The Exact Lead Sources That Made 2019 the Best Year Ever

The Exact Lead Sources That Made 2019 the Best Year Ever

Today I’m going to reveal our personal home sales data for the first half of 2019. You will find out where our leads came from and how much we spent on marketing.

Where Are Closings Coming From?

This is the most important question you must be able to answer if you want to create a predictable business.

For your business to be predictable you need to understand the exact lead sources that result in closings and how much money you have to invest in marketing to earn your desired income.

Lead Sources for Closings since the Start of the Year

This pie chart shows the lead sources for all 31 transactions Susanne closed in the first 6 months of 2019. 32% of her leads came from previous clients, 19% were referrals.

Geographic farming is huge for our business. We generated 23% of all transactions from farming, both sellers and buyers.

The blue segments in the chart represent online lead sources, such as Zillow, Trulia, and Facebook.

Chime is an online lead service we use for buyer leads. They advertise on Google and generate around 60 leads a month.

What’s an Original Lead Source?

Most leads don’t convert right away. Many of our clients came from marketing we did 12 or even 24 months ago.

Often a referral can be traced back to a previous client who came to us through an online lead 2 years ago. That’s the original lead source.

As you can see below, farming and online marketing are major foundations of our real estate business. They yield immediate clients as well as future referrals and repeat customers.

Tracing our Original Lead Sources

This chart shows the original lead sources for 2019 closings:

  • 1/3 of our business can be traced back to farming (red)
  • 1/3 of all sales come from online lead sources (blue), and
  • 1/3 are referrals or previous clients (green).

What does this mean?

If we would not have invested in online marketing and geographic farming, our business would only be a third of its current size.

That’s Why You Must Invest in Marketing

Our results confirm that you can’t exclusively rely on your sphere. You have to invest in marketing if you want to grow your business.

How much do we spend on marketing?

Currently, we spend 8% of our gross commission income. That’s low. You will probably have to invest more if you are getting started and want to grow your business.

Why Your Broker Won’t Reveal These Numbers

​Your broker probably does not have these stats, because most brokers are more/less employees who don’t sell.

Do owners have these numbers and should they share?

The owners of many brokerages are also the leaders of the largest teams. They don’t want to share their marketing secrets with you – not even if you are on their team – because they are afraid, you’ll compete against them or split off from the team.

​We are different. We believe we can help agents build a successful business if they copy what we use, because it works.

Are you with a brokerage where the owners compete against you?

​Fortunately, you have options. Question is … are you ready to take advantage of them or keep suffering in your current situation.

Click here to schedule a confidential strategy session and find out if RE/MAX 24/7 would be a better fit for you!

Agent Insider Survey 2019 – Win Starbucks $$

Agent Insider Survey 2019 – Win Starbucks $$

As a productive agent you are probably busy with clients. It’s prime home buying season after all. This is only going to take a minute …

I need your help shaping the future of AGENT INSIDER (this email newsletter), so I can send you exactly the information and advice you are looking for.​

Here’s a short 6 question survey. Please click the button and complete it right now – it only takes a minute.

​​Let me know if the AGENT INSIDER helps you in your business. I don’t want to spam your inbox. I also don’t want to waste time creating content no one reads.

Give me your honest feedback on how AGENT INSIDER can be improved, and what topics you want covered.

The survey will only take a minute. And, you get a chance to win a Starbucks Gift Card.

Don’t wait!

As always, I wish you a productive and successful week!

We help struggling agents become top producers (without sacrificing their personal lives). Give me a call or text at (614) 395-7375 and let’s help build you into a top producer!

Should You Jump on the Opportunity Zones Bandwagon?

Should You Jump on the Opportunity Zones Bandwagon?

It’s Tax Day – an unpleasant day if you still owe money to the IRS.

To make your day a little more enjoyable I’d like to share my thoughts on Opportunity Zones (OZ), and how you could build a profitable business around this tax incentive.

What Are Opportunity Zones?

Opportunity Zones are low income census tracts. Most of the OZ’s are in areas that could use investment to improve the economy.

The Tax Cuts & Job Act created an incentive to invest capital gains in OZ’s. It works like this (for specifics go to or talk to your tax advisor):

If you invest capital gains in a business or project in an OZ, the tax owed on the capital gains is deferred for up to 10 years.

After 5 years you get a 10% discount and after 7 years a 15% discount on the capital gains taxes you owe.

If you sell your investment after 10 years, the gain from the investment is tax free.

This is a long-term incentive. It allows investors to defer paying capital gains taxes and profit from tax free gains in the future, while supporting economic development in low income areas.

Who’s Interested in Opportunity Zones?

During an OZ event at Columbus Realtors, Mark Lundine from the Economic Development Division of the City of Columbus said he never got that many calls on a single program from investors looking for projects.

There’s a lot of capital gain out there. And investors are looking for projects to put this money to good use, to pay lower taxes and to do something good for our community.

How Can Agents Profit?

Even without your own capital gains to invest Realtors have a unique opportunity to develop a profitable niche around this tax incentive.

As a Realtor you should specialize in finding projects. This could involve land development, older buildings for redevelopment, or simply properties for companies who want to move their business to an opportunity zone.

Here’s a map of all OZ’s in the State of Ohio. Figure out how you can market to property owners in the designated census tracts, possibly list their properties or represent investors.

Tip: According to this article by Zillow home values in OZ’s have skyrocketed by as much as 25%.

Will you pursue this opportunity? Reply or comment and let me know.

For more expert tips and strategies please visit:

How to Become a Successful Listing Agent

How to Become a Successful Listing Agent

If you are like most agents, you spend a lot of time with buyers instead of listing homes.

In this changing market it is critical to become a listing agent for leverage, profitability, and your long-term survival.

Why You Should List More Homes

If you are working with buyers you spend all your time driving around, showing houses, and submitting offers.

More often than not you are faced with multiple offers on the listing your buyers really want. You fight the bidding war and lose most of the time. Your buyers get frustrated after missing out and decide to lease for another year – another commission lost.

Most buyers don’t have to buy a home right now. However, most sellers need to sell.

Listings give you leverage. You can service more listings than buyers at the same time.

Most importantly, listings will attract both buyers and sellers to you. They are the perfect advertising tool for your business.

Without listings you don’t have anything to sell. It’s like you own a store with empty shelves.

How to Become a Listing Agent?

There are many ways to attract sellers. It’s important to focus your marketing on homeowners.

​The strategies that work for us are geographic and niche farming.

We target subdivisions with high turnover (geographic) or homeowners who are likely to sell (niche).

Mailing postcards to homeowners on a regular basis is still working well. Offer them a free home valuation. Homeowners who are interested in the value of their property may consider selling.

You can enhance your results with door knocking, open houses, and targeted online ads. Of course, consistent follow-up is key.

What You Need as a Listing Agent

Here are 3 “must haves” if you want to succeed as a listing agent:

Marketing Budget – You need to spend money to market to homeowners and generate listing leads. You also need financial resources to list the property, advertise your listing, and take professional photos and videos.

Listing Presentation – Once you attract potential sellers you probably have to compete against other listing agents. A great listing and pre-listing package are important. It will set you apart from the agents who show up to the listing appointment with an MLS print-out of comparables.

Well-Recognized Brand – Your chance of succeeding as a listing agent are 100 times better if you associate with the #1 real estate brand. Sellers want a brand name sign in their yard.

Before we owned our RE/MAX brokerage we lost listings all the time. Home owners who purchased multiple properties from us refused to list their home with us because we were with an independent brokerage.

Today, I have a special offer for you, but time is running short …

If you want to become a listing agent and want access to the best marketing materials and listing presentation and be part of the #1 real estate brand in the world, I invite you to join us before April 1st.

You can join RE/MAX 24/7 for $0 per month for the first 6 months and test drive our office.

I promise you will love it.

RE/MAX is not for everyone, but if you are motivated and eager to succeed, I will personally work with you and help you establish a substantial listing portfolio.

If you are interested in joining RE/MAX 24/7 give me a call at (614) 395-7375 and we can discuss how to grow your real estate business with a solid global brand backing you!

Part 2: Online Lead Generation – The New Conversion Strategy

Part 2: Online Lead Generation – The New Conversion Strategy

Online lead generation has exploded. Approximately 30 Internet leads are created for every real estate transaction in the US.

This means a lot of competition and a race to improve conversions.

Today I want to address a paradigm shift in online lead generation, and what you need to do to win in a world with too many online leads.

Traditional Lead Follow-Up Does Not Work

You’ve probably been told to immediately call any online lead that lands in your inbox. And to keep calling, texting and emailing every single day for a week until they pick up the phone.

I know many agents who do exactly that. Unfortunately, they waste a lot of time with little to show for it.

Here’s why this approach does not work in 2019.

Today’s customers don’t want to talk to you on the phone until they are ready.

Most of them won’t pick up if they don’t recognize your number. If they actually pick up and don’t know who you are, they are annoyed and look for a way to get you off the phone quickly.

The New Follow-Up Paradigm

The best way to determine if an online lead is worth your time is to let technology sort them out for you.

If a prospect registers on your landing page they should get a text and an email automatically. Then you keep sending quality content relevant to the lead – automatically.

Let them read or watch the content and wait till they raise their hand and contact you. That’s when you get on the phone, have a meaningful conversation, and schedule an appointment.

Inbound Leads Convert Better

​We’ve been following this approach for a while, simply because we did not have enough time to call everyone who opts in.

Prospects will sort themselves out. The ones who are really interested will respond to your texts and emails when they are ready.

When a lead replies they are ready to talk. That’s when we can call them and schedule an appointment. They are usually very motivated buyers or sellers.

Is the New Paradigm Profitable?

If you ever paid for online leads you know how expensive they are and that they convert poorly. You have to go through lots of leads before someone responds.

Can this approach yield a positive ROI with conversion rates of 1% or less?

It only works if you can get inexpensive leads. Zillow,, and Boomtown are too expensive.

The best solution is to run your own Facebook Ads and generate your own leads for less than $5.

Who Can Teach You Facebook Advertising?

Many gurus and coaches promote their Facebook advertising systems on Facebook. Here are four I saw in the past week:

Most of these services charge monthly membership fees ($299 +). You still have to pay for your own campaigns.

Here’s my question?

Shouldn’t your broker or manager teach you how to run Facebook ads and help you set up a well converting follow-up system?

If they don’t, I can help you …

We run Facebook ads and other online lead capture systems on a regular basis. I can show you how to set them up and what it takes to convert these leads.

The only thing you need to do is click here and schedule your FREE 30-minute Business Breakthrough Strategy Session!

Online Lead Generation to Quickly Grow your Business (part 1)

Online Lead Generation to Quickly Grow your Business (part 1)

Online leads are a hot topic for many real estate agents who want to grow their business. Over the next few weeks I will explain how you can generate online leads, the technology you need, how to outsource it, and how much you need to invest.

A Strategy to Break Out of Your Sphere

If you rely exclusively on your sphere of influence for referrals you probably sell $2 or $3 million, each year. That’s not bad.

But after your splits with the broker and paying taxes you end up with less than $50,000 – hardly enough to support the lifestyle you envisioned when you got your license.

To expand your business beyond your sphere you have to market to people you don’t know, yet. You either prospect, cold-call, door knock or network, activities which do not cost you much money, or you invest in advertising.

The Benefits of Inbound Marketing

I am a strong believer in inbound marketing. This means you invest money to “advertise” so that prospects contact you.

We’ve built our real estate business that way, and we are doing it consistently. So, I know from personal experience that it works.

There are many benefits to inbound marketing:

  • No need for cold-calling or door knocking
  • No need to stalk friends and family for referrals
  • You can leverage your time
  • Easy to systematize and expand

Why Agents Like Facebook Advertising

When it comes to “marketing”, many agents are attracted to online and social strategies. As you can imagine the gurus figured that out, as well, and they are ready to sell you their systems.

No other strategy is more popular than Facebook advertising. It is way less expensive than Zillow, or even Boomtown or any of the marketing platforms that sell you $100 leads.

Most solo agents can’t pay thousands a month for these platforms, so Facebook advertising seems the best solution.

If you want to learn how to set up your own Facebook campaigns, simply google terms like “Facebook advertising for real estate”. You will find countless services that help you run your own Facebook ads.

The Process of Generating Online Leads

There are 3 steps to generate online leads:

1. Online Ads You create an ad on Facebook, Instagram, Google or anywhere on the Internet to capture the attention of the viewer. The goal of the ad is to get the viewer to click a link.

2. Landing Page After they click the link, the prospect ends up on a landing page that offers something of value in exchange for their name, email and phone number. You could offer a home valuation, a list of properties with specific criteria, or a report on how to get your home sold quickly.

3. Follow Up System Now that a lead has been captured you try to contact them and stay in touch for a long time. This system is probably the most critical if you want to have success with online leads. 

In 2019 I noticed a paradigm shift in online lead generation which mostly affects the follow up systems. 

More on it next week …

Don’t hesitate to contact me with your marketing questions at (614) 395-7375. I wish you a wonderful week!