Editor’s Note: The Playbook is a new RISMedia weekly segment centering on what brokers and agents are doing to ensure they not only survive but thrive in these challenging times. Industry professionals explain the strategies they’re employing and unique ideas they’ve formulated. Tune in every Thursday for another addition to the series.
Generating leads is one of the most important methods real estate professionals employ to drum up business in the real estate industry. Lead generation is an age-old method when it comes to finding, creating and cultivating client relationships, but with rising mortgage rates and high home prices keeping buyers and sellers out of the market, many lead generation tactics may not be as effective as they used to be.
Change is the only way to survive in a tumultuous market, and that’s what a majority of real estate professionals across the board are doing to maintain success despite the hard times. In order to thrive and generate leads in a market that’s pushing buyers and sellers out, it’s time to make some big adjustments.
Here are just a few ways that REALTORS® are changing up the way they approach lead generation in the current market.
Partnerships are key
Collaboration is a major path to success in any industry, but in the current housing crisis, it has taken on a new level of importance. Partnerships provide the needed support to hold your business together through tough times.
“The key to surviving the shift is partnerships,” said League City, Texas-based Monica Foster Team Founder Monica Foster and Director of Operations and Marketing Christopher Dean. “Whether that be corporate (like our team with Zillow, Homeward, etc.) or individual (agents in our collaboration group or upline business partners), where we all work together for a common goal because we all win together. You can’t go it alone, especially if you rely on your sphere, because you can only know so many people—and your sphere can only provide so much.”
For their team, Foster and Dean shared that in addition to their existing partnerships with Zillow Flex and realtor.com® VIP, “We have partnered with Homeward as a preferred partner that we hope will not only generate additional leads, but help convert existing ones.”
“Partnering with Homeward provides alternative financing (as they are a Power Buyer) that will help lead conversion since clients will not only have more options, but some of those options are more appealing to the seller, leading to more accepted offers. Homeward also has their own lead generation that sends leads over to us,” said Foster and Dean.
Nurture the longstanding leads, not just the immediate
Immediate leads have always been the focus in a healthy market, as they would get you business and success quickly, while a longstanding lead may never even turn into a client. This isn’t necessarily true in the current market, as many buyers and sellers are taking their time and waiting out the conditions before they dip their toes in the water.
Foster and Dean shared that for their team, their “focus has changed from focus on immediate leads to the nurtures as many buyers wait out the market.”
In the same vein, Tina Caul, REALTOR® and Icon Agent in Raleigh, North Carolina, said that for her team, “We are going back to the foundational piece of our business, which is talking to more people each day. We stay in touch for as long as they give permission to keep staying in touch.”
Building these longstanding relationships is how to get business in this market, as immediate is a thing out of the past right now.
“We have clients that took three years to buy and some that take three days. We are in it for the long haul, and we tell our clients that we believe in great service and know that if we do our job daily by making 20 contacts per day and then following up appropriately, there is never a time that you won’t have business to service,” said Caul.
Mix the old with the new
Oldies are goodies isn’t just a phrase for music. It can also directly apply to lead generation during the current housing crisis. Technology has pushed the boundaries of the industry, but in a changed market, getting back to the “basics” is an integral part of continuing to generate leads.
“Our team is big on innovation and utilizing technology to grow their audience and prospective clients, however, we also encourage them to go old-school and stick to the basics,” said Kenny Truong of #TEAMFAST in Oakland, California. “We know that, when leveraged properly, print marketing can work well for brand recognition. For every new listing, we send out 200 Just Listed postcards and encourage our team to door-knock the surrounding neighborhood.”
Truong shared that one of the top agents on his team, Christina Pineda, went old-style and canvassed an entire neighborhood, and was able to secure a buyer for one of her listings within days rather than weeks or months.
Nate Cheviron, CEO and co-founder of The Cheviron Group in Indianapolis, Indiana, said that his team’s model is simple, really sticking to the roots of the basics.
“We run a relationship-based model,” said Cheviron. “We are more intentional now than ever on doing what we do best: building great relationships with our clients. If there is anything we are cutting out, it’s creative lead generation. Pick up the phone, build great relationships and network to find people who need your help.”
Events, events, events
Getting involved in the local community is something REALTORS® have always done, and it’s still working, even now. The necessity of it, however, has grown exponentially, especially with events.
“The agents are leaning heavily into events, from seasonal events, community events, educational real estate events and much more,” said Truong. “Our agents can use our offices as a hub to host events and build their presence in the respective communities they serve.”
Caul said that she and her team also “have a ton of local events for our clients” to really help boost their lead generation.
“We meet our clients at local businesses, so we help the business owner with exposure, and we help our clients discover new places to eat and shop,” said Caul. “We also doubled down on our farming areas. As many real estate agents are cutting expenses, we are increasing them to make sure we remain a strong brand in our community. We love our city and want to service our community for many years to come.”
- Building or adding corporate partnerships will boost your lead generation and allow for easier follow up through technology.
- Immediate leads are a thing of the past. Nurturing and building a relationship with longstanding leads will keep your business afloat.
- Technology is a wondrous help in the modern world, but don’t be afraid to factor some old-fashioned methods back into the mix, like canvassing and calling.
Community involvement will always be a fantastic way to generate leads, and in the current market we’re experiencing, it’s a good time to lean heavily onto events.