Here’s how to avoid them and save yourself a boat load of money

Many vendors are selling to your ego

It’s the beginning of the century, all over againDo you remember back in 2000-2004 when real estate vendors everywhere were selling real estate agents on how much traffic was visiting the websites they designed? Or how many impressions an image was getting online?

But then, we realized that image impressions and website traffic literally meant nothing. In fact, if there weren’t other metrics in addition to those, they were useless. But, we still willingly plunked down our money and bought into the hype of traffic and impressions, didn’t we? Oh yes we did.

Many vendors are selling to your ego and not giving you what will actually produce closings.

The lies we believe and the money we waste chasing them

Well, it’s happening again. But this time, it’s in social media. And we real estate agents are falling for it again. Apparently, history just doesn’t matter to most of us. George Santayana said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The weird thing is, a little common sense and a little questioning, saves us from falling into these traps. But we don’t question, anything.

We are in Facebook groups where real estate agents share what isn’t working for them, and yet, when questioned (usually by someone that that “thing” is working for), it’s very obvious the person saying it doesn’t work ,didn’t do what was necessary to get it to work.

Didn’t develop a strategy.

Didn’t put in the research.

Didn’t commit to it long enough.

In other words, they didn’t really attempt to implement it.

But what happens is the agent that says it does work, is not believed. Mostly because it takes work. Sometimes serious work. Time and money. And most importantly, it takes learning and understanding to make it work.

A perfect example of this very thing is direct mail. Agents say it doesn’t work, but in reality, they haven’t tried it. Sending a one time piece, or even two pieces, is not trying. Sending a piece once a month for 6 months isn’t trying it either. I could go on forever here.

BUT (and this is a BIG but)!

When an agent comes along and says some random, one-hit-wonder thing works, agents clamor after it. Again, without analyzing whether the agent is telling the truth. Or even analyzing to see what made it work. And, will it keep working. Is it viable? Is it worth trading time for?

We are so desperate for the silver bullet, the get rich quick train, that we are idiots when it comes to seeking out solid, long-term methods and integrating them into our business. We prefer to not really implement things that work, and follow the crazy train on the one-offs. We decide in the moment, without any real data, to form an opinion, and we hold fast and furiously to that opinion.

So what’s happening now?

There is a big gravy train when it comes to social media and agents. And, I’ve got news for you, vendors are taking advantage of you, BIG time.

Now, I firmly believe that the majority of these vendors have no idea they are bilking you. Why? Because they are simply following the crowd and providing their solution to a need, that the industry is expressing is a need. The problem? Their solution doesn’t actually work. Like, ever. But we as agents buy into it because we don’t know any different. Why doesn’t it work? Because it’s not really a need.

Take the time to research and study social media.

We are so gung-ho to outsource, that we just throw money at something and hope and pray it works. If you want a successful real estate business, you’ll stop doing that immediately.

Vendors are claiming things like “thousands of views” or “hundreds of clicks” or “guaranteed reach” and we don’t go deeper.

We don’t question anything.

 Change your mindset, and you’ll change your results.

Develop the habit of questioning everything. 

We don’t even make the connection between these claims and the closing table. If we can’t make the connection through tangible, trackable methods, there IS no connection.

That’s right.

"Running an ad on social media must have a tangible, trackable connection between the ad and the closing table. It must be trackable. If it’s not, you are wasting your money."

Are those views, clicks, or reach actual people? Are they people who actually need us or want to use us? Do those views, clicks, or reach actually get people to the closing table?

You see, “thousands of views, hundreds of clicks, and guaranteed reach” all sound really good, but in reality, they mean absolutely nothing. I mean, who doesn’t like seeing that 15,000 people saw one of your listings on Facebook.

It sounds awesome! The sellers will love it, unless of course the sellers know “views don’t sell.” If you work with savvy sellers they’ll know immediately that quantity doesn’t matter.

But let’s get real, did 15,000 people actually see that listing? Nope. Not even close. Of the proclaimed 15,000 people who saw that listing, how many of them were actually viable, how many were old enough to even sign a contract?

How many of them actually live in your area?

How many of them are financially able to buy a house?

How many of them want to buy a house?

How many of them are in the right income bracket to buy that house?

How many of them are interested in that house?

When we focus on the idea that “just get it in front of as many people as possible” is a viable way to sell a house, we have no clue what we are doing. We are following the herd and expecting to get results.

 Lame excuses justifying smarmy marketing behavior ruin your reputation.
Be accountable. 

In reality, the proclamations of guaranteed views, clicks, and reach are all a sham. They are appealing to your ego, they are appealing to what they (and you) think is important. But none of these things are important.

“views” does not mean unique views

“views” does not mean actually seen

“views” does not mean targeted traffic

“views” does not mean leads

More views does not mean more leads

Don’t get caught up in the hype and the lies we tell ourselves. In fact, views does not mean action and you want action. You want action from the right people. Period. The bigger issue is that we as agents aren’t aware of what is important, what will actually instigate action.

I hate to break it to you but quantity means nothing. We lie to ourselves when we retain the thought process that we just need to get our listings (or even worse, our face along with “world’s best real estate agent”) in front of as many eyeballs as possible. In fact, we use that statement to justify spamming Facebook groups with our listings and open houses.

I constantly hear the “casting the blame” excuse that “well, you never know where your next deal is going to come from.” Yes, that’s a lame excuse and it makes you sound like a crappy real estate agent.

Stop using lame excuses,

They make you look like an unethical idiot.

You want to change the reputation of real estate agents with the public? Then you have to stop acting like an uneducated newbie.

Strong language? ABSOLUTELY!

Own your actions.

Own your business.

Know exactly what will bring you business and build your business owning every action you take. Don’t make excuses for behavior that you know, in your gut, is unacceptable.

We have ridiculously low conversion rates in our industry because we keep perpetuating this lie, that it’s all about getting anything in front of any eyeballs.

It’s not about the views, it’s about the conversions and having more views does not mean more conversions. In fact, it means throwing more money and more time, but retaining the same ridiculously low conversion rate.

Stop believing the myth

We have got to stop believing the myth that the more people that see a listing means the more likely we are to find a buyer.

In fact, you are simply competing against money. He who has the most money to reach the most people will win. or so we think. Again, LIES.

The truth is that he who has the ability to reach the right person, first, will win. This is not the same thing as reaching as many people as possible.

Quality trumps quantity. Every single time.

Quantity does not equal quality and quality is the most important.

The busiest, most outwardly vibrant Facebook business pages are not usually the most successful. This seems to surprise people. Now, they might be seen as the most successful when you rate them according to likes, reach, engagement, but they are often the front facade to a financially poor page owner.

So what am I saying in all of this?

I’m saying, stop running after seemingly easy silver bullets and question the silver bullet proclamations. Question vendors. If they can’t clearly explain their proclamations and back it up with solid data (whether their own or a valuable source) and case studies OF CLOSINGS, they don’t know what they are doing, and they are taking your money to throw it at the wall. Do your own research.

And, when they share case studies, question everything. What measures did that case study already have in place? Is the agent being truthful with their numbers? Can you duplicate that agent’s success, do you have the same measures in place? What do you need to do, or change, to duplicate the results?

This is a major reason I wrote the 4 core places you should be spending your lead generation budget. I didn’t say “this product or that product.” Instead, I said to step outside of the industry and educate yourself. It’s not about the product. It’s about how that product works in the overall business building strategy. Does it actually capture, convert, or close leads or does it just “get your name out there”?

This isn’t about poo pooing everything, this is about questioning everything, from a knowledge, research, and truth perspective, not from a fantasy perspective.

What do I mean by fantasy perspective?

I mean those of us who want a reason why something doesn’t work, along the lines of, “oh, they are just lucky” or “oh, their dad was an agent” or any other ridiculous reasons we give to not actually be introspective and face our own failings and self-created limitations. Avoid that mental thinking. That’s not what I’m saying to do when I say to question vendors.

So, don’t allow vendors to hook you into throwing your money at things that simply do not work. Do your research. And remember, they often fully believe that what they are selling you, works. If it’s something that you just “pay and they implement” the odds are, it doesn’t actually work.

I mean come on, you are investing your time and money into your real estate business and if you want to be successful, you must must must understand exactly the what, why, & how in what you are doing.

As a training benefit for you, I created a Facebook page setup checklist. You can use the checklist to make sure your Facebook business page is setup in it’s best lead generation capacity.

 Written by Christina Ethridge - the founder of Leads and Leverage, helping overwhelmed business owners eliminate the marketing chaos and get more customers. Simplify your marketing & bring in more sales. 
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