It is almost time to look back at 2012 and ahead to 2013. The owners and managers of our group certainly hope you'll invest time in yourself by joining us next Thursday Nov 29th at 8:30 at the Marine Drive Golf Club for our Annual Business Planning Breakfast Session.
With the theme of these weekly emails being tech, I thought it might be a good time for you to review your tech efforts in 2012. How much time have you spent clicking a mouse or touching a screen (excluding direct communications with clients) this year? How much business did those efforts get you?
While technology can be great and make our lives easier, it can also be a time suck and worse yet, it can fool us in to thinking we are busy. So I'll ask the question again, but this time actually stop and think about the answer. HOW MUCH EXTRA INCOME DID TECHNOLOGY HELP YOU EARN IN 2012? I am not trying to be harsh here, and not by any means suggesting you throw away your iPad, but it seems more and more than Allison Sawyer and your Managing Brokers are hearing people say things like "Once I get this new app I'll...." or "I need to get more friends on social media" or things like that.
Let's remember that the power you have to influence people diminishes greatly as you move away from face to face to over the phone. It then exponentially drops off again if you are using one on one digital communication (direct message, text message etc) - And it is least powerful when you are broadcasting something that they just happen to be receiving.
So if you are an agent doing 12 or more deals a year looking to add new lead generation techniques to your business in order to increase your market share, look at all options, including tech. If you are in the category where you are new enough (or circumstances have made you lose focus) and you are doing less business than that every year, there are plenty of options you should be exploring before looking to tech and social media to bring you business (although spending 30 minutes a week to make sure you have an online presence would still be wise)
Let's look at some lead generation techniques we know agents are using. If you business plan for 2013 calls for you to make more income than in 2012 (and if it doesn't why not?) then you need to step out of your comfort zone and do things you haven't done in the past (or that you used to do but fell off)
- Sphere - It is hard work to get people to know and trust you, and then to think of you when they are buying or selling real estate. The good news is you already have people that know and trust you, you just need to remind them on an ongoing basis that you appreciate their business and look forward to providing amazing service to their referrals.
- Past clients - When was the last time you spoke with your past clients, on the phone or in person and specifically asked for their referrals? Are there people out there that think that you might be too busy or might not deal with the type of client/product they have to refer?
- Expired Listings. Make sure that you have access to the DNC List for any "cold" calls
- For Sale by Owners. Tom Ferry once asked a big audience at an event if they had ever driven by a house with a for sale by owner sign on the lawn. Almost everyone put up their hands. He then asked how many knocked on the door, right then and there, and about 1% of the people put up their hands. Talking to the 99% that didn't knock, he said " So you drove by, saw the sign, thought 'wow there is someone that could really benefit from my services' and drove away"????
- web leads - Your website should have a members only access to MLS info (VOW) built in. Techy or not, when you get a lead you should respond IMMEDIATELY.
- RE/MAX LeadStreet - same as above. When you get a lead, respond NOW. "Sorry mom, I'll call you back, I just got an email that if I respond to quickly enoough and work really work I can earn an extra $9000, gotta run!"
- Open Houses - Sure, those new to the business are doing open houses, but are you doing them well? Do you have information about the neighbourhood, sales stats, promotion about yourself, all to give to potential buyers? Are you asking each and every visitor that comes through if they are working with a REALTOR(R)? Are you building rapport with those that come through? Is your goal to pick up at least one qualified client at each open you do? Pro Tip; knock on at least 40 doors before your open inviting people in the area to your open. More than one will have questions about the market or the listing you are doing the open at.
- RE/MAX Events and Conventions - Sales Rallies, local conventions, out of town conventions. Talk to people within our group that frequent them, research a little and try to find a way to generate business from these. Those that do it, do well at it. However, it will have to be more than just a party... you'll have to work at it
- Your brand. What do you stand for? What do you represent?
- Causes - The Real Estate Board is doing its annual blanket drive build up right now. You could phone 500 people asking them if they have items to donate and I bet you that you'll even stumble on some business while doing good for others. Same with the RE/MAX annual yard sale for the cure, Children's Miracle Network and other causes.
- Foreclosures - In speaking both with agents who get foreclosures and bankers who give it, it is really as simple as making connections with the decision makers. Find out who is in charge of giving out foreclosure business at a few institutions and add them in to your stay in touch plan for 2013
- Developers - Find out who the decision maker is, fiqure out how you can add value and stay in touch.
- Business Networking - we have several agents who are part of a BNI group. There are any business networking opportunities including what Brian Buffini talks about it the Ultimate Agent Program... start your own! Visit local businesses and service providers and start a win/win relationship
- New to real estate dropouts. Outside of our little bubble of training and support, there is a high failure rate amongst new real estate agent agents. If you know of anyone who has recently left the business, see if you can help serve whatever clients they may have had. Again, pay a healthy referral and make it win win
- Marketing (in print and online) - This takes time to "stick". Have a plan and a budget and stick to it. If you spend all your budget in 2 months and don't get any results, then what? Stretch your budget to allow 6 months or more of a marketing program to get a feel for how it is doing
- Just listed/Just sold - phone calls, door knocks and postcards
- Media - Send information to the media. If you sell a property that is unique or something about the sales price is noteworthy, let it be known. If you do research and find something that would be interesting for the public to know, let the media know as well.
- Lunch - A great salesperson I know once said when asked the secret to his success said "I never eat lunch alone" He was saying that he saw lunch as an opportunity to build his business.
- Buyer/Seller Seminars - Feel free to use our boardroom here. Partner up with a mortgage or other professional and put on seminars
- Teaching and Speaking Opportunities - try to become a sought after expert
- Promotional Items - Trainer Danielle Kennedy said she never knocked on a door without an item of value in hand (and she knocked on a lot!)
- Any other lead generation you have been doing