RISMEDIA, May 6, 2011—Every week I hear from dozens of real estate professionals who are asking themselves “why can’t I get my pipeline full of prospective clients?” Now more than ever people are struggling with lead generation and looking for solutions.
Is it any wonder that most real estate agents feel blocked when it comes to picking up the phone and calling prospective clients? When you think about it for a moment, none of us were trained from our childhood to do anything like that. In fact in our conditioning we were trained to do the opposite. We learned things like “don’t talk to strangers”, “it’s not okay to ask for what you want”, “if you call people you’re bothering them” and so forth the list goes on.
Let’s face it, you didn’t really get into real estate so that you could call up strangers on the phone and see if you could interest them in your services. You got into real estate because you love to help people buy and sell homes.
Several years ago, there wasn’t such a big problem. You could attract clients in a number of different ways, such as: open houses, farming an area, sending out thank you notes, floor duty…. Remember those days?
However, those days are gone. That’s a reality. Gary Keller states in his new book SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times, “you can’t sit back—you must be more rigorous and resolute in your lead generation than ever before and more so than anyone else.” He goes on to discuss that now the name of the game is that you have two businesses. The first business is the one that’s easy for you, helping people buy and sell homes, working with contracts, negotiating with buyers and sellers and so forth. The second business—the one that you haven’t wanted to address—is the business of lead generation, sometimes referred to as prospecting.
Most people don’t want to address this part of their business because it’s just plain scary. The idea of setting aside two hours a day every day to call people you don’t know makes most real estate agents get very anxious. Then they find things to do instead of lead generation like busy work. This is called Avoidance.
Maybe you’ve noticed this in yourself. It goes something like this: “I don’t really need to Prospect today; I’ve got plenty of other work to do. Maybe I’ll get around to it tomorrow. I have some leads to follow up with AND I don’t mind that. But when I look over to the phone to call up complete strangers, it seems like the phone weighs a ton.” What happens after that inner conversation is AVOID AVOID AVOID. So the first step is to be honest with yourself and admit to yourself that you’ve been avoiding the very action step that could make all the difference in your business.
The challenge is for you to admit that without judgment or blame. This is where a lot of people get stuck and when I coach my clients, I help them to find the balance so that they are accountable for themselves in a compassionate and encouraging way. I love to teach them ways to inspire and encourage themselves so they create success with ease.
Here are some common misconceptions that most real estate agents carry that keep them from effectively generating leads.
1. Time: The first misconception that real estate agents have is that they don’t have enough time to add lead generation into their schedule. By working on your time management skills, perhaps getting up a bit earlier, or re-arranging some of your routine, you can find 2-3 hours every morning for prospecting.
2. “I won’t know what to say”, coupled with “I’m afraid of making mistakes.” Keller makes a remark that, “prospecting is nothing more than a set of tasks and skills that are well documented.” In other words, you can learn what to say, it’s not a mystery, you just need to have scripts for different categories of people. A little rehearsal with a coach goes a long way here.
3. “It takes money to make money.” Some are afraid to go 100 percent into lead generation, because they’re afraid that it will cost them money and they’re already feeling strapped. This misconception is based on a kind of advertising model that a lot of real estate agents have learned in the past. There’s no doubt about it that advertising is expensive and a few years ago it may have paid off. The beauty of prospecting is that it does not require an outlay of cash.
4. Telemarketer misconception: This misconception is usually stated like this: “I really don’t like it when telemarketers call me, I always feel interrupted and disturbed. How can I do to someone else what I don’t like done to me?” You are not a telemarketer, because when a telemarketer calls you up, they are calling to sell you something. In contrast, when you call a client, you are calling to see if they might need some help from you. Furthermore, as a real estate agent who is doing lead generation, you are not likely to call in the evenings during dinner. You’re likely to call for two hours every morning from nine to 11 AM for example, and people are much more receptive then.
How can anyone hire you, unless they know you exist and you’re interested in helping them? Therefore, it’s your job as a real estate professional to let clients know that you exist and you have a desire to be of service. In fact, the more your leading motivation is to help people the more that will come across in your conversation.
If you are in alignment with your purpose, this will be reflected in your voice. Your voice won’t sound abrasive, it will sound invitational. It will have a lilt. People will be attracted to your voice and your energy, no matter which exact words you use.
Don’t worry about rejection. Instead of being worried about the reaction you will get on the phone, think of it this way: you are looking for someone who matches the services you offer. You have an expertise in helping people to buy and sell homes. You can be proud of that expertise. When you do lead generation, you’re exploring to see if you can find a match for someone who’s looking for your expertise. If someone is interested in your services, you found a match. If they are not interested in your services, they are not rejecting you. It simply is not a match. Thank them and move on to the next.
One of the most effective things you can do is to invest in a coach or mentor who will help you to discover any self-limiting beliefs that are holding you back and also help you to move forward in lead generation with a new positive outlook.
Dr. Maya Bailey, Multiple 6 Figure Income Business Coach for Real Estate Professionals, integrates her 20 years of experience as a psychologist with 14 years of expertise in marketing. Her powerful transformational work creates a Success Formula for Real Estate Professionals ready to create a Multiple 6 Figure Income.
For more information, visit www.90daystomoreclients.com.