Let me guess…you are a Real Estate agent or Mortgage Lender in the Northern Virginia and you want to do more business? We all do right? What we really want are LEADS! We want people that reach out to us and say “hey I need to use your services…I got your marketing piece or found you online; can you help?” Yes you can!! But how do we get to this point? How do we change our traditional marketing into Real Estate Target Marketing?Let’s back up…
The Field of Dreams…remember that movie? The one with Kevin Costner in Iowa (where I am from) and he hears these voices that say “Build it and he will come”? Then Kevin Costner proceeds to destroy a chunk of his crops and everyone around him thinks he is crazy for doing such a thing! Well, you will have to watch the movie to find out how it ends but let’s just say that what Kevin Costner did, and the sacrifices he made worked out amidst the disapproval of those around him.
There are thousands and thousands of licensed Realtors in the US. Many are “solo agents,” meaning they are on their own. They show homes, market their business, lead generate, order signs, and work with buyers and sellers. Though I named several tasks they do, it is minor in comparison to ALL the responsibilities they truly have. Not that long ago, most Realtors went the way of the solo real estate agent. There was no Social Media, the Internet, YouTube and more to take into consideration when marketing your business. The ability to network, send out TONS of direct mail, door-knocking, and even have the largest advertisement in the local paper were some of the main marketing techniques. In today’s real estate climate, “Teams” seem to be taking over as the most efficient way to expand your real estate business to huge proportions. Does the solo real estate agent have a glass ceiling or are there ways to break the glass ceiling?
My name is Wade Vander Molen “DCTitleGuy” and I am a Director of Sales/Marketing for Stewart Title and Escrow in Fairfax, VA just outside of Washington DC. I have been in the Title Insurance industry since 2005 having worked for a National Title Insurance company in Phoenix, AZ. Over the past 7 years I have worked and helped the Realtor that is “one day” into their careers all the way to the top agents in Phoenix, AZ. Helping them with their marketing plans and expanding their businesses, offline and online. Then one weekend in Las Vegas back in 2010 changed (met my wife) all of that and 2 years later I am in Washington DC! That is the short and skinny of me, my background and how I came to be DCTitleGuy.
I can’t tell you how many times I hear that real estate online leads suck. With that said, I know many Realtors that spend big money each month on online leads. It’s like saying postcards get a very small return and are thrown in the trash, yet people send them out every month hoping to get that listing or buyer calls. The issue is real estate online leads don’t suck…it’s the kind of online leads they get AND the people trying to convert them to clients. Online leads are actually some of the best “leads” you can get, but the issue is where are your online leads coming from? In my opinion online leads get a bad wrap. There are many factors into WHY this is, and I want to discuss the reasons Realtors hate online leads, and what they can do to make sure the online leads they do receive are primed prospects ready to act!
Having been in the Title business since 2005, I have seen many things as it relates to methods used by Title Companies to generate business. When I was a Title sales rep in Phoenix, AZ most of the major Title Companies has sales teams. These salespeople would lead generate Realtors and lenders to create Title orders for their company. There were some companies that had joint ventures or MSA’s (market service agreements) but they were not prevalent. Mostly because of the many Title salespeople each company had that caused the “capture rate” of those agreements are pretty low. When I moved to the Washington DC area, I found the opposite is true. Most Title Companies had joint ventures or other agreements in place and very few employed salespeople who generated the organic business. Let’s discuss the two different Title Company business models, how they work and the major differences.
This is not a blog about how amazing Stewart Title is because we have the best service, escrow staff, etc. Everyone says that about their company. I want to talk about the REAL differences that influence and affect YOU…our clients. Settlement and Title Companies are everywhere in each market. Figuring out who to use to support your business can be tough, especially if they essentially all do the same things. Realtors are viewed the same way. If you don’t have at least one strong value proposition, you are in trouble as consumers will view you as the same as other Realtors.
I was having lunch last week with a client and we were discussing his current business model. This client primarily works by referral and spends his marketing dollars and time sending notes, making calls, and doing pop-byes. All great, but I asked him a question…“What are you doing to keep your real estate sales funnel full…with NEW people?” He looked at me and I could tell he was unsure on the answer. If your entire database is 50 people, it is a limited number of people who can use your services and refer you to others. What if your database was 100 or 200+ people? What would that look like for your business? This applies for Realtors, Lenders, and Title Reps. You have to always be adding new people into the sales funnel. Not doing so limits your business tremendously. Taking the right “action steps” to get new people is the challenging part. Here are some tips to make it happen!
For quite a while, there have been rumblings in our industry about eClosings. If you are unaware about eClosings, they allow us to conduct a settlement with a buyer/borrower electronically over a computer. Essentially we are doing a “face-time” with the buyer and they sign their closing documents similar to DocuSign. The documents are “e-notarized” and “e-recorded.” If you think this is too outside the box, keep in mind, this technology has been used for years for many things we do in our normal lives. I can pay my mortgage on my phone through an app, or I can order Domino’s Pizza and know online exactly when it goes into the oven. Why not closing on a home? The eClosing process is very easy and Stewart Title has partnered with Pavaso to make things even easier for our clients. Here is a press release that just came out: