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Archive for Farming – Page 2

5 Ways to Develop Relationships in Your Target Neighborhood

Building Relationships

As a REALTOR®, marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Whereas most businesses cultivate a name or a brand, a REALTOR® is both the name and the brand. In essence, promoting your business means promoting yourself and your services in a particular market area.

So how do you promote yourself and make meaningful connections in your target neighborhood? It may sound difficult, but there are several ways you can do it. Here are five methods for cultivating effective relationships in a target neighborhood:

  1. Put Social Media to Work for You

I’ve talked a lot about how social media can make a difference in your real estate marketing. With one in two American adults on Facebook, social media should be a key component of your marketing efforts.

Some Realtors® are hesitant to engage in social media because they are concerned about appearing too informal, or they simply don’t know what to say. It’s important to remember the “social” side of social media. In other words, you can achieve great success by simply being yourself, as well as providing information that is interesting and valuable to your target audience.

People like to feel proud of their community. Join Facebook groups focused on specific communities and neighborhoods, and then tap into the sentiment by sharing photos of the neighborhood and relating personal stories of your interactions with community members. You might also consider posting content that is entertaining or useful, such as “10 Tips for Spring Cleaning” or “Where to Find a Pet Sitter.”

  1. Invest in the Community

This doesn’t mean you need to buy a home in the neighborhood – although if you already live there, it’s a great start! Ultimately, real estate is about people, not property. Consider investing your time in local programs or service organizations. Many communities have civic organizations that need regular volunteers. Show families and individuals in the neighborhood you care about the area and its residents – and gain some great exposure for yourself and your business in the process. Offer to plant flowers around an intersection that could use some beautifying, or donate some items to a bake sale. Even a little effort will pay off down the road.

  1. Consider Predictive Analytics

According to REALTOR® Magazine, predictive analytics is a powerful new spin on traditional door-to-door marketing. Rather than wasting valuable hours – and the soles of your shoes – knocking on doors at random, you can tap into a stream of data designed to predict which properties are likely to hit the market in upcoming months.

Predictive analytics uses computer algorithms to compile data from numerous sources, track trends, and assess the likelihood of a future sale. There are several companies and apps that have developed algorithms that scour sale records, auditor records, mortgage loan records, delinquencies, and tax records for information – something made possible by the digitization of many county and state public records.

Although it is possible to compile these records yourself and track trends without the help of a third party app, data-crunching demands time – time you need to make personal connections with potential sellers. Armed with this valuable data, you can focus your door-to-door efforts on homeowners likely to enter the market in the near future.

  1. Stay in Touch with Past Clients

You have made a sale, negotiated the closing, and sent your client a thoughtful housewarming gift. However, your work is not done. As all REALTORS® know, referrals are an important source of future business. In 2014, 40% of all buyers chose to work with an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative.

Whether you represent a buyer moving into a target neighborhood or a seller moving out, be sure to stay in touch long after the sale is final and the moving trucks have left.

There are several ways to do this. Many agents send holiday or birthday cards, and include past clients on their newsletter mailing lists. Most people put down roots in their community – even if they move away, they maintain connections in their old neighborhood. You never know when a past client will recommend you to a friend, family member, or work colleague looking to buy or sell in the same area.

  1. Build a Business Referral Network

Local businesses are the backbone of any community’s economy. Residents rely on these businesses to provide services and products. In turn, businesses thrive when people perceive them as trustworthy and reliable. As a REALTOR®, you can become part of this network of providers by building relationships with your fellow local businesses.

Getting started is much easier than you might think. Real estate clients may rely on their agents to recommend everything from landscapers to a good pizza place. If a business serves your target neighborhood, there is a good chance your clients will patronize it. Reach out to these business owners and ask about establishing a referral relationship.

Making It Work

Growing your business can be tough. With persistence and a firm commitment to making personal connections in your target neighborhood, however, your real estate business will benefit both now and down the road. These five tips will help you build the relationships you need to be successful.

What steps have been key to building relationships in your target neighborhood? Share in the comments!

 

Use Your Marketing to Serve This Holiday Season

Food Drive for Charity

It’s November, and that means Thanksgiving and the winter holidays are right around the corner. While the holidays provide an abundance of opportunity to market and connect with prospects, it’s also a time when serving others is at the top of everyone’s mind. Fortunately, you can do both. We’ve developed a set of unique postcards that will help you use your marketing to serve this holiday season.

A Food Drive for Charity

Imagine if you, as a Realtor®, let your farm neighborhood know you were running a food drive for charity this season? You could mail food drive postcards using EDDM or a mailing list in your farm neighborhood, or you could go door-to-door handing them out. The postcards will let your prospects know the date and time you’ll be back to collect canned goods.

This kind of drive allows you to meet new prospects, expand your brand, and let those in your neighborhood feel good about helping those less fortunate. In fact, many families have a lot of food they aren’t using – they’ll love that you’re allowing them to declutter the pantry in a way that makes a difference.

A Coat Drive to Keep Warm

In many parts of the U.S., winter weather can be so severe that it causes death for the less fortunate who don’t have a way to stay warm. As a Realtor®, you can expand your reach and make a difference in your community by running a coat drive in your farm neighborhoods. Our coat drive postcards allow you to let people know where they can bring their coats, or when you will be around to pick them up.

As with food, many people have old coats that have been outgrown by children or are no longer used for whatever reason. They may intend to eventually take them to the Salvation Army or a similar place, but never get around to it. When you come around offering the option of dropping them off at a coat drive, it could be just the push they need to take action. It will also establish you as a thoughtful Realtor® who cares about the neighborhood.

A Toy Drive to Bring a Smile

If you’re a parent, it can be hard to imagine not being able to provide gifts for your children at holiday time. However, that’s the reality in many families. Fortunately, as a Realtor® you can do something about that while also marketing your services. We have toy drive postcards that you can mail or deliver by hand in your farm neighborhoods.

When you set up a toy drive, you allow families in your farm neighborhood to make a difference while they go about their normal holiday shopping. You can offer to pick toys up on a specific day or invite them to bring the gifts to your office. Even better, you can hold a Thank You Party in January where you share pictures and stories of happy children who received the gifts. This will not only solidify you as a caring Realtor®, but will provide opportunities for multiple interactions with your farm prospects.

Realtors® need to continue marketing even in the slower holiday season, but you don’t have to do it in a heartless way. With our charity post cards, you can expand your brand while making a real difference in your community. We’re so excited about this opportunity that we’re offering $10 off each order of these special postcards. Just use the code Drive2015 at checkout.

How do you help out during the holidays? Share in the comments!

Great Realtor® Marketing Thinks Outside the Box

Meet Henry the Realtor Dog

Meet Henry, the newest team member of North Shore Realty Group in Massachusetts. Henry’s owner, Jamie Koulouras, uses her sweet dog to help her build relationships and grow her real estate business.

Many times Realtors® get stuck in a marketing rut, doing the same things that everyone else is doing, whether they work or not. Jamie was able to break out of this rut, and she recently sat down with me to describe how Henry helps her break the ice in her farm neighborhoods.

“It really just kind of happened,” she told me. “I live in Groveland, MA, and there was a ‘Groveland Day’ event. I bought a booth. They were supposed to have a dog costume contest, so I thought it would be funny to dress Henry up like a Realtor®.” She explained that while there weren’t enough participants to actually hold the dog costume contest, Henry drew plenty of attention.

“I had set up a mini-golf course to draw in children and hopefully have a chance to talk to their parents,” she said. “It didn’t work too well – a few kids came, but the connections weren’t great. Once Henry showed up, though, I had more people at my booth than I ever hoped for!” And, her new marketing technique was born.

Jamie is a Keller Williams agent who only started as a Realtor® two years ago. She knows that building relationships is important, but she hates the idea of seeming slimy when she cold-calls, door-knocks, or does other traditional lead generation activities. However, by using Henry as her ambassador, she’s able to break down walls and make authentic connections. Although she’s only had her dog two months, everyone in the neighborhood already knows him.

She also takes Henry to the local beach and posts about him frequently on social media. Not only does this allow her to make connections with leads, she has friends who are jealous of how much time she gets to spend with her dog as a Realtor®, which has allowed her to share more about the career and invite others to check it out.

You may not have a dog – although you may get one after reading this! – but that’s just fine. Look around in your own life – what do you have that you could use as a way to break down barriers between you and those you can serve as a Realtor®? Babies and young children are often conversation pieces, and help you connect with other parents. Pets are a great relationship starter. If you have a unique hobby, or love to decorate for the holidays, those things can draw people in as well!

When you market your real estate business “outside the box”, you’ll be amazed how many relationships you can build!

What unique marketing technique have you seen be successful? Share in the comments!

What to Post on Your Realtor® Facebook Page – Part 2

Realtor Facebook Page

At the end of last week, I posted a list of great ideas for your Realtor® Facebook page. I actually had so many ideas that I had to stop myself, so I thought that it would be a great topic to continue with this week.

Remember that Facebook posts don’t have to be novels – short is great! However, they should be engaging and relevant to your followers. Here are some more ideas about what to post on your Realtor® Facebook page to draw engagement.

Local News and Announcements

Local news and announcements are a great way to keep your Facebook page relevant and interesting. In addition, these types of posts help you rank well in search engine results about specific cities and neighborhoods.

When you show your expertise about a local area, you’re also providing your followers something they can share on their own pages without feeling like they are helping you “sell” anything. In fact, consider ending the post with “Please share this with others that might want to know about XXX town!”

Reviews of Local Businesses and Attractions

This type of post is a great way to engage your Facebook community. Share an experience you had at a local business or attraction, and then invite followers to do the same. You’ll get a lot of great sharing, but you will have to monitor what is said to make sure it stays appropriate and edifying.

Another angle on this type of post is to ask your followers for advice on where to go for a specific experience. Ask them their favorite ethnic restaurant, or the best place to take kids for a weekend in the local area. This “crowd-sourced” type of post is easy to start, and your followers take it from there! You can get a lot of engagement on these – people love to be experts.

Behind-The-Scenes in Your Business

People love to get sneak-peeks at information they usually don’t have access to, and that includes “real life” snapshots of professionals in their area. Take advantage of this to post funny stories, successes, and “me in the process of…” pictures.

Video is another great medium for behind-the-scenes looks. You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a professional videographer – a low-cost bundle on Amazon can get you started. People will enjoy seeing your face, and your non-verbal body language will add a lot to the interaction and help build trust.

Cute Photos and Memes

You don’t always have to be super-professional online. Sharing cute photos and memes or jokes is a great way to “let your hair down” and help your audience relate to you as a real person. You want to make sure this isn’t your primary type of content, and of course make sure all content is family-appropriate.

Don’t forget to be careful of where you share your images and jokes from, either. Many times an image may be perfectly innocent, but the name of the page that shared it is vulgar or inappropriate. At times like that, consider sharing the picture yourself, without the page name attached, and credit the originator/author in your post.

As you can see, there are endless ways to share informative, fun, and personalized information on Facebook as a Realtor®. I hope you enjoyed these tips – now pick your favorites and take action!

What types of posts do you love to share on Facebook to boost engagement? Share in the comments!

What to Post on Your Realtor® Facebook Page to Draw Engagement

Realtor Facebook Topics

The last post I wrote talked about how to draw new followers to your Facebook page. Once you have followers, it’s important to post consistent, informative content to keep people engaged. Fortunately, as a Realtor® you have a wide variety of topics available to you. Here are some great ideas about what you can post on your Realtor® Facebook page to draw likes, shares, and comments.

Tips on Selling a Home

Folks who are getting ready to sell a home need a Realtor®, but that’s only the first step. They also need to declutter, clean, and stage their home. They need to landscape the outside to make it more attractive. They need to know how to get professional photos. These are all tips you can share.

Another angle is to share tips about how to keep your home organized so that should you ever have to move it’s ready to go. (See what I did there? Plant the seed!!) There are dozens of topics available when it comes to home organization.

Finally, talk about the pros and cons of selling in different seasons. Help people realize that winter has its benefits (fewer houses on the market as competition), as do other seasons. Don’t feel like your posts have to be long! A “quick tip” that’s only a sentence or two is fine many times!

Infographics

Infographics are a way to share data in a visually appealing format. It’s a great way to share current real estate market information about your farm area, or about the nation in general. You can share a link to someone else’s infographic (not a competitor, of course!) or create your own.

Infographics, and all visual content, don’t need to be intimidating. You can create a simple graphic using Powerpoint, or shoot a simple video using a low-cost video bundle you get on Amazon. Visual content makes a big impact, especially when it comes to connecting with people’s emotions. Take advantage of it!

Remember that position and color are both important parts of using graphics, as I shared in my previous posts. Learn what emotions various colors convey, and use them – there are different colors to use if you want to draw people into confidence versus if you want to inspire excitement!

Competitions

Having a giveaway or contest is a great way to grow your list and increase engagement on your page. You can offer a freebie in return for specific information – email, mailing address, Twitter handle, and more.

Once you have that information, use it wisely, but be sure to use it!! I’ve known Realtors® who collected a lot of valuable lead information and then never did anything with it, allowing those valuable leads to die on the vine.

Be sure you’re clear what information is needed to enter your contest or earn a freebie, and what you plan to do with the information. It’s best to host the contest on your own website – not only will it be easier to collect information and get it into your CRM, you also won’t run the risk of violating Facebook’s strict rules about contests.

Images of Amazing Homes in Your Area

People “window shop” for homes long before they are able and willing to purchase. Why not be the place they go to swoon over images of beautiful homes? You can even set up a separate Facebook page if you’d like – call it something like “Amazing Homes in XXX County, Florida” or wherever you are. You’ll get great local search engine results with a name like that, too!

Once you start a page like that, be sure to post regularly. You’ll want to upload new pictures at least once a week, preferably two or three times. You don’t have to post daily, but you will get a lot more engagement if you do – more people will visit the page to see what’s new!

The great benefit of this kind of post is that it’s incredibly shareable. People don’t see it as a sales pitch, so they are much more likely to share the post to their own pages and say, “Wow, can you imagine this!” This means more eyes on your posts, and more opportunity to invite people to your page.

This post barely scratched the surface of what you can share on Facebook – in fact, I’ll post more ideas early next week. Stay tuned! In the meantime, try some of these out and let me know in the comments how it went for you!

Does Your Realtor® Business Card Stand Out?

New Realtor Images

Sometimes a stack of business cards is like walking down the streets of a major city – a mass of sameness, where everyone blends in with each other. Until… wait? Who is that? Someone – a street musician, uniquely dressed bohemian, or another unusual figure – catches your eye. You notice.

When you hand out your business card, you don’t want it to disappear in a sea of similar looking cards. You want to be noticed. That’s the whole point of handing out a card, right? Here are three ways to make your card stand apart from the crowd.

Color

For some reason, certain professionals think that black and white cards are the only ones that portray a proper business image. Far from it! Black and white is boring, and will definitely get lost in the crowd.

Instead, use color! You don’t have to use neon, unless it fits your image of course, but use colors that are part of your branding. If your brand doesn’t already have specific colors, consider the psychological impact of different options. Here are some ideas:

  • Red: can portray strength, energy, and excitement, but too much red can bring feelings of aggression or strain
  • Blue: an intellectual color, blue brings feelings of trust, serenity, logic, reflection, and calm. Too much blue can come across as cold, aloof, or unfriendly.
  • Yellow: an emotional color, yellow brings out optimism, confidence, friendliness, and creativity. Too much yellow, however, brings feelings of fear, irrationality, and anxiety.
  • Green: brings feelings of harmony, balance, refreshment, rest, and environmental awareness. Too much green will bring up feelings of boredom and stagnation.

Custom Design

There’s nothing worse than handing out your card and having someone say, “Oh, you use Vistaprint! I had that design once.” I actually saw this happen to someone at a networking event! Custom design is key to having your card stand out. Yes, your broker may offer you a special rate on business cards if you go through their printer – but will having cards that look the same as every other Realtor® in your office be worth it?

Standing out will help you make a good impression in any networking situation, especially if it’s crowded or a lot of cards are being passed around. Having a custom design that perfectly captures your specific brand and type of service is also vital – a picture really is worth 1,000 words! Make sure the picture you’re handing out is custom designed just for you.

Professional Printing

Having print-at-home cards sends a message that you don’t believe enough in your business to have professionally printed cards. I’m not saying this because of Printerbees – I’m saying this because it cost me business long before I started Printerbees!

Obviously, I would love it if you used Printerbees to get your Realtor® cards printed. We love Realtors®! In fact, we just added 166 new business card designs to the website, and we’d love to have you come check them out. But even if you don’t use us, I want you to succeed. And to succeed in real estate, you need professionally printed cards.

Some Realtors® see business cards as a necessary evil and spend as little money as possible on them. Those Realtors®, unfortunately, aren’t going to get much for their investment. When you really want to make an impact, you need great colors, custom design, and profession printing. We can help you if you’d like, but even if you don’t use us, go out there and stand out!!

How do you make sure your business cards stand out? Share in the comments!

5 Ways to Find High Income Leads Using LinkedIn

High Income Prospects on LinkedIn

Did you know that 49% of LinkedIn users have incomes over $100,000? This makes them great, likely well-qualified leads – much more likely than your average American to be looking for high-value properties, and much more likely to qualify for the loans needed for those properties.

There are good ways and not-so-good ways to go about connecting with people on LinkedIn. You can join a group that is located in your geographic area and start cold-messaging people, but that route will have a lot of work with little reward. You also may have to be a bit less than honest to convince people to connect with you without actually knowing you, and I never recommend that.

There are some better ways to find high-income leads using LinkedIn. Here are five ideas to get you started:

Create a Great Profile

Anyone who’s interested in connecting with you will start by viewing your profile. You want to make sure your picture is professional, your purpose is clearly stated, your tagline is prominent, and your website link is included. All of these things help visitors connect with you and invites them to learn more.

There’s a bit of an art to crafting a great LinkedIn profile, so don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Make sure to use specific keywords related to real estate and your geographical area, so that people doing searches like “city real estate” and other similar terms find your name. In addition, you may want to freshen up your profile every few months to take advantage of new keywords or update your pitch.

Comment In Groups

I mentioned that cold-messaging people was not very fruitful at best, and a tad shady at worst. Instead, join a group that is related to your demographic area, or a group that focuses on an interest you have. When you share relevant information in the groups on a regular basis, you’ll become known to the people in there. You’ll develop a reputation as someone who is knowledgeable and professional.

Over time, you’ll develop very logical, good reasons to ask for connections with these people. Once you’re connected with them, they will be able to see the information you share on your profile and the articles you post. You’ll also get visits to your website from people you get to know. Once you’re connected with someone, you can also direct-message them and they’ll be much more receptive. Start with information they’ll find helpful, and over time find ways to offer your services and ask for referrals.

Visit Profiles

Each week LinkedIn Members are sent a list of the people that viewed their profile. When you visit profiles regularly, you can show up on that list. Unless you pay for a premium membership, you may not be able to see very much information. But you should still be listed as a visitor in their weekly list.

One way to find relevant profiles to view is to begin looking at profiles of active members of groups you join. Not only does this put your face in front of them each week, it may also help you understand more about them so you can build your relationships more authentically within the group. You can also do an advanced search and view profiles of people who live in a specific zip code. This way, your name and face will appear on the weekly notification for people in your farm area, which may prompt them to try to connect with you!

Write Useful Posts

Any member of LinkedIn is able to share posts, photos, and updates with their followers. By keeping your content flowing, you’ll not only establish yourself as an expert, but you’ll keep your face and name at the top of their news feed. It’s important to keep content high-quality while also sharing often.

The most effective way to do this is to repurpose other posts. For instance, there’s nothing wrong with writing a blog post and then sharing it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Bufferapp is a great tool for making these kinds of updates quick and easy.

Keep Connecting

Your connections will add new connections every day, so there will be a lot of new 2nd level contacts in your list on a regular basis. View their profiles, get to know them, and reach out if appropriate. If you find that a lot of people in your targeted geographical area belong to a specific LinkedIn Group, join that group! Find useful things to say.

Being on LinkedIn, like any other social network, requires building relationships and building trust. Yes, you can spam. You can buy programs that will send fake visits to people’s profiles. You can direct message people you don’t know and pretend you’re new and lost. While those things may bring a few connections, they won’t bring the authenticity and trust you need for people to trust you with a real estate transaction.

Instead, take time to really connect. Have a great profile. Join groups related to your farm area and share. Cross-post blog posts and social media updates. Use advanced search to find more people in your area and see how you can connect with them. When these efforts pay off, you’ll have a lot of well-qualified, high income prospects ready to work with you.

Do you use LinkedIn for prospecting? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

Does Your Marketing Convert? It’s in the Words…

Sales Words for Real Estate

Putting a lot of effort into farming, email marketing, and social media is an important part of lead generation. You want to attract attention, get leads, and convert those leads into sales. However, many Realtors® get lost when it comes to exactly what to say.

You want to spin words that are convincing, educational, helpful, and build relationships with your prospects. You want them to trust you and reach out to you when it’s time to buy or sell. But how do you actually do that other than hiring a professional copywriter? Here are three keys to help your marketing convert.

Play to Emotions

Everyone likes to think their decisions are rational, but they really aren’t at all. Generally, humans make decisions based on emotion, and then justify that decision using reason. As a result, marketing that reaches to the emotional level is the marketing that will convert.

Make a list for yourself of the common emotions that homebuyers face. Make a separate list of the emotions home sellers face. Some ideas include fear, uncertainty, the desire to make the right investment, the desire to have a great-looking home, wanting to show off to friends or family, the desire to sell quickly, and greed (to buy or sell at maximum benefit to themselves).

Some emotions will be on both lists, but you will have better results if you divide one client type from another. As a Realtor®, you’ll have a number of messages – some should target specifically sellers, and others specifically buyers. Once you have your emotion lists, craft your farming, email, and social media outreaches to touch those emotions and position yourself as the way to achieving success.

Invite Rather Than Sell

Everyone likes to buy, but everyone hates to be sold. Rather than trying to pitch yourself with a hard sell through your marketing, try this: invite the prospect to join you on the journey to fulfilling their emotional desires (see above). Position yourself as the one that can show them how to feel secure, calm, wealthy, or successful. Invite them to join you.

When your copywriting does this, you’ll avoid a lot of the defensiveness that prospects have toward Realtors®. You’ll be talking about their needs instead of yours. And when you do a great job showing them that working with you is the best way for their emotional desires to be met, they won’t fight you on commission. You’re competing on a whole different level than price.

When you position your marketing as an invitation, you’ll also get prospects who are more serious. When you badger someone, or make them feel guilty, or engage in a hard sell, some people will say yes simply because they can’t say no. These are not the clients you want. You are looking for engaged, motivated clients – when you issue an invitation, those who say yes are the ones ready to get started today.

Use a Call to Action EVERY Time

Once a prospect has read your piece, what should they do next? If you don’t tell them, they’ll likely just throw your postcard or email away and move on with their lives. Instead, make sure to include a call to action every time. This means inviting them to take action on what they’ve read – either to read more, comment, share, or contact you.

Keep in mind that not every call to action will be to a sale! Many times you’re nurturing your prospects along, and you just need them to interact with you in some way. Have them reply to the email, leave a comment, or share something with their Facebook friends. Invite them to visit your website or enter a drawing or contest. These are all legitimate calls to action.

Of course, there are plenty of times when you should invite them for a sale. In that case, be sure to include urgency. “Contact me today – this home will sell quickly!” or “Let’s talk today to get your home sold now!” You’ll know your clients and their trigger words better than I do, of course, but these are examples. The basic principle is, use a call to action EVERY time, whether a sale or not. Always keep your prospects engaged with you.

You don’t have to be a professional copywriter to sell homes, but understanding the basics of why certain words and phrases sell is essential to your business. Draw on people’s emotions, invite them to work with you, and use a call to action every time. Your conversions will increase and you’ll get much more bang for your marketing buck.

If you need help crafting perfect marketing materials, Printerbees is always here to help. Let me know what I can do for you!

By The Numbers: Where Focus to Find Seller Leads

House for Sale

In real estate, listings might just be a teeny-tiny bit important. Like, majorly essential for our survival. As a result, it pays to know where to find seller leads. In the 2014 National Associate of Realtors (NAR) survey, they asked recent sellers how they found their agent. The results may surprise you.

22% of Sellers Used an Agent They Worked With Previously

This is significantly higher than the result for buyers, which surprised me. It pays to stay in touch with your previous clients as seller leads. The average seller lived in their home for 10 years, however, so you may face a long nurturing process.

The higher sense of loyalty that sellers have might speak to the fact that they are more motivated to get a quick, positive outcome. While some home buyers are willing to take months to look around for the “perfect” home, sellers are often on a specific time schedule. Thus, someone they’ve worked with before, who they know will deliver great results, makes sense.

38% of Sellers Used an Agent They Found Through a Referral

Referrals are a major source of seller leads as well as buyer leads, which is not a surprise to most agents. Once again, sellers are motivated to have a quick, efficient transaction and get top dollar on their homes. They are going to look for someone they trust to give them information on who the best agent would be.

Nurturing referrals has as much to do with making new friends as it does with staying connected with old clients. Folks you meet in your day to day life may not be looking to move right now, but they may know someone who is. As you add additional people to your circle of influence, ask them for referrals even if you only know them casually. Someone who trusts them may be looking for a good recommendation.

40% of Sellers Chose an Agent “Cold”

Once again I found myself surprised that this is the largest category. It goes to show that farming, contacting expireds and FSBOs, and other marketing efforts are not going to waste! The most significant outreach you can make is to someone who’s never worked with you or been referred to you.

Sellers are even less choosy than buyers when it comes to selecting agents – 70% of them only contact one agent before choosing who they will list with. This may have to do with the time-based element of a sale – if they are looking to list, they may already have another home, or have a job transfer with a specific deadline.

The takeaways from the seller profile are similar to the buyers. Your cold outreach is the most effective, followed by referrals. Don’t be shy – ask everyone if they know anyone who is buying or selling a home. For sellers specifically, understand that if your presentation is effective, they likely won’t interview another agent. Focus on their time sensitivity and your professional effectiveness to close the deal.

Did the seller statistics surprise you? Share in the comments!

By The Numbers: Where to Focus on Finding Buyer Leads

Real Estate Buyer

88% of home buyers used an agent, according to the 2014 survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). How these buyers found their agent may surprise you, and it may well help you focus your marketing and customer nurture efforts.

12% of Buyers Used an Agent They Had Used Before

This is a very surprising result, considering that two-thirds of home buyers surveyed were repeat buyers. Although 88% said they would use their agent again, the reality shows otherwise. It may simply have to do with the time gap – the typical first time buyer is 31, compared to 53 for a repeat buyer.

Obviously, waiting 20 years to service someone again is not a super productive strategy for your business. This is a quite different idea for many agents, who keep in close contact with recent clients hoping for more business. While I think that recent client nurture is important, it’s best to keep it focused on referrals of that client’s family and friends, because many more home buyers find their agents in that way.

40% of Buyers Chose an Agent Recommended by Family or Friends

Now we’re hitting pay dirt! We all know that referrals are key to our business, but few of us know the numbers that prove it. Referrals are significantly cheaper than cold new business, both in terms of time and money spent.  They also tend to trust you more quickly, because someone they respect has had a good experience with you in the past.

Consistently asking for referrals may make you worry that you’re bothering or annoying your recent clients. Instead, try sharing content about your new listings or about a specific neighborhood, and ask you recent clients to share these updates with their own friends and family. You can help them become an advocate for you in their natural day to day activities, as well as asking them directly – on occasion – for referrals.

48% of Buyers Chose an Agent “Cold”

It really surprised me that “cold” leads were the largest category for buyer’s agents. I think it probably surprises you too! As agents, we don’t expect to get much for our farming efforts, cold calls, and email marketing. Surprise, surprise – these efforts are actually your bread and butter!

Interestingly, most buyers don’t spend a lot of time interviewing different agents. Two-thirds of buyers only interviewed one agent before choosing to work with them. This means that your initial meeting and presentation are extremely important. People don’t want to do a lot of hunting – give them what they’re looking for first, and they’ll hire you on the spot!

Because your largest percentage of buyer leads comes from your cold outreach – farming, social media, email marketing, in-person encounters, and more – this should be the primary focus of your time and energy in marketing. A close second is nurturing your referral network, by keeping in touch with your circle of influence and recent clients. As for hoping your recent client will call you up for their next deal? Unless they’re an investor, don’t hold your breath. Your energy and time are better spent elsewhere.

Did any of these statistics surprise you? Share in the comments!