Most of you SHOULD NOT work with online lead generation companies. NEVER. Would you like to know the 100% truth about online real estate lead generation? I own a lead generation company, and I highly doubt you’ll ever hear anyone in my position actually try and discourage you from using their
service. I’m going to, because for the majority of agents it’s a complete and utter waste of time. There is a very specific reason why that I
will outline below. This doesn’t just go for my company, but ALL lead generation companies. Online lead generation is NOT a get rich quick scheme, or for people who need a near INSTANT return on their investment. Unfortunately, it does not work like that. Want to know the simple truth of why you are going to fail working with online buyer or seller leads? Read on…..
Most agents will fail because they are impatient. I get it, you work hard for your money and you want to see a return on your investment ASAP. Unless you start thinking of your lead generation efforts as an actual investment through, a 3-18-month investment, it’s not going to work. You will not be successful. Is that to say that none of your leads will be “right now” I want to buy a home right away or have an agent list my home this weekend? Of course not, that happens all of the time. Can you be 100% sure that is always going to be the case though? No way. Life, and internet real estate lead generation, do not work like that.
This is the reality of internet real estate lead generation: working with online buyer or seller leads is HARD WORK. You have to pick up the phone and call. Your leads may not answer the phone on the first call, or even after 10 attempts of calling or texting them. Just because they filled out a buyer registration form, or a home valuation, today doesn’t mean that they are ready right this minute to buy or sell. They may be 3 months away, 6 months away, 12 months away. It’s more than possible that they are just STARTING to think about buying or selling. However, the idea to buy or sell a home most certainly had to start at some place in time. I would say that it’s FANTASTIC for you and your business that they are starting this process on your website, so that YOU can guide them and be their trusted source right at the beginning. For the vast majority of people, buying a home is the largest investment they will ever make in their lives, while selling their home can be the most stressful. It’s not unrealistic at all to think that they will take their time, think carefully and weigh all of their options before deciding to act. You need to wait until they are READY, WILLING and ABLE. They need to be all three. We are expecting them to be ready on OUR time frame, not theirs. Because of this, most agents need to change their thinking. If they do not, they are setting themselves up for disappointment and failure.
Most agents simply give up and say online leads are junk because they don’t want to put in the time and effort to properly work and nurture these leads. The ones that do though are HIGHLY successful.
Be honest with yourself, and answer the following questions:
* Are you going keep calling your leads day after day even if they aren’t responding?
* If they do pick up the phone and say they are just curious right now and to call them back in 6 months… will you do it?
* Are you willing to put in the time and effort to consistently follow up and nurture these leads? Do you have the patience to do so?
* Do you have the funds available to purchase advertising and generate leads for more than 30 days?
* Are you prepared for the possibility that you may not get a commission check within the first 30 days?
If you answered “No” to any of those questions above, then save your money and do not attempt to work with any sort of buyer or seller lead generation company.
So how are you going to be successful working with online buyer or seller leads? There really isn’t any magic formula or secret sauce. It’s through hard work and perseverance. You have to get up every single day and keep doing the same exact thing that you did the day before. You pick up the phone, and you call. You text. You send emails. You send BombBomb videos. Then you do it again the next day. If a lead says call back in 3 months, you call back sooner and check in on them. If you do this, you WILL be successful. It works, because there are too many agents absolutely killing it and making a TON of money by using this simple formula. You spent YOUR hard-earned money to generate the leads, and those leads are worth money. Lots of money! If you put in the time and effort, and treat your leads as an investment, you will win. Now it’s up to you to decide – what type of agent are you going to be? Do you think it’s worth it to invest your time and energy for long term success? Or do you want and need instant gratification? Only you know, and only you can make that business decision. I know what your competitors are hoping you will do!Read More
I am currently at a 5 to 1 ROI (net after all commission splits and advertising costs of $10-$20 per day) after about 18 months with another PSL currently listed and a few more solid in the pipeline. I think it will wash out to close to 7 or 8 to 1 ROI. I am perfectly fine with those numbers. It is not something I would count on as my only source of business by any means but fits great in to the overall plan. If you follow up consistently (which I admit I could have been more consistent) you will succeed.
Just listed my second PSL lead generated property! Two in less than a year. 12 more PSL lead generated properties very closer to listing too. I do understand the usual turn around to list a property is 4-48 months!
To follow up to my last post about 5% Rockstar internet real estate agents….This is a true story about what makes a “5% Agent”. For those of you who didn’t read my post from earlier today about the difference between a 1% agent and a 5% agent, a 5% agent is what I refer to as the super high-end agents or “ROCK STARS” of Internet real estate.
I had the honor of working with a 5% agent several years ago. Let’s call her “Amy”. Amy consistently opened 4-6 brand new deals every single month and her secret was that she was fantastic on the phone. She wasn’t afraid of the phone or being rejected while on it. Amy had the perspective that if a lead asked her to stop calling and that they weren’t interested in buying or selling, that this was absolutely vital information for her to have. The reason being was that if the lead told her that they were not interested in working with her than she would not waste any more of HER valuable time to keep trying to make contact with them. She could then focus on working the leads in her pipeline that she DID have a chance of working with.
One client in particular that Amy worked with was memorable for many reasons. Amy spent 9 months cultivating a relationship with this client, diligently calling and emailing every few weeks with information on the Las Vegas market and communities and homes that she felt would interest her client. When her client finally came to town, Amy was ready and took her around and they quickly wrote an offer on a home that the client loved.
The client then let Amy know that a friend of hers was also in Las Vegas and was staying at the Mandalay Bay hotel on the strip. She happened to mention that this friend was staying on the 10th floor and what an amazing view it was, and that she was going to spend the evening in that friends room. Yes, it was a male friend.
That evening, Amy received a counter off from the other agent. The counter was excellent, however it had one stipulation – the counter offer needed to be accepted by 9pm that evening or the deal was off. It was 6:30pm when Amy received the counter. For the next hour and a half Amy kept calling the clients cell phone which kept going immediately to voicemail. Most agents probably would have just given up at this point and figured there was nothing left that they could do. Not Amy – she reasoned that she had invested 9 months of her time into this client, and with a deal so close to being completed she would not give up.
Amy drove over to the Mandalay Bay, went to a house phone in the lobby, and systematically called EVERY SINGLE ROOM on the 10th floor, asking for the client by name from everyone who answered until she found the client! The client signed the counter offer, and the deal was made.
That type of will to succeed, and determination to make it happen, is what makes a 5% agent.Read More
The last tool that I will share today that is essential to proper follow up for real estate lead generation is the best one yet. If you aren’t using this tool you are missing out, and quite frankly shouldn’t be working internet real estate leads…….so what is this magical tool?
The phone! The phone is your best friend, and the lifeblood of your lead generation nurturing. Want to be successful and book more buyer appointments and listing presentations? Pick up the phone and call. Keep calling. Don’t just stop with one phone call if they don’t answer. Keep trying. Yes, you can use text messaging, emails, voicemail blasts, on-exit popups…..however eventually you are going to need to talk to them on the phone. It may take LOTS of phone calls over many months for some leads to pickup the phone or respond to you. That’s alright. You still want to sell a home in 6 months right? The vast majority of your competitors will give up after a phone call or two. If you don’t give up and keep calling, you will be successful. Call quickly, as soon as the lead comes in, and then keep calling. There is nothing else I can say except to keep dialing.Read More
Remarketing, or retargeting, is a marketing concept often discussed among agents, but rarely leveraged to its full potential. For starters, what is remarketing? Remarketing allows you to advertise specific offers, products, or services to people who have visited your website in the past. Although the advertiser would typically direct these ads back to the same site, it would ultimately depend on the overall marketing goal.
A quick example, let’s say you are browsing a retail store’s website for a new pair of shoes. You see a few pairs you like, but you aren’t quite ready to buy. You then navigate to another website, and sure enough, you see an ad for the same shoes you were just looking at. Over the next few days, you continue to see the ad. Finally, you decide it’s time to buy the shoes. You click through the ad and make the purchase. This website just used the power of remarketing to turn you, a higher funnel shopper, into a sale.
Now, the strategy and benefits are pretty evident in an ecommerce example like the one above, but what about real estate? Luckily, there is no shortage of effective remarketing strategies that can help you get in front of more potential clients and close more deals. The best strategy for you depends on your market and goals.
Although remarketing can be done on ad networks composed of thousands of sites on the web, I prefer to remarket on Facebook, using the “Facebook pixel.” The exposure on general website remarketing is great, but Facebook typically creates more engaged remarketing traffic. You simply paste your ad account’s pixel code on all pages of your website, and Facebook will begin to accrue visitor data. With enough traffic getting to your site, it shouldn’t take long for your list to grow large enough to sustain a remarketing campaign. This is where the real fun begins.
Most basically, you can create an ad that is shown to your entire visitor list. This is great for exposure, as it reinforces your brand to people who had visited your site at one point. Although direct attribution is difficult, this type of marketing will help ensure that when it’s time to sell, this individual will call the agent who they saw all over Facebook every day.
Drilling down a bit further, you are able to create custom audience segments off of your main remarketing list. This is done by specifying exactly which URL’s visitors you would like to target. For example, instead of targeting all visitors to joemichaelrealtor.com, I can target specifically those who visited my about me page at joemichaelrealtor.com/about-me.
With this in mind, you can create a custom audience off of your pixel data, targeting only visitors who browsed a certain city’s listings on your IDX integrated buyer site. From here, you can run an ad promoting that city’s listings. An example, although very basic, would be something along the lines of “Houston would love to have you! Search all Houston homes and condos for sale today.” Want to WOW your seller clients? Create a single property website for the listing, and setup remarketing for it. They will see the ad for their property everywhere.
Our strategy for remarketing off of a PSL site involves sending the past PSL site visitors to your buyer site or agent site through a heavily branded ad. This enhances the likelihood of your leads recognizing your name in follow-up, and also increases the probability of them proactively reaching out to you.
Remarketing is an exceptionally powerful tool when used properly. Remember however, you will need a decent amount of traffic in the first place for the remarketing list to grow enough to sustain a remarketing campaign. Do you have any questions about remarketing?Read More
For the next tool that I consider essential to proper follow up for real estate lead generation…….on-exit popups. Full disclosure again – on this one I do personally have a product that will be released very soon called Prime Exit. I hesitated to even post this because of that. However, everyone who has a PSL site will be getting Prime Exit for free anyways, and there are no shortage of these products out there. I honestly don’t care which one that you use, just pick one and use it!
So what is an on-exit popup? It’s a true game changer. Day one you should see an increase in leads by AT LEAST 50% even with your current traffic levels. You don’t need to generate more traffic to see this minimum of 50% increase in leads….it will happen with whatever traffic you have right now. We have used it internally here for months, and we have way MORE than doubled our daily lead flow just from using on-exit popups.
Most companies will offer various options in their backends where you can also set the on-exit popup to appear not only when taking action to leave the browser or tab, but also it can be set on a timer for it to pop after any time frame, such as 30 seconds. You can also set it to pop if someone scrolls halfway down the page, 75% of the way down the page, back up the page if they have already reached the bottom.
For those of you with concerns if it will affect your organic Google rankings the answer is NO. It will not. I have these placed on websites that rank #1 in Google for their targeted keywords for many months now, and the rankings did not change at all.Read More
BombBomb. I’m sure that quite a few of you are already using it. Most of you though are not, for the same reason that I’ve been hesitant at times in the past to use it… You don’t want to make a video of yourself. I get it. It’s uncomfortable. You might not think you present well on video. Maybe you are self conscious. Forget all of that. If all goes well you have to go see them in person anyways right? More importantly, this is a fantastic tool that works. BombBomb also makes it super easy for you to record quick videos from your computer or even your phone. Send each of your leads a quick 15 to 30 second personalized video. Use their name in it so that they know it was made just for them. Everyone these days is used to getting mass emails however it is quite apparent that those emails are not being sent to just one person. Your personalized BombBomb video email will stand out. It will get their attention. Guaranteed. Devote an hour a day a few times per week to mining your database with these video emails and you WILL get responses and more business from it. Be consistent though….if the first few videos don’t get responses PLEASE don’t give up! Keep going. Most Realtors want instant gratification (we all do!) and will quit right away and stop. However life doesn’t always work like that. THIS IS YOUR ADVANTAGE! Over time you will definitely start hearing back from some of these people. Also….BombBomb will tell you every time someone opens your email AND plays your video. You can then take it a step further and personalize your next video to that person even more. I’m so confident this will work I’m almost tempted to say I’ll pay for it if doesn’t work for you….but I won’t lol. You get my point though. Don’t wait. Start this right away and you can thank me later 🙂Read More
Do your leads ever complain that the valuation that they received is not accurate from your seller lead generation site? Are you worried that a “bad” valuation is going to make you look bad to your leads? Charlene Scala Weston was recently asking me about this, and shared with me an email how she responds to her leads that bring up this point. Perhaps she would be kind enough to share it below in the comments.
Any home valuation tool is simply an automated system that instantly shows an estimated value of a home. Because it’s an automated valuation, it’s never going to be 100% accurate. The goal is to be within 15-20% of the home’s true value, which the vast majority of the time these valuations are. Occasionally, the valuation is off by more than this. It does happen. Although this is not necessarily a bad thing. There isn’t an automated system on Earth that can take into consideration the unique factors that will affect a home’s true value. Automated valuations will not know if the person’s home has new windows, new flooring, a new kitchen, etc. All of you are experts in your respective markets, so you understand these unique factors can affect the true value of a home.
The automated valuation is not meant to replace a CMA, or an actual appraisal. Clients will generally understand this if you explain it to them. What many of our agents do as well is let their leads know this, and then tell them that they will be in their neighborhood tomorrow afternoon and could they stop by and peek their head into the home real quick, so that they can see the unique factors of their home. They explain that after viewing the home quickly they can provide a much more accurate value of what the home is really worth.
Additionally, if the valuation was 100% accurate, then potential clients would not really have any need to talk with you about what their home is worth!
The ultimate goal of providing these valuations is to help you build rapport, and cultivate a relationship, with these potential sellers. It opens the door to start a conversation and to gauge their intentions.Read More
The power of proper follow up never ceases to amaze me. We have been calling a particular clients lead that came in at the end of March for 3 weeks now. After 16 phone calls, the lead finally answered the phone and stated they will be ready to sell in 3 months and want the agent to come out to their home to start getting ready to put the home on the market. Call your leads, keep calling, don’t give up. I honestly don’t care if you have us calling them, another company, or even better you calling them yourself. Just keep calling them. I promise if you do you will get listings. Persistence pays off in the long run.Read More
When individuals come to your buyer site and would like to view properties, we typically have the following options:
1) Let them view all of the properties on your site, as many times as they like, without needing to register (provide their contact information such as name, email, phone).
2) Force them to register with their name, email and phone number BEFORE they can view any properties on your website.
3) Give them a few “free” properties views before requiring them to register. Typically, most website owners will give anywhere from 2-5 free property views before hitting them with the registration popup.
So which one is best? There are varying opinions, however in my mind there is only one CORRECT answer: Forcing them to register before they can view any properties on your website.
First off, many of you are probably thinking right now “but they will just go use Zillow because they do not require registration so why should I?”. In my opinion that is flawed thinking. Zillow isn’t exactly worried about what you are doing, so why should you worry about them? Besides, we are talking about individuals that are on YOUR website and how we are going to handle them. Most likely, you only have ONE SHOT to collect their lead information before they are gone forever, never to return, so we need to take our best shot at collecting their information before they leave. There are endless website options in every single market to search for homes, so I wouldn’t expect any “website loyalty” from these individuals, or for them to remember your website and to come back on their own. Additionally, you PAID for the traffic that lead this person to your website. So why give them unfiltered free access without asking for anything in return? The entire reason for you to have a buyers website in the first place, that you have to pay your website provider for every month, which you pay for the traffic to send there, is to generate leads for you correct? So why not let the website do its job and actually collect those leads as it’s meant to? Your buyers website sole purpose is to generate leads! That’s it. Let your website do it’s job!
The biggest excuse that I’ve heard many times over the years for not requiring forced registration is always along the lines of “I had a buyer lead call me on the phone and say the only reason that he was going to work with me was because I did not require registration on my website. He said that he hates that and would never work with a Realtor who required registration up front. Because of this I sold him a $1 million dollar home, and received a $30,000 commission. I would never have sold that home if I used forced registration”. My response? That’s fantastic. You sold a $1 million dollar home and made $30,000. BUT….how many leads did you miss out on because you didn’t require registration, and how many homes could you have sold if you did? How much more money would you have made if you had gotten more leads and the ability to work with more buyers? I guarantee A LOT more than $30,000. Guaranteed.
As far as giving away 2-5 “free” property views before requiring registration, I also think this is a mistake. I understand the intent and the thinking behind it, however I think it has the potential to do more harm than good. For many people if you let them view 5 properties without registering, and then on the 6th property view attempt they are blocked and hit with the registration screen, they have the potential to feel confused and upset. I’ve even heard feedback that they might think your site is broken. This isn’t exactly the message that you want to convey to potential clients.
This has been tested countless times over the years not just by myself, but also by some of the most successful internet real estate marketers in the world. There is a reason that the VAST majority of successful real estate website owners require registration. Because it works!Read More
I just got a $470,000 listing I got off of Prime Seller leads! Our MLS average closing price is about $130,000, so this is a premium listing. The seller texted me an answer from my initial automatic text, and it all worked out.