going one-way. Time to put up the red flag and place this one on hold.
Embrace those leads but don't pay for them, they're everywhere, you just need to look harder and ask for them at every turn too. If you're too shy to ask you are really going to have to learn how to get over that. It's your livelihood we're talking about here, DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED! Learn how to overcome this behavior, it has no place in sales. You must talk to your sphere, family & friends come first, and ask for leads directly. There's no need to defend your reasons it's basic business sense. When forced to drink Champagne on your beer budget you'll need to admit which you enjoy more and possibly redirect your efforts to more accomodating customers, after all we're here to make money, right? Know your margins and when prospects are seeking more out of you and not recognizing your value. Your efforts should place you toward better qualified opportumities at every juncture. Frank conversation will help identify where to funnel your energy. Are they worthy of your attention or are they simply going through the motions. Maybe the pusuit is better focused elsewhere.
Prospects are people and you'll be wise to find their human aspects you can relate to rather than the prospect side of your relationship. Understand that it's within your power to choose the people whom you wish to work with. Keep this list handy and update it when necessary it should be continuously growing and when an opprtunity strikes to make that connection you will already have some background about the person and their businees becomes secondary while removing the awkwardness of introducing the sales part into your equation. When you build these relationships you have pre-qualified the prospects which will require much less time accomodating than the unqualified ones you previously dealt with. Time efficiency is always a concern therefore I am recommending video communication as an alternative to close the gap. This allows for a human touch, less time lost and an opportunity for impromptu connections to be made.
I prefer the concept of coaching a decision rather than that of coaxing a sale. When both parties can share the impact of your solution it's results will now drive their purchase rather than making you push the sale. Become a "Curious George" when it comes to their problems. Understanding urgency gives you the clarity you'll need to determine if evidence exists to continue or walk away. Want to eliminate the guesswork of answers to common questions. Some homework may be the right tool to eliminate most of it prior to your first appointment. You've been asked these questions over and over hundreds of times. Develop your Q & A sheet(s) adapted to your particular market. Again, it's all about efficiency of time. Relish in it and drink the Champagne!
Why is it that no one offers guaranteed
leads to real estate agents?