Sphere of influence in real estate – sellers “free report” prospecting postcards that easily generate seller leads
We’ve talked about using home valuation and about using ‘I have a client’ as two of your potential real estate marketing products or real estate marketing strategies. A third way to identify sellers from your sphere of influence list is the ‘free report’. Let me tee up the concept of this real estate marketing tool here.
The ‘free report’ is a marketing concept. You have to understand how buyers respond or how any seller leads respond when it comes to making a decision. We call this the ‘educational spectrum’.
I have no interest in selling my house. I’m at a zero. Being ready to sign the listing agreement indicates that a motivated seller is at a ten. When real estate leads are somewhere between zero and ten is this thing we call the ‘educational spectrum’.
Consider this. I start to think about selling my home, so now I’m at a 1. Then I begin to think about, “Where do we move?” I start to crystalize our plans a little bit more and become more of a motivated seller in the eyes of real estate agents. Why do we want to move? Where do we move? I start to think about what type of things we need to do as sellers to fix up our home. We start to go through this process that helps us look for real estate information. That’s why it’s called the educational spectrum. It’s me, the homeowner, looking for information that will educate me on what I need to be doing to get from here all the way over there.
Marketing to seller leads by providing real estate marketing tools that encourage a motivated seller to self-select
What happens is that most real estate agents marketing from this viewpoint: “If you are a motivated seller, call me right now so that I can be your real estate agent.” They are looking for the tens. Here’s the trick. If you can find seller leads in the twos, threes, fives and sevens, that means you can reach out and contact them first. You can build seller leads / realtor relationships so that by the time sellers get to a ten, it’s a shoe-in that they call you as their real estate agent.
So the question is, “How do you identify sellers in this part of the spectrum?” The simple answer is that you offer them information real estate information that they want to know, need to know and are thirsting to know. This could be information that they don’t even know they need to ask questions about when it comes to selling. It’s information that guides them and gives them direction on how to move to the next step as sellers. This is always in the form of what we will call, very simply, the ‘free report’.
Think in terms of these real estate marketing tips. “The top 5 things you can do to your home to maximize the sales price when you put it on the market.” If I were to create that report, what would be in it? Just think about it. You can figure it out on your own. Off the top of my head, I can easily come up with a few real estate marketing ideas. If you declutter it, it’s going to make a lot more money for your real estate business and for your sellers. Painting all of those worn spots that make the house look dated so that the house now looks fresh will get sellers and realtors a lot more money. Staging your home can also get sellers a lot more money. Strong negotiating tactics will get sellers a lot more money.
You may be thinking that real estate information like that is a no-brainer. Those are the real estate marketing tips you always do. The key here is that seller leads doesn’t know it. So put it in a report. “The top 5 things that will get you the most money for your home when you put it on the market.” Now, that homeowner is interested in your real estate marketing tips. Remember the saying, “curiosity killed the cat”? Seller leads respond due to curiosity, not due to the content that you actually put in the real estate mailers. The most important thing is to create the curiosity so that seller leads will respond.
First, create the headline of your real estate mailers that grabs their attention. Then, create the report. Finally, begin marketing that report to your sphere of influence list and give people a way to contact you.
For instance, say I’m doing real estate postcards mailing campaign marketing my sphere of influence list. I’m sending out real estate postcards that says, “If you are thinking about selling your home, I’ve learned that there are 5 top real estate marketing strategies that you can do that will get you the most money when you put it on the market. If you have an interest….”
Using real estate postcards to get real estate leads and identify a motivated seller before they go on market
Here, you want to add what’s called a ‘Call to Action’. You tell seller leads what to do. You might say, “Call or text me.” Or perhaps, “Call this toll-free number or go to this website.” Whatever it is, you are getting them to respond to your real estate mailers. The real estate leads thinking of selling are going, “Wow, this information might help us. Because we are thinking about selling our home, I want to get the most money. Those five real estate marketing tips could help, so let me request this report.”
That’s the process to make it happen. Then, the last thing is figuring out how you incorporate the call to action into your real estate mailers. The most important part about the call to action is that you have a way to track seller leads. But, if you want a way to increase the response you get, you have to make it where real estate leads don’t think that you are tracking them. This is what I call ‘stealth tracking’.
Say that you send seller leads to a website that you include on one of your real estate postcards and ask them to fill out a form that asks for the name, email and telephone number to get the free report. You are only going to get about 10% of the seller leads who are thinking about the free report to actually fill it out. Why? Because real estate leads go, “Wait, hold on. He wants my information. That must mean that he is going to start contacting me. I’m not sure that I’m ready for someone to know that I’m thinking about selling.” That’s exactly what happens. What you have to do is figure out is how to do it a different way to identify a greater number of seller leads.
Let’s assume these seller leads in your sphere of influence love you to death. They know all about you and they are not afraid of you as a realtor or sales person. In cases like this, you can say, “Just call or text me.” But sometimes your sphere of influence list is not that way. Perhaps you know them, but they are really not that close to you and they don’t know your real estate business. This leaves you unsure and you have to figure out a different way to engage your seller leads.
One of your real estate lead generation ideas that you may want to do is something simple, but effective. It’s something I call the ‘call capture number’. It’s a toll-free number. If you don’t know about it, just do an internet search on ‘toll-free, call capture numbers for real estate agents’. You’ll find a lot of information out there about these real estate marketing tools.
What happens is that the toll-free number that you provide your prospects tracks the caller ID of every phone call that comes into that number. You simply put an action statement on your real estate postcards or other real estate marketing products that directs seller leads to get more information. “For more information on this report, call this recorded message right now.”
The prospect calls the recorded message and it says something like, “Hey, this is Beatty Carmichael. Thank you for requesting my free report on how to get more money for your home. If you are interested in this report, just leave your name and your mailing address. I’ll drop it in the mail. Or, give me your email address and I’ll email it to you.”
Marketing to your sphere of influence with real estate marketing products that identify seller leads before they go on market
Now, whether seller leads leave their information or not is immaterial because you already have their number from your caller ID. You already have a way to call these prospects in your sphere of influence back. This is generally what you will find. Maybe ten seller leads will call in, but only three people will leave their information. All ten are great prospects. Call them all back.
You want to say something like, “Hey, this is Beatty. I just got a phone call from this number. Who is this? Oh Sue, hey, how are you doing? It’s Beatty Carmichael.” Now we engage.
“I was just calling back because someone called from this number, but didn’t leave a message requesting the free report. By the way, how are Tom and little Billy?”
“Oh, they are doing great. They are over at the university right now checking things out.”
“Is Billy that old?”
“He’s already graduating high school.”
“Wow, that’s hard to believe. So I was just wondering. Was that you or Tom that was calling in? That was you? Okay. Are you guys thinking about selling anytime soon?”
That’s how the conversation can go to the seller leads who simply call in and hang up because you’ve got caller ID information. We do it very similarly in our company because we have a special URL and tracking technology that we offer on our real estate postcards that does the same thing. Ultimately though, you want to offer a free report that captures seller leads while they are thinking so you can engage with them.
When our real estate clients do the proper follow-up, we have found that their success rate is between 90% – 100% in getting the listing.
When you find out about prospective sellers first, they are more likely to choose you as their real estate agent.
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