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Posts from the ‘AgentThink’ Category


Online leads ain’t what they used to be

leads-narOnline leads ain’t what hey used to be. During my recent trip down to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) conference, I attended a session on leads. It got me thinking about the many calls I have received over the last few years offering to participate, at an exorbitant cost, in a company’s lead generation system.  They all claim to have the best traffic and  referral sites in the city.

The truth is that leads are a fickle creature. I can say with accuracy that the strength of the leads that I have encountered over the years has varied from extraordinarily weak to weak. The truth is that some leads do pan out and are worth pursuing.  It could be that my conversion technique is just not good enough. But if you look at the graph, there are currently over 12 leads than deals. That’s a lot of leads. While this is a US graph, I think it is fair to say that a similar graph shape exists in Canada.

So, if the numbers are true, then one could infer that a majority of people are going on to lead generating sites, filling out contact information but are not getting contacted by an agent. If they don’t get a reply they try another site…and so on and so on. The science behind lead traffic (and there is a science) is well documented. Here are some interesting facts compiled from a recent NAR survey;

Quick follow up is a must. You have a better chance of converting if you can respond within the first 30 minutes.

In order to convert a lead to a client takes 6 touch points. Consider that you only have a 10% to convert that lead to a client after one follow up. 2 follow ups increase your chances to 30%, 3 to 40%, 4 to 50%, 5 to 70% and 6 follow ups give you a 90% chance.

After that 6th follow up you will need another 46 interactions to get to a closing.

You are 164% more likely to qualify a lead between 8-9am and if you are more likely to succeed if that contact is made on a Wednesday or Thursday.

Finally, it is important to act fast and be efficient because 67% of buyers and 70% of sellers work with the first agent they connect with.

Of course keeping in touch with your clients is paramount to future success. Do you need proof that a great CRM tool will work for you? consider that within a year 70% of homeowners don’t remember who they worked with and only 12% of buyers or sellers will use an agent from a previous transaction. It is interesting to note however that if you keep in contact with past clients you are 85% more likely to get a referral or recommendation for futures services.

Statistics to live by. Enough said.





The Hero to Zero Effect

If you’ve been in business for any length of time you will recognize this one. You sell a house and achieve the highest price on the street and then a few months later another agent sells another house, usually not as nice than the one you sold, for more money. Now you look like a heel who didn’t do their job. Truth is, you can’t outsmart the market and you definitely can’t predict which way prices will go. Clearly, if prices had fallen, you would still be a hero and the seller would be singing your praises indefinitely.
So is there anything to counteract The Hero to Zero Effect? Just like anything else, you can’t go wrong with a little educational discussion. Finally, keep your seller in the loop on all sales in the neighbourhood. Sure, hearing of another house selling for money will sting, but if it comes from you it can be delivered with context. And at the end of the day, sellers and buyers just want to know that their agent is looking out for them.

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and Past-President of the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.


The Powerball Meeting Part 1(billion)

Sometimes you just have to use current affairs as a springboard to your next meeting. A few weeks ago I sent out a simple email to the team. It read; “So the news is out. I was the sole winner of last week’s Powerball draw in the US. I’ve decided to start my own country and as a gesture for you NOT to leave I will be giving everyone who attends tomorrow’s meeting $10,000 in Marco Currency ( which is tied to the US dollar). There is one caveat; you must spend it on real estate related things. Have I piqued your interest? Also I will be importing bagels and cream cheese from distant shores (Roncy) for your further enjoyment”.

My message worked. The next day my meeting was packed, thus proving the point that good titles are as important as good content. I learned another interesting lesson too; When you are printing fake currency don’t try to photocopy real money, even if it’s significantly doctored up. Modern printers won’t let you (but that’s a story for another day). So to start my meeting I asked people what they spend their money on in order to promote their business. We came up with about 16 things ranging from website maintenance to client gifts. powerball meeting

I wrote each suggestion on a piece of paper and then handed out $10,000 (in $500 increments) in Marco Money. I asked each agent to “spend” their money as they wanted. There was a bit of mayhem in the office for the next few minutes as agents jockeyed to get their money distributed but their was an added bonus to the madness as I watched some agents explain their logic on why they placed certain amounts on each pile. While at least one agent put the whole $10K on online lead generation, others distributed it more evenly. marcomoney No surprises coming from a bunch of peacocks like us, they spent the most money on entertaining ($34,500), followed by website ($33,500), awesome listing packages ($29,500), online advertising ($24,000), gifts ($22,000), networking events ($19,500), education ($18,500), productivity tools like CRMs ($12,500), sponsorship and community events and seminars ($12,500), flyers ($12,500), direct mail ($11,000), image ($11,000), newsletters ($6,500), bus shelters ($5,000), videos ($4,000) and finally billboards ($2,000).

Why $10,000? Simple math really. Several years ago our firm hired a company to conduct a survey on our agents and verify all their responses. One of the questions was “how much do you spend on marketing?”. The other question was “how much should you spend on marketing?”. Not surprisingly there were two different answers but the message came through loud and clear. 10% of your earnings, at the very least, should be designated towards marketing. Presuming your goal is to earn $100K then $10K seems like a good place to start.

In my next meeting (part 2) I’m going to reveal how much the agents spent on each category and then I’m going to ask them to explain their logic. Stand by for the follow-up.

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President of the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.

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