Thursday, May 22, 2014

Are You Fishing in The Right Pond?

Growing up as a young boy in Western Johnston and Eastern Wake Counties of North Carolina my Dad often would take me fishing to one of many ponds surrounding our property. Some of the ponds were a guarantee to bring home dinner but some of them were “iffy” at best.

Some of the ponds had beautiful bass and bream which were fun to catch and tasty for dinner…Some of the ponds were full of greasy mud-cats which were fun to reel in but not much to brag about on the plate. And then some ponds were full of turtles and snakes who loved to steal your bait and then sneak away leaving you empty handed.
When prospecting for new business you have to treat it a lot like fishing…enough hooks in the water with the right kind of bait…but most important the right “spot” in the right pond!
Let’s look at some of the different ponds you might be “fishing” in right now.

The Internet and Social Media Pond:
NAR stated in their 2013 report that only 3% of the average agents closed sales came from the internet…only 4% of Sellers listed with an agent via the internet and only 9% of Buyers who met an agent through a website closed a sale with that agent.

The problem with most web generated leads is the potential clients lack of motivation. Statistics have shown how if an agent does not respond within the first 5 minutes after a consumer places a web request for information… the client is gone…never to be seen again.
Another problem with the internet pond is most of the fish won’t bite or they are not edible. To break it down most agents complain about the quality of internet leads…Agent surveys have shown us that less than 3% of all leads taken from the internet are ready, willing, and able to transact real estate.

Also most consumers (86%) start searching the internet 12-18 months before they are ready to transact…This means the agent must have a system to regularly stay in touch until the lead is ready. Less than 20% of all agents maintain a workable data base management system…. and unfortunately most agents are shortsightedly looking for business “right-now” rather than 12-18 months from now and are ill-equiped to cultivate leads for long periods of time.
The Open House Pond:

Open house “fishing” numbers are comparable with the internet numbers…Surveys show how about 1-2% of an average agents closed business came from open house leads. You can become more proactive by inviting neighbors by using "just-listed" cards followed by a "door-knock pop-by" to invite them to the open house.
The Phone Duty Pond:

Phone duty on average came in at 3% of an agents closed business… this included calls and walk-ins, Phone Duty and or Open Houses can be a source of leads but you cannot build a business on them alone. They are just too passive of an activity.
Print Advertising Pond:
Some agents spent 50% of their budget in this area and I have to say…STOP IT! There is a less than 1% return on investment in farming by direct mail, magazine, newspaper, newsletters and advertising specialties such as refrigerator magnets. Print advertising is dead in real estate…don’t waste your efforts in this pond… it has been “fished-out” !

Passive approaches to advertising in real estate have resulted in the poorest return on your marketing dollar for years…this is not expected to change in the near future.
The Book of Business Pond:

NAR reported in 2013 that over 71% of all buyers and sellers found their REALTOR from a personal referral from a friend or other “trusted source”. Out of this 71% …90% of them closed on the transaction within 180 days of the referral…. and an amazing 98% of them closed with the referred REALTOR within 12 months.
Your #1 priority should be expanding your database and generating referrals from people who like you and the services you provide. It is vital to stay in contact with your past clients…not only are they great referral sources, they are the most likely to use you next time they buy or sale!

Any activity which puts you face to face with buyers and sellers is more likely to produce a closed transaction than those who rely on impersonal contact methods such as snail-mail and email.
Three Steps You Can Take Now:

1)    Find out which activities are generating not just leads… but income for you now. Which pond is generating the most edible fish!

2)    Discover where you can get the best bang for your buck. Sometimes the least expensive things will generate the most income for your business. Use the right “bait” to attract the clients you want to work with.

3)    Proactively and aggressively market to your data base…Stop waiting around passively for fish to jump in your boat! Shift your passive marketing to proactive networking. Don’t waste your efforts on passive techniques which no longer produce income for your real estate business.

To learn more about data base management, proactive networking, and becoming profitable in real estate go to, or call Eddie at 919-785-4201

Eddie Brown ©2014 ICU-Coaching

All statistical data taken from the NAR 2014 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report