Speed of Response and Contact Rates
Internet leads die a quick death. Based on data from a MIT Study, the odds of contacting a lead after 5 minutes, versus 30 minutes, drops by 100 times. In fact, from just 5 minutes to 10 minutes the odds decrease by 5 times.
Here is really good information on lead conversion. This is the solo agents Achilles heel. A Solo agent handles all the details, scheduling showings, showing homes etc... So they cannot possibly respond to leads within minutes consistently. Besides the actual hard cost of the leads, the opportunity cost is a lot greater.
So what are some of the solutions?
A smart phone is a must! If you receive a lead, you should tap the number and hit call. Even if you just say hi, I am not able to talk right now, but I will call back soon.
According to National Association of Realtors about 2/3rds of buyers and sellers interview one agent. I am sure other industries are pretty similar. So basically the first one to the table gets 2 out of 3.
The next thing I recommend is carrying your top ten leads around on paper. Yes you heard me right, the geek said on paper. Call them whenever you have free moments. For example you show up ten minutes early for an appointment and the appointment text and says they will be ten minutes late. Make calls!!!
Another thing, do not leave voice mails. I am convinced that no one listens to them, besides if you call someone three times in two to three days without leaving a message, they will call you back.
Sphere of Influence or Center of Influence SOI or COI
This is probably the most underworked target in the industry. These are people that already know you, trust you and hopefully like you.
According to the research that went into the book the Millionaire Real Estate Agent the return from marketing to your SOI is 12:2. For every 12 people marketed to you can expect 2 transactions per year, one referral and one transaction.
Now the amount of deals doesn't appear in a few marketing pieces. It takes a good 12-18 months before you see consistency, however you can see results earlier, but for consistent results it takes a while. But this group has the highest rate of return, 12:2 or 6:1. Even if you hit 60 - 75% of that, times it by your average commission and see what that is.
The question is what and when do you market to them. I use post cards because of their ease to produce. Letters and newsletters have too many steps. Letters you have to print the letter, have it folded, stuff it, seal it, either put labels and stamps or at least mail merge to the envelope. Same with a newsletter, they have to be folded twice, sealed a certain way...
How often should you send them something? Well according to the Millionaire Real Estate Agent or MREA, 33 times per year. At first I thought that was way too much. But it really is just a matter of two monthly pieces consistently and some fillers. If you are marketing to a married couple they each have a birthday and an anniversary, throw in a couple more things and call them 4 times per year and you are there in no time flat.
Then there is your core or advocate group whatever you want to call them is up to you, just identify who they are and work them. Now you work them a little differently. This is the group you can call and ask them for help.
The program goes something like this. Hi, how is it going? Let's get together for coffee, or whatever... When you meet them do a little hanging out, use the F.O.R.D. method Family, Occupation, Recreation Dreams... How's the family, how's work, what did you do this summer? Then you have to ask them for a favor, ask them if they would be willing to commit to sending you a referral in the next 12 months. If they say no, then they were never qualified. So I am assuming it is a yes, and then you must ask if you can follow up to see if they have any one.
After the meeting send them a handwritten thank you card thanking them for meeting with you and for their willingness to help you. Then follow up monthly.
Popular definitions, A waste of an agents time, they don't want to sell
Someone that wants to sell their home, wants to pay you a commission now understands they cannot overprice their home.
Expireds are another lead source that requires skill, discipline, and a healthy self esteem. You can call an expired listing and they can be a little, let's say annoyed at the agents calling them. Remember they are not annoyed at you personally, they are annoyed at the fact their house didn't sell, that anywhere from a few to many agents are calling them trying to list their home. The fact that they really want or have to move and their home did not sell is reason enough to be annoyed.
This requires calling many and knowing your dialogue. They will say things to you and if you cannot handle them you are toast.
The good news about expired listings unlike FSBOs is that they already listed and are willing to pay a commission. They also will appreciate the difference a professional makes.
Getting expired names phone numbers varies from MLS to MLS. To do it manually requires you to run a report, cross reference the property address with the county record to see who the owner is, then look up their phone number or you can use a service that will do a lot of the do all the cross referencing for you. The amount of time saved is immense.
Popular definitions. Doesn't want to pay a commission, or work with an agent.
Someone that wants to sell their home so bad, that they are willing to spend money advertising to inform you.
For Sale By Owners can be a lucrative source of income. It is a highly skilled, highly disciplined and requires a healthy self esteem. Part of the skill is knowing your dialogue, they will hit you with things and if you cannot handle them by knowing what to say you are toast.
One of the biggest keys to dealing with FSBOs is the ability to handle rejection and realize they are not rejecting you personally. Once you have identified their motivation and you are clear that they are willing to do what it takes to sell the property and you know their time frame. Then it is all about massive follow up. See inside 30
The trick is to call as many as you can and go for appointments. But you always want to determine their why, when and where. I have learned through many coaches such as John Furber and many other great coaches. It is all about the why, when and where. It boils down to this, if the why is strong enough then they will do what it takes. The pain of not moving has to become greater than the pain of not moving.
If they will not give you an appointment and you are clear they are hot lead then you put them in an aggressive follow up system.
To get your FSBO leads click here
This is a fair question and there are many definitions of a lead. I prefer to break them down to types.
Someone that is moving now or in the future, OR someone we can put into a marketing enhanced prospecting system to generate referrals from.
Let's start with someone that is moving group first. This is someone that can answer why, when and where. It is my belief that if they do not answer those three questions, they do not qualify to be in this category.
Once we have established that someone is moving and you know why, when, and where. Then they fall into two categories, inside 30 or outside 30. This simply means someone that is going to do something inside of 30 days or outside of 30 days, which could be list or purchase a home. (Remember when someone tells you they are going to do something in 2 months you can safely cut that in half)
Someone that is not moving
It took me a long time to realize that someone that is not moving could be categorized as a lead. I am old school, if you are not moving then...
I had an understanding of a SOI or COI Sphere of Influence or Center of Influence. I had heard all kinds of techniques for marketing, but they were usually from people selling postcards and not selling real estate.
After reading the book Millionaire Real Estate Agent I started getting a clear idea of how and why you marketed to them. Gary Keller's research also gave a set of numbers that could be used to measure your effectiveness to.
According to the Millionaire Real Estate Agent the ratio is 12:2, which the math whiz folks immediately say that is 6:1 and you are correct. It is broken down like this, 1 out of 12 will refer someone and 1 out of 12 will do something. So the question is, are you the one they are referring and doing something with?