Getting The Most Out Of Your Leads
Every successful business has a steady flow of new business coming in and going out every day. If you are not focused on constantly building your business and finding new leads, any success you have will be short lived. One can make the argument that lead generation is the most important thing you can do for your business. Most investors do not have an unlimited budget when trying to generate leads, so every dollar they spend must have a purpose. It is not enough to simply send out a few letters or emails and wait for your phone to ring. You need to generate quality leads that lead to real deals.
One of the most overlooked forms of lead generation is often with the people closest to you. You would be surprised how many investors quickly dismiss their friends, family and immediate network when focusing on their marketing. These are people that have an existing relationship with you and should feel comfortable with their transaction. Even if you these contacts don’t personally work with you, if you stay in touch with them they will refer you to people they know. Social media is a good way to stay in touch, but this should not be the only thing you do. A periodic email or typed letter once every few months can keep you in their minds and produce a handful of leads. These leads are much more valuable than other leads – given the advantage of positive word of mouth and the relationship you have. If you are not starting your marketing with your personal network, you are missing a golden opportunity.
Your network is a great start but a start is all it should be. If you are looking to consistently generate leads you will have to find them. Before you start you have to come up with a list of who you want to target. Are you looking for homeowners in foreclosure or just a few months late on their mortgage? What price range are you looking at buying and in what area? How many units would you desire? These are just some of the questions you should answer before you send a single letter. You can mail to a general list but it will not be as effective if you have a targeted list in mind. These lists may be more costly but you will get a much greater return on your investment. If you know what type of seller you are working with you can close more deals. Getting the phone to ring is nice but you want to convert your leads into deals. If you have to pay more for the type of property you really want it is worth the additional cost.
Any homeowner that is even a month late will start getting letters or postcards in the mail from investors. Most of them will look alike and have almost the exact same verbiage on every letter. Whether you send a letter or a postcard you need to make your message different from everyone else’s. Instead of focusing on what you can do you need to turn your message around and focus on the homeowner. Try to put yourself in their shoes and think about what they want out of the transaction. Some sellers want more time, others money and most want to try to retain the property. If you can focus on what the seller wants, not only in your letter but when you speak with them, you will close more leads that you get.
There are still plenty of real estate transactions happening in every area of the country. Most of these deals are done by those investors who are the most persistent and diligent in their follow up. There are very few deals that close within the first few contacts. You need to call, follow up, call, follow up and continue this process until you have a definitive answer either way. Even if they decide to hold off or go with someone else you should continue to follow up with them every few weeks. Deals will not happen overnight and they won’t fall on your lap. An incoming call is just the first step in trying to secure a deal. Sometimes this can happen in a few months but it can also take a year, or more, to get to that point. How an investor handles the follow up can make all the difference in their success.
The final step in turning leads into deals is getting the deals closed. You can be civil and respectful of the process but you always need to push the deal towards closing. This means giving and following strict dates and guidelines. This means communicating every step of the way so there are no surprises. This means offering incentives to get the seller to agree on a specific date. If you are not pushing the deal towards the finish line you will be left running around in circles and you run the risk of something happening that derails the deal. If you streamline the process as best you can you will close more deals.
Marketing is a numbers game, but if you take on too many suspect leads you will not have anything to show for your efforts. The more leads you get the higher chance you have of converting those into deals but you also need to focus on closing these leads. Keeping busy in not the goal, closing deals is.