Move Your Real Estate Business Forward after Lockdowns
I wrote in my article last week that we are finally seeing some light at the end of the coronavirus pandemic tunnel. The majority of real estate agents can go back to work showing houses, and most markets are starting to pick back up again. I also wrote that I thought now is the time to surge forward and reclaim the business you may have lost over the past few months.
All the work you put in reaching out to your network, becoming a community connector, and offering to help people in your sphere any way you could should finally be paying off. Basically, now is the time to get off of the lockdown couch (if you were ever on it) and completely throw yourself into growing your real estate business.
But what’s the best way to go about doing that?
- Put more effort into your marketing
- Maintain or increase your ad spend on effective marketing channels
- Remember we’re still in the middle of a pandemic
- When talking to leads, focus more than ever on helping them solve a problem
Should I Invest in Leads and Marketing?
During the COVID-19 lockdowns and even now as they end, many companies have cut marketing budgets or are hesitant to invest more. However, slow downs are when you should be putting even more effort into your marketing channels. I’ll qualify that statement by adding that you should be putting more effort and possibly dollars into your effective marketing channels.
It’s important to remember that effective, data driven, measurable marketing is an investment, not an expense. When done correctly, you should be able to draw a clear line from money put in to the return you receive. Despite any potential downturn in the economy or real estate markets, right now is one of the best times to grow your market share.
One reason is that over the past couple of months, the cost of ads across many different online platforms has dropped. Mostly because businesses across every industry cut their ad spends and marketing dollars when the pandemic picked up and lockdowns began. Although, as people return to work, many businesses will probably pick their marketing back up, there may still be time to take advantage of this opportunity.
The other reason is that, within the real estate industry itself (and probably within your specific market), many other agents are advertising less, marketing less, and posting less on social media. Again, this follows from the false mentality that when things slow down you and your business should slow down too.
Don’t fall into that trap.
Quarantines Forced More People Online…Even More
Here’s the next point: as you probably know from your own lockdown experience, social media use reached levels not seen before. Tens of millions of people were sitting at home with not much to do. According to one study from a few weeks back, consumption of the Facebook News Feed was up a whopping 82%.
And although many things are beginning to open back up, there are still millions and millions of people who are sitting or working at home and who have way more time than usual on their hands. How are they passing that time? By scrolling Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok.
So, let’s recap: people are spending way more time than usual on social media, ad costs may still be down, and many of your competitors are not taking advantage of the situation. You have the opportunity to have more attention of prospects and potential clients than ever before, with probably less competition than normal.
How to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Real Estate
As always, the key to a successful content and social media strategy is making sure you’re offering useful, relevant information. In our current situation, that means being the expert of new or changing policies or rules in your market, making potential customers feel safe and secure when restarting the buying or selling process, and, generally, being helpful at every turn.
Remember that, despite re-openings, many people are still going through one of the hardest times in their lives. Continue to be empathetic when you speak with or contact leads (whether on Facebook Messenger or text or on the phone) and avoid any “hard selling”.
Speak with Online Real Estate Leads the Right Way
Once you’re actually speaking with your new online real estate leads, it’s important to have real conversations. In other words, don’t stick blindly to your script. You may still be facing more resistance than normal and maybe some people angry that you are calling them during this difficult time. People are going to want to talk and meet with you even less than normal.
That’s why it’s even more critical in our post COVID-19 lockdown world to underscore the value that you offer them. Leads care less about your past success or stats than they do about how you are going to solve their specific problem right now. What do you bring to the table and why should they care?
I’ll keep returning to our Smart Inside Sales PPO process time and time again because it works. And now more than ever, you have to take advantage of every lead who will let you talk to them on the phone.
Use the PPO Process to Overcome Objections and Close More Sales
The lead’s perspective is their past experience, knowledge and speculation.
The prospect’s process is their own plan that they have for their situation. The process is typically what will lead to an objection. They have their plan and you are not a part of it in their mind, so they turn you down.
And finally, the outcome. This is the unique result or benefit the prospect believes their process will deliver for them.
Perspective, process, and outcome are the three things that make up any objection. The key here is to understand these three parts of the objection from the lead’s point of view, not just from your own. Below are the five most critical aspects of dealing with an objection once they tell you it:
- Acknowledge – Listen to what they say and let them know that you understand it.
- Paraphrase – Restate what they said without leading and without interpretation.
- Inquire into their perspective, process, and outcome – This is where you dig into their thought process how they see it. Get them to walk you through their knowledge, plan, and the unique thing they hope to accomplish. These are the three things you need to know in order to counter their objection, so ask questions that get you the answers.
- Determine the unique benefit or result they hope to achieve – this is their sought after outcome.
- Close if appropriate – Close if the lead does not bring up another objection as a result of the PPO process or if it becomes obvious that meeting is the next logical step in your conversation.
Conclusion: Move Your Real Estate Business Forward with Confidence
Now is the time to put the effort into your marketing channels. In particular, measurable, data-driven online advertising methods. Think of marketing as an investment where you can easily see your ROI for every dollar spent. If you can’t see that clearly, then it might not be the best method to use at this time.
People are on social media more than ever before and probably will continue to be in the coming months. Take advantage of a wider audience with both ads and organic posts. Once you make contact with leads, remember that the situation is still very tough. Be empathetic, helpful, and focus on how the value you bring will help solve their current problem.