Give First, Then Ask and Avoid the Traditional Problems
Many Realtors approach lead generation by only marketing to people who are currently in the market to buy or sell property. They do not try to build an audience of current and potential lead generators. The material they mail out, put on their Facebook page, or on their website, for example, basically sends the message:
- “This property is for sale; please contact me (if you think you may want to buy it,)” or “I will do a free market valuation (in case you want to sell your home) so please contact me.”
Other Realtors send material that may include useful market information in newsletter form, for example, but it is not personal to the recipient in any way. After most people have received a few copies, instead of it building rapport, it becomes just another piece of mail – albeit better than just a postcard.
Some Realtors who spend money on a website, or who create their own Facebook page, calculate its value by how many “likes” or “shares” they get. Likes and shares do not maximize leads. They are useful, of course, but only in the same way groundbait is useful in fishing – it may encourage fish to swim by, but it doesn’t get them in the net.
The 3-Step Strategy
To avoid the problem and to maximize leads, you need to follow a strategy. The 3-Step “What” Strategy is logical and effective:
Step 1: Be useful and be seen doing what you do for your subdivision, school, club, charity, etc. You do these things anyway, so keep doing them. These activities are, in marketing terms, your groundbait.
Step 2: Invite people you know to:
- Follow you on Facebook.
- Join your LinkedIn group or
- Check out your website.
Give them reasons to do join and follow. This invitation to join your group or to follow you only calls for fairly passive involvement, so it is an easy action for most people to take. Socializers and Team Players will want to join; Directors and Detectives will see it as a convenient way to learn more as a way to build respect and trust in you. The reasons you give for joining your group and following you should have benefits for the invitees, of course. The benefits can be small; what matters is that there is something in it for them. That, again, is part of the “how” we explore next.
Step 3: Invite them to join you at a seminar, webinar, or a talk you will give at someone else’s seminar, etc. The topic should be interesting and useful. The topic should, of course, be relevant to the invitees. This requires a more active response from your target markets. Some will accept your invitation because they are already involved in Steps 1 and 2, and some because the subject matter deals with one of their current issues.
The seminar does not have to be an in-person talk, you can hold an online webinar which you can just keep advertising and replaying.
Everything you do in Steps 2 and 3 should offer your invitees even more. While they are reading, listening or watching, ask if they would like to receive copies of your newsletters, pamphlets, factsheets, watch and listen to you giving other talks and webinars about interesting real estate topics.
As part of Steps 2 and 3, ask them to request, direct from you:
Your general real estate newsletter in which you will keep everyone up to date with the local market. Tell them that your newsletter will also have:
- Local news to do with the subdivision, local school, club, etc.
- Fun things that are not necessarily to do with real estate that will appeal to as wide an audience as possible.
- Important developments or newsworthy stories.
Your reports and factsheets on, for example:
- “How to Sell Your Home With or Without a Realtor.”
- “How to Sell Your Home in Your Preferred Timescale, On the Best Terms, and Without Hassle.”
- “Why it is Important to be Preapproved for Your Mortgage.”
- “Why Title Insurance Matters.”
- “What Your Sales and Purchase Contract Should Include.”
- “How to Avoid Surprises if You Want to Sell your Home FSBO.”
The list of topics is almost endless. You will find source information at NAR and in your company’s archives, etc. You can also ask other professionals to give you the background material, so you don’t have to find it or even write it.
Other, non-competing professionals who want to benefit from working with you will be able to give you a lot of material. Lenders, title attorneys, home inspectors, etc. will be able to give you information that your target market will find valuable. You will grow your network of non-competing professionals.
They will be able to provide you with even more leads. They will do this simply by:
- Giving your contact details to their own prospects.
- Sending people to your Facebook, LinkedIn page or to your website, etc.
- Sharing your material, with your contact details, on their own website.
When your contacts follow you on Facebook, etc. ask them to share their own ideas, to ask questions, discuss the market, etc. This has two benefits for you. The first is that it ties them tighter to you, and it will give you good ideas for your newsletter or another white paper or factsheet. When people know you will post answers and discussion details, etc. they will have reasons to follow you that go beyond just knowing and liking you – they benefit from the information.
You make the most of everything with:
- Hard copy: open house packets, postcards, newsletters, factsheets, white papers, reports, etc.
- The internet: your website, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
- Doing things in person: your regular activities, such as school, community, and association activity, charity events, seminars, etc.
Everything you do, send or give out must reinforce people’s opinions of you. Your brand is not your Broker’s logo or company colors; it is what people know, like, trust and respect about you. Each part of your marketing supports the other parts, so your message rings loud and clear – more quickly, more easily, and more forcefully, so you generate more leads. That is best-practice.
The 3-Step Strategy to what you include in your lead generation is logical, and each step supports the other steps. Seek permission to deliver your marketing message, offer value, and encourage your target markets to develop the relationship by asking questions, joining discussions, and keeping you informed about what they find important – so you can keep satisfying their needs and wants.
In our next article on lead generation best practice, we will explore the “how.” Many Realtors spend a lot of time looking for leads. When you follow our best-practice strategies you put yourself in the forefront of lead generation. The more you know, the better you can perform so please check out our website and see what other training material we have for you; just click this link.