“Pre-Leads” are home sellers and buyers before they get gobbled up by the giant listing portals (and before they are sold back to you as online “leads”). More and more top agents today are focused on pre-leads to dominate their local markets.
In a nutshell these top agents build customer databases at the core of their businesses — postal databases, email databases and social networks. In the pre-lead marketing model “lead generation” — that is identifying interested prospects — is focused on driving a continuous stream of prospects into their database where 60-70% of their business comes from.
Lead Generation In The Digital Age
In the digital age lead-generation choices have multiplied like rabbits. Back in the day, the Big Five of Print, TV, Radio, Signage and Direct Mail were everything. In this century the choice of media channels has exploded into a fragmented universe — some gurus call it ‘fracked’ — as our graphic above illustrates.
Exactly how you “feed your funnels” to grow your database depends on your business focus, your market, your niche(s) and your skills. Everyone does it their own way. Some use online tools. Others use offline strategies. Still others use a mix of almost anything that works from pay-per-click search, signs, print ads, EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) geofarming, cold calls or duty desk to door knocking, referrals, Expireds, FSBOs, paid leads or community sponsorships.
Ultimately whoever builds the largest database wins.
New Old-School Marketing
While some agents will forever chase the latest mobile craze or social media fad, many top listing agents today are taking a new-old approach. These listers are taking advantage of hitting people in their mailboxes. Why? Because direct mail is targeted. Direct mail is hyper-local (in fact, a property address is the very essence of real estate)…and because direct mail gets delivered — without being routed to the oblivion of spam folders or dropped into flooded inboxes or news streams.
In a word, direct mail works.
The real secret today is not lead generation, but following up and converting the prospects you’ve already captured…and retaining past clients and sphere to maximize referrals and repeat business.
It bears repeating: Consistent lead generation is important to grow your pre-lead database. What’s critical is to follow up that database like a mad man to dominate your real estate market today…and tomorrow.
Special nod of thanks to Walk Like A Giant, Sell Like A Madman, the title of Ralph Roberts’ brilliant 1997 book with John Gallagher that inspired the title of this post.