If you ask the Marketing Department, every lead is a result of their efforts. Conversely, if you ask the Agents at the office, every lead just so happened to find their way to the Agent’s iPhone. So, to answer this question I will give two quick examples of lead generation situations.
A prospective buyer sees the newest issue of <your city here> Magazine. The prospect sees the advertisement for your Real Estate Firm and calls to buy a property.
A previous client calls an agent at your firm on their iPhone and buys a property.
In Example 1. The Marketing Department wins!
In Example 2. The Agent wins!
But wait… In Example 2, does the Agent win? In the book Never Lose Again: Become a Top Negotiator by Asking the Right Questions the first question is “How did you hear about us?” This question is of most importance to the Marketing Department. This question can answer what marketing dollars are being well spent. Additionally, a revision of this question can be asked of previous clients, “What made you call me?” Considering the client already knows about your real estate firm, what made them (a.) remember you out of all the other agents in the world, (b.) what was the call to action that prompted the client to call you?
Ha! In Example 2. Marketing wins again.
Marketing Departments not only create content to procure new buyers, but they also create “drip marketing” to stay in the forefront of the client’s mind. The moral of the story is, Marketing behind the enemy lines, creating an arsenal of marketing weapons to utilize on the company’s behalf to keep clients engaged and active. Next time a client or a prospect calls you, ask the right questions and determine where your marketing efforts are having the greatest return.
Marketing for Real Estate should not be one size fits all. Yet, many agents seem to think it is, and that the 3 P’s of Real Estate Marketing always apply to every listing:
Put up a sign,
Put it online, and
Here is a little secret… Real Estate Marketing is not a fixed expense for every property. If the price of the house and the real estate commission are perfectly elastic (for every increase in the price of the house there is an increase in the price of the commission), then why are marketing costs not weighted the same? I constantly see agents putting forth the same amount of effort and marketing for a $100,000 property as they do for a $1,000,000 property. The reason a commission is a percentage of the sale is for the reason that it takes more effort to sell more expensive properties. Thus, if it takes more effort, it should take more marketing effort as well. Each property is different and should have a marketing strategy created for each listing as they occur. I think it is great that one website syndicates to thousands of other websites, and there is a printed out marketing package that says that exact same thing. However, it takes more than a quick pic with an iPhone and uploading the property to the local MLS.
Before listing a property, ask the potential agent what specifically they are going to do to market your property differently than every other agent available.
One of my little brothers called me yesterday worried about whether or not he should keep his listing agent. I asked him a few questions, and he finally said, “I just think she’s too busy to list our house.” What?! Is this true? Someone is too busy to make more money? It is true, but not intentional. This is where I have developed a new law; it shall be known as the Law of Diminishing Marginal Listings. Looking at the image of the graph above, we see that the red line represents the number of listings. Additionally, the green line represents the ability to list one more property. The number of listings is increasing at an increasing rate, and will continue to increase into infinity. The green line, however, is increasing at increasing rate up to maximum capacity. After maximum capacity, the ability to list one more property changes the green line to be decreasing at a increasing rate. What does this all mean? Every Real Estate Agent only has the physical and mental ability to handle X number of properties at one time, and efficiently and effectively list/sell their properties. Once an agent reaches maximum capacity they are no longer providing a service; they actually become a disservice, increasingly, to all of their listings.
There may be a mathematical formula to equate the maximum, but there is a different maximum for each and every agent. The best way is for each listing agent to know what his or her maximum is, and make sure not to reach the maximum. Dr. Kimball said it best, “I don’t want you working at 100%. I want you working at 90%.” Why is that? Because people just get burnt out. There is no way for someone to work full speed everyday all day. Not possible. Even if they did, who would want to be around them?
The moral of the story… Ask your agent how many listings they currently have, what do they feel their maximum capacity is, and what can amount of time can they promise to devote to effectively selling your property. If you feel your agent is maxed out, then it may be time to find a fresh face in the game with only a few listings.
There is a rumor I heard once, that back in the day, the MLS (multiple listing service) was literally a printed book. Brokers would have to wait a week, or so, for a new book to be printed to see what new listings other brokers in town listed that week. Now everything is online and updated to the millisecond. But it leads one to think… If there are websites such as stumbleupon.com that allows users to jump around the internet seeing different and new pages while never seeing the same page twice, it makes me think that there may be too much content (I really don’t think there is too much). If an office gets a new listing, it just gets tossed into the MLS and pushed through to other syndications too. But, just because there is a percentage offered to outside brokers doesn’t mean that the outside brokers will search out to see what new listings other brokers post. Don’t worry, here’s my solution that has proven to have results for me.
Put on your “fancy” suit. (You know the one. The one you bought for an interview, but then never wore again after getting the job.)
Print out an executive summary or flyer of the property (Take your time and do it right. Use some thick, glossy paper from the local office supply store.)
Drive to your competitor’s office. For me, I chose the top 4. However, I now drive to the top 6.
Physically hand the flyer to the top selling agent or broker at the company. First, they will be glad to see your “fancy” suit. Then, will check out the time and effort you put into your listing flyer.
I have been doing this in my local market for a short period of time and have two additional contracts attributed to the distribution. I drive the market once a week delivering the flyers. It takes about an hour total (sometimes longer if the agent has an interested party). The additional contracts pay a commission that outweighs the one hour per week that I spent. Furthermore, when the other brokers are sitting at their desk my flyer is right there. The side benefit is the ability to show off to the other brokers on how hard you work to sell your listings.
All in all, don’t get lost in the mix of the never-ending content continually being generated. And, get your face back out there. So many brokers are lost behind their computer screen “working”. Get back out there and kick it old school.