Small activities daily are what create big income yearly.
You've heard this idea before.
If you want to run a listing-first business, you've got to roll up your sleeves and do the work daily. It's repetitive work, but your reward is two-fold:
1) You can generate more income without working more hours.
2) Your ability to build a team (which is the pathway to building wealth in real estate) becomes possible when you're always the agent with the listings.
If you execute the following ideas on how to generate and convert real estate seller leads, you'll always have listings. Plus, you'll go beyond the "I thought they were nice" relationship with your sellers, to their agent for life.
The key is to lead with revenue, every single day.
Curaytor generated 2,127 seller leads from Facebook last month. Want success like that? Let's connect.
10 Strategies for Generating Seller Leads
1. The Jimmy Burgess Strategy
In 78 days, Jimmy Burgess put up $11 million worth of listings by proactively creating a personalized CMA for every person in his database.
He used a screen record tool (like BombBomb), pulled up the individual's home on Google Earth, and transitioned into the homes that are selling in the area, what the impact was on their home, new listings, and general market trends. His 2-3 minute CMA ended with a call-to-action to reply to his email if they want to talk more about their real estate plans.
What are you doing to market to your past clients right now?
Take a recent data point, and use it as a catalyst: "Would you like to know how this impacts your home?"
Lead with value by proactively creating a CMA for every person that you can, starting with people who have owned their home for more than 3 years, or 5 years, or 7 years.
Using the image of their home in Google Earth as the thumbnail, email their CMA, then send them a text.
Hey Sue, it's Jimmy.
I just put together what's called a CMA. I went through all the homes that sold near yours and what your home is worth.
I know you get a ton of emails, so make sure you don't miss it. I think you'll enjoy it.
Hope you're well!
If you work this into your daily routine and knock out 2-3 CMAs per day, the people who are serious about listing will list with you.
2. Facebook Fishing
Pumped about the CMA idea but not sure where to start?
Open up Facebook Messenger and look for anyone who's active. Then, craft a compelling message:
Hey, the Zestimate can't keep up right now.
Their guesses are really off.
I'm blocking off some time to do CMAs for a few people.
Would you like me to do one for your house?
By sending a message like this, you're leaning into the psychology of "pattern interrupt" that stops a person's natural pattern of scrolling, gets their attention, and opens the door for conversation.
In a recent challenge we ran inside the Curaytor community, this technique helped our clients set 84 appointments in 1 day.
Curaytor client Katrina Amurao was thrilled (and a little surprised by) the engagement: "19 FB DM on messenger and 11 CMAs so far. What did I get myself into!??"
If you send the right message, you're basically booking an appointment to talk about real estate. You should apply this strategy to Instagram Polls, too.
Polls get more responses than the average Story on Facebook or Instagram because all people have to do is push a button. Run creative polls regularly:
Thinking of selling your home this year?
Simple questions often get the most engagement.
3. YouTube Ads
Chris Smith ran his own Instagram Poll and found that 89% of real estate agents have never run a YouTube ad. Since 82% of internet traffic is video, if you don't have a video strategy you don't have a marketing strategy.
But you can't just post on YouTube and wait for people to discover you.
Instead, put $100 or $200 behind an ad to get in front of thousands of people who live in your local area. YouTube provides one of the best filters for targeting out of any social media platform: in-market targeting.
Using this filter, you can get your ad in front of anyone who lives in your area and is actively in the market for buying or selling a home. Mindshare = market share.
Remember: You're not trying to get national attention from your YouTube ads. You're just trying to saturate the local market with your personal brand. Most agents freeze when it comes to running YouTube ads, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming.
If you're not sure where to start, check out our YouTube Ads Playbook.
4. Google Display Network
Most agents are familiar with retargeting and have some sort of strategy in place. But the problem with only serving ads to people who have visited your website is that you're only tapping into a small percentage of your audience.
If people don't know that you exist, they can't hire you. When you use Google Display Network, you become the agent that people see everywhere -- even if they've never visited your website. Even though this has been around for a long time, very few agents take advantage of it.
At Curaytor, that's why we offer this as a service because it gets your name, your face, your brand, and your message in front of thousands of people who don't know who you are. Take a look at how our client Sam Park does this:
Studies show that our eyes are naturally drawn to people's faces. The more people look at your ads, the higher your clickthrough rate. When it's time for them to list, you'll be the agent who they're most familiar with.
That's why it's important to promote more than just your listings. Google Display Network provides a massive opportunity to build an association with who you are and what you do by getting your face in front of your target audience.
5. Better Direct Mail
When it comes to direct mail, most agents come up with an idea and just hope for the best. They end up dropping hundreds -- if not thousands -- of dollars on mailers that no one in their neighborhood responds to.
You can avoid this by first testing out traditional methods digitally. Test different ideas on Instagram polls or Facebook ads, and use the highest-performing ideas in your direct mail campaigns.
Or try another favorite strategy of ours: The Magic Buyer Letter 2.0. This idea is simple: Tell homeowners that you know people who want to buy a home like theirs.
Here's an example from Curaytor client, Amy Youngren:
This goes beyond telling potential sellers that you "have buyer leads" to describing who's interested in buying their home and sharing their story. This strategy not only proves to your buyer that you're going the extra mile to find them a place, it also shows the seller that you might be able to get them an instant offer.
6. What's Your Plan?
You don't want leads. You want appointments.
One of the easiest ways to find motivated sellers is to reach out to your past clients with a simple question:
What's your plan?
Make it incredibly easy for them to respond by giving them a few different options and asking them to respond with a number.
Which best describes your current situation?
1. I'm looking to sell this year.
2. I'm looking for an investment opportunity.
3. No real estate plans.
You're just asking for a number so that you can send them relevant content. But you'll find that most people will expand in their response, giving you the context you wanted without having to ask for it.
Since the average open rate for emails is ~20% and ~98% for SMS, follow-up with a text:
We call this the "Double Tap" technique, similar to the "Double Dial" strategy from Chris Smith's bestselling book, The Conversion Code. A text like this hooks them in so that they go back and open your email.
The reason why the rate of consumers using the same agent again is only 12% is because agents try to perfectly time when sellers are going to list their house and when they show up in their inbox.
This is a losing strategy.
Instead, you need to be constantly checking in with your past clients when they don't need you, so that when they do need you, they'll list with you.
The "What's Your Plan?" technique works every time for the agent who executes it.
7. Home Value Ads 2.0
When we talk about generating seller leads, we tend to overcomplicate it.
The bottom line is that buyers want listings. Owners want to know how much they can sell their home for, what their net proceeds will be, and how long it will take.
When we pioneered home value ads on Facebook, it didn't take much creativity to convince people to fill out their information because it was a new concept. But now that they've grown in popularity and consumers are less willing to offer up their information because they don't want to get a call from an agent, we need to get more creative.
Enter the Home Value Ad 2.0.
Here's an A+ example from Curaytor client, Jordan Rossman:
What makes this ad so brilliant?
Jordan includes a drone picture of Westridge, a powerful way to get the attention of anyone scrolling who recognizes that neighborhood. He uses relevant and compelling data that they'd probably tell their spouse about. And he puts himself in the ad to eliminate the objection, "I didn't know I'd get a call from an agent."
When you create hyper-local content on your website, you can set up a custom retargeting audience on Facebook to serve these ads to people who visited a specific page on your website. This is what it looks like to have a content marketing strategy to support your advertising strategy.
If you commit to doing this consistently, like Jordan, you'll find that Home Value Ads 2.0 actually work.
8. Mass Emails that Get Listings
The 9-word email was one of the most popular and effective strategies in The Conversion Code.
Most agents fail to attempt emails like this in mass, but short emails are occasionally the right email to send.
If you send this to every single lead in your database (including old and unresponsive leads), you'll be amazed at how many opportunities this generates.
9. Make Your Listings Famous
Listing agents make investments. Buyer's agents who have listings do not.
And the best way to win more listings is to promote the ones you already have.
Take 15% of your GCI and put it towards marketing that listing. Make a reel. Run a pre-roll ad for an in-market audience. Create a custom remarketing campaign so that when people visit a home, they start to see it everywhere. Put it on your Instagram Story. Run a Facebook ad and put $100 behind it. Create a custom email that tells a story about the home.
There are few things that actually matter to your sellers. Marketing is one of them.
When you market their listing, send it to them in a seller's report.
Here's an example from our client Connie Carlson that our team helped her build:
A report like this impresses any seller -- even the ones who are hard to please.
10. The #1 Agent in Raleigh is Opendoor
The future of real estate is making the process as painless as possible for the consumer.
Let's think about Opendoor as an agent.
Opendoor defines a real seller as an individual who requests an offer and then goes under contract with Opendoor or lists on the MLS within 60 days. At a 6% service charge, Opendoor converts approximately 1 out of every 2 real sellers. At a 10% service charge, Opendoor converts approximately 1 out of every 5 real sellers. (Opendoor Technologies Inc.)
The reason why Opendoor is the #1 agent in Raleigh is because they eliminate pain from the selling process. In their value proposition, they sell:
Consumers are willing to pay a premium for convenience, speed, and certainty. So how do you differentiate yourself from the 1.5 million other agents who do your job?
You lean into developing those core experiences for your sellers.
You don't necessarily need to create an iBuyer program like our client Gretchen Coley has, but you need to think about your customer experience with that lens. Instead of pitching how great your team is to work with, identify the pain that your seller feels. How can you create certainty in your process?
When you innovate around your customer experience, you'll attract the right seller leads and create an army of brand evangelists that will fuel your growth.
Now that you've got your plan on how to generate seller leads, you need to know the most effective strategies for converting them.
5 Strategies for Converting Seller Leads
1. Speed to Lead
Speed is a critical component of conversion.
In one study by Inside Real Estate, the average response time for agents is about 15 hours and 30 minutes, and 48% of inquiries don't get a response.
When you respond in less than 5 minutes, you are 100x more likely to make initial contact with a lead and 21x more likely to convert a lead into an opportunity over waiting just an hour. This data is from a widely referenced Harvard Business Review study in 2011. If speed was crucial then, it's even more so now.
A lot of teams automate their speed to lead. While that's better than waiting 15 hours and 30 minutes, it also tends to give your prospect an easy way to opt-out of communication with you.
The best opportunity for conversion happens if you get on the phone with them right away.
2. Opening, Fact, Question (OFQ)
When you call a lead, respect the reality that the call is coming at an unannounced time. With that in mind, start the call with the OFQ strategy from Exactly What to Say for Real Estate Agents.
Opening: A polite introduction of your name and agency.
Fact: A mutually agreeable fact.
Question: An open-ended, easy to answer question.
A simple example could be…
Hey Sue this is Jimmy calling from the Jimmy Mackin team.
I’m reaching out because it’s been about 6 months since we last connected.
Are you still thinking of selling?
Most real estate scripts that you find online sound archaic and robotic. Use this simple framework to open the door for authentic conversations with your sellers.
Pro Tip: Use the phrase "as promised" in this framework whenever you follow-up with a lead.
Hey Sue, it's Jimmy calling again as promised when we chatted last month. Would love to chat about your real estate goals.
These two words help to overcome the trust gap that exists between you and the seller .
3. The Conversion Triangle
According to Phil M. Jones, every single conversation you have should follow a pattern of curiosity, empathy, and courage.
If your goal is to create certainty for your seller, be curious for long enough to gain a better understanding of their situation. Most agents are conditioned to ask questions that sound mechanical. This puts up a wall between you and the seller. Instead, ask open-ended questions that allow them to let their guard down.
What's your experience been like with selling?
After they set the scene for you by providing more context, try to see the situation through their eyes. Selling a home is a significant decision to entrust someone with. Leading the conversation with empathy makes you more relatable.
Once you've built that trust, have the courage to ask for what you need.
4. Master Booking Appointments
Appointments that get booked two or more days in advance are 3x more likely to no-show than appointments made in less than 48 hours. To decrease your no-show rate, book your appointments within 48 hours and send a Google Calendar invite.
The most important part in this process is sending a value-based reminder. Since deals are 127% more likely to close when video is used at any point in the sales process, we recommend sending a video but you can also send a text or leave a voicemail.
A value-based reminder is communicating what they can expect in your appointment based on what they find most important.
For example, instead of "See you at our appointment tomorrow at 3pm."
It would be "Here are a few things that we'll cover in our meeting tomorrow that I know will be important to you… "
This creates connection, builds rapport, and makes your seller much less likely to cancel.
5. The Future of Follow-Up
NuGrowth reports that 92% of sales reps quit after the 4th attempt but 50% of sales happen after the 5th attempt. Just because you don't get a response the first four times doesn't mean they aren't interested.
The fortune is in the follow-up, but consumers are more guarded than ever.
So what's the future of follow-up?
The most important thing you can do to become successful in lead conversion is to put yourself in a position where they know who you are before you make the call.
You need to build your personal brand and invest in your marketing so that people pick up your call or respond to your text because they've seen your videos, read your emails, opened your texts, and engaged with your posts.
In the past, agents could use brute force to bypass marketing.
That won't work anymore.
Now that the consumer is in control, the future of follow-up is building your brand.
The smartest real estate teams are going all-in on seller leads.
Seller lead generation and conversion will never be easy, but if you want to run a listing-first business, these industry-leading strategies will help you get there.
Let's get to work! 🚀