bullseyeDuring November and December, I’m focusing on business planning in both of my blogs. Look for ready to use checklists, processes, and systems. Let’s all get great plans for 2014! (Also, see Management in a Minute, for business planning tips for leadership).

What’s your lead generating plan for 2014? We all love it when some seminar guru tells us we just have to take care of our present and past clients and we’ll get rich. The first part of that statement is true. We DO have to take care of our present and past clients, and that’s an important part of re-creating our business. And, the sad truth is, many real estate agents do a very poor job of that. So, we do start there. But, what if you don’t have enough ‘potentials’ from those sources? You must look further.

Your Business Success Greatly Depends on Your Having Enough Lead Generating Sources

Here’s where the difficulty comes in. In many instances today, a real estate agent, even a seasoned one, does not have enough past clients to provide the necessary leads to grow his business in a challenging market. My experience, having been a top salesperson, and directly managing hundreds of salespeople, has taught me that reaching your monetary goals starts with enough lead generating sources. You must have at least 100 active, identifiable past clients, in your up-to-date database, to drive your business upward. And, in some markets, that may not be enough.

Other Exceptional Sources of Leads for the Experienced Agent

In my resource for the experienced agent, On Track to Success in 30 Days System for Experienced Agents, I’ve worked really hard to help experienced agents see where they’re ‘missing the boat’. Too many get stuck in a career rut. Or, they may put barriers in front of themselves that keep them from reaching that next career level. Besides helping them put their careers under a microscope to find solutions, I’ve also provided solutions that work in this challenging market–including a lead generating plan.

I have identified 5 sources of leads for you that most agents never think of.  They are especially good for experienced agents, because you have been in the business and you have a wealth of knowledge and experience.  Putting these sources of leads into your lead generation and marketing plans will dramatically increase your business.  In this blog, let’s talk about the first source, the ‘client orphans’.

The Good and Bad News about those Orphans

What are client ‘orphans’? These are buyers and sellers who closed transactions with an agent in your office. The agent has left the business. Now, the client has no one to turn to. You can step into this breach. If you need business, and are willing to create and implement a marketing plan to reach out and communicate or time with these ignored people, you can ‘adopt’ them.  Who is keeping in touch with those ‘orphaned’ buyers and sellers?  No one.

Orphans May be Unhappy with the Company

Be aware, though, they may not be too accommodating when you first talk with them.  They are disappointed that someone has not cared enough about their interests to keep in touch. (This is a great lesson to all of us. Never, ever, love ‘em and leave ‘em!).

Note: A recent survey showed that less than 1/3 of agents who closed transactions went back to the buyers and sellers they worked with AFTER the transaction closed. No wonder clients think we love them and leave them. We do!

How to ‘Adopt’ Those Orphans

When someone leaves your office, go to your manager and get a list of their ‘orphaned’ buyers and sellers.  Call those people, and explain that the manager has asked you to keep in touch.  They will be thankful and appreciative.  You will gain another source of business, and the industry’s image (and the company’s image) will be maintained–or raised.

Manager’s tip: Create a system to re-assign those orphaned buyers and sellers to an agent willing to form a relationship with them.  If you do this regularly, you will save lots of marketing dollars (remember, it costs 6-9 times more to get a new customer), and you will increase your company’s reputation as a company who cares.  Also, you will provide lead sources regularly for your agents.

Building your Business AND the Reputation of the Company and Industry

You and I both hate it when a client says the agent didn’t get back to them or keep in touch. Many times, that’s because the agent was either an uncommitted part-timer or out of the business. By adopting client orphans, you can prove that real estate agents care more than just a commission. This not only raises your image, but the image of your company and of the industry. Plus, it provides you another source of ‘leads’ who learn to love you.

Your business review: Figure out where your business came from last year. Do you have enough potential sources from those ‘target markets’ to reach your goals for next year? If not, you’ll need to add more sources.

Do it the easy way. Get all the templates, guides, and advice you need to create a great plan for 2014.

Plan_Act_CelebrateComplimentary Business Planning Webinar

4 Big Shifts to Make your Business Plan Exceptional in 2014

Join me Nov. 21 for 4 big shifts you should make in your business to grow it (without more work or investment!) in 2014.

Just a few of the things you’ll learn:

  • What’s been missing in your plan, and why it’s so important to include so your plan isn’t just words on paper
  • How to get the support you need to assure your plan works
  • How to think through your plan so it makes sense in ‘real life’
  • An attribute you have that you haven’t been using that will make a huge difference in your business
  • What some of the most successful businesses in the world are doing in 2014–that you can copy in your own business for much more success

Who should attend:

  • Those without a plan: If you have never had a plan, or planning didn’t work for you, here’s your opportunity to get some guidance, motivation, and inspiration.
  • Those who have planned in the past: If you have had a plan in the past, you’ll get new strategies to build into your 2014 plan,
  • Those agents serious about growing their businesses!!!!!!

(Managers invited, too.)   Click here to register.

Carla Cross literally ‘wrote the book on business planning’ for real estate professionals (the only one of its kind published internationally). Cross has written business planning courses and taught for most of the international real estate franchises. Her planning process has been tested ‘in the field’ and acclaimed as the most effective planning process for real estate pros available.

Space will fill up! Register now and get the information and inspiration to make your 2014 exceptional.