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Ask An Ambassador: Cherry Picking

Real Estate Agent with Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

If you get purchase leads chances are you might be able to designate desired location and maybe type (buyer or seller), but chances are most of the leads are going to be of the generic variety.

And the buyer that signs up saying they want to live in Area A may very well switch to Area X a good 30 miles and half the price point away.

So in short, you might gather that I'm not a huge fan of generic leads, especially generic leads you have to open up your wallet to get.

When we worked for a big box brokerage, we got our fair share of generic leads.  Some we could convert to clients, some we couldn't.  And maybe it's just my personal observation, but it seemed like over time the quality of those leads slipped significantly.  More and more fake names, emails and phone numbers and fewer and fewer people that REALLY wanted an agent's help.

Part of what I like about blogging is you determine the type of people that find you.  While blogging can amplify your visibility in the general "agent in X location" category and help with "agent near me" responses, there's an opportunity to really refine exactly who is reaching out to you.

You can define your target market and provide content that matches that market segment.

You want first time buyers?  Information about grant programs, down payment assistance, what to expect in the home buying process are bread and butter topics.

Want the other end of the buyer spectrum?  Low maintenance living community information, 55+ communities, reverse mortgage info, etc. can be a key to attracting last home buyers.

You pick the segment, there's content that can be matched up with that segment IF that's a segment you want to work.

While you might still get some generic leads, chances are the more focused content you provide, the more cherry picking you can do. 

The home buyers and sellers that are interested in your information will find you.

And the rest will find an agent that covers the market segments you don't want to work.

It's a win-win.

Blog to the market you want.  You just might find you'll require less effort to get results vs. trying to be all things to all people.

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,

Bill & Liz aka BLiz

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of Transaction Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

Search Homes:  Https://WarrenCountyOhioRealEstate.com

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Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Liz and Bill Spear - They say life is like a bowl of cherries. It all depends on what we choose to pick. When I began with a Franchise the cherry bowl was very good but things soon dwindled fast and my money went down the drain quickly. Today I am happier and more successful somewhere else and I choose wisely. Referrals and repeat business is what keeps me in business. I don't fall for leads and I stay away from the Flim Flan Man and other trickery methods from anyone and everyone I don't know. 

May 17, 2023 02:49 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've never been averse to "pay a chunk at closing" referral companies as a supplement to our main business, but I never want to be dependent on those type leads to keep going.  I've actually dropped out of a few companies that I've worked with for that type lead because the quality wasn't there.  I can generate my own leads that are at 1-2x median price rather than paid leads at less than 1x of local median price.

May 17, 2023 08:06 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Absolutely no doubt that you'd take great care of anyone you represented!  We go through spells where agent to agent referrals appear regularly, then they go quiet for a bit.  We'd always heard CRS was good for referrals, but it never worked out that way for us.

May 17, 2023 08:37 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Liz and Bill Spear - my referrals come from repeat clients and people I know. I don't pay for these type of referrals, just a debt of gratitude. I do accept referrals from CRS Agents who have been more fair to me than relocation companies. I serve to the best of my abilities to my clients whom I have served and who trust me enough to refer me to their friends and families. 

May 17, 2023 08:29 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your personal experience and advice.

Have  a productive spring.

May 17, 2023 04:31 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

You're welcome!

May 17, 2023 08:06 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

And another thought - people who find you because of your posts may want to use you for something else as well because they like what they read about you and your knowledge of the market.

Enjoy your day!

May 17, 2023 04:50 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

A fair number of our recent listings have been the back side of helping someone buy first (patio home, condos, etc.)  We have to make sure people know we can easily do work that's not restricted to our niche.

May 17, 2023 08:07 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I am so glad that I didn't have to work with leads for too long and was able to generate referrals early on in my real estate career.  I always hated chasing around the leads, haha.

May 17, 2023 05:27 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

It's a return on time and effort that long term just doesn't appeal to me.  Our own leads have already decided we know how to help them.

May 17, 2023 08:08 AM
Miriam Odegard
United Real Estate Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN
Real Estate Broker Serving Greater Indianapolis

Right on the money! I learned the hard way that buying leads may help, but is not a long term solution for strategic growth. Excellent post, Liz! 

May 17, 2023 05:39 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I can see them as a supplement, but long term survival in this business needs us to be self-sufficient.

May 17, 2023 08:08 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Great post.  Thanks for sharing.


May 17, 2023 07:13 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

You're welcome!

May 17, 2023 08:09 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
NC Real Estate Transition & Relocation 919-602-848

Great info Bill & Liz. I used to subscribe to generic leads. Let's say I didn't love it. There was a lot of wasted time working to get one to take. Anyhow, I have been working with my website folks to narrow my "niche" and attract the folks I want to work with. To be honest, most of my clients are from past clients and agent referrals so that's where my main focus is. Then comes my website. 

May 17, 2023 07:19 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

The biggest drawback with our niche is there's not a lot of repeat business.  People buy their LAST home with us, and in most cases their kids already have their own local agents.

May 17, 2023 08:09 AM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Always good to keep in focus what we specialize in and where we can offer the most help to our clients.  Going outside that circle is of no value to us or our clients.  mdm

May 17, 2023 07:41 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I know there are certain market segments I just don't enjoy (e.g. I've done my last ever short sale as of a few years back)., so why blog to attract that type of business if we don't want it?

May 17, 2023 08:10 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Bill (and Liz too) - lesson-learning can definitely be the pits (come on, you know it was going to come, right?).   Experience combined with other successful farming techniques can result in a seemingly never-ending supply of desserts being served.  

May 17, 2023 09:44 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Life is just a bowl of pits.
Rodney Dangerfield

May 17, 2023 10:06 AM
J.R. Schloemer
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

Great post @Liz and Bill Spear, again. Something to think about for sure. Where do you do your blogging? AR? Your own site? Another site all together? Curious, as I let my site go because I couldn't keep up with everything needed to keep it going.

May 17, 2023 10:12 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

A combination.  I'm not actively producing new content, but produced a ton of content over the years of an evergreen fashion. 
We have a combination of the blog posts here, and on our Wordpress site quite a few long tail oriented IDX pages.  The IDX pages have become our main source of inquiries.

May 17, 2023 10:17 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Liz and Bill Spear, I am enjoying your blog posts, and I think that  "Blogging brings in people I want to work with.''

May 17, 2023 10:58 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Life's too short to intentionally attract jackasses to be clients :)

May 17, 2023 11:05 AM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

I think it was 2014 that paid leads left our firm.  We certainly close a larger percentage from the leads we get now than the national average or when we had paid leads.

May 17, 2023 12:37 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I think by the time they contact you, they've most likely already vetted you, vs. paid leads they don't know anything about you at all (or nothing more than a brief About Me if they even saw that).

May 17, 2023 01:51 PM
Kieran Jackson
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills - Los Angeles, CA
Realtor®, SFR, U.S. Army Veteran

Really great point!  Some of the lead sources I've encountered were not worth a hill of beans.

All the best.

May 17, 2023 04:24 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Some can be good, others...there's just too many of them out there for them all to have good ones.  And the "we just need a setup fee" to get you going...sure...I'll be right on that.

May 17, 2023 04:29 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Bill- You should know!!! I remember well when you started posting about patio homes and look how that area grew for you!!!   Your last few lines say it all!

May 17, 2023 05:10 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I love getting calls like yesterday where a buyer is interested in one particular community, and possibly new construction there.  I know how they found us :)

May 18, 2023 06:48 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

The only people that gain from generic leads are the companies that gather the names and find a desperate person to sell them to.

May 18, 2023 06:05 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Ed, And I don't think they'll ever run out of agents willing to buy those leads.

May 19, 2023 10:06 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

As always deserving of a feature. I agree with your niche approach and have tried to emulate it in Bethesda focusing on condos

May 19, 2023 03:40 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Not a bad niche!

May 19, 2023 10:07 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


I think your final and highlighted statement says it all. And you have the success stories with your blogging to back it up.


May 19, 2023 09:07 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I love getting those confirmation contacts that let us know our past work is still being found.

May 19, 2023 10:07 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post!  One of my listings/sellers found me a while back because of one of my posts here.  The post was about a home I sold near the readers' home.  Worked like a charm!  This stuff works!

May 20, 2023 05:28 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

You just never know for sure what digital breadcrumbs will lead back to us, but leaving relevant posts out there to work for us give us that opportunity.  Glad to hear about your listing paying off with another!

May 22, 2023 12:25 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Hi Bill! Excellent post and I agree with you - why pay for leads when you can count on your blogging to bring in those with whom you REALLY want to work? 

My business is on 'client retention,' getting now, 100% of my leads from repeat and referral clients and agents. CRS has been a great source for me. I sent 2 referrals last month for a net to me of nearly $20K. CRS agents are great reciprocal agents as well so, I know I'm now their go-to agent in Charlotte too!

I haven't gotten a lead from a blog post in years, other than my evergreen posts that I posted WAY back in the beginning. I'm so thankful for those as it seems they hit when my own clients/referral partners are quiet as church mice! I guess those years, it's 95% repeat/referral + 5% blogging!

May 21, 2023 08:55 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

The icing on the cake is when past clients that found us originally from blogging/IDX pages come back to us for help again.

May 22, 2023 12:26 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Liz and Bill Spear i have gone down the road of buying/paying for leads and to my dismay they were not productive. In fact, I found this to be such a time-waster.  Today I am at a 95% of repeat and referral business from existing and past clients.  i worked hard to get there and no longer am tempted by anyone trying to sell me on any programs that will give me leads.  

May 22, 2023 04:27 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Past clients/referrals have a reason to be loyal to you.  The paid leads don't, unless the referring source has given them a financial reason to do so.

May 23, 2023 06:32 AM