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Follow-Up Is Still the #1 Reason Agents Lose Business
Deploying a strategic follow-up plan is similar to starting to go to the gym. In both of these cases, success and results are produced with consistency. One day may not bring about instant results, but one year certainly will usher in amazing wins. When it comes to refining and streamlining the way that real estate businesses engage with their spheres, many agents avoid follow-up because it's not the most fun task to do. It's likely that an agent will prioritize interacting with active clients over warming the colder leads in their sales funnel. This is one of the reasons why follow-up is still the No. 1 reason why agents lose out on business. To convert more leads and build better relationships with your clients, you have to be diligent, motivated, and consistent with your follow-up. Follow-up boosts lead conversion Follow-up is what separates the agents who fail from top producing agents. Agents who just want quick wins slack on their follow-up, while best-in-the-business agents who build longevity are dedicated to a scaleable, success-oriented follow-up strategy. Strong follow-up action plans are what allow you to tap into the goldmine in your database. When you warm prospects and continually follow up, you are more likely to stay top-of-mind with your leads. This allows you to retain your business opportunities throughout the entirety of your sales funnel — rather than seeing that they are far-off from their transaction, labeling them a "trash lead," and ceasing communications. To grow your business and maximize efficiency, revenue, and closed deals, you need to create a constant stream of leads that are cycling through the full sales funnel. You need to work your leads all the way through to the home run of conversion, not give up after the first inning. Pro Tip: Did you know that only 25% of leads in your CRM are ready to buy at any given time? Additionally, nurtured leads go on to make 47% larger purchases than those who buy immediately. If you're following up with the remaining 75% of leads in your database that are not conversion ready, you can create a sales cycle that continually generates transaction opportunities. If you don't follow up with the 75% of colder leads and only focus on hot leads, you're likely to hit a stall in your lead funnel once your current clients have closed. Strategic follow-up improves client experiences Do you want to create lifelong client relationships to access repeat business and referral opportunities? You need to do the legwork of keeping in touch with your sphere from first contact. Besides giving you access to more transactions to boost production, good follow-up also directly benefits your clients by improving the experience they have while working with you. Following up is like rolling out the red carpet for your clients. When you are communicating and sharing valuable information that helps them achieve their real estate goals, you are positioning yourself as a priceless asset to them. You are also showing them that you care, which is the first step to creating a meaningful relationship with your sphere. Following up shows clients that you: Have great communication practices Prioritize them and their needs Can answer questions quickly and effectively Will answer them whenever they reach out to you Will act as a strong guide when it's time to buy or sell In today's world where consumers expect Amazon-type instant gratification, transparency, and an open line of communication, strategic follow-up is becoming increasingly important for real estate professionals. 5 follow-up best practices to start growing your business According to a recent study conducted by RealTrends, these five follow-up strategies proven to generate more income are the activities that make real estate agents successful. 1. Marketing should target both potential new leads and former clients. Agents who market to both fresh leads and past clients see an average of 9% more transaction sides than agents only focused on networking with new clients. 2. Implement a systematic follow-up process for every contact. Agents who do not employ systematic follow-up average 22% fewer transaction sides than agents who have a formal workflow in place for both past clients and new leads. 3. Workflows for both former clients and new leads should use a mix of contact types, including programmatic and social media advertising. Agents who do not use programmatic and social media advertising tend to see 29% fewer transactions on average. 4. Aim for 10 or more touch points per person, per month. Making 10 or more touch points per month helps agents see 39% more transaction sides than their peers. 5. Invest time in marketing and networking to grow your database beyond the tipping point of 500 contacts. Agents with databases of over 500 contacts have an average of 25% more transaction sides. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown
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6 Lists All Agents Need to Succeed
Broker Bryan Robertson shares six must-have lists that will keep you organized, drive new clients and make your business run like a well-oiled machine. Here's Bryan: Lists can be powerful when used properly. They imply organization, impart control and enable understanding. Instead of a "to do" list, I'm talking about lead lists. Instead of trying to explain a complicated customer relationship management (CRM) solution or an expensive training program, I'm going to tell you the six lists you need to succeed in this business. If you've got these and work them right, you'll close deals. The 6 lists every Realtor needs to succeed: Your sphere of influence Your past clients Your "A" leads Your "B" leads Your "C" leads Business development contacts If you've got people in each of these categories, you've already got a good start. What most agents need—and seem to pay a fortune for with consultants, advisers and coaches—is the definition of who to put in each of those lists and what to actually do with the lists. It's not complicated, as I'll explain. Who is in each list? Sphere of influence: Friends, family, past colleagues outside real estate. Past clients: Duh! For new agents, this list will come. "A" leads: Anyone buying or selling in the next 90 days, who are preapproved and motivated. "B" leads: Anyone buying or selling in the next six months, who are organized, serious and seem loyal. "C" leads: Open house contacts, website leads and anyone "thinking" about real estate. Business development: Builders, lawyers, accountants, referral agents, etc. Just to be clear on the ABCs, a lot of agents waste time massaging and cultivating their B and C leads as much as the A leads. In a word: DON'T! This is a numbers game, and you will never convert every lead. Conversely, don't treat your "A" leads like Gollum treats The One Ring in The Lord of the Rings. That one client you really need to close is not "your precious." Clients can smell desperation and clinginess from a mile away. Provide good service, but balance your energies on other clients and prospects. What to do with each list? What's the reason most agents never do business with past clients? FOLLOW-UP! Even if they like you, if you don't reach out and touch them once in a while, they will forget about you. Don't take it personally, but if you don't send me a Christmas card or a "Happy Birthday" via Facebook, I'll probably forget you, too. So, the crazy, insane, ultraclassified secret to successfully using lists is... SEND THEM SOMETHING OCCASIONALLY!! There, I said it. That's the secret. The cat is out of the bag. I've blown it for all the top producers. If you follow Brian Buffini, then you'll send them something every month. If you're like me, I send them something six to eight times a year. Whatever you do, send them something so they know you're breathing and you'd like them to send you some business. Now, seriously, what you send them is up to you. Here are some specific suggestions, but you'll find dozens of options from every sector of the industry: Newsletters (short and useful) Personal notes (NO PITCH, just say "hi") Phone calls (NO PITCH, just say "hi") Emails (useful information) Gifts (something small) Appreciation party invitation Letters (yes, in an actual envelope) Postcards (the big ones) Are there other ideas? Sure. The point is that you send them things that are useful and genuine. If you treat them like just another cog in the system, they'll pick up on that. Read up on "mass personalization" and you'll understand what I mean. Just a tip: Your MLS drip for buyers is NOT a contact. That buyer probably gets the same stuff from realtor.com, Zillow and Redfin. Your MLS drip is meaningless. Send them something about the neighborhood they're looking in. That's useful and will get their attention. What is the business development list? Rather than paying for leads or hoping that the next buyer at an open house will write an offer, you need to be proactive. The purpose of business development is to CREATE BUSINESS. For the record, that doesn't include whatever advertising or marketing program you're running. This list includes people you talk to about frequent, repeat business. Let's say you want to sell trust assets (homes of seniors who die). You like working with the families and understand the process. You need to reach out to trust attorneys and promote your skills to them. Set up meetings and discuss what you offer. Build relationships with several trust attorneys and keep pushing for why you're the best agent to sell those homes. Another group is builders. As agents, you've got contacts on the lending, investor and builder side. Okay, put that to use by building a team of people to buy and develop properties. Sure, many builders have these relationships already—but then again, they may not. It's up to you to figure out what they need and how to cultivate the relationship. When do I drop people from the lists? Patience is a virtue and, unfortunately, many prospects have very little of it. Your sphere of influence and past clients are most likely to remain stable and grow. Those two lists should seldom see people drop off. The other lists will see people come and go regularly. Don't take it personally. Here are some thoughts: Spend one to two hours each day on lead generation and cultivation. Drop leads when they tell you they've gone elsewhere. Drop leads when you determine they're wasting time or aren't serious. Don't fear losing leads — generate new ones. Customer service and your lists The whole real estate business is based on customer service and how good you are at providing it. You don't even have to be great at marketing or sales — just ensuring the customer is happy can go a long way. Harry Gordon Selfridge is credited with using the phrase, "The customer is always right." His store, Selfridge's, was all about providing an exceptional customer experience. Keep this in mind with everything you do with the people on your lists. Make people remember you. Make people want to remember you. If you do, those lists will grow and grow. To view the original article, visit the Zurple
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What Are the Best Tips for Successfully Nurturing Real Estate Leads?
Whether from your website, social media, or even yard signs, not all the leads you get will be ready to move forward right away. In addition to the time you need to prepare their listing, sellers may need to make needed repairs and renovations and properly stage their home. Buyers might still need to get preapproval, identify their ideal neighborhood or, in times like these, adjust their expectations and budgets to find the right home for them. None of this can happen overnight. In fact, it can take a long time. According to some industry experts, real estate leads can incubate from anywhere to six to 24 months. It's important to think of leads like seeds: if you plant them regularly and nurture them with care, you'll have a steady stream of sales down the road. But what are the best ways to nurture real estate leads? Regular, reliable, relevant touchpoints A touchpoint is any interaction you have with your leads. Once they reach out to you by phone, email, or through your website (the first touchpoint), follow-up touchpoints are important to keep leads warm. Three factors are key: Regularity We are, by nature, a little forgetful. To be memorable, you actually need to remind your leads you're there. By following up regularly—but unobtrusively, such as by email—your name and brand will stay top of mind, so your leads won't end up working with someone else after you've put in all the work to cultivate them. Reliability Homebuyers and sellers usually have a lot of questions about the process. After all, it's one of the biggest steps and transactions most people undertake in their lives. They must trust you as a professional, and that you're providing reliable information. Brand your communications consistently, use proper spelling and grammar, and share useful facts and data. Relevance We're bombarded with information all day long. If your touchpoints don't speak to your leads' unique concerns and interests or aren't relevant to where they are in the sales cycle, they'll quickly tune out. To avoid this, provide the information your leads can really use: For Sellers: Staging tips, neighborhood reports, recent sales comps, and more. For Buyers: Preapproval and lending information, recommended properties, tips for picking a good inspector, or checklists to bring to showings. Tailored nurture campaigns Speaking of relevance, your leads should be plugged into tailored campaigns that account for much more than just whether they're a buyer or seller. Are they a first-time buyer, and therefore need more support? Are they a seasoned property investor or home flipper that needs a little less handholding? These two different profiles should not be receiving the same information, and your lead nurture strategy and tools need to provide the flexibility to speak to both. Customizable content Out-of-the-box content sometimes just won't cut it. A library of lead nurture content is important and can save you lots of time, but it won't reach its full potential if you can't customize it. No one wants to receive canned, impersonal emails, so make sure your communications have the human touch. At a minimum, you need to be able to address your leads by name and send content that is specific to their area and budget. The more customization, the better. Personalization tokens are an easy way to do this, and you need the ability to write and add your own messages to your campaigns. Smart automation You're busy! Manually tracking and completing these tasks could be a full-time job, but we understand that busy brokers and agents have a lot of other things to worry about. This is where smart automation comes in. Smart automation allows you to put lead nurturing on autopilot, so you intervene only when you can add value, like answering a specific question, hopping on the phone, or scheduling a meeting. Less tedium, more transactions! Tracking Finally, you need to be able to track your leads effectively. How many have you received? How many have been actioned? How many are in a specific campaign? How many have gone cold? With the right tracking tools, you can sort leads by where they are (or aren't) in your lead nurture workflow and act accordingly. Constellation1 CRM provides robust and granular lead nurture capabilities. Learn more here. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1
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