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realestate lead generation by dhamza

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									DISCLAIMER: This information is provided "as is". The author, publishers and marketers of this information disclaim any loss or liability, either directly or indirectly as a consequence of applying the information presented herein, or in regard to the use and application of said information. No guarantee is given, either expressed or implied, in regard to the merchantability, accuracy, or acceptability of the information.

Lead Generation for Real Estate Pros

Table of Contents
Newspaper Classified Private Radio transmitter Create your own web site Virtual tours Local "Parade of Homes" Signage Contractor and home builder shows Promotional handouts Lockboxes Press release Fax Seminars Networking Newsletter Referrals from clients

Newspaper Classifieds Newspaper ads Newspaper ads are convenient sources of real estate leads. The top reason why real estate agents put out advertisements by the hundreds and thousands of dollars in newspaper ads is this: they need to acquire listings. The simple fact of the matter is, most home sellers look at these newspaper ads. Via this route, they then ponder and get to decide who or which is the real estate agent and company that does a great job of marketing homes. Newspaper real estate ads create an impression to home sellers that these real estate companies will just as similarly do a great job in selling their houses. Usually, it is the bigger companies in real estate that also run the big newspaper ads. These large real estate companies also have a similarly big inventory of houses which they put out in wide two-page ads in newspapers. Chances are good that the house that you are selling will be included in this large spread. Home sellers require that the houses they are putting up for purchase will have the most exposure and the ads in newspapers put up by such companies seem to fill this real estate need. However, the risk in these types of ads are that the real estate company may have an additional 300-400 more of these houses in their listing inventory. It all depends on luck and timing as to the number of times the house you are putting up for purchase will be seen.

Another reason for putting up real estate ads in newspapers is this: it is done in order to gain leads. There are numerous buyers who look at these newspaper ads. And the number of readers and eyes that look on these ads is unlimited. Or so it seems, because according to a survey profile of Home Buyers as well as Home Sellers, only a measly five percent of people who look for homes in newspaper ads actually make a purchase. Actually, a total of 95-98% of newspaper readers do exactly that, they read and neglect or simply do not purchase real estate despite the number of ads put out by real estate companies. This is a stark difference to the whooping 53% of buyers who actually start their search in newspapers and magazines. But the most important reason why newspaper ads are used so much for snagging those real estate leads is because agents use this avenue as an effective means for self-promotion. The idea is that, the more their names are exposed and the more it gets to be familiar to readers, it is therefore highly likely that home sellers will come and get them when they are thinking of putting up their homes for selling. This is a very subtle yet effective form of branding. Fortunately or unfortunately, though real estate agents know the valuable contribution that newspaper ads provide, they hardly inform home sellers of this fact. It has also been proven that the real estate section of newspapers is its' least read part.

Some home magazines go to the extent of touting that advertising in them would, more often than not, generate sales. Though it seems they offer the best value compared to the rates of ads in newspapers, the survey shows that readers actually do little buying in spite of the highly glossy pictures the home magazines provide. This even if in addition to the millions of people they call their readers, and the coast to coast reach of their magazine, the numbers show that their readers just read, and a very small percentage of them actually buy. But it is also a fact that the two percent who actually buy may leave a bit of room for hope for the home seller, so what the heck. In short, home sellers have been conditioned that advertising real estate in newspapers works, this even if real estate agents have surveys that prove otherwise. This is because the benefits real estate agents get are just as money-worthy, and these are in the form of leads. And in the world of real estate, leads are investments that could be worth a lot; if not now, it will be in the coming weeks, months or years ahead.

Private Radio transmitter "Real Estate: Follow up on Leads via Radio Transmitter"

Selling real estate is quite difficult to master. It is one of the most competitive and uncertain fields in business where there are no specific guarantees. It takes a certain amount of ability, grit and determination for the men and women of this field to flourish. Still, real estate has produced many of the country's popular millionaires, like Donald Trump. This is the reason why there are still a lot out there who are struggling to survive in this field. Here are some qualities that a real estate agent must possess: 1. Knowledge of the market. Real estate agents and developers, like any other people in business, should have a mastery of the industry. You should know everything that there is to know about your chosen profession. There are no guarantees of a monthly paycheck in selling real estate so you have to know how to hit a jackpot. Knowing the ins and outs of the business would more or less prepare you for the hard work ahead. 2. A sincere interest in people. Here, you do not just deal with lands or properties. You should have an ample amount of people skills for you to have a better grasp of your customer's needs and put everything to their satisfaction.

You should also care enough for the people that you service so that you can give them exactly what they want, and their appreciation should be a great reward for you, not to mention the financial gains that you can obtain for yourself. 3. A willingness to work hard. Only the toughest survive in the field of real estate. Working as hard as you can in this field, just like in any other business, is the key to your success. 'Using a Radio Transmitter to Follow up on Leads' As a real estate agent, who would not want to gain more hot leads, more listings, more customers and bigger commissions? One of the tools that you can use as a real estate agent to climb to the top is by using a radio transmitter. Here is a list of how you can use it to your advantage: You can broadcast a personalized, real time, recorded message. Radio transmitters would help you reach a wider spectrum of clients by broadcasting your messages to prospects. There are new transmitters available in the market that let you broadcast "live", or continue with a recorded message using a digital chip. This is perfect for 'Open Houses'. Once you see a potential client or a prospective buyer listening in to your recorded message, you can cut in and

personally address the customer. This way, you and your prospect would have an immediate connection and it just might lead you to a sale. You can also use the radio transmitter as a public address system for special community events. There are even radio transmitter models which let you "imitate" celebrity voices to grab the listener's attention. These models are surprisingly inexpensive so it would not be a waste to purchase them. You can use two transmitters at the same time. Just set them to two different frequencies at the same listing so that you can kill two birds with one stone. Real estate agents earn money by getting listings. You can use your radio transmitter to book appointments with home sellers. Think about marketing strategies that will appeal both to home sellers and home buyers to increase your listings. Develop special offers and freebies for home owners and leave your contact information so that you can convince people to get a hold of you regarding the selling or listing of their home. Remember that word of mouth is a great advertisement for you so make sure that the entire population in your area knows about your business and you just might strike pay dirt and end up with additional leads. You may also sell your recorded advertisements to paying advertisers who

can broadcast your message into their own private "network". More importantly, you can set up the radio transmitters in your own home. Record a message that features the offers that you have. You might be surprised when a seemingly unknown neighbor suddenly shows up on your doorstep, wanting to talk about the listing of their home or someone else's home that they know about. Remember that the more you use these radio transmitters, the more sales, listings, leads and prospective clients you will get.

Create your own web site

Create Your Own Web site: The Realtor’s Key Selling Tool Buying a house is one of the most precious lifetime goals and requires a large sum of money. That is why real estate has always been a serious business especially now that the values of real estate properties rarely depreciate. In turn, most real estate buyers are now more prepared mentally and financially. For this reason, most realtors know that they have to do their best to attract more clients and to keep up with the growing competition in the market. In one aspect, realtors value their leads the most. They know that real estate leads are the primary source to their success. They know that without

leads, there would be no deals. And without deals, there will be no sales. That is why they try to find ways on how to generate more leads and boost their sales. Consequently, with the advent of information technology, the Internet has always been the primary source of effective marketing tools and strategies. This is because the Internet has a wider reach that can generate millions of people in just one sitting. Hence, experts contend that realtors must conform to the growing trend of marketing today, wherein most salespeople generate their leads using the Internet. And how is that? They build their own web sites. Alternatively, in a recent study, the demographic profile of Internet users showed that 50% of have college degrees, the typical earnings of Internet users is $52,500 and almost 42% earn beyond that, and the total frequency percentage rate of Internet users on a daily basis is almost 88%. This goes to show that more and more people are using and accessing the Internet. And with the average income of most Internet users, the National Association of Realtors contends that 96% of the Americans who would buy houses will access the Internet to find their dream houses. These facts, in turn, require a realtor to create his or her own web site to gain the profit they wish to obtain. Most realtors just do not understand the potential of the Internet in generating the sales that they need. They do not realize that the generation of leads through the Internet can significantly

increase your sales. However, creating your own web site is a lot of work. There are a lot of various expertise that need to be mastered especially if you do not have a basic knowledge on web designing and developing. It entails the use of graphic designs, programs, search engine optimization tools, different software, etc. On its total concept, it is really hard to incorporate all of these things in an instant. Actually, it is not a requirement that you have to create superfluous designs and features on your web site, but keep in mind that the Internet market has more fierce competition when compared to the outside world. Hence, it is relatively important that you pay attention to your web site and come up with something that will generate leads for your business. The trend of the market today is based on the fact that the more proficiency and skill you can incorporate on your web site, in any aspect, the tougher your competitive spot in the market. Therefore, the important aspect that you should focus more on when creating a web site is how you can generate your leads, work on it and turn it into prospects, and convert prospects into deals. That is basically how you can generate your income. Here is a list of some of the benefits you can derive from creating your own web site: 1. You get to connect with other web sites that have greater flow of traffic where they generate almost 60,000 of visitors a day.

2. You get to create your own listings, which can significantly add usefulness to your website. 3. You can use email marketing to get hold of individuals in the target market, who are more than willing to gain updated information on real estate listings. 4. You can participate on virtual tours such as Yahoo virtual tours and on other web sites and provide links that can generate traffic to your web site and generate your leads. 5. You get to advertise your properties without the expenses that the typical advertising can give. Creating your own web site should be the primary marketing tool of every realtor. Realtors should grasp the growing potential of the Internet in increasing their sales. The drift of the market today is based on the fact that the money is in the Web.

Virtual tours (How to Find Real Estate Leads Via…) Virtual Tours: When Image Really Matters It is a well-know and well-accepted fact that the Internet is currently considered as one of the best pragmatic tools that technology has ever created. It provides a lot of possible information that can be quickly

accessed without having to resort to manual process and without having to exert physical prowess. That is why most of the activities on the Internet are described as virtual, meaning the activities are executed without having to carry out the actual activity. It is when things classified as virtual fall under the category of things existing in essence or effect though not in actual fact or form. For this reason, certain businesses have realized the potential of the Internet in giving their clients the much-needed presentation without having to physically and actually render the actions. This goes to show that people who are in different places can still get access to some relevant information about the matter without having to be physically present in order to evaluate the item in scrutiny. This concept was greatly accepted by the real estate industry. Most realtors had seen the probability of gaining sales without having to propose the properties to their clients in actual time and space. This is possible through the use of virtual tours. This should not be confused with the “radio transmitter” suggestion mentioned earlier. This is an entirely separate function. Virtual tours refer to the access of the potential homebuyers in getting a good look at the insides of the house that they plan to buy through the use of the Internet. This is possible by using a web-based software that enables the potential homebuyers to “tour” in and around the house. This enables them to assess whether or not the house is just what they are looking for and/or worthy enough to create an appointment to see the home first hand.

With the convenience that the Internet gives, most people are comfortable with online shopping. They contend that it is easier and more comfortable to access information of the things they want to buy through the Net. That is why most home buyers request virtual tours online. For this reason, most experts contend that for every realtor who has a web site and wishes to generate real estate leads with the help of the Internet, then, it is best to use virtual tours. These tools will enable the realtors to get access to people who are willing to buy a house because they are interested in how it looks inside and out. Virtual tours are great lead generators because they attract potential homebuyers to your web site. Keep in mind that most people who get access to the Internet are usually those who are hungry for information. Hence, it is best to provide them the things that they need. In return, once you have provided people with the necessary things that they want, you can easily lure them to buy these things, such as properties, from you. And one way to attract and compel them to buy is to give them a reason to do so. So when they see that your house is appropriate to what they are looking for, they will hopefully buy the house from you. In fact, statistical reports show that almost 56% of the people who have plans in buying a house usually use the Internet to search for probable homes. Among these people who use the Internet as their primary source of housing information, 70% of them contend that using virtual tours had been the most effective tool in searching a house. This is because virtual tours let

them save time and enables them to have fewer expenses because they have fewer trips to the actual site. Hence, virtual tours are considered to be one of the most important marketing tool for a realtor. It’s an effective means in generating good real estate leads, which, can be converted into actual homebuyers. However, when you want to use virtual tours in finding real estate leads, it is best if you will consider some factors first that can make or break the probability of your business generating more leads. Here is a list of some tips that you need to know: 1. Be wary of the images that you will use The most important part for a virtual tour to be an effective tool in marketing is that you should use crisp and detailed areas of the house that you are trying to sell. Keep in mind that the pictures of the house are one of the most important information that a customer wants in order to decide whether they will buy the house or not. The problem comes when your pictures are not clear enough. In this case, the customer will have the tendency to look and find other virtual tour sites that provide clearer and crisper pictures. 2. Be particular with details

The key to an effective virtual tour is to include a comprehensive description of the details of the house. This means that you have to specify everything even up to the tiniest and most obvious details. Never assume that a particular area is already obvious and that’s why you thought it is okay not to include that in your descriptive article. Keep in mind that the tiniest detail that you might take for granted to include could definitely make or unmake your property. You never know what will trigger a “hot button” for the potential client. Virtual tours can absolutely generate real estate leads. Just remember to use appropriate shots and pictures in order to attract more customers and generate more leads.

Local "Parade of Homes" How to find Real Estate Leads via…Local “Parade of Homes”: A Lifetime Goal In today’s growing economic crisis, most people are reluctant to buy their own home. This is unfortunate because it is a buyer’s market and a good time to buy. Why? The reason is because properties for sale abound as a response to the recent economic crisis. Some previously overpriced houses have as much as a 25% discount. Therefore, since there are too many housing projects on the horizon,

realtors have to work double time and employ radical measures to be able to generate real estate leads. The competition becomes so intense that most realtors find it hard to generate the quality leads that they need. Therefore, it is best for each realtor to find some effective strategies that will help them produce the leads that they need in order to create the sales and the money that they want. One of the best ways to do this is through the local “parade of homes". In this manner, realtors, builders, and developers work together, in order to display model houses that are being sold in the market. Through the parade of homes, real estate developers are able to systematize the building a number of homes under one “sub development” through the help of some group of builders. This group of builders were arranged and coordinated by the real estate developers themselves. Basically, homes that are included in a “parade of homes” are freely available for the public for sightseeing and explorations. Usually, parade of homes showcases groundbreaking ideas for most homebuyers. For this reason, organizing a “parade of homes” will definitely allow realtors to find their much-needed real estate leads. This is because most people who will attend this kind of event are the ones who have the potential to buy or are interested in buying a house. Moreover, local “parade of homes” can give the potential buyer a chance to meticulously scrutinize the overall condition, structure, and features of the house. Seeing the house on its actual condition can definitely entice every

customer who is very willing to buy a house. Therefore, it would not be hard for a real estate agent to convince the person to buy the house, not unless there is a problem with money. It is a well-known fact that people who mostly go to “parade of homes” are the ones who are interested to buy a house or those who have plans of buying a house. Hence, these people can be easily converted into leads, and leads can easily generate deals and transactions. Besides, it would be easier to explain presentations and features of the house to a person who have exerted efforts to attend this special event just to see the house. This is all based on the interest of that person in buying the property. The logic is simple. If the person were not interested to buy a house, then he would not go to all the trouble of finding “parade of homes” events and travel from his place to the venue. In addition, through the “parade of homes,” realtors can easily take their client through each property in detail, explaining the topography of the lot, the neighbors, the streets, the drainage, the security, the whole package. In this way, the realtor can explain why the property will fit the buyer’s needs. Having been informed with all the “parade of homes” can provide, the buyer could easily realize that they have gained more than just a roof over their growing families. In turn, they would be more than willing to buy the house. Indeed, the importance of using "parade of homes” in finding real estate

leads is undeniable clear. What is important when using this strategy in generating leads is to make the buyer realize that they have just made a major investment. When you use this tactic, you should be able to make the buyer feel that money-wise home ownership in the coming decade means buying to sell in the future. Moreover, they can only be satisfied if they were able to see the actual features of the house. All of these things are boiled down to the fact that generating leads through “parade of homes” is relatively effective because homebuyers get to see what they are paying for. Hence, they get to be assured that where their money goes is worthy of its cause. If your community does not currently have a parade of homes, step up to the plate and begin one! What could be more effective than to be the actual “pioneer” of this concept in your area?

Signage What Signage Can Do for Your Real Estate If you want to get leads for your real estate business, we’ve discussed some of them here and will discuss even more tips in upcoming chapters. Perhaps one of the most effective ones you can actually utilize is something that’s pretty much old school: signage. That’s right—effective signage will help achieve much of the benefits you will get out of more expensive

methods. What differentiates regular signage from the sort of signage that’s going to give you potential customers? That’s going to have to be efficacy. How effective your signage is in conveying your real estate image can mean the difference of a huge marginal increase in your sales and leads. First, let’s talk about the visual mileage you can get out of a real estate sign. Why is this important? Obviously, if your sign isn’t half as visible as the other “side-of-the-road” views that your potential customer will see as he or she drives by, your leads are less likely to see your sign, much less remember what it says and what’s being offered. Therefore, your sign has to be eye-catching. How do you do just that? You can make your sign stand out from the background while still remaining true to your company’s general company identity. To do this, manipulate color, style, and layout of your sign. This also means that while you want it to be aesthetically appealing, you have to put a premium on how readable the text is. The readability of the signage’s text does not rely solely on the size and style of the text, but also the color combinations at work. The color of text against the color of the background must have enough contrast to make the text stand out from the background, without the colors becoming too overwhelming. Put a premium on utilizing your logos and schemes over other combinations. Moreover, the text of your sign must be more or less simple. This can help make sure that your sign will be readable and visible from afar. This is important especially if you are targeting potential customers who are simply

driving by. Along with visibility of the text and content should be the visibility of your company logo. How else will your potential customers know who is in-charge of selling that property? Visibility of your company logo builds your reputation in two ways—either it makes new customers interested in checking out the property because of a reputation behind your name, or that your company will gain added reputation from the sheer multitude and respectability implied by your various signage in your properties. Make sure that you include important contact details sufficient enough to at least direct your potential customers to your company. Where your sign is parked or positioned is also very important. The positioning of your sign will help enhance the visual appeal it has, and even the number of people who will be able to see your sign. As much as possible, you want your sign to be positioned in such a way that will make it relatively easy for your potential customer to step out of his or her car or pause from his or her leisurely walk, and check out the ad and the property you are offering. Should your sign be very awfully located, either the surroundings will detract the attention of the customer, or it will discourage them from trying to find out more about the property you’re selling. Standardize your signage layout and appeal. Why is this? Your signage efforts will only translate to real leads if your sign solicits recall. With consistent designs, colors, and layouts, you’re sure that your customers will actually remember you.

Don’t be afraid to try something a little “different.” Different is good and can go a long way toward setting you apart from the competition. Maybe you try something simple like “BUY ME” with the phone number and web address in a large enough type to be seen from the street. If you experiment, you are sure to come up with ideas that are not the same old run of the mill signs! This recall and remembrance will help them refer you to a friend or acquaintance who may be interested in getting a piece of real estate, or will make them remember you the moment they’d want to purchase a piece of real estate themselves. Take not that the efficacy of signage for any other business establishment has been proven to be effective more of the word of mouth of the people for whom the signage has had an impact on, than anything.

Contractor and home builder shows Contractor and Home Builder Shows: The Power of Advertising Contractor and Home Builder shows are becoming extremely popular among folks who are looking to build their home or are even just slightly considering having one custom-built themselves. As a real estate agent looking for leads, this is obviously a goldmine of potential customers for you. But how are you going to take full advantage of this opportunity? First, affiliate yourself with the most reputable contractors or home builders

in the show. These individuals will come into the show with greater strength than others, and most likely, customers are more likely to flock to their booth or area than others. Make sure these contractors are referring the traffic back to you. You may also opt to set-up a booth where interested parties may gather further information on real estate. Not only will this allow you to communicate with potential clients, you are also getting the opportunity to collect information on them that may be valuable to your future contracts. Don’t underestimate the contact that you can make in a contractor or home builder show. Unlike street signs or promotional brochures given out in random commercial spaces, the people crowding to these shows are more than likely to be very much interested in the services you offer, and are simply choosing among various alternatives. Moreover, because of this interactivity, you are able to communicate better your vision and your comparative advantage over the next best thing. It gives you more space to convince a potential lead to avail of your services, or simply give you information so that they’d receive supplementary brochures and catalogues from your company. Make sure that you have your card ready. Your customer may be sold on the idea of hiring your services, but without your card, how will they be reminded of the impression you made on them. Moreover, how will they know where to get in touch? Always have it in handy while you make your remarkable sales pitch and you’re sure to get solid leads yourself. While your potential customers are roaming around these shows, they are going to want to compare and contrast various offers made to them. Some

of them would want to finalize decisions at home, while others would want to make those decisions on the spot. For on-the-spot decision-makers, a promotional handout or brochure featuring the attractive qualities of the real estate you are offering may actually help them compare your offer to the next best thing. A creative brochure capitalizing on the assets of the real estate will allow for you to stand out in the midst of competition. For those who may wish to ponder on acquiring your service for a longer time, brochures will give you the sort of recall and accessibility you want. Again, the featuring of attractive qualities will reinforce the positive impression you already made on them. Moreover, an effective brochure will keep your customers well within the scope of your sales pitch they’d be looking at the same product you are selling and seeing the same benefits you highlighted in your pitch over and over. Contractor and home builder shows, like all other shows, offer kits and giveaways for their visitors to take home. Want to give your potential leads further information on your brand of real estate and what you can offer? Include your brochure and information sheets in the show’s giveaway packages. Make sure to include your contact details, and don’t be afraid to offer brochures and catalogues the moment they get in touch with you or answer a questionnaire. While your customer may view this as a freebie in the show, you are in fact getting very valuable information you can use to generate more real estate leads. The important thing to remember is this: make sure that you are prominently featured in the show, or if not, getting at least the equivalent amount of traffic if you were prominently featured in the show. With more people flocking to you for information, you have more opportunities to give

them information on how they can get in touch with you, ask for their information for you to send them supplementary material on your company, and get in touch with the people who are most interested in availing your service. When it comes to these home builder and contractor shows, don’t be afraid to aggressively market yourself to your target population.

Promotional handouts Hand ‘Em Out: Real Estate Flyers Every regular consumer has had an experience of walking around a commercial establishment. Afterwards they find themselves furnished with a flyer or brochure of some product or service. More recently, real estate flyers have gone from a rare few to becoming the huge majority of flyers being handed out in these commercial establishments. It may be safe for you to deduce, as a real estate agent, that this trend is a result of an inherent efficacy of the system. And this isn’t too far the target either. Indeed, real estate promotional materials serve a huge purpose on-site, in home shows, and even in commercial establishments frequented by potential buyers. At the end of the day, these flyers have become handy and powerful marketing tools for real estate agents like you and just how and why that is so will be clarified further down. Let’s first take a look at promotional flyers being distributed to the general public in places frequented by huge volumes of people. Typically you hand out your flyers to reputable looking people who are most likely to have the

means and capacity to purchase a piece of real estate. While it may seem to the untrained eye that at that very level you are already discriminating against others who may potentially buy real estate but weren’t given flyers, never remove the inherent characteristic of these promotional handouts: they are both compact and easily transferable. What does this mean? While your regular promenade-walker or mall aficionado may not be interested in buying real estate enough to visit an agent and browse through catalogues, a real estate promotional flyer allows him or her to bring this brochure home and ponder over it for a time. A brochure featuring the best assets of the home being advertised, as well as sufficient information as to where to contact an agent may in fact be enough to convince a non-buyer to consider buying a piece of real estate. The power of suggestion here is strong, and because of the fact that this is a piece of marketing platform that the consumer can bring home, they are given more time to take into consideration the choice they can make. Moreover, these promotional handouts are easily transferable between persons. One impressed recipient of the handout who is not interested in buying real estate may likely give the promotional handout to a friend who is. The best thing here is this: you are using the power of word and mouth with the reliability of an information sheet that allows the person referring you to give the new lead complete information about how to get in touch with you. This translates to more solid leads. On location, a promotional handout also allows for your prospective buyers to browse over the features of the house and its excellent qualities while they tour the facility. This means that they are given more time to take into

consideration these winning qualities of the real estate even long after you’ve long mentioned them. Moreover, they can bring home the handout and, with the help of pictures that truly communicate the property’s value, remind and reinforce the good impressions they may have gotten when they visited the property. In home shows, promotional materials allow for your prospective clients to compare your offers to that of the next real estate agents. In these home shows, these clients are willing to make on-the-spot decisions about whom to leave their calling cards with, and a well created brochure just might win them over. After all, if your brochure contains a very convincing description of the property you are selling, and contains pictures that truly showcase the finer qualities of the property, you are definitely going to find those leads you want. It is important to remember that the efficacy of these promotional handouts lie in how well you put the property on paper, or how well you market the property. This means that layout, pictures, and other inherent characteristics of the property should be showcased prominently in these handouts. Given that these are already very effective in suggesting the acquisition of real estate, the best of all is that creating these brochures is relatively cheap in comparison to other methods of advertisement. Moreover, you can include in these brochures sufficient information about sales agent to whom these prospective clients can get in touch with. Lockboxes

Lockbox Opens to Leads Lockboxes are tools used by agents of real estate to get a hold of keys of houses and properties that are listed as available for purchase. Lockboxes exist for the number one reason that it is an effective tool to ensure that only authorized agents could enter inside houses that are up for selling. Lockboxes are called as such because that is what they are. Usually, these boxes are made out of metal and are attached to the doorknob in front of the house or any other secure area nearby. Inside this box is another smaller sized box. This is where the key of the house is located. This makes sure that no unauthorized strangers could freely come inside. However, the lockboxes that are available now are more high-tech. Current lockboxes now contain a small microprocessor and utilizes an electronic key for it to be opened. This key would only be available if one is a member of a listing service. Each key holds a specially marked identifier. The agent who is a member of the listing service in their local areas are also assigned a unique and specific code that is highly personalized. Only they could have access to this code as they are not allowed to give it to other listing agents. The purpose of this is so that whoever enters, the microprocessor sort of records or makes a log as to who went inside the house as well as what time and date. This is an effective security tool for the homeowner. But primarily, lockboxes are there in order to make it easier to sell a house. In the absence of a lockbox, the seller of the house would then be required

to be present when a prospective buyer comes by along with his or her agent. Because of the lockbox, the seller’s presence becomes voluntary and not a requirement. Also, there is the question of security. There may be instances wherein the seller might leave the door open after giving buyers a tour around the house. Via the lockbox, there is no second guessing as to who did such and such. The questions of who let the cat out or who left the water running in the kitchen sink is no longer an issue since the identity of the agent who comes and goes is immediately known. This feature proved to be a relevant necessity during an instance in Kirkland, Washington almost four years ago when a real estate professional was apprehended following a series of burglaries from FOR-SALE residential houses that the particular agent visited. This agent had access to lockbox keys and, fortunately or unfortunately, this is the same tool that enabled the agent’s arrest. This system of lockboxes enabled the arrest of Kathy Troxel, via the trail of records she left.

The pioneer in the creation of an electronic type of lockbox was made possible by Supra Products, Inc. This was eleven years ago. Their company has its headquarters in Salem, Oregon. More importantly, lockboxes are great avenues for showing off property and houses one is intent to sell. Newer features of certain lockboxes limit the access of anyone to only a specified time, day and hours. This is in case the seller requires privacy once in a while. More complex lockboxes have a feature wherein agents are required to call first before showing up in front of the house they are intent on selling.

Many real estate companies in the United States are using that most recent lockbox from Supra. The new application makes use of a handheld device that is connected to a larger network of information, including the most recent ones that are all related to real estate. This new palm-sized device is placed in a receptacle equipped with a modem. This new mobile device enables agents to have immediate access to updates on local real estate listings in their specific area. This new tool also provides maps and directions for driving and a roster of members to make it easy locating agents. This device is run by a battery made out of lithium. This device, while placed in the receptacle, is also being charged so there is no need to bring any backup batteries. Press release Press Release Leads to Business A successful real estate press release must be able to reflect a particular real estate company’s or real estate agent’s approach to real estate as well as reflect whether the company or agent is flashy, is concerned primarily with business or is downright friendly. A press release does not in any way work like magic. It is actually a serious campaign which is created in order to bring about a desired and specific outcome. In the real estate world, that is leads, and more importantly sales. Actual purchase of a house and property is the best method to gauge how successful or not successful a particular or a series of press releases is. Real estate companies put out a press release in varying forms and on

varying occasions. Press releases should paint a good image of the company. Such is the case of the company Cendant wherein their October 2005 press release touted that the system they are using was able to gather valid leads of up to two hundred thousand which they were able to amply distribute to their real estate agents. They also explained the process of how they came up with such numbers and how competitive is the system they are using, thus making them able to keep up with the market. Taking advantage of the magic of press releases takes a lot of science. It is important to consider that when one is utilizing a Press Release Program, there really is no guarantee of anything miraculous happening. What a press release does is inform the public of what you as a real estate company or a real estate agent are doing and the various ways, means and forms that you are able to achieve your company’s objectives. Usually, press releases are a means to get a message across as to any internal updates that a real estate company is undergoing or a real estate program, software, or offer that could benefit the company or the individual generating the press release as well as the reader or audience who will be reading it. For example, a recent press release by a particular real estate company in Michigan has presented the new, advanced and highly efficient lockbox system currently being used by their real estate associates. This is the same type of system we discussed in the previous chapter. The benefits their associates got from using the system was thoroughly

explained as well as the benefits that their clients would have when they avail of their service. This was clearly outlined. What was clearly described as well was how efficient their system was in ensuring that only quality service is delivered. A press release therefore should generate valid and relevant leads. Though the fact of the matter is that, simply getting your name and business out there does not automatically convert to business, it is therefore important that a press release offer both prospective buyers and sellers something free which is an offer that your potential clients will probably not get anywhere else. Putting this out will more likely increase your chance of being contacted, than offering something that people could get someplace else just as easily. The best and greatest thing to offer and the chances of which this offer will be accepted are usually any written materials such as brochures, pamphlets, etc. Utilizing such materials is also an efficient way of putting your company and your skills out there. Use this avenue wisely, but do not abuse it either. This should be detailed in the press release, but it is essential that you also take stock of the freebies you give out and the record of success. Which freebie generated more and which generated a lesser response. It is also important that the reason why you are putting up free items or offers be thoroughly explained or at least be understandable to your prospective clients. Honesty and integrity is the best impression you can leave anyone. It beats any and all forms of press release. Make it clear and be sincere as well that the freebies you are handing out are not intended to immediately close a deal. It is so that you could acquire as much valid and

relevant leads as you can which will be able to contact you at the soonest possible time

Fax A Better Way of Finding Hot Real Estate Leads

If you’re a real estate agent, you must have said this more than once: “There has got to be a better way for finding leads.” And you are not alone. Every single agent’s mind has crossed this idea for the simple reason that looking for leads is about the most tedious task there is in the real estate business. Unfortunately, it is also the first step in getting any business. Without leads, you would have no business at all. You probably have had more than your fair share of frustration in building your network and exhaustion in creating as much connections to as many people as you can. You also probably worry over avoiding the $11,000 penalty that comes with the “Do-Not-Call” Rule. With this new rule alone, you’re probably asking yourself, how can you possibly find leads then, let alone viable ones? Fortunately, there are solutions that address these concerns. They help you build an extensive network, maintain your contacts and save you from the DNC rule while getting you reliable leads that are a stone’s throw away from

a closed deal. This is called response marketing, which is getting buyers/sellers to respond to an ad you placed and having them initiate contact with you. The fact that these buyers/sellers are responding to your ad puts them in a mindset ready to do business. This is a huge difference from cold calls where it’s usually a hit-or-miss when it comes to whether they want to do any business at all. Another plus is that since these leads made the first contact, you are free to call them without having to worry about the DNC rule. How does it work? You start off by placing an ad that’s designed to make prospects want to respond to it. (More on this later.) You then provide a means for these prospects to contact you, usually in the form of toll-free numbers. “Wait a minute,” you may ask. Will I be the one to answer each and every call that’s made? Wouldn’t I have to hire a whole lot of representatives to answer these calls for me? The answer: Yes and No. The person who will answer the phone every time an ad respondent calls will be you – in the form of a recorded message. It is personal in that it is your voice the respondent hears. But it is detached enough to make it comfortable for the prospect since he/she does not have to worry answering probing questions during the first contact. The respondent has the general options to leave you a voice message or

even calling you directly through a call transfer feature. Should they want more to know more before they call you, they have immediate access to information you want to share through a fax-back option. This feature is particularly useful in sharing documents like company/personal profiles, floor plans, brochures, maps and even helpful tips in doing business in real estate. By allowing your prospects access to such information at this level of ease makes them more inclined to do business with you. Experts and consultants in the industry have noted that nearly 75% of prospects end up transacting business with the agent they made first contact with. For an agent, that means doing what you can to make sure you’re the first person a prospect would call. Every time a prospect calls your hotline number, you are notified right away of the call through your fax, email, cell phone and/or PDA. This immediate notification is essential since as mentioned before, leads will most likely transact with the first agent they come in contact with. The sooner you make your own response to theirs, the sooner you establish rapport, the more likely you will be able to close a deal. And now, some words about your ads The ads you place must be designed to compel a reader to call you first. You do this by offering something a prospect wants to have. The nature of being a prospect shows that they are interested to know more about the real estate business. So why not offer information you feel they need to know?

Also, make it clear how you can help your prospect. They’re more interested in that than reading about how you are one of the top sellers in your district. Showing that you can and want to help makes you more inclined to be called. Same business, some new tools The things mentioned above do not in any way replace the trusted methods of establishing rapport, conscientious follow-up and genuine character building. In the bigger picture, this accounts for the closing more than any other fancy tool. Finding leads through these means simply save you the time and the effort in mining for new leads and allows you to devote your energies to more enriching tasks both for yourself and your prospects.

Seminars Mining Your Seminars for Real Estate Leads The advantage of attending seminars goes beyond simply learning new things. As a businessperson, you probably have participated in your fair share of seminars and if you’ve been around long enough, you probably already know that these events are opportunities to establish new connections and strengthen existing ones. What many may not realize is that events like seminars and conventions offer rich marketing potentials for your real estate business – potentials that

are unfortunately often left untapped until the next time another seminar comes up. What follows are some helpful tips in increasing the advantages you get from attending events like seminars by making a conscious effort to build a network, not just of mere acquaintances, but also of potential leads. 1. Cards – ask and you shall receive. Think about it, when making a new acquaintance at a function, doesn’t it make you feel good that a person asks for your business card? It shows that this person thinks of you highly enough to want to keep in touch with you. Thrusting your card out to every person you meet may not have the same effect. In fact, giving your card out without being asked for it shows presumption and pushiness on your part – something you don’t want people to be thinking about you as a real estate agent. 2. Talk less, listen more. This is perhaps one of the most overlooked, yet essential skills in building connections that translates to leads. You may be so caught up in your own excitement about what you can do for people that you can end up monopolizing a conversation. In a convention with a huge attendance, sometimes, a few minutes are all you get. Use that precious time to get more information from your fellow attendees but also taking care not to look like you’re conducting a thorough investigation. Keep the mood light, but appropriately steer the topic towards conversation

that probes for your contacts’ real estate needs – needs that you can perhaps address once the conference is over. 3. Remember to take down notes right away. It’s all well and good if you can remember every single conversation you’ve had throughout the entire duration of the event. Unfortunately, for most, these can be easily forgotten or worse, interchanged for another. The advantage of taking down notes right after a conversation is that important information regarding this new contact and his/her real property concerns are kept fresh. Jotting down a few lines at the back of their business card makes for an excellent reference system. When you call or write, it will impress them to see that you remember the conversation you had - showing you thought of them highly enough to remember what they said. This alone earns a lot of points in your favor. 4. Create categories All this wealth of potential leads can become potential headaches as well if left unorganized. Remember that the acquaintances you make may not all be direct leads. Some may be good buyer/seller leads, while others may not be as such but can rather be rich referral sources. Similar to taking down notes, categorize these contacts right away and save yourself the trouble to needing to recall what group they fall in several days after the seminar. 5. Follow up conscientiously. With each day that passes, opportunities come and go so it is wise for you to cultivate these newly forged relations as soon as you can. Don’t wait a week

after the seminar ends to begin following up your contacts. With your well-annotated, organized collection of business cards, start with at least writing a friendly email to retouch the contact. Invite them to respond and to keep in touch. Ask them if they’d be interested in joining your mailing list where you provide things like free and useful information on real estate concerns. Your willingness to share your skills will make you come to mind more when something about real estate comes up. These are just some of the ways you can get the most out of the seminars you attend by mining it not only for head knowledge, but also for useful and potential leads. Remember to be more than just being an attendee. Participate actively by interacting with your fellow attendees and conduct yourself exceptionally at all times. You may never know who’d be looking. In the kind of business real estate agents are, your character has a lot of bearing on whether people will do business with you or not. These may seem like small measures but the results can return a whole lot more if you take the time to do them.

Networking Networking: Making Connections, Finding Leads

If someone could wave a magic wand and make the tedious task of finding leads a simple and easy task, you’d go for it, wouldn’t you? If you’re like most real estate agents, your answer would most likely be a resounding yes. Why? Perhaps the high turnover of new agents and the rate they quit right after starting says a lot. Some experts note that 50% of new real estate agents give up within a year of starting, citing frustration despite all their efforts as one of the reasons for quitting. You may not necessarily want to quit. But the thought of wanting to make things easier as far as finding leads are concerned must have certainly crossed your mind. You are also probably wondering how did those successful agents manage to be where they are and earn what they do in spite the difficulty of doing business in general now days? Maybe they’ve got great communication skills. They probably are one of those “born” salesmen that can sell anything. Or perhaps they’re just plain lucky. Those may or may not be true, but one thing is for certain: Successful agents succeed because they’ve built and maintain an extensive network that ensures him/her that business will come in no matter what. Seems easy? Yes and no. It is easy in that the act of networking is simply making a connection to a person who can lead you to several others. Also, you have to be the kind of person everyone wants to refer to his or her friends and acquaintances and THAT part takes work. But once you establish that kind of network, you will find that the leads are

reliable and are very likely to keep doing business with you. They may even throw more business your way. They will also be the most cost-effective leads because all it takes to generate a lead is only as much as you would spend on a personal phone call or well-written email/letter. Getting started That said, how do you start building a network that will work for you and give you leads you need? For one thing, it does NOT begin with printing out fancy business cards. It begins by working hard on building on a credible reputation for yourself and/or your agency. Be the kind of person that walks the talk. Think about it, would you rather work with a shady dealer or with someone who is genuine about everything he/she says and does? People pick up not only the words you say but also more importantly, the way you say things. If they feel that you are simply after making profits out of their transaction, you’ve most likely lost the deal before you could negotiate it. Compare this with someone who shows a real concern for helping find the best deal possible and you’ll see why this kind of agent lasts longer than the hard-sell kind. Listen more Probing for usable information and leads is an art. An agent like you must be able to develop the skill in fishing out information from every conversation you take part in. Getting the information requires discipline on your part to listen more and talk less. That’s NOT to say you keep your words to a minimum, but rather, give your contact more opportunities to talk and listen to what they have to say.

If you need to speak, it is more to encourage the person to share rather than you interjecting a word to dominate the conversation. Now, onto your business card… Of course letting people know how they can reach you is an important part of doing business in real estate (or with any business for that matter). But it is more important for you to be asking for that information. After you build an initial rapport, politely ask for his/her contact information. Don’t even think of handing out your card when it’s not asked for. At least, ask permission if you could give them your card just in case they need to inquire about anything regarding real estate. Thrusting out your card to a person who’s not asking for it is pretty much like saying, “Call me.” In dating, we find that pretty presumptuous. The idea doesn’t change when it comes to business. Now that you’ve built a genuine and likeable persona and now that you have the information you need and the contacts to pursue the information with, you need to work on mining this information for leads. Follow up with friendly correspondences. It helps to refer to your last conversation to open up your letters/calls. It is here where the benefits of listening come in. Your contact realizes you took the effort to remember what they said, and that speaks a lot about you. Another plus in guiding the conversation towards something related to your business is that there is a logical take-off point for you to introduce your

services and what you can do to help the person with their real estate concerns. A genuine character and attitude, coupled with strategic probing and followup will get your network working for you and may give you leads that are as good as closed. It takes a lot of work, but the process is far more pleasurable than a cold call. You are connecting with someone who wants to connect back to you and may be willing to introduce you to their own network simply because they like you and the way you do business. Newsletter 7 Reasons Why Newsletters Get Good Real Estate Leads Newsletters are publications issued by a specific real estate firm or real estate association geared towards a specific readership population, of a certain State, buyer preference or for the general real estate consumer. Such publications contain various information about the industry and related fields as well as information on new products and services that the specific firm or association is promoting. Here are the top seven reasons why you should use the real estate newsletter to find good real estate leads. 1. Free Information Newsletters are free. For that reason alone, active real estate buyers and investors should be on the mailing list of major real estate firms and associations. Most newsletters will definitely have sections on "free tips" in the intent of firms to show that they have a genuine concern to help consumers and in a way, demonstrate their company’s expertise in the field.

Such free articles are also a way to attract readers, and get them to read on to the sales pitches, which is the primary intent of issuing the newsletter. Nevertheless, anything that is free and informative at the same time should always be the searcher’s first stop. 2. Credibility In general, newsletters have more credibility than the usual ads. The real estate firms that publish newsletters use it as a venue to establish their company’s leadership and authority in the profession. Thus, they most likely will publish reliable, well-researched and relevant market information, geared towards the benefit of the consumer, in order to maintain their credibility. Get historical real estate market trends, sound predictions and reliable leads through information in the newsletters. 3. In-depth Information Real estate newsletter articles provide more in-depth information than real estate ads. The intent of real estate newsletters is to have a venue to better educate consumers about real estate details that are not covered in advertisements like construction quality assessment, safety, after move-in support, etc. Having such information will allow you to look into more details about the property that you intend to buy. 4. Financial Information Aside from real estate leads, newsletters also provide other information that are related to the industry. Financial information such as mortgage rates, mortgage calculators and bank or lending institutions contact information are

among the additional information that you can get from a newsletter. Occasionally, real estate newsletters will publish full-length articles on financial information such as “How to Compute Amortization” or “The Benefits of Refinancing.” Watch out for those articles and make sure to clip them for future use, unless you are into the habit of compiling the newsletter itself. 5. Locations Aside from financial information, real estate newsletters also feature fulllength articles and facts on hottest real estate locations as well as uncharted lands that have yet to join the boom. Depending on the profile of the property you intend to buy, such information will be beneficial for your search. 6. Seminars and Viewings Information on real estate seminars and property viewings are also in newsletters. As a buyer, this is your opportunity to have first-hand experience on the property or the real estate firm without any financial commitment from your end. Most seminars and viewings are free, transportation and meals included and at times, discounts are handed out for the select who signed up. Now that’s one opportunity you should not pass up! 7. Testimonials Testimonials are an essential part of real estate newsletters. Use such actual consumer experience to understand the capabilities and extent of

service of the real estate firm. If, based on the published first-hand experience by actual customers, their profile or the rundown of their properties fit the portfolio of service you are looking for, then the company should be able to support you and give you good leads. Modern day newsletters are already issued electronically; the e-newsletter, sent via e-mail or downloaded from the publication’s website, but offers the same useful real estate information without the hassle of piling paper. Whatever form you prefer, real estate newsletters are definitely promotional materials, but are of the informative kind. As a consumer, you should take advantage of all the available information, which can help you in the search for real estate leads.

Referrals from clients Client Care Yields Real Estate Leads Starting a real estate sales practice could be quite a risky business. Commonly, one would go days without closing a sale, receiving a phone call, and all the time the expenses and bills keep coming. However, success at real estate generally results out of maintaining fundamentals, such as: knowing all the information about your area or property, getting sales leads, and developing referrals. One of the key aspects of real estate sales is the sales referral. Most prospective property buyers looking for a new home, office or any real estate, usually approach family, friends, and colleagues to ask for recommendations for a good broker. Also, most property owners or

homeowners selling their real estate will go to the same network to ask for brokers who can help them sell a property. Unlike blockbuster lawyers or specialist doctors, there is no ready information available that calls out the skill and experience of a particular broker. So traditionally, referrals are done person-to-person and by word of mouth. At first glance, it would seem like an unreliable way to build a business. But, if a broker knows his business and his properties well, all it would take is a few successful real estate sales to “referred” customers, and his sales would start to pick up momentum. Referrals to brokers are more significant because they could give direct contact to someone seriously considering buying a property. This gives a real estate practitioner access to his main target market, whereas regular advertisements through the media would have a very wide audience, but not the actual people wanting to buy homes or properties. In terms of marketing, a referral is like a slam-dunk promotional lead. It is good that real estate referrals are such a “direct-to-market” lead. Because there is another aspect to the business: Property acquisitions are almost always the one most expensive purchase that a family would make. So, although referrals give you persons interested in buying a home or property, buying decisions are not always quick or a sure thing. The sheer cost, location, design, need for repairs or renovations, ease of mobility or transport, and a multitude of other decisions are considered before a buyer commits to a house. But then, after all this consideration, when a broker manages to deliver a satisfactory sale to a buyer, then the broker will be awarded with a wider and perhaps more enthusiastic referral to other potential homebuyers. This

would widen your referral network, and expand your file of potential contacts for referrals. The high price of your product also means that even if only a fraction of your referrals translate to actual sales, the income and commission from these sales are already considerable. Maturing in the business will teach a broker the ways of cultivating and screening referrals to further improve sales and growth. Therefore, we should understand what most successful realtors and brokers know -- that Real Estate is a business of relationship. Regardless of the current external or economic conditions, the most adaptable method of generating ready revenue is through building a real estate business by developing relationships to cultivate referrals. Several strategies or techniques can be used to build a strong referral-based sales business. But when you look closely, all these require that you stay in touch with your network regularly, preferably once a month. It would be most helpful to plan out different methods of maintaining contact with your network on a monthly basis. The different ways of keeping in touch are: personal visits, telephone calls, handwritten notes or short letters, periodic newsletters, news and updates through email, client thankyou cocktails or parties, sending postcards, sending birthday/special greeting cards, organizing house-warming events, promos or contests. The best practice is to try combinations of these contacting techniques, tailor-fit to your personality and the background of the particular contact. As well as staying in touch, you need to be mindful of the following aspects

of your referral business: -Organizing contact files by priority -Creating and maintaining a network management system -Studying the best way of asking for referrals -Not using standard all-purpose solutions -Setting your goals and planning a budget -Memorize figures and numbers -Organize your time -Hire an assistant -Engage a business coach The real estate business is also a customer care business: take care of all your referrals and grow your real estate business by getting more real estate leads.

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