Finding new prospects is the lifeblood of any real estate practice. Along with converting prospects to clients, lead generation is probably the most profitable task you can factor into your schedule. It’s not an understatement to say that strong lead generation skills mean the difference between success and failure in the real estate market—just ask the hundreds of thousands of former real estate agents who fell by the wayside in recent years.
A solid lead generation program can help you increase your marketing power and create a steady stream of clients who convert into satisfied customers. Think of lead generation as a continuous cycle that should be planned and adjusted, rather than a single event. Here are three proven strategies you can implement to add potential sellers to your sphere of influence.
1. Mine Your Database
Keeping in touch with past clients is essential to a strong lead generation program. Are your past clients going through a life change that will affect their housing situation? Are any of them looking to downsize? Have they welcomed a new addition to their family? Reach out to let them know that you’re available to help with their housing needs. Stay in touch by creating direct mail with simple calls to action like, “How much is your home worth?” While we’re often bombarded with online messaging, direct mail can help you stand out to consumers. Receiving one or two inquiries from these pieces could cover your marketing costs while connecting you with new clients. Even though consumers have access to many online tools to help determine their home value, it’s important to show them that only a real estate professional can provide accurate pricing data.
2. Farm Your Niche
Whether your niche is based on geography or your expertise, it’s important to identify your ideal “farm.” When you’re looking for the best area to farm, focus on one market from which you solicit the majority of your business. You’ll be able to establish brand identity in this particular area and develop relationships with those living in the community. Before you begin “farming,” it’s important to select the right location. If you’re looking to farm by geography, map your previously sold properties so you visually see where you’ve made a real impact.
In doing so, you’ve created a wonderful marketing tool to share, as well. If you’re trying to work a niche, look for homes that would fit within your expertise—“beachfront properties,” “luxury real estate,” etc. Knowing people in your target community gives you an “in” with similar potential prospects. If they know you’ve successfully sold property in their area, they’ll have more confidence in you. Additionally, it’s a good idea to select a territory where the annual turnover is more than 6 percent. If the turnover is lower than 6 percent, you’ll probably have a difficult time finding enough listings to market. Finally, consistent marketing is key. Be present in the community, whether geographic or niche, and make a commitment to it. Brand yourself in your farm so your target market recognizes you as their real estate expert.
If you have difficulty prospecting, hosting a “home preview” creates a situation where people can come to you for information. Rather than immediately posting a new listing in the MLS, wait a few extra days and invite the neighbors for a private event to preview the home before opening it to the general public. In doing so, you’ll be able to establish a relationship with other homeowners in the neighborhood, while showing them your familiarity with their location. While attending this home preview, neighbors will be curious to find out how much their own home is worth. Create cards with messages like “how much is your home worth” or “knowledge is power” and distribute them to guests to direct the communication toward selling opportunities. Hosting a home preview is an ideal way to connect with potential sellers in a specific market, all while branding yourself as their neighborhood expert.
3. Offer Useful Information
Create a customer for life by providing valuable insight on the local housing market. When meeting with sellers, most agents will be able to tell their clients how much their home is worth. Take it a step further and provide your clients with a CMA and the most recent Local Market Report for their area. Keep in mind that the key thing sellers are interested in is the value of their home. Tailor your marketing to this point and you’ll catch your prospect’s attention by responding to what they want to know.
Top-producing agents and brokers know they must have a strong branding presence in their local market to consistently achieve results. Although the market is constantly changing, the need for a solid lead generation and branding program remains a necessity. At USHUD.com, you can brand yourself as the local expert in your market area, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your neighborhood influence to potential buyer and sellers in your community.