Today, we are featuring a guest post from Christel Silver, Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty!
Have you questioned yourself on how to get the best leads? Is it spending money for Realtor.com or Zillow leads? Is hiring a virtual assistant to make cold calls worth it for you?
Or do you market For Sale By Owners (FSBO) or Expired Listings? Maybe you rely on printed ads, postcards, flyers, newsletters?
A lot will depend on your budget. On the other hand you should spend a certain percentage of your income on advertising because you are running a business.
The correct answer will be different for each one of you. If you are a brand new agent and you only have limited funds, consider hand-delivering newsletters/flyers. You need the exercise anyway!
Use Multiple Lead Sources
It is my experience and my advice to decide on multiple lead sources and never get stuck or rely on only one. Also you should evaluate your lead sources at least once a year to find out which program works for you. Then you should double your effort on that specific leads source.
A couple years ago a fellow agent mentioned to me not to spend money on printed ads in traditional media – rather spend money on your past clients. If you have done a great job, you will receive referrals, but you have to stay in touch. For me this was a great success! Most of my leads are now coming from past clients.
Connect Memorably In Person
What about all the fellow agents you meet at conventions across the nation and overseas? I attended a meeting at a National leadership event of the Residential Real Estate Council RRC (formerly CRS). Since I am branding myself as a tennis player, I had 100 yellow squeezy tennis balls printed with “Christel serves your referrals best” and my telephone number.
I left one ball for each agent at their seat – and was fighting with them not to roll away. The response was mixed at the beginning. The event was in Arizona and we went to the pool at night and guess what, everybody brought their ball to the pool and we all had a blast for hours. The 100 agents knew me that night by name and remembered me! You have to be creative and personal!
Using Expired Listings
Every source of leads has many ways to work them, let’s look at expired listings.
Do you drop off a letter the day of the expiration or make a phone call when 20+ other agents also call the owner? I like the approach that you keep a list of expired listings in your market area, and then you check in 3-4 weeks whether the house is relisted. If not you call the owner.
Now you are the only caller. “Hi, I saw your house is not listed for sale anymore. Are you still considering selling it? May I meet with you and present my marketing plan to you?”
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that 80% of all FSBO’s at the end list their home with a Realtor!
Here are a couple approaches: one is to be the agent giving them information, offering your advice, staying in touch. Believe me they will contact you when they are tired of holding open houses themselves.
You can pay money for Realtor.com or Zillow leads. I have spoken with many agents who are very successful. But besides the money you are paying, you have to have a strong follow up system. Most leads do not buy immediately – the average lead time is 4-6 months. If you do not stay in touch, you wasted your money.
Social Media is a great way to find leads – and you know what? It is FREE! But it takes time. You can also spend some money on ads on social media. They are much less expensive than any printed ads in traditional media.
Be creative with open houses. A well-prepared open house can be a gold mine. One of my agents started to advertise her listing: A ”coming soon” postcard with an open house invitation two weeks prior to the open house.
Each day she offered another special feature to build up the momentum to the open house on social media. She had a couple gifts sponsored by a staging company, a lender, and an inspector. All of them were present at the open house. She had 20+ people at the open house and raffled off the prizes doing a live video on Facebook documenting it. The house sold and she got a new listing.
Use Direct Mail
Direct mail still works, especially now that many agents are not using it anymore. A personal handwritten note is worth a lot. Have some “thank you” cards already stamped. Make a commitment to mail out 3-5 personal cards each week. See how well it works. Most of the times I receive a phone call or email back with a thank you. What a great opportunity to ask for a referral.
The key is to find your niche and do it!
Are you ready to build a strong marketing mix? Let us help. Check out our print marketing options or contact us today!
Christel Silver is a full-time Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty servicing the East Coast of South Florida. The National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) President appointed her (2010-2014) as the President’s Liaison to Germany, where she grew up and worked at the Justice Department for 17 years prior to coming to this country. Fifty percent of her business is in the International arena. For more information visit www.silverhouses.com.
This post originally shared on PrinterBees' Real Estate Marketing Magazine.