S1 E6: Why You Should Lead Generate In Real Estate Daily
Emily launched her real estate career in late 2015, but didn’t kick it into gear until January, 2016. In her first, 10 months in real estate, Emily closed an amazing 36 transactions. In fact, on one single day she closed three transactions.
But, just as quickly as success came, her business dried up after closing that 36th transaction. After averaging 3 transactions a month, Emily went 5 months without a single transaction.
So, she stepped back to analyze what was happening, and soon had the “a-ha” moment that would redefine her career. She realized that she was spending nearly all of her time working on transactions, at the expense of lead generation.
She re-focused, putting her priority on daily lead generation, with Espresso Agent as the foundation of her efforts. And she hasn’t looked back.
“My business looks completely different now than it did back then,” she says. “I have a team, so now I can focus on my highest and best use of time, which is lead generation and conversions.”
Noel LaFerme (00:00):
Hi, I’m Noel with Today’s Brew, where top producing real estate agents share their tips on taking more listings, making more money, and having fun doing it. On today’s episode, I’d like to welcome Emily Terrell from San Antonio, Texas. Hi, Emily.
Emily Terrell (00:23):
Hey, I’m so excited to be here today.
Noel LaFerme (00:24):
Thank you. Let’s jump right into it. How long have you been doing real estate, Emily?
Emily Terrell (00:30):
So, I got my license back in 2015, towards the end of 2015. I did a few deals, but I really started headfirst into real estate right at the beginning of 2016.
Noel LaFerme (00:44):
Okay. What were you doing prior to that? What led you in into the real estate career?
Emily Terrell (00:49):
Sure. So actually, before becoming a real estate agent, I ran a marketing department. So I made the phone ring. It was, “Hello, you want to talk about your car’s extended auto warranty.” I kind of lived in spreadsheets and call projections. I was really organized at just making the phone ring. Not too much because you’ll lose leads, but not too little because then your salespeople are just sitting there not doing anything. After I had my first son, I decided that I didn’t like working 9 to 5 anymore, I was spending too much time away from him. So I became a stay-at-home mom. I was a stay-at-home mom for about six months, and I realized I just didn’t feel fulfilled. I didn’t feel like I was contributing financially towards my marriage. And so I decided I’m going to get my real estate license. Because it was so easy. I can just go there and my phone’s going to ring, and people are just going to come to me and want to buy houses. I sold the house one time. It was just easy.
Noel LaFerme (01:53):
Mm-hmm. It’s not easy though.
Emily Terrell (01:57):
Not at all. I learned very quickly that I was wrong.
Noel LaFerme (02:00):
So what did you do? What did you do next? How did you get your career going and moving forward, finding out that it’s not so easy?
Emily Terrell (02:07):
Sure. So, in my first year, I ended up working through 36 transactions. Which for me that was, “Well, this is great.” This is still not exactly difficult, but it was fun. It was challenging. It gave me something to live for. I learned later on as I’m going through my career that it was a really good start.
Noel LaFerme (02:34):
Emily Terrell (02:36):
Yeah. No, during that time I did a couple things. I do have a great Sphere of Influence. I leaned into them significantly and was able to secure several first contracts that way, just by helping friends and family and people that I knew. I also worked through open houses, specifically with new construction homes. We have some great new construction communities around San Antonio that get a lot of foot traffic into them. So I was strategic in building relationships with the salespeople, and doing open houses there. And I worked it to where, if somebody came in because of my open house, I could call the salesperson. They would still talk them through a contract of buying, but make sure that I was the representation for that contract.
Noel LaFerme (03:20):
Okay. So you prospect, I’m assuming?
Emily Terrell (03:24):
Yeah. So well, let me kind of explain what happened. So, I go through, I’m working from January of 2016 through October. I closed all 36 transactions. I get to October, I was killing it. Words are being thrown around like, rookie of the year and all these awards and things as well. October hits, I have an amazing month. I closed seven transactions. Three of them were in one day. So I get to that, and then all of a sudden I had nothing. I didn’t close another transaction for five months.
Noel LaFerme (04:06):
Emily Terrell (04:07):
Yeah. And it was honestly because I was spending so much time in my transactions that I didn’t prioritize lead generation. So I learned during that time that I needed to start lead generating. Now I did, I had the help of a coach. I actually started coaching in the middle of that time, not knowing that I was going to have a massive drought. And what he taught me during that time was to start creating daily activities to help get business right now. So I didn’t have a transaction from October until March. And my one in March, by the way, was a $39,000 lot. But then from May until the end of the year, I closed another 74 transactions.
Noel LaFerme (04:56):
Emily Terrell (04:57):
Yeah. And a lot of it had to do with two things. Number one, daily activities. So, lead generation was a priority for me. And then I also developed four lead generation pillars that I could work easily at all times.
Noel LaFerme (05:12):
Okay. Tell us about that. Tell us your morning routine, how you start your business every day.
Emily Terrell (05:17):
Sure. So, my business does look completely different now than it did back then. I do have a team now. I focus on my highest and best use of time, which is going to be lead generation and conversion. My contract knowledge, just with my knowledge, I’m able to use the contract to help negotiate and be better for my clients. And then I do big picture, anything that’s big picture, where our team is going, how we’re going to grow, training for our agents, stuff like that. So it’s going to be more big picture. But for me, I get up… Time with my family is a huge importance for me. It’s something that I prioritized in my business very early on. So I do that. I ended up having my second son while being a full-time real estate agent. So that became a major priority for me. So I spend that time with them.
My second priority is working out. I do it every day. It’s a non-negotiable for me. I don’t schedule any client’s appointments until after 9:30 so that I can do that. First thing that I do is… Now, let me preface this, when I ran my own transactions, just to kind of help. When I ran my own transactions, I would log into a transaction task management system that I have built. I would go into it. I would look at all the tasks that I needed to do that day for that transaction, for any transaction that I was working. I would do the tasks that were assigned for that day. After I finished that, then I would move into lead generation and conversion. That time is spent ideally one hour a day. But honestly, I would try to do four to five hours a day.
Noel LaFerme (07:02):
Are you still doing lead gen four to five hours a day?
Emily Terrell (07:06):
I do. I try to do lead generation all day every day. Because again, right now that is my highest and best use of my time. In reality so what happens if we’re spending our time in our transactions? Exactly what happened to me my first year. We’re in our transactions, we have a ton going on, we don’t lead generate so we tank. Then we lead generate again, because we have no business, we’re freaking out. And then we get a lot of transactions, and then we stop lead generating, and then we tank. So, I have systemized the way I look at my transactions, so they take less time. And so now I can prioritize lead generating.
Noel LaFerme (07:44):
And what kind of lead generation are you doing? I’m assuming you use Espresso Agent and-
Emily Terrell (07:48):
We try to.
Noel LaFerme (07:49):
… it helped your business a lot.
Emily Terrell (07:51):
… for expireds and for sell by owners. So I have four main lead pillars. So expireds and for sell by owners, those are set up on long-term drips. But I also pepper in individual calling and texting with them so I can reach out on a daily basis. Because if somebody’s on a drip, they know they’re on a drip. So we do that.
Noel LaFerme (08:13):
It’s not personal.
Emily Terrell (08:14):
Yeah, it’s not personalized. So I bring in, a lot of the time I spend with my CRM is going to be looking at individual clients, sending out video, CMAs, stuff like that. So expired to sell by owners. I also work heavily with investors. That one was built with sweat equity. So imagine me, I was eight months pregnant at happy hours at cocktail parties and stuff like that, trying to talk to investors about having me list their properties. I put in a lot of sweat equity there. I also work past clients at my Sphere of Influence. I am very specific on the way that I reach out to my past clients. They always know that I’m communicating with them. I’m also heavily invested in the social media aspect of who I speak to. For me, a lot of my past clients in Sphere of Influence follow me on Facebook.
Noel LaFerme (09:04):
So you’re expireds right now in this current market, when you’re calling your expireds, are you calling older expireds?
Emily Terrell (09:12):
We have a combination. So San Antonio’s weird. We still do have new expireds and canceleds that are coming up. So I do reach out to them on a pretty aggressive basis. Then I also do reach out to older expireds. So we’re always looking 2, 3, 4 months, 6 months in the past to help reach out to them. Because especially if somebody expired in October, November time, we’re in a different… I mean, our market’s different from October until now. It’s different. We are starting to see a huge spring rush come in. So now is a great time for them to re-list their house, be able to move in the summer and work through that. So we’re working through that, and providing information. Our goal is also if they tell us, no, we’re not going to sell. Our goal is to still provide value and get them to buy into being part of our marketing moving forward as well.
Noel LaFerme (10:05):
How consistently are you following up with them, the people that say no? How do you stand out versus other agents when the time does come that they want to list?
Emily Terrell (10:17):
Sure. So for one, it’s the way we approach them. So if somebody tells me, “No, I don’t want to sell right now,” our response is something similar to, “Well, I’m so excited that you chose to keep your house. Would you be interested in us sending you just a once a month market update so you can know some of the things that are happening within our market? Just to be knowledgeable. I promise you, we won’t bug you. It’s just an automated email. Would you be interested in that?” And oftentimes they’ll say yes. Because they realize that for one, I’m asking their permission. And then number two, it’s not me calling over and over or texting or bugging them. It’s just that once a month email and it’s something they can handle. So they’re usually pretty open to it. We do also schedule some phone calls periodically in there as well. But I like to minimum keep them on our once a month monthly newsletter.
Noel LaFerme (11:14):
How do the newsletters and emails work out for you long term? Do you people pick up the phone and call you and say, “I’ve received your email and I want to have… yes?
Emily Terrell (11:26):
Five years is the longest we drift on somebody that called us and we listed their house.
Noel LaFerme (11:32):
Persistence pays off. Cool. Very cool. How do you keep a positive mindset and not suffer from call reluctance when you are not getting those friendly people on the other line?
Emily Terrell (11:45):
So, one thing to always keep in mind is that it’s not personal when somebody tells you to go F-off, it’s really not. I mean, they’re having 100 phone calls that come in. A technique that I used to help sway them… Well, a couple of things. Number one, I will… This is my soapbox, so sorry. Number one, whenever I call people, I am always very specific and upfront of why I’m calling them. I do not use scripts such as, I know your house just came off the market, but I have a potential buyer for it. Can I schedule a time to come and preview it for my buyer?
Noel LaFerme (12:29):
You’re honest. Because that’s not honest.
Emily Terrell (12:32):
That’s not, you’re starting a relationship in a lie. I also don’t use the scripts that are pushed out such as, are you still accepting offers? Because in reality, I’m going to tell you this, of the hundreds and hundreds of homes that I’ve sold in my career, I’ve only ever had two times, two times in which a buyer messages me, tells me they like a house, and then I look and I’m like, “Son of a B, that thing is canceled or expired, like it was just canceled or expired.” And in both times we actually put the house under contract. But in both times, I called the agent that had it listed. I didn’t call the seller. I called that agent.
So the likelihood that when you call somebody and you actually have a buyer or a seller, or in that case a buyer that really wants that house is pretty low. And if so, why did you just reach out to the agent? So again, starting… And also if they’re accepting offers, I mean probably, but it is just a phrase that’s used way too many times. I avoid that. I ask them if they’re interviewing agents to get their home relisted. If they tell me no, that’s when we offer value.
Noel LaFerme (13:40):
You mentioned children, and being very important to you and being able to maintain that balance. I’m sure that there are a lot of mothers out there and new agents that could take a little bit of advice from someone who’s running a very successful large team, and still making time for your two sons. I struggle with that. I have a child and I’m a single agent, not on a team. So what would be your advice to somebody who’s newer or just needs a little more help?
Emily Terrell (14:11):
Sure. So, a couple things in this. Number one, you can have both. You can be successful and you can prioritize your children and be a good mom or dad, but you truly can do both. There’s not a one or the other. What I learned, and I learned this early on, was to leverage people and technology to make my business easier, to make my life easier. And a great example of this, and this is probably my favorite. So back when I was in my second year of real estate, I started to develop a mom group. And really what it was is actually, there were four moms and one dad. We all had younger children, and honestly, all of us needed help sometimes. So it really came into play. I was in labor in the hospital with my second son, and my phone rings, and it’s one of my past clients, and she was like, “Emily, it’s Ashley. I know we’ve been looking for two years, but we found the one, can you show us tomorrow?”
Noel LaFerme (15:19):
Sure. Be right there.
Emily Terrell (15:22):
Yeah. I mean, sure. Technically it’s like, “Oh, my God.” So, “Okay Ashley, I’ve got it handled.” So my solution is, I just called Rob. Called him up and I said, “Hey, here’s the deal. Can you go show them?” And so he does, and he showed him, and he actually continued and finished out that transaction for me. The Cinderella moment of that story is that, both Rob and I got paid. Ashley got a house, everybody was happy. So the great thing is is that, Ashley still prefers me. She comes back to me. She doesn’t go to Rob. She doesn’t feel like I pushed her off or anything like that. She just knew that I needed help. I didn’t even actually tell her why I needed help. I didn’t tell her I’m in the hospital. I didn’t even tell her. I just said, “Hey, I can’t show you, but I’ve got someone.”
Noel LaFerme (16:16):
So a good support system.
Emily Terrell (16:18):
Yeah. Even though we took her all the way through the transaction, it didn’t matter.
Noel LaFerme (16:22):
I want to talk about your team. How many people are on it, and what’s your goal for the year?
Emily Terrell (16:27):
So my team is very different. I have a loose team. Which means that in reality I have no interest of having a big giant 30 person team, right?
Noel LaFerme (16:41):
Emily Terrell (16:42):
Essentially I’ve got six agents that, depending on what the lead source is and what’s going on, I’ll message and I’ll say, “Hey, Marissa, here’s a listing appointment this morning at Merrick Coffee at 9:00 a.m. Here’s the property, do the research, go take care of it.” And she does.
Noel LaFerme (16:59):
Emily Terrell (17:00):
Yep. So she did, that actually happened this morning. She went at 9:00 a.m., met a guy at Merrick Coffee and has a listing agreement in her hand.
Noel LaFerme (17:10):
Emily Terrell (17:11):
So it’s like that. And it works out, because they’re agents that I trust. She also then will run the transaction. My effort on that was my highest and best use of time, which was lead generation. And then I’ll be a part of the transaction as far as any advice, any questions, anything like that, just as a team lead should, I’ll answer all the questions and help her through it.
Yeah. And she’s going to get the transaction. Now, here’s the difference in my team versus others. Let’s say for example, Marissa, she gets a listing on her own that has absolutely nothing to do with me. She doesn’t need my help. She doesn’t need any of that stuff. That’s her listing.
Noel LaFerme (17:52):
You don’t take anything from it?
Emily Terrell (17:54):
I don’t take anything from it.
Noel LaFerme (17:56):
That is really cool of you, there needs to be more Emilys. That is pretty cool.
Emily Terrell (18:02):
I also don’t give her guidance on it, unless she asks me, which I will help her. I answer questions all the time-
Noel LaFerme (18:06):
Like a standard broker would, yes.
Emily Terrell (18:08):
Yeah. It’s more like I’m a broker, I’m a referral partner for them. But it also allows me a ton of free time. I’m not spending any time going to appointments. I haven’t shown a buyer in a year, maybe more. I went to a listing appointment the other day and I was like, “Oh my God, dust this off.” I mean, there was actual dust on my marketing materials. I had to clean up.
Noel LaFerme (18:34):
If you’re not going to the listing appointments, you’re sending the other agents, and you’re just lining them all up through the lead gen, and then you let them know that one of your associates is coming?
Emily Terrell (18:44):
Yep. So this morning, it’s a guy named Timothy. “Oh, hey Timothy, that’s great. We’d love to meet with you. My listing specialist, Marissa can meet you there. Here’s her direct phone number so you can reach out.”
Noel LaFerme (18:58):
Sounds like you’ve got it all figured out, especially the balance part. Because you’re putting in all the hours and the lead gen, and then you have trusted capable associates to go out and show your homes and list your properties. And then you get to have your weekends with your babies.
Emily Terrell (19:15):
I do. My phone does not ring as much anymore. But also keep in mind, one thing that when somebody asks me, why should we hire your team? Why should we hire you above somebody else? And also, why should somebody come and work for my team? And it’s because for me as an agent, my superpower is that, when a contract’s going good and it’s nice and smooth, I’m good. I’m going to have all the T’s crossed and the I’s dotted. You’re not going to have any issues. But when things are going wrong, when your house isn’t selling or you’ve got an issue with an appraisal and you’re trying to figure out how to negotiate and get the buyers to pay that appraisal gap, or there’s some kind of issue, that’s when I’m really good. That’s when I shine. I don’t stress out. I can approach it in a calm way because I always go back to the contract, and I use the contract in order to help my clients. And I also understand who I’m working for and how I need to work that to make it the most effective.
Noel LaFerme (20:20):
I think you’ve offered so much great advice for new agents and seasoned agents that might just be in a rut, or just need a little bit of help. And I really appreciate your time today. Tell the viewers how we can reach out to you, social media, email?
Emily Terrell (20:36):
So, the best and easiest way to reach out to me is going to be Instagram. It is the number one place that I respond to every single request for information that comes in there. And it’s just @coachemilyterrell. So that’s going to be my number one. I also offer a lot of tips and stuff like that, and I talk about my team and how I run it and just provide information there as well for people.
Noel LaFerme (20:59):
Perfect. Perfect. Well, thank you so much for coming on today.
Emily Terrell (21:03):