The Secret To Lead Generation In Real Estate

In this week's episode, Jennifer talks about what all Realtors search for....the secret to generating leads in real estate.

Hello hello and welcome back to the women rocking real estate podcast. I’m your host Jen Percival and this week I bit off more than I could chew, which means today’s podcast is unfortunately a day late. I normally launch them every Monday, but last week there were just not enough hours in the day to get everything done.

But better late than never right?

Ok today we are going to chat about The Secret to Lead Generation in Real Estate. Now I know some you might be sitting on the edge of your seat, with baited breath waiting to hear about some underground secret that you’ve never heard before. We all wish there was some sort of secret method out there that by chance we didn’t know about, that is the answer to all of our lead generation problems.

Here’s the secret….agents have already been taught every lead generation strategy that exists, they just don’t like what they’ve been taught. That is the real issue. Everyone wants to find the magic way that doesn’t take time, effort or money. I’m here to tell you folks that it doesn’t exist. You are trying to find a unicorn and you are wasting precious time.

So in this week’s episode I am going to review all the ways you can generate leads and then I’m going to let you in on the secret to lead generation, which is to stop dicking around and actually pick one and just do it and do it well.

I’ve done a lot of one on one coaching over the years and the number one question I get asked, is how do I generate leads? So I go through the options that they have and it essentially comes down to three ways. The first way is using the old school methods like door knocking and cold calling and the response I almost always get is:

“Oh that makes me uncomfortable I can’t do that.” Hey I get it, I couldn’t do it either, so I get the resistance completely.

So then I would move along to their next option which is networking and online marketing and the response I would often get is, “oh that seems like a lot of work, I really don’t have time to do all that.”

Ok. So I would then say if that’s the case your only other real option is to buy leads and to invest pretty heavily in advertising.

To which they would shake their head and say “Oh that’s too expensive. I don’t have money to spend on advertising.”

I so wish you could see the expression I would have on my face when this happens.

Those are your only options to generate leads ladies. It’s either going to take time & effort or it’s going to take money. Those are your only options.

I wish I could tell you there was another way, but there’s not. So What are you willing to sacrifice to build your business - your time or your money? Pick your poison and then move forward and go all in. Stop wasting your time trying to find another way. It doesn’t exist and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you can start focusing and building your business.

Ok I want to give you my three mountain analogy to help explain this more. When you get started in real estate, there are three mountain’s ahead of you, each one bigger than the last. The only way to make a living in this business, is to at least reach the summit of the first mountain.

So when you get started, you’re at the bottom of it and in order to reach the summit, you’ve got a ball that you need to push up the mountain. We’re going to pretend that ball is your real estate business and you can either fill it with your time or your money. So as you’re trying to build your business you’re pushing this ball up the hill and it’s like a snowball collecting leads on it making it bigger and harder to push. Everything feels like a challenge and sometimes you’ll lose grip and the ball will start rolling down the hill backwards and you have go running after it to try and stop the reverse momentum. Like anyone who has ever tried to reach a mountain summit, it takes work. You will never get to the top if you’re just doing nothing and you’ll never get to the top if you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re pushing the ball around in circles.

Throughout your journey up the hill, You might have times when you consider giving up and you might need to take some rests along the way…..but here’s the thing, if you learn how to do it properly and you keep doing the work and pushing that ball up the hill, you will reach the summit eventually - which is what I call the tipping point, and when you do, momentum takes over and that big ball of your business rolls down the other side of the mountain with no effort whatsoever. And it keeps getting bigger all on its own, as it collects more leads on it.

Now eventually it will come to a stop and that’s what I call the plateau. Your business won’t keep growing, but as long as you’re doing a great job, it will sustain itself with repeat clients and referrals for awhile. However eventually it will start to deteriorate again if you don’t keep rolling it around to collect more leads on it.

Some agents decide to stay in this valley indefinitely and others decide they want to grow again - they’ve got their sights on reaching that third summit, so up they go again.

But this time your ball is too big to move it alone and in order to get to the top, you need help. This is when you need to start leveraging people and hire an administrator or licensed assistant to help you push that ball up the 2nd mountain. So this time you need to fill it with time AND money. This mountain is just as hard as the last one, but it’s even more stressful because now you’ve got money invested with someone helping you. But once again, when you reach that tipping point, that ball takes on a life of its own and generates more business with momentum alone.

By this stage the momentum is usually so strong, that you have too much business to handle with just one team member and you start feeling burnt out. The decision to transverse the third mountain is usually driven out of a need to find more balance in your life. So you decide to push that boulder up the third mountain, but this time you need a whole team to do it with you. Once you reach the third tipping point, you usually take on a role as more of a leader and are less involved in the day to day of selling real estate. In other words, you get your life back a bit.

So where am I going with this long winded analogy? Every time you have to climb the mountain to get to the next summit, you need to find ways to generate more leads to get you there and the only way you can generate more leads is to invest time or money or both.

So let’s talk about time first. To generate enough leads to get you to the first summit, you can invest your time in one of two ways - the old school ways or new school ways. The old school way is door knocking, cold calling etc. OR you can invest your time the new ways with networking and online marketing. But you have to pick one. There are no other options.

Here’s the thing agents need to understand and accept, both options are extremely time consuming. I mean how many doors can you possibly knock on in a day and what are the odds that one of those houses are looking to sell

Networking and online marketing is also really time consuming, but at least it doesn’t make agents feel uncomfortable. And from my perspective it’s much more efficient because you get what I call the compound effect. Your online marketing creates evergreen content that automates leads for years to come. Not so with the old school ways. You have to keep going out and knocking on new doors. Online marketing is like sending a little army of people to go knock on doors for you, for free.

If you don’t want to invest your time to generate leads or you’re not willing to, you only have one other option and that is to invest money.

Lead generation is literally that simple - invest your time either through old school or new school ways or invest your money.

So the next excuse I often hear, is “I don’t have time, I’m so busy already.” Well that’s great then, because if you’re so busy you must have money and it’s time to scale your business! You can either invest in hiring someone to help generate leads for you or you can invest in advertising. Again pick your poison.

Now if you say I’m so busy, but I don’t have the money. You either have a time management or a productivity issue. According to Inman, the average realtor should be able to do about 40 transactions a year on their own, before their production is capped. So if you’re doing a lot less than that and you’re feeling like you’re too busy and don’t have time to invest in growing your business, there’s a problem. Something is not computing. You’re either spending too much time on things that are not helping you grow your business or the reality could be that you’re not working enough.

One of the number one reasons new agents fail, is that that they had unrealistic expectations of what it was going to take to succeed. They underestimated just how hard they’d have to work to get to the top of that first summit. On average it takes realtors 1-3 years to get there and start seeing momentum. If you’ve been in the business that long and you haven’t reached the first summit yet, it’s time to re-evaluate your business to see where you’re going wrong. One of three things is likely happening.

  • You’re not working hard enough or smart enough with your lead generation
  • You don’t know enough people and you need to Grow who you know
  • You haven’t inspired know, like and trust feelings with people that you do know.

Sometimes it can be a combination of those three things, but that’s what it comes down to.

To dive into the first reason a little more, which was you’re not working hard enough or smart enough with your lead generation. It could be as simple as you’re literally not investing enough hours into your business. The general population puts in 8 hours a day, but ask anyone who’s built a successful business what their early years were like and I can promise you it was more than 8 hours. I’m not suggesting you have to do that, but if you do have to recognize the choices that you make and the implications of them. If you’re only actually working 4 or 5 hours a day, it’s likely going to take you twice as long to reach that first summit. It’s your choice, but you can’t have it all.

So what if you are putting in regular 8 hour days, but you’re still not getting the traction you’d like? Well you might not be working smart enough with your lead generation. I see this a lot too. An agent is randomly trying things with no real strategy or plan and they don’t really know what they’re doing. This is especially true with online marketing, If you can’t afford to hire someone to do it for you, you need to learn how to do it properly yourself. There’s a lot more to it than just posting on social media and boosting your listings on Facebook.

To better understand how you spend your time, The first thing I would recommend you do, is to spend the next two weeks paying very close attention to what you’re working on and how many hours you’re spending working in a day.

Ok moving along, reason number 2 that you haven’t reached the first summit could also be that you don’t know enough people.

Here’s my quick litmus test….if you don’t know at least 5 people who bought or sold this year, you don’t know enough people and you need to focus on networking to grow who you know. I think I say this in every single podcast episode, but it’s an important message so it bears repeating. Don’t meet new people with the intention of trying to get business from them. Meet new people for the sake of meeting new people and that’s it. Focus only on giving them value every chance you can. If you do that well, sales will be a side effect. If you want to learn more about this, I go into more details in Episode 2.

The last reason you may not have reached the first summit yet is this…If you do know at least 5 people that bought or sold this year, and none of them used you, you’re not building know, like and trust feelings. Now that can feel a bit harsh depending on how you take it.

Let’s start with the trust factor which is usually the culprit. It doesn’t mean they don’t trust you because they think you’re a slimeball, it usually just means they don’t trust that you’re experienced enough or assertive enough or something like that. If that is the case, there are lots of strategies you can use to influence people’s perception of you in this regard. There’s a bunch of stuff you can start doing and a bunch of stuff you need to stop doing.

The bottom line is that it’s time to do some real soul searching and solicit some candid, honest feedback from those that know you well. If you want to grow, you need to be willing to take an honest look at yourself and the roles you may be playing that are holding you back.

Alright to recap the secret to lead generation in real estate. The only way you can generate more leads is to invest time or money or both.

You can invest your time in one of two ways - the old school ways or new school ways. The old school way is door knocking, cold calling etc. OR you can invest your time the new ways with networking and online marketing. But you have to pick one. There are no other options.

If you don’t want to invest your time to generate leads or you’re not willing to, you only have one other option and that is to invest money.
You will have to buy leads or invest heavily in advertising or both.

So decide what you’re willing to sacrifice and then commit to yourself today that you are going to stop looking for the magic pill and instead you’re going to focus solely on reaching your next mountain summit using whatever lead generation strategy you’ve chosen. Time or money. Put your head down and go all in. Do this and I have no doubt you’ll reach whatever summit you’re going for, in 2020.

Alright that brings us to the end of this episode, thanks so much for tuning in and I will see you next week. Remember the more you learn the more you’ll earn.

Until next time!

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