Episode 25: The Lead Follow Up Solution
Glenn: Good morning, and welcome to my 25-Minute Podcast. So today, we’re not going to have a guest. We’re actually just going to focus on a key theme or big challenge that I’m seeing emerging in the marketplace, which is lead generation and lead conversion. The game of lead conversion is really – first of all, you need to get leads, and then you need to convert them. But I find so many people focus on lead generation all the time, and just don’t give enough effort to the lead conversion. And there are different ways for us all to get leads, right? We can get paid Facebook ads. We can do it through farming into our niche. It could be direct mail into different geographic areas. It could be through your affiliates. It could be through your sphere of influence. Maybe you’re using niche magazines. Maybe you’re using niche websites. But the big challenge I’m finding is that people are trying to either sprinkle their lead generation through too many different areas, or they’re all doing the same thing. And I know many agents right now are pretty focused on agent locator leads, or one of those conglomerators that gets the leads, and it’s a great process if that’s what your niche is. If you’re really good over the long-term, nurturing leads, then it is a great platform for you to operate.
Most people forget this thing called the 15/85 rule, which says any lead that comes in to you from any source – only 15% of them are willing and able to do business over the next 90 days, while 85% of them won’t be doing anything for probably four months up to 18 months. The challenge is, most agents always focus on the short, fast lead, and then if they don’t do anything in the first day or two or first week or two, they just dump them off. And that’s a big problem, because if you actually look at the teams that are building their business on a niche focus of Internet leads, they’ve got a completely different system than the one that you’re following. You might want to get back to them within 10 minutes (which is sometimes impossible, especially if you’re presenting an offer or showing a property), but what you’re competing against are teams that actually have three or four inside salespeople either based in that city or based overseas. And their job is to take the lead in and just test to see if it is a really fast lead right now, like a really hot lead. Is it a warm lead? Or is it a cold lead? And then based on that, they have three separate programs. The fast lead gets this, the warm lead gets that, and the cold lead gets nurtured over a long period of time. So what they’ve done is they’ve made a science out of the conversion of it, and what they’ve really said is every lead needs to be converted differently. If someone calls and says, “I’ve got to buy a house this weekend,” that’s a totally different conversion than someone who says, “Hey, can you let me know about that property? I’m thinking about buying a home.” They could be three months, six months, 12 months or 18 months out. So I really think that the key to lead conversion is, first of all, following the 80/20 rule (which is the Pareto Principle) that says 20% of your leads have an 80% probability of actually doing something in the next short term. I know I talked about 15/85 earlier, but even within that 15% of the leads, 20% of them will have to do something really quickly, and the other 80% won’t do anything maybe for 90 days.
So remember: it’s very hard in real estate to ride two horses at the same time. I’m on the lead generation horse, and I’m also on the lead conversion horse. They’re very difficult, because they’re really two separate skills, right? Lead generation is either going to be prospecting-based, where you’re actually doing the calls or targeting, or it’s going to be marketing-based, when you’re actually sending out or doing Facebook ads, and then you’re expecting people to call you. So my whole point is, if you want to dominate a niche market, the whole goal is to focus most of your time on the conversion side, and very little on the lead generation side. I think that’s one of the great gifts that a niche market will give you as you start building your tribe of people, because not only have you decided, “I’m going to go into one market” (maybe only 5% or 10% of the time), and you keep doing what you’re doing, but as you go into that market, you start finding the internal fears and struggles and worries and pains of that community. And then, as you start to master what their problem is (what’s keeping them awake at night) and what their real big issue is, then your conversion strategy becomes one of just directing all of your marketing towards their biggest pains. So if it’s someone who’s going through a divorce, what they really need right now is information. They’re in the information-gathering stage. This big shock has just hit their system. They’re bewildered. They have no idea what they’re going to do. And while they might need to sell the matrimonial home, they don’t need you to technically come over and just say, “Okay, we’re going to sell the home. Let’s get it. We’re going to part our separate ways.” There’s so much fear and pain and everything going on in the background, that if you could start producing more targeted marketing pieces towards them, like, “Here are the 12 secrets to make your divorce as easy as possible” – more information base that really goes right to their fear. “Oh, you just got divorced? Do you think you’re going to survive?” And then you can write a little article about that. And then you can also target that right through Facebook ads. Facebook targeting is really where the public is right now, and that’s why it’s becoming such a great resource. But it’s really hard for you to go on Facebook and go, “Hi! Thinking about buying or selling?” – because not only is your market too big and it’s too expensive to go after, but it’s a message that people are like, “You’re not even talking to me. You’re just doing that broad, shotgun approach: ‘Hey! Thinking about buying or selling?’ and expecting me to fit into your marketing.” I really think the future of real estate is niche agents going really deep into one area, and then positioning themselves as the expert in that field. And when you get expert positioning, then the field starts to run towards you, and you don’t have to run after a field anymore.
At some of my seminars (and by the way, I have one coming up on June 19-20 in Toronto if you want to attend. You can spend two days with me. It’s a really great price of $299, and you can just go to glennmcqueenie.com to find out more information, or go to Eventbrite and put in “The McQueenie Method”) what I used to talk about was agents getting out of a thing called the Commodity Trap. And the Commodity Trap, I used to describe all the time as, you’re trying to be everything to everybody, and you end up being nothing to nobody. But I’ve been thinking about this, and I don’t think my target market of agents who need great coaching and training are lying awake going, “I’m a commodity.” I think most of you listeners out there today are sitting around going, “Am I going to be in this business in five years? Am I going to be around in three years? Am I going to be able to provide the financial security and prosperity and wealth-building opportunity for my family?” And I’m telling you that you will if you go into a niche market, and start adding maximum amounts of value to the consumer.
We just went through – and I’m recording this in Toronto today – but we just went through a really busy up-market, where basically anybody who just got their license could put a sign on the lawn, and if they got even close to what they thought the price was (they’d get 5, 10, 15, 20 offers, and they’d get $300,000 or $400,000 or $1,000,000 or whatever it was over the asking price) they’d look like a hero to the consumer. Well, that’s not the real real estate market. The real real estate market is actually one where we go through dips. When we’re in a buyer market for awhile – I think we’re entering this in Toronto right now, and I think it’s starting to spread throughout the GTA and the rest of southern Ontario for sure – where we just have so many listings coming onto the market right now, and a lot of the buyers are sitting back and going, “Hmm. I’m not sure what I’m going to do.” Well, that’s a completely different skilled market that you need in order to be able to convert your lead of a buyer. What are the scripts and the language and the skills that you need in order to get that buyer to go from, “Oh, I’m just going to wait because I think prices are still falling,” to actually go into action today and realize that today is actually the lucky buyer market, and it’s the unlucky seller market.
I always find it so interesting that we just went through (especially in the GTA here in Toronto in the last three months from January until the end of March), a lucky seller, unlucky buyer market, where the unlucky buyer was the one who paid way too much for the property. And I just think it’s so interesting that most agents who I’m talking to right now have no idea how to adjust and move into this marketplace, and focus on the conversion of the new reality of the market. See, the market doesn’t care what you think about it. It just is what the market is. And this is really your skillset. This is where the higher skills are required, in order to get the listing priced properly, in order for you to get into the market. If you imagine an axis (if you remember those x-y axis graphs, and you see people draw them all the time), usually on the vertical one that’s the x-axis, they’ll put something like “Price.” And then on the horizontal one, the y-axis, they’ll put “Time.” Well I just want to change that, because what’s really happening in this marketplace, which you have to understand on the conversion part, is the only thing that matters for a seller right now is their price, and that would be on the x-axis, the vertical axis. It’s their price versus comparables on the market. And on the y-axis, the only thing that matters is their price versus the condition of all the other competition on the market. And if you’re priced right against the comparables, and your condition is great against the rest of the market, you’re in the market, and you will sell. But this requires you to know this stuff and learn it in order to be able to draw these graphs out to your sellers and say, “Okay, here’s how it works.” Because if you’re just median-priced in a market, and you’re medium condition, and your people don’t want to stage their house or do anything, then they’re effectively really in no man’s land right now, which is why you’re seeing so many listings just linger in the marketplace. Of course, if your price is so out-of-whack to the market, and your condition is terrible to the market, then you’re in what we call “no man’s land.”
So I think it’s important now that it’s not just about getting leads and servicing those leads. It’s about getting into the conversion mindset of: “What does the consumer really need right now, and how can I bring my skills into that marketplace?” Because if you think about it, you don’t get wealthy solving problems in real estate. You get wealthy by exploiting the opportunities of the niche marketplace right now. You can solve some short-term problems, some short-term objections. But if you really want to build a great real estate practice, you have to exploit the opportunity that’s presented to you in this marketplace right now. And the opportunity is to go really deep into a niche and just separate yourself from the rest of the realtors. That’s the biggest opportunity, because when we talk about lead generation, there are really three words that get bantered around a lot. One is selling, which I think is just influence. If you have influence over people, they just buy, and if you have no influence, then you really have to sell them. Number two is marketing, and marketing’s really just story telling. It’s selling in advance using applied psychology and your emotional intelligence. And that’s what I’m talking about today. When we know the psychology of who our target market is, it’s really easy for us to construct a program that’s going to answer their selfish needs. And the third is advertising, and people use selling, marketing, advertising, prospecting all around, sometimes even as the same word. But to me, advertising is just your salesmanship multiplied. You could do a one-on-one meeting with women who are focused on building their wealth. Or, you can actually have a seminar of 20 people in the room and say the exact same message, and multiply your results exponentially.
One of the final factors before we wrap up that I want to talk about is there’s a difference between attachment and commitment in real estate. And I’m just going to ask you to really think about this concept: “You must be unattached to whatever can happen.” I’ll say that again: “You must be unattached to whatever can happen,” because whenever you’re attached to something, bad things happen. If you’re attached to “I really need a deal this weekend,” I’ll guarantee you – and I don’t know why it works – the deal will fall apart. The people will back out. If you’re attached to that listing that was promised to you on Tuesday and then they called you and said their neighbour bought it, but your whole year or Spring was based on attachment to that listing, then bad things are going to happen to you. It’s just the way it is.
The more scared you are of this market, the more you’re going to start looking at options to run away from it – just like, in a weird way, a divorce. The more scared people are of the future of their marriage, the more they actually spend time on the options of getting out of it. So, this is a market not to be scared of. I think that the positive focus I would tell you is, what if you were to make the next six months the happiest time that you’ve ever had in this real estate business? What if you said, “The market is what the market is. Where are my gaps in my education and my learning right now? What are the resources that I could utilize in order to make sure that I get the best return on my investment of time in real estate?” And I know I’m a lone wolf here, and I’m glad you keep listening to these podcasts, but the more I research this, the more I travel, the more I train and do seminars (I was in Los Angeles last weekend and trained. The week before I was in Phoenix, Arizona at Genius Network), the more I realize that my truth is becoming a reality – in every industry, in every business, in every service industry, it’s starting to go binary. There’s going to be a whole bunch of agents who make nothing, and there’s a whole bunch of other agents who make tons of money. They’re getting their unfair share, while other agents are struggling to get even one deal or two deals or three deals a year. And I know the stats in the Toronto Real Estate Board prove my point.
So the biggest focus that I can give you right now is: what can you do, what training can you get, what resources do you need in order to be able to bring who you are and your natural strengths to a target market of people that you really want to serve? And then what kind of technology or unique process can you create in order to target those individuals and really discover what their needs are? And then what’s the platform in order for you to interact with them? Is it doing a monthly seminar? Is it doing lunch and learns? Is it doing a blog? Is it doing podcasts? Is it Facebook marketing, like really targeted marketing? What’s your platform that you can commit to doing, in order to get inside your tribe? Because once you get inside your tribe, your tribe will fall in love with you, and then they start sharing your message with other tribal members. And then the beauty is, you start to create this fan club. You actually become the celebrity in your tribe, because you’re the person who has the answers to all their selfish questions.
So I really hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast today. I didn’t really want to bring on a guest this week because I wanted to just talk from my heart directly to you and just say, “Things are going to be okay.” The market is what the market is. You have to move to the market. You can’t be attached to what can happen to you. The only thing you can really be, instead of being attached, is just be committed. And being committed is going to take a little bit of courage. When you make a commitment that “I’m going to do this over the next 90 days,” then the first step to get through your commitment is just to take the courage that’s required to go and do it. And as you’re learning this new marketplace, and you’re being courageous and exploring, you get to learn these wonderful capabilities, and you get the inner wisdom, the inner truths, the insights of that market. And the more you gain your capabilities, then you just become more confident explaining what you do to other people. You all probably learned to drive a car at some point, and you made a commitment to get your license. It took a bunch of courage for you to get behind that wheel. And then you were probably not a very good driver, but you were learning your capabilities until you could actually get your license. And since then, you’re a very confident driver. You don’t even worry about it. But it all started with you making the commitment to go and do something that was of high value to you.
So I hope this helps. I’ll plug again my two-day seminar coming up on June 19-20 in Toronto. I would love for you to be there. I would love to meet you there. And for $299 for two days, you get to learn what your natural strengths are, what your niche market is, and you leave with a 12-month blueprint. I think it’s a really great, winning formula for you.
So, I’m Glenn McQueenie. Make it a great week! Bye!