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How to build a pipeline from online leads | REM

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Once your sphere/database has been exhausted you need a new source for clients. There are offline methods for developing leads and clients such as open houses, door knocking and cold calling, but online is where it’s at these days.

I know your first thought may be to scroll through this article because it is long, but each point is truly is critical. This article, in order, will deal with why online lead generation is the new big thing, the different ways to generate leads online, how to convert those leads and how to turn them into over $100,000 a year in income.




Why are online lead-generation strategies permeating the new Realtor zeitgeist? There are a number of reasons:

  1. They work so you don’t have to. Online lead-generation strategies work round the clock; they work while you’re with clients, sleeping and while you’re taking a day off.
  2. They work continuously. They keep generating leads for the long term, which helps avoid the boom-and-bust cycles of real estate. This keeps you from getting too busy with clients to build your pipeline, then get desperate when those deals are done, then do mega marketing, get busy and repeat the cycle again.
  3. They can target your ideal client type – you choose who you target.
  4. People research real estate online before they find a Realtor. By the time they are actively looking they either already have a Realtor, or they at least have a shortlist.’

How to generate leads online

Websites:

“I have a website but don’t get leads, so online lead gen doesn’t work.”

Just having a website doesn’t generate leads because people don’t know it is there. If your search engine optimization is on-point and you’re at the top of Google, then sure, that will work for lead gen. You just optimize your website for viewer-to-lead conversions. If your SEO doesn’t have you at the top of Google, then be prepared to invest tens of thousands of dollars in hiring a company to get you near the top of web searches over the next year. Yes, it takes that long. If you don’t have the money to hire a company, then spend time on courses and improving your own SEO…but it will still take that long. And realistically, 95 per cent plus of Realtors quit before they start getting results because it is such a grind and they quit/burn out before they succeed.

Another way to get leads from your website is to do paid advertising. This can be done with either online or offline advertising. But to get leads from a website you need the traffic that converts into leads. If you’re wondering how much traffic you need to get leads, keep this in mind: the average website conversion is one to three per cent (and Realtor websites are generally less than one per cent).  So, if you convert let’s say one in 50 leads, you’ll need 50 leads…which will require at least 5,000 viewers.

Organic social media marketing:

Generating leads on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest is the new holy grail of online business. Most Realtors, however, are more “The Knights who say Ni” as opposed to a social media ninja.

Social media marketing works for lead generation, but it is also a long-term strategy. You need to first develop your audience…because without an audience you have no strategy. Then you need to engage and grow that audience. Then you need to turn them into leads and clients. Once you have an avid follower, turning them into a client is significantly easier than a cold call or cold lead.

The challenge of social media marketing is defining your brand, establishing your audience and building it. While it’s about establishing a great connection through marketing, it is a numbers game partially. About one per cent of the population is buying or selling a house at any given time. So, if you want four clients a month you need at least 4,000 engaged followers – and that is if every person following you who is thinking of buying and selling uses you (and not their husband’s mother, cousin or best friend’s best friend). You’re not going to sign every follower looking to buy or sell, so you need a large group of ACTIVE social media followers. If you don’t have that now you need to grind to build a bigger following or do paid promotions to build your audience.

Social media ads:

I specialize in social media ads – especially Facebook lead-gen ads, and here’s why: your website isn’t going to spontaneously get leads. Your social media isn’t going to go beyond your current sphere of “friends” or “followers” without getting more exposure. To get leads online you need traffic/viewers. Period.

You can get traffic to your website or social profile, then hope someone follows you or contacts you (a low percentage), or you can get the lead from the get-go. Ad types like Facebook’s Lead Generation gets you the name, email and phone number, then you immediately pick up the phone and start a conversation. If you do paid advertising to send people to your website or social media profile(s), you’re going to lose 96 per cent plus of that traffic. And the ones you do capture then need to be nurtured just to become a lead.

The way I look at things is that instead of spending your time getting traffic to your website or social profile/page/group, only for most of them to leave and the rest to be nurtured over time to turn into a lead, spend that time/money turning them into a lead immediately. When you get right to the lead stage you take out the time nurturing them and instead turn them from a lead to a client. It cuts out the middleman.

Check out my article on ways to do authentic Facebook ads.


How to convert online leads

You have online leads – awesome! Now what?

Online leads aren’t referrals or a warm lead from your second cousin. There’s no magic bullet solution here, unfortunately. They take work. If you don’t want to work to get their business, sorry but I can’t help you (and I don’t think anyone can).

There are two major approaches to converting online leads into clients:

  1. The email list /drip campaign marketing: For those getting a large amount (at least a thousand a month) of leads from their website, have social media marketing and/or paid advertising and are too busy to reach out to each lead individually, there’s the drip-campaign (email marketing game) option. This can work well if you have a large number of leads coming in and have a great email conversion campaign. Your conversion rates will be low though, between one and four per cent.
  2. The phone call: I am such a huge fan of the good old-fashioned phone call. You can send a thousand emails and get nowhere but make 20 phone calls and get a meeting.

Choose wisely.

To convert leads you really need to connect with them on the phone, which is the precursor to in person (the only real closing capability for leads). If you want to convert online leads, you need to talk to people. Period. You can work up to a conversation, but you’ll never get their business without a meeting.

To book meetings you need to block time – and stick to that – every day to follow up on your leads. You will not succeed without this and you’ll be stuck in a boom and bust cycle forever. You need to call people one to three times a day until you reach them, almost every day. If you’re sincere about helping them they will thank you for not giving up on them.

The final thing is to look to lead-conversion training. Online leads aren’t warm referrals…they take hard work. You don’t learn how to convert online leads in real estate licensing school. There’s a ton of agents who think they are amazing at converting online leads, but when push comes to shove…. they aren’t. Do not be afraid of that. Your favourite electrician couldn’t sell real estate and you couldn’t rewire a house up to code if your life depended on it. Look at learning online lead conversion as learning new strategies that build on what you already know. The best of the best are always learning and expanding their knowledge and skills.


How to turn online leads into over $100,000 a year in income

While leads are a numbers game to a certain extent, I never believe that leads should be treated like a number. These are people, and my top clients truly care about every person they talk to. Having said that, despite how much you care about each person you talk to, not every one of them will become a client.

For online lead conversion (from lead to client) you’re looking at a rate of at best four per cent. Most of my best converters get three per cent but the bulk are at two per cent.

So, you know what it takes to get a client online. Now let’s reverse engineer your income. If you want just $100,000 a year you need to look at your average income per deal. For example, if you make about $5,000 per deal (after paying expenses), then you need 20 deals a year. That’s 1.66 deals a month.

Let’s reverse reverse engineer that. If you need two deals a month (I’ve rounded up because some deals will fall through) to make $100,000, you need at LEAST 50 leads a month.

Boom – a pipeline that will increase your business to over $100,000.

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Real Estate

Window repair or replacement is the responsibility of the condo corporation

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If the windows in your condo are hazy, drafty, or have rotting frames, it’s an indicator that they need repairs or outright replacement.

However, under the Condominium Act, it is the responsibility of the condo’s board to carry out such changes as a replaced window is a common element.

“Under the Condominium Act, a declaration may alter the maintenance or repair obligations of unit owners and the corporation but cannot make unit owners responsible for repairs to the common elements,” said Gerry Hyman is a former president of the Canadian Condominium Institute and contributor for the Star.

“A declaration for a high-rise condominium invariably provides that the unit boundary is the interior surface of windows. That means that the entire window — whether it is a single pane or a double pane — is a common element. Necessary repairs or replacement of a broken pane is the obligation of the corporation.”

According to Consumer Reports, selecting an installing windows replacement can be very overwhelming for homeowners. Therefore, if you aren’t covered by your condo’s corporation, it would be necessary to hire professional hands.

Wood, vinyl and composite windows need to be tested on how they can withstand various natural elements. For wind resistance, a window can be very tight when it’s warm but get quite cold too—especially when it begins to leak a lot.

Whatever the case may be, the bottom line remains that replacement windows can save you heating and cooling costs, but it’s best not to expect drastic savings.

Additionally, while getting a new window might help you save on your electric and gas bills, due to their expensive cost, it may take a long time to offset their cost.

Mid-last-year, the government withdraw a $377 million Green Ontario program that provided subsidy on windows to installers and repairers. Window companies had to install energy-efficient windows in order to qualify for the government subsidy that pays for up to $500 of a $1,000 to $1,500 window.

Due to the largely generous subsidies from the government under the Green Ontario program, a lot of window dealers were fully booked for months—even after the program had ended.

“We’re fine with the program ending, we just need more time to satisfy consumers,” said Jason Neal, the executive director of the Siding and Window Dealer Association of Canada, the industry group representing window dealers in a report.

According to Neal, the Progressive Conservatives acted hastily, making massive changes with no prior notice.

“No notification was given to us by anyone,” he said, noting he learned about the change through one of his dealers.

“It’s created a ripple effect.If they had just given us notice we would have pushed that down the line from the manufacturer right into the dealer right down to the consumer.”

Neal noted that he wasn’t particularly sad to see the Green Ontario program end, as it was “the worst rebate program in the history of the window industry.”

“It’s been horrible,” he said. “$500 a window has created such hysteria.”

However, despite the program ending about a year ago, numerous homeowners have been contacting window dealers consistently with concerns that they might not be able to afford replacement windows without the government’s subsidy.

“I understand their concern,” said window dealer Chris George. “I would suggest they reach out to their local representative of the government in their riding and let them know about their concerns.”

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7 Vancouver Real Estate Buying Tips

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The real estate market in Vancouver is turning around for good for everyone looking to purchase a home.

Previously soaring prices are now beginning to ease up, making it a perfect time for buyers—with real estate agents already getting ready for a very busy spring and summer season.

However, before splashing cash on a new property, there are some very important tips you need to know to ensure you make the most of the buyer’s market.

Here are some few expert tips that would guide you when purchasing a home in the sometimes frustration Vancouver seller’s market.

  1. Get adequate financing

It is very important that before you make the move to purchase a property, you put into careful consideration your credit score.

Normally, home buyers with lower scores use the secondary mortgage market to finance their purchase, as they’re more likely to pay a higher interest rate.However, it is advisable to get loan approval long before purchasing the house. This way, you are fully aware of how much you are able to spend—but never be tempted to borrow the maximum amount of money available.

“What’s your mortgage payment that you’re comfortable with? And take into the fact the taxes you’re going to have to pay, if it’s a strata – what the maintenance fees are, if it’s a home what type of maintenance are you going to have to pay in the future?” said Phil Moore, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver in a report.

Always be careful of the type of loan you secure and ensure that you can comfortably afford it over a long period of time.

  1. Get a real estate agent

Buying a property without professional help is a very risky move and can be likened to choosing to represent yourself in court without a lawyer. While you might trust your negotiation skills, only realtors are permitted to present offers directly.

Therefore, it is necessary to get a professional real estate agent in the area to represent you. So, screen a few agents and select the best one who has in-depth knowledge of the markets and has a great reputation.

“They’re there to protect you. They’re there to walk you through each step of the process,” Moore said.

  1. Sign up for automated alerts

Most—if not all—realtors have access to the Vancouver real estate board’s database which is updated approximately two days before the public MLS website.

Therefore, you can request from your realtor to sign you up for automatic real-time alerts of all new listings. Doing this gives you an edge as you’re among the very first to know about new properties.

  1. Do a thorough inspection

After receiving an alert for a new listing, it is necessary to push almost immediately for an inspection from your realtor. In this current market, buyers now have time to make an inspection.

Making a quick inspection eliminates any surprises—as there could be major maintenance or repair issues that could spring up. Therefore, you can now table your offer based on the outcome of the inspection, with clauses about claiming your damage deposit back if everything isn’t as was advertised.

Additionally, if you notice that renovations were done, you need to be sure that it was permitted work and carried out appropriately. Failing to do this would ultimately lead to further cost down the line and simultaneously affect the resale value.

  1. Have a back-up plan

There’s always the possibility that everything may not go as smoothly as you’d want. From the inspection being a failureto the property not living up to your expectations—or not being able to agree on the closing date that matches with your needs.

However, a professional real estate agent will definitely help you get past all of these things. If you plan on selling the property as you buy, you can table that and make it part of the deal.

“You’ve got an option, especially in a buyer’s market: you can put in an offer subject to selling your place. So maybe you want to have a place lined up,” Moore added.

Additionally, building contingencies into your buying plan is necessary. Things such as unexpected delays in closing the deal, closing cost and moving costs that could result in added living expenses if that’s your permanent home.

  1. Don’t fall for the buyer frenzy

The Vancouver market buying frenzy that caused a serious climb in the prices a couple of years ago has ended. Thus, it is important not to get caught up in bidding wars with properties that have been deliberately under-priced—with the hope of initiating multiple offers.

“Some of the sellers have been on the market for over a year and they’re eager to sell. So what I’m saying to consumers is: you have a lot of choices, you’re in the driver’s seat, let’s go out and take a look at what’s available,” said Moore.

  1. Never be wary of multiple offers

When purchasing a property, don’t be afraid of multiple offers as you have the same opportunity as anybody else.

Typically, there are just a few offers below the asking price: a couple priced fully, and two or three above the asking price—depending on how close the fair market value is from the asking price.

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Do you know what kind of condo you’re buying?

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(NC) Condominiums can come in all shapes and sizes. But it’s important to know that not all condos are created equal when it comes to warranty coverage.

Whether you’re buying a condominium townhouse, loft-style two-bedroom or a high-rise studio, they are all classified as condominiums if you own your unit while at the same time share access (and the associated fees) for facilities ranging from pools and parking garages to elevators and driveways, otherwise known as common elements.

The most common types of condos are standard condominiums and common elements condominiums. The determination of how a condominium project is designated happens during the planning stage when the builder proposes the project and the municipality approves it.

When you’re in the market to buy, you need to know how your chosen condo is classified because it affects the warranty coverage under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. Standard condominiums have warranty coverage for units and common elements, but common elements condominiums only have unit coverage.

How could this affect you as the owner? If your condo complex has underground parking and, for example, there are problems with leaks or a faulty door, the condo designation will determine whether there’s warranty coverage.

If your unit is a standard condominium development, then the common elements warranty may cover the repairs. If it’s a common element condominium development, then repairs might have to be covered by the condo corporation’s insurance, which could impact your condo fees or require a special assessment on all the owners.

To avoid surprises, you should have a real estate lawyer review the Declaration and Description attached to your purchase agreement to be sure that you know the designation and boundaries of the unit you’re looking to purchase. Find more information on the types of condos and their coverage at tarion.com.

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