Amy Chorew, our Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate VP of Learning, interviewed three top brokers to gain insights on their best practices for lead generation. John Jackson from John Jackson Neighborhood Real Estate, Lane Hornung from 8z Real Estate, and Heather Bush from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Capital Area were excited to share their expertise.
John Jackson Neighborhood Real Estate: Racing for Approachable
John takes a friendly approach to lead generation. By being both approachable and desirable, his brokerage finds much success in being able to convert leads. To make their presence known, the traditional avenues of open houses and Facebook ads are used. However, their major investment lies in nurturing client relationships rather than cold leads.
As an avid runner, John heavily supports athletic events that are not necessarily client-focused. By sponsoring local races and having the company name on running bibs, the brokerage is able to present itself to the local public in a community-oriented way. John believes that inspiration and a bit of runner’s high, first- or second-hand, will inspire the public.
While it is always a challenge to define measurable market presence, being approachable, knowledgeable and desirable makes prospective clients want to engage. Sixty percent of leads are company-driven and agents drive the other 40 percent in a high-support setup. John makes it part of his responsibility to be the inside sales person. He nurtures leads and matures them before handing them off to a team member. A shared Google doc tracks hot, warm and cold statuses as well as every communication sent to all leads, regardless of how they were shaped. Agents can count on these leads, but are also incentivized to nurture their own.
8z Real Estate: Get visual
Lane believes in the power of a visual to explain his approach to lead generation, which is driven by numbers. He imagines the process as a triangle – internet, sphere and hyperlocal. The first side of the triangle is dedicated to new lead generation sourced from the internet using SEO, organic and paid traffic, Facebook campaigns for market listing ads and name recognition ads. Ads are hyperlocal, within a half-mile radius of the brokerage in most cases. The sphere, which is the foundation, is next, where sweat equity ensures measurable leads. Finally, the high-support brokerage uses SEO, Facebook market listings and a digital farming strategy in which each agent is assigned a neighborhood.
Leads are given to the client care team to improve the prospective client’s chance of closing to 10 percent or better.
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Capital Area: Relocation, relocation, relocation
Heather harnesses the power of technology and outsourcing for lead generation. Her brokerage’s unique system focuses on relocation as a primary source of business. Military personnel must buy and sell houses quickly for deployment or new assignments. Additionally, members of the corporate world also need a reliable agent to help with their specific housing needs. This niche has proven quite lucrative for the brokerage.
Opt City is a referral source that does away with upfront costs and requires payment only upon closing for brokerages. Inquiries are filtered and nurtured until the lead is warm enough to be handed off to an agent. Clients are introduced with a live, warm phone transfer. Agents start with lower quality leads until their performance score indicates that they’re ready to receive a higher volume and improved leads.
Another tool, Cartus, is a leader in global/logistical relocation services for military personnel and corporations. As a Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate in-house resource, ZAP provides lead generation strategic insights. With the website and app, the client begins the homebuying process by selecting their preferences. Online activity is meticulously tracked and algorithms indicate when a transaction is imminent. Agents receive metrics and insights to boost daily and long-term projections.
Heather believes that while resources aid in lead generation, ultimately, what makes a transaction is the relationship. By getting to know clients and addressing their specific needs and lifestyle, a lifelong connection can be formed that will result in referrals upon referrals. Follow-up is essential with market news, design advice and other relevant information.
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No matter your approach, consider leveraging these insights to help shape and improve your business in 2019.