Working with a lead generation company has given me interesting insight into both real estate leads and agents. I dealt with both ends: the consumer and the agents themselves, and my job was to make them both happy. Yeah right. Easier said than done.The consumer side is easy – real estate leads want a home value, they want information on the market, they want a real estate agent and we get them that. The real estate agents? Well that’s another story – they pretty much wanted everything under the sun when it comes to real estate leads. They wanted to be handed people ready to list their homes with them asap, with no work involved on the agent’s part. They want listings, not real estate leads.Well, if I could provide that consistently, all the time, I’d either have a multi-million dollar company, or I’d be doing real estate full time myself. Get this through your heads agents: there is no magic service out there that will hand you listings for a low fee. Instead, these services provide you with real estate leads and it is YOUR job to turn them into clients. Got that? Real estate leads + you = clients!YOU went to the classes, YOU studied up on sales and marketing techniques and YOU printed up all kinds of trinkets with your name and logo on them for your real estate leads. Ergo, YOU must convince your real estate leads to work with you. And if you’re not converting them, maybe you need to take a look at your own methods, rather than immediately blame the source of the real estate leads.By now, I’ve probably heard every excuse under the sun as to why online real estate leads are bad or bogus. And that’s all it is, an excuse, a cop out to make you feel better about not being able to turn your real estate leads into listings. That being said, here are the top 5 cop-outs I’ve heard over the years about following up with real estate leads and my responses to them.1. I’m a new agent and no one wants to use a new agent.Well, how do they know you’re a new agent? Did you announce it the second you spoke with your real estate leads? You don’t need to tell all your real estate leads that you’re new. If they ask, tell them, and be honest, but don’t just volunteer the information. And how to you know “no one” wants to use a new agent – sounds like a gross generalization to me. You won’t know until you get out there and try – convince your real estate leads that to be new means you’re cutting edge, the best thing out there right now, show them what an expert you’ve become, even if you’re new to the business. Just TRY to convert them. Assuming from the start your real estate leads won’t want to use you because you’re new doesn’t even give you a chance.2. Some real estate leads are on the Do Not Call Registry.So? There’s no such thing as a Do Not Knock list. If your real estate leads are on the DNC Registry and you feel THAT uncomfortable risking a call, you should have your butt in the car, directions in your hand and preparing yourself mentally for your introduction once you knock at their door. And actually, as per the basic rules of the Do Not Call Registry, if a consumer on the lists makes an inquiry (which is what online real estate leads are!), you can contact them for up to 3 months after the inquiry. So you’ve got 3 months to get them on the phone, after that, there’s still always that door! Don’t use the DNC as a cop-out method with real estate leads. It’s a flimsy excuse.3. It’s unprofessional to go knock on someone’s door.This is the line I usually got after suggesting stopping by the property. My thing is, who said so? Who told you it is unprofessional to go visit your real estate leads’ homes and drop off the information they requested? That is a matter of opinion and as long as your real estate leads don’t think it’s unprofessional, you’re good. And by showing initiative and going out of your way to meet your real estate leads, you may have just earned a client for life.4. These real estate leads are too far from my area, or it’s in a very bad part of town.This is probably my favorite cop out, because it just sounds ridiculous to me. If your real estate leads are too far, why did you sign up for that area? Or, if you are getting some real estate leads out of your area, how far? Most of the time, agents complain about having to drive 30 minutes away. To me, 30 minutes of my time is DEFINITELY worth the fat commission check I could get. And if some real estate leads are too far, haven’t you EVER heard of a REFERRAL COMMISSION? Find an great agent in the lead’s area and send it on over. That way you’ll still get a portion of the commission AND you’ve saved 30 precious minutes of your time.When real estate leads are in a bad part of town, it usually means it’s a very low-value home and is located in either a ghetto or backwater somewhere. It pisses me off when real estate agents say that the home isn’t worth their time. Guess what buddy? When you got your license, you gained knowledge that others don’t have, but will need at some point. You should be willing and open to share this with your real estate leads, no matter what the economic status of their home and income is. If you don’t want to help them, no one can force you, but you are a BAD agent if you’re not at least willing to find someone who will your real estate leads.5. If they wanted to be contacted, they would have given all their correct contact information.This is a tough one, because on one level I do agree with this SOMEWHAT. Real estate leads who give a good name, number, address and email seems to be more approachable than real estate leads that have fake names, or fake numbers, etc. But again, this statement is really a matter of opinion. You have NO idea what’s going through the consumer’s head when they filled out their information. Maybe they’re not technologically savvy and thought if they put their phone number over the Web, everybody would get it. Maybe they mistyped something. Maybe they don’t want to be hassled daily by telemarketer calls but DO still want the information. Until you actually touch base with your real estate leads, you have no idea where their head is at. What would hurt worse, getting a phone slammed in your ear, or missing out on a $15,000 commission because you THOUGHT they didn’t need anything since they gave a wrong phone number?These 5 objections are really just cop-outs and excuses in disguise for not following up with your real estate leads. And pretty flimsy ones at that. If these are your objections to your real estate leads, you need to stop sitting around thinking up objections and just get out there and GO. Start contacting those real estate leads, start making phone calls and sending postcards. You may not convert them all, but I guarantee if you put your all into following up with every single one of your real estate leads no matter what objections you may have, you will see a HUGE increase in your conversion rate. You just have to get in there and TRY.
Super 8 is a very good movie. I’ve read reviews that have criticized it, particularly the ending, but that is a critic’s job. I have only one criterion for movies and that is did I like it. I liked this one. This movie is action packed, funny in parts (unfunny at times when trying to be funny), scary and just plain fun.It successfully creates the homage to Steven Spielberg that J. J. Abrams intended. It’s a few parts Goonies, a few parts Close Encounters of the Third Kind and a little bit E.T.Although I am not a movie critic my son does run an online home gift and decor store so I want to poke fun at the drab interiors of the few houses that were shown in the movie. The movie takes place in 1979 as evidenced from a TV news report in the background that the Three Mile Island disaster had just occurred. Yet the home interiors look like they are out of the 1950’s. They are drab and depressing. Of course this may have been done for effect, but I’m not sure what effect they were going for. The movie is engaging and upbeat overall so it wouldn’t have killed the set designers to throw in a few nice indoor statues, a decorative mirror or two, gothic candlesticks or some nice lamps.This is middle class 1979 America that we are talking about here. Today you can get great statues and other decorative home decor for $35.00 on up so it must have been even cheaper back then (except for that nasty inflationary bubble that was still around).I am in awe of creative talent because I don’t have any. The creative talent behind many modern movies are special effects and set designers. The special effects in most movies (even movies that I don’t particularly like) blow me away because I do not have the vision that it takes to create them. If you see too many special effects movies in a row the effects can all start looking the same, but really they are distinct works of art (if you want to argue what art is with me don’t bother – I’m not that interested in the subject).You don’t even have to go to special effects for this. Before today’s special effects, the mainstay of many movies was the chase scene (it still is, but oftentimes special effects are incorporated). Creating a chase is not easy. You have to design every twist and turn, every explosion, every side swipe and so on. I’ve been told that there are writers that specialize in chase scenes. This may not be the forte of the main screenplay writer so he or she uses the services of a specialist to write a chase scene.Back to Super 8. The lifeless home interiors in the movie seem more appropriate for today than the 1970’s. Today we have massive economic problems. Households may look drab because of high unemployment and record foreclosure rates. Houses in 1979 should look more optimistic. They should be filled with decorative fountains, unique vases, wall friezes and most of all gargoyles statues. That’s right – gargoyles. One thing about gargoyles is that you can throw them into any type of decor and they liven things up.This now officially makes me a movie critic and probably the only one who has addressed home decor. Next time I see a movie that has a scene in a restaurant I’m going to criticize the silverware.