WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY BUSINESS IF I STOP PAYING FOR LEADS???
This was actually said to me when I spoke to a fellow agent about her participation with the biggest lead generator out there.
I had asked her if she felt bad about what was happening to our real estate business here in the Hamptons, especially since the big Z has bought out all of the local listing platforms, including our internal platform!
Her response was not surprising after I gave it some thought--She has been paying big numbers to this website for over 2 years! She told me that even though she gets virtually nothing from the leads, she is very concerned what will happen if she stops!
BELOW, IS AN EXERPT FROM MADELINE BLASBERG'S ARTICLE OF 9/12/2018 "7 REASONS TO STOP PAYING FOR LEADS AS A SERVICE PROFESSSIONAL--
"7 – This is Business; Not the Lottery Yes—working with a lead generation service works for some businesses. But many businesses have lost the battle and will tell of visiting boarded up houses, fictional phone numbers, and cold leads. Isn’t it better to spend your valuable time working on building your business in a way that is sustainable and repeatable? Don’t you want to find people that are interested in what you and your company has to offer? There is a big difference between someone that wants something from your industry and someone who wants something from your company. The person who wants something from your industry is always going to look for the best price and they don’t care who does the work for them, as long as they get what they want. A person who is interested in your company likes exactly what you do and is much more likely to be a repeat customer. The best way to find this type of people is to find them yourself. Grow your social media networks, network in your community, increase your brand awareness, create lead generation campaigns and high-quality lead magnets. In short, let people see exactly who you are and what you bring. Let people fall in love with you and your company. Capture the leads and convert them yourself. "
"PAYING THE BEAST" IS LIKE A POWERFUL DRUG--STOP AND YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WON'T MAKE IT!
An agent who pays for leads is like a drug addict: "How can I stop paying for these (worthless) leads?...What will happen to my business if I stop?"...and so it goes on and on; and the agents who do pay for leads are trapped by the fear that if they do stop paying there is nothing left out there for them!
If you are an agent who is in this trap, stop to consider what other agents did for decades before Z or T or any of the big lead generators.
- Agents always did their own lead searches and research.
- A listing was gained when an agent spent a great deal of time researching "sold" houses in an area.
- A good agent was always certain to be in the office, ready and prepared for a possible lead to walk in.
- The availabilty of the internet and the big platforms has literally wiped out the appearance of individual agents on page 1 of a Google search. So that source is long gone but there are ways to regain access to that first page: Blogging can be a good one.
- A strong Bio and key words that pull in search engines can still be a benefit.
There are many ways to make it possible to thrive in a market without the huge commitment of paying for leads.
The big step away from these lead generators can be difficult--they don't want to lose you! But, remember:
Lead generators do not have your best interest in mind--they are out for themselves only! The bottom line is what they watch out for and not much else!
You CAN break the dependency--but it takes the first step of breaking the communication. Don't talk to the lead selling beast! That is what they use to keep you hooked! Sweet talk and the promise that: "All it takes is one or two good leads and your costs are completely covered!" It is a well known fact that this is the one line that keeps agents returning to the old pattern of "Pay to Play"
A FEW REMINDERS OF WHAT YOU CAN DO TO OVERCOME PAYING THE BEAST
"All real estate is local" is still a truism...Keep that in mind as you re-learn how to capture your own leads
- Local property laws about the area--setbacks and restrictions need to be followed
- Local taxes and fees that apply to an area
- Covanents and Restrictions that may apply
- Amenities that are offered there
- School information if needed
- Any community information that applies to a homeowner and their new home
- Answers to all questions about the area, as they come up
- Stay visible--Be involved in your community
There are many more reasons to be informed about an area in which you sell homes but suffice it to say that the above suggestions will at least get you to a place of confidence and trust with the public.
TRUST on the part of a buyer is central to the decision to buy a house through a particular agent or brokerage.
CONFIDENCE is a qualitiy that all agents must develop through working in and studying this profession.
BEING INFORMED is crucial if you will be working with a buyer or a seller; every agent needs to build trust and confidence with their client or customer. The only way to do that is to make sure you are informed and available.
BEING AVAILABLE at all times by either email or text is one way to be sure not to miss out. If a buyer can't locate you, they move on pretty fast. Always respond quickly!
IT MAY TAKE A FEW MONTHS BEFORE YOU GET YOUR SEA-LEGS BACK BUT YOU WILL MAKE IT!!
YOU WON'T MAKE IT IF YOU CONTINUE TO PAY THE BEAST!!