Tenacity, tenacity, tenacity. It’s probably no surprise that the most critical component in getting from an online search to the closing table is persistence, but few teams master this for million-dollar buyers and sellers as Schmitz & Smith, a luxury KW team in Austin, TX. Team leader Shannon Schmitz has agreed to share their recipe to success with Realty Leadership.
As one of Austin’s top 1% out of 8,000 agents, Shannon Schmitz can look back at one of the best years in her distinguished career. But the journey to success was not as easy as it may seem to an outsider. Shannon and her team had tried almost everything and nothing worked. From Zillow, Smart Zip, and SEO promotion, everything seemed to be too expensive and out of reach. They spent over $100,000 on tools and leads that didn’t work. Rather than writing off the loses and throwing in the towel, Shannon and her team refused to give up.
Below Shannon has agreed to share how she and her 5-member team are generating and converting leads into million-dollar deals – to be more specific, over $15 million in closed deals so far this year.
1. Focus on clients who can afford the market you service.
It used to be that your options to tailor your marketing to wealthy families were limited to offline methods, such as newspaper ads or mail-outs to prestigious neighborhoods. Now, sites like LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook all allow you to use various segmentation methods to get to people who either have the net worth or annual income to fit your ideal buyer profile.
“Before, we would have no control over whether the people who found our website on Google could actually afford the homes they were searching for. We have a tremendous success with Great Agent because it has allowed us to easily dictate and deploy our business plan and to have our advertising dollars focus on families who can afford the homes we are selling. The latest online lead we closed from Great Agent sold their dentist practice in Boston, MA to relocate to one of the most beautiful areas in Austin, TX. They definitely met our income criteria,” Shannon stated.
So many teams try to service the luxury market, but their online presence doesn’t communicate the level of professionalism that this clientele expects. Even as recent as a few years ago, you could get away with having a template website like Boomtown, where the exact same website is used by each of your local competitors. As the clients are becoming even more tech savvy, you no longer can do a mediocre job and expect to win this race.
“One thing I think is really important when servicing the higher end market is to show clear differentiation in everything you do. Including, and especially, your website. We get so many clients who specifically mention our website as one of the main reasons they work with us.”
3. Send a gift to your best prospects.
The Schmitz & Smith team has developed a unique box that they send to their hottest prospects. The gift contains different items made in Austin, TX, such as a tea towel and luxury soap. It also includes a copy of their magazine featuring different Austin communities.
While the gift costs over $40 for the contents and shipping, it is well worth the investment, as it has quadrupled the closing rates on not only referrals but also on high-value online leads. On million-dollar clients, it more than pays off.
4. Celebrate your success.
It might sound like a cliché, but celebrating success is incredibly important. For Shannon, it’s not just about celebrating huge million-dollar deals, but, perhaps more importantly, the incremental improvements on each of the Key Performance Indicators. Shannon believes those activity metrics include average response time to client inquires. They also consist of touches of past clients, as well as the quality of those touches, primarily measured by counting the referral rates from those contacts. Every month they set activity goals for the team, based on the past months’ results. They use their Great Agent platform to configure and measure specific activity goals, not only for their online leads but also for the day-to-day side of the business.
One month, the team was struggling with getting back to the clients within a few minutes since it was during the busy summer period. The team set a goal to get the average response time below 5 minutes and agreed to take a day off and spend it at the spa after they had achieved this goal without compromising any other results metrics (e.g. average referral rate and number of showings.) The month ended with an 83% reduction in the average response time and a significant increase in the number of deals under contract.
Now they are on track to get to $20 million in transaction volume in 2017. This would be a significant improvement year-to-year, and based on their current pipeline confidence, they can double that number in 2018.