In the following interview, Rachel Adams, REALTOR® with Keller Williams Realty in Roseville, Calif., discusses her team’s exponential growth—and the online lead-generating efforts that started it all.
You’re relatively new to the real estate business, yet you’ve built a team and are expanding rapidly. Describe the investment you made in time and effort.
I started in the real estate business in February 2012, coming from a full-time job that caused me to look at things with a scarcity mindset. It wasn’t until I came across a great quote: “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change,” that I was able to change my life by adopting an abundant mindset. Not knowing the first thing about real estate, I joined Keller Williams, and on my very first day, I stopped by the front desk and asked for the names of the top 20 producers within the office. I knocked on the door of the first person, introduced myself and asked what I needed to do to be successful. He told me that real estate is all about relationship-building, so that first year, I committed to knocking on 200 doors and holding three open houses a week, all of which led to 39 transactions that year. The following year I closed 109 transactions and launched my team, and the year after that, I closed 123 transactions, was named a finalist for 30 Under 30 and wrote my first book. I’m passionate about personal development and investing in myself. A lot of my success has come from this.
Have you balanced your time differently between prospecting for new business and working with buyers and sellers?
Last year, I closed 58 transactions from Facebook, so I do a lot of social media marketing. I believe in the 80/20 rule, which means that 80 percent of what I post is personal and 20 percent is related to my business. I’ve created rules to stick to, the most important being intentional about protecting boundaries. When I sit with prospective buyers, I always ask when they get up in the morning and when they go to bed at night in order to create a boundary as to when it’s appropriate to communicate with them. We all have the same 24 hours each day, so it’s important to choose how to best use them. For me, I want one conversation to matter to 20-30-40 people, so I came up with a script to use in order to get to the gatekeeper when engaging in business-to-business conversations.
Where have you shifted your investment in online leads, and what’s different about the leads you’re getting now vs. others you’ve tried?
We work with three lead-generating platforms; however, we’ve seen the most success with realtor.com®. Our relationship with realtor.com began one-and-a-half years ago with the purchase of one zip code, and has grown to where it stands today with 10 zip codes. Not only are the leads we receive from realtor.com scrubbed better than those we receive from other outlets, but most of them are ready to act within 90 days or less. Our conversion rate with the leads we receive from realtor.com is 14 percent.
What are you doing differently to achieve such a high conversion rate?
It typically takes six tries to get someone to convert to an appointment or callback, and I believe it’s these six touches that have helped us achieve our conversion rate. Spread apart and taking place over a 90-day period, the six touches consist of calling, emailing and texting (and then repeating). When it comes to online leads, they want to know who they’re working with, so rather than simply sending a standard text message, we include a link to a video to help fill that gap.
In what ways has your focus on online leads changed this?
Focusing on online leads has helped when it comes to fine-tuning our follow-up system. Real estate professionals spend a lot of money on online leads, and they’re upset when these leads don’t convert. While many blame the leads themselves, more often than not, it’s the quality of the follow-up that’s to blame. By focusing on the six touches I mentioned above—and always leading with value—you’re following through with your commitment.
What advice do you have for other real estate professionals considering growing a team with online leads?
Before you bring agents on, you need to have a system in place. It’s also crucial that agents be trained on scripts, systems and follow-up before leads are distributed to them. And last, but not least, have standards in place that are communicated early and often. For instance, agents on my team must close two transactions and hold three open houses a month. If they don’t uphold these standards, they don’t get leads. It’s also important to have the same goals in mind, so set expectations for both sides from the get-go.
For more information, please visit www.realtor.com/convert.
Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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