Everybody’s buying leads these days – or at least, that’s what it seems like. Odds are you’re being bombarded with ads for buyer & seller leads, and seeing lots of statistics about how many agents are buying leads now – along with lots of complaints about lead quality & price. Is buying leads the new normal?
It doesn’t have to be that way, however. For over a century, agents have been generating leads without buying them from a lead-capture provider, and doing just fine despite it. In fact, smart agents know that the best leads come from traditional lead-generation sources, and not “lead factories” selling casual internet inquiries at a premium price.
Buying leads is addictive, though, because it promises to let you quit doing the normal prospecting & networking required to generate transactions the traditional way. It’s the “sugar-fix” of the real estate world, and just like a eating candy, the energy doesn’t last and it comes with a hidden price as it undermines your traditional business.
If you’re ready to break the habit, here’s our 12-step process to getting off the buyer-leads and going back to a healthy lifestyle of real lead generation that builds your business over time:
Step #1. Admit you have a problem. If you’re paying for leads, you lack the skill to create business on your own. If you have the skill, but aren’t using it, you’re being lazy. Lazy costs you money and creates further dependence as your skills slacken. This means the leads you DO get from buying them or anywhere else, you’re less likely to convert because you’re allowing yourself to be complacent.
Step #2. You have the power to create your own leads, for free or at least inexpensively. Embrace this fact. There are real estate leads everywhere, but agents who hide out and are secretive never know this. Start to kick your lead buying addiction by embracing the fact that you are a salesperson. You are here to help people buy and sell property. Wear your name tag. Talk about real estate everywhere you go.
Step #3. Correct any lead follow up issues BEFORE you spend one red cent on leads of any sort. Are you following up with Urgency, with scripts and setting appointments? Track your leads using our White Board Lead Tracking System as taught in Real Estate Coaching Essentials. Every single time we teach this, everyone has the same reaction; I can’t believe how many leads I have that I just didn’t follow up on.
Most commonly ignored opportunities:
- Sign Calls
- Open House leads
- Internet leads from your site or your broker’s
- Center of Influence
- Stuff you’ve been paying for for years and lost track of, especially online sources.
- 1800HomeHotline leads
Step #4. Implement the obvious lead sources and systematize them immediately.
- 1800HomeHotline.com (almost free at $37/mo) -Open houses on your listings or borrowed listings -www.AgentMachine.com (referral fee only) -www.AgentPronto.com (referral fee only)
- Dave Ramsey ELP program (Endorsed Local Provider). Note: they highly value agents who are in 1 on 1 coaching, that’s a fact right off their website.
Step #5. After implementing the above, commit to and embrace the free, contact- oriented but easy ‘prospecting’ opportunities. Identify 5 groups or clubs that you will participate in and contribute to. Be yourself first, yourself as a real estate professional second. Wear your name tag. Mix up the combination of events and attend regularly!
- Business Network International (BNI)
- Toastmasters.org (great to learn to be better at presenting and speaking publicly)
- BusinessNetworkAfterWork.com (in some areas)
- Women’s Networks
- Women Entrepreneurs / Hispanic / Gay / Over 55 / specialized groups.
- Non Business Networks: Use MeetUp.com to find your own interests.
- Volunteer work for the arts, animal shelters, sports, kids at risk, etc. Red Cross Blood drives
Step #6. Network with top listing agents (if that’s not you), especially ones with lots of listings and no buyer’s agents. Become their referral agent without having to be on a team.
Step #7. Use your BUYERS as the excuse to prospect for LISTINGS
Step #8. Know your new construction and embrace builder business. Use your local,
weekend paper to identify small and medium builders. Use your Pre Listing Package, tailored for builder business. Do a targeted EXPIRED search for ‘year built’ and the area only, to find expired projects and spec homes.
Step #9. Hold a Buyer’s Seminar, co-hosted with your favorite lender, discussing the impact of lower rates and the best types of mortgages. Require attendees to sign in with name and number so you can follow up. Be able to do a desktop pre- qualification at the event with your lender. Remember, some of those buyers also will have homes to sell.