Unfortunately, many agents think that lead generation is not only easy but also the best way to build a business. The sad truth is that most truly successful agents rely on their sphere of influence or referral clients more often. That’s not to say that lead generation can’t be a great source for finding new clients. The big problem is that if not done correctly, this type of business can end up costing a lot of time and money with little to no return.
I have helped to build a robust and successful lead generation program within my company. We have made plenty of mistakes and have learned some valuable lessons. After observing what makes our agents efficient converters, this was created to talk about what agents need to be to succeed. Agents need to be TACKY. Timely, accountable, consistent, knowledgeable and yourself.
Speed-to-lead is the name of the game in lead generation. Today’s consumers want instant access to information, and they don’t care that you have other things to do. If you can’t give them an answer, they can easily find someone else who can. The “T” in TACKY can also stand for ‘tenacious’ or ‘targeted,’ as all of these traits will increase your effectiveness in lead conversion.
Do you have a follow-up plan in place? Are you really acting on that plan? Many agents need some sort of accountability to help them complete their processes. Some agents are better at holding themselves accountable than others. If you find you lack discipline, look for someone else that can help keep you on track. Lead incubation is a long-term game and you need stamina and commitment to make it work. Accountability can help.
The ‘C’ in TACKY is essential to this recipe for agent success. It can take 5 or more contacts to get a prospect to agree to work with you. The mistake most agents make is in quitting after a single “no.” The more consistent you are in your cadence and your messaging, the greater your chances increase to achieving your end goal. Keep pushing! Some prospects are as many as 17 months away from buying or selling their home. Lead nurturing is a marathon, not a sprint. The agents with a consistent plan for contacting consumers will win the game.
As a real estate agent, your goal should be to provide a wealth of information to your prospects. They are trusting you with their largest purchase and expect you to be the expert in the area. Your knowledge is what sets you apart from your competitors. It could be knowledge of the market, knowledge of the transaction process or simply a better understanding of how to service a client for the best experience. Make sure the prospect knows you are the best choice to stand out from the large crowd of competitors.
Finally — and possibly most importantly — you need to be yourself. People do business with agents they know, like and trust. The best way to achieve that is through authenticity. Win your prospects over by letting your personality shine through. Your past clients obviously liked you for a reason. Use that to your advantage. Lead generation prospects don’t want to be treated like a number. They are people. People want some personality on the other side of the interaction.
There is no secret formula to successfully converting leads. Some agents are lucky for a while, but that luck can run out. Other agents rely on a huge volume of leads and hope that they can sift through enough people to find someone that will transact with them. Most of the truly gifted agents can easily be TACKY as discussed above. The takeaway lesson should simply be “Have a plan!” Agents who plan ahead are generally more successful and usually less stressed. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Stephen Meadows is chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Premier, a regional brokerage with 16 offices and 250 sales associates serving Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.