Lead Generation: Your Key to Prospering in a Shift Economy

You have to admit: it’s been quite a run!

Real estate has gone through a period of nearly unimaginable growth over the past few years. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, the average price of a U.S. home was $375,000. Fueled by historic low interest rates and tightening inventory, the average price grew to $570,000 within just two years, a 52% increase.

Of course, nothing remains the same. From the heady high of $570,000 in April of this year, the average home price dropped 20% in only three months, now standing at $457,000. Inflation is at a 40-year high. Interest rates are on the rise. And recession is around the corner (or already here depending on your interpretation).

Well, here’s the thing: despite the doom and gloom, Americans are still going to buy and sell homes. We may not see as many transactions, especially compared to our recent, unprecedented growth period. But make no mistake: there will be transactions.

The question you need to ask yourself is: are you positioned to take your unfair  share of transactions in your market?

Real Estate Prospecting during an economic and real estate downturn is the theme behind Gary Keller’s book The Shift. It’s a good read and worth your time if you’re serious about being a top performer in our industry.

Many believe we’re beginning to see the early warning signs of a shift with fewer leads, fewer showings, and an increase in days-on-market.

Shifts may be more gradual on a national level, but things can shift quickly and dramatically on a local level.   And a changing market means opportunity.

Keller suggest that a shifting marketplace (especially a downward shift) brings out three distinct personality types:

  • The Pessimists who see nothing but dark days ahead, and may begin to fantasize about less-volatile career paths than real estate.
  • The Optimists who relax because they are convinced that the good times are right around the corner. No worries!
  • The Realists who embrace the truth that everything changes and shifts always happen. The realists understand the importance of sharpening their skills because within every downturn are opportunities to be tapped.

Of the many strategies Keller discusses in The Shift, we want to focus on the one that he believes is most critical to finding success in a  shifting real estate market: doubling down on lead generation.

Top performers tend to be realists, especially when it comes to a shifting marketplace. Realists know that they need to focus extra energy when the market is changing.   They are well aware that if they don’t play the game at its highest level, the competitor down the street will. When it comes to lead generation, here are a few things you can do to emulate agents who are at the top of their game:

  1. Stick to a strict schedule.

Realists understand that the best schedules are those built around what is most important to reach their goals. Your focus should be on activities that actually make you money in the real estate business.  To the degree possible, your days need to have the same structure, an example of which might be:

  • Creating an energizing morning routine that might include a combination of exercising, meditation and affirmations.
  • Setting aside a dedicated time for lead generation early in the day. Time block for this, and allow no distractions.
  • Building in time for administrative details later in the day when your energy may not be at its highest. These details aren’t your highest/best use, but they  can bog you down if left unchecked.
  1. Be clear about your goals.

We need to know what motivates us. The clearer your goals, the easier it is to stay focused on what’s important. With regard to lead generation, know your numbers!  Do you know how many daily contacts you need to reach your annual goal for gross commission income?    Do you have role play and accountability partners to help keep you on track?  Are you in a position to consider a real estate coach? .

  1. Have a multi-tiered lead generation strategy

Most top performers have a multi-tiered strategy when it comes to lead generation. They may start with expireds and past expireds, then FSBOs, FRBO’s, lead follow up, past clients/sphere of influence, and neighborhood calls.  Of course, having a CRM and lead generation system like Vulcan7 makes it much easier to manage the process and stay  focused.

  1. Practice, practice, practice.

Top performers (the realists!) never take their success for granted. Take a page from their playbook and be sure to set aside time each day to work with your real estate scripts. Find another agent through your brokerage (or through Vulcan7) who can role-play with you every morning. Just a few minutes of role-playing (ideally just prior to making calls) can have a profound impact on the quality and effectiveness of your lead generation calls.  Master the fundamentals, these skills will serve you for years to come.

  1. Work smart, and then take time for you

Technology is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. Email, in particular, can kill focus and productivity. Schedule specific times during the day to check and send emails. Consider using your out-of-office assistant to alert people to your email schedule and give them the option to call or text if there is something urgent.. If you have to be on social media, make it brief and during non-work hours to minimize distractions.

Change = Opportunity.  Position yourself for success moving forward by putting a plan into place and sticking to it.  By doubling down on lead generation, you’ll build business, build confidence, and build your bank account.