I’ve been a pretty strong lead generator since I was a kid. When I was 12 years old I took out a three line ad in the local newspaper (for $1 per line per day) to sell beanie babies. In college I used Google Adwords to launch a granite and marble company I founded which I later sold. In 2009, I purchased and resold 14,000 iPhones through Google Adwords, affiliate marketing, and Facebook ads.
After getting married in 2014, I convinced my wife to leave a job that was toxic for her. Without a plan for what she would do next (but understanding she comes from a very strong pharma sales / corporate management background) she agreed to do so. During that time we explored possibilities and, after purchasing a couple of investment properties, we found we had quite an interest in real estate.
There were two main things I loved about it:
- It was all about the lead gen
- There were very clear paths to success
I say “paths” above because there are options. Mainly these options are:
- Marketing (my passion)
- Prospecting (for us, yuck!)
We also knew we were into the marketing path and not the prospecting. Every book I read said the same thing for generating seller leads: consistently touch homeowners via direct mail and other methods.
I loved the concept and began the learnings. We did a bunch of marketing, we attempted a little prospecting (that didn’t go far), and we adjusted what we did along the way.
We used MLS data to choose our lists (find high turnover neighborhoods that aren’t already “owned” by one or two agents), generate high value postcards, and mail them consistently.
Guess what? It worked. We’ve increased our production by 80% to 100% each year.
It truly is that simple. If you think you need to reinvent how to do this, you’re just wrong.
The way we did it was time consuming though; that’s how I ended up creating Wise Pelican. It was originally just software for us so that we could continue to scale our mailings. You know why I needed it? Because we were (and are) friggin killing it mailing postcards.
Am I just saying this for promotion of Wise Pelican? No! Does it help Wise Pelican to tell you this story? Yes! But this is a story you need to hear. This is what having a growing real estate practice is.
This isn’t just me and our real estate practice. By owning Wise Pelican, I’m in an awesome and unique position. I get to talk to top producing agents all day and look at Wise Pelican data to see that their habits are very similar to mine.
Check this out: this is data from when we had just launched the platform (literally the second month)
There’s a very important trend here. In October we gained 46 new customers. We define a “customer” as someone that signs up and actually places an order. We define a “user” as someone that signs up.
Those 46 customers averaged spending $131.19 per customer on the platform in October.
Come June (which isn’t completed yet as of the time of this writing as it’s still June 28th), those 46 customers from October had dwindled down to just 12. But those 12 remaining customers average $541.10 spend on Wise Pelican in June.
Why do you think that is? Did those 34 customers not like our product? No, our product is friggin awesome. Most probably still mail occasionally and are the plus or minus a couple of mailings per month.
Those 34 customers are agents that mail for giggles but don’t take it seriously to actually grow their business. I’m sure this isn’t just true for their direct mail campaigns, but also their digital campaigns. If this is you, I’m sorry, I don’t mean to offend, but I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know.
Those remaining 12 that average spending $541.10 per month? Why do you think they keep doing that? Why do they have much larger budgets? They have larger budgets because they’re successful at mailing. They’re successful at mailing because they mail consistently. Over time they will increase their budgets as they continue to get a solid return on investment.
That’s what this is all about after all, right? ROI?
RETURN ON INVESTMENT
I was laughing the other day when our Facebook page manager pointed out a comment on one of our ads that said something along the lines of “postcards don’t work, you spend $2k to get one seller”.
I told her… HE’S RIGHT
Now that’s assuming a very competitive market where you’re competing with other agents that are mailing like the one we’re in here in Scottsdale, AZ. But who cares about the $2k when we average getting back $12,600.
ROI works like this.
Our average price point is $420k. We take a 3% commission which equals $12,600.
$12,600 – $2,000 = $10,600 gross profit.
I’ll take it!
In addition, that listing is likely to generate us at least one buyer, one referral, and a couple more transactions over the life of that client. That is, as long as we stay in front of them.
Once again, the key is as long as we stay in front of them.
How do we stay in front of them? A LOT OF THINGS:
- Constantly sending them just listed, just sold, etc. cards
- Sending them postcards around holidays
- Sending them e-mails and postcards about upcoming listings (now just a day in advance due to regulations)
- Sending them birthday cards, purchase / sale anniversary gifts, etc.
- Liking and commenting on Facebook posts
- Holding regular client appreciation events (in non-COVID times…)
- Be consistent. You aren’t going to “get rich quick” from one marketing campaign. Don’t spend all your money at once. If you have $1,200 to spend then spend it in $200 increments over 6 months, don’t just spend it on one campaign. (talk about not self-promoting Wise Pelican…)
- Don’t orphan your past clients. You need to constantly stay in touch with your database.
- Don’t be cheap! Don’t break your bank but don’t cheapen out when it comes to gifts and mailings to stay in touch with people
- Not everything costs money. Liking and commenting on Facebook posts is free
- DON’T REINVENT THE WHEEL – If you haven’t already done so, pick up a copy of The Millionaire Real Estate Agent and read it.
If you don’t already have a Wise Pelican account you can create one here for free. We have hundreds of templates you can check out. Again, there’s no cost to create an account and you can get some good ideas even if you don’t use Wise Pelican to mail.
We also have a great guide for creating postcards here.
Comment below with your marketing successes. How have you obtained listings?