It’s August, and the fall selling season is only a few short weeks away. If you want to maximize your production for the rest of the year, you have to carefully target how you’re spending your marketing dollars.
Don’t know where to begin? Start the process by pinpointing which lead generation activities are currently generating the most closed business, determining what activities need to be eliminated, and substituting at least one new source of revenue to grow your business.
Lead generation is the lifeblood of the real estate business. To effectively focus your marketing, devote 80 percent of your time to the lead generation activities that are generating the most closed transactions. Devote the other 20 percent of your time to unique lead generation activities that are seasonal in nature, are tied to local events or add a new niche for your business. Here’s what to do.
Which 3 lead generation sources are currently generating the most closed deals?
As I mentioned earlier, go through your closed transactions for the past six months, and make a note of which lead generation activity generated each transaction.
For the rest of 2021, spend at least 80 percent of your time and marketing dollars on the top three niches for your business. (If you’re not currently tracking this data, start doing so now!)
Marketing strategy No. 1
Hold a client appreciation event featuring one of your clients who has done something extraordinary for the community. If there is no one in your contact database, honor those in your community for their work with a local food bank, helping the homeless, rescuing animals, etc. Invite your clients who share the same interests. People are drawn to and want to do business with those who are like them.
Another approach is to gather pictures from newspapers and other sources that were taken 50-150 years ago. Interview a local historian about a notable property, and post it on social media.
Be sure to include real estate ads with homes for sale and their prices. Almost everyone enjoys talking about how much real estate values have increased, plus this approach helps to establish yourself as an expert in the area.
Is it time to add a new niche to your business?
The “law of attraction” says, “You attract who you are.” For example, if you served in the military, you will probably attract clients who have also served in the military. Here are four niches to consider that account for 61 percent of the total buyer sales:
- Veterans: 18 percent (2 percent are active-duty military).
- Single females: 19 percent.
- Multigenerational households: 12 percent.
- Senior citizens: 12 percent.
Marketing strategy No. 2
Did you know that both first-time and repeat buyers can obtain down payment assistance, especially if they are veterans, educators, firefighters, health professionals or work in law enforcement?
Down Payment Resource (DPR) aggregates local, state and national down payment assistance programs on its site. According to the Rob Chrane, the founder of DPR:
Down payment assistance is money to help homebuyers get into a home by helping them accumulate their down payment and closing costs. Down payment assistance programs are administered by Federal, state, and local housing finance agencies, nonprofits, as well as some employers.
For example, when my brother was preparing to sell his house a few months ago, I found over 25 different programs were available for his property on the DPR website. Those programs represented up to $125,000 in potential assistance based upon the buyer’s qualifications.
Your marketing campaign is simple:
Want to buy a house but need help with your down payment? Contact Jane Agent at 800-555-1212 to learn more
Set a face-to-face appointment as quickly as possible
No matter what type of lead generation you use, the first agent to meet with the potential client is the one who gets the business. According to the 2020 NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers, 67 percent of the buyers and 77 percent of the sellers hired the first agent they met with face to face.
Consequently, even if a potential client is not ready to transact for several months, make the appointment anyway. Your goal is to prepare them to transact. For buyers, this can include checking their credit report for errors, investigating if they qualify for down payment assistance or obtaining preapproval for their mortgage.
For sellers, review the steps required to prepare their property for sale, the various types of marketing you will use, as well as examples of before and after staging. At this appointment, you could take pictures of their property and then virtually stage it with a company such as BoxBrownie. This is a powerful way to secure the future listing.
Marketing strategy No. 3
Visit your current and past clients, and ask for a testimonial about what’s great about living in their area. Post these on your website, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social media sites where you are active.
Wrap up the meeting by thanking them and then asking, “Is there anyone else you know who would also be willing to give me a video testimonial about what’s great about living in this area?”
Every time someone agrees to give you a testimonial for the area, bring them a gift card or other small token of your appreciation. Once you wrap up, ask if they know anyone else who would be willing to give a testimonial for what’s great about living in this area. Be sure to send the videos to each person who helps you.
Three primary benefits for using this approach include:
- You are getting a warm, face-to-face introduction to a potential client for the price of a gift card.
- Most people will post your video to their social media sites, which puts you in front of a whole new group of potential leads.
- Google interprets these testimonials for the area as testimonials for you!
Understand what to eliminate
Unless one of the following strategies was in your top three revenue-producing lead generation activities in 2021, stop wasting time and money paying for print newspaper advertising, home books and home magazines. They generate virtually zero closed purchases as indicated in the NAR chart below.
Marketing strategy No. 4
Most agents track their revenue rather than how much they net after expenses. For example, if you spent $10,000 on internet leads and only closed one deal with a $12,000 commission, you only netted $2,000. When you make the decision about where to spend your money, always make sure you’re comparing net income, not gross income.
Also, here’s a bonus tip. TrueBill is a great site, in my opinion, that allows you to easily manage your money and expenses. You can use it to search for subscriptions that you may not even know you have. To locate these, search for recurring bills that end with 99 cents. This is a great resource to share with your clients as well.
Help distressed property owners
The foreclosure moratorium was scheduled to end on July 31, 2021, unless Congress decides to extend it. The Biden Administration recently announced additional assistance for homeowners who were still having pandemic-related financial problems.
The list of options is substantial, however, here is a summary of two key programs:
- Homeowners with government-backed mortgages (this includes FHFA, HUD, USDA and VA loans) will have access to about a 25 percent reduction in their monthly principal and interest (PI) payments. The goal is to help them stay in their homes longer. This mirrors programs already in place for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
- The Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) provides $9.961 billion to homeowners impacted by the pandemic that can be used toward making mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, utility payments and other specified purposes. These funds are available as an additional resource to the 25 percent reduction of PI payments referenced above.
Marketing strategy No. 5
With at least 2.1 million homeowners delinquent on their mortgage payments, one of the greatest services you can provide is to get the word out that relief is available. A current list of relief programs for homeowners, renters and investors is available here.
There are several ways to target the owners of properties where the owner may be having cash flow issues or be in default:
- Use ListSource to target homeowners and investors who are behind on their mortgage payments. Pricing is based on the number of fields you use, although the average is about $0.31 per lead. This service is provided by CoreLogic.
- Use REI Source to locate owners of one- to four-unit rentals who may be struggling with their cash flow due to the eviction moratoriums.
Here’s a simple marketing campaign that can be used for cold-calling, door-knocking and marketing in print, digitally or on social media.
Need help with your mortgage payments? There is help available! Contact Steve Agent at 800-555-1212 to learn more.
Or for investors:
Need help making your payments due to the eviction moratorium? There is help available! Contact Steve Agent at 800-555-1212 to learn more.
Use the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) site to locate the specific types of assistance that are available for any leads you generate. Landlords may be able to recover some or all the rent the tenants may owe.
One of the lessons learned from previous downturns is that any time you can help someone keep their property rather than face foreclosure or have to sell against their will, do so. It’s one of the most powerful ways to build your business.
The bottom line is that August is a terrific month to set yourself up for success for the rest of 2021. Take advantage of it by using the tactics above and make the fall 2021 selling season the best one ever.
Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.