I have 120 agents in my office. Which means that there are at LEAST that many business plans going on all around me every day. When you throw in the Search Engine Optimization clients that I do work for at EricOnSearch (many outside of the real estate industry), that is a tremendous number of folks I meet whose livelihood depends on marketing and leads. Many of these good businesspeople have had it tough in the past year. Many have had less business than they would have liked. This past weekend, I went through my rolodex of clients, friends and agents in our office. I found something interesting and want to share it with you.
Of the people who were doing TRULY poorly this year, ALL of them had relied on a single source of leads and/or a single marketing channel to drive leads to their business. Seriously.
Many of these good folks had become complacent in getting a lot of leads from a single source, month after month and then it went away and their livelihood was jeopardized. For the record, this included folks who had not continued to invest in their SEO efforts, which is a high risk, high reward sort of thing. I often hear so many people on the web say “Don’t do that, it is a waste of time.” …”Don’t use these guys, they don’t work.” I have heard that…even about HomeGain quite a bit. (Confession time: Used to say it myself…grin). No matter where your business is or how you market, if you are not diverse, you are one market shift away from having a bad year (or even a bad couple of months).
Of the people who were doing OK or GOOD this year, ALL of them had at least 2 and most often 3 sources of leads and/or had built exposure in at least 2 marketing channels to drive leads. Seriously.
It was uncanny how this broke out. It takes multiple streams of income. Many of these folks have told me in the past how glad they are that they had at least one thing going as the other stream dried up.
Of the people who were having their best year ever (5 of them are!), they ALL had not only been doing what the others who were GOOD were doing, but they were ACTIVELY cultivating AT LEAST 2 new sources of business or were partnering with others who had those areas covered to pick up the synergy. Seriously.
These are the people who are notoriously diggers and rainmakers. These folks not only dig, but they evaluate and measure EVERYTHING that they do so that they can see what works. They don’t mind paying for what works. But it has to work.
What was my take home lesson for the weekend? I am going to diversify my own sources of income, with more SEO clients. I have been REALLY selective in the past. More importantly, many of my SEO and office clients are going to get a personal note from me explaining what I just wrote and suggesting that they diversify their marketing portfolio to include leads from sources such as HomeGain. While I am totally against companies that are competing against me in the search engines or who compete with REALTORS, I think that working WITH companies insofar as they are pulling leads from non competing marketing channels (and that is important.)and that are true partners with the REALTOR (and that is even more important) makes business sense. Especially in tough times. Seriously.