Lead generation is one of the most integral facets of being a real estate sales agent, so how can it be maximized?
According to Vancouver-based Michael La Prairie, president of Century 21 In Town Realty, the basics still apply, like holding open houses, distributing flyers, making phone calls to potential customers as well as to one’s sphere of influence.
Additionally, says La Prairie, the internet should be optimized by every agent.
“Be aggressive on the web,” he said. “They have to have an actual website that is a good tool for researching properties, and they need to spend money on content and not just copy and paste somebody else’s. They have to buy into a search engine optimization service to get their websites found and have some sort of lead generation system built into the website SEO to get to potential customers first.”
Getting to customers first is also paramount. La Prairie advises going to them instead of waiting for them to come to you.
“The way the world’s going today is the good aggressive electronic lead generation system is going to the customer first before the customer goes to the physical real estate website platform, so the realtor needs to have a system in place to do advertisements,” said La Prairie. “Facebook and Instagram, for example—put marketing efforts into those, because if a potential customer is on those websites in their pyjamas or at the office and they see something interesting about real estate, they can click on it, whether it’s a registration table or active listing or website. So, aggressive people go to the customer first. Try to get their attention.”
In Town Realty has been using Ampify, an AI-assisted geo-targeting system that generates leads. But traditional techniques like ingratiating oneself to one’s community, or joining business associations and volunteer boards, are still surefire ways to generate leads because a strong rapport between agents and their clients is imperative.
Craig Rushton, a sales agent and team leader with Century 21 Bamber Realty in Calgary, agrees with La Prarie’s assessment that social media is an excellent lead generation vehicle.
“We look at Facebook as the new bus bench,” he said. “Lead generation is pretty easy but the challenge is getting quality leads, and more importantly, covering them into customers. We’ve worked hard over the past 18 months on a new follow-up system so that we can nurture leads as much as possible. They’re not usually ready right then, so following up is one of our main focuses.”
Rushton’s team remade their system by incorporating newer innovations in a bid to ameliorate their responsiveness.
“If someone comes to your website or paper page, they’re probably going through dozens of those, so we find different ways to get them to stay on ours,” he said. “We have a live chat on our website that pops up like a little Messenger window, and it’s less intrusive than picking up the phone and calling somebody. And that makes people feel more comfortable.”
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