Real estate pros are in the business of selling, which is why generating leads is the lifeblood of a successful career. The challenge is, in the seller’s market we are currently in, finding new leads is not always easy.
The 2014 NAR Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers reported that 70 percent of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale, which is why making a first impression is so important.
Here are five great ways to increase your seller leads in the year ahead.
1. Update Keywords Improve your SEO ranking by updating keywords to target your niche and local areas. Updated keywords means a better chance to rank near the top of a Google search, which could provide a better opportunity to get leads and acquire new listings. Google has more than 200 factors it considers when determining how it ranks websites, and using favorable keywords on your site is a huge one. Identify keywords that are both relevant to your business and are widely searched. You can incorporate these keywords by making frequent updates to your site’s content, providing relevant information that is useful to sellers. Updating your site with fresh content is key to generating new keywords. Use hyper-local keywords that are associated with selling, and build links to your website. Finally, connect your social media pages to your website, so “re-tweets” and “likes” improve your site’s visibility.
2. Solicit FSBO Listings: Sure, those trying to sell a property by themselves are pretty much saying they don’t want an agent, but that mindset may change once they actually see what it takes to sell a home. Statistics show that nearly 90 percent of sellers who try to market a home on their own fail, and that presents a lot of opportunity for an enterprising agent to find new listings. Contact those trying to sell their own home and let them know that if they are feeling overwhelmed, you are there to help. Send them a quick email highlighting your qualifications and explain to them how you are more likely to get a better price than they could on their own because of your experience, and that you can take the stress away. However, don’t over-sell yourself and scare them off. If they decide to continue on their own, wish them luck and maybe even give them a small piece of advice. Eventually, they will see the error of their ways and remember the nice agent who offered encouragement and help.
3. Search for Expired Listings: When a listing expires, it’s usually because the property wasn’t marketed correctly. This is your chance to show a seller how you can do it differently—and better. Come in with a plan on how you would list their home and include thoughts on establishing a strong web presence and ways you will better connect with house hunters. Present yourself in such a way that they will be begging to have you represent them. A little work can go a long way.
4. Increase Networking: Obviously, networking is the key to finding new clients, so come up with a plan to really increase your reach. Join local organizations and school committees where you can meet new people in the area; get involved with a religious institution or volunteer at a local center; or strike up relationships with real estate attorneys, mortgage providers and headhunters for local companies. The more people you meet, the more opportunities you will have to find new leads.
5. Create Classified Ads: It’s no secret that most people selling a home will use the Internet for most of what they need to do, and that includes finding an agent. By placing ads on Craigslist, Kijiji and eBay classifieds advertising your services, you may attract the attention of someone looking for an agent to represent their property. Be sure to make your ad clever and use a flattering image and some great line, like “Successfully getting the best price for over a decade” to grab one’s attention.
Remember, referrals are also one of the best ways to generate new leads, so be sure that whenever you work with a client or meet someone in one of the ways listed above, don’t be shy about asking them to spread your name around.