The num­ber one thing that de­ter­mines the suc­cess of any busi­ness is how it ac­quires its cus­tomers. Our in­dus­try is usu­ally hooked on the now, hop­ing for an in­stant lead pay­off. But this is a short-term view, says coach Josh Phe­gan, and there needs to be m

Elite Agent - - CONTENTS - Josh Phe­gan

LEAD GEN­ER­A­TION WEB­SITES aren’t new, but they do cut into your mar­gins and breed lazy agents. Even worse, a num­ber of the leads are al­ready in your ex­ist­ing data­base. On the flip side, we have agents who are still build­ing re­la­tion­ships yet fail to con­vert any of those re­la­tion­ships to real live list­ings. So where’s the bal­ance?

You need to get clear about what you do and what you don’t do. Where does the cus­tomer hang out be­fore they need you? They hang out at open homes and on­line en­quiries. They also hang out with ex­ist­ing cus­tomers of the firm, bet­ter known as land­lords, ten­ants and past clients.

So what are the best lead sources?

OPEN HOMES. You meet more peo­ple more of­ten who are al­ready out look­ing for a so­lu­tion, from neigh­bours to gen­uine pur­chasers who have to buy to­day. To­day’s buyer is to­mor­row’s seller. They choose the prop­erty, not you, so it’s the be­gin­ning of the re­la­tion­ship.

BUYER EN­QUIRY. Buy­ers are es­tab­lish­ing price points and value when they en­quire; how you han­dle those en­quiries de­ter­mines whether they see you as valu­able, or just an­other agent send­ing an­other au­to­mated re­ply which didn’t an­swer their ques­tions. It’s al­ways my pref­er­ence to call the client over email­ing them; it gives you a real chance to find out ex­actly where they’re at in the pur­chas­ing cy­cle so you can pro­vide the very best ad­vice.

MAR­KET AP­PRAISALS. The owner just wants a price, af­ter all; it’s prob­a­bly the bait and hook that you used to get the cus­tomer to call: ‘Find out what your place is worth’. The big banks are us­ing the same tagline, so it’s time to change. The role of the agent at the mar­ket ap­praisal is to find out the client’s dis­sat­is­fac­tion (the prob­lem they are try­ing to solve), their vi­sion (so­lu­tion and what it looks like) and pre­pared­ness to make the first steps (at­tend opens, pri­vate ap­point­ments, make of­fers or bid at auc­tion).

LAND­LORDS. They have a prin­ci­pal place of res­i­dence, but is your agency a full-service firm? If you are think about to ar­rang­ing a time to see their prin­ci­pal place of res­i­dence, pro­vide an eq­uity up­date and ad­vise whether to sell and up­grade; or al­ter­nately use that eq­uity to buy an­other in­vest­ment prop­erty.

PER­SONAL NET­WORK. You’ve got thou­sands of friends on so­cial net­works, but where do they live? If they live in an area you service, then you must cross the bridge of awk­ward­ness and be their agent. The eas­i­est way to in­tro­duce work-re­lated con­ver­sa­tions in a non-work en­vi­ron­ment is just to say some­thing like, ‘You wouldn’t be­lieve what hap­pened at work yes­ter­day’ – par­tic­u­larly around just listed or just sold ac­tiv­ity.

The se­crets of word of mouth mar­ket­ing mat­ter more than ever; there­fore cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence is ev­ery­thing. You need to be able to de­fine it to de­liver it. Map out where the cus­tomer’s highs and lows are, then place a high next to the low. If you get a price re­duc­tion it’s a low for the client, so make sure you get a buyer in­spec­tion within 24 hours, a high, so they make the con­nec­tion: price re­duc­tion equals buyer ac­tiv­ity.

The best in the busi­ness fo­cus on ap­point­ments only. Get me to three ap­point­ments a day, buyer, mar­ket ap­praisal or list­ings, and watch your busi­ness fly. I’m not trapped in in­dus­try dogma around door­knock­ing, cold call­ing or van­ity mar­ket­ing. The best form of mar­ket­ing is al­ways an auc­tion or For Sale board up and a Sold sticker ap­plied.

You must know what makes your busi­ness work, so you can am­plify your ef­forts and steer clear of the ac­tiv­i­ties that suck re­sources. For all the ef­fort, en­ergy and talk around so­cial, I just wish peo­ple would spend more on serv­ing the cus­tomers they’ve al­ready got. They are hunt­ing for new, when the re­al­ity is a great busi­ness has re­peat and re­turn cus­tomers.

How much does your busi­ness spend on mar­ket­ing? And how much of that bud­get is spent on re­ten­tion and re­newal of ex­ist­ing cus­tomers?

Why pay for a lead that you’ve al­ready got?

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