Archive for realtor tips

Realtor® Rip Off Report: How to Avoid Lead Generation Ripoffs

Market Leader Rip Off ReportEvery Realtor® needs leads in order to show and sell properties. Getting leads can be a lot of work, and many Realtors® don’t know where to start. As a result, some Realtors® turn to lead generation services that promise to do all the legwork. Sounds great, right!  Please read on….Market Leader is one such service, however according to many complaints they simply take your money and do not provide the promised leads. By locking Realtors® into a multi-month contract, services like Market Leader leave professionals with nowhere to turn despite not getting what was promised.

Market Leader Issues
Market Leader promises to generate a certain number of leads within your area code, but over time many Realtor®s are seeing the leads from outside their area. One customer was finally told that Market Leader cannot promise where leads come from. That makes the leads useless.

Past customers also report that once a contract is in place, Market Leader and many other services will work hard to make sure you can’t get out of it. Customers have complained that they have been told they need 35 day written notice (long enough to charge you an extra month) and that they have to cancel by a certain day of the month in order to have it process in time.

Unfortunately, the complaints about customer service abound as well, both on posts to their Facebook site (Posts to Page on the left sidebar) and on external services. Many customers say they get ‘outside business hours’ messages in the early afternoon, or are not allowed to speak to a supervisor when they wish to dispute charges. There are also many technical issues with the site and Realtors® are simply told that a ‘ticket has been submitted’. Some Realtors® had customers reporting the campaign emails as spam because the Market Leader campaigns were malfunctioning, and multiple calls to customer service did nothing to fix the issue.

You can read all of the gory details from the Facebook group, “What Should I Spend My Monday On?” It’s  a good group!

Finally, users with Macs do not have nearly the functionality of other subscribers, but they pay the same high prices. The creative portions where you create your own mailings have to be done from a PC. Even with a PC, you cannot verify ownership of your domain with Market Leader so apparently there is no syncing with Google apps to coordinate with a team.

For a service that charges $580 a month and locks you into a 6 month contract, you have a right to expect better. In fact, if you put those kinds of resources to work in your own lead generation efforts, you could grow your business dramatically and remain in control of the quality of the leads you attract.

How to Avoid Ripoffs and Generate Your Own Leads
Here at the Real Estate Marketing Magazine, we have a free e-book that can help you get a jump-start on your lead generation efforts. You don’t even have to start spending your hard earned cash! Here are some tips from the e-book and beyond.

Start with those you know. I know, no one likes to harass friends and family. But remember, you’re in this to SERVE, and folks need help finding a great place to live! Finding a great Realtor® isn’t as easy as you’d think.  Keep in mind that it isn’t just who you know, it’s who THEY know also. Use our free calls scripts and letters to help you reach out to the people in your sphere.

By starting with those you already know and asking for referrals, you can begin your network with those who already know and trust you. And trust sells!

Social Media
Social media is a great way to reach out to those you don’t know, build relationships, and nurture prospects. You can establish a Facebook site for your realty business, and post photos from your listings to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Twitter! In addition, you can establish a website using easy-to-build templates through any number of services. Squarespace is well known for having great visually-focused templates, which is a major bonus for any Realtor®! Remember, when you help people see themselves in your properties, your sales job is almost done.

Business Cards and Mailings
A professionally designed business card is essential for any successful Realtor®. Services such as PrinterBees have hundreds of real estate business card templates to choose from.  In addition, sending farming postcards to people in your area to announce a new listing or an open house can be very effective. Postcards get seen more readily than letters, which residents often throw away without opening because they are  seen as ‘junk mail’. Postcards with great graphics are eye-catching and already ‘opened’!  PrinterBees has a huge selection of real estate marketing postcards for any type of lead generation program you want to kick off.

These are just a few examples of low-cost ways to begin to gain leads. There are many more. See each person you meet as a potential sale – if not them, then someone they know! Learn how to connect quickly through conversation and assess their needs. When you add a new person to your network, it isn’t one person – it’s more likely 100, since you add their entire network as well. With this mindset, you’ll see that the world is your oyster – and you don’t need to pay $580 a month and be plagued with issues to access it!

Have these call scripts emailed to you. They work great for contacting your sphere of influence.

The Five Most Important People In Your Real Estate Business

real estate business buildingTo create an amazing customer experience, you need an amazing team of people. As I’m currently going through an escrow, I’m reminded of all the people it takes for a smooth closing and why it’s important to make sure you’re working with the “A team.”  The “B Team” isn’t going to cut it and not having the A players moving the escrow through it’s paces with you could cause it not to close.

Here’s what I know for sure about having successful transactions as a Realtor®:

You must have a REALLY good mortgage professional on the team of people you work with: Without a mortgage loan, in most cases, deals don’t close.  I’m not feeling warm and cozy about the person I’m working with for my loan at the moment, we’re down to the final wire and I’m praying my escrow will close in spite of my lack of confidence.

Pssst…My recommendation to my Realtor® would be to find another mortgage “guy” to refer to, I’m not at all secure we will close.

You have to know a good property inspector: I had my property inspection yesterday, the inspector was very detail oriented, sure of himself and his assessment of the property.  He made me feel really good about the structure of the home and the minor things that needed to be addressed. His self-confidence in what he was doing and what he saw as he inspected the property was very comforting to me.

You must have an amazing escrow officer: One who has closed a lot of escrows, knows the ropes, has seen many files and many scenarios. A creative and experienced escrow officer that understands the system, title, the contracts, the fees, etc will make all the difference in your experience as a Realtor® and your ability to better serve your clients. Without a good escrow officer on your team, you won’t close…that’s what they do, they close the deal and bring it all together.  I’ve experienced “bad” and inexperienced escrow officers in the past, it’s scary, “messy” and it makes YOU look really bad as the agent.  Trust me.

You need to know someone in the insurance business: I can’t tell you the number of times that insurance verification was the one thing to hold up an escrow from closing on-time. It’s one of those little details easily forgotten and you can’t close escrow without home owners insurance. You need someone you can call in a moments notice that can underwrite your clients in emergency situations. First time home buyers definitely aren’t experienced in that regard and don’t likely have a home owners insurance agent/policy.

Having a good transaction coordinator on your team is worth every penny it cost you, and then some: My Realtor® just put three deals in escrow, right before leaving town for a family reunion. His wife is in the US Air Force and has been deployed for a year and a half. He and his five kids are enjoying some much needed and deserved time together for the first time, in as long. His transaction coordinator is handling the transaction, running with the ball, moving things forward while he’s enjoying his family. He got the deal in contract, negotiated the contract, represented me as the buyer and then he passed the ball to his transaction coordinator to handle the rest of the details. She’s fabulous!  A good transaction coordinator keeps you in compliance with your paperwork and will help keep you out of court as well.  If you’re new, you must have the assistance of a good transaction coordinator who has been in the business for a while.

It takes a team and the better the team you have in place, the smoother your business will run and more importantly, the better the quality of life you’ll enjoy. Great teams make for great success and having a great team will get you there faster and smoother. I am a big believer in delegating WHEREVER and WHENEVER possible, it gets things done/handled and it allows you to do what you’re supposed to be doing. Selling real estate and negotiating contracts.  How to find those people is my next secret, so make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss it! I definitely have my secrets and I’m willing to share them.