The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Breaking Down Lead Generation

3 minutes
Leading a meeting through glass
Joshua Smith May 22nd, 2020
Joshua Smith
Lead Generation
Making Money in Real Estate

It all starts with lead generation.

You can deliver amazing service to your clients, you can know the contract inside and out, you can know how to look out for your clients’ best interests, BUT if you can’t generate a constant stream of leads, you won’t have the chance to excel at the preceding tasks.

So, how do you generate a steady stream of new leads?

You have to start by acknowledging the importance of generating new leads. Every single day, you must make new people aware of you who were not aware of you yesterday, offer those people something of value in exchange for their contact information, and then follow up with them frequently. The essence of lead generation and lead follow-up.

Most realtors make two BIG mistakes make with lead generation: #1: They do not make lead generation a daily priority, and #2: They pursue too many lead sources.

A different approach:

#1: You must make lead generation a daily priority. You have to wake up each day with a plan in place to generate leads. Block off that time on your calendar. You must become intentional each day with your lead generation.

#2: Success is not found in doing 1000 things but in doing a few things brilliantly, thousands of times. Don’t try to focus on having twelve lead sources, but instead, focus on three or four. Do those three or four things constantly to become world class.

What is the best lead generation source? It doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is your consistency and willingness to generate leads day after day. The best source is the source you enjoy, and the one you will continue to use over and over and over. 

Identify your personal strengths, and then identify the lead generation methods that align with your strengths. For example, if you love talking with and networking with people, then try joining local networking groups and working those groups for new leads. If you are more introverted, and don’t like networking, try Facebook lead generation.

If you study all the top producers on the planet, they have different lead sources, of course, but the one factor that runs through the most successful realtors in the industry is a willingness to be radically consistent.

A magic lead source has yet to be invented. You must plan to win with consistency.

Your lead generation task list:

#1. Break down your personal strengths.

#2. Identify three to four lead generation methods which align with your strengths.

#3. Block off daily time on your calendar to intentionally work those lead generation methods.

#4. Go build a constant stream of new leads to fuel your success in the real estate industry.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

2 minutes
Would you believe it's a hand writing in a planner while the other hand holds a phone?

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Time Management

Joshua Smith May 15th, 2020
Time Management
Joshua Smith
Real Estate Advice

Time management does not exist.

You cannot manage time.

You cannot control the fact there are 24 hours in a day or 168 hours in a week.

BUT what you can control is your “choice management,” or how you choose to use your time.

Here Are Some Quick & Effective Tips:

#1: Wake up one hour earlier than you have to and spend that hour planning out your day.  What you are going to do? When you are going to do it? etc.

#2: Before you end each day, spend a few minutes reflecting on everything you did and see what you did that was not necessary. Then reflect on what was necessary to see if you could have done anything to be a little more effective and efficient with your time.

#3: Utilize a calendar and make sure everything gets on your calendar. Google Calendar is FREE.

#4: Create a daily to-do list. During your morning planning, make a to-do list of all the important things you need to get done that day. You can do it on a piece of paper or use a great app like Wunderlist. 

#5: Once you have created your daily to-do list ask yourself, the three items on your list that would have the greatest impact on your business. Make sure those get done as early in the day as you possibly can. Make sure the most important items get completed.

I know by doing the above tips you are adding more to your plate. However, anyone who takes the time to plan and reflect on his/her day does not have a time management issue. I can assure you, these tips will quickly become a massive game changer and something you can’t live without.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

3 minutes
Notes out in a meeting

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Standing Out

Joshua Smith May 8th, 2020
Converting Leads
Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

The marketplace is overrun with realtors.

What are you doing to separate yourself from your competition to make sure you stand out?

Not everyone is thinking about buying or selling at this given moment, so the ultimate goal is to offer those who either may want to buy or sell at some point in the future something of value and stay in touch with them to build a connection over time.

In the noisy world in which we live, we must think differently and lead from a place of contribution.

Let's think about For Sale By Owners. Instead of just asking/begging them for their business, what about offering them some free tips and tools that can ultimately allow them to be more successful?

The reality is, only 8% of FSBO’s are ever successful at selling their homes on their own, and per the National Association of Realtors, the FSBO’s which are successful, on average, sell their homes for 16% less than the average realtor listed property.

If you offer free tips/tools, you are establishing a stronger relationship over time. So, when the 92% that are unable to sell on their own decide they want to hire a realtor, BOOM, you are the first realtor they think of!

What if you offered for FREE:

  • An in-depth current market analysis report
  • A “How To Prep Your Home For Sale To Get Top Dollar” guide
  • A guest registration login book
  • A blank Association of Realtors contract
  • A seller's guide from your local title company
  • Some tips on creating social media ads
  • Some tips on lead follow-up
  • Some tips on holding a successful open house

This is not an exhaustive list, but rather some suggestions to give you a mindset of ways to offer something of value and become a resource. While other realtors are begging for their listing and telling them how they are going to fail, you are offering value and building a connection. So when they get to that point of frustration at which they decide they need to hire a realtor, you are the realtor who comes to mind.

The key is to always offer something of value in exchange for the consumer's contact info, and then you can follow up, continue to be a resource, and develop a relationship over time.

Keep pushing hard, and keep up the amazing work!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

2 minutes
Woman writing in a notebook while at a computer.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Mastery

Joshua Smith May 1st, 2020
Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate
Real Estate Advice

Mastery happens when eyeballs are not on you. It happens behind closed doors. It happens with extreme focus. 

You will not master your craft by simply working each and every day inside your real estate business.

Mastery happens after you put in a long work day, and you go home, and then practice your presentations and scripts over and over and over.

You will never go on enough listing presentations daily, weekly, or monthly to truly master the craft of your listing presentation. So you must practice it over and over. After a long work day, once you get home, after you spent some time with the family.

While your competition chooses to watch TV and relax, you choose to practice your listing presentation every single night for two hours.

This is how mastery takes place.

And here is the really cool part about mastery: So few people focus on it, so, once you do, you really have no competition!

Some absolutely critical items you MUST master inside your real estate business:

-Lead Generation

-Lead Follow Up

-Your Appointment Setting Scripts

-Your Buyer Presentation

-Your Listing Presentation

-Your Objection Handling Scripts

-Your Closing Scripts

Of course that’s not everything you must know about real estate, but the above is a list of some absolutely essential items you must focus on mastering inside your real estate business if you want to create success.

So start working on mastery and start creating MASSIVE SUCCESS!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

3 minutes
Looking and pointing at graphs on a table.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Making Money

Joshua Smith Apr 24th, 2020
Joshua Smith
Real Estate Advice
Real Estate Success

Realtors must perform three tasks to make money.

Of course, you have to do other things to make sure you get paid, but those things are not actual money making activities.

What is the difference?

Think of it this way: several essential things must happen to close a deal that you already have under contract, like ordering the home inspections, filling out an addendum, etc, but those things do not actively make money come in the door.

Money making activities are things you do which increase your production, that take you from having four deals under contract to having five.

The Three Real Estate Agent Money Making Activities Are:

#1: Setting Appointments. Includes your lead generation and lead follow-up activities and includes anything you are doing that leads to your setting an appointment for a buyer consultation or a listing consultation.

#2: Appointment Conductions. You were successful with setting an appointment. Now you must deliver a great buyer consultation or listing consultation so you can turn that appointment into a signed/committed client.

#3: Writing/Negotiating Contracts. Once you get the first two items on this list completed successfully, you need to lead the process to getting your clients under contract, which entails writing and/or negotiating contracts that result in an accepted contract for your clients.

These are the only three activities that lead directly to making money.

Some may say things like, “I have to write up this repair request form which is necessary for the closing to move forward, and eventually close to get a commission check”.

But that is still not a money making activity. It is nurturing business you already have. Yes, this action is essential, but it is not increasing the number of properties you have under contract.

Also, I am sure you have heard of the 80/20 rule: most people spend 80% of their time on the items which make them 20% of their income, and only 20% of their time on the things making them 80% of their income.

But top real estate producers understand the 80/20 rule and flip it around. They make sure 80% of their time is spent on what makes them 80% of their income, and 20% of their time on what makes them 20%.

If you want to become a top producer, you must spend 80% of your time, energy, and focus on these three money making activities.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

2 minutes
Group collaborating on laptop

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Website Essentials

Joshua Smith Apr 17th, 2020
Real Estate Advice
Real Estate Success
Website

Just like your CRM, a website is a HUGE asset to your real estate business, but unfortunately, most realtors do not understand how to be effective with a website and their online presence.

An effective website will allow you to brand yourself, generate leads, and build credibility in your market with both your clients and potential clients.

So, what are the MUST HAVE features?

#1: A home page which brands you as a real estate professional.

#2: A built in IDX/home search feature through which potential buyer clients can use your website to perform home searches.

#3: Pop-up forced lead capture registration on the home search feature, which allows you to generate buyer leads.

#4: Home valuation page with lead capture, so potential sellers can get a home valuation in exchange for their contact information.

#5: Blog feature with the ability to embed photos and videos (preferably YouTube videos).

#6: An about page so potential clients can learn more about you.

You can use a site with other features which can be a nice bonus, but the above are the most essential features necessary to turn your website into a branding and lead generation machine!

As you know, having a good online presence is critical in today’s real estate market, and if done right, will return a HUGE ROI (Return On Investment)!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

3 minutes
Collaboration with tablet and laptop

Creating Real Estate Success: Conversations Into Appointments

Joshua Smith Apr 3rd, 2020
Real Estate Advice
Joshua Smith
Real Estate Success

Consumers love to consume (in this case, buying and/or selling real estate), but they HATE being sold to.

To find success in real estate, your mindset must be to come from a place of adding value by leading with contribution. And know that once your contacts are ready to buy and/or sell, they will think of and reach out to you.

So, yes, more frequency than ever is required to convert leads into appointments; however, you do not need to resort to using high-pressure tactics. In fact, when delivering high-pressure scripts, you will end up turning off far more people than you are allowed to help.

The goal is to follow up frequently, lead from a place of contribution, and develop a relationship over time.

Let me give you an example:

My team generates a ton of leads and business by running Facebook Ads. These leads register on my website to unlock the ability to search for homes. Let’s say I just received a new lead who saved a property as a favorite on my website.

I would call this lead ASAP and say “Hi (lead's name), this is Joshua Smith with REVISITO Real Estate. I wanted to reach out, as I noticed you saved (the property address) as a favorite on my home search website, and I wanted to see if you had any further questions on that property, as well as see if there is other info/data on that home and area I can send you. (Pause to let them answer, answer any questions they may have, then try to set an appointment). I have some time this evening between 5pm and 7pm if you would like to meet at that home on your way home from work and spend a few minutes checking it out. Is that something you would like me to set up?”

IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember from Creating Real Estate Success: Lead Follow-Up, that the same lead will reject you for an appointment five times before saying yes. So, I am expecting a no and will then say, “No worries at all. If you have any further questions, or ever need anything, please feel free to reach out anytime! Have a great day!”

The goal is to follow up, lead from a place of contribution, try to set an appointment, and if unable, repeat the process.

As you can see, my lead follow-up is far from pushy, but I do follow up frequently with courtesy check-ins.

As the famous sales saying goes, “The fortune is in the follow up”. And I have seen time and time again that it really is.

To make your life easier and your business manageable, a lead follow up plan/system is essential. But the plan or system is not enough. You also have to execute. Please know that generating leads is not the main issue. Converting leads into appointments is a much more crucial step, and one that most realtors struggle with, as they do not have a dedicated lead follow-up system in place. 

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

2 minutes
Classroom Setting

Creating Real Estate Success: CRM Essentials

Joshua Smith Apr 10th, 2020
Real Estate Advice
Real Estate Success
CRM

A CRM is a “Customer Relationship Manager” and is a system that can help you automate your lead follow-up, stay organized, and help ensure you do not miss tasks. Your CRM might be your most important tool you use to fuel the success of your real estate business.

Statistics show that most realtors do not have a CRM. But even the ones who do don’t use it effectively.

The first place to start when selecting a CRM is with your budget. Like most things, you get what you pay for, but you must work within your budget, of course. The real estate technology world has no shortage of CRM choices, so I am going to focus on the critical features your CRM must have to boost your ability to succeed.

MUST HAVE FEATURES:

#1: The ability to add leads both manually and automatically into your CRM

#2: The ability to add notes to each individual lead inside your CRM

#3: The ability to organize your database with types and categories: Buyers/Sellers/Leads/Clients/Past Clients/etc.

#4: Mass email feature that allows you to send an email to everyone in your database all at once

#5: Drip plans, both email and text

#6: Auto responses, both email and text

#7: Manual and automatic tasks

These are the seven absolute must-have features a CRM needs to be effective. A good CRM is so critical to ensuring your follow-up process is followed (for more on lead follow-up best practices, click here), you stay on task, and stay organized. Once set up correctly, a solid CRM is a massive game changer.

If you do not have one already, start working on identifying and setting up your CRM.

Next time, I will discuss the importance of your website and the features to look for when selecting a site.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

2 minutes
Typing on laptop

Creating Real Estate Success: Lead Follow-Up

Joshua Smith Mar 27th, 2020
Real Estate Advice
Real Estate Success
Joshua Smith

The average realtor follows up with a lead within 40 minutes and only follows up twice. These numbers are just not good enough for any agent to ever be able to create a profitable real estate business. As you read in Creating Real Estate Success: Lead Generation and tracking, the average realtor only converts .5% of leads into a closing. More on predictable lead generation systems here.

But as you have demonstrated by your dedication to learn to perform at the highest level in the real estate business, you are not the average realtor.

Let’s now dive into what steps you can take to turn your leads into appointments and point them toward closing.

Consider these averages about lead follow-up:

-- You must follow up with a lead fifteen times before that lead will reach back out to you.

-- Each lead will reject an appointment five times before ever agreeing to meet with you.

-- Every consumer is sold to 2,000+ times each and every day.

You must be diligent about lead follow-up. I recommend, at a minimum, that you follow up with every lead 21 times in the first 30 days. You can use any combination of phone calls, emails, and text messages, but the key is to reach out 21 times in the first month of your relationship with a lead.

Plan to get voicemails and few responses. That’s okay and is expected industry-wide. You can only focus on and control your actions. So your job is to continue to follow-up via phone, email, and text until you can get a lead to respond to you. At that time, you can work with that lead to identify goals, expectations, and time frames for purchasing or selling a home. More on how to turning conversations into appointments here.

In real estate as with anything else, hard work and persistence are key.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

3 minutes
Man looking at phone with laptop

Creating Real Estate Success: Lead Generation

Joshua Smith Mar 20th, 2020
Real Estate Advice
Joshua Smith
Lead Generation

Only 7% of realtors conduct 93% of all real estate business.

The unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of realtors do not understand the amount or type of actions that are required to generate business.

But all is not lost.

You have come to the right place to learn how to grab a slice of the massive amount of business that top agents and teams are responsible for. There’s plenty of room for an agent who is willing to work relentlessly with the right tools and appropriate knowledge.

Perhaps the most foundational concept for building a real estate business is effective lead generation systems and data tracking, so let’s start there.

Consider these stats:

-The average realtor converts .5% of leads into a closing.

-Top realtors with world class follow-up convert 3% of leads into a closing.

So let’s split the difference, and say you can convert 1.75% of your leads into a closing, or basically one for every 60 leads. To convert at this level, of course, you must know how frequently to follow up with leads. More on how to conquer lead follow-up here. But you can do a rough calculation of the amount of leads you need to convert one closing, so you know how many leads you need to accomplish your goals.

Let’s say your goal this year is to close 36 homes. Based on the above conversion rate, you must generate at least 2,160 leads this year to hit that number.

You can them break things down further for more easy to manage targets. 180 per month. 44 per week, if you take off two weeks per year. You can even take it down to leads per day, if you would like. The important thing is to stay on track and make sure you are regularly hitting your numbers.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The only way to win the year is to win enough months. To win the month, you must win enough weeks. To win the week, you must win enough days. So every morning when you wake up, just think about winning the day. Every day.

Always break your numbers down so that you know if you are winning the day. Successful businesses, after all, are built on predictable and practical systems. And in real estate, lead generation is the number that fuels your growth.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

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