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, Realtor.com, 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, Realtor.com 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!

3 Challenges that may Derail your Business in 2019

3 Challenges that may Derail your Business in 2019

I implore you to make plans now so you are ready to deal with the 3 major challenges you will face in 2019:

Shrinking Home Sales

Home sales were down by 2.2% in 2018 over the previous year. That’s not too bad.

What’s more concerning is that in December closings plummeted by 9.2%, pending contracts were down by 5.8%, and new listings fell by 5.6%.

This means the pie is shrinking. There are not enough homes to sell, and it does not look like this situation will improve in 2019.

More Competition

The Columbus Association of Realtors has now 8,404 Realtors, an all-time high. There’s more competition for fewer transactions.

Top producing agents will have an edge on part timers and new licensees. It will become harder for inexperienced agents to find new business. Both buyers and sellers will demand experience and impeccable customer service.

Commission Discounts

All full-time agents I know claim they are not “discounting” their commissions.

However, closing statements reveal a different truth. Even large, well-known teams are listing for less than 3% – they just don’t advertise it on the radio.

Technology creates some efficiencies in the office. But if you help desperate buyers find a home you will spend a lot of time showing houses, writing offers, and negotiating contracts.

My Recommendations

I suggest you attack these challenges head-on. Here’s how you will win in 2019:

(1) You must commit to become a full-time Realtor. It’s getting increasingly harder for part timers to deliver the experience and quality of service clients expect and deserve.

(2) You need the backing of an experienced broker or team leader. If you are just a number in a mega office and can’t get instant support when need it, you should switch to another office.

(3) Provide a memorable, exceptional experience to get more referrals from your clients. You must be on top of your game and constantly learn and improve.

(4) Market like crazy! Personal branding on social media is not enough to generate business. You have to be pro-active whether you invest in advertising or knock on doors.

(5) The best way to thrive in a challenging market is to find a niche and be the best (and maybe the only) agent to serve this niche.

My Offer for You

If you don’t have your business plan ready for 2019, I invite you to schedule a FREE Breakthrough Strategy Session.  

During this 30-minute session I will help you:

  • Uncover the critical challenges that hold you back.
  • Set business and income goals for 2019.
  • Show you how to overcome the challenges above.
  • Develop action steps to create a consistent income.
  • Inspire you to take action and stay on track.
How Uncle Sam Subsidizes Our Ski Trips

How Uncle Sam Subsidizes Our Ski Trips

Being from Austria I love skiing. It’s our national sport.

​Skiing is very expensive in the US. That’s why we try to combine it with business whenever possible and deduct travel expenses from our income.

Last week we attended the Executive Ski Workshop of the Self-Storage Association in Aspen, Colorado. We enjoyed great skiing with a little subsidy from Uncle Sam.

Why You Should Attend Conventions

I love to attend conventions and seminars. Here are 6 reasons why you should attend, too.

Travel Tax Free –Attending conventions is business travel, so you can deduct most expenses from your income (check with your accountant or tax adviser & watch the video below).

Combine Business & Pleasure – Many conventions are scheduled so you can spend an extra weekend and still qualify for business travel. You only need to spend 4 hours per day doing business. That leaves plenty of time for leisure.

Places You Want to Visit Pick – conventions at locations you would like to visit. Orlando is a popular destination for seminars in spring.

Education – You will learn something new to improve your business. It’s worth the registration fee. 

Networking –You always meet interesting and successful people when you attend conventions. They will inspire you to succeed in your own business.

Getting Away From the Daily Grind –Sometimes you just need to get away from the daily hustle. Working with buyers and sellers is stressful. When you get away for a week you’ll refuel and come back with new energy to tackle your challenges.

Are you looking for conventions and meetings to attend? Reply to this for suggestions.

Travel Tax Free

In order to qualify for travel deductions your trip needs to benefit your business. It’s important to plan ahead.

Watch this short video from the Bradford Tax Institute about deducting travel expenses. It will open your eyes to what’s possible.

I purchased their course after their CE class at Columbus Realtors in November. It’s an invaluable resource which I share with our agents to help them reduce their tax bill.

Have a great week!

Are You “Working Your Ticket”?

Are You “Working Your Ticket”?

The Boy Scouts have a training program called Wood Badge. It is an advanced course for adult scout leaders, based on leadership principles taught by some of the best-known business coaches in the world.

I completed Wood Badge in 2005. It was an excellent experience.

The course consists of 6 days (and nights) of live training at a scout camp, then you have to “work your ticket” before you earn the coveted Wood Badge Beads.

The “ticket” is 5 goals you set for yourself. You have to accomplish them over the next 18 months to complete the training.

The “ticket” is 5 goals you set for yourself. You have to accomplish them over the next 18 months to complete the training.

The term “working your ticket” comes for the founder of the World Scouting Movement – Sir Robert Baden-Powell. He was a British Army officer in the late 1800’s. That being said, when British soldiers finished their term of duty in a far-away county, they had to work their ticket to get home.

Create Your Ticket to Success

The beginning of the New Year is the perfect time for setting goals.

Here are my thoughts on the goals you should set and tips on how to accomplish them, so you can “work your ticket” to a successful real estate business.

Setting SMART Goals

There’s more to setting goals than putting your dreams on paper. Goals must be S.M.A.R.T.:

  • Specific – Describe the goal in detail so that you know exactly what needs to be done and how it will impact your business.
  • Measurable – Describe how you will measure success.
  • Attainable – Ask yourself if the goal can be accomplished.
  • Relevant – Describe how this goal relates to your business.
  • Timely – When does the goal need to be completed, because “A Goal Without a Deadline is Only a Dream!”

Five Goals for 2019

I suggest you set goals for both your business and your personal life. Here are 5 examples:

  1. Business Goal Complete 2 transactions each month for a total monthly gross commission of $10,000.
  2. Marketing Goal Send out a monthly market update to your sphere by email and in print.
  3. Financial Goal Save $2,000 each month for a down payment to buy a rental property at the end of the year.
  4. Family Goal Take your spouse and kids on an out-of-town trip every other month.
  5. Personal Goal Exercise 4 times a week and lose 10 pounds by July 2019.

3 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goals

Now that your goals are on paper you have to ensure they will be accomplished. Use these 3 tips to stay on track:

  1. Action Items for 1st Week You need to get started and take action right away. Write down exactly what you will do in the coming week to get you closer to your goals. At the end of the week commit to the action items for the following week.
  2. Vision Board It’s not enough to write down your goals. You actually need to visualize the results. Create a Vision Board with pictures showing what it would be like when your goals are accomplished and hang it on the wall in your office.
  3. Accountability Someone should check your progress and help you stay on track. Holding yourself accountable does not work too well. Pick an accountability partner, maybe another agent, your broker, your coach or your spouse.

Finally, I hope this short summary will get you motivated to start setting goals and make 2019 your most successful year ever.

Have a fantastic week and start “working your ticket”!

If you’d like to discuss your 2019 goals and how to grow your real estate business this year please give Kurt Novak a call at (614) 395-7375.

7 Critical Questions You Absolutely Must Ask Before You Join a Brokerage

7 Critical Questions You Absolutely Must Ask Before You Join a Brokerage

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us and the Buckeyes beat the team up north again, you are probably ready for the Christmas Holidays.

This is a time when many agents step back from their business, take a vacation and enjoy the profits they earned in 2018.

If you are reading this email you are probably NOT one of them.

That’s great, because December is the perfect month for business planning to make 2019 your best year ever.

It’s also a good time to take inventory of the highs and lows of this year. You may reflect on the value of your brokerage, the money you paid them, and what you got in return.

Shiny Objects & Tempting Offers

I bet you received a few tempting offers from other brokers to join their office. What got your attention? Low fees, 100% commissions, profit splits, stock options, new technology?

Brokerages will tangle all kinds of shiny objects in front of you to get your attention. But at the end of the day it’s all about you. It’s about the profit you earn to support the lifestyle you desire.

7 Critical Questions You Must Ask

To help you determine if a new brokerage will improve your life and your business, I put together a list of 7 questions you need to ask before you make a move.

Click the button below to download the PDF with the 7 Critical Questions you Must Ask. There’s no opt-in required.

Download PDF

​Do you want to find out how my brokerage – RE/MAX 24/7 – will answer these questions?

Call/Text us at (614) 395-7375 or shoot us an email at PLIGinc@gmail.com