When I opened an ice cream parlor in a popular tourist area that had none, simply hanging a sign out in the front of the building and an “OPEN” sign on the door brought me instant customers who wanted what I had to offer. Hopscotch gained instant popularity.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if selling real estate were as simple as that?
I’m not sure what I was thinking when I first went into real estate. I guess it was along those same lines; get your license, hang out a shingle and suddenly everyone who wanted to buy or sell real estate would stampede through the door!
I learned very quickly, as I’ll bet you did at the beginning of your career, that real estate is a highly competitive business and if you really want to experience the level of success you need to experience to make a decent living at it, you don’t have the luxury of sitting back and waiting for clients to come to you.
Figure out where the Gold is and start digging. Make no mistake. Digging is hard work, sometimes it is very dirty work, sometimes it is thankless work and when you hit the mother lode? ALL WORTH IT!
According to the National Association of Realtors, over 90% of real estate clients are on the internet. But again, like those Gold prospectors, you can’t just grab a spoon and start digging little holes. You need the right equipment and a long term mindset. Some nuggets are right out in the open and ripe for picking while others? You could dig for two years or more and give up when you are less than an inch from a main vein of the very stuff you are prospecting for!
To quote well known author, speaker and social media expert Brian Solis –
Here’s what I’ve learned: there are multiple phases a customer goes through in their relationship with any business, and content needs to address those states of mind in the right time and the right place. That means that you have to be relentless in the content that you create, so it doesn’t just market at people but that it solves problems; answers questions. You’re not writing for you. You’re writing for the people you’re trying to reach. There’s a really big difference when you ask “What are my customers asking over and over again on Google?” and “What’s coming back?” and “What are they trying to accomplish with that discovery process?”
RELENTLESS. You cannot post a blog once in a blue moon when you find a moment. You cannot post just ANY content that strikes your mood of the moment. You should not post the same type of content found on every other (yaawwn) site; AND you MUST NOT post content that is not of interest to that target audience you are panning in, in the hope of finding gold. (I mean gathering leads from).
You must deliberately post consistent content that will CREATE the experience you want your future clients to have, the emotional connections that will bond them to your content and create the necessary context from which you can build a solid relationship.
There are so many great excuses NOT to prospect, aren’t there?
- You aren’t a writer. So how do you do write content that creates an emotional experience that draws clients to your website, and ultimately to YOU as their Realtor of choice?
- You don’t have the time!
- There is no immediate, tangible return on your investment in Social Media marketing so is it worth the cost?
On a recent 1000 Watt blog post written by Jessica Swesey, she addresses what we call “The Slow Win”. Let me illustrate with a story. Realtor Barry is excited about the first of the New Year. He knows this is PRIME PROSPECTING time, when many homes that were listed last season have listing contracts that are now expired. Barry gets his list of prospects together, knows what he wants to say and is ready to start panning for Gold! The first few calls he deals with some rejection. That’s okay, he’ll take as many no’s as it takes to get to the YES he’s looking for.
He digs out another number and …. a glint of color. What’s this? The potential Seller makes it clear Barry is caller number 50, but the Seller admits they have been actively watching local agent sites online and recognize Barry’s name! As a result, Barry gets the appointment where others failed. That sense of familiarity built by his social media marketing is paying off!
When you write (or have ghostwritten for you) consistent blog content that answers real estate questions, calms buyer or seller fears with data to support their decisions and provide them important information they usually don’t even know they need there is a good chance that they will call on you when they are ready to buy or sell, thanks to name recognition, even if they don’t say “I saw you on the internet.”
I agree, social media isn’t that direct and the quick ROI we would all prefer. However, when mixed correctly with the personal prospecting that is the lifeblood of a growing real estate business it does have a major impact, because it provides a way for you to build CONTEXT with virtual strangers until the time you create that offline business relationship with them.
Blog content is only one of the ways to get your name out there to your local public and keep it in front of them. Advertising on Social Media platforms is another very smart prospecting tool that offers a high yield of leads for a small investment in your business. There are also many paid systems that drive leads to real estate agents.
BOTTOM LINE; SUCCESS COMES TO THOSE WHO KEEP AT IT!
Three main things have to occur in order for you to create the business that builds a stable, growing real estate career that will give you the outcome you are most desirous of.
- DAILY PROSPECTING; every work day absolutely must include 1-2 hours of doing the hard work of digging for nuggets
- CONSISTENT MARKETING; in the form of follow up with every single lead, for as long as it takes
- PRODUCTIVE FOLLOW THROUGH; build context and you will build relationships that lead to business and referrals for more business. Create the reasons for leads to WANT to hear from you.
Converting leads to clients, like panning for gold in ’48, takes determined prospecting and is not for the faint of heart.
Once you get the attention of prospects, how do you build on it to create business? Video of course! Humanize yourself to potential prospects, post or send a video introducing personally the BENEFIT they seek and how they will discover the SOLUTIONS. Remember to make it ALL ABOUT THE PROSPECT. Whats in it for THEM? That’s the question you need to answer in video to convert prospects into clients.
If you are prospecting actively online, what kind of conversion tactics are you finding most successful?