I got into real estate here in Scottsdale, Arizona after a 17-year legal career. I wouldn’t say I was in LOVE with my real estate business early on, but it was a means to get me out of the grind of an office cubicle, pushing paper from right to left and back again, and it included a huge opportunity to earn lots of money with very little time spent in a classroom. Even better, I learned the science of real estate lead follow up and it changed my life and my business goals.
Yes, when I told my friends and family I was going to go get my license, most thought I was nuts to quit a good-paying “salary” job as a single mother of two teenage boys to go into a fully 100% commission career. I also thought the side bonus was that it would give me more time to learn to play golf so I could meet men. HA, HA…was that a joke! Like I had time for golf or another man in my life at that time. What was I thinking?
Cut to today. Thank goodness I did get into this crazy real estate business because it was absolutely the best thing I have ever done. And, guess what else? I did end up meeting the man of my dreams (a long story for another book).
As a paralegal, one of the hidden talents I discovered I had was a passion for automating the mundane tasks of the legal business and lawsuit drafting. Now, this was during the 80’s when there was no such thing as Windows, Macs, drag and drop, or lap-top computers. In fact, as you may know, there wasn’t any such as thing as the internet. There weren’t even word processors (that’s how old I am). Instead, I learned how to create a macro on a Selectric® typewriter and it changed the way I worked by a long-short.
What’s a macro? Back then a macro was 45 characters I could type up and save right there on my electric typewriter. It was so cool! I could type, save and then press two keys to have it auto-type those same 45 characters into any document I wanted over and over and over. I absolutely thought I was in typing heaven! No more mistakes to fix on the carbon paper before we ran it through that smelly copy machine. I could whip up a lawsuit with uncountable 45-character macros in only about an hour, instead of 4 hours. I was the automation queen of the office and all my paralegal friends came to me for my secrets. I loved showing how fast they could work and the accolades I got from my peers and the attorneys who I worked for were amazed how fast, efficient and “mistake-free” I was… ha, ha.
Eventually, I got a word processor where I learned the magic of merging two documents together – push a button and plug in field database instantly into a document. By this time, I was really riding high with my new found abilities to learn and create documents quickly and efficiently with these new magic tools we called “floppy discs” where we could save, edit and print out our documents within just a few minutes. I HATED reinventing the wheel for tasks I had to do over and over.
“My laziness made me efficient and my efficiency made me MONEY!”
Since those days, I have accomplished pretty much everything I could in both my legal and real estate career, including rising to the top of the office leader board, owning my own brokerage, managing huge teams and now training thousands of agents from coast-to-coast on the science of CRMs, lead management and lead follow-up. Through all of my adult business life what I have found is that if you do or say the same thing more than once, then it deserves to be automated. So, it’s for this reason I am writing this book today.
Real Estate Lead Follow Up aka Prospecting
I have spent nearly my entire real estate career prospecting and converting mostly internet leads. From my experience working tens of thousands of internet leads from the mid 2000’s to the present, I can honestly say that the internet lead is the most difficult lead to convert to a sale. Why is that? Because the internet lead does not know you or your name when they sign up to get home information (most of the time). And…because they are probably signing up on several home search sites, they are most-likely being hounded by our local agent competition every day too.
It is imperative as an agent that we learn the art of making an impression, engaging, educating, automating, managing and staying-top-of mind until the prospect is ready to transact. That’s all we have do… ha, ha… all these things and also stay out of legal trouble by learning how to actually sell real estate and write legal contracts. I figure that 75% of our business as agents is marketing, which includes lead generation, learning necessary technology to run our business and prospecting through highly engaging communication. By the way… NO ONE TEACHES US THIS IN REAL ESTATE SCHOOL!
Wherever we’re getting our leads, there is way too much noise out there in real estate land. With tons of shoppers and approximately 1.5 million real estate agents in the United States alone (as of 2021), it’s so very hard to make an impression. There is a lot of competition out there doing (or trying to do) the same thing you are. So how can we stand out among the crowd of our agent competitors? How can we be sure our hard-earned leads realize we exist and then don’t forget about us? How can we set it up so we can be efficient in our follow-up and actually get time to have a personal life too?
Our business requires us to be in several places at once – lead generating, prospecting, going on appointments, writing contracts, negotiating, managing transactions, attending inspections and closings and of course, running to the bank with our commission checks (not to mention spending time with our family and actually taking a real vacation).
To do it right as an agent, it means closing sales, staying legally above board, filling and managing our pipeline so we don’t run dry of business month after month. It’s a never-ending cycle that many of us give up on eventually. In fact, only about 20% or less of licensed agents actually do this for a full-time job and support their families from the income we earn selling real estate.
My goal is to help you be one of the 20% (if that is what you want) and to get a handle on all this without reinventing a wheel and ripping your hair out of your head in the process. The technology and writing content part of this business is just not the sexy or fun for most of us. However, closing sales is the sexy part of our business. Am I right? But, let’s face it… without all the other pre-game prep I described above you cannot possibly close those sales at a clip that you can survive upon.
The good news is that I have walked in your shoes as an agent. I have lived and still live the pains of balancing work with a personal life because real estate is practically a 24/7 job. My top-producer experience and attitude will guide you, which is why I wrote this book. I want to help you get your business and your database under control so you can enjoy a personal life while you manage, communicate with, automate and mine the Gold (future buyers and sellers) in your database the easy and efficient way without spending hours with your nose in your computer. You “aint” got time for that and let’s be honest…you hate this part of the business but you know it’s a requirement for success and has to exist whether you like it or not!
Leads Alone Do Not Mean Instant Success
So, let’s get one thing straight right now…THE MONEY IS NOT IN LEAD GENERATION! Instead, the money can pour in with engaging, automated and consistent follow-up in place. You can have all the leads in the world flowing in hand over fist, but without a productive, effective and efficient follow-up program in place, you are going to be dead in the water and wasting your time and money and, even worse, not earning what you want to be earning as a real estate agent.
With that said, before you consider lead generating via spending time at an open house, farming, paying Zillow or Facebook $2,000/month to buy leads, or knocking doors, you MUST FIRST have a CRM (customer relationship management software) you like, understand and use locked and loaded with drip campaigns, automation and integrations. Most importantly, you must also learn how to use it and that is more than half the battle for 95% of us Type-A personality agents.
Had I not learned and done all the things that you are about to read, I would not be where I am today spreading my passion and joy about the art of real estate lead follow up and database management. I am going to share with you every best practice, trick and tip of CRMs, drip campaigns, content, automation and effective communication that I used in my own real estate business to become a top producing real estate agent.
Trust that this real estate lead follow up information stuff I share with you works because I proved it in my own business and have since proven it by helping thousands of agents from coast-to-coast to do the same. The essential thing to remember is to be consistent, stay the course and don’t run around like a chicken with your head cut-off. You can do this and you must trust that if you invest the time to learn it and implement, that it can happen for you too.
Now let’s get down to the meat-and-potatoes of CRMs, drip campaigns, and lead management because I won’t rest until every agent I can get my hands on understands the most important aspect of our business and that is… THE MONEY IS IN REAL ESTATE LEAD FOLLOW UP!
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