Anyone who’s been in real estate for any length of time knows that this business is becoming a business of extremes. Either you have more business than you can handle, or you struggle to pay the bills. There is no middle ground. And it’s getting worse every year. Soon you’ll either have a large real estate team, or you’ll work for one. It’s called consolidation, and it’s happening everywhere. All the traditional ways of getting business are becoming less and less effective, and many veteran agents are getting frustrated to the point of wanting to leave the business.
But what if I told you that you could easily get 2 or 3 new inbound customers every single day? What if you were able to attract 10-15 new customers every week, week in and week out? Customers who are not only interested in buying a home, but also, in many cases, have a home to sell as well? Would that make it easier to become a top producing agent? Would that make it easier to sell one or two homes every week? Well, I can speak for myself: I solved my customer problem — or rather my “no customer” problem — and the rest was easy.
“Your LCM technology is the number one reason I have had success in real estate. I was able to jump feet first into a competitive market and not only write deals for customers immediately but shorten the real estate learning curve that cripples most agents. FavoriteAgent.com is for any agent who is serious about success!”
— Terry Richards
Let me ask you another question: when you’re desperate for a sale, don’t you think the customer can tell? Of course he can. And if your customers are few and far between, you can’t help communicating that sense of need. Having plenty of business is magnetic, while desperation is repulsive and alienating. How ironic: The more clients you have the more you get, while the fewer you have, the fewer you keep.
If you don’t have many customers, you’ll come on too strongly, and your client will leave to find another agent — one who doesn’t communicate that sense of desperation. Probably one who has more business than he can handle, and manages to send out that perfect balance of “I don’t need your business but would be happy to help you.” And I see good agents losing the few customers they have to agents who are not nearly as good, simply because the buyer picked up on that frantic desperation.
But what if you continually received 10-15 buyer customers every week? Would you appear less frantic? Would you convey a totally different message? The message that the buyer needs you more than you need him? Of course you would. And when you combine that relaxed attitude with hard work and organization, you’ll find yourself swamped with business.
I know from experience. You’ll become irresistible! But if the new leads aren’t there, you just can’t convey the same “take-it-or-leave-it” subliminal message to your customers. So it is absolutely critical for you to solve your customer problem first. That’s the bottom line — it all begins with solving the customer problem. Solving that problem and you are on your way to becoming a mega-producer. You’ll see.
And I’m not talking about buying leads either. Many agents believe that lead vendors have ruined our industry. I disagree. Don’t get me wrong: they’ve made it tougher to survive, but they’ve really done us a favor. Without them, most agents would’ve never realized that our customers were moving to the Internet. And for those who are unwilling to learn how to capture business effectively from the Internet, the lead vendors do serve as a valuable, albeit expensive, safety net and source of business.
Today it’s not only possible; it’s probable that you can get the majority of your business from the Internet. The average agent using our approach generates nearly 100 new customers every month! They don’t depend on lead vendors for their business. Instead, they make their own leads, as many as they need, and they do it at a much lower cost and with a much higher quality. They’ve taken their success into their own hands.
Today, as many as 92% of all home buyers and sellers begin their quests on the Internet, and many of them begin by going to a search engine like Google, where they do a search for homes or agents. Then they choose a link to a real estate website and visit that agent’s website hoping to find help in their search. The overwhelming majority of these real estate customers are looking for home searches. If they don’t find a good, easy-to-use home search, they will generally move on to another website.
“At Favorite Agent, all the way from the President to Customer Service, they actually cared about my success. They really take the time to give an agent that’s stuck some coaching advice. This is so good because you get a chance to talk with someone who’s actually done it and is talking with many agents from around the world daily, so you get ideas that others are just not doing. With their LCM I’ve been able to make it through the slowing real estate market because I have the one problem every agent wished they had: TOO MANY LEADS! (Help! I can’t keep up!).”
— Joseph Ignat
That seems pretty easy, then — just get a website with an IDX home search. Heck, you probably have one already. But here’s where we come to the first problem. If that website is a “typical” real estate website, a very small number of customers will fill out a guest registration form and identify themselves — on average, about 1%. Last year’s numbers from the National Association of REALTORS® pin that number at an astoundingly poor 0.87% capture rate.
What this means is that, out of every thousand visitors, you, the website owner, will actually capture only about nine customers. The capture is very inefficient because real estate websites are not designed around customer capture, but rather around giving out information. And they do exactly what they were designed to do — give out information.
Here’s why it’s a problem. Internet traffic costs money. Either through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising or through search engine optimization (SEO), the website owner is able to have his website listed on the search engines in such a way as to be displayed whenever a customer does a real estate search. Pay-per-click advertising costs from under a dollar to several dollars per visitor, while search engine optimization costs several thousand dollars up front and needs to be continually managed in order to keep the site ranking high. So again, Internet traffic costs a lot of money.
Now, when you take that high cost of traffic and place it with the low capture rate (0.87%) of real estate websites, the actual cost per customer becomes extremely high, usually well over $100 per customer. This is the reason that many agents, even those with websites, choose to purchase Internet leads from vendors rather than making their own.
Lead generation companies often charge $50 and up for leads, and many times they sell the same lead to multiple agents. Some charge as much as 30% of the closed transaction, resulting in customer acquisition costs of over $2000. To make matters even worse, not only are those customers expensive, but often the quality is poor as well.
This is the very problem that caused me to begin to look for a solution. When I couldn’t find either an efficient website — a website that was designed specifically to maximize customer capture — I decided to build one. It was primitive, but we had to start somewhere. Now, several generations later, we’ve ultimately developed a technology called LCM® (for lead capture module).
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the typical real estate website has a capture rate of of less than 1%. In other words, less than 1% of the total visitors to the website actually identify themselves and become a potential customer for the owner of the website. Using an LCM you can capture between 30-35% of all your website visitors, meaning that you can start tapping that Internet market.
Here’s how it works. An LCM gateway is a specialized mini-website module that is designed to be integrated to any real estate website. Its sole purpose is to capture the maximum number of visitors. The first time through the gateway, the user has to register to use your website. From then on, he or she can come and go freely without ever registering again.
Why does the LCM work so much better than the registration forms on most real estate websites? Because it’s specifically designed to maximize lead capture, while web forms are not. Online lead capture is a science. And due to the high cost of Internet advertising, you can pay over $100 per lead using a typical real estate website. With the LCM web gateway, you’ll pay $3-5 per lead and with the power to generate as many as you can handle.
“Favorite Agent is the reason that I am where I am today. Without hearing about your LCM technology, I would still be using the old traditional ways of doing business that aren’t very efficient. It has enlightened me on the importance of the internet and has drastically changed the way I have been doing business over the last two years for the better.”
— Randy Roach
Now, what if you could bring this same powerful lead capture technology to your other marketing efforts? Well, you can. All you need is the LCM phone gateway. The LCM phone gateway is a telephony lead capture solution. It is to the telephone what an LCM web gateway is to a website. You simply integrate it to any advertising where a customer might call in, like your yard signs, fliers, homes magazine or newspaper ads, or anywhere a customer might find you and want to call.
The way it works is when a customer calls, whether or not they have caller ID block, their phone number is captured, while the customer is electronically routed to a pre-recorded message that gives them the option of choosing to speak to you for more information or to allow you to call them back later. And like the LCM web gateway, having an LCM phone gateway brings down the high cost of capturing phone leads.
So whether you choose to advertise online, or offline, or both, having LCM technology in place is critical in today’s competitive real estate climate. Un-believable! You’ll see.