Updated: Dec 31, 2022
The most common problem that agents face is the lack of leads to work on.
While knowledge, conversion and engagement skills after getting a lead are just as important, most times, realtors fail due to a lack of leads generation capabilities.
The truth is, in today's highly saturated market, there are too many tactics, strategies and choice of medium out there - we can simply be overwhelmed on where to start.
Traditionally there are offline strategies like telemarketing, flyers, bus ads, door-knocking, networking and roadshows that still work even in these times.
With digitalization, we have also witnessed an explosion of online strategies like online webinars, blogging, videos, social media ads, Tiktok videos and more.
The list is long and limited only by your creativity and bandwidth.
So, instead of being guided by "trending" tactics and tips, I feel that it is best to be guided by timeless principles that can solve your lead generation problems.
Here are 3 fundamental principles to guide you:
Lead Generation Principle #1: Outreach Volume
If you have a chat with any consistent top producers in real estate, what you will find is that they have solved the issue of achieving consistent leads flow and always have new listings or prospects to work with regularly.
Top achievers consistently put out more outreach volume than the average producer.
They reach out to more people at greater numbers and frequency, accelerating their experience and results within a given time frame.
Similar to the fail more, fail often concept, in experiencing more setbacks fast, they learn quicker through adaptation and repetition.
It is possible, and I speak from my personal experience, that you reach a point of "mastery" - being able to anticipate all possible responses, scenarios, objections and questions that you will face in any circumstance.
You will be able to look ahead several steps and even anticipate how a response or non-verbal cue at one point in time, will bring up a potential question several minutes later.
Call it psychic. But it's not. It's just reflex and muscle memory like how a top sports athlete operates.
I knew about a top 7-figure producer whose main prospecting method is to send out more than 10,000 flyers per month in a strategic targeted manner to her focused areas.
She learnt how to build up her brand and her face is well-known in her estate. (Perhaps even more memorable than grassroots leaders there!)
In her case, she will never face the problem of "lacking leads" as long as she keeps up with her routine.
While traditional marketing may cost alot and not appeal to everyone, it still works today and shouldn't be dismissed just because it is an "old school" way.
Results are all that matters.
As for me, I have chosen to focus on a digital path with a large number of articles with strong search engine optimization in order to find viewers like you.
The digital path appeals to me as their benefits stack and are more enduring than printed content.
But of course, do both if you can manage multiple methods of generating leads.
Peter Drucker, the famous management guru once said:
What gets measured gets managed. And what gets managed, gets executed.
Measure your marketing efforts by the amount of outreach volume:
Find out how many people are visiting your website or watching your videos
If you are doing flyers, find out how many enquiries come back to you from certain flyers. All you need is a simple spreadsheet to track the response rate of enquiries.
If you are writing articles or blog posts, measure by the variety and number of property topics you have covered and the type of audience you are attracting.
Be honest with yourself about your conversion rates so that you know how many prospects you have to speak to for a ready prospect to be found.
Ultimately, the best measure of your key performance indicators (KPI) is by the number of hours you spend prospecting on a daily basis and your leads quantity and quality.
If getting consistent leads on a regular basis sounds important to you, you will need to prioritize your outreach activities as a daily priority.
Remember - Volume counts. Not all leads are qualified and you will need a lot of leads in order to have control over your business and freedom to select who you would like to work with or not.
Lead Generation Principle #2: Relevancy
You need to consider how relevant your outreach strategy is with respect to the broader market.
For example, you need to have a very clear idea of where your target audience is spending their time.
Otherwise, your marketing goes nowhere if it does not reach the right people.
For instance, did you know that Tiktok will surpass Youtube in terms of watch time in 2022?
Even the older age groups are spending more and more time on Tiktok as people tend to prefer shorter and fast-paced video content as attention span shrinks.
More than just creating dancing videos, it is about making sure that the content you create are relevant to your target market and appeal to most people's preference for edutainment.
Some examples of timeless content you can create:
Securing your retirement using property investment
How property acts as a great hedge against inflation
How CPF accrued interest can hurt your upgrading plans
Freehold vs Leasehold, Private properties vs HDB flats etc
Rental yields vs Capital returns
Returns of various common asset classes
For timely content, we need to focus on what is currently dominating the headlines in Singapore news.
Here are some topics that, at this point of writing are considered timely:
the ongoing SERS news in Marsiling and Ang Mo Kio and how it impacts residents' retirement plans
Rising interest rates for property loans due to moves from the US Federal Reserve
Impact of inflation to homeowners in general
The alarm bells of recessionary fears and its potential impact
For timely articles, the goal must be to anticipate and ensure that whatever content are highly relevant to address the consumers' thirst for answers.
How do we make sure that consumption of our content happens?
To do that, we have to clearly understand the profile our target audience are made up of and the stages of their lives they are currently at.
Below are some recent examples of timely and timeless content that we generate for our team in NAVIS on a weekly basis.
Having a "central kitchen" of content available allows our agents to focus on reaching out and engaging prospects instead of spending time and resources on research and development of content.
Lead Generation Principle #3: Sustainability
The Singapore property market is an active and vibrant one thanks to the fact that there are so many different demographics of people with different needs and aspirations.
Most people will go through these various stages of life:
Buying their first home
Selling their home and upgrading
Investing in property for better returns
Retirement and legacy planning
If we understand the journey that they take in reaching a property decision and how people search for answers, hurray we have half the battle won!
The next step simply is to develop the content that answers their burning questions, positions you well as the one with the answers and voila. The magic happens.
Oh wait. Not yet.
A property related decision is after all, a major decision in their lives - possibly similar to the gravity of getting married - Either it becomes a great experience or ends up as a complete financial disaster.
Naturally, no one makes a decision to get married on the first encounter or date.
It is a long process with a series of encounters as we size up each other's compatibility and fit.
Similarly, we do not expect instant leads and spontaneous sales to happen just by releasing that one content, article or round of flyers.
We have to be mindful of our discipline and sustainability of the lead generation strategy we choose and consistently nurture our leads till fruition.
For example, choosing door-knocking in terms of financial sustainability is great.
Zero costs. No risks financially whatsoever.
But in terms of time, it is very inefficient as you give up the most productive hours of your day to knock doors and get rejected most of the time.
It is a great resilience building exercise but it is not scalable for your long term income growth for your future.
However, if you treat your real estate business as a proper business - where you invest in marketing costs, scale your outreach volume and speed and retain your most valuable commodity of time - you will be able to create a sustainable and successful business.
That is why rather than splurging on luxury good to have items when you enjoy some early fruits of success, it is wiser to invest in a proper marketing plan to build up your brand and platform as early as you can.
Treat marketing as one of the most important investments you can make in your business. After all, no one else will market you for you.
If you intend to have longevity and consistency in your lead generation efforts, you must regularly set aside the budget and time to build up your business.
Study how you can build up your brand to stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Otherwise, you become just one of the many faceless agents in this competitive industry - unable to position yourself and gain a foothold in the industry.
Personally, I have mentored many agents on growing and building their online presence so that they can get found for specific keywords in certain niches of their focus.
My mentees and team currently enjoy streams of leads coming in daily from various digital assets that they have built.
This provides them amazing growth and brand authority among the communities they serve and their friends and family.
It still brings me great joy whenever I hear of their successes that have stemmed from them learning and following the path we laid out many moons ago.
With people on their phones constantly, it is clear that digital marketing provides the most bang for your buck under most circumstances.
But like anything in life, you will need to continuously improve and level up your marketing knowledge as technology evolves.
Discover your niche and strengths and why people should and would work with you over someone else.
Speak to those who have done it themselves to find out how they craft and execute their strategy.
A proper online presence with useful relevant content that resonates and educates website visitors also means you can be prospecting - even while you are sleeping.
Your time will be better utilized on meeting actual prospects who knows who you are and has developed an interest in meeting you - rather than having to spend hours selling yourself at each meet up.
If you are a new or experienced RES looking for help in improving your lead generation efforts or your overall online brand, let's have a chat and I will share more in person.
Make an appointment with Stuart and his team leaders.
Stuart Chng is an Executive Group District Director of Huttons, and a renowned leader and personality in the real estate industry.
He adores music and can play a few instruments decently without upsetting his neighbours. When not doing so, he enjoys pillow fighting with his son and coming up with silly puns which barely amuses his wife.
Professionally, he is a licensed real estate agent, an avid stocks, options and real estate investor, business owner, team leader, speaker and columnist for several property newsletters and blogs and is often quoted in media interviews on 938FM, Channel 8, PropertyReport, PropertyGuru and other publications.
- Find out about a Property Agent's Career Path with Huttons Group.