I know what you want.
We can dance around it, but the reality is that you want is more clients. I’m talking about a steady stream of cash-in-hand, ready-to-go, seriously-motivated home buyers, sellers, mortgage borrowers, and customers.
Don’t feel bad because if you didn’t want that, you wouldn’t be any good at what you do.
The simple fact is that new clients are the lifeblood of any business, whether you’re selling houses, refinances, alarm systems, tires, or ice cream.
But before you can sign up a new client, they need to first come in as a lead, or prospect that’s looking for information or representation before they sign on the dotted line.
But where do those leads come from?
In the real estate and mortgage game, the answer may seem a little nebulous, as we try everything from open houses to door knocking, newsletters to networking meetings, and plenty of marketing via the internet in an attempt to attract and convert a prospect into a happy client.
It certainly can become confusing as you try to allocate your focus, time, and budget to the marketing and lead generation methods that will yield the most leads.
Luckily, we have some fantastic information to help you do just that.
Here, I’ve assembled the findings from several credible studies and surveys of Realtors and mortgage lenders into one simple graph for you.
So, where do real estate professionals get their leads?
Top Listing Lead Sources
68% Contacts and referrals
7% Vendors and professional referrals (B2B)
7% Open Houses/For Sale signs
4% Internet leads and other paid ads
How about for home buyer clients?
Top Homebuyer Lead Sources
57% Contacts and referrals
12% Open Houses/For Sale signs
11% Internet leads and other paid ads
8% Vendors and professional referrals (B2B)
And mortgage lenders; I haven’t forgotten about you.
Top Home Loan Lead Sources
42% Past clients
2% Paid ads and services
1% Company or broker leads
Of course, this will vary depending on the market, how long you’ve been in business, your target demographic, “farm,” whether you have a team or are flying solo, and, frankly, what you like and are good at.
There is no one “right” answer when it comes to marketing or lead generation for real estate professionals, but I did want to point out one thing:
The top one or two categories for listings, buyers, and home loans include:
What can we learn from that?
The most efficient way to get new leads is to work your existing database, past clients, and contacts. There’s still no replacement for networking, building relationships, and the personal touch.
Of course, you can use social media, websites, email marketing systems, and other technology to network, expand your reach, provide value, and "touch" more people in an organized, systematic way (the exact reason I write and send out this blog you're reading right now!).
But please don’t fall for the fallacy that you can pay a few hundred (or, a few thousand) dollars to any company or service and they’ll do all the work for you, handing you a steady stream of new leads that are actually convertible and will end up as dollars back in your pocket. If it was that easy, anyone could be a successful Realtor or lender, and we both know that isn't true.
That’s a shortcut, and you’ll never find a seasoned, successful agent or lender who attributes their career growth to shortcuts.
However, we do know this:
Investing into your marketing efforts into your past clients, referral partners, and ever-growing database is the best way to survive and thrive long term – in any market or economy.
I hope you find this information helpful and, if nothing else, it will confirm what your broker or mentor keeps telling you.
Now the fun part: creative and cost-effective ways to reach those segments and generate new leads!
Contact me if you’d like to chat about your marketing or just exchange some fun ideas and strategies.
I don’t sell real estate - I just make you guys a whole lot of money!
The real estate market is set to crash.
It’s going to be 2008 all over again – or worse.
The sky is falling.
It’s definitely not the time to buy/sell,
or even leave your house for the next five years if you can avoid it!
I’m sure you’ve heard all of these lately, since just about everyone – and especially the media - seems to be sensationalizing a possible real estate bubble burst. Whether it’s true or not (it’s not), it’s YOUR job as a Realtor or lender to share accurate information and context with your clients so they can make the best possible decisions.
But without your voice of reason, this public misperception will turn into fear, and fear into paralysis.
So, how can you turn the tide of housing market negativity?
Here are 10 data points that you can use each and every day on social media, while chatting over coffee, and in conversations and correspondence with your database.
Read them, understand them, and personalize or rephrase them to make them yours.
10 Points to bring up to combat market negativity:
1. The economy may be in for a downturn or even Recession (probably around 2020) but this time, it has little or nothing to do with the housing market – and there’s still plenty of opportunity for buyers and sellers. In fact, home ownership rates are near 30-year lows (around 64%) with plenty of room to rebound and members of the massive Millennial demographic are starting to buy en masse.
2. People need to live somewhere and people will always need to buy or sell. The system is not fundamentally broken at all (like it was circa 2008) so the seesaw probably will just tip from a seller's market to a buyer's market, or find a healthy balance within. In fact, experts predict more real estate transactions in 2019 than there were in 2018 or even 2017, which was a banner year!
3. The other alternative is renting. But in most markets, rents have increased just as fast (or faster!) than housing prices. With rent, you also don’t benefit from tax deductions and capital gain exclusions, future appreciation, and loan principal paydown, etc.
4. Mortgage rates are still excellent. Historically, they are extremely favorable. Likewise, banks and lenders seem to be making responsible underwriting decisions with lending parameters neither too tight nor too loose, and we aren’t plagued by 100% financing loans, adjustable rate loans, cash-out refinances, and options arms, etc.
5. The Fed has been raising interest rates, and mortgage rates have climbed from all-time lows (3%+) to just-plain-really-darn-good (5% range). It's crazy when people see that as a negative since it allows the market to let off a little steam, making sure it DOESN'T keep growing too fast, superheat, and explode.
6. Our homes aren’t underwater! In fact, “tap-able” equity (over 20%) is up 21% over the high point pre-recession, and an astounding 48% of U.S. houses have at least 50% equity!
7. There is still more demand than supply in most major markets, with new home building, urban in-fill, homes that fit senior and generational family housing, etc. being built. In fact, economists estimate that there is still a demand for 2 1/2 million houses to be built.
8. So, you’re going to invest in the stock market instead of real estate? Get ready for a roller coaster ride and A LOT of uncertainty that even the experts can’t predict.
9. Just a year or two ago, everyone wished for a more balanced market with slower price growth and more listings. Congrats. Now you have it. Enjoy!
10. This might be the most telling statistic: a recent survey polled 100+ of the most esteemed economists, analysts, and experts with this question:
Will housing prices go up over the next 5-year period?
94% said yes, prices would go up,
2% thought that prices would remain basically neutral,
And only 4% believed that prices would depreciate slightly.
That’s more than 9 out of every 10 unbiased experts predicting positive price growth – doesn’t sound like a housing crisis to me!
So go out there and help some buyers and sellers!
Realtors and loan officers – have you set up your Google My Business listing yet? (Why the heck not?!!!)
As the top search engine in the world, Google drives more traffic than any single source, responsible for about 75% of all search queries in the U.S. today - including when consumers look for a local Realtor, mortgage lender, or any business.
Google has been around almost as long as there's been an Internet, but it has a relatively new platform that can do some pretty incredible things when it comes to expanding your reach and presence online. (We're not talking about Google+, which is dead as disco!)
I’m referring to the Google My Business page feature on – you guessed it – Google.
As a real estate agent, getting your NAP (name, address, phone numbers, etc.) as well as brokerage name, the area you serve, email address, and website, etc. are crucial, and Google My Business will help you do that – and way more.
And the best part is that very few Realtors and loan officers are bothering to use it yet, so you have a window to be ahead of your competition.
In fact, having (and using) a Google My Business listing can:
The best part is that it’s free!
However, it does take a little bit of time and know-how to do it correctly (you don't want to just use your home address, but set up your business as a solo practitioner at your brokerage address, etc.) so contact me if you need helping setting it up quickly and inexpensively.
Ok, let’s dig into the features and benefits of Google My Business:
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a convenient tool for businesses, organizations, and even real estate agents to organize, catalog, and promote their online presence across the Google universe. That includes syncing Google search, Google Maps, and more.
You can find the portal to get started at Google.com/business.
The powerful benefits of Google My Business:
By setting up and using Google My Business correctly, you’ll make it far easier for potential clients to find you, forums to connect with them directly, and ways to measure and optimize those interactions.
One of the main benefits, of course, is that your business will show up right when people are searching for your services or similar business in your area.
For Realtors, that may mean that when people search Google for "Real estate agents in East Sacramento" or "Buy a home in San Jose,” your business will appear in the search, complete with all the information you want them to have right at their fingertips – your name, phone number, website, email and even a flag on the Google Map. Amazing!
Since a Realtor's business is hyper-local (you don't care about showing up for home sale searches in Kansas, or even Los Angeles, if you're a real estate agent in Sacramento), Google's Google My Business (let’s call it GMB to save my typing finger) is a powerful and focused tool – and one that gives you a competitive edge over the 98% of other real estate salespeople who aren't using it.
Here is some information that GMB will document and share across all Google platforms:
• Phone number
• Website URL
• URL to make an appointment
• Business hours
• Address (Again, this can be tricky for Realtors, but there's a correct way to do it.)
• Company Logo
• Profile Photo
• Internal and external photos
• Virtual Tour (if applicable)
• Other social media links
All of these tools will be at your disposal – and more with their advanced function. It's no wonder why an estimated 39% of local retailers and walk-in businesses have already claimed and verified their Google My Business listing.
Do you need more convincing? In part two of this blog, we’ll bring you information about these 10 benefits of having a Google My Business page:
1. Your Google listing will attract a new audience via Google Search.
2. Your business will pop right up in Google Maps.
3. Easily manage your business information.
4. Gain reviews - and answer them directly.
5. Write and share Google posts.
6. Access user insights and search analytics.
7. Get a free Google website!
8. Offer specials, promotions, special discounts, etc.
9. Enjoy their Question & Answer feature.
10. Direct message your audience and potential clients.
Tune in for part two coming soon, or email me if you'd like help setting up your Google My Business listing.