Leads are the lifeblood of any business, especially if you are in real estate. Buyers, and a steady stream of them, is what will keep your business open day in and day out. Building your real estate funnel is an essential part of the business that will play a major role in the success or failure of your real estate business.
What’s a funnel and why do you need one?
A funnel is a system of breaking down the entire sales process from start to finish. A sales funnel allows you to have a firm grasp of the entire sales process because you know what each stage is and you can easily spot the strengths and weakness of each stage. This allows you to pinpoint problematic areas that need to be tweaked, improved or thrown out in order to create a process that is efficient and effective and will deliver the highest rate of conversion from hooks to sales.
How to Create a Sales Funnel
Creating a sales funnel basically involves identifying key stages, setting relevant performance indicators to measure the efficacy and setting mechanisms for tracking and reporting for easy evaluation. Each step can be identified according to specific categories. In any type of marketing including real estate, this often consists of awareness or reach, interest, conversion, qualification and closing.
A crucial area of focus is marketing and lead conversion which requires creative ways to get potential buyers to actually give you a call. This is where highly targeted online marketing comes in. There are numerous approaches but for now we focus on MLS, the use of bandit signs and direct mail marketing.
MLS or Multiple Listing Sites
These sites are a treasure trove of potential leads that you can easily access with the use of custom target phrases. These include keywords like fixer-upper, fire damage, divorce, death, short sale and must-sell, to name a few. This is a great way to streamline your potential leads so you can pursue listings that are more likely to respond positively to your pitch. You can do this by talking to your agent with MLS access so she can forward these specific listings to you once they come up on these directories. Experts recommend sticking to property pages as opposed to general property directories, as the latter may not be optimized for leading traffic to your page.
Streamlining your search listing parameters will increase the quality of your leads in order to create an efficient real estate funnel that drives the kind of leads that are right for you while keeping the wrong kinds of leads away. This is very important, since you do not want to lose time and effort chasing after the wrong leads that either won’t pan out or will lead to minimal returns or revenues down the road.
Bandit signs are grossly underrated. They are cheap, they can be customized to grab as much attention that a simple cardboard sign can provide and you can even make them yourself. Keep your signs simple. They should also always contain your contact information. Have a couple ready in your trunk so you can pop them up when the opportunity arises.
Direct mail is a proven marketing strategy that may take years to perfect but is sure to deliver results. Avoid relying on free email templates and instead look at how the most successful marketers word their emails and get your cue from that. Personalized mail translates to more interest and potential conversions. You also have the option to mix it up by using different types of mail pieces from traditional postcards to business cards, flyers and tear sheets. These may look dated compared to email marketing but they are more likely to catch someone’s attention compared to spam and give your company name the attention, no matter how short, it needs to hook in a potential client or buyer.
Aside from these methods there are lesser-known techniques that can help you raise the chances of success in real estate investing. The shotgun approach may not be every real estate investor’s go-to system but when done right, it can help you create a reliable lead funnel that will pay for itself down the road.
The Shotgun Approach
The shotgun approach is just one of many avenues for lead generation and conversion but it deserves a closer look, particularly because it requires little effort compared to the possibility of high returns. This method is a type of high-level online marketing because it offers a broader reach especially if you use popular marketing tools like Craigslist and SocialServe.com.
With the shotgun approach, you get names from Craigslist, for example, by doing a search for real estate listings, follow up with a handy script and hopefully convert a few. It’s a good thing to allocate up to four hours a day on this strategy to get the best results. It is also wise to have a script handy. You may get a few duds here and there, but having a script that basically gets you through the entire phone call where you touch all the important points you need to cover, can help speed things up.
Aside from using the shotgun approach you can also take advantage of mid-level marketing. This includes online meetups and networking groups that can expose your brand to a larger target audience. Dedicated groups for real estate are more strategic and therefore should be tapped as well. A few hours spent on mid multi-level marketing a day can go a long way since all it takes is a few keystrokes to connect with potential leads online.
Investing in and buying property takes more than just the skills to hunt down leads. It also requires the skills needed to zero in on the right kind of leads and close within the shortest time possible. Take note of the strategies mentioned above and test them out to see how they can help you grow company sales in a structured and systematic way.