Yes this blog has been quiet of late. Primarily because I’m busy and you need to make hay while the sun is shining. It’s also because I need to bring a dedicated admin-type-person on board. Ultimately though, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing until the “slow season” shows up later this fall with minimal tinkering with what is currently generating business right now.
Here’s what’s going on:
- New Listings – in the month of July I’ve signed up 3 new listings that were sourced from my previous cold calling efforts. One of them is priced at $560k – which is a price point personal best for me. I’ve also signed up my first FSBO.
- FSBO System – if you’ve been reading this blog, then you know I’ve been trying to get up and running with FSBOs this year because I want a second lead stream to help fill in the gaps when my cold call leads have a month where they don’t seem to pop. That’s been more difficult than I wanted it to be but now I finally feel like I’m seeing traction and have a direction to go. At this point I’m confident that I can sign up and close at least 2 FSBOs per month. I’m now looking at this revenue stream as the money I’ll use to run my household which will leave all the income from the other deals free to either save or apply to expanding my business.
- Nursing Deals – we all do that right? If the deals under contract don’t get to the closing table, then all if for naught. Right now I have two pending and am trying to see them both closed in August.
- Facebook Ads – I’m going to be working on getting systematic with Facebook advertising for seller leads. See below.
- Sphere-of-Influence Campaign – this is in the idea stage, but I plan put it in play later this year.
So that’s what’s going on in Brian’s world. I will admit that time has become a very limiting factor now. FSBO calls take a lot longer to make than cold calls, but they are more effective. It takes about 90 minutes to speak with 9 or 10 people. At least right now anyway. But I am getting about 1 appointment set for ever 10 contacts – which is pretty dang high. The issue is that if you’re calling for 3 hours, then the FSBO calls take up half that time. Which leaves 90 minutes for Expired calls (if you’re doing that – which I’m not as of yet), follow up calls, referal-generating sphere of influence calls, and cold calls.
That’s not enough time. Ultimately I believe that the HIGHEST dollars will be found in sphere of influence prospecting. If that’s the case then I need to make time for it. But if half my calling time per day is already spoken for calling FSBOs and I give the other half to prospecting for referals by phone….then where does that leave me with my cold calling? How am I going to put those leads into the funnel so that they can mature and list with me? After all, most of the money I’ve made this year has come from cold call leads. It’s obvious that this approach brings in the business.
I’ve tinkered with a Leads2Listing Free-CMA-Style lead capture site in the past and HAVE gotten leads. I just never committed to getting it up and running like a well-oiled machine. These leads are pretty much exactly the same as cold call leads. Very much further our from listing than a FSBO or Expired with about a 6 to 12 month lead time. Well, I already have a follow up system in place for those leads, now don’t I?
My experience with cold calling has been that 2 or 3 hours of prospecting will yield up one or two cold leads. These will then need long term follow up in order to convert them to customers and ultimately – closed transactions. If I can get one or two leads per day by spending $10 p/day on Facebook ads and then I achieve the same result and free up phone minutes for other, more effective prospecting activities.
So the plan is to continue to work the FSBOs because they are pretty much a sure thing for me at this point. Even if I have to take a discount on commission, I don’t care. I need my wife to know that money to pay the bills will be showing up each and every month from now to forever (she’s not working anymore) and if I’m closing a minimum of two FSBO deals per month then that side of things will be covered. Cold leads don’t seem to be commission focused at all and asking for the full 7% hasn’t gotten hardly any pushback. They seem more interested in knowing that you have a plan that makes sense to get them over the finish line and that your plan looks like it really WILL get them the highest price. So the higher-dollar paychecks will be sourced from cold leads and (ultimately) referral leads.
Between now and October 31st I’ll get my Facebook ad seller lead generation system up and running in an effort to free up phone minutes while still stuffing cold leads into my follow up pipeline. Finally, once things slow down after Halloween, I’ll work on launching a referral generating machine. My hope is that by the time 2016 closes out I’ll be so overwhelmed with referral business that I can simply stop making FSBO calls completely. At that point the only thing I’ll do on the phone will be making the referral-mining calls, initial calls to cold leads coming in from leads, and tons and tons of follow up calls to previous leads.
Of course in the military we say that everyone has a battle plan – until they meet the enemy. Then it all goes out the window. So we’ll see how closely I can stick to this plan. It seems to make sense, but you never know what you don’t know…so I’ll keep you updated from time to time as I go along.