Adam Small: Hi there, Adam Small here with Agent Sauce, and this is the Real Estate Marketing Podcast with me as always is Doug Karr-
Doug Karr: I’m here.
Adam Small: … of DK New Media. How you doing today, Doug?
Doug Karr: Fantastic. A little stuffed up.
Adam Small: Well, you got a cold coming back from Vegas, right?
Doug Karr: I did. I did.
Adam Small: What was the conference you went to out there?
Doug Karr: I was at Dell EMC World looking at the future of computing. It’s pretty incredible.
Adam Small: Are the robots taking over?
Doug Karr: That was part of the conversation actually there, but it was pretty interesting.
Adam Small: Good. Sounds like a lot of fun. I saw a lot of your posts and stuff on Facebook and that made me quite envious.
Doug Karr: We’ll talk about the future of real estate marketing maybe on a broadcast.
Adam Small: That would be an amazing topic.
Doug Karr: Yeah.
Adam Small: Let me just write that down, maybe next time right?
Doug Karr: Yeah, so everybody out there, make sure you subscribe to this podcast and on iTunes and then you’ll hear that.
Adam Small: Exactly. All right so hey, Doug, today I was thinking about talking about Real Estate Lead Generation. Lead Generation Marketing for real estate agents that sort of thing, there are a lot of technologies out there, there are a lot of old school ways of doing it, and everybody kind of had those things a little bit different. I wanted to kind of just do a rundown of different things you could do whether it’s online, offline, old school, new school, whatever it may be to generate leads with real estate, for real estate agents. Doug, let’s talk about types of real estate lead generation.
Doug Karr: We look at passive and active are the two types of passive is you’re not doing anything but people are coming to you, so they could be like your site is optimized for a search. When someone searches for …
Adam Small: So passive is really a lot of inbound marketing-
Doug Karr: Yeah, exactly.
Adam Small: … and to clarify, you say not doing anything but really there’s a lot of work that goes with inbound marketing right?
Doug Karr: Absolutely, yeah. It’s just that you didn’t … Active is I see a prospect and I want to go get that prospect. Passive is I don’t know who the prospect is but I’m going to do things to try to attract them to come to me.
Adam Small: Okay, right.
Doug Karr: So passive like Search Engine Optimization is a really good one in a lot of industries and in real estate too. If you can find out, if you’re doing search for real estate agent in Noblesville, in your real estate agent Noblesville are you ranking for that term? So there’s things that you have to do to be able to rank for that term, and then active would be more like we’re doing maybe I specialize in executives that are relocating to Indianapolis, so I want to connect with H.R. directors.
I see the Adam on LinkedIn is connected to the H.R. director of Willy. Well I would say to Adam I would say, “Hey, I saw that you know Karen over there, could you make an introduction to me so that I could talk to her?”
Adam Small: Right, so you’re actively pursuing, you’re pushing and putting yourself out there and I don’t even want to say aggressive fashion but in a regular controlled a directed fashion as opposed to your past of your inbound marketing is more of a kind of like casting a net of information out there and trying to pull people in towards you.
Doug Karr: In the old days, active was you bought a lead list.
Adam Small: Right, and you sat down and you called that lead list, right?
Doug Karr: Yeah, nowadays with real estate social marketing and real estate email marketing and websites we have all the different tools that we need to capture people’s email address. We can use content to attract them to our site or search, and then we have social media where we can push stuff out and try to drive connections that way. That’s real estate lead generation.
I think a lot of people tend to ignore the opportunities with real estate social media to expand your network that way. Like we’ve talked in the past podcasts about people just blabbing about, “Well I closed …”
Adam Small: Saying the same thing over and over again, “Well, yeah, it’s my 50th closing this year.” It’s great it’s your 50th closing this year, but tell me about why this closing is important. Tell me the story about the family and what they’ve done.
Doug Karr: Or ask the family. Ask if you had a family that just said, “Man this was just such an incredible experience closing on this house with you,” ask them say, “You know what, would you mind tagging me on Facebook and letting your friends know about that because that really means a lot to me?” Now all of a sudden you have that word of mouth marketing that’s really powerful.
Adam Small: Right, absolutely, so word of mouth marketing is a good real estate lead generation.
Doug Karr: Probably the best.
Adam Small: Probably the best. I mean real estate referral marketing essentially is what that is, right?
Doug Karr: Yeah.
Adam Small: Real estate referral marketing and real estate testimonial marketing actually you know word of mouth being more of a testimonial as opposed to a referral, but when somebody says, “Hey, do you know somebody?” There comes your referral.
Doug Karr: It’s huge.
Adam Small: Real estate referrals, real estate testimonials are definitely one great way of marketing. Like you said, it’s a combination you can combine that with the technologies, new social media in particular to have a much broader region so it’s not even the agent necessarily putting it on their page and they’re-
Doug Karr: Exactly.
Adam Small: … it’s their client putting it on their page and stretching that reach out beyond what just the agent’s current reach is.
Doug Karr: A lot of times it’s just asking, right?
Adam Small: Yeah.
Doug Karr: If I have a great experience with a company and they ask me if I tell them, “Wow, this was incredible,” and they come back and say, “You know what, we really appreciate that. Is there any chance that we could get you write a testimonial or put that out on Google reviews or Facebook or home advisor or whatever?” I’m more apt to feel like, “Well yeah, I need to do that. These guys were good people.”
Adam Small: Exactly, exactly. There’s a lot opportunity there with that type of marketing with social media marketing for real estate agents too. It’s not even put the story out yourself. It’s getting your clients to put the story out for you and talk about you and promote you in a way that they are comfortable with.
That’s really an effective method of real estate lead generation, because it’s genuine it’s real, it’s authentic, it’s not paid for marketing. Some of the paid for marketing methods, you mentioned email earlier. There are newsletters, there’s promoting listings via emails, there’s open house emails that sort of thing. What other ways can you use to generate real estate leads with e-mail that I pretty much touch on all of more?
Doug Karr: I think so. I mean the big thing there is that you don’t always want to be talking about selling a house. If you have someone that bought a house from you they’re done buying a house. Now it’s how do you, what top 10 tips do you have for someone to increase the value of their house over time?
Adam Small: It’s really about nurturing that relationship along instead of raise salary or by the next time around, right?
Doug Karr: Yeah, what a color trend on painting your house, what are landscaping cost. It’s helping people understand that you’re not just an expert at selling and buying real estate that you’re really an expert at everything to do with their family. It could be the tips on the school district, it could be telling them the five closest restaurants that you enjoy around them.
All those things that you call them all the time. It’s those touch points. It’s a gentle touch to keep top of mind-
Adam Small: Exactly.
Doug Karr: … so that when their friend says, “Hey, do you know a real estate agent that I can use?” You just read that e-mail the night before you go, “Oh yeah, Jennifer, she’s the best. Let me forward you this e-mail that she sent out.”
Adam Small: Exactly, and a lot of what that e-mail is all about to what you’re getting at is not the real estate industry itself, because the truth of the matter is, is that unless you’re in real estate nobody cares about the real estate industry unless they’re buying and selling. At the moment when they decide to buy or sell that’s when they’re concerned whether it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market that sort of thing.
Beyond that if you inundate them with stats and the market information all the time, you’re just going to lose them right?
Doug Karr: I agree.
Adam Small: What you need to do is you need to be providing something of value either around the home or around the neighborhood, or something that they’re interested in on a regular and continuous basis so they remain engaged. If you’re sending e-mails on a regular basis you want to keep them engaged in those e-mails. It’s got to be something of value that’s not real estate industry specific. Like to your point was top five places in the neighborhood and it could be school closing information, all sorts of great topics that you can talk about how to get the most bang for your buck when improving the home sort of stuff.
You can do quite a bit with email marketing just from maintaining top of mind marketing with real estate agents, and that leads to leads, that generates real estate leads for you just because of the fact that you are top of mind.
What about print? You know I mean, postcards go out to people all the time, they farm neighborhoods with postcards, they send open house, they send just listed of postcards. A lot of stuff you can do with e-mails as well is just a lot cheaper with e-mail than it is with print.
Doug Karr: I mean I think those print pieces, and there’s technologies coming out for your work with some of them with the direct to print type stuff, that are bringing their costs way down. The interesting thing with print is, I think print is still the … Whenever we’re talking about any type of marketing or advertising you want to talk about the cost kind of per lead. The problem is, let’s say you have an e-mail program when you’re sending out 10,000 e-mails a month or something.
If it’s not growing your lead base maybe you have a tough, if it’s like executives. If you’re an executive you’re probably getting 200, 300 e-mails a day. Your e-mail might be either just put into a folder where to read later or whatever. The opportunity with print is to maybe get in touch and get in front of those people that you aren’t reaching with your e-mail.
Adam Small: Right, it’s just a different avenue for touching and against the top of mind, right?
Doug Karr: Yeah, even though it’s really expensive there’s times where it might come in handy to do something like that.
Adam Small: Right, well and the thing about marketing in general, Real Estate Marketing in particular, and real estate lead generation is that you’re never going to make the sale at just one touch and just one channel, right?
Doug Karr: Right.
Adam Small: You’re going to touch some people with e-mail marketing, you’re going to touch some people at print, you’re going to touch some people with the phone, you’re going to touch other people with ads online, with blogs, and all sorts of good stuff.
Doug Karr: I was talking to an agent here in town who is a sponsor of something and had her picture up at the local grocery store, and she said, “I can’t make up my mind whether I want to pay that every year,” but I get a few calls a year where people go, “You know it reminded me that year.”
Adam Small: Well and that’s the thing, so a few calls here doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re talking about a commission on a home it could very well be double tripling your money that you’re putting into it, and you know I mean, depending on the effectiveness of your other marketing programs out there that may be a great ROI, and if you’re doubling or tripling your money every year, it’s worth it. Unless you’re getting 10 times your ROI on other stuff then you want to go there, but all in all …
Doug Karr: There is that piece of authority too that if she’s the one that it’s her photo up like that, “Wow, she must be important she must be really doing good.” That old joke that you know you never hire the real estate agent that drives up in the used broke down car. It’s why real estate agents drive nice cars is to show that, “Hey, I knew what I’m doing.”
Adam Small: “I’m successful with this and I live it,” right?
Doug Karr: Yeah, exactly. There’s those things like that that even though they might seem like you know maybe a little gratuitous expenses or ego driven or whatever, still, a real estate agent’s face is their brand and getting it out there and making sure their faces on what their business cards, their e-mails, their everything is important so that people recognize them.
Adam Small: Exactly, they get their pictures, they put their picture just about everywhere, and it’s all about that facial recognition putting that face to a name so that again top of mind marketing, right?
Doug Karr: Yeah.
Adam Small: Let’s see. Other ways to generate real estate leads that you can think of for real estate agents, Doug? Nothing? Nothing? Oh okay, no. What about paid ads? Pay-Per-Click marketing that sort of thing?
Doug Karr: Yeah, I mean Pay-Per-Click is another one of those things that you can spend a lot of money and not get any results, and so I think you have to develop these niches that you have to go after and so it might be like relocation. If someone is searching relocation Indianapolis that might be a good Pay-Per-Click term to go after, if you’re an expert at helping people relocate to the city.
If it’s relocation family city, relocation executive city, and I say city like Indianapolis, Noblesville, Carmel …
Adam Small: Nashville.
Doug Karr: Nashville. The point there is that if you just said, “Well, how much does it cost or rank to buy ads for real estate agent?” Well Remax is probably paying 50 bucks a click or whatever, and so you’re just going to run your money out. The opportunity with Pay-Per-Click is really to go after those niche opportunities, research them well and then you have to stay on top of it and make sure that you’re not picking up a lot of those terms.
People don’t realize when they pay for click on a keyword it’s typically a broad matched keyword that it throw synonymous terms out there too. All of a sudden you’re not getting any clicks but you are spending a lot of money on all of these other terms. Having a paid advertising professional help you with that is often worth the money, a lot of people will say, “It just doesn’t work,” and it’s not that it doesn’t work it’s just that they really don’t know how to optimize their spend on paid.
Adam Small: Right, well and paid ads that are definitely like you said it’s well worth the money to hire an expert, because it’s not as simple as say, “Oh, I want this word, because there are hundreds of synonyms, and there are thousands of sites out there and your ad may actually end up on a competitor site.”
Doug Karr: Right, absolutely.
Adam Small: If you’re not careful.
Doug Karr: Your competitors might-
Adam Small: End up on your site.
Doug Karr: … right now be buying your name of your real estate agencies, so that when people search for that they show up too.
Adam Small: Exactly.
Doug Karr: That happens every day.
Adam Small: Yeah.
Doug Karr: And it’s totally legal.
Adam Small: Well, I mean it’s just marketing, there’s nothing in so far as legality and regulation goes with that.
Doug Karr: Well, a lot of people think like, “Well I own that, I copyright, I have a trademark on my real estate name.” It doesn’t matter. They can advertise on it. As long as they’re not doing damage to your brand like …
Adam Small: Libel.
Doug Karr: Libel or they’re allowed to.
Adam Small: All right.
Doug Karr: Over in Europe they’re not. Did you know that?
Adam Small: Well, Europe’s got a lot more stringent rules.
Doug Karr: Yeah, privacy-
Adam Small: Exactly, more stringent rules regarding a lot of stuff there. All right Doug, well, hey, let’s wrap it up with a recommendation for one passive method of real estate lead generation and one active method of real estate lead generation.
Doug Karr: Passive real estate lead generation, I would do that search, you can’t, for everybody listening you can’t just go out and search Google for a real estate agent in your city and see who pops up. Chances are you’re going to pop up, because you’re getting a personalized search for your location, your device, and possibly even you if you’re logged in.
A great way to do it is, if you get like your iPhone or Android device out and then go to a private-
Adam Small: Incognito type browser.
Doug Karr: … Incognito browser and do a search typically that’s closer to what the real-
Adam Small: Results are.
Doug Karr: … results are, and see if you show up on those results. If you don’t show up on those results, then you’ve got some work to do and that might be just as simple as changing your home title tag on your home page, if it’s you know Jim Smith real estate agent Nashville, Tennessee. That would be my first is just look for those easy wins where you’re just not showing up in some top search results there.
That would be a passive one that I would look for it. An active real estate lead generation method is social media. I love going through my network and identifying prospects through my network, and you can too, if you’ve got … I always pick the executive thing because like LinkedIn, but if you see that you’ve got an executive that you helped relocate and here she is really happy, go look them up on LinkedIn and then see who they’re connected to.
Chances are you might be able to get a hold of the H.R. director and talk to them, “Hey, if you need any assistance with relocation, we help out there,” or you might be able to see in the news that here in town right, we see 200 people are going to get hired because this city is going to move into town. Well, go see who’s connected to that company and go ask them and say, “Hey, is anybody helping them with moving into town?”
Those are those active methods that typically a company is really happy that someone reached out and said, “Hey, we have this real estate agent that’s interested in helping us relocate people here.”
Adam Small: From my perspective and I’m looking at this I’m not really sure, I’m just gonna throw two out there not really sure, because I think with real estate lead generation with email marketing in particular can be both active and passive. I think real estate email marketing is probably one of the most cost effective and greatest ways to generate real estate leads.
Doug Karr: Yeah, absolutely. It’s been proven over and over.
Adam Small: A regular real estate newsletter, send it out even just once a month is great, and then like you were talking about earlier. Make sure it’s got good content and there’s got quality content, there’s something of value in there from a knowledge perspective. It can really help establish you as an authority and stay top of mind when that time comes. I would throw out real estate email newsletter as one of the top things I would do.
Then I think beyond that being a technology guy and having developed a lot of technology around real estate lead generation with Agent Sauce, we see a lot of activity with both SMS and toll free call capture-
Doug Karr: Absolutely.
Adam Small: … in the yards and link them to real estate virtual tours that sort of thing, and that’s much more of a put the sign in the yard and people text it and get information and you generate the real estate lead then.
Doug Karr: That’s awesome.
Adam Small: The big thing with that though is that you’ve got to … There are two parts, one is that you’ve got to put it on more than one listing, put it out there, and put it on multiple listings, put the codes out there on multiple listings, and you’ll see activity just almost like it feeds on itself. If you put one out there it’s going to sits out there all lonely and isn’t nearly as effective as if you put it out on five different listings, and I don’t understand why, but I know it works out that way.
You put it out there on multiple listings, people see it and they’re more inclined to either.
Doug Karr: Well I guess if I’m a house shopping I’m guessing that real estate agents are typically sticking to a certain area and a certain style type house and everything else, price range or whatever. If I tried it on the first one and I’m out on a Saturday and I look at for more homes, I’m so impressed with the first one that I go do it on the rest.
Adam Small: Or you see it on multiple, so you go, “Oh, okay, well that’s not something weird there. Let’s go ahead and try it.” I can tell you that the more signs you have out there, it’s an exponential sort of-
Doug Karr: Makes sense.
Adam Small: … growth where you get a lot more response to it. I like both of those methods off top of my head because the real estate email newsletter can be passive and top of mind, whereas the text messaging toll free call capture is very much right now and very specific about real estate lead generation.
Doug Karr: Yeah, but don’t let it sit for a day right?
Adam Small: No, no we’ve got to follow up on that thing right away.
Doug Karr: It’s a hot lead.
Adam Small: That’s a hot lead. They text in right then and there. I think that you need to follow up.
Doug Karr: If we’re talking about real estate lead generation that’s the other thing that we have to tell people. It’s amazing-
Adam Small: Follow on the lead.
Doug Karr: … how many people don’t follow up.
Adam Small: It truly is. It’s funny, I’m going to tell the story. We had a fella that used our service for a year with the text and the toll free and he told me he said, “We’re going to cancel,” and that happens and I said, “Okay, well, why are you canceling?” He said, “Well, it’s just not working.” “Oh, okay,” so I go and I look in the system and I look at the reports and I see in a year the guy has generated over 500 leads, 500.
Whether it be text messaging or toll free call capture. Generate 500 leads in a year.
Doug Karr: Wow.
Adam Small: Which is it’s almost two a day. It’s like one and a half a day something along those lines, right?
Doug Karr: Yeah.
Adam Small: I think to myself, “Okay, what’s going on here?” He says, “Yeah, well we couldn’t convert any of them. Sorry man with 500 leads if you couldn’t convert one of them perhaps it’s your follow up methodology, you need to do something.” Something is got to change that …
Doug Karr: Time to open a hotdog stand.
Adam Small: Yeah, something along those lines.
Doug Karr: Well you’re right.
Adam Small: It’s about follow up. You’ve got to follow up because just because they text in and what I think what’s happening in reality is that people were texting in and they weren’t following up, they just expected them when they texted in.
Doug Karr: Which is common.
Adam Small: Right.
Doug Karr: It’s really common people are uncomfortable with making that first connection even if you’re real estate agent and you’re an extrovert and you’re really warm and inviting, that first that first conversation with the stranger is always-
Adam Small: There’s a certain amount of anxiety to it, right?
Doug Karr: Yeah, there’s anxiety to it.
Adam Small: What I think what’s happening with them is that they just weren’t following up and they were expecting the people that texted in to them, follow up with them, and say, “Hey, I really want to see this place.”
Doug Karr: “Please, please-”
Adam Small: Yeah, exactly.
Doug Karr: “… I want to buy this house.”
Adam Small: Exactly, so yeah, that’s probably the best real estate lead generation technique. Then in all honesty it’s follow up. All right, Doug. Well hey, thanks for joining us today, I really appreciate it.
Doug Karr: Always a pleasure.
Adam Small: This has been Adam Small and Doug Karr with the Real Estate Marketing Podcast from Agent Sauce. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks and have a great day.