Does Outbound Calling Work in Real Estate?

Real estate agents often ask, “does outbound calling work,” or, “does cold calling work?” The answer is at the end of this post, but first it’s important you know why. Real estate agency is competitive and has a long ramp-up period. New agents are super motivated and are eager to be proactive in order to drum up business. This means holding open houses for other agents, sending direct mail, and even picking up that ice cold sales phone to dial for dollars.  While outbound calling is  better use of time than additional training for agents, it’s not a good use of time.

Several years ago and before, let’s just say 2007 and earlier, outbound calling was still a fairly effective way of generating business. However, a lot has changed since then. The internet has become a huge factor in consumer thinking. If a consumer is considering a service or even using a particular agent they will go online and do some investigatory tail sniffing to see if they check out as a professional. This has created a major shift in how professionals and consumers meet. We’ve moved from sales-system oriented marketing to relationship-based sales. Social media and internet presence meet consumer research. Connections are made and quality informative content is delivered to consumers which often results in a sale. This is unequivocally a higher quality way for consumers and professionals to choose to work together. Consequently, it makes outbound calling look more desperate and less credible. The relationship model has has been naturally selected over outbound calling as the winning marketing strategy.

It’s not enough to just say that outbound calling is less credible as the reason why it’s not as good. It’s also important to mention that because it is an outdated method facing extinction, the conversion rate is worse now too. This makes it harder for the remaining die-hards still out there in the boiler room trenches. Will these outbound callers drum up any business through cold calls? Some might, but at painfully thin conversion rates which beg a bigger question – is cold calling a reasonable and sustainable longer term business model? The answer is simply NO.

Where Are Your Clients?

Where are your real estate clients? Are they offline or online?offline and online real estate marketing

There are two very important things to think about before you start on a real estate marketing campaign.

  1. What is your brand/identity
  2. Where are your clients

Brand/Identity is a topic for another day. For now we need to figure out where your clients are in order to effectively market to them.  So, this is what you do:

The first step is to draw a line between the online and offline world. Unplug your clients from the internet and think about the offline behavior of your target audience.

Where do they go when they are out and about? Are there groups that they are part of? What associative activity brings the community together and makes them a captive audience?

Schools are the most obvious example of a community staple alongside church. What about clubhouses or community events? The top agents in my community are at every neighborhood event promoting their business. When there isn’t an event they are sponsoring garage sales or promoting their local open houses.

Let’s go back online. When your target demographic is toying with the idea of buying or selling a home, how do they do it? Do they go online? If so, how would they come across you online?

Agents who have determined that their clients are online are very clever. They have an abundance of yelp reviews that mention specific keywords that relate to their niche.

They have a website dedicated exclusively to the local HOA with their info everywhere. These agents know that online clients do research and know what they are looking for. Top agents know these clients are looking up keywords that relate to housing tracts, schools district, HOAs, and other local niche words and landmarks.

What percentage of your clients are better reached online versus offline? You must determine this and dedicate a percentage of your marketing efforts to online and offline efforts before you draw up a business plan.

 

 

 

Listing Agents Can Insure Their Sellers

Balboa Seller ProtectionFinally, listing agents can offer coverage to protect their client. If you think about it, the seller is the most vulnerable party to a transaction. The brokers and agents are covered by their errors and omissions policy. The buyer isn’t disclosing anything, and as long as they can perform the sale they are safe. Plus, the buyer gets a one year home warranty to protect against common defects. What about the seller?

The seller is the party that is assuming most of the risk. The majority of claims are against the seller for not disclosing something or for some type of defect with the property that the buyer didn’t realize until after closing. The good thing is that there is a new insurance endorsement that extends the listing broker’s errors and omissions insurance to cover the seller against claims up to $25,000 for six months after the close of escrow – at no additional cost. This means that agents can offer the seller this protection for free, which is a huge real estate marketing advantage. Also, if the seller is really concerned they can pay $200 and have the policy extended to 1 year.

Once escrow closes, the listing agents registers the seller with the insurance company and then the seller receives a certificate at their new address. Sellers seem to be exceptionally grateful which adds to referral business. We’ve found that the insurance certificate has a more profound effect than the “thank you” card because of its lasting value.

Obviously, Balboa Real Estate offers their clients this seller protection coverage. We assume that there are other companies that offer seller protection, however, we haven’t identified them yet. If you are interested in offering your clients this seller protection or learning about our true 100% commission plan then CLICK HERE

 

Real Estate Agent or Consultant?

We’ve all seen the real estate agents that call themselves consultants rather than agents or salespeople. The reason is blatantly obvious, and a little cheesy, but there is actually a higher Real Estate Consultantlevel and deeper meaning than these real estate consultants may have ever considered.

Let’s face it, the title “salesman” has a bad connotation. People that are in sales squeamishly change their title to something like account executive, account rep., and the sales department has been rebranded as the business development team. Real estate agents would never call themselves salespersons on a business card, and to put their title as “real estate agent” strikes some agents as cold or generic. However, “consultant” is much more elegant. It just has a ring to it that that suggests a knowledgeable advisor.

Top producing agents don’t sell homes like most salespeople sell products. A home is an extremely dynamic and personal product, consumers already have in mind their needs. Their preferences surpass what they will ever tell their agent.

This is where the title “consultant” rises to more than just a better sounding title and becomes the true sense of the word. Good agents deliver high quality data to their clients and educate their clients so they can rapidly make a sound decision. They don’t push homes onto people like most salespeople push products. Facilitating home sales is a matching and information game.

Top agents do have the qualities of top salespeople because both personality types are often charming, persuasive, and carry a purpose. These qualities are just used differently.

Agents sell their brand and character, then they get down to business and perform the work when contracted. Salespeople sell a product and use their brand and character as reinforcement to make the sale.

All top agents make good salespeople, but not all top salespeople make good agents.

Please CLICK HERE  learn more about joining Balboa Real Estate

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Asking for Business?

Balboa Real Estate networkingI recently attended a focus group for the Irvine Company where they had a discussion on commercial rental properties. The attendees were either senior level managers or owners of businesses that rent commercial space. We all talked through moderated conversations about improving commercial spaces while our comments were recorded through a two way mirror. The reason I bring this up is because the ability to network was a recurring topic that came up as something important to these executives.  Going further, one business owner explained that he went to every business in his building and introduced himself with his business card – which actually resulted in business for him. He also mentioned that he attends all the chamber meetings and networking events like LeTip. Even though what this person does to network is not creative or innovative, he has a tremendous advantage over competition because most people don’t even make an effort to network this much. I couldn’t help but to ask myself how many real estate agents I know that network just as much as this person – and agents are in a much more competitive industry. The answer: extremely few.

 

Networking is a very plain, fundamental business concept that just about everyone knows is a good thing to do. However, it is terribly neglected. Real estate agency is a business of relationships. This means you needs massive exposure to people to form these relationships and build your network. This is one of the reasons you will see bad agents get business and good agents don’t. Top producing real estate agents know a lot of people and they ask them for business.

 

Do a self-analysis on your networking. How often are you meeting new people? What are you doing that is expanding your network base? Remember that it’s different then marketing. Marketing is usually a one-way form of communication. Networking is more engaging, mutual introductions, and an exchange of words. Ask yourself who your target demographic is and think of ways that you can meet more of them.

To learn more about our true 100% commission plan – click here

Real Estate Training is Overrated

One thing that all big name real estate companies offer as bait to lure agents to their company is real estate training.

Real Estate trainingThis is a gimmick, and here’s why:

It is a common misconception among agents that getting training has significant impact on their success. Generally speaking, training is a way for agents to act like they are busy doing something productive. It is easy to do, because training is force fed to agents by the trainer. The hard thing for agents to do is actually engage prospects and ask for business. Training, one way or another, detracts from the simple truth that unless a real estate agent is asking for and earning business, training is 100% irrelevant.

Certainly, getting trained on a few fundamentals is a good thing to do. However, it should be done in small and precise doses so that it doesn’t interfere with overarching goal of prospecting. Just remember that there is an overabundance of agents with knowledge and an overabundance of tools to help agents conduct a transaction, but there is a shortage of clients.  When you find a client that wants to work with you, there are other agents and tools lined up to help you through the process.

It’s important to train yourself on marketing because that will assist you in engaging with your target demographic. However, this varies greatly depending on what your niche is and involves trial and error as you prospect. Most “big box” training programs on marketing are sterile and too vague to really offer the value they advertise.

In the few cases where being trained on something becomes essential for your prospecting, there is a myriad of free tools from Youtube videos and webinars to resources with your local association of Realtors. However, rarely does training warrant the split or fees that most real estate companies charge with the justification of training.

For more information on our true 100% commission plan, click here.

 

 

 

The Purpose of Websites for Real Estate Marketing

Many agents have the wrong idea about the purpose of their real estate website.

There is an important distinction that must be made about websites for real estate marketing

Your website is more of a trust and credibility tool and less of a lead generation tool.

Website traffic competition for real estate websites is extremely saturated. The cost to be a contender and elbow your way in for a sliver of a market share far outweighs the return on investment in Balboa Real Estate websitealmost all cases. It’s not advised to try to compete agains massive companies like Zillow and Redfin and their crippling marketing budgets for search engine traffic.

A website for real estate marketing is one that portrays you as a professional and shows that you have your act together enough to have an attractive website. This is somewhere people go to look you up when they are doing internet searches on your name in order to verify your credibility and slowly build trust. Your website should be mentioned on your marketing materials and should be full of content that will engage your target prospects in order to build a relationship.

Don’t get me wrong, your website can be geared towards lead generation too. 

If you are determined to generate leads from your website then you would need to load tremendous amounts of ultra-refined content on your website that is geared to dominate a unique segment that isn’t already heavily saturated. However, their is a cost-benefit analysis to all this. Could the efforts and resources that are put into your website to generate leads be better spent on another form of marketing. In most cases, yes, but YMMV.

Learn About Our True 100% Commission Plan Here

 

 

Real Estate Marketing in 2014

Unique Ways to Real Estate Marketing in 2014

Balboa Real Estate – Real Estate Marketing Techniques

In Real Estate and many other facets of life, marketing is key to get anywhere. In real estate marketing many agents walk the well beaten path. There’s nothing wrong with using real estate marketing techniques that have been tried and tested. However in an industry where there are more agents than homes to sell, you want to stand out.

In 2014, it takes more to sell a home and the following tips will help you up your real estate marketing game, sell more homes, make more commission and thrive as an agent.

Make your property stands out. An effective way to get your property noticed is to create a website. Showcase the house under good lighting. A little staging goes a long way. Put some thought into your url and make sure to include information from the MLS. Make the website the go to source for potential buyers.

Be smart about what you pay for real estate marketing. Paid advertising platforms such as Facebook and Google are performance based and you pay per click. It’s better to utilize these platforms versus others that will not give you metrics. You want to know that it’s money well spent to bring in prospective buyers and you want to see numbers that are delivering clients to you.

Create buzz on your listed property by offering agents incentives. For the most part, no one turns down a free lunch. Offer a small monetary bonus to agents that brings your property a buyer within a certain time. This will not only drive more interest to you listing but will can help you sell the home in a faster timeframe.

Live by a real estate marketing technique of marketing and advertising that multiplies itself and not necessarily pays for itself. Keep all business cards and network with other agents. Send a postcard to past clients. Ask for referrals and keep in touch with agents and clients alike. Spend a little on postcards and Christmas cards to multiply your client base when you get those referrals.

Get on the social media train. One of the biggest social media platform of 2014 is Instagram. You can take photos of your properties, filter it and share it with your clients, other agents in your network. The best part of Instagram is that it’s an easy and fast way to market your listing and getting it out for people to see.

Join Balboa Real Estate. Benefit from one of the best 100 percent commission program in the industry.

Click here to read more about how to take off with Instagram for your real estate business.

Real Estate – Be in Business for Yourself

Be in business for yourself.

Be in business for yourself.

So you’re interested in selling homes and making a career for yourself in real estate. Sounds pretty easy right? It is if you know the right way to navigate this saturated industry. The key topic that people seem to forget with real estate is that you’re essentially working for yourself, not the brokerage nor the broker. You’re in business with yourself and if you want to succeed you’re going to do all it takes to market yourself and your business to turn this job into a career.

To succeed in your real estate business, you need to first formulate a business strategy. How many homes do you intend to sell in a year? When will you be ready to handle commercial property sales? Should you get a broker’s license after a few years in the real estate industry? These are some questions that you should be asking yourself as not only a real estate agent but also a business owner. Be mindful of your finances. Set aside a budget for marketing and advertising expenses. It’s good to set aside funds to invest back into your business to ensure that you can grow and thrive.

Secondly, you need to define what kind of business you will be conducting. It’s better to specialize in a location and type of property sale (residential, commercial, rental real estate), then to stretch yourself thin. In the real estate business, defining what your company is about and having a niche market is crucial to your success and longevity.

Another important aspect to consider when in business for yourself is that you always need to continue educating yourself and keeping up to date with new technology to assist your real estate business. In real estate there’s a lot of paperwork involved; make it easy for yourself and your clients by going green and keeping your transaction paperless. Streamline the way you do your transactions by using electronic signature technology. Be in the real estate loop by signing up for newsletters. Continuously search for new articles about the real estate industry, if there are changes to any real estate forms, make sure your know about it.

The last aspect to never forget when doing real estate and owning your own business is that you need to be accessible to your clients and your agents if you’re a broker. Having accessibility,  and a good phone plan will help towards your success in real estate.

Join Balboa Real Estate if you’re ready to start a career where you are your own boss. Work with us to keep 100 percent of your commission and grow your real estate business.

Click here to read more about marketing strategies.

Yelp for Real Estate Marketing

Dear Agents,

As we have said many times, successful agents have a branding niche for their real estate marketing purposes. They may conduct business out of their respective specialty areas, Yelp Real Estate Marketingbut they market their niche. We can talk all day about developing a niche, but for now let’s do a case study.

This particular agent (CLICK HERE) brands himself as the “downtown condo guru” which defines his niche and is not too exclusive because basically everything in his zip code is a condo!

He has twenty six  5 star Yelp reviews. I know from first hand knowledge he gets business just from his Yelp page alone. On the right hand of the Yelp page is a column, “People Who Viewed This Also Viewed…” One agent, has sixty four 5 star reviews. Unlike the condo guru, I don’t have firsthand knowledge of how well he does but I’m sure Yelp is a great tool for his lead generation.

Before Yelp and web-based tesimonials became huge many agents used tools from “By Referral Only”, a Realtor marketing program. One element of the program was to seize every chance you get to get a testimonial from every client you come in contact with. Then, every time you met a new prospect you gave them your portfolio of testimonial letters. The REMAX agent that was the Beta tester for the program had compiled so many testimonials that he would leave a phone book of happy client letters at his listing appointments. Who does the listing prospect choose, the nice agent or the other nice agent with 30 families recommending him?

Do you have a Yelp profile? Have you asked for reviews from your clients? For real estate marketing they matter.