Getting and keeping clients in your real estate practice can be so challenging: There’s a lot of competition and customers only buy once every 5 to 7 years. You have to fight for every Lead and nurture that Lead into a Customer.
To help you succeed in the intense real estate profession, here are 6 sales funnel tips that you can use to grow your practice:
- Differentiate. There are so many real estate professionals out there and they’re all promising the exact same thing. As a result, Customers don’t know or care who they go to, to buy or sell a home, because they don’t perceive a difference. Don’t be a real estate pro that’s just like everyone other real estate pro! Set yourself apart! Last year, I wrote a series called “5 marketing tactics Realtors commonly use that can hurt their business” and I talked about differentiating the following situations: Offering free home valuations, promising to give great service, using schtick (like a chicken costume) to capture attention, guaranteeing a home sale, calling yourself a “city expert”.
- Ramp up the emotional quotient of your marketing. Buying or selling a house might be commonplace for you but it’s thrilling and scary for everyone else. Lots of real estate professionals do a good job of trying to portray confidence and success in their marketing, to assure Customers that they know what they are doing. Customers want to feel that. But they also want to know that you understand and empathize with their extreme feelings. Unfortunately, not very many professionals empathize with the emotions that their potential buyers or sellers are experiencing. Take another look at your marketing content and see if you can take the emotional level up a notch. For example, buying a house for a growing family isn’t just about proximity to schools and parks. It’s about giving children a safe place to play with friends and learn so they can grow up to be whatever they want to be. Or, selling a house for empty-nesters isn’t just about downsizing now that the kids are gone. It’s about an indulgent reward for the years of sacrificial parenting (while also sensibly preparing for the joys of grandparenting).
- Define the stages and steps in your funnel. Most real estate professionals work hard to acquire Leads, but too many pros use the “shotgun” approach: They get names, follow up with some of them, and maybe convert a small few. That’s because there isn’t a clear sense of the journey that these potential buyers or sellers are on. When you know what steps your sales funnel contacts typically take, you’ll be able to sort your Leads better. This results in better communication and faster sales (because you’re prioritizing your contacts). Check out this blog post about how to identify the steps in your sales funnel.
- Segment your list. As you meet new potential buyers or sellers, learn more about them and use that information to segment them. By doing this, you’ll see which ones are the most profitable and you’ll be able tailor your services to them. Use this list of 55 target market questions to help you understand who your Customers are and how you can help them the most. That doesn’t mean you won’t help anyone else, but it does mean that you can become an expert in some aspect of real estate that will attract your most profitable Customers.
- Stay in closer contact. When I bought my (current) house about 7 years ago, my real estate agent was really helpful. Until the day we got the keys. I never heard from him again after that. No calendar. No fridge magnet. No Christmas card. I know he’s still a real estate agent because I bumped into him not that long ago. But before the rest of the real estate industry pats on the back for distributing calendars each year, consider this: I get tons of calendars from real estate professionals. So do my neighbors and friends. The next real estate agent I call to sell my house and help me buy a new one won’t be one of the calendar-givers who think they are staying in touch with me (but don’t know me from a hole in the ground). Rather, I’ll list my house and buy a new one with with someone I’ve built a relationship with. And a calendar isn’t a relationship. Get closer to your customers. Show up in their lives from time to time. Get onto their speed dial. Get invited to their kid’s soccer game.
- Get referrals. Since most people move every 5-7 years, staying connected with your customers is important to get that sale every 5 to 7 years. But what will you do for the interim 5-7 years? Remember that they have friends and those friends will also need a real estate professional. Get people talking about your business. Differentiation helps, so does remaining in close contact with your customers; however, the most effective way to grow your real estate practice profitably is to create an army of Evangelists. Check out the Evangelist Equation to learn how to get more of your Customers filling your sales funnel for you.