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Business Planning: Your 2024 Lead Pillars

Find me a realtor who doesn’t want more leads… I’ll wait.


Seriously though, leads are something that you can never have too many of. As Realtors we obsess over them!


We are now in the fourth episode of our series on business planning. If you’re following along, by now you should know how many appointments you will need next year in order to reach your goals. That leaves us at the next question: How will we create the leads we need in order to generate these appointments?


When we look at successful real estate businesses, almost invariably they get the vast majority of their leads from only 3-4 main sources. The trick isn’t to have a huge quantity of sources, it's to get really really good at the ones you use.


Think of your lead generation plan like a table, with each of the strategies being a leg of the table. One leg and you will quickly topple over, two isn’t much better. Three can work but if the market changes and you lose a leg, you’re in trouble. Ideally you have 3-4 strategies you are excellent at which bring you the majority of your leads.


A hand holding a compass in the forest

Selecting strategies


Strategies will broadly fall under either Prospecting or Marketing.


Prospecting = activities you do to generate business

  • Time intensive

  • Low cost/no cost

  • Faster results

Marketing = content you create to attract interest

  • Low time investment

  • Higher cost

  • Long term strategy


You should also consider the “Feedback Loop” you will receive from your strategies. If you are focused on marketing, it can be hard to know what’s wrong when you don’t get results. Prospecting on the other hand gives you a much more instantaneous response because you are live, in it. If you say something dumb you know right away and can try something different on the next one.


Smart agents start with Prospecting because it’s easier to control and more cost effective. As you grow, you’ll hit a point where you just can’t do any more through prospecting. This is when you add in marketing.


Take a moment to consider the advantages and disadvantages different strategies have:

  • Some create leads which convert more quickly than others. For example, open houses are typically quicker to convert than web-leads.

  • Some strategies will take some time to begin working. For Example: Farming and Podcasts. When done correctly, these often gain momentum

  • Some are high stakes “one to many” approaches. For example: Seminars


Ideally you can create opportunities for your strategies to cross pollinate with one another. Consider the agent who has a pumpkin giveaway inside her farm and invites her past clients to partake.


Review the below image for a sample of lead generation options. Choose three or four and make note of which one you are going to start with. Don’t move onto the second one until you have mastered the first.

A list of lead generation options

Mapping out your 12 Point Plan


I use this simple tool in so many different aspects of my life. Walking through it for your lead generation strategy I encourage you to consider other applications you can use it in. I’ve found it helpful in areas ranging from health to course creation to crafting my personal live mission.


You can download a template below:

12 Point Business Plan
.pdf
Download PDF • 278KB

Here’s how it works

This tool is designed to help you break down a complex plan into it’s simplest form. Remove all the noise and just focus on the key action items.


The process is very simple:

  1. Start by crafting a clear and concise goal

  2. Select the three most important strategies to focus on in reaching it

  3. List the four most important action items in each of the three focus areas


The goal

This is the most important part and it’s often here that people make fatal mistakes.


The goal, and everything else in your 12 point plan, should be SMS: Specific, Measurable and Simple. In this instance, the goal should be the number of annual appointments you need.


“Generate enough leads to create 22 listing appointments and 30 buyer appointments” for example.


If you can’t make the goal Specific, Measurable and Simple, at least make it directional. If you need more help you can review my article on Sept 6 2023: Five Reasons Why Your Goals Are Stupid.


The three strategies

The next thing you need to do is throw all your cool ideas out the window.


Seriously, we tend to have a wish list of cool strategies we want to test out which can distract you from reaching your goals. It’s possible that these could be great strategies, but it isn’t guaranteed. So they need to EARN their way onto your plan.


Ask yourself: If you could only do one thing, what thing would be the most certain in ensuring that you reach your goal?

That ONE thing is what you list as your first strategy.


Repeat the process until you have your three (or four) strategies!


Sit back and look at them: are the three strategies SMS? Are they clear? Do they interact nicely with each other? Can they cross pollenate or accelerate one another as they get moving?


Selecting strategies which work in concert with one another can make well selected strategies more powerful than otherwise better options when viewed alone. Consider wisely!


The four action items:

Almost there! Seriously, it’s easier than most people think.


Now that you have your three strategies, it’s time to get some action items down on paper. This is where you get granular.


Work your way through all the implementation options and select the most powerful.


Sometimes it can be hard to be very specific in the middle section. I find the 3 strategies I select are often more directional than measurable. Careful! In this final section it’s imperative that you get specific and measurable. This is where you roll out the prescription.

  • How many times are you going to do the action to bring the required result?

  • What are the specific places you are going to post the content you create?

  • Who will you partner with to roll out your plan?

  • When are you expecting to see results?


Make sure that you can come back to this and know if you are living up to it in six months when you’re half way through the year!


Three people jumping with excitement

Putting it all together


If you’re like me, you might find yourself loving these things!


I’ve always thought that a plan isn’t a very good one if you can’t fit it on one page. Take this format and use it as a way to simplify things down to their basics. I bet you’ll start finding all kinds of places in your life which would benefit from having a simple one page overview.


Create versions of this plan for your budget, your personal growth, your kids education, your health, you wealth… the list could be endless.


Moving further into your lead generation strategy, you can double down by creating additional 12 point plans for each of the three strategies or by moving in the opposite direction and create an appointment conversion plan. You can apply this tool in so many ways. It never ceases to amaze me!


Remember, keep it SMS and have FUN exploring the different parts of your business and life you can apply this to.


Next up, we continue in our business planning adventure: Your MAP - Monthly Action Plan. A Simple, one page, personal accountability tracker.



See you next week!


Sean

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