What’s the best way to get more real estate listings from people outside your circle? Matt Yesmaniski was asking himself the same question.
Matt is a fast growing real estate agent in Grand Prairie, Alberta. But to say that his journey in business is interesting, would be an understatement. Today Matt is handling multiple offers every month. But it wasn’t always the case for him. In two words, I would describe Matt as humbly tenacious. He has developed a remarkable resilience as he has overcome numerous obstacles and hurdles.
Matt swung by our HQ a couple weeks ago and we had the pleasure of sitting down and hearing his story.
“My wife was having our baby and I get an email letting me know I lost my job the same day,” shared Matt. And so after discussing it with his wife, he took a bold step, studied hard, took his real estate exam and became a Realtor.
“I assumed that when you started the business you would have a certain level of support from your close net friends and family. And that was just an assumption and I was devastated to find out the reality,” Matt shared.
With a growing family, four kids now, and a drive to serve his clients, Matt forged on.
“I had to develop a certain mindset to overcome that and the mindset was gratitude for who was hiring me as their Realtor,” he continued.
A mindset of gratitude allowed Matt the opportunity to forge onwards. He put effort on serving the clients that he had and it cleared his mind, enabling him to see the strategies that mattered in growing his real estate business.
“I realized that being a Realtor is a marketing business. Plain and simple.”
He explained, “So I segregated the business between brand marketing and lead generation marketing.” To grow his business Matt needed to reach people beyond his circle. So he implemented a strategy that involved both brand marketing and demand generation.
“The brand marketing is like the bus benches, billboards and those sorts of things.”
“And then there’s the lead generation so that’s StreetText.” With lead generation, he explained, “You can measure it so you can manage it.” So he invests in Facebook ads to find people entering his market who plan on selling. And it’s proven to be incredibly successful.
“We have closed quite a bit of business from StreetText, it’s up and around $100,000. Met a lot of great people through it and have clients that are still clients today. So it’s been a phenomenal platform to work with.”
He’s also put into place a great system of follow up and touches. He continued to invest in his systems and now he sends monthly market reports to his network and database. As well he puts on a client appreciation event every Winter and Summer.
As a result, he’s turning his opportunities into clients through his quality of mindset, marketing strategies and follow up activities.
Matt is an inspirational guy. Hanging around with him and I quickly discovered that he’s constantly learning, reaching out to mentors, and growing personally and professionally. I personally am enjoying getting to know Matt and I hope you find his insights as inspiring as I do.
“If you leave your business and you’re not making any money, you have a job. The last thing I wanted to do was go back to an industry where I had a job. I want a business.”
Real Estate Agent.
In 1939 Harvard began following the lives of 724 men. It’s the only study of its kind because they’ve never stopped. Every year they interview the participants measure their vitals and even record them having conversations with their spouses.
Today about 90 of the participants still survive.
Here’s the remarkable thing. Guess what the most accurate predictor of long life was?
Robert Waldinger, the current director of the study, said it wasn’t cholesterol or some other symptom. It turns out it was how happy they were with their current relationships.
People in satisfied relationships not only lived longer, but they had less cases of schitzophrenia, dementia and alzheimers.
What does this all have to do with real estate?
The mind is a beautiful thing. And one’s mindset has a powerful role to play on the outcomes of our lives.
Real estate agent Marly Walters had a marketing background but didn’t really apply it to real estate. She was getting sphere of influence leads and did okay doing a few transactions, but “by no means was doing as well as she was when she was in corporate.”
In her second year she switched brokers, but still was having a hard time getting her business to grow. She did a short stint in commercial real estate, but decided she preferred residential as it was more about the people.
Finally she said, “When I was leaving commercial I said, ‘Okay, there are people out there making money in real estate. And I’m not it. So I’ve got to figure out how what people are doing.”
She did some research into coaching programs. She came across Proctor and that really changed her mindset about the real estate industry.
“What I really need is to get systems and leads.”
So began her mindset shift.
Before her results shifted her mindset shifted in 3 ways.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Getting somebody who would really coach you to build your business and just do what they are doing.
“Just do A, B and C because all these other million dollar agents are doing A, B and C. And just follow the program.”
Being able to automate and systematize your business. “If you leave your business and you’re not making any money, you have a job. The last thing I wanted to do was go back to an industry where I had a job. I want a business.”
Marly real estate business is growing. She is set on investing herself to grow a team. And it’s working.
Watch a 2 minute clip of Marly Walters’ interview. “What was the shift that went from half a dozen deals to this mindset of I can do whatever I possibly want and grow my business.”
“We actually just did our numbers. 15-20% comes from StreetText. That’s why we love it, that’s why we keep putting more money behind our ads.”
With 200 transactions under their belt last year, they are one of real estates fastest growing teams. Matthew Nicolas and his team are all-stars, in every sense of the word. But they are also just regular down-to-earth people. He’s a giver, having freely shared many of his marketing techniques with Realtors across North America, and also an incredibly positive person.
In our last interview we learned that they were on track to grow their business another 25%, you can see that interview on Top Producer CRM here. Now, one year on, our Co-Founder, Stephen Whiting sat down with Matthew again via a Google Hangout Webinar to discuss the Facebook lead generation strategy that they are using to help fuel their growth.
Stephen – “Before we jump into your Facebook Strategy, let’s learn a bit about you. You’ve been in the business for a few years, and last year you were named one of Canada’s Top 100 agents, is that correct?”
Matthew – “Yes, this is my sixth year. In that time we’ve doubled our business a few times. It’s been a really exciting road.”
Stephen – “That kind of growth could be hard to sustain, but you seem to be thriving. From zero to more than two-hundred transactions a year, what was the most important thing you did to get you to the volume you do now?”
Matthew – “It’s the systems. They created efficiencies and leveraged our time. Without systems, we fall apart. And we’ve gone through that too. Where we’ve tried to jump a little bigger than we should and couldn’t manage that level because we didn’t have the systems in place.”
“Without systems, your head is spinning, you don’t know where you are at. Having systems allows us to focus on just 4 things: repeats, referrals, mega open houses, and online lead generation.”
Stephen – “Today we’re going to talk about your online Facebook lead generation with StreetText. What percentage does StreetText represent to your business?”
Matthew – “We actually just did our numbers. 15-20% comes from StreetText. That’s why we love it, that’s why we keep putting more money behind our ads. We like how it functions too.”
“There’s a two-pronged benefit. You are going to get business from StreetText and you’re also going to close more business if you’re letting more people know you understand how to market on social media and how to capture leads from it.”
Stephen – “With so many leads, how do you find the time to respond to every one?”
Matthew – “How we find the time is the systems. Every time there is a way I can automate something or have someone else do it, we implement that.”
Stephen – “What was the thing you implemented that really helped you leverage your time?”
Matthew – “It was Top Producer CRM. I use Top Producer with StreetText and it’s worked really well for us. It helps us manage the leads.”
“It takes time to build a database, but it’s all in the database. Get your leads into your CRM, put people on a campaign, and just keep dripping on them.”
“You’ve got to try to automate as many things as you can. See if your office has a postcard mail-out service. Try to systemize things as the best you can because if you’re trying to do everything yourself it can get unwieldy and you just start falling apart.”
Stephen – “It sounds like staying organized with good habits is freeing up your time.”
Matthew – “The first system was to make a habit of putting new people that I spoke with into the Top Producer’s database right away. So we can start doing email campaigns and things from there. Now if I’m out on a Sunday and I put a bunch of names in from an open house event and then forget a name, I can just look it up.”
Stephen – “One last question, anyone who follows you on Facebook will know how positive you are. How do you stay so upbeat?”
Matthew – “I try to be a positive person every day. I think that every day we get a new chance to start over and do things better than yesterday. First of all, I’ve got a great team around me and I’ve partnered with some great companies like StreetText.”
StreetText gives you proven Facebook ads and funnels you need to capture and convert Home Seller and Buyer Leads. Marketing is probably one of the most important jobs that need to be done as a real estate agent to grow, if not the most important one. But, it takes a lot of time to and knowledge check in on Facebook ads to ensure they are getting the results you need. StreetText setups and manages your Facebook ads for you, so you can get back to doing what you do best – creating relationships and closing transactions.
StreetText’s Facebook lead generation works by running your advertisements on Facebook’s news feed. StreetText designs, sets up and manages all your campaigns for you.
Interested Facebook users then click on your advertisement and are taken to your StreetText funnel where they provide their contact details in return for information from you.
Don’t know what to offer to attract clients in your neighbourhood? Don’t worry, because StreetText will walk you through the best performing campaigns on Facebook.
2. Why should I be advertising on Facebook?
If you are looking to grow your business now is the time to leverage Facebook Advertising. By leveraging Facebook you can target the right people with the right message.
There are over 1.86 billion monthly active Facebook users. With the majority of users over the age of 25.
25-34 year age range: 24.4% of users
35-54 year age range: 31.1% of users
55+ year age range: 15.6% of users
This means that 80% of your target neighbourhood and market are actively on Facebook. Never before has any advertising media allowed you to reach (and target) this many people.
3. After setting up a Facebook lead generation funnel, what do I do next?
Now you will need to respond to your leads. First, you will want to reply with the offer they are expecting. You can have downloads automatically sent to your leads via StreetText.
If you are offering a custom report or personalized list then it’s best to reach out immediately letting your leads know that you are on it. Even if you’re busy with appointments over a weekend, your prospects are happy knowing you have reached out to them.
4. Connect StreetText to your Top Producer or other CRM
Systems make managing a lot of leads much easier. Connecting StreetText to your Top Producer or other CRM is easy to do and takes less than 5 minutes. But it will save you many hours in the future.
5. Add all your leads to a drip-campaign
Here’s how Matthew Nicolas explains why he adds all his StreetText leads to marketing automation.
“Through the research we’ve done, we’ve found that most internet leads are about 280 days out. So you do need to have those systems in place to keep the touches going so you can convert. Even though we got 20 leads last month and we listed 2, we know that we are just scraping the surface. We’ve only grabbed the low-hanging fruit. We know there are still 5-10 deals in there, but they are justing coming later down the road.” Explains Matthew.
Matthew doesn’t just send emails. He also sends a mailout to every new lead that comes through. Going above and beyond sets Matthew and his team apart in the eyes of his prospects.
6. Learn from the best practices and share with other smart agents like yourself
StreetText Facebook lead generation takes digital door-knocking to a whole new level. We find the people who are interested in listing or buying in your market. They may be one day out or they may be one year out. However, it doesn’t matter how qualified a new prospect is as nothing will happen unless you can win an appointment. Real estate is a relationship business.
Fortunately, StreetText provides webinar strategies and an Insider Group community that connects you with the agents who are great at winning appointments.
Here’s what Matthew says when he’s prospecting. “We’re trying to build a relationship, again we don’t know these people. If we just got an address and knocked on the door and said hey, ‘I’m here for the walkthrough.’ People would say, ‘what are you talking about?’ Conversely, if you get a phone number and immediately call them, ‘Hey, can I come for a walkthrough?’ You’re missing a step. Upon each lead, you’ve always got a goal.”
Matthew continues, “If you just get the address the goal is to try to make some kind of contact with them to understand what they are looking for. If you get the address and an email, the email should be to try to book either a call or an appointment. If you get a phone number, start with a text message. We’ve just found that it works better.”
7. Track the weekly performance of your ads
StreetText will send you weekly reports of your Facebook ads. This makes it easy to track your ROI and results of your campaigns.
And you’re all set for growth!
It’s really easy to get setup with a high performing campaign through StreetText. By connecting your account to Top Producer you can ensure you’re leveraging your time efficiently to grow your business.
It’s easy to set goals to grow, but without active advertising that works and a good CRM, it’s just as easy to get overwhelmed or find your goals slipping from your reach. Matthew is reaping the benefits of a system without losing any of the important and personal touches his future clients need. As a result, his goals are insight and achievable.
Are you ready to reach new clients in your Neighbourhood on Facebook?
Test your market today in just 7 days on StreetText
StreetText offers a FREE 7-day market test, you only have to pay for your Facebook ad spend. You will get a proven Facebook Advertising and Capture Funnel setup for you. Access to the StreetText backend. One-on-one phone consultation with a Facebook conversion expert to go over your ad and results. And most importantly, you will get to see how many addresses and leads you can generate in your market for $9/day.
In just six months, Dave has already doubled his Real Estate deals from last year.
Dave Ehlke is a real estate agent in the Minnesota area, Forest Lake to be exact. He’s a husband, and father of two who left his job in corporate America to follow his dream of working in real estate. Fast Forward three years later, and Dave is already rising to the top of the real estate world.
He had success early on in real estate, but was having a challenge growing his business beyond the plateau of repeats and referrals.
Online lead generation was important to Dave, but it turned out to be more difficult to “crack the code” than he anticipated.
Before he started with StreetText, half of his problem was not being able to find the right Facebooks ads and algorithms to keeping leads coming in. Now, StreetText does it all for him, which means monitoring ads is something he no longer has to do.
Dave Ehlke has been with StreetText for over a year and is seeing tremendous results in his target areas through his Facebook lead generation.
Dave values time with his family. Because Dave has a busy work schedule and is devoted to his family – StreetText helped him take his online lead generation off his plate.
Dave shared his mind set, “If I need to get out 100 letters, I won’t do anything else until they’re done.” He’s dedicated to his practice and takes time to finish everything because every detail is important to his success.
StreetText is giving him time to focus on the activities that generate business and serving his clients. For Dave, nothing else happens until his important tasks are taken care of. Dave has a deep-rooted drive to succeed and will do just about anything to make sure he’s on the path to success. Now when his follow up is done, he feels good knowing he can go home to his family while his lead generation is taken care of.
Now, Dave is closing several deals a month. These are single family homes starting at $225,000 – $270,000. Dave is growing an exceptional amount in his area.
I asked Dave how he is converting his leads into transactions? Dave explained that he immediately dissects each leads that he gets through StreetText.
He shared that in order for him to approach the lead properly, he does an extensive amount of research into who they are, what they do, and where they live. Dave wants to know everything he can to make sure he’s providing his leads with what they need to list their home, and potentially purchase another.
After he gets their information, they’re instantly set up on a monthly postcard campaign. He’s also regular with door hanger campaigns for address submissions, where his 10 and 12 year olds bring around coffee cards and other small promotions to make sure people are remembering him.
Dave put a lot of importance on providing value and keeping these promotional items local. Giving someone a gift card to their favorite bakery is going to be leaps and bounds more valuable than sending them to a Starbucks.
During our 30 minute conversation, I could tell that Dave had a very strong sense of community. He is a father of two, working to better his family, and helping as many as possible in his area. Knowing his community is a huge part of who he is as a realtor because he’s a working professional – but he’s devoted to being a part of his leads life and affecting them in a positive manner.
Not only does Dave work hard to help each of his leads, he works extremely hard on personal goals that he targets on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. He mentioned during our conversation that these are important for him to keeping on track and reaching all of the benchmarks be wants to obtain professionally and personally.
Dave mentioned that StreetText helps him take his business to the next level to reach his professional goals.
A lot of people are really focused on the sale, which is important to Dave… but he brings a very humanistic quality to the industry. His professionalism, mixed with his desire to make lasting connections makes him a natural in the real estate world.
His ads are relevant and getting great clicks, so there’s nothing else to worry about. He also mentioned that it’s his most affordable form of marketing, and he is excited for what else will come with his time with StreetText.
My final question to Dave was one that often leaves our realtors a little perplexed. I braced him for the obscurity of the question, and asked: “If you had the opportunity to turn back the clock, and give yourself one piece of advice from when you first started off in real estate, what would you tell yourself?”
Dave paused for a moment and replied with a confident statement.
“Keep doing you, and keep focusing on yourself.” Dave added that if he could, he’d explain to his past self that this industry is a roller coaster but to keep trusting in himself, and keep moving forward. He returned to the personal development, and personal growth he works so hard towards. Keeping himself focused and grounded would have been the best piece of advice he would have given himself when first starting. Have you ever thought about what yours would be?
To learn more, click on the button below and chat with one of our Facebook conversion specialists!
Sydney is also one of the nicest people in the industry. Every time we have a conversation with her we learn something new. She’s incredibly hard working and tenacious while being down to earth and helpful. Along with her great advice, it’s probably why we write about her on our blog so much.
Today she’s sharing 3 strategies she uses to follow up with leads when you only have a property address, email or their social profile.
Today we know this as the Pareto Efficiency. It’s a rule that can be used to explain the distribution of wealth, etc.
In business it translates to the fact that 80% of our sales come from 20% of our clients. If you reflect on your day to day activities you will probably notice that 20% of your daily tasks result in 80% of your income.
When you look across the isle and see your colleague, the one who’s always busy, with yet another client, it’s because they are applying this rule. (Whether they know it or not).
Sydney is that colleague. Thankfully she’s kind enough to share what works for her.
Strategy #1: Winning Clients With Postcards
“I got a listing appointment this summer. The client filled out the StreetText lead. I sent them an RPR report. They never even opened it. I track all my emails, who opened what, and then I get a call later in the week. They are saying, ‘Hey we’d love to meet with you and have you come look at our house.’ Oh great, I’d love to.”
“So when I got to the house she was like, ‘You know it’s so funny I don’t even know how you knew that we were wanting to sell our house. But we were just talking about selling our house and then we got a postcard in the mail.'”
“They did not remember at all that they had requested a value from Facebook. And they never even opened my report. But that postcard got them to call me.”
Strategy #2: Gorilla Lead Follow-Up
What about those leads that come in, they give you a valid email but no phone number?
“In our brokerage we call it Gorilla Lead Follow Up. So you get ahold of that client no matter how you have to do it. So you email them, end it with a question; call them if you can, Facebook message them, if you can; send them something in the mail, hell, show up at their house.”
“So it’s about being aggressive, not giving up on the lead after the first try. Because you really have to think of the mentality of the client. So the majority of the clients say I’m selling in 6 months plus. So they are not all that interested in talking to you right now. ‘Well this person is going to try to get me to sell my house right now.'”
“So I come to my clients with the understanding of, ‘Hey I get it, you’re not ready yet. But let me help guide you, so that when you’re ready, you’re ready to go.'”
“I try to meet with them as soon as I can. In not a sales pitch way, but try to come from a place of offering assistance. So I have different guides that I send them, etc”
Strategy #3: Investing in Certain Neighborhoods
Sydney has targeted marketing areas where she keeps the level of activities high.
“There are certain neighborhoods that I really financially invest in. Because I want them to know my name. Even if they don’t plan to sell for 10 years. I want them to know my name. So I send those seasonally, for holidays, or if I’m chasing down a listing.”
“Four times a year I have my Selling a Home guides. A guide to selling your home in fall, a guide to selling your home in the spring, etc. And I order a couple of hundred of those. So when I run out I just do a postcard.”
“Today I got in 3 leads. I did all my general prospecting stuff, set my RPR report, everything. Then I also prepared a packet that has my Selling Your Home In The Fall guide with a handwritten letter to them and my business card. And I put it in a big manilla envelope. I don’t fold it up. Because it looks official. A big 8 by 11 envelope. And I hand stamp it and put it in the mail.”
They key to being successful with clients that you meet online is the follow up. Sydney is proof that if you only have an email address, property address or social profile, you have all the information you need to start reaching out.
She connects with her clients through Facebook messenger, email, postcards. If she has a phone number she will call them or text them as well. But the key to her success with these methods is her technique. She approaches her clients with the understanding that they need help preparing for the sale of their home. Most people are not that interesting in talking to a sales person at this stage, they are interested in being helped. So she provides the right information for their needs.
In a competitive market it’s about setting yourself apart. That can be through flyers, postcards or showing up at the door with donuts and a CMA. Sydney is building a solid real estate business by serving her clients and so can you.
Real estate leaders Sydney Waits, Kevin Markarian and Keith Dunham all grew their businesses with internet leads. In a nutshell, these three smart agents shared their amazing insights with the online community either through StreetText’s Facebook Group or Active Rain. We’re releasing a multipart series to share these insights with you in an actionable format.
Before we get started, here’s a quick introduction of who these agents are and the amazing results they are achieving.
Kevin Markarian, of Marker Real Estate, grew his real estate volume from $14 million in 2013 to $80 million in 2015. “I decided to go all in from 30 leads to 300 leads within a month,” Kevin says. “It forced me to build a team of agents to follow up and reach out to the inquiries and then assign those clients to people of our team.”
Keith Dunham, from HomeCity Real Estate, manages 2,000 realtor.com leads per month. He drove his business from $4 million in 2014 to a whopping $50 million in 2015. “If you are going to run your own business, you’ve got to go all in,” remarks Keith. It is clear from the interview that Keith sees lead generation as an investment worth making and worth nurturing. “When you realize how expensive leads are, if you want to stay in this game you have to follow up and stay in touch with them.”
Sydney Waits, RE/MAX HERITAGE
Real estate leader since 2014 (Individual Agent)
Finally, Sydney Waits, from RE/MAX Heritage, grew her real estate business from 15 transactions her first year to over 60 within her 3rd. She believes in providing amazing value to her potential clients. If she doesn’t reach them, she’s dropping off a gift — a box of brownies is her favourite — to win them over. That’s the kind of zeal Waits has for her business. “Facebook is by far my most profitable marketing using StreetText,” she notes. “The StreetText platform is amazing.” “There are certain neighborhoods where I really, financially, invest in. Because I want them to know my name. Even if they don’t plan to sell for 10 years. I send them stuff seasonally, or on holidays, or when I’m chasing down a listing.”
How are you turning leads from sources like Realtor.com, Trulia, Facebook and Google Ad Words into referrals?
Kimshai S. Hooks, an Agent based in Los Angeles, CA posted, “When I first started out utilizing Trulia they were the greatest and [received a] vast response with buyer leads, but this was a few years ago. Now I may receive 1-2 buyer leads around billing time and I cover 20+zip codes at a 4% up=1200 views per month, I don’t care for the buyer lead service, as its just a large bill far outside of my budget in 2015.”
Whereas, David Woods, an Agent from San Diego, CA writes “I have been very successful on Trulia for lead generation. My Team and I have received over 20 solid leads since Nov 2014 (and 50 less solid) and we are excited to continue working with Trulia in the busy season of 2015. With some online training provided free from Trulia we have learned how to cultivate the leads into stronger leads. It takes about 5 months for a lead to actually close. Perseverance, follow-up and tracking are key!”
Bary Stewart, an Agent out of Watertown, NY says, “I use realtor.com and it is probably my best source of leads other than recommendations from previous clients. Realtor.com is relatively inexpensive at $200 per month for a guaranteed 8 leads per month. When they send you a lead you are the only agent getting that lead and if that same person does a second, third, or fourth inquiry it will come to you since you started out with them on the first one. The quality of leads has been heads and shoulders above Zillow and Trulia and my conversion rate is way higher.”
Yet, Terry Dyer, an agent from San Diego, CA says, “I’ve been paying for Realtor.com leads for over a year. Am hoping to build a team so I’ve been investing a LOT of money…more than $5000 per month. After months of asking my account rep Mary Padilla sent me a spreadsheet of my leads. I deleted the duplicate e-mail addresses and found over 500 duplicates. […] I’ve been billed $25,000 for the same information..the same buyers…..over and over…..Realtor.com says they consider one person can be multiple leads.”
So how is that Kevin, Keith and Sydney are able to grow their business so substantially from the same lead providers?
It turns out that it has to do with the way they are following up with their leads.
Keith Dunham, of HomeCity, Kevin Markarian, of Marker Real Estate, and Sydney Waits of RE/MAX Heritage continued to follow up with their leads for over a year.
“You can’t just say, ‘I didn’t get anything from [these leads]. You have to attack it from every angle,'” says Sydney.
Initially, they respond with the information they inquired about. Whether it’s a buying wanting more information about a property or a seller curious about their own home. Kevin explains, “We give them info about the property. I saw you inquired about 123 Mainstreet, are you still interested?”
They will send them some more information that relates to their needs. Such as, new listings coming up in the area as well.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Mike, another real estate leader from HomeCity, continues, “We actually provide quite a bit of content. Anything from market days, from DIY tips, hot new restaurants. These are things we believe will keep them engaged.”
But the key, Kevin says, is to base it around starting a conversation. We send content with 1 or 2 sentences. “Hey, we are just checking in…”
“Then we use email to track opens and clicks. We take that list and sort it by most opens, most clicks, etc,” says Kevin. That informs them about who the most engaged prospects are.
So you would attribute your results to your follow up activities?
“The leads aren’t loyal to anyone, they came through the internet. If you don’t follow up someone else will,” says Kevin. “We have a 32 day follow up schedule.”
For example, “We had five inquiries that came in on the same day. Using our follow up schedule, within 17 days all of them had been touched with an email, text message or phone call 26 times. All five of those people, after they had been touched on the 17th day, all five raised their hand and finally responded.”
Keith agreed and explained that you need to, “be consistent over a 30 day period of time.” Because ultimately, “that’s the person [the prospect] wants to do business with.”
“The majority of what you mail out is going to be thrown in the trash. You need to be aware of that. But I’ve gotten a listing appointment this summer and the client filled out the StreetText, I sent them a RPR, they never even opened it, because I track all my emails. Then I get a call later in the week. ‘We would love to meet with you and have you come look at our house.’ When I got to the house they said, ‘You know it’s so funny, I don’t know how you knew that we were wanting to sell our house. But we were just talking about wanting to sell our house and then we got your postcard in the mail. They requested a value, but they never even opened the report. But that post card got them to call me.” Sydney Waits
How do you validate your leads?
It’s simple, says Keith. There are 4 key attributes he looks for when having a conversation with his prospects.
The person has to buy within 12 months.
They are not working with another real estate agent
Must be creditworthy
Willing to give us the business
One of the key insights that were shared was that they don’t ask whether or not they are working with another agent. Instead, they ask, “are you committed to an agent.” They explained, a person may have contacted 5 agents already, that doesn’t mean they are committed to any of them.
Sydney strategy is a bit different. “There are some leads that I put right in the trash. First of all, I go through and vet my leads.”
“I search their address in the MLS and see if it sold within the last year. And if they just moved into the house I’m going to put it really low on the priority list. It keeps me from chasing leads that honestly just are curious,” says Sydney. “Sometimes I pull houses and I see that they are actually active … I get 8 or 9 leads per day, on average I get 3 per day, there is plenty of time to do this.” This ensures she’s spending her time following up with people who are most likely to buy or sell within a reasonable timeframe.
Do you treat leads from internet sources different than referrals?
Keith says,”the industry average conversion rate is 1% of every online lead. We shoot for 3%. That allows us rate of return. Calling, calling, and following up. We call them referrals after they have been through our [inside sales agent].”
He continues, “When you realize how expensive leads are if you want to stay in this game you have to follow up and stay in touch with them. If you are going to run your own business, you’ve got to go all in. What is your time worth? As technology evolves you are going to continue to need to set aside your budget or you are going to miss opportunities.”
Mike Pritchard explains, “When you look at leads that register at a website. Historically they are a 9-month close. From Realtor, Zillow, anyone who makes a property inquiry that is a 3-4 month close. They are up the funnel. ROI is a simple formula, what did I pay for the lead, how many leads did it take to get a closing, and what did I get paid for that closing.”
Internet leads are different from referrals in that they need to be nurtured and contacted. Kevin and Keith were all adamant that every lead can turn into a solid referral. But it can take anywhere from a week to a couple years for them to do so.
Sydney has a different approach. She treats every lead as a client. She follows up with, puts them on her mailing lists, and lets them know she is available to help them.
How do you handle immediate follow-up and scrubbing/qualifying the leads?
“It’s about leveraging technology to convert more business,” says Keith. “I know what’s important to Realtors. At the end of the day, it’s about transactions. It’s working with people are ready to transact with us. We put a system in that allows agents to focus on the low hanging fruit, while we focus on the back end and follow up.”
“Most brokers expect agents to follow up with a thousand leads. Get the lead, sell the lead, then service lead. We would rather put real opportunities in their hand.”
Kevin and Keith use internal sales reps [ISA] to call their leads. They then hand those leads over to their agents after they have been qualified. At that point, they call them referrals. “The customer service team is focused on calling, calling, calling.”
Most agents don’t have internal customer service teams. What are the best practices they can implement in their own business?
Kevin says, “Because we are generating so many leads, there may be a time when a person may not be able to respond. We use FiveStreet which allows us to send an automated text message and automated email.”
Keith agreed, “Our response time is minutes, not hours. We are to the table first.”
“The other thing we do is call.” Continues Kevin, “People want info about a property, so we are going to give them info about the property. Then there are two things we always ask in this conversation. Are you committed with an agent and can you get pre-approved.”
They then book an appointment with the prospect. “We want to keep the conversation flowing and keep the green light going,” explains Kevin.
How do you get confident calling your leads?
Sydney recommends finding courses and webinars online. “There are a lot of resources available online, and they are not necessarily real estate specific. There are basic calling classes. There are webinars you can take. Role-playing, things like that. It’s having the appropriate scripts. I’ve developed my own script over the years.”
What about the leads that come in without a phone number, how are you able to get a conversation started that way?
Sydney explains, “In our brokerage we call it gorilla style lead follow up. You get a hold of that client, no matter how you have to do it. You email them and end it with a question. You Facebook message them if you can. You send them something in the mail. Show up at their house. It’s about being aggressive, not giving up on the lead after the first try.”
“You have to think about the mentality of the client. Majority of clients are selling in 6 months plus. They are not all that interested in talking to you right now. I approach my clients with the understanding that, ‘Hey, you’re not ready yet. But let me help guide you so that when you are ready, you’re ready to go.'”
“So I try to meet with them as soon as I can. Not in a sales pitch way. But I try to come in a place of offering assistance.”
“I have a pre-listing guide that I have had printed like a magazine. So I use really high-quality print materials. Every time I contact someone I’m stating, I understand you’re not ready right now, but before you make any changes to your house, give me a call so I can make sure you’re making smart investments.”
“It’s about making those buddy-buddy relationships. And sometimes you luck out and they are ready to go right now.”
When do you stop following up with your leads?
“After a few months, if I get no response, or they say, ‘Leave me alone, stop contacting me.’ Then I’ll say, ‘Okay, I’ll delete you.'”
How do you keep yourself and your team accountable?
It’s important to track not just your own activities, but also where your business is coming from. Sydney explains, “I ask every person I work with, ‘How did you hear about me?’ It’s important to track your numbers. I have a whole P&L sheet that I use to track all my sources.” Often she is pleasantly surprised to see that her calls were prompted from the follow up activities she has in place.
Keith Dunham, “We measure not only if you are in contact, but how many clients have you met with. Because if you are not meeting the clients, you are not going to close anyone.”
Keith shared that they use Line2, “What it allows us to do is put a separate line on your phone. You can see how many calls were made, how long the calls were, and it allows you to see the texts.”
The numbers can be revealing. “1 person did 7 calls and one did 44 calls in the same amount of time.”
“We had to buy a CRM,” stated Kevin, “It allows me to keep people accountable and make sure those leads are being followed up on. We track our activity through the notes. It’s not rocket science. We use the note system to ensure the agents are following up. Essentially they need to be taking notes and provide details about their conversations. It allows us to be more accountable, and in that accountability, it turns into more conversations and conversations as a result.”
“Having a dashboard is key. One where you can see where a deal is at. It has a lot of accountability,” continues Kevin.
What is the most important metrics to manage to increase the number of leads you convert?
Kevin breaks down the following as important activities to track and measure to be accountable to yourself.
Making sure you have touched your clients enough times, in ways that make you stand out from the rest of the agents in your marketplace.
Measure that you are in contact with potential clients
Measure how many clients you have met
Managing your pipeline (transactions)
Keith breaks down the following as most important.
“First, agents need to be notified of new lead opportunities.”
You want to be able to
Improve lead response time
Increase conversation rates
Know the status of each lead (hot vs long-term) to create plans for each
“[Then] you need transaction management to measure how busy the agent is. That’s just as important as getting leads to them when they need to be fed.”
What tools do you use to generate and manage leads?
Julia Hurley is a master when it comes to growing her Real Estate business. She grew from brand new to number 6th in her company using these EXACT techniques, and you will quickly see why she is growing so fast.
Here is her Strategy to WIN Listings on the SPOT.
Key Listening Points:
00:39 Tell them more on the phone but send less.
1:38 Trial close, go for the listing.
1:44 Take the listing on the spot.
Now your turn, what have you used that you have found has worked well for you?
Real estate team Nicolas Boles & Associates are set to grow their business by 25% this year. With 200 transactions under their belt last year, they are one of real estates fastest growing teams.
I spoke with Matthew Nicolas to learn more about their business and to find out what is driving their success. Fortunately they were willing to share their experiences with you today.
Based in Winnipeg, Canada, they are focused on being the best Condo specialists in their market place. They share strong values in providing superior service to their clients and as a result have established strong name recognition in their market place. Just recently Matthew Nicolas was named one of Canada’s Top 100 agents.
In order to sustain their growth Nicolas Boles & Associates needed a steady stream of Home Seller and Buyer inquiries.
With existing solutions in print advertising they turned to StreetText to help them with their digital marketing strategy. Today their pipeline is full of new prospects.
“We are really impressed,” says Mathew. “The campaign we are running through StreetText is generating the highest volume of lead inquiries out of any advertising we’ve done, ever.”
Having moved back to the river city of Winnipeg in 2010, Matthew quickly rose the ranks of Winnipeg’s Top Realtors. Within three years he was a Gold Medallion winner.
Reid Boles meanwhile had built up his real estate business with a trusted name and solid brand recognition. His attention remained on providing better customer service and negotiation skills than the competition.
Since combining efforts, Matthew and Reid have done an excellent job of turning their opportunities into clients.
“We have a real good track record in Winnipeg, that helps a lot. But ultimately it comes down to our systems and touches,” says Matthew. “We use Top Producer CRM and StreetText for our digital lead generation.”
Nicolas Boles are doing all the right things to build trust with their opportunities. They initially put in place a system to stay top of mind with their prospects. “We do a12 week program,” says Matthew. Each week they send a direct mail campaign, such as a post card, and an email blast through Top Producer. This system keeps them engaged with their leads, automatically.
With the 12 week program in place they were in a position to maximize their advertising efforts. All they needed was an effective advertising channel that could generate good consistent inquiries.
It was at this point they decided to give StreetText a shot. They had invested in print advertising in the past but were, “transitioning out of paper and getting into digital.”
Since adding StreetText to their business they’ve closed numerous contracts. Today they are getting steady inquiries from both Home Buyers and Sellers from their StreetText Facebook campaigns.
“On the Buying side we usually get someone right away,” says Matthew. “And on the Listing side it’s 4 or 5 months out, so we have to stay in touch.”
With their built in nurturing system, StreetText is the perfect fit for their business.
They use StreetText to create and manage their Facebook Ads, registration pages, and lead capture systems. By working with StreetText they’ve been able to create campaigns that take advantage of their unique city and maximize their targeting to attract Home Buyers and Sellers.
“Getting setup with StreetText has been super easy,”
Their team consists of Sandra Sass, an experienced and caring Office Manager, and Tori Rowinki, a warm and friendly Business Administrator. “We do everything in our office. Our team uses Top Producer to manage our clients and we mail the print campaigns in house,” explains Matthew.
“We’ve tried a lot of stuff, but with StreetText it’s an easy and straightforward system.”
Their nurturing system ensures that each lead they capture through StreetText gets at least 12 touches. “We are backing it up a with the direct mail and post cards as well.”
Furthermore, their brand is getting a lot of attention through their StreetText Facebook campaign. Matthew explains, “We’ve done conversions directly because of the visibility. Our brand gets a lot of exposure from StreetText through our Facebook page. We landed a pretty large multi-unit contract as a result!”
Nicolas and Boles are two smart agents taking their business to new heights. Today they are growing their clientele by utilizing the powerful tools of StreetText to attract clients and Top Producer to manage them. They are definitely agents to watch.
Most agents close less than a handful of deals their first year. Sydney Waits closed 15. In her second year selling in the Fort Worth area, she earned admission into the REMAX 100 percent club for agents paid commissions between $100,000 to $249, 999.
Her goal for the next year? Sixty sales.
Leads that became listings needed to be her focus.
So she turned to StreetText and the power of marketing on Facebook in her second year. Waits had tried other marketing and lead generation systems and been disappointed so her expectations were low.
StreetText set up her Facebook ads, a campaign to attract Seller Leads and the systems required to help her convert her leads. All she needed was a Facebook business page, which only took about 10 minutes to set up. StreetText then did the rest.
In her first month using the service, she picked up three listings. One of them was for $390,000 in a hot-selling neighbourhood, well above the average price in her area.
“I’d say that’s pretty successful, right?” she says.
She likes the control StreetText helps her target the right zip codes and instantly raise or lower her monthly budget. Best of all, she says, she feels like the StreetText team is invested in her success.
“I understand how the system works. I understand how to follow up. Every step of the way there’s communication,” she says. “I feel like they truly want me to succeed.”
Thanks to StreetText, Waits has changed her business model to prospect only for listings, not buyers. It improves her bottom line – she can handle more listings – and helps at home with work/life balance, giving her time to spend with her husband and two daughters.
When the leads come in, Waits notes they are more robust and easier to sort than those from other services, providing her with details such as whether the homeowner is looking to sell immediately.
“I can really hone in on clients in areas where I want to do business,” she says. “If someone says I’m selling immediately, I am calling them in three seconds.”
If she doesn’t reach them, she’s dropping off a gift — a box of brownies is her favorite — to win them over. That’s the kind of zeal Waits has for her business. With StreetText, that zeal meets its match.
Other leads are longer term. Waits puts them on a drip marketing system that spans 18 emails advising them about selling their home. It’s a simple equation. The larger her sphere, the more chances she has to be there when they decide to sell.
She’s become evangelical about the power of Facebook. “Facebook is by far my most profitable marketing using StreetText,” she notes. “The StreetText platform is amazing.”
She sold 30 houses in her second year as a real estate agent. Her goal in the next year is to double that production. She is such a fan that she’s campaigning for her mother to sign up for the service.
“I wish I had StreetText my first year in real estate,” she says. “StreetText is fantastic. It’s helping build my business.”
“Business is great! After May is over I will have closed on 5 listings that I got from StreetText. 4 of which are also buying…so that is in total 9 transactions that I got directly from StreetText. I am way backed up on following up on my leads. Have about 40 that I have yet to contact due to staying so busy…going to hire someone just to follow up with my leads.”
For any more questions, book a demo with our conversion specialists today!