Automate Your Real Estate Prospecting

Do you enjoy prospecting for new real estate clients?

I only enjoy prospecting some days. It’s a tedious and repetitive task. A task that takes up lots of time and only works for me when I’m standing there, making the calls.

The moment I put the phone down, my time and the results I’ve managed to generate for that day are the results. My efforts are limited by the time I can spend actively making calls. If you leave voicemails, you can see some callbacks.

But I usually missed those because I was out doing the work by the time anyone called me back. Do I enjoy closing a client for an appointment? Closing a sale? Of course! But why are we still teaching that boiler room sales tactics are the best way to do it?

What do most people tell you when you hit your limit? “Hire an ISA,” right? That’s the next logical step; I can generate more business by duplicating myself. I can grow if I do that enough times and continue to cold call more locations and neighborhoods.

Again, the ISAs head home. Or head to bed for those who’ve used international ISAs. But the results for the day are what they are. They only continue working through the night, the weekends, etc. 

The problem with prospecting for real estate clients...

Imagine if Amazon was only open from 8 am to 11 am Monday – Friday!?
Do you think they would be where they are? Of course not! What if they were open 8 am to 6 pm, seven days a week?
Better, but let’s be honest, they wouldn’t be where they are today. Part of the appeal to Amazon is the ease of accessibility.
With Amazon, you can log in at 11 pm when you realize you just squeezed the last drop of toothpaste out, and it show’s up on your doorstep the next day.
We live in a different world than in the 90s; shoot, we live in a far different world than when I started this blog! That was only nine years ago.
The average time someone spends online has more than doubled since that time. The amount of people over 65 has nearly doubled. We were only on the iPad 4 back then… most of us wouldn’t make our kids use something that old these days.
We may have added video emails that often land in the promotions folder. But what does this mean for prospecting? Why has prospecting not evolved?
Maybe even some text message follow-up, but aside from that, it’s just trading time for appointments

Why hasn't real estate lead generation evolved?

The lack of evolution is due to a lack of training and understanding of what is possible.

Think of any business outside of real estate, insurance, and mortgages…

They likely have a brick-and-mortar building, a website they rely on, and maybe some local advertisements. Yet brokerage after brokerage is telling us we need to be cold calling? Do you like receiving cold calls? As a general rule, I don’t.

I appreciate the occasional call where someone is clearly skilled on the phone, but for the most part, it interrupts my day

Should we stop interrupting strangers to invite them to be a client...

Prospecting sounds funny when you say it that way. But it’s the reality. We’re interrupting our potential clients to sell them our services.

For some of us, this works. I don’t argue with the results. If something works, I will tell you to continue as long as it’s legal and ethical.

The reality here is different from what we’ve been taught. It’s not what we’ve been told for our entire careers.

I think back to my first time ever taking the “BOLD” class at KW. I will always remember the question that was asked.

It made me think and start to look at how to solve this “made-up” problem handed to me.

The coach said: “Some people just decided they want to buy a house in this market. No one knows yet, they haven’t talked to an agent, and all you have to do is get in front of them. How are you going to do that?”

I’m sure we all chanted, “pick up the phone” or something along those lines. But this question haunted me for years. The craziest part is the answer was right in front of my face.

I have people who read this blog and contact me for help. Sometimes, people reach out for guidance or hire me to set up a lead generation campaign.

But I never cold-called them…

I never reached out or left a door hanger on their office door.

All I did was talk about something specific that they were interested in.

But how did they find me?

Diving into exactly how that works would take more than a minute. But I can give you a basic overview of how to use it in your market.

I’ll even share an extremely affordable tool that does exactly what you need near the end. Essentially, it’s simple SEO or (search engine optimization).

What the heck is that!? The majority of people have no clue what SEO is. That’s why what I will share with you could change your business.

Are you ready?

The craziest part about generating leads this way is you can do it in less time and get better results.  (See Video Below) 

What is real estate seo?

First, real estate SEO (search engine optimization) is the same as standard SEO. We’ll refer to search engine optimization as SEO going forward.

Essentially, it’s how you make a search result appear higher in the search engines. Think of it like walking into the grocery store and trying to find something.

If you’re like me, you’re probably looking at the list your wife gave you and wondering where everything is. Now I’m pretty familiar with snacks, steaks, and soda locations, but the other day I was asked to get hand soap, and where they put it made no sense…

I’m getting off track, but imagine I go ask the person stocking the shelves if they can direct me to where the hand soap is. At that moment, they’re kind of like google.

The same was as if I asked the clerk at the self-checkout where it was, and they pointed me to someone who would know; they’re like bing… Not really, but if you get that, we should be friends.

The point being someone directs you where you want to go based on your initial request.

SEO works by helping to make sure that the guy stocking the shelves knows where to find the item you were asking for.

If all the hand soaps, dish soaps, laundry detergent, etc. were bottled in identical bottles and hidden through out the store, he wouldn’t be able to help.

But when we do a little bit of SEO work on the back end, it’s like changing the color, shape and label on our bottle of soap to make it stand out.

Stand out as an agent in your market!

SEO for a real estate agent is essentially setting up your website in a way google can quickly locate it. When someone searches “is there an agent near me” or “homes for sale in Grand Rapids,” your website is the one that pops up.

Instead of a brightly labeled bottle, you do this by setting up your website to be recognized easily.

Imagine you have a website about real estate for sale in Grand Rapids. As a result, Google receives searches and can send your website to the client. The better the customer enjoys the experience, the higher up on the search engine you end up showing up.

There are other factors, but I’m trying to make this as simple as possible. Realistically for most agents, the amount of effort needed to see results is very little.

You aren’t trying to show up at the top for searches like “homes for sale.” You’re focused on local content. There is far less competition for local content than a national brand selling hand soap.

At the end of the day, it’s like a little puzzle you put together that lets people find your website. You need the bottle to appeal, the label to be clear, and a color that stands out.

Bing will still probably be confused, but that’s for another day.

If you have a website that people find when they are searching “high intent” based searches. “High intent” searches are terms found near the decision making point of the process.

For example, “An agent near me,” “real estate agent in Grand Rapids,” etc.

At this point, you start to become more like Amazon than a call center.

Imagine doing 1 hour of work each day on your website. Your work today continues to work for you tomorrow, the next day, and so on.

You are compounding your efforts. 5 hours of effort in a week continues working for you. It’s not doing it, done, repeat like cold calling, and you get in front of people that are looking for your help!

How do you start with SEO as a real estate agent?

How do you start with SEO as a real estate agent?

You need a website. The problem? Most websites your brokerage gives you are set up for the brokerage rather than you.

They’re something easy to replicate, so that they can provide them to many agents. The problem is that they aren’t often set up for SEO.

But “They have a search feature.”

Let’s be honest are you using your website search to find properties, or do you use Zillow or the MLS?

Having property searches is great. But two things are vitally important when you’re starting in this space.

  • Getting a website that can appear in the search engines with as little effort as possible.
  • Make sure your site is designed to capture leads. You need to capture information from the people visiting so you can follow up in the future.

For someone starting, is it worth it? Answer this for me…

Would you be excited if I said you could call through the expired list this morning? What if I told you you could call through the “information requested” leads list? Which would you choose?

I wanted to build something affordable to agents that provides incredible value. So, that’s what I did… 

A complete local website hosted with the forms, the plugins, etc. to help generate high quality local leads.

You can check it out here and email me if you have any questions.

– Matt