I was impressed and inspired by watching this video of Ben Kinney speak about lead generation and creating sales.

Paraphrasing Ben, he says that if you aren’t successful as a real estate agent ..

You –

  • Aren’t Saying the Right Things … or
  • You Aren’t Saying Them Enough … or
  • You Don’t Have Enough People to Say Them To

I was really struck by the simplicity of this idea and agree that if you are talking about lead generation or creating sales from buyers, it really does boil down to these ideas.

But is there more to this business of real estate? (And I’m open to the possibility that there might not be.)

In my opinion, there are three ways to fail in the real estate business. The corollary of course, is that these are the three keys to success as well. For vendors serving real estate agents, these are our pain points, help us solve these problems and we’ll both get wealthy together.

Fail to Keep in Touch with Past Clients / Sphere

You’ve probably seen the numbers before. 87% of real estate consumers like their agent and would use them again, but in reality only 14 % actually do.

I have seen a bunch of variations on these numbers so it doesn’t matter what the percentages are as long as you learn the lesson.

Staying in touch, staying at “top of mind awareness”, is the key for referral and repeat business. It is the advantage than incumbent agents have over rookies and it is the foundation for most, if not all, of the real estate programs out there. (Millionaire Real Estate Agent, Ninja, Buffini, ad nauseum)

Facebook pages, recipe postcards, Home By Design magazine, monthly newsletters, email newsletters, annual calenders, fridge magnets…  these are the widgets we try and use to automate staying in touch with our sphere.

Most of them fail horribly. They tend to be boilerplate and impersonal. They fail to connect.

The agent who can nail down this problem will succeed and so will any vendor who can help them.

Fail To Successfully Nurture Your Leads

Ben Kinney instructs his team to use the phone to help get appointments.  New leads are given an amazing amount of attention “until they buy or they die.”

Most of us probably have a system of some sort for our incoming leads, but the yield is probably really low.

Is it because most of the inquiries “aren’t really that serious”?  I doubt it. It’s because we give up too easily. We call them once or twice and maybe sign them up for automatic emails.

The agent who wants to succeed needs to have a system in place to nurture incoming leads.  It needs to be adhered to religiously and it needs to be adapted for the long nurturing process that many real estate consumers need.  The more customized and personal it can be for the consumer while remaining unobtrusive, the better.

Fail to Actively Communicate with Your Seller Clients

In a booming market it was easy. Sign a listing, put a sign in the ground, take some pictures, and wait for the offers to appear. (Not really..)

In a slow market, successful agents are pulling out all the stops trying to market a home. Over a period of months this means repeating the same tasks, tweaking the messaging, tweaking the price, trying new things to get the desired result.

No matter how hard we work, this work doesn’t count if..

  • The house doesn’t sell
  • The client doesn’t know we are doing the work

I often get phone calls from frustrated sellers who are firing their agent and looking to hire another agent to help them. Their biggest complaint is not that the house hasn’t sold, it’s that they never get any updates from their agent.

  • Is the marketing working?
  • Is anyone calling or emailing about the house?
  • Why aren’t other agents showing the house?
  • Are other houses selling?
  • What did the buyers who looked at it think?
  • Is the price too high?
  • What can we do to entice more buyers?
  • Why aren’t you advertising more?

Do you have a system for updating your listing clients? How often do they get updated? Is this enough?

Fail to update your listing clients and they will replace you. Succeed and they will sing your praises, even if you can’t sell their home!

In my mind, these are the keys to a thriving real estate practice. This what separates successful agents from those going back to work a second job. These are the opportunities for vendors to help out agents with new tools and products.

What did I miss?