Q: “Denise, I have about 50% of my business coming from a relocation company which sounds great, right? I get around 20 transactions per year from this lead generation source. But at the end of the day, what I am paying in referral fees back to this company is atrocious! I did the math and for 2017, I earned less than $25 per hour on those leads and that was before some of my other expenses! I can’t go on like this, but how do I make a break?”
You would be shocked to hear how many of my clients have this same issue when they start working with me. And the problem is that it can be very very hard to start to turn away from a lead generation source because of the sense of security it provides. But the problem with either relocation leads from a relocation company or paying for online leads is that you are paying too much for the privilege of doing these transactions either with your money or with your time. And in your case, it’s both.
The other challenge is that with some companies, if you start to turn down leads, next thing you know, they won’t provide you with more. So I am not going to give you a cold turkey plan here. You need to get stronger before you can let this lead source go but it is going to take several months of hard work and self-investment. Here’s what you need to do:
- You have to take care of your database. Clean it up and make a plan to connect with each person in there month-in and month-out. You can’t skirt around this. It is the core of your business and what is going to get you the strongest in the quickest amount of time.
- If your database numbers are lacking, then you have to make a plan to connect with more people. It is as simple as that. Open houses, networking groups, old-fashioned connecting can get you meeting the people you need to build a thriving business. You can easily, with focus, add 10-15 good people to your database each and every month IF you need to add people. If you already have a few hundred, you don’t necessarily need to add more.
- Are you taking care of your past clients? Do you do a special report for them on their property once a year? Do you have a client appreciation event? These things are critical for making sure you keep those connections strong and develop a strong ongoing referral source.
- What are you going to substitute your relo leads with? You need to have a plan in place to connect with other leads. Yes, this might be through open houses or networking like I mentioned above, but that might also include a farm area, MLS prospecting, or a niche market.
The problem is that if you are working twice as hard to get the income you need due to the referral fees you are paying out, it can be tough to find the time to implement these four things. But if you were disciplined and devoted 2-3 hours a week to the above (think Hour of Power <link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkfGmqXZMGk> ), I would be shocked that if in six months or less you weren’t feeling strong enough to start to pass on some of those relo leads.