Today, we have with us Mayank Agarwal, a seasoned professional and expert in the field of real estate. Mayank is growing two prominent real estate companies as we speak; The Green Cottage, which operates as an agency to help find families and individuals their perfect home, and EdState, an education-based venture that aims to empower aspiring real estate professionals with the skills and knowledge they need to make it big in the field. Mayank explains how almost any new professional starting in real estate, especially in selling, has always asked him this question at some point during their journey: How do I generate leads?
In his advice, he explains that he has always tried to guide them as effectively as possible because he believes that leads are one of the most crucial initial steps of making a sale. “The key to generating good leads is to diversify,” he reveals. “If your leads are all coming from the same place, there is a chance you are missing out on a very huge demographic and a new market to tap into. So this is my constant advice: to have good leads, make sure you diversify,” he adds. In this conversation, he also answered some specific questions related to lead generation:
- How do I use Google ads to my advantage?
If you ask me which is the best place to hide a dead body, I’d say it’s the second page of a Google result. This is exactly why it’s important your website ranks on the very first page of a Google property-related search. Using Google Ads can help you do exactly this.
You can generate leads using good SEO tools, such as keywords and landing pages, and there are literally no bounds to the number of people that will find your page. You can create multiple landing pages or micro sites of your best projects and advertise them using Google ads. If you have prior consent and are a channel partner, you can create the same project micro-site yourself. Advertising with this method might prove to be slightly costly, but it is worth every penny.
- How important is it to be on social media?
No matter how much you try to avoid it, it is undeniable that a growing business that wants to scale will have to build an online presence. Instead of realizing this in the later stages, why not adopt this method in the start and reap its fruits before your competitors?
Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook have their own strengths that you can capitalize on. Facebook is great for generating leads and might be a great source for low-ticket-size projects. On the other hand, Instagram is a great way to tap into the millennial market. Ads on these platforms are comparatively cheaper than Google Ads, but the leads might also be proportionately weaker. Despite this, they are a great way to ensure a large quantity of low-ticket-size sales.
YouTube, too, is an undiscovered gem for brokers to generate leads. Well-shot, visually appealing, and skilfully edited videos can make your property attractive. Having an impactful CTA towards the end can be great for generating leads.
I can say this strongly because social media, particularly my Instagram handle @realestatewithmayank, has helped me reach a completely untapped market of unique leads of people from various age groups.
- Are SMS blasts and cold calling relevant in today’s day and age?
Yes, of course. They might seem traditional compared to the new forms of marketing that have come up, but they are still very effective for realtors. SMS blasts are used to simultaneously send a message to as many as 100,000 people. Moreover, this will only cost you about Rs 11,000 to 14,000. They come with a character limit, but these should be seen as an opportunity instead of a drawback. Short, snappy messages with an attractive price and effective CTA with a link to your website can be the best way to draw clients using few but impactful words.
On the other hand, cold calling or telemarketing can be effective, especially when you know how to target the right customers. The first deal I closed was through a cold call. So I will never stop believing in their power. It needs tremendous patience, but it will reap results too. Make sure you follow all the regulations the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) laid down when engaging in SMS blasts or telemarketing.
- Should I consider signing up on a real estate website? Aren’t they our competitors?
Third-party websites such as MagicBricks, Housing.com, and 99 Acres might seem like a competitor (which they are to a certain extent). But not if you know how to use these websites to your advantage. These sites receive traffic of 13-16 million people monthly, so you can make space for yourself in this huge market.
They even have special listing packages that they sell to brokers. Even if you begin with a package of 50 listings that get you one lead per listing per week, you will have 200 leads in a month. So it is clearly worth the investment. Moreover, if your listings have good pictures and descriptions, you are six times more likely to be noticed by clients compared to vague and incomplete listings.
- How often should I be networking?
Attending real estate events and grabbing as many networking opportunities as possible will fare you well in the future. Today, I have a vast network of brokers and dealers in my contacts because I tried to network with them years ago and maintained those contacts frequently. Now, if I need help with sourcing property in their area, or just general guidance, this community is the one that has helped me navigate with ease through these challenges.
I cannot stress the importance of being in touch with your peers because if you are not part of a company and are figuring out real estate by yourself, this support can mean a lot. You can learn about new developments in the field and make new contacts, and through their client database, you can generate possible leads for yourself too. Don’t poach clients, but try to work with another broker and see if you have any property in mind that suits their requirements better.
Being a part of some networking clubs that meet every quarter or more might also mean that the club, with its extensive contacts and resources, might give its members access to their list of potential clients. These can become a great repository of leads for you. Establishing genuine, mutually beneficial connections with chartered accountants, wealth managers, and insurance agents can also be a very good source of leads for any real estate broker or sales personnel.
- Advertising is very costly. Is it worth the investment?
If you want to scale, you need to advertise. There is no other way around this. An option like advertising might seem daunting, especially if your business is in its initial stages. But using tools such as search engine optimization and targeted advertising might provide you with your money’s worth quickly.
Knowing where your target audience consumes their content and then reaching out to them through that medium will furnish the most effective results for your company. This strategy has benefitted me more than I can imagine, and it is a skill acquired through experience and patience.
I believe lead generation is the first and most crucial step to selling real estate. If your leads are not stellar or are riddled with people who are not genuine buyers, you will never see conversion despite employing the best strategies that exist.
Therefore, before putting in the effort to show around scores of properties, and devising marketing and follow-up strategies, take one step back and examine whether the people you are targeting are the right ones. This simple step will make the rest of your selling process much easier and produce results quickly.
I also want to stress the importance of personal branding. It is imperative to have a brand that reflects honesty, superlative service, and value addition to the customer’s purpose. I have a simple rule: look at advertising from the consumer’s POV. Do they know ‘Mayank Agarwal’? If yes, they will easily trust me enough to allow me to showcase my flats.