What’s it take to be a successful real estate agent in 2021? Real estate leads and a plan.

Let’s be honest here. You can be a people person, a strong closer, and an awesome negotiator, but none of those skills even come into play unless you’re generating leads. A steady stream of leads is crucial to your success.

Googling “real estate agent failure rates” will yield multiple results that agree that as many as 87% of real estate agents fail in their first five years in the business. Look around when you’re around new agents and know that only one in seven of them will be in the business in five years. Beating the odds with a constant flow of quality leads is your key to success.

Building your real estate leads pipeline

Real estate agents often enter the business without a healthy understanding of what it takes to build a pipeline and be successful in the business. If you are doing everything and doing it right, at the minimum you will need:

  • A branded website In 2021, an online presence is central to establish your business and brand— i.e., lend credibility.
  • CRM with marketing and automation – You need a CRM system to store, manage and market your database. As a relationship business, you need a relationship manager developed specifically for the real estate industry. The nuances of real estate are critically important as you’re building your pipeline.
  • IDX on your website – Your website will need an IDX search feature to attract and engage buyers and sellers. Without IDX, your website will not rank with search engines and consumers searching online will not be able to search properties. IDX technology is the number one engagement tool a real estate agent can have in their arsenal.
  • Social media marketing – Many potential buyers and sellers spend far more time on social media than they do searching on the Internet. You need to reach them where they are. Here are some ways to generate leads on social platforms.
  • A SOI for referrals – You should have a system to automatically reach out regularly and keep your name top-of-mind with people in your SOI, or Sphere of Influence. Do not make the mistake of overestimating the number of friends and family members that you think will buy or sell a home with you. In the U.S. on average people only move every 8 years, so it can take a while to realize business from your SOI. Your sphere is valuable, but it takes time and long term nurturing.
  • Advertising – SEO has become so competitive that few real estate websites make it to the first page in search engines. Using pay-per-click advertising, you can buy that click with first page ads and direct people to your website that are searching with key phrases you set up.
  • Leads – The crux of a successful agent. Every agent needs leads, but building a healthy sphere or referral business takes a lot of time and energy. Many successful agents opt to purchase leads. Lead generation is a numbers game and the more leads you’re generating, the better the odds of hitting your goals. Not all leads are created equal, however. It’s important to make sure the leads you’re purchasing are exclusive to you and in your target areas.

Working from multiple systems can be a huge challenge and can be quite expensive. There is a cost for the website, hosting, IDX fees, PPC, marketing, etc. Monthly fees can add up fast.

Just how many leads will you need to hit your goals?

You can’t build and manage a lead generation strategy until you know how many leads you need. To start that process you must determine your desired income. Then your average expected commission and using your conversion or closing percentage of the real estate leads you generate; you can determine how many you need.

This calculator does the trick. You can experiment with the numbers and come up with the exact number of leads you need to reach your goals.

Tried-and-true ways to generate real estate leads:

  • Hold open houses for your brokerage –  Nothing might sound more daunting, but there it is a great way to get in front of new faces and start building your business. Especially if you are in a hot market.
  • Cold calling –  Thousands of agents across the country fill their pipelines – and their bank accounts – by picking up the phone every morning and dialing for dollars.
  • Door knocking – Another dreadful lead generation term, but doors were built to be opened. Not every door will open and convert, but it’s a great way to get in front of people. As the pandemic begins to ease up and more of the population gets vaccinated, there’s a good chance no one has knocked on your farms door in a while. Opportunistic agents can take advantage. Of course, wear a mask and never assume others have the same comfort level as you do.

Is there a TURNKEY solution that brings it all together?

Another drawback of piecemealed systems is that you spend too many resources managing them. Time, money, energy, time. You work too hard and long to generate leads and manage them from multiple systems, not to mention the costs often associated with each.

Market Leader Professional comes with a infinitely customizable website that captures buyer and seller leads and tracks the properties they view, the time on your site, and more, then delivers those insights directly to you in real time. All lead insights are also populated in your CRM for follow-up marketing and relationship-building.

When a lead is captured, you want to follow up with other marketing, from phone calls to print to email. You want a CRM to take the site information and help you follow up.

An effective real estate turnkey solution like this one will give you these crucial features:

  • A customizable website designed generate real estate leads.
  • Insights to help you track lead behavior and follow-up.
  • An integrated CRM with marketing automation
  • An all-inclusive monthly cost that is affordable and delivers the real estate leads you need to build a healthy pipeline and successful business, for years to come.

You can be the world’s strongest closer, a great people person, and a relationship builder, but you could be history in less than five years unless you employ a comprehensive strategy to generate and convert real estate leads.

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