(Written by Eric Pointer, REALTOR(R) and VP of Growth at Elm Street Technology)
Proper expectations is a clear, unvarnished understanding of how things work, what to expect and how long things typically take.
First of all, as a REALTOR(R) and the VP of Growth at Elm Street Technology, I want to thank you for choosing us as your preferred online lead gen provider. I also want to take a few minutes to set "Proper Expectations" just like I've done with my own buyers and sellers for over 20 years.
Yes, that's right, I have been a REALTOR(R) for 20 years and I have been involved in online lead generation since its advent. I am the official "Beta Tester" upon which this company was built. To say the least, I have converted a boat load of leads over the years using this system and these principles. Yes, I too get leads with bad names, bad numbers and bad emails but I've learned to never let 'Consumer Folly' throw me off my game. After all, I've done plenty of open houses over the years and the leads I've gotten there have a striking resemblance to online leads. Why? Because people are people whether online or in person. If they are just getting started, they ALL are initially less than forthcoming than we'd all like. But the amazing news is that for the first time in history we agents can see the future. We can get a detailed view of consumers getting ready to get ready.
So, I've learned to nurture leads that provide at least a bit of actionable information like a good name, a good email or a good phone and to forget about the ones that don't. You see, the value of a lead isn't what you pay for it - that's the cost. The value of a leads is the amount of money earned when you close it MULTIPLIED by whatever your repeat/referral percentages are. In my case 15% of my client base either do business with me or send someone to me every year. That's a bunch of referrals that close per year, in addition to new business. So the primary goal of online lead generation is to build your referral base and that begins with closing deals. So, please stay focused on the ones you can close and don't fret about the ones you can't.
Like many agents, I have personally used more systems than you can shake-a-stick-at. The one thing I've noticed is that every system works when I do. My own work ethic is the number one factor that all my success springs from. The way I look at it is that I'm not digging ditches, roofing houses, working at the penitentiary, or serving on the front lines in a war zone. All I do is consistently call, email and text my way to closings. In comparison, to hard labor, it's a breeze. Having said that, the truth of the matter is that you'll need to invest time and effort into learning how things work and if you don't ask questions and be consistent, your rewards will be few and far between.
I've found that new systems are like a "Gym Memberships". If you join a gym to get in shape but don't exercise, is it the gym's fault when you don't experience the results you were hoping for?
The same analogy holds true for anything worth doing.
So, if you're going to invest in software, commit to investing time to learn the software, be consistent, realistic and patient and you'll experience the results you are hoping for.
NAR, MIT, and others have studied and documented effective lead generation and conversion. Many coaches and seminars have addressed this topic. To be successful with internet leads, first and foremost, you need to know that most people begin their search on the internet and they start long before they are ready to talk with you, that is to be converted into a transaction.
Internet real estate shoppers seek relevant, free, no-obligation content. The great news is that studies say that most of them will work with the first agent who they are contacted by, as long as that agent doesn't chase them away trying to turn them into now business.
Working internet leads is like growing trees. You need to have the attitude that the great majority of them need to be nurtured and contributed to for a long time before they are ready to transact.
And yes, there are always a buyers and sellers or both that are ready now mixed in with the long term stuff.
Effectively working internet lead generation systems requires plans, systems, patience, discipline, organization and commitment to follow-up.
The difference between agents who are massively successful with our system and those who are not is speed-to-lead and consistency over time. Serious agents and teams are disiplined and they know how to be consistent and they know the importance of speed-to-lead.
Don't worry, our help material will teach you work-flow, process, scripts, and everything else you'll need to help you convert and save time but you have to commit and focus and be consistent and you have to develop and nurture the right Habits. Further reading - The Power of Habit:
"In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives."
Also, know that you can grow sizable results based on a commitment to proper follow-up of internet leads.
These leads are generally *NOT* looking to be turned into a transaction in the next 30-60 days! They are seeking relevant content, for free, on their timetables, and will exhibit reasonable loyalty if properly nurtured.
No matter how much sunshine, fertilizer, water and seed you dump on a field you cannot, however, force a crop to grow overnight, right?
If you find yourself complaining about the quality of leads and the cost, it is because you are expecting instant, near-term, next 60 days time results. But, as Leo Pareja mention when asked about internet lead generation systems:
"If you want to be successful with internet lead generation you need to study how it works, get your expectations in-line with today's consumer behavior, build your system, and then start investing money".
The truth is that consumers begin by doing RESEARCH (shopping). Then, a "Life Event" happens that spurs them into action and they get serious. It may be that a young couple has finally decided to get married or a baby is on the way. Or, it may be that a retirement is in the near future or a job transfer is about to occur or a divorce is being contemplated or a need for a second home is now a reality or a raise is anticipated or a job loss is feared. Remember that the "Life Events" that spur folks into action and move them from long term to near term opportunities are outside of your control.
But, what is in your control is your ability to place yourself in a position to be the "chosen one" when they decide to buy or sell. We do much of the work for you but you too need to take charge of specific positional actions as well.
The interesting thing is that even prior to an actual "Life Event", consumers know or think or believe that something is going to occur in the future and they go online, in advance of the actual event, and begin researching locations, home prices, etc. When they do, you'll get a lead. And get really excited and you'll call, email and text and they don't reply. Why? it is because your immediate needs and their immediate needs are different - You need a client and they are just getting started.
I get it. I've been there. Be patient and consistent. Remember that you are building a pipeline and it takes time and effort.
Rome wasn't built in a day.
"No" replies to emails, calls and texts and words and phrases like - "shopping", "just looking", "just getting started", and "not ready yet" are ways consumers describe their situation before a Life Event! Get use to hearing these words and phrases and learn how to bridge the gap between their timing and yours.
I'm confident that like many others who've come before you that with proper expectations, organized work flow and consistency, you'll experience success with Elm Street Technology!
Finally, our customer service staff strives to be the best and we care for our subscribers. If you need help, please submit a ticket and we will respond with assistance.
REALTOR(R), VP of Growth
Elm Street Technology