Welcome to KellerINK’s latest column – these monthly articles are aimed at helping you achieve greater success by highlighting the groundbreaking research that informs our award-winning books and drives Keller Williams’ industry-leading coaching and training.
Would you rather have $1 today or $100 six months from now?
This question seems easy. $100 is more than $1 – so why wouldn’t you go with that? But in real life, it isn’t always so. If you can’t afford to wait – if you have to pay the bills right away, for instance – you may take the lesser amount.
Many real estate agents approach their lead generation and conversion looking for short-term reward. Instead of treating lead generation and conversion as two separate activities, they get lumped together. If a lead doesn’t immediately convert in the short term, many agents think it’s as good as dirt. These agents often lead generate like a prospector panning for gold. They scoop up soil, sift through a thousand “no’s,” and pray for a single “yes.” Whether they find what they’re looking for or not, they disregard everything that doesn’t provide an immediate payout – and that’s a mistake.
Some, especially newer agents, take this approach out of necessity. But, at some point, you have to pivot away from a mindset of survival and find a way to take advantage of the greater opportunity.
A good agent knows that the true value of a relationship, even one that starts with a “no,” is revealed during the follow-up. Every short-term rejection has the potential to turn into a long-term relationship that will lead to new, referral, or repeat business. Discarding “no’s” really makes it tough to get ahead, because every time an agent lead generates, they’re starting from scratch.
Instead of panning for gold, think of lead generation and routine follow-up as building a goldmine.
Your Database Is Your Goldmine
Our research has shown that you can predict the size of someone’s business simply by the size of their database and how often they reach out to everyone in it.
In our most recent survey, we found that those who average from $50,000 to $200,000 in GCI report having databases of a modest size – about 450 people. That size is representative of a typical sphere of influence – and actually falls short of the average number of contacts on a typical cellphone. What sets these productive agents apart from less productive ones is that they make a point to reach out to everyone at least 25 times a year. And, while the income that work produces is respectable, what it can become with more follow-up is jaw-dropping.
Those who earn around $2.4 million in GCI annually reported reaching out to everyone in their database an average of 35 times a year. That’s over half a million conversations spread out over almost 15,000 different relationships. The results are incredible. Depending on your market, or how well you hold your finances accountable for results, that amount of GCI represents a million-dollar net income.
You can’t make someone buy or sell. There’s no hidden skill that provides people with the motivation and ability to transact. However, you can build valuable relationships in a way that positions you as the agent of choice when someone is ready. And, that’s where these databases and systems of contact come into play.
If you’re operating on a short-term lead generation strategy out of necessity, a database gives you the opportunity to build off of your hard work. It allows you to keep the relationships you’re entering into, and with a little systemization, it will keep you in a relationship with minimal effort. It provides a twofold return on your time and money!
If you want to cash in on the fortune follow-up offers, you have to have a database. There’s no way to build your goldmine without one.
The Fortune Is In the Follow-Up
If you read The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, you’ll find a perfectly working model for building a database. But, just as a refresher – at its most basic level – every database should have a system for storing contact information, recording valuable notes, and scheduling out communication.
Every person you come into contact with, or every lead you capture during your lead generation time, should go into your database and be put on a follow-up plan. But, before you go and start building out a follow-up plan, there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration:
- The type of contact information available to you.
- Your knowledge about the people in your database.
- Their preferred method of contact.
The first consideration is arguably the most important. It wouldn’t make sense to build out a follow-up plan for everyone in your database that places an emphasis on phone calls if you don’t have anyone’s phone number. Starting out, work with what you have. And then, as you move forward and build deeper relationships, make a point to fill in the gaps. That way you can build out a plan that encompasses a variety of different touch points, which creates different opportunities to provide value and earn trust.
Secondly, figure out what you know about everyone in your database, and look for commonalities so that you can place people in groups based on their interests and needs.
While in the early goings of building your business you might be able to get away with making systematic, warm touches like chatting over the phone or through Zoom – at scale, there isn’t always time for that. Groups make having conversations that are both personally relevant and scalable.
Lastly, knowing someone’s preferred method of contact is a matter of permission. Having leads and contacts opt-in to a relationship with your business is simply a best practice. And, the simplest advantage it brings is knowing the best possible way to reach someone.
Once you have an idea of how to reach someone in a way that they’ll engage with – you can be more efficient. You’ll save money and time because you’ll only be focused on those who are willing to participate in the relationship you’re trying to build. You can even maximize this efficiency by automating your database’s follow-up using a system like Command’s SmartPlans. These touch plans are the treasure map your business can follow to reap the long-term rewards of your lead generation.
So, go … build that goldmine!
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