How to Get Listings Quickly and Efficiently

How to Get Listings

When you’re a real estate agent, it’s important to continually grow and maintain your list of potential client leads. Working to attract leads can help you build your reputation as an agent. It can also help ensure the financial health of your business.

There are many ways that real estate agents can attract leads. Many of these strategies are human-driven, and they require hustle. Networking with business owners in your area, handing out business cards at parties and gatherings, and placing ads in local publications are some of the tangible ways that real estate agents grow their lead lists.

While consistently hitting the ground to attract new clients is an important part of being a real estate agent, the process of working to find your own leads can be slow, grueling, and inefficient. While meeting a potential client in person and convincing them to work with you can end up with a solid, fulfilling relationship for both parties, getting to the point of connection and commitment can take a while.

Because the process of manually building a lead list can be slow for a real estate agent, there are other strategies they can use to find listings to represent. Many of these methods rely on technology or pre-curated lists of potential clients. When agents get their hands on these pre-formed lists, they start with a leg up. That is, since these potential clients have already indicated they’re in some position to sell, there’s a better chance that they’ll be willing and ready to sign up to work with a real estate professional.

If you’re a real estate professional who’s gotten down the grind of attracting your own leads, but you want to get more listings more quickly, the following strategies can help. Using these resources and techniques allows you to be efficient in your lead generation and nurturing process, and it can help you do more business and bring in more income quickly. It can also help you close more deals so you can quickly grow your reputation in your area—making the process of bringing in your own leads easier.

Join the Lead Gathering Program of an Online Real Estate Listings Site

There are lots of real estate sites on the web that people use to find listings in their area or to do research about their local market or home price. Some of the most popular of these sites include ZillowTrulia, and Realtor.com. Most of these sites offer a resource where property owners can type in the address of their property to see an estimated value for it. The sites gather the contact information of these property owners. Real estate agents can then sign up for a paid service offered by the sites to get access to these lists of contact information. While there is no way of knowing why a person was specifically looking up the value of their property, there is a good chance that some of these people sought out the value because they were at least thinking about selling. By reaching out to the people who’ve looked up their properties, you can get in touch with people who have at least indicated in some way that they may be interested in exchanging what they own for money (selling).

Pay Attention to For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Listings

Many people decide that they want to try to sell their residential property without a real estate agent. These properties are called FSBO. (Some commercial property owners also try to sell their properties FSBO, as well).Pay attention to FSBO properties, and when you see one listen, reach out with your contact information and an offer to help if the sellers ever need it. While many hopeful and idealistic sellers want to sell without the help of a real estate professional, in reality, studies show that 92% of all homes in the U.S. are sold with the help of a broker or an agent. So, if you are able to reach out and contact FSBO sellers quickly, you can make your name the first one that they think to reach out to once they decide that they need help selling their property after all.

You can use a digital resource to access a list of FSBO sellers in order to make this process even quicker and more efficient. One good resource for FSBO listings is REDX. REDX guarantees that you can get the contact information of FSBO owners the day properties hit the market, so that you can be the first real estate agent to contact them during the process.

Stay on Top of Probate and Vacant House/Property Listings

Probate properties are ones that are sold when an owner dies, bequeathing property to someone who doesn’t actually want to own it. Stay on top of probate properties in your area by visiting the local courthouse and getting a list of homes that will be for sale in probate court. Once you have a list of probate properties, reach out to the owners of the properties who may be highly motivated to sell the homes fast. Probate owners usually live out of state and don’t have the time to come to where the property is to help facilitate a sale. You can offer to list and represent the probate property to help make the entire process easier for the seller.

The owners of vacant properties are often similarly motivated to sell. While there’s usually no concrete list of vacant buildings in an area, you can keep a list of ones you see as you spend time in town. Then, research and contact owners to see if you can help them get the property off their hands. Some vacant property owners may simply be grateful for the offer of help to sell the property, and it can be an easy way to get a listing.

Pair with a Home Stager

While this technique is not as fast or efficient as getting a list of pre-qualified leads, pairing with a home stager is a great way to get leads that won’t take your time or energy. Pair with a home stager, and then when they are contacted about a job staging a home, the stager can recommend you as a seller’s agent. This can be a very useful way to get motivated seller listings, if the clients do not already have an agent. You can return the favor by recommending that home stager when you have seller clients who haven’t yet found someone to help them stage their home during the sale process.

Pair with Home Flippers

Another good partnership to establish for any sellers’ agent is a home flipper. If there is someone who is known for buying homes and renovating them to sell, partner with them, and have them use you as your sellers’ agent each time they are done with a renovation and ready to sell a home. These clients will use you again and again and be easy, steady business. You may also pair with a real estate investor who regularly buys and sells properties to make money. You can represent them each time they are ready to sell.

Use Facebook Ads

With Facebook ads, you can get your information out in front of very targeted audiences: be it people in your area or those who exhibit online behaviors of people who may be wanting to sell their home (looking up its value, browsing listings, researching stagers, etc). Facebook’s ability to get very specific with who they target (and the amount of data they’re able to collect on users) makes it one of the most effective and efficient ways to actually get connected with the right leads. Facebook’s algorithms make their ad audiences scarily accurate. This means that you can get your information out in front of the very specific audience who may just be looking to sell and need a seller’s agent.

Contact Owners of Expired Listings

Access current real estate listings via your MLS or an online real estate database. Search current listings by date, and scroll to the oldest listings. Look at properties that have been on the market for a long time, or ones that seem to have old/not updated/few photos. Reach out to the owners of these properties to see if they need help relisting their property, or if they’d like the guidance of a new agent to help them refresh their listing. Checking nearly-expired listings every day is a good, fast source of potential leads that may be looking for some help getting their property sold.

At the end of the day, there is no exact science to getting listings for real estate agents. Instead, attracting potential clients is more like an art, where agents combine both their own efforts to connect with the people who might become their clients and the usage of pre-gathered or pre-generated lists. By combining the two strategies and using them both wisely, real estate agents can solidify a reputation as a sought-after, successful professional to work with—and bring in the amount of income necessary to sustain and grow a real estate business.

Rely on Internet Data Providers

There are Internet-based real estate data services that can provide you with a list of motivated sellers that may be great potential clients. These data services mine public records to find potential property owners who seem like they could be ready to get rid of their property. These lists are curated by a variety of factors, including owners who have encountered financial hardship or foreclosure; those who have experienced divorces or who have college-aged children who may be becoming empty-nesters; and more. Data providers can also give you lists of commercial properties and property owners you can contact to see if they’d be willing to sell. Many of these sites also have predictive analytics capabilities, which can analyze factors about properties and their owners and let you know how likely they will be to be ready to sell. These sites, thus, can ensure you focus in on leads who are likely to become your client, and to avoid nurturing potential leads who are not actually ready to sell.

Create Your Own Home Valuation Page

Rather than rely on another real estate site to buy lead lists, create your own home valuation landing page where people can type in their information to find out the value of their property. Optimize this home valuation page for search, using the right keywords for your area and the type of properties you are looking to represent. Once you start getting traffic to your page and people are handing over their contact information, you can reach out to them to see if they are looking to sell and if they would want your services as their seller’s agent. Setting up a home or property valuation page that just sits on the web will naturally attract potentially interested clients and will be a low-effort way to gather a list of qualified leads.

To learn more about one effective strategy for finding qualified leads who might want to become real estate clients, check out ProspectNow. ProspectNow is the most complete property and owner database on the web. It offers both commercial and residential real estate agents the chance to access qualified leads who may be ready to work with them to sell property. The database currently has 102,984,952 residential properties, 38,871,625 commercial properties, and 23,442,332 properties predicted to sell. It also contains helpful information like property owner contact information (including phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing address) and predictive analytics that can help you gauge how likely it is an owner is ready or willing to sell their property. This is a huge resource of potential clients who can ultimately help you grow your business. By relying on a tool like ProspectNow, real estate agents can tackle one side of lead generation quickly and efficiently so they can focus on doing great work for their clients and helping to establish their reputation in their market.

15 Real Estate Prospecting Tips That Will Help Get You New Clients

real estate prospecting

We know you want to close real estate deals faster and at a higher price. You want to find homes for listing. But connecting with homeowners who are likely to sell seems like a mountain to climb. Real estate prospecting has never been straightforward, yet some of us excel in it. So, what are the secrets to prospecting?

A decade ago, one of our current team members set foot on the real estate industry doubling as a broker and agent. Like many other rookies entering the realm of prospecting, he was eager to generate and convert leads. But, he didn’t know-how. Leads were hard to come by, and butting heads with rival brokers was common.

We can summarize his first few months of prospecting as a catastrophe. Not even cold mails, warm calls or residential visits could work for him. When he met a veteran in the industry, (also, our team member) it was his turning point. He was taught the art of prospecting offline and online – warm and cold.

Today, he closes up several real estate deals on a month. The most vital skill a real estate person will ever master is to prospect. Prospecting is an art. An art honed through time.

We have been in this industry for decades, and we want to share vital prospecting tips with you today.

Technologies change, people change, but ingredients to ultimate prospecting remain the same. Have a quick look at these real estate prospecting tips to gear up your selling touchpoints. 

1. Leverage Technological Tools

If you are a broker, lender, or an agent lurking in the shadows of traditional prospecting methods, you deny yourself a raft of opportunities. 

Think of how much change the real estate sector has undergone over the past ten years. Then, imagine how it could be in the next five years. Mindboggling, right?

To remain relevant, you need to use tools that propel your lead acquisition process. Tech tools ease the process of collecting key facts about real estate markets. They give you better visibility of the market.

For instance, ProspectNow uses an algorithm that enables you to see which houses are likely to sell. The tool considers historical data to map out a homeowner’s selling or buying behavior.

Also, count on digital marketing to give you an edge over your rivals. Digital tools give you the power to search thousands of property records and retrieve accurate contact details.

2. Create a Plan and Stick to It

With years of experience, few things in the real estate industry surprise us. But the number of people entering the market without a business plan is quite a shocker. A plan is a roadmap that guides your prospecting goals.

It is easy to put a plan but following it is often challenging. As an agent or a broker, you have to incorporate prospecting into your daily routine. And that means you need a schedule, calendar, and objectives to follow.

Your plan should include:

  • Daily prospecting schedule which should be approximately 60-90 minutes
  • Your target market and associated demographics
  • Market segmentation strategies
  • Competitive advantage strategies
  • The strategic lead acquisition process
  • Daily, weekly and monthly goals

Note that performing a SWOT analysis could also help you create a plan whose goals are easy to actualize. Proper planning provides you with a chance to outline KPIs that align with your ROI.

3. Dictate Your Market through Events

Trying to chase on every lead sounds like a good idea. However, it may prove to be daunting and unyielding. You should find the market to delve in, create a scope within which you will concentrate your marketing and exert your prospecting efforts.

Organizing weekly social media live shows or offering free coffee for your prospects can payoff. Take advantage of local events, take part in charitable activities and do not miss trade shows. Such events give you a lifetime chance to meet prospects in person.

Events make the process of establishing your brand seamless. Use them as tools for building and strengthening your database. If you do not want to put off prospects, avoid direct sales pitches. Focus on building relationships and widening your networks.

No one wants snobby realtors. Property owners get to trust you when you have an extensive network and significant knowledge of the industry. Dictate your market by showing that you have what it takes to get listings to fetch high prices.

Once you dictate your market, create data for it and start prospecting. List potential sellers and/or buyers and their contacts and try to match their needs with properties that excite them.

4. Know More about Your Market

It might be an uphill task exhausting opportunities in a market you have no clue about. You need to research, master the rates, understand the market culture and identify real estate dynamics in your area.

Get to know the movers and shakers in the market and how they affect your prospecting channels and goals. Know what you can, and keep learning while adjusting to the changing market needs.

At times, physical boundaries act like the determinants of your market. But they do not have to limit you in any way. You can choose a certain caliber of people; for example, high earning entertainers or a given income class and make them your chosen market.

5. Focus on Data

No more guesswork. Collect, analyze and use prospecting data to your benefit. Tools such as ProspectNow have millions of real estate concrete data that facilitate the creation of accurate reports. Use such tools to gather data.

Data is indispensable in understanding your clients. It assists in knowing things like zoning, building regulations, and upcoming government projects in your area. Data not only helps in knowing more about leads but also informs your prospecting decisions.

Undoubtedly, data enhances your understanding of the prospects across the marketing funnel. Sellers will go for agents and realtors who have bespoke knowledge of trends, laws and real estate economic outlook.

6. Be Quick To Grab FSBO Opportunities

Contrary to your belief, most for-sale-by-owner properties end up in the hands of professional agents and brokers.

Try to find out owners who have listings that have overstayed in the market. Approach them and give them tips that would make them sell fast.

Oft-dreaded cold calls have low conversions. So, do not bother cold emailing or calling a prospect. Use FSBO service or tools such as ProspectNow. Also, leverage your networks to engage FSBO owners.

7. Create a Sphere of Influence

We have relied so much on social media and digital channels that we have forgotten the importance of face-to-face conversations. Be active out there. Attend community events and use every prospecting opportunity to create relationships.

Create great relationships with the people around you. These are past clients, friends, and family who form your sphere of influence. They can act as a reliable source of referrals. If possible, always offer discounts or gifts to them when processing their real estate deals. Also, add your sphere to your social media handles, and create marketing pieces tailored for them.

8. Social Media Strategy

It goes without saying that social media is a pivotal network for acquiring prospects. Most brokers do not have a robust social strategy. With proper strategy, you can achieve quick engagement, brand reinforcement and establish a solid CRM (customer relationship management) funnel.

You need a strategy that works for your goals – one that harmonizes well with your business plan. Present yourself as a professional expert and entice your audience with news, trends, and happenings in your area. Use stories and polls to engage your audience. If you are still struggling to find an audience, consider using influencer marketers.

When finding potential home buyers, you can consider brand exposure tools such as the Zillow premier agent. Facebook and Instagram are useful social handles for marketing. But don’t forget that the likes of YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest are vital as well.

9. Categorize Your Leads

Uncluttering your sales pipeline by classifying your leads will help reduce churn rates. Potential property sellers have different needs. So, why would you add every prospect to a same email drip campaign?

You can classify leads as cold, warm and hot depending on core questions driving prospects to buy or sell. Consider questions such as: why are they selling or buying? What kind of property are they selling? When do they expect a closing? How do they want to sell or buy?

Such classifications will assist you in scheduling processes and customizing marketing campaigns. It will enable you to organize meetings with leads who have similar desires.

10. Use Content Marketing to Fuel Your Campaigns

Do not push ads to your prospects aimlessly. Take time to craft insightful how-to videos and blog articles that can help them make sound investment decisions.

Content can help you win the hearts of prospects. Look for anything from funny posts to memes that can strike an emotional chord with your audience.

The effect of content marketing is cumulative. So, be consistent with your tone and message.

11. Take Advantage of Scripts

Some say scripts make you sound like a bot. That might be true, especially for those who do not know how to customize scripts to suit prospect needs. The idea is, when prospecting, don’t talk too much but focus on customers’ pain points.

Scripts allow you to stay on track, focus on your prospecting goals and maintain consistency. Qualifying leads is a continuous process, and the message you deliver should be the same all through. 

Scripts are useful in building rapport, creating a positive perception and leaving a lasting impression.

12. Consider Postcards and Door Hangers

Joshua Smith was voted the 30th real estate agent in the country in 2013. He revealed that the secret for closing 463 listings in a year is relentless use of postcards and door hangers. This was an eye-opener for many agents and brokers.

If you want to get sellers that would have never considered agents or brokers, postcards and door hangers are essential. By informing potential prospects that some houses in the neighborhood are selling way above their asking prices, they might consider selling their homes.

ProspectNow offers templates for postcards to enable you to create and send direct mails to prospects in a whim.

13. Outline Your Value

Why should prospects consider you instead of dozens of agents out there? Why should they trust you? Anchoring your lead generation, lead qualification and lead acquisition campaigns on your value proposition give you an edge.

Concentrate on your strengths and skills while building on areas of your weakness. As stated earlier, collect enough data to guide you on areas that demand your skills.

Like top agents such as Aida Younis and Jade Mills, develop your own brand to enhance authenticity. Create your website and post testimonials to build credibility. This might take some time, but the results are long-lasting.

14. Create a Thoughtful Pre-listing Presentation

Qualifying leads and landing referrals isn’t that easy. No matter how you get your appointments, persistence, knowledge, and talent always come into play.

A listing presentation can help you outline your experience, contacts, knowledge, and expertise. Consider it as the pedestal for creating engagement opportunities with your prospects.

Some of the things you can include in your pre-listing package include:

  • Your goals and experience
  • Affiliated real estate agencies and experience
  • Your sphere of influence with their contacts
  • Comparative market analysis report (CMA
  • Marketing real estate tips
  • Tips on how homeowners could sell homes faster and a higher price
  • Pre-inspection and appraisal benefits
  • Real estate trends

Also, include HD images, floor plans and everything else you might think it can interest your prospects.

15. Personalize Your Offline and Online Campaigns

Everyone wants to feel unique and special. Personalization enhances engagement, drives leads and improves customer’s satisfaction.

When you do it right, your lead conversion rate skyrockets and you will make several listings in a month. Consider using geofencing to understand your prospects better. The good thing is that you can get as granular as you want – down from the city to the zip code and the block.  

Understand the demographics of your social media audience and take time to craft personalized materials. Personalization draws you closer to your prospect acquisition goals.

Bottom Line

Real estate prospecting is a journey that is unique for everyone. There are no rules of thumb or special guidelines to follow. Some can take years to master the art of prospecting; some can achieve their prospecting goals in a matter of months.

As an agent or a broker, ProspectNow helps you develop the roadmap for success. You can look around on our site to discover our premium services for prospectors. We help agents perform market segmentation by providing them with accurate historical data. Moreover, we conduct analytics that maps out a homeowner’s real estate journey enabling you to identify which prospects are likely to sell or buy homes.

Door Knocking: Can It Help You Find Property Sellers?

Door Knocking

Door knocking is an old school technique used by residential real estate professionals. Some agents get outstanding results from door knocking, while others never generate a lead. What makes the difference? How you prepare, and the tools you use will determine whether you’re successful or not. Done well, door knocking does help you find property sellers.

Why Does Door Knocking Work?

You may think that sending emails is as effective as meeting prospects in person, but you’d be wrong. The Harvard Business Review published some insightful research. They found that a request made face-to-face was 34 times more effective than using email.

Whether you’re contacting prospects via email or in person, you are making a request. You’re asking them to listen to you, trust you, and consider what you have to say. Door knocking is something to consider because it is the most effective way to ask for a favor.

Why Does Door Knocking Fail?

People fail at door knocking for a couple of reasons:

·  They feel like a traveling salesperson or an overgrown Girl Scout

· They have a fear of rejection

You aren’t selling anything when you door knock. The purpose of door knocking is to help you meet homeowners in your target area. Your goal is to develop a relationship. So, you should never feel like you’re annoying people.

Selling has come a long way since the days when old-school used car salesmen techniques worked. And, door knocking has come a long way since the days when the best approach was to ask the homeowner if they want to sell their home.

Besides that, rejection is part of the sales process. It’s easy to deal with the rejection when someone doesn’t answer your email. You have a much different reaction when someone slams the door in your face.

Learning how to door knock will help you reduce the times when someone is rude. You’ll also get lots of positive reinforcement when you start seeing friendly smiles.

Why Should You Try Door Knocking?

Door knocking has several advantages over other types of marketing:

·        It’s a low-cost marketing option. Consider what you’d need to pay out of pocket for SEO or direct mail. Compare that to door knocking, which requires little more than your time.

·        You’re on the road anyway. If you’re in one of your target areas, you can make that trip even more worthwhile by doing some door knocking while you’re there.

·        You can make a personal impression. Email is very impersonal, even if you include your photo in your signature. Meeting people face-to-face leaves a more lasting impression.

·        You’ll be unique. Many agents reject the idea of knocking on doors, so your effort will make you stand out.

How to Succeed at Door Knocking

If you decide to try door knocking, don’t skip the preparation steps. If you dive in with no planning, you’ll fail miserably. You’ll also become convinced that door-knocking is a waste of time. Follow these guidelines to make your effort produce results.

Get In the Right Frame of Mind

If you start door knocking with the idea that it’s embarrassing, that’s what it will be. When you meet people at a community event and tell them you’re a real estate professional, do you feel ashamed of yourself? Of course not. And, it’s all because at a community picnic, for example, you’re just out meeting your neighbors. You’re not trying to sell them anything. Although if you’re smart, you do take the opportunity to let people know what you do for a living.

In a social situation, if someone doesn’t seem interested in talking to you what happens? You just drift off and find someone who’s friendlier. You can do the same thing with door knocking.

Pick a Target Area

Most successful real estate agents pick an area to farm. Farming is the process of becoming an expert in a specific geographic territory. It also allows you to become very visible to residents there. Being top of mind helps generate referrals and builds your business.

Use marketing tools with predictive analytics to make your efforts more effective. For example, you can get information about expired listings in your target area. You can also identify owners that are most likely to sell. Having this insight will give you an edge in finding and focusing all your marketing efforts, not just door knocking.

When you do go door-knocking, plan your route to start with the high-potential homeowners then move to other homes in that area.

Set Goals

Especially when you’re starting something new, setting goals is critical. Your goals may include completing a defined number of door knocks per day, week, or month. Having a goal gives you the motivation you need to be successful.

Prepare Leave-Behind Materials

You should always leave something of value when you’re meeting new people. You should already know the market statistics for your target area. If you don’t, make sure to gather that information for a defined period such as a quarter or year. Here are some examples:

·        Number of homes sold

·        Number of Days on the Market

·        Current inventory level

·        Listing vs. Sales Price Ratio

·        Median Sales Price

·        Home appreciation rates

Once you have the most current information, you can create a brief market report. Include statistics and your interpretation of what they mean for home sellers in the area. You don’t need to explain the market in detail. A one-page flyer will work. Offer enough information to prove your expertise. And, put your photo on the report to help people recognize you the next time you meet.

Get Comfortable with What to Say

Some people think that writing a script is the quickest way of sounding like a robot. The opposite is true. When you memorize a script and practice using it, you’re giving yourself a powerful tool for several reasons:

·        You can plan what to say without the pressure of meeting a stranger for the first time

·        You’ll feel more confident because you won’t struggle for what to say when someone opens the door

·        You don’t need to follow the script word for word, but you’ll have that memorized script to fall back on if you feel tense

·        You’re training your brain and making it easier to find the right words within the structure you learned

Think about any movie you’ve ever seen. Did it sound like the actors were reading from a script? It doesn’t sound that way, but they have memorized their lines. Sometimes they deliver the lines exactly as written. Other times, actors may improvise. Either way, once the actor has internalized what they’re supposed to say, they put real meaning in the words to tell a story. You can do the same thing.

Create different scripts for different purposes, like these examples.

If you have recently sold a home: You could create a “just sold” flyer that also includes some market data. Write a script similar to this one.

·        I only have a minute, but I wanted to let you know that I just sold the home down the street from you. It sold in five days, and the sales price has appreciated X percent over last year. As a result, lots of neighbors want to know what their home is worth in this market. If you’re interested, I can do a comparative market analysis on your home when I do theirs.  

Notice that the agent isn’t trying to sell anything. They’re offering information and service. If the homeowner isn’t interested, they can drop off the just sold flyer and leave. It’s the start of building a relationship with that homeowner.

If you’re having an open house: It’s a great excuse to do some door-knocking in the surrounding area. Some agents write a script that emphasizes their commitment to let the neighbors know about the home for sale. Some homeowners would love to pick their neighbors and will be glad to let you know if a friend is looking for a home in the area.

Other Door Knocking Tips

People will want to know who you are, why you’re there, and how much of their time you want. Always start your script with your name and the company you represent. Mentioning that you only have a minute will let the homeowner know that you won’t be taking up a lot of their time.

You can reduce the homeowner’s anxiety when opening their door to a stranger by standing a few feet back and off to the side of the door. You’ll look intimidating if the homeowner opens the door and finds you standing almost toe to toe with them.

Use ProspectNow to Find Property Sellers

If you do door knocking consistently, it will help you build relationships with potential sellers in your farm area. They may not have much to say the first time you stop by. But, you’ll typically find them opening up more as you continue to show your commitment to them with monthly market reports.

ProspectNow offers a database with over 140 million residential and commercial properties, including 23 million predicted to sell. If you want to get the most from your door knocking efforts, contact us for more information.

Buying Real Estate Leads vs. Finding Them Yourself

Buying Real Estate Leads vs. Finding them Yourself

If you are a real estate agent, it is essential for you to continuously find clients in order to build your business and thrive. Leads are prospective clients who may be interested in selling their property, and they may need a real estate agent to help them with the sale in the future.

With the power of the Internet today, there are countless ways for you to generate and gather leads. One way to gather leads as an agent to is to gather them for yourself. This can require a fair amount of hustle and relying on strategies to connect with people who are thinking about selling their property.

Another popular way is to buy real estate leads from a source. When you buy leads, you purchase a list of people who are likely going to be selling and need and agent.

There are both benefits and drawbacks to both strategies, and it can help to understand both in order for you to determine the best way for you to grow, run, and maintain your business. Read on to understand more about the difference between buying real estate leads and finding them on your own, and which route can benefit you more.

What does it mean to buy real estate leads?

If you are an agent looking for leads, one possible option for you is to purchase a list of leads from a resource that has compiled or collected them. There are many, many sources available that has compiled lists of qualified or verified leads, which agents can then connect with and offer to represent.

When you buy real estate leads, you are purchasing a list of prospective clients that have in some way indicated that they are likely going to need to sell. This list can have a wide range of clients that are in a variety of situations. Some of these can include:

  • Owners who are divorcing
  • Owners in pre-forecluse
  • Property owners who have announced relocation
  • Homeowners who are about to become empty nesters
  • Homeowners who just had a child
  • Homeowners who just got married
  • Probate leads (people who just inherited property that are like to turn that property around via a a sale)
  • People who have applied for or looked into home loans
  • People who have clicked on Pay-per-Click ads regarding selling property
  • Internet users who have searched for the value of their home or property
  • People who search for home listing on search engines (and are then targeted with PPC advertising campaigns
  • Homeowners or commercial property owners that have responded to surveys about selling their home or property
  • Homeowners of a certain age, who are likely to have equity or are in positions to sell or invest
  • And more.

You can choose the type of qualified lead that makes the most sense for your market and your business, then purchase from a source that provides that types of lead list.

The Benefits of Buying Real Estate Leads

There are many benefits to buying real estate leads in order to find potential customers. Some of the best benefits include the following.

Save Yourself Time and Energy

Being a real estate agent is hard work. You have to constantly work for your clients and work to gain new clients. You can reduce some of your workload and save yourself time by buying qualified leads. Instead of having to work to build your customer base, you can be handed a list of potential clients that you know are in some way interested in selling. That way you can devote your time and energy to working hard for your clients and making them happy with your service, and not to hustling to drum up people who may or may not want to work with you to sell.

Make Contact First

When you buy a list of leads, it is likely that you are going to be the first agent to make contact with them. This is especially true if you are purchasing a list of leads that has simply expressed some interest in selling their home, but hasn’t necessarily made any decision about doing it. When you are the first agent to reach out to a potential seller, you are likely to nab them as a client, since you have made the process easy and convenient for them, and you have displayed your enthusiasm and eagerness to work with them.

Long List of Clients

When you generate your own leads, you constantly have to work to keep feeing up your list of potential clients. When you purchase a list, you have a long steady stream of people to check in with about possibly represeting them during a sale.

Get Established and Build Your Reputation

When you buy a list of leads, you may be able to make sales quickly, since you’ll likely be working with people ready and motivated to sell. When you make these customers happy, you can help generate a great reputation and positive word-of-mouth marketing for yourself, which will help you naturally grow your business. This can be especially helpful if you are new to an area or a market and need help getting established.

What Does it Mean to Find Your Own Real Estate Leads?

If you choose not to buy a list of real estate leads from any resource, it is up to you as an agent to compile your own list of potential sellers. This can take some hustling on your part, but there are a wide variety of methods for finding good clients. Here are some of the most popular ways that seller agents find their own leads.

  • Referrals: Referrals can be a great source of leads. Ask happy and satisfied customers and clients to recommend you to other sellers.
  • Partnerships: Partner with relevant organizations or businesses in your area to help bring you people that are looking to sell property. Some business that make sense are cleaning services, home staging companies, moving companies, and more. When people inquire with a relevant company about moving or selling their home, you can have them recommend you as a seller’s agent. In exchange you can also recommend these businesses to your clients.
  • Building strong relationships: Keep up relationships with old customers. Send regular holiday cards or check-in emails. By keeping strong ties with people you work with, they may become repeat customers down the line or refer you on when people they know need a seller’s agent.
  • Advertisements: Place ads for your services or business with local newspapers, radio stations, television stations, and more. Consider advertising in other relevant publications like local real estate listings or magazines. Also, social media is a powerful and popular place to market today. So don’t overlook the power of social media ads
  • Social media channels: Social media in general is an effective technique for establishing your business, thanks to the popularity of social channels today. Create your own social media pages and post relevant, interesting content. You should have a Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter (and more, if you’d like). If you use relevant hashtags, you can bring in the business of people who were looking on social media for an agent like you.
  • Place sold signs on properties you sold: When you successfully sell a property for a client, make sure to put a sold sign on that property, in addition to your name and contact. People thinking about selling will see that you’ve been sucessful there and consider getting in contact with you.
  • Nurture, nurture, nurture: Don’t give up on old leads. Even if a person didn’t get in back in touch with you about selling or dropped out of contact, it can’t help to keep in touch with anyone who once indicated that they may need your help with a sale. Gently and politely nurture your leads by checking in with them and providing them with helpful, relevant information. This can keep you at the forefront of their mind in case they change their mind again and decide that they do want to sell their property.
  • Get in touch with people with properties that are currently “For Sale By Owner”: Some people choose to go their own route of representing and selling their own property. This can be a tough route, and many people, if they don’t succeed, will turn to a seller’s agent to help. Get in touch with FSBO property owners with your contact information, and let them know that you are there to assist them should they need it. They’ll know that they can turn to you if they decide they need some support or guidacne in the sales process.
  • Search for foreclosures and vacant properties yourself: Pay attention around town and in the newspaper for foreclosed and vacant properties. Get in touch with the owners yourself. You can nab the client by offering to help them sellf the property and get into a better financial situation. They will appreciate the initiative you took and the help you are offering to handle a challenging situation.
  • Have a great website: Build a website as a seller’s agent and optimize it for search. Make sure you’ve used the right keywors so you come up high in Google search results. That way, people can find you and your services when they are looking for an agent like you to help them

The Benefits of Finding Your Own Real Estate Leads

As you can see above, there are many, many routes to finding your own real estate leads. Going this route has benefits including the following.

It can be cheaper.

Some methods of finding your own real estate leads is free. It can be expensive to buy leads. So, if you are looking for cost effective lead generation, this can be a good option.

Connecting with the community.

Real estate is all about who you know in your market. By doing the work to generate your own leads and get yourself and your name out there, you can get to know more people and establish yourself as a more well-known name in your area.

Be sure your leads are interested.

Buying qualified leads is a smart way to connect with interested sellers. But not everyone on your lead list is actually interested in selling. If you do the work yourself, you can have a good gauge of where potential customers are and whether they’re actaully worth investing time and energy into nurturing.

At the end of the day, there are benefits to finding your own real estate leads—but it takes a ton of work. If you don’t have extra energy or time to expend, solely focusing on your own lead generation can be risky and lead to burn out (or a lack of clients and income).

Buying or Finding Leads: Building the Business that’s Right For You

As an agent, it’s important to regularly take steps to bring leads into your business. Take some time to learn what it means to buy leads, and what it means to find your own leads. Then, consider the nature of your business, the time you have to spend, and which avenue makes the most sense for you as an agnet. Once you’ve determined which method will help bring your more potential clients, devote your time to pursuing that avenue. When you bring in more potential clients to your business, you can help more and more people sell their residential or commercial property. Not only will you help more people reach their real estate goals, you’ll also develop a reputation for being a reliable and effective agent. This is another way to help build your busines via word-of-mouth, and to become an even more trusted, relied upon agent if your market.

If you want to rely on a tool that can provide you with qualified leads to help your business grow, check out ProspectNow. ProspectNow is a tool that connects residential real estate agents with people who are likely to be selling their homes. It also has a database of commercial leads, so that commercial agents can build their base of potential sellers. This database also helps other people who have a hand in the commercial sales process, including commercial mortgage lenders, building management service companies, real estate investors, tax professionals, insurance agents, and roofing companies (and more).

How to Get Real Estate Leads Using Modern Technology

How to get real estate leads

 Every business must market themselves and the real estate business is no exception. As in any industry, it is necessary to know how to obtain leads. Of course, these methods have evolved over time and now involve the use of modern technology. So exactly how should a real estate business go about using modern technology to obtain leads? That is precisely what this article will discuss. Also included will be a segment or two on how to ensure you reach the decision-makers directly. Please continue reading this article. 

 

Create a Website for Your Business

 This is a must-have for any business in today’s society – you need a website. The average website can generate more than 30,000 visitors each month. Of course visitors can lead to clients if you have the means to collect data on them. Instruct your website designer make your site SEO-friendly. The higher your business ranks in searches, the more traffic you will have. Once your website starts to attract visitors, it is crucial you initiate contact with them. You want to show these visitors you appreciate them checking out your site. This can be done via email or telephone call, but do be sure to do it in some fashion. This is a sure-fire way of generating leads. 

Link Your Website to High-Traffic National Sites

 There are several nationally-known high-traffic real estate sites in use today. It is a good idea to link your site to one or more of those. We shall expand on this later in the article. For right now, we will say that your website will gain quite a bit of exposure from linking to them. Exposure of any kind is helpful in generating leads. Sites like these are even helpful when you want to increase your breadth of knowledge on real estate in general. 

 

Utilize Social Media Sites to Advertise Your Company

 Social media sites are no longer used solely for keeping in touch with people. Nowadays they are also a prime source of exposure for businesses of any kind, including real estate companies. Most of the social sites allow you to place ads on their site for a minimal fee. These social media sites have instructions on how to place your ads, as well as how to begin a live chat with new prospective leads. The more sites your company is on, the more people will know you exist. 

Ideas for Addressing Home Sellers

 When you are looking for real estate leads, you naturally think of home buyers. However, home SELLERS are an extremely important part of your market. Make sure to have some lead generation techniques to find home sellers too. One way to do this is to utilize online data from sources that focus on home sellers. Do an Internet search and you can find some of these. Not only can you obtain real estate leads this way, but you can offer prospective clients another service. That service is the ability to check the value of their home through YOUR website. That is such a valuable service. You can discover how to incorporate a home valuation site into your company website online. Check into that today.

Make Use of Video Technology

 These days videos are such a popular way of attracting business leads. Look into affordable ways to produce informative videos for your real estate company. Start by telling people all about your company and your key personnel. You can then go on to make videos of homes you are already selling. Not only will it help you get leads for that client, it can allow other home sellers to see what you can do for them. Make certain you include a contact method for prospective clients to reach you.  Then do not forget to follow up with them.

Use Lead Generation Software

 Along with the information age has come inventions that can capitalize on technology. One of those inventions is lead generation software. There is a segment of lead generation software that focuses on real estate. Check into using one or more of those today. Several of them can be found on the Internet market. Do a search for them and a little homework prior to investing to find out which are the best products in this genre. You want to look further than the price, it is important to be able to gain the most use out of it. You want your software to be versatile and comprehensive. Some real estate lead generation software products are geared towards different sized businesses. Select the one that most fits YOUR company. If necessary, call the software company and speak to an expert.  

Make Use of Informative Blogs and Articles

 There is another way to use modern technology to gain real estate leads other than statistical data. That way is to avail yourself of the plethora of real estate information out there. We are speaking of all of the informative blogs and articles on generating real estate leads. Included are all sorts of general tips on real estate and related topics. You can find the most current material from expert sources. Because it is so critical to understand what you are talking about in order to secure leads, you should check out any general articles on real estate topics. Those are also available on the Internet.

Tips on Reaching the Decision-Makers

 In any marketing campaign, one of the keys to success is to speak directly to the decision-makers. This can be difficult. More often than not, you will get the gate-keeper who will do everything possible to prevent that. Therefore, this part of our article will focus on the best tips to reach the boss of the home. This information is completely relevant to the real estate business too. One pertinent tip is to call the home owner later in the day. That way you are more likely to directly reach the decision-maker. When you do, keep your message short and to the point. Do not ramble! Do some research on their home requirements before you call. That way you can tell him or her about all of the benefits you can offer them. Remember, you want to make a positive impression.

 

 

Mutual Connections Are Valuable

 The best way to speak to the key person at a company or at their home is to find a mutual connection. When you do, arrange for an introduction. Casually mention all of the excellent ways YOUR real estate company can help them. Whether they are looking to buy or to sell a home or business property, be prepared to let this person know what you can do for him or her. 

Another way to establish a mutual connection, using today’s technology, is to send them a connection request on your social media site. Not only will this enable you to contact them, but you can build a lasting relationship with them. Many times, you and this person will already have mutual friends on the social site in question. This is even better and will give you more to build on. If possible, arrange to have direct chats with the person on your social site’s direct messaging platform. Keep in mind NOT to immediately try to sell them your services as it might completely turn them off to you.   

Become Friends With the Gatekeepers

 If it is impossible to avoid the gatekeeper of the home, become friends with them first. Take the time to build lasting friendships with them and get to know them. This will likely lead to an introduction to the decision-maker. You can casually let your new gatekeeper friends know about your real estate business. Who knows, perhaps the gatekeeper needs some real estate services too. If nothing else, ensuing conversations with the gatekeeper will allow you to learn the concerns of the homeowner. That way you can better address these concerns when you do speak to them.  These methods we just discussed can be applied to online communications with prospective real estate leads. 

Keeping the Attention of the Decision-Maker

 Okay, so you have reached the decision-maker of the house, now what? Well, now you have to keep their interest. You ought to be able to do this by being concise and on-topic. Stick only to the points of how you can help them instead of taking up their time with chit chat. You might need to try different approaches. If you fail to keep this person’s interest in the first conversation, try approaching them in a different manner the next time. You may be dealing with someone who hates using the telephone. Therefore, try an in-person meeting. It is better to do this in a social setting than to show up at their front door uninvited. DO NOT make a pest out of yourself. Instead, just “accidentally” bump into him or her at neighborhood gatherings. This will work wonders.

Turning Your Leads Into Clients

 First rule, DO NOT make your leads wait!!! You have a hot lead that you just acquired. They are obviously interested in your real estate business. Make sure you follow up with them immediately. Not doing this will result in a complete drop of interest in you, then you will lose them. There is no excuse possible that will regain that person’s interest in your business once you lose them. Contact them exactly at the pre-arranged time and method you discussed. 

  

 Utilizing Software to Follow Up With Leads

 If you find it difficult to remember the details of all your potential clients, invest in some software. There is specific software available for customer service communication. It is critical to ensure this software has the ability to receive and record communications from leads. You must thoroughly understand how the software works so you can get back to your leads ASAP. DO NOT allow a robotic caller to return your prospects’ calls. Be sure this is done via a live person every time. 

Always Ask for the Sale

 This may seem obvious, yet you would be amazed how often it gets forgotten. The real estate agent does everything except ask the potential customer for his or her business. How many times have you heard somebody say, “the sales person never asked me if I wanted to be a client?” Do not demand they be your client, but sincerely ASK them if they would like to be. It is incredible how many times they will say yes. Remember, if you fail to ask them, your competitor will. 

What Are Some Good National Sites to Link To?

 The best kind of a national real estate-oriented database is one in which there are scores of available properties on it. They should feature a combination of residential and commercial properties on them, as well as enable a customer to screen for specific qualifications. An example of such a database is Prospect Now, the address can be obtained by doing an Internet search. Also available on this website is useful information on real estate. Sites like this one are a fantastic resource in today’s information age. Try it for yourself. 

Conclusion

It is hoped that you have learned a lot from this article. You can return to this particular website periodically for any new revelations that come along. You can also investigate websites like Prospect Now to learn all you need to know about real estate properties and how to get the best deals. We wish you the best of success!

How To Find Out Who Owns A Business

How To Find Out Who Owns A Business

Commercial real estate (CRE) has experienced a significant uptrend over the past several years. Although interest rates are on the rise and commercial building may decrease in 2019, there is an abundance of CRE opportunities on the market. With box stores closing and industrial businesses increasing, companies are starting to get creative with the buildings that already exist. According to a report from Deloitte, staying ahead in CRE will require a fresh approach to already-built spaces.

The key to finding the best CRE investments, however, is knowing how to identify who owns a business, or in some cases, a building. Gaining the edge on commercial investments or property sales means making direct contact with the owner. Many real estate agents or investors lose time with outdated or incorrect business information. Finding the most up-to-date information on business ownership can be as simple as knowing where to look.

Find Out Who Owns a Business

Business ownership is a matter of public record. The manner in which those records are kept, however, varies from state to state. There are several ways to track down the name of a business owner, but we’ve outlined the most effective methods.

Look up the business license

Some states require businesses to file for a business license in order to operate in that state. These records can often be found through the Business Licensing Services office. If you aren’t sure if your state requires business licenses, a quick Google search will resolve that matter, or you can search using one of the other options below.

Search state business records

Business owners must file paperwork for their assumed name, or DBA (doing business as), with local state officials. This allows a business to function under a name other than the name of the owner or owners. Business ownership data can either be found with the Secretary of State, the Register of deeds, or the County Clerk.

Check websites and social media

Another option for discovering an owner’s name is to review the company’s website and social media pages. Some businesses will readily share this information on their “about” page or through posts and tagged photos on social media.

Call the business directly

While this method isn’t recommended if you are trying to be discreet in your search, it can produce the quickest results. A simple phone call to the company can produce the information you need in a matter of seconds.

Use an online database

All of these search methods are helpful, but only up to a point. When it comes to finding business owners for commercial real estate, you are also trying to find the building owner, and the two don’t always go hand in hand. Buildings are most often leased to other businesses, and finding the business name and owner of the actual building is more ambiguous.

Using an online database like ProspectNow allows you to search for business ownership details based on a number of criteria, rather than just the business name. Finding ownership details for specific properties only requires that you know where the property is located.

Not only does the database include the name of either the business owner or a decision maker within the company, but it also provides email addresses and phone numbers, making contact with owners easy and straightforward.

Connect With More Businesses and CRE Opportunities

Determining who owns a business is just one step in pursuing great commercial real estate opportunities. With an online database, prospecting for deals is made easy with predictive analytics that help establish if a property is likely to sell, refinance, or nearing foreclosure.

ProspectNow offers access to over 40 million commercial real estate leads. On top of predictive data, the platform provides information for 14 million businesses and 15 million LLCs and corporations. CRE that is both listed and off market, as well as business ownership details, is incredibly accessible through these online tools.

As we mentioned previously, in their annual report on commercial real estate, Deloitte pointed out the importance of creativity and a fresh approach to CRE for the coming years. ProspectNow’s fresh approach uses analytics to uncover timely opportunities and the information needed to turn each opportunity into a deal.

Instead of just finding out who owns a business, search the most accurate collection of ownership details and properties and make direct contact with business owners and decision makers to close more CRE deals and leads this year.

Ten Best Practices to Find Motivated Sellers Now

Find Motivated Sellers

Real estate is constantly in motion, a seemingly unpredictable ebb and flow of trends, risks, priorities, and values. Because of this, it is important to stay on top of the latest data and find new and effective ways to keep their lead lists full.

In the midst of real estate’s ever-changing trends, there are some simple, yet solid ways to stay ahead of the competition, gain leads and specifically find motivated sellers. What is a motivated seller and how does finding one (or many) benefit your business? 

Motivated sellers are customers who are ready to do business, get their property sold, and even expedite the process. They represent potential business deals, real estate listings, and investment opportunities that are both accessible and timely. Finding eager sellers is a great way to increase, expand, or scale your business. 

Interested in adding some motivated leads to your list? 

We’ve compiled the ten best practices for real estate agents, investors, and brokers alike to locate and target the most motivated sellers on the market.

Defining the Motivated Seller

Most clients who are ready to list their property for sale are motivated to sell, but what makes a truly motivated seller stand out from the rest of the crowd? 

There are several key elements that help determine if you are dealing with a motivated seller. 

  • Timeline: the seller wishes to move quickly and is more focused on the timeline than other elements of the sale. 
  • Price: the seller is willing to list at or below market value in order to move the property. 
  • Terms: the seller is willing to be flexible and agreeable with the buyer, offering favorable sale terms. 

Identifying motivated sellers can be challenging, particularly if a seller says they are motivated when they are really just trying to drive competition and negotiations on their property. Using these key identifiers, however, can help you separate the motivated seller from other leads and potential investment opportunities. 

Why are some sellers more motivated than others? 

Now that you know what indicates a motivated seller, it also helps to understand why they are motivated.  

Every potential client has his or her reasons for selling, and the same is true of the more motivated contingent. There are some specific life circumstances, however, that make sellers willing to be more flexible on timeline, price, and terms. 

  • Finances: there are a number of financial situations that motivate sellers, including the threat of foreclosure or the possibility of having two mortgages if the seller has already begun purchasing a new property. On the other hand, those who own their homes outright could be motivated by finances if it is a seller’s market and they are looking to gain on their investment. 
  • Property Imperfections: Sometimes flaws in the property or building structure can motivate a seller to offer a lower price and better terms. If the home or land has issues outside of the owner’s means, he may be very motivated to sell, and quickly. 
  • Life situations: New jobs, relocation, family emergencies, separation. There are many things that can impact a seller’s need to sell quickly, quietly, and without the stress of negotiations and pushback.
  • Inheritance: Those who inherit homes and property may be more motivated to sell. If the estate has any unpaid debts, cash bequests, or is simply beyond the heir’s capacity to manage, she may be eager to sell quickly in order to finish probate and close the estate.
  • Business Changes: Residential property owners aren’t the only motivated sellers in real estate. Business owners who have expanded, merged, or closed their business can also be motivated to sell the property they formerly used as a commercial or industrial space

Motivation to sell a property comes in all different forms. Motivated sellers don’t always fit the mold, either. Sometimes property owners who fall into the above categories are not motivated and are unaware of how they may benefit from a more active approach to selling their home. 

Property owners who don’t fall into any category above, on the other hand, can be eager to part ways with their space and move on their next investment. 

Regardless of an owner’s reasons for selling, understanding what drives owners to sell can help you identify, and ultimately find, the most motivated sellers both on and off the market. 

Motivated sellers and your business

Maintaining a list of leads is an important aspect of running your business. Managing a list of leads who are motivated to sell can absolutely vitalize your business and the way you continue to do business in the future. 

Real estate can often be a waiting game, but with motivated sellers, you have the opportunity to move quickly, make worthwhile investments, broker deals, and stay ahead of the competition. 

Understanding who these motivated sellers are is the first step to building a great lead list and expanding your business.The next step is to find these motivated sellers and turn your leads into new clients using the best practices, tools, and tips available. 

Finding the Most Motivated Sellers

Make a list of targeted categories

In order to focus your energy on motivated sellers, list all of the potential categories of home or property owner that fits the description. Remember the list of reasons a seller might be motivated? Use that to help you decide which motivators might be most prominent in your community or region. 

This may sound like a simplistic first step, but it will save money, time, and energy, in the long run, to understand where your target audience exists. 

  • Foreclosures: Have there been a string of foreclosures in or around the area? Make sure to include this on your list of property owners to target with direct mail, email, or phone calls. 
  • Pre-foreclosures: Sometimes the threat of foreclosure is enough to motivate a homeowner toward selling and getting out from under a stressful situation. 
  • Longtime homeowners: Find out who has been in their home for 15 or more years, as they are more likely to own the home outright and be motivated to sell if the conditions are right. 
  • Natural events: Were there any recent floods, mudslides, or other events that can impact a home or property? These types of events can often motivate owners to get out from under properties that they can’t afford to repair or rebuild. 
  • Commercial Real Estate: If you spend time investing in or brokering CRE, be sure to add this to your list of targeted property types. 
  • Off-market sellers: ProspectNow’s data analytics helps identify properties that are most likely to sell, allowing you to locate motivated sellers before they even know they’re motivated. 

Creating the list of your target audience—and potential clients—shouldn’t take too long, but will help you focus your attention and your resources as on the most motivated sellers in your area. 

Get to know your area 

Now that you have a list of your target categories, take some time to really get to know your area—with your list in the forefront of your mind. 

What does this mean, exactly? Pay attention to the empty lots while you’re driving around town. If any are in an area that is growing or developing, take note of the address so you can track down the property owner. 

If you are going after motivated CRE sellers, pay attention to business signs advertising closures, liquidation sales, or relocations. Not every commercial space is owned by the business that occupies it, however, so locating the property owner is essential to taking advantage of a potential lead. We provide access to 40 million CRE properties, including owner information or contact info for decision-makers for each property. The database also includes information about pre-foreclosures and our analytics scan for likely-to-sell business and residential properties. 

For motivated residential sellers, take some time to observe different neighborhoods, paying attention to distressed properties or vacant houses. While these owners can sometimes be more difficult to track down or approach, once you have an idea where these properties are, it is easier to find the correct data to contact owners who are motivated to sell. 

Network with City and County Inspectors

City and county inspectors are usually the first to know if a property is a prime candidate for investment. Inspectors are continually determining if buildings and properties are up to code or not. They red-tag properties that have issues such as zoning violations, un-permitted expansions or upgrades, un-permitted landscaping, or septic system issues or violations. 

If pursuing investment opportunities is your goal, networking with inspectors is a great way to locate properties that will sell for cash and significantly below market value. These owners, often hindered by a lien or multiple liens, may be very motivated to sell to anyone interested in helping them out of a tough situation. 

Contact Local Attorneys

Attorneys in the area are constantly working with clients who are needing to sell their homes due to divorce, probate, bankruptcy or any number of situations. Some attorneys are receptive to direct mail or correspondence, it also helps to network face-to-face at local business events and gatherings. Attorneys are eager to help their clients manage tough situations and these particular clients are often very motivated to sell their homes. Connecting with the right attorneys could produce some great, motivated leads. 

Focus your attention on lawyers who practice the following types of law:

  • Family law
  • Real Estate law
  • Estate law/Probates
  • Bankruptcy law

Review MLS Expired Listings

Motivated sellers are everywhere, including the MLS. Owners of expired listings are often ready to make some concessions on their price, terms, or timeline, throwing them into the category of motivated sellers. 

There is a multitude of reasons why a listing expires, from poor showings to unfinished projects and an unrealistic list price. Regardless of why a home doesn’t sell, the stress of having to re-list, fix issues, or repaint may cause an owner to consider anything from a lower price to an off-market sale. 

If you don’t have direct access to the MLS, our database provides all the MLS expired listings, as well as contact information for owners. Connecting with these motivated sellers is quick and easy, and can have a significant impact on your now-expanding leads list. 

Browse for Pre-foreclosures

Most Notices of Default are recorded with the County Clerk or County Recorder’s Office. Browsing their websites, or even newspaper notices can help you determine if there are pre-foreclosures in the area that would be worth pursuing. Many owners in pre-foreclosure—especially the most motivated—are more than willing to discuss selling if it will help them avoid going into foreclosure. 

While public notices and newspapers are a great place to start, online databases provide more thorough information, including contact information for the property owner. With a collection of residential and commercial pre-foreclosures data, you are bound to capture some very motivated leads. 

Use a Property and Owner Database

Finding a platform that gives you access to almost every category on your list is probably the fastest way to find and contact motivated sellers. The tools available on ProspectNow, for instance, allow you to search for target properties and sellers based on essential criteria such as pre-foreclosure and expired listings, as well as property type, owner type, and predictive analytics. 

The predictive analytics, in particular, help you filter to your most motivated sellers by finding properties that are most likely to sell or even likely to refinance. This data gives you direct access to some of the most motivated sellers, providing key leads and investment opportunities. 

Take Advantage of Direct Mail Marketing

Marketing is where your initial list comes in very handy. While the world’s digital trends are certainly growing, direct mail marketing still makes a big impact on customers and potential clients. 

Using your list, reach out via direct mail to advertise your services to your key motivated sellers. Whether you focus on clients in pre-foreclosure, longtime homeowners, or estates in probate, direct mail gives you the opportunity to get your information into the right hands. 

Not sure where to go to produce your direct mail content? The property and owner database also provides easy direct mail services. You can choose your target audience and send customized mailers directly from the platform, saving you the time it takes to design, print, stuff, and mail your content.

Get on Social Media

While direct mail marketing still has a higher ROI than paid ads, an increasing number of people are using social media to make purchasing, investing, and selling decisions. Before making a business decision (from finding a new dentist to buying a house) many people will look at a business’ social media profiles to make a determination about the company. 

This is important for real estate agents, brokers, and even investors. Even when you connect with a potential client in person, they will most likely review your social media profiles before deciding to work with you. The same is true of motivated sellers. 

Keeping your profile and activity up to date and engaging will help you feel more comfortable placing ads and drawing more motivated sellers to your page. 

Master Digital Marketing 

Besides social media, digital marketing trends are a great source for building your list of motivated sellers. Using ProspectNow, you can easily use digital marketing to target specific audiences with ads. Combined with the predictive analytics, targeted ads will ensure your information is getting to the most motivated sellers in your area. 

Email marketing is another great way to connect directly with motivated sellers and begin building rapport. While emails can be daunting, improving your email strategy to get higher open rates will lead to even more motivated sellers connecting with you directly. 

Build Your Leads List with ProspectNow

Motivated sellers are everywhere. Understanding what motivates sellers and why allows you to find motivated sellers even in the most unexpected places.

There are also many tools available to help you find and contact your new motivated leads, from researching in public records to networking with local professionals. The most effective tools, however, are the ones that save you time and garner the best results. 

ProspectNow gives you access to over 140 million residential and commercial properties that are in various phases of the real estate process. Among those properties is essential data to help you find and reach out to the most motivated sellers on the market. 

Growing your leads list and keeping up with real estate market trends can go hand in hand. Predictive analytics, digital and direct mail marketing, and direct access to owner contact information are all key tools to help you expand your business, find motivated sellers, and stay competitive in the constantly changing market.

How to Find Off-Market Real Estate Gems

Off-Market

Having off-market properties in your inventory can help make your clients see you as an inside source of information and win you more deals. But how do you find these hidden gems when they’re off the market? It takes a combination of old-fashioned hard work and a willingness to take advantage of new technology.

What Are Off-Market Properties, and What Are the Benefits of Working with Them?

Off-market properties are properties that aren’t advertised for sale but either are for sale or could be in the near future. There are a number of reasons a home could be off-market.

  • The seller may not want to deal with the usual process of tours and open houses.
  • The seller may have taken steps towards selling their home but not gotten around to listing it yet.
  • An owner may be open to selling for the right price but isn’t actively pursuing a sale.
  • An owner who is in the early consideration phase of selling their home and/or buying a new one might be willing to move things along more quickly if the right deal comes along.

If you can find one of these properties, you get a chance for an exclusive listing or at least a head start over other real estate agents. You can also make your sellers happy by skipping or breezing through the parts of the sales process they were dreading. Your buyers who were looking for a home that was just right will also appreciate your inside knowledge and feel that you did more than look at the same websites they did.

How Can You Find Off-Market Real Estate

Unlike other deals where sellers come to you after seeing your advertisements, you’ll need to do some detective work to find off-market properties. It isn’t hard, but a lot of real estate agents aren’t doing it, so it’s a good chance for you to make a name for yourself in your local area.

Search Online and Offline

Even off-market properties could be posted on online and offline resources. Zillow and similar sites allow owners to post their homes before they’re listed on MLS. You may see for-sale-by-owner ads on Craigslist or in classified ads. Homeowners may also post about how they’re selling or considering selling their home in online forums or on social media.

There are two main downsides to this approach. The first is that you’re using public information that any real estate agent has access to. There’s a good chance several people in your area are doing the same thing. The second is that sellers posting these types of ads may have done it because they decided they don’t want to work with a real estate agent. You can try to change their minds, but it will be an uphill battle.

Use Your Network

While networking is always a big part of the real estate business, it becomes even more important for off-market deals. You should look both to other real estate agents and to your general network.

With other real estate agents, they aren’t just your competition. Maybe one of you has a seller and the other has a buyer looking for that type of home. An agent could also need help moving a house that a seller wants to keep off-market.

With your general network, don’t just use it as a passive source of “tell your friends.” People like home contractors, landscapers, and financial advisors may know when their client is thinking about selling or needs to sell.

Talk to Homeowners

If the demand exceeds the listed inventory in a given area, don’t be afraid to talk to homeowners directly. You may catch someone who is planning a future move or who may not have realized how much they can get for their home.

Of course, many people dislike door-to-door salesmen, but you can use less intrusive methods. You might try direct mail to a neighborhood or attending community events.

Use Data Signals

You may have seen news articles about how companies like Facebook and Google track everything consumers do. This is standard practice in modern marketing, and you can use the same type of information to help you find off-market properties.

In some cases, homeowners may have directly shown a willingness to sell. This might include things like searching for how to sell a home or visiting online listing sites. Predictive analytics can also show you who might be willing to sell in the near future. For example, someone might be approaching retirement in an area where most retirees sell their homes and move.

This type of data isn’t widely used in real estate, but it is readily available. Database companies collect the information from advertisers and other sources, combine the data, and rank homes according to likelihood to sell. You can then get the homeowners’ contact information and reach out to them directly, start a direct mail campaign, or target them with online ads.

ProspectNow Can Help You Find Off-Market Real Estate Gems

ProspectNow maintains a database of over 23 million properties that are predicted to sell along with an integrated suite of direct mail and digital marketing tools. You can use the software to lock in on off-market properties in some cases even before the seller knows they’re ready to sell. Instead of spending your time looking for properties that might sell, you can use your closing skills to make sure they will sell. To see how it works, start your free trial to see potential off-market gems in your area.

10 Real Estate Postcard Ideas to Catch Seller’s Eyes

Real Estate Postcard Ideas

If you’re willing to put in the legwork, off-market property can represent huge profit potential. The hard part, of course, is getting in touch with the current owners using a message that’s short, sweet, and memorable. The fact is, these owners are cold leads and they will not hesitate to toss your post card away if it fails to grab their attention. So, doing your research–like understanding the best practices established by these 10 real estate post card designs–will help you find more success on the first try.

#1 “Free Market Analysis for Your Home”

This first post card idea is proven to be highly effective because it entices sellers with a no-risk, free offer. You are giving them the opportunity to utilize your expertise and begin tossing around the idea of listing their home. A potential seller is very likely to reach out to you regarding your services, at which point you can begin explaining the local market and getting them interested and excited about the idea of selling their home.

The free market analysis they receive is usually the deciding factor. They want to know how much they can list their home for and how much they could potentially earn, so prepare the report in a very professional manner and offer to go over with them–perhaps over lunch if you think they will be very inclined to list with you after seeing the report.

#2 “Just Sold! It’s A Seller’s Market In Your Neighborhood”

This postcard idea can be used again and again. Every time you sell a home in the local area, make a postcard design centering around that home. This helps you prove your reputation as a listing agent while helping to reinforce the idea that the potential seller lives in a “hot market” where a lot of properties are being bought and sold.

In the postcard, tactfully explain how you got the house sold and, if you did quickly, share those figures as well. You can display the listing price, square footage, and the best photo you took of the home to help showcase how your professional services and expertise could help the recipient sell their home fast, too. At the end, your call-to-action (CTA) can be “Get a free market analysis for your home” or another offer to entice them to reach out.

#3 “Ready to Get Results?”

The next postcard idea is all about targeting recently expired listings. For this postcard, you must tap into the seller’s frustration in not being able to sell their home. Perhaps point out the unserious offers they have likely dealt with and all of the time wasters who are ultimately “just looking” and trying to get a feel for the market. Meanwhile, the seller is sitting on their home, anxiously waiting to downsize, upsize, or get away to a new location.

This postcard should feature your professional headshot and agent information along with a message along the lines of: “When you’re ready to get serious about selling your home, give me a call…” Try to pull in quantifiable statistics to make the statement even more powerful, like: “Over 82% of my clients accept a full-price offer within 45 days.”

#4 “Sell Your Home for $60,000 More”

In 2017, one study found that For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties averaged a $190,000 selling price. Meanwhile, agent-assisted homes averaged $250,000. These numbers are a great selling point when using your postcard marketing to reach out to home owners who have their homes listed as “For Sale By Owner.”

This postcard is all about emphasizing how much more money you could potentially make the seller, which can be a tough point to get across since most people who list as FSBO think they are going to earn more by not having to pay for an agent.

#5 “Let Me Do The Legwork”

Since FSBO are a major opportunity for real estate agents, here’s another idea that can help you get new sell leads. When mailing to owners of FSBO properties, use a postcard that emphasizes how you get results. Tap into their pain points, like the hassle of scheduling showings and trying to market their home on local websites without being able to utilize the MLS and other agent-only platforms.

Try messaging like: “How many hours have you wasted showing people your property only to reach a dead-end or a bad offer? As an agent, I can help bring in the serious buyers you’re looking for–and I can do it in less time, without you having to lift a finger.” Having a strong call-to-action here and, again, including quantifiable statistics (like how long it takes your average client to close or how much your homes sell for) is highly effective.

#6 “The Family is Growing”

This postcard works to generate both buyer and seller leads, and you can send it anytime within your first year in office at a new agency. The entire postcard is dedicated to introducing you to the local community and to potential sellers. By sending this postcard, you won’t so much be convincing a person to list, but rather getting your name in front of someone who may already be thinking about it.

Introduce your background, qualifications, and what makes you the best agent to sell their home. Emphasize any past experience so they know you aren’t new to the real estate game or, if you are, try using words like: “Fresh market knowledge and a new approach allow me to utilize the most effective forms of local and digital marketing to get your home sold fast.”

#7 “You’re Running Out of Time”

This postcard is meant to target potential sellers who are sitting on the fence. They may have expressed some interest in selling in the past but they have not yet listed. The goal of this postcard is to tell them why now is the ideal time for them to put their home on the market. For instance, you might point out that: “Home buyers know interest rates will rise soon, and they’re looking to lock in a property just like yours.”

You can also bring in local market statistics, speaking to how recent listings have been selling for more and why you think waiting to list would be a bad move financially for the lead. The more localized knowledge you can bring in, the more likely the lead is to reach out to you for more information.

#8 “Happy Anniversary”

You already know that referrals are one of the top sources of business for real estate agents, so keeping in touch with your past clients is key. By sending a “Happy Anniversary” post card to home buyers on the one-year close date of their residence, you can check in with them and perhaps even generate some leads of people they know in the area that want to buy or sell.

#9 “Help Your Friends Find Their Dream Home”

Another way to receive referrals is to simply ask for them directly, which is something you can do once or more a year from past clients. In the referral request, be certain to thank the client first and focus on showing them how much you appreciated their business.

For the best results, offer a reward. For instance, consider awarding a $25 gift card to the recipient for each referral they send to you. Advertising this reward will help promote new leads but you can also keep it a secret, only sending it to the clients who go the extra mile on their own to give you a great referral.

An excellent postcard design will have a space on the postcard itself to turn it into a referral card, which the recipient can fill out and then send back to you or give to the person they want to send your way. When the person meets you, they simply have to bring the postcard and you know who sent them.

#10 “Here’s What’s Happening”

This final postcard idea is a type of “farm content” that encourages leads to keep the card and perhaps post it on their fridge or share it with friends. The content itself is not real estate related. Instead, it may include a recipe or even a calendar of local events. The idea is to offer something valuable to locals that also features a brief introduction to your work in the community and your contact information.

Hopefully, recipients will find the information valuable and keep it for future reference. Every time they look at it, they’ll see your friendly face and that will help improve recognition while also making it more likely that they’ll call you should they ever think about listing or know someone who is. You can send these postcards out monthly or annually to your list.

Looking for New Listings?

ProspectNow can help you discover which properties are most likely to get listed before they hit the market. Click here to learn more.

A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating a Commercial Real Estate Marketing Plan

Commercial Real Estate Marketing Plan

A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating a Commercial Real Estate Marketing Plan

There are many moving parts to consider for an effective commercial real estate marketing plan. In such a quickly evolving industry, it can be tough to stay organized and keep your priorities clear. The following system can be used on a rolling basis to identify properties, reach out to contacts, and close deals. Ideally, an agent will always be in one of these stages as part of their workflow. Over time, this system will become second nature, creating more ease and flow in your workspace.

Decide on a Property Type

Whether you’re looking to generate rental income or capital gain, there are several types of commercial properties from which to choose. This will depend on your level of experience, skill set, and specific goals with the property. Industrial buildings, hotels, office space, retail space, storage space, and multi-family units are just some of the routes you can take. Within each of these categories lies plenty of variation. Every type of property also holds unique risk, so assess these thoroughly before going all in.

If you’re looking to rent, consider whether you prefer long-term or short-term leases. Office space typically fills up more slowly than multi-family units, but leases are often longer. For multi-family units, the quality of the local job market, the size of the building, and whether it’s urban or suburban will determine the level of risk, time of occupancy, etc. In retail and office spaces, the health of each tenant matters, along with changes in the economy, which can impact how much the property earns. Industrial buildings are subject to unique patterns as well, like import and export changes.

If you’re an agent without a lot of experience, you’ll want to seek out properties that allow you to partner with a more experienced broker – one whose expertise lies in that type of property. This will protect you from what you don’t know, while giving you the chance to learn new things. In this scenario, you can provide leads, handle the deal, and give your partner a percentage in exchange for their knowledge.

Decide on a Territory

An idea popularized in macroeconomics is the velocity of money – the speed at which money moves through an economy. In regards to real estate, its useful to determine which neighborhoods have the highest velocity in your area of interest. This is the total number of properties sold compared to the total number of properties. The better the ratio, the better the market for making a commercial real estate purchase. Ideally, there will be at least 2,000 properties in the territory you select.

Also useful at this stage is data on the past, present, and future of your territory: What was it like 15 years ago compared to now? What is it projected to be like in another 15 years?

You’ll also want to get accustomed to pricing in different territories to assess what is appropriate for you. Each territory has its norms and fluctuations for commercial real estate. If you’re finding it overwhelming to narrow down a territory, or if you’re interested in several areas of a big city, create sections and tackle one at a time. If you’re working with an investor, they may have preferences for certain hot spots in your city.

Working with various property types in unfamiliar territories can become laborious, especially for newer agents. If working within a large territory, separate properties into relevant groups of 50 or 100. If you can narrow your focus even more to just a few streets in an area, even better. Once you are zoned in on a target territory, dive in. The last thing an agent wants is to just skim the surface and miss a great deal. Not getting acquainted with property owners can mean major missed opportunities.

Build a List of Every Property Owner

The most difficult part of creating a commercial real estate marketing plan is the gray area – the glaring obstacle of not having the information you need. You as the agent don’t know who is selling, what the name of the company is, or how to get in touch. It can feel like you’ve hit a brick wall at this step, and many agents often do.

You can’t simply do a quick search and locate the exact contact information for every property that interests you. Most commercial real estate owners don’t own their properties personally, but through companies such as LLCs or LPs. Furthermore, public records don’t offer phone numbers or emails for most property owners. And on top of all this, most property owners aren’t even open to selling. That leaves you to weed out the select few that are selling and dig up contact information without knowing a thing about them. It can be a time-consuming process that yields dismal results.

ProspectNow solves this problem for commercial agents by doing the heavy lifting. ProspectNow uses predictive analytics to identify the commercial properties that are most likely to sell. This cuts out the uncertainty and tedium typically present in this step.

Create a Call Script

Creating an effective call script is an art form – something that warrants its own separate blog post. But for now, let’s review the basics of creating a solid script that you can use again and again to build relationships with property owners.

You don’t want to waste mental energy rethinking what you’ll say each time you get on the phone with a prospect. A call script is a must-have because makes your calls uniform and efficient. In addition, it allows you to practice the same routine so that eventually, you won’t need a script.

Rehearse and be original. Don’t simply follow the rules of what you believe you have to say – People will find it easier to say ‘no thanks’ and dismiss your offer. Instead, come in fresh with the mutual benefit of your offer being obvious up front.

There should be a logical progression in your call script from greeting to ask (clearly asking what you want, whether it’s a phone conversation with a specific person, a face-to-face meeting, listing info, etc). Without this logical progression your calls with feel scattered and unfocused.

Empathize. People are immediately put off by robotic sales calls. Be a human. Be interested in their issues with the property or the deal rather than trying to sweep past them. You want to construct your call script in a way that offers a solution – Not in a way that asks a favor from the prospect. You are not calling to get something, but to give something. If you are prepared, confident, and genuinely enthusiastic about your offering, your call script will practically read itself.

Set a Goal: 1 Listing Per Month

To execute a goal of 1 listing per month, expect to get on 50 or more cold calls per day, about 2 meetings per day, and 3-5 listing presentations per week.

Generating leads is a huge part of this process and ensures the longevity of any real estate operation. In this sense, it’s important to become less rigid about the process of finding leads, cold calling, and making offers. Accepting it as part of the process without making any individual call mean anything is key. Getting used to objections and being shot down will only help you navigate the process more fluidly so you can move straight toward deals that are fitting.

Connect with as many prospects as you can and keep the relationship going. Get in touch in a friendly way periodically to stay top-of-mind. It’s also important to keep track of your contacts diligently – You don’t want a sloppy database full of names you don’t recognize. You won’t close a deal with each person in your database, but each person has an entire network of their own that can lead you to more opportunities down the line.

Double Your Listings

Once you have a decent list built, you can start generating more listings from the ones you already have. For each contact, start searching and marketing to all similar building owners you can find. To do this at the right times, it’s useful to pay attention to commercial property cycles. It’s likely that your specific location has its own patterns in when property owners buy and sell the most. Doing some research through property records can give you an indicator of when these cycles begin and end. Based on how long a property has been owned, you can also predict when property owners will be most interested in selling. Use this information to guide how and when you contact prospects. In listing presentations, you can use your ProspectNow data to show just how committed you are and how extensive your network is.

In the end, it’s about building relationships in the surrounding community. Getting to know the property owners, the nuances of your territory, and the communities that surround the property type you’re after will pay off in the long run.

So the marketing system is: Choose a property type, choose a territory, build a prospect list, create a call script, aim for one listing per month, and keep growing your listings. Once a deal is closed, repeat this system until you master it.

And finally, the step you’ve been waiting for – Cash those checks!