Understanding the Home Buyer Journey

The buyer’s journey is typically a four step process that someone experiences every time they spend their money on a product or service. Whether it’s a real estate transaction or just a cup of coffee, the buyer’s journey is the same.

The 4 Phases of the Buyer’s Journey:

  1. Awareness
  2. Research
  3. Consideration
  4. Decision

By understanding what buyers are thinking in these phases, it will help you acquire more buyers and sellers for your business. The marketing strategies should target specific buyer personality in order to acquire more clients.

1.      The Awareness Phase

Your Prospect is going to always start in the awareness phase. This is the phase when a prospect realizes they need to take some type of action. Whether that be buying or selling a home.

Now, we need to determine what type of events would motivate someone to buy or sell a home.

Here are some common buying and selling “motives”:

  1. Start a Well Paying Career = First Time Home Buyer
  2. Newly Weds = Upsizing
  3. Additions to the Family = Upsizing
  4. Divorces = Selling a House or Downsizing
  5. Retirement = Downsizing

It’s important to be at the top of the prospects mind, or more important, their eyes, before these events occur!

A prospect will need to go through the awareness phase alone. According to studies done by NAR, prospects will think of one agent, or only be referred one and typically moves forward with that one agent.

How to Market to Buyers in the Awareness Phase

Come up with a reason to build relationships and connect with homeowners and influencers before they need you. Influencers are people like local business owners, home service professionals, and directors of non-profits. Have something of value to give them. You can earn their attention and time, and build a relationship that leads acquiring more leads.

2.      The Research Phase

The research phase tends to be the longest phase in the buyer’s journey. This also tends to be the phase where more homeowners will find their a few agents that grab their attention.

Power Tip: As the price of the product increases, the time a buyer will be in the research phase increases.

When the buyer is in this phase, of the buyer’s journey, they are actively looking for property and neighborhood information. If they intend on selling, some research topics might include:

  1. Recently Sold Homes
  2. Benefits Of Using a Real Estate
  3. Home Renovation
  4. Local Real Estate Experts

How to Market to Buyers in the Research Phase

Content is King! By establishing a web presence with a lot of content about properties and neighborhood information, they can grab the attention of prospects during the research phase.

3.      The Consideration Phase

In this particular phase the prospect already has a list of properties they’re already interested in. This is also the phase where they’re moving forward with a realtor from a relationship or a referral. If they haven’t found one yet, they will be scheduling an interview and ‘consider’.

Most agents lose prospects during this phase because they struggle to grab prospects attention during the research phase. This can also be due to the lack of relationships with influencers who could refer them.

By investing your time in content marketing you can grab more prospects during the research phase.

Power Tip: Provide value to your clients in all of your follow up touches. Some value added tips are:

  • Real Estate Market Reports
  • Neighborhood Guides
  • Buyer Tips
  • Seller Tips
  • Recently Sold Information

The best thing you can do when following up is to connect people to one another.

4.      The Decision Phase

This is the phase when a prospect has narrowed in on their real estate agent. This is the phase where you actually convert the prospect into your client.

How to Market to Buyers in the Decision Phase

Most agent think that the laws of marketing don’t apply to the decision phase, but that’s wrong! It can be very effective if you know what you’re doing.

You’re trying to convert the prospect into a client, so if they’re pleased with your presentation and execution of your offer, they’re more likely to ‘decide’ to work with your company!

8 Ways to Use Social Media to Generate More Mortgage Leads

Social Media gives LO’s so many ways to promote, prospect, and close prospective clients every single day. The best part about using social media is that it’s free! Imagine being able to get 5–6 more deals per month just because of your presence on Social Media! It’s time you start taking social media seriously and start closing more deals!

Here are 8 ways to generate more leads using social media platforms.

1. Real Estate Groups:

Facebook and LinkedIn are filled with real estate groups with agents from all over the world. By engaging more people in real estate groups, you can develop relationships with hundreds of agents and convert those strangers into clients!

2. Send DMs Connect with Past Clients:

I am a firm believer that you should be Facebook friends with every client that you close. After you close a loan, send them a PERSONAL Facebook friend request. Then, every once-in-a-while, check in with them and see how they’re doing. Use this opportunity to find more ways to provide them with value and ask for referrals.

3. Searching Hashtags:

Realtors love using hashtags for all of their social media posts. You can search hashtags like #realestate or search hashtags in your city like #annarborrealestate. Hashtags work for most social media platforms and by searching hashtags on each platform, it’ll give you an opportunity to prospect more agents. My favorite platform to search hashtags is Twitter Search: (CLICK HERE TO VIEW)

4. Sharing Real Estate Agent’s Listings:

When you finally connect with an agent and see them promote their nice new listing, sharing it with your audience for them can provide them with a lot of value. This lets the agent know that you’re trying to help them increase their property’s exposure. Plus your friends might see the listing and ask you get them a loan for it.

5. Garage Sale Groups:

A garage sale is what agent’s like to call a “trip wire”. A trip wire will send a signal to your base to inform you that someone is in your area. In many cases, a garage sale is a signal that the homeowner is about to move. Asking people why their having a garage sale is the key to acquiring prospects out of these types of groups.

6. 3 x 30 Method:

The 3 x 30 method is a simple way to prospect 90 people each month, without being pushy, super awkward or creepy. Each do, for 30 days, comment on one agent’s post, leave a post on another agent’s wall and send another agent a DM. If you can do these 3 things for 30 days, you’ll have connected with 90 agents.

7. Creating Videos:

Everyone knows that videos are king on most social media platforms, especially live ones. Videos can get so much exposure and engagement on social media platforms. It’s the new public speaking! When you step out of your comfort zone and start using video to attract, educate, and close prospects on social media, you’re utilizing the most marketing tool available.

8. Sharing Pictures from Closing:

After you close a loan, ask the family to take a picture of them with the papers or a “Just Bought a House” sign, and have them send it to you. Post the picture and tag your clients and the real estate agent. When you create the post, be sure to add a call to action at the end. Something like “If you want to be as happy as the Steven’s, fill out an application at….”

By utilizing the most effective marketing tools every single day, you can start closing enough deals to completely change your life. It doesn’t take a lot of time and costs literally nothing to do. By putting in this extra work, you can go from closing 20–30 loans per month to 35–50 loans.

Do you have other ideas on how to use social media to close more loans? Please comment them below!

Start Generating Referrals and New Clients from Open Houses

In this article, I’m going to share with you a formula that can generate more referrals and new clients from your open houses. Even if you don’t have an active listing, you can still use this information to grow your business.

Stage One: What You’ll Need

First, you need to find an active listing that has an open houses scheduled. If you don’t have a listing, ask other agents in your brokerage if you can host their open house. Many times, agents in your brokerage might have multiple showings on the weekend. If you can, try to go for listings in popular areas where the market is active.

It’s imperative that you have a Facebook page where you can post the active listing and promote that listing to home owners in your target market using Facebook detailed targeting.

A dedicated landing page might be one of the most important things to capture incoming open house leads. Your IDX listing page on your website will work great. Make sure that the landing page has an RSVP option or a form to submit more information in case the user is interested in the property.

Stage Two: Target Audience

When promoting your Open House, selecting an audience is the most important step. To maximize every dollar you spend on Facebook marketing, you need to target your ideal audience.

Feel free to follow these steps to create the perfect target audience:

  • When you create the campaign, make sure you’re target objective is for “link clicks”.
  • Remember, you’re trying to pull them off of Facebook and to your landing page.
  • Make sure to narrow the target location to the area around the open house location.
  • Under the “detailed targeting” search bar, target first-time home buyers, likely to move (behaviors), recently married, renters, and new parents.

Now, make sure to use a professional image of the property with details of your open house. Test the link and assure that the landing page is working properly.

Stage Three: Retargeting Users to Your Open House Landing Page

Now, you’ve launched your open house campaign and Facebook has approved the ad, it’s time to retarget that target audience. Launch a separate campaign with the campaign objective set to “brand awareness”. This is meant to retarget those who have visited your landing page, so they keep seeing your open house ad.

Power Tip: Avoid any location targeting for the retargeting advertisements.

Stage Four: Nurturing Your Incoming Leads

The last stage of this advertising puzzle is to nurture your leads from your retargeting advertisements. Connect your CRM with your lead form and add them to a separate list.

Lead Nurture Power Tip: Always, always, always, avoid straight sales pitch in the beginning of your drip campaigns.

Here are some examples of Content for Drip Emails:

  • Confirming their open house appointment
  • Adding them to your monthly newsletter
  • Post open house questions/ survey
  • Article informing buyers on how to maximize an open house
  • Soft sales email
  • Generic article about the real estate market in your target area

By following these four stages, you will start generating new clients from your open house marketing. Your goal should be to target 1 open house per week and scale it back from there.

Open houses allow you to grow your database and sphere of influence dramatically!

The Perfect Cold Calling Tips for Agents Who Hate Cold Calling

“Cold calling”, words that make every real estate agent cringe. Well, that stops today! I’m going to share with you cold calling tips that can turn your cold calling into an effective lead generation strategy.

Here we go!

When you’re cold calling prospective buyers and sellers, it’s not what you say that is most important, it’s how you say it! A prospect can sense your tone of voice right away, how you express yourself on a cold call is a direct reflection of 3 key variables.

  1. Confidence
  2. Preparation
  3. Enthusiasm

Always be enthusiastic on the phone! Smile when you hear the first ring and continue smiling when the customer answers the phone. Your prospect can sense the tone immediately! By combining an enthusiastic tone and your unwavering confidence in the value of what you’re offering, you’ll have the confidence to initiate more conversation and handle more objections.

5 Reasons Why Your Cold Calling Isn’t Working

1. Poor Energy

By not sounding enthusiastic, your prospect will lose faith in what you’re selling. By not projecting passion in what you’re offering, the prospect won’t find integrity in what you’re saying. Or, sometimes you might be too aggressive with how you’re speaking, this may deter the prospect to what you’re offering.

2. Lack of Consistency

We’ve all heard it, “practice makes perfect”. You’re going to experience some awkward conversations at first, but you won’t develop a rhythm without daily practice. A great way to stay consistent is to set a schedule for cold calling and aim for a target number of daily phone calls. I recommend up to 25–30 phone calls per day. You have to remember that you won’t connect with everyone you call, so make each connection count!

3. Lack of Preparation

When you fumble your words, mispronounce things and have awkward pauses, you’re projecting a lack of confidence. By rehearsing your pitch and practicing the prospects name, you being to gain confidence in yourself. Just think, would you feel confident trusting someone with your real estate transaction who can’t get your name right?

4. No Originality

If you read your script word for word, you’re going to kill the conversation immediately! Have you ever enjoyed listening to someone read to you over the phone? Use your script as a road map to guide your conversation!

5. You’re Not Using A Cold Calling Script

Your conversation needs to develop in calculated phases that steer the prospect to a decision. When you do not have a script, your conversations will lack any sort of direction and produce little to no results. Ultimately, you’ll being to lose confidence in handling any objections.

6 Cold Call Script Tips to Remember:

• Define what exactly you’re trying to accomplish with each phone call. Whether it be an appointment, a listing, or an interview, you need to know what you’re trying to accomplish.

• Set goals that are aggressive, yet realistic. Establish a comfortable threshold for daily call volume as well, to make sure you connect with enough prospects each week.

• Always go into each phone call with a positive mindset and enthusiasm, no matter what type of mood your prospect is in.

• Show empathy for your prospects and their pain points! By becoming defensive and aggressive to objections, you’ll lost the prospect for good.

• Providing valuable solutions instead of soliciting, you can build perceived value right away and start gaining the prospect’s trust.

• Ask open ended questions in order to understand your prospects objections and goals. The more questions you ask, the more leverage you can create when pitching your product or overcoming objections.

• BONUS TIP: Never start a question with “why”. It immediately put the prospect on defense and can ruin the conversation.

Honestly, cold calling isn’t the ideal form of lead generation, but for many agents with a specific niche, a good cold calling script can bring you appointments you would never have uncovered elsewhere!

Did you take any value away from this blog? If so, please leave a comment below!

Strengthening Your Bio Can Increase Lead Generation

More and more prospective clients are starting their search for their real estate agent on one of three sites, Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com. Prospective clients are turning to these websites first, to gather information on agents in their area.

Because they’re looking at these sites first, it’s becoming more and more important to keep your bio on these sites up-to-date. Here are some helpful tips to enhance your Bio and help fill your pipeline with higher quality leads.

Keep Your Bio Short & Sweet

On average, people read between 250–400 words per minute. The likelihood of a prospect reading more than one minute reading your bio is slim-to-none. Keep your word count under 400, when considering the length of your bio.

Keep it Simple

Don’t overdo it. We know that you have accomplishments, but don’t cross the line between humility and bragging. Make sure to add your accomplishments, but your prospective clients might be turned off if the bio is too much.

Add a Little Personalization

The Real Estate Industry can be a very personal industry, between agent and client. It can benefit you to add a little flavor to your bio and reveal some of your interests, as they may reveal a connection between you and your prospective client. It can also filter out some of the clients that you may not work well with.

Differentiate Yourself

We all know that there is no deal too big or too small, no neighborhood that you won’t go to, to make your client happy, but there is a property that you favor, make sure to identify that. You should not think of your bio as something that solely lives on your website.

Include Social Media Channels

At the end of your bio, always include links to your social media accounts. You can say something like “Connect with Me on Facebook” or “Follow Me on Twitter”. It’s imperative that you add links to the platforms that you actively participate.

When a potential client checks out your social media channel, you want to send two messages:

  1. You are up-to-date with your local market by actively sharing or producing interesting and value-added content.
  2. You will be able to effectively use Social Media to market their home.

It’s About the Client, not the Agent

Many agents choose to focus on their volume of sales, but prospects want to know two things:

  1. That you will handle their transaction and educate them throughout the process.
  2. You will make them feel cared for before, during, and after the entire transaction.

Your stats are important, but to the client, nothing is more important than their needs. What makes you special and how will you address the concerns that buyers and sellers have?

Know Your Prospective Clients

There are two essential types of people who you should be marketing to. It’s very effective to write for both analytical and emotional minded people. Those who are looking for numbers tend to be more analytical. On the other hand, those looking for great customer service are more emotional minded individuals.

Your bio should have enough facts/stats from your track record or your brokerage to show your experience in the industry, but should also convey who you are as a person.

If you are a new agent, focus on your brokerage stats and bring in any non-real estate experience from your background that can apply. Some examples that work are, sales, customer service, or negotiation.

Create Two Renditions of Your Bio

It’s important to have two versions of your bio, one would be a one paragraph version for websites like Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia and the other would be a little longer one for your brokerage website. It’s extremely helpful to have your elevator-pitch, a one-sentence explanation of who you are and what you do. Ask yourself why you are in real estate, finding that deeper passion and being able to convey it to others can engage them.

Here are some examples of Effective Bio’s:

Example #1: Jason Smith, Colorado Realtor

“Hi. I’m Jason Smith, how can I help you?

There’s no place else on earth quite like Summit County, Colorado and owning property here is one of the great privileges of life. I love this area and once I show you around, I’m convinced you will love it too and want to plant roots of your own in the mountains. When to buy? Where to buy? What areas should I avoid? How can I really make sure I’m getting a good deal? These are the questions I can help you answer. Give me a call today at 970–262–7890 and let’s get started!

The Best Service, The Best Results

I love the real estate business and have been a full-time broker since 1995. I have the experience and local know-how to help you make the best possible decisions. I also have specialized training in real estate negotiation so having me on your side means you’re working with a real professional. I’d like to earn your business so call me today and I’ll work extra hard to make sure your real estate transaction is a complete success!

What makes Summit County, Colorado so unique?

Summit County is home to the ski resorts of Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain, and Arapahoe Basin. It’s also just about 20 minutes to Vail and Beaver Creek. It’s 90 minutes of scenic driving to Denver International Airport, and home to two 3000+ acre lakes for unique year around fun.

Did you know?

Markets are always driven by supply and demand. Since Summit County is very small and it’s surrounded by national forest, future development is very, very, limited and the county has nearly reached its build-out point. That means supply is very limited now and in the long term. Our ease of access from anywhere on earth and proximity to Denver assures that demand stays steady. This means that Summit County, Colorado is a great place to make your real estate investment.”

Example #2: Maura Neill — Atlanta Agent

“Maura Neill, ABR, CRS, CDPE, e-PRO, MRP, MA, REALTOR® is a second-generation REALTOR® who combines her love for the industry with her passion for education. Before getting into the real estate business in 2001, Maura previously taught at The Florida State University, University of Phoenix, and Gwinnett County Public Schools (in the Metro Atlanta area). She is an active agent with RE/MAX Around Atlanta, leading her team and representing buyers and sellers on a day-to-day basis, and considers education — both clients and other real estate agents — an important part of her role as a REALTOR®.

Maura is a social media and technology devotee and an active real estate speaker and instructor on subjects such as real estate technology, building your business via social media, customer service and client retention. She has spoken for various conferences, such as RETSO, Inman Agent Reboot, Inman Connect, Council of Residential Specialists’ Sell-A-Bration, Women’s Council of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS®, for state and local associations in Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as the Guam Association of REALTORS®, RE/MAX, ERA, and Crye-Leike.

Maura is active with the Atlanta Board of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®. An active voice for the real estate industry, Maura was chosen to be a facilitator for NAR’s “REthink the Future” project in 2012–13. In addition, she’s a NAR-approved e-PRO® instructor and is the lead instructor and subject matter expert for NAR’s newest certification, the Military Relocation Professional (MRP).

Maura is founder of Trick or Treat for the Troops, which is now in its ninth year and sends dozens of care packages to U.S. Servicemen and -women who are deployed and away from their families during the holiday season. A lover of all things Atlanta, Maura lives in Johns Creek, Georgia, with her husband Ben, their Beagles Charlie, Maddy, and Jarvis, and a cat who wishes to remain anonymous.”

Example #3: Liz Bourneuf — Los Angeles:

“Buying her first home with her husband in Seattle ignited Liz’s interest in real estate. Shortly after moving back to LA, Liz began her career at Coldwell Banker, before meeting Tami Pardee through mutual friends. She loves the Halton Pardee + Partners family and enjoys going to work every day. Meeting new people and helping clients find the right house to call home is her passion. Her client dedication and love of helping others are what motivate her most. Naturally, Liz loves the subject of architecture, especially the designs of mid-century modern icon Frank Lloyd Wright. Raised in Ohio, Liz graduated from Ohio State University and remains a loyal fan of the college football team (GO Bucks!). In her free time, Liz is busy baking, reading, and exercising. As a long-time Venice beach resident, she, her husband and their two beautiful children enjoy the beach and great weather all year long.”

Your Turn

Do you have a great tip for writing an effective Real Estate Agent Bio that we may have overlooked? Let us know in the comments!

The Hidden Value of Cross Promotion in Real Estate

You’ve heard me talk about the importance of developing B2B relationships in the Real Estate Industry multiple times before. Relationships in business can go a long way to keeping your pipeline full, keeping your skills and knowledge of the market sharp, and even lead to more passion and happiness with your business. By utilizing the relationships that you’ve made with other agents, lenders, insurance agents, and even contractors, you can cross promote your content and listings with them, expanding your overall audience! Cross promoting is a great strategy for agents if you have a network of people in all areas of the industry. If you don’t have those relationships, it’s time to start building your network of contacts to grow your business.

When you cross-promote your services with another business, you are actually sharing your audience. This is a great way to provide value to other people in your industry on a consistent basis!

Cross Promoting with Mortgage Lenders

One of the first stages of a home buyer, and home owner, is meeting with a mortgage lender. They speak with a seller, in some cases, before they consider selling their home. Those looking to sell their home, start by seeing how much their home is worth, right!? Partnering with a lender whom you have developed a strong relationship with, can provide you with an accurate CMA to give to your leads, in exchange for promoting them. You can say something like “This CMA was generated by ___________”. Your lender can also use their website or social media influence to promote your brand and listings to their audience.

If your mortgage lender plans to send out some kind of communication, like a newsletter, include a “home buying tips area”, or one for “staging your home and it’s importance”, with every newsletter that includes your information.

This is an obvious one, but keeping each other’s business cards at your office or in your car, to include in any informational packets, open houses, or other collateral that goes out. You could also send out a joint post card, or go in together on digital marketing and advertising.

Cross Promoting with Insurance Agents

First-time homeowners will be actively shopping home insurance companies for the first time, especially online, so a joint partnership with reputable insurance agents could really help keep your pipeline full, especially with first-time homeowners. Make sure to keep their business cards in your office or your car, just in case.

Identical to your relationship with mortgage lenders, keeping in touch on a regular basis will always save relationships and keep business strong. I recommend getting together at least once a quarter, to discuss new ideas and gather insight about what you’re seeing in the market, and once a month to discuss cross-promotional ideas. As an agent, you need to find small ways to provide them value, throughout each month/quarter. By providing more and more value to your Cross-Promotional partnerships, it will help you solidify the relationship at a quicker pace.

Cross Promoting with Contractors

You may see this a lot, but homeowners tend to upgrade their home before listing it shortly after. Having a strong relationship with a reputable contractor can lead to more listings! Keeping your pipeline full of listings can really help grow your bottom line. On the flip side, you are connected with homeowners looking to sell their home, they may need a contractor.

Starting and maintaining a relationship with contractors can really increase and improve your referral business. The more B2B relationships you have with local and reputable contractors, the more value you will add to your brand and reputation in your local community.

Cross Promoting Through Advertising

Utilize your B2B relationships and go in together on print ads, local events, digital marketing and advertising. By having another company in on the promotion, it would cut your marketing costs in half and doubling your reach. You can team up with each other to provide consistent news and promote events in your area that your audience would find valuable.

Utilize social media to promote the other! This is such an easy way to provide value to your partnerships. You can write a “guest blog” for each other’s sites. Some topics that your audience would want to know from a lender, or insurance agent, or even contractors. Brainstorm relevant content, advertising platforms, and start building your brand with other reputable people in your industry.

You can also have a page on your website designated for the people you have the partnerships with. This is a constant way to advertise their services on your page, and vice-versa. Have a contract in place that covers both sides. Include the total amount in the contract and who pays for what, etc. Make digital copies of the contract and items for everyone to have for their records.

Cross Promoting is a way that builds value in yourself, strengthens your relationship with those in your industry, and solidify your brand in your local community. Send a quick text, an email, or a message through social media, to those you would want to start a Cross Promotional relationship with today!

Comment below if you’ve started branching out and developing relationships in your industry!

How To Stuff Your Pipeline Through Local Businesses

So many agents are leaving money and opportunities on the table when it comes to B2B relationships with local businesses. These businesses work with homeowners and home buyers in your community, every single day. If I told you that, becoming friends with these business professionals can fill your pipeline with little to no cost to you, would you? Having close relationships with local shop owners, or individuals that are active in your community, can lead to a strong referral pipeline which can potentially double your bottom line. B2B development is so overlooked and under priced, yet your competition still doesn’t utilize it.

Per Parkbench.com, a Real Estate marketing platform for community interaction, the top 20 business professionals that give the most Real Estate referrals are as follows:

1. Hair Stylists, Barbers

2. Massage Therapists

3. Dog Walkers

4. Personal Trainers

5. Baristas

6. Coaches

7. House Cleaners

8. Dentists

9. Cosmetologists

10. Accountants

11. Wedding Planners

12. Florists

13. Photographers

14. Car Salesman

15. Dance Teachers

16. Bartender/Waiter/Waitress

17. Principals

18. Director of Local Chamber of Commerce

19. Directors of Local Charities

20. Local Event Directors

The true key to developing a strong B2B relationship with local business professionals is providing them value and expecting nothing in return. It’s not going to give you short term rewards, but nurturing the relationship can pay well, long term. Talk to your local business professionals solely with the intention of getting to know them and their business. Find opportunities to provide them with value. Use Social Media to help provide them with that leverage! If they’re a barber, take a picture with the owner and post it on your Social Media. Using Social Media can really jump start this process. It’s a simple strategy that costs little to no money and has an incredible ROI.

Interview the owners and their employees. Act like you’re a journalist and write a blog about their story and their ties with the community. Publish that story on your website and promote it on your Social Media accounts. This is a great way to show your potential clients that you have an emotional attachment with your community. Homeowners and first time home buyers are looking for experts that have a strong local market presence… What better way to build your brand in your neighborhood than interacting with local businesses? Constantly providing their business with value can earn you top-notch leads and a great referral base for the future.

Business owners always have 1 or 2 local agents in mind, it’s your job to make sure that you’re always their #1! Research suggests that it takes 32 touches in a 12-month period to build a strong referral based relationship. Some great ideas for touches are birthday cards, calls, emails, texts, taking them out for some drinks or meeting them for coffee. Social Media can also make this process a little easier! Comment on their posts, share and promote their content, make a connection with them anyway you can! Another great way is referring some of your clients or friends to them. After you’ve developed that relationship in the first 12 months, 16 touches per year after that is all it takes to maintain that relationship. B2B relationships should be the cornerstone for your business and brand in the future. Start by making a list of places you visit regularly in your neighborhood and start finding ways to provide them value. Meet with them, get to know the owners, their history, and fall in love with the process that B2B relationships take.

Convert Web Traffic into Quality Leads in Less Than 5 Ways

Websites are usually designed to provide your visitors with a general overview of your services, skills, achievements, and experience. It’s also a great place to tell your companies story, philosophy and the benefits of working with you! Although this is important to have on your site, it doesn’t actually move a visitor into becoming a potential client.

With today’s market using their mobile phones to do research on homes, having a website that can capture leads instead of just advertising your business, can really jump start your business. No matter how many visitors you receive a day, if it’s 5 or 5,000, your site should be designed to capture their information so you can follow up with them and start to build that relationship with them and move them into the proper stages of the buying process.

There are many reasons why websites cannot convert traffic into clientele but the following are some of the main reasons:

· Not having a proper follow-up process: Timing is everything, if you can have a process in place that can respond to leads quicker than your competitors, you can convert more leads into clients.

· Not greeting first time visitors: When someone visits your site, they should be greeted with an offer to be of service. These visitors will only give their information out if they will receive something valuable in return, immediately after they provide you with that information.

· Not having a valuable offer: If your Call-To-Action doesn’t seem compelling enough to your visitors, you won’t receive their contact information. Remember to think about your ‘end consumer’ when you come up with your Call-To-Action and now your revenue goals.

· Not knowing your Audience: If you don’t consistently look at your website analytics to see who’s visiting your site, you won’t know what value to provide to the visitor. Make sure that you’re aware of who visits your site and come up with an offer that they can’t refuse.

Things you can do now, to start converting visitors into leads:

1. Drip Campaigns

Drip campaigns give you the ability to with your visitors efficiently and timely, offering them the right things at the right time. You can start customizing automated emails that appeal to potential buyers at each stage of buying process, solely based on their behavior on your site.

Behavioral Emails distribute automated responses and messages based on each visitors behavior:

· First time visitors can receive an offer for a free CMA or Home Evaluation

· Second or third time visitors can receive an offer for a free How-To or Tutorial

· Fourth or fifth time visitors can receive an offer to receive a limited-time discount for a product or service that you provide

· Those that have subscribed to your email list can receive offers exclusive to them.

2. Use a Lead Magnet

You may have already subscribed to a site for a free book, tutorial, or something at least once. If that is the case, then you understand and can appreciate the power of how a lead magnet can capture a lead. In layman’s terms, a lead magnet is an offer of value that you can give visitors of your site, in exchange for their contact information.

The point of a lead magnet is to capture the visitor’s information so you can filter them through each buying stage. Many realtors have had success with How-To or e-books because they provide the visitors with value and information to help with accomplish their goals. Many experts state that any educational supplement has a very positive ROI. The key is to make sure that you offer appeals to your audience. If you’re offering something that they have no interest in, you’re probably not going to see many results.

3. Install a Lead Generation Widget

Lead generation widgets are amazing because they can be so easily implemented with the website that you already use. The widgets can also communicate with your analytics so you can see how well your widgets are working with website visitors. You can use widgets in multiple ways:

· Overlay: An automated text box that pops-up on a specific page. The pop-up is full screen, to block most of the content that the visitor is trying to access temporarily until the visitor either accepts or denies. The numbers on overlay widgets are staggering! An overlay can generate up to 400% more opt-in emails than any other form on your website.

· Footer Bar: The footer bar is a bar that is along the bottom of the landing page. This is great for social media icons and converting website visitors to your social media platforms. This means that it’s important to be on top of your Social Media Game!

· Sidebar: This is a vertical bar that is toward one side of the page that is usually reserved for marketing announcements, offers, deals, or events, that are not a part of your main content.

· Slide In Widget: This is another marketing message that slides in from any part of the screen that can be easily removed and isn’t as intrusive as a pop-up.

4. Experimenting Using A/B Testing:

Marketing is all about trial and error. What works and what doesn’t. Experiment with your automated scheduling tools to develop a process that maximizes turning visitors into leads. An overlay, if it’s positioned too early can deter many visitors and drive your bounce rate up. On the other hand, if it’s too late, you might miss opportunities to win leads. If you monitor the results of your lead generation, you’ll be able to develop a process that maximizes the traffic that visitors your website.

The majority of lead capturing plugins have an A/B testing feature, which allows you to experiment with alternative offers, call-to-actions, and scheduling. By monitoring the demographic and timing, it gives you greater insight on your customer’s behavior.

Conclusion

Intelligent and automated marketing tools can be used to capture and convert web traffic into quality leads, giving your website a purpose other than advertising your company and skills. If you can create an attractive enough offer with timely call-to-actions, you’ll capture and convert a higher percentages of leads.

Real Estate in a Digital Age:

In 1981, 22% of home buyers read newspaper ads to find a home and 8% use their friends, family, and neighbors as an information source. In 2016, 44% of home buyers searched for properties online first. Home buyers now have the ability to use apps to search for homes based on location, criteria, and neighborhoods. Online searches help maximize the ability to compare and contrast home on the market by specific features important to each home buyer. Most of the research is done before a potential home buyer ever connects with an agent.

In 1981, most home buyers found agents through friends, family, and neighbors. In 2016, 88% of home buyers worked with an agent, meaning the need for an agent is still very strong. Most of the buyers start online, however end up turning to advice from agents and 89% of them end up working with the first agent that they have a conversation with.

A Day in the Life of A Home Buyer:

In 2016, the average home buyer used a mobile device, either their cell phone or a tablet to search for properties online. The home buyer looked at websites that had professional photos, featured home listings, and information about today’s home buying process. The average home buyer would then contact an agent and visit an average of 10 homes over 10 weeks before purchasing a home. According the NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report 2017 & 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers the average home buyer is 44 years old, married without children living at home and has a median income of $88,500.

Taken from NAR

Information Sources Home Buyers Used in Home Search:

99% of Millennials (1980 — 1998) search online websites compared to 89% of Baby Boomers (1946 — 1964) and 77% of the Silent Generation (1925 — 1945). Only 63% of Generation X (1965 — 1979) visited an open house in 2016. The most surprising statistic that I noticed was that Baby Boomers used online video sites more frequently when searching for a home than any other generation! 58% of all buyers found their home on a mobile device, such as cell phone or tablets while only 14% of all buyers found agents with their mobile device!

Taken from NAR

Value of Online Website Features:

89% of home buyers found photos the most useful feature when searching for a home. 85% of home buyers found that the detailed information about properties was very useful. 50% of home buyers found virtual online tours useful, but said they weren’t 100% sold on the home until actually seeing it in person.

Taken from NAR

From 2001 to 2016 the number of weeks the average home buyer is actively looking for a home went from 7 weeks to 12 weeks in 2009 and now at 10 weeks in 2016.

Most Difficult Steps of the Home Buying Process:

52% of home buyers across all generations found that finding the right property was the most difficult step in the home buying process. 24% of home buyers said that the paperwork was the most difficult part of the process and Millennials said that the paperwork and understanding the process was more difficult than any other generation. 27% of Baby Boomers noted that there were no difficult steps in the process compared to 9% of Millennials.

Taken from NAR

We are in the one of the greatest technology shifts in our generation. The mobile phone is becoming more and more important the ‘end consumer’. Searching for homes is something that almost every buyer does on their mobile device. As an agent, it’s important to be able to market yourself to home buyers on a mobile device.

This information was gathered from NAR Research.