A Brief Review
You know your target markets, you want them to generate leads for you, and you want the leads to keep flowing. You are building, or you already have built, a reputation for being liked, trusted and respected. You want the people in your target markets to transfer the “you” they know to “you” as a Realtor. This is best practice lead generation. Now let’s focus on the two types of marketing you use to generate leads: unsolicited and requested (solicited) marketing pieces.
Unsolicited Marketing Pieces
When you send an unsolicited piece of mail or email, or if your pop-up ad unexpectedly appears on someone’s computer screen you want a positive reaction. Without that, your efforts are wasted.
You want the recipient to find it attractive. If it is attractive, and they immediately associate it with you (the likable, trusted, respected person they know) they are more likely to be interested in it. If it interests them, they are more likely to take the action you want them to.
The alternative approach, that many Realtors adopt, is to send something that just says:
- Give me your business, or tell someone you know to contact me.
- Here is some interesting information; I hope it will help you to value me and that, one day, you will give me your business.
- Here is something from me; I hope it works.
Almost nobody who receives such marketing pieces says “Oh, it’s a postcard from a stranger, I must call them.” Or “It’s a pen with a name and number on it, they must be great to work with.” Or “It’s a fridge calendar, I wonder if they can sell my home for me.”
A few people will say “I’ve now been getting this newsletter/these postcards/seen the pop-ups for a while, now; I don’t know this person but I will contact them.” But they are less likely to make contact if they are also receiving your material. Because they already know you, you are ahead of the game.
In most cases, if the recipient is in the market, they are unlikely to be motivated enough to call or email the unknown Realtor. If they are not in the market, then it’s just another piece of junk mail, another freebie, or another pop-up to block. This kind of marketing does not generate consistent leads. The Realtor who sent it hopes to strike lucky or hopes that eventually when the person has received enough pieces, they will then say “I wonder if this stranger can do “X”. for me.”
The responses that you get will increase if the recipients have already given you permission to send them “unsolicited” material. Getting this permission to send things to them is part of the “how” which we cover later. It is easy to do, but here is a quick overview; you advertise the fact (by talking to people, putting a note in newsletters they already receive, etc.) that you want to grow your business by being useful. Your first marketing piece(s) will include seeking permission to continue.
Requested (Solicited) Marketing Pieces
Your goal is for people in your target markets to want to receive things from you. When they ask you to keep them up to date, what you send is both expected and welcome. When they ask you to give them something specific, it is also valued.
“Welcome” and “valued” are the watchwords of best-practice lead generation. In Part III of the “what,” you will learn how to maximize the right responses. Sending requested and expected material tightens the bonds between you and the recipient. It also squeezes out most of your competition, leaving the field to you. When you have no or little competition, you maximize your leads.
Generating leads is part of a broad and well-proven process. Just mailing, emailing, or paying for online ads is old hat, and is not best practice. Providing specifically-requested information is one of the most effective ways to generate leads. Sending unsolicited – but welcome – material to people who know, like, trust and respect you is the next-best way. In both instances, you will be ahead of your competition.
In Part III of the “what,” we will look at specific examples of what to do to maximize positive responses that generate quality leads. We hope you find this series valuable; if you do, and you want to begin your real estate career or complete your continuing ed, please click this link to contact us.