Connect with us

Business Marketing

Traffic Is Not the Problem



Traffic is not the problem

Consumers look for houses not agents until they are ready to buy. When they find the house, they call the agent, or maybe they go read their blog to learn more about who they are as a person. We spend tons of money and time on our online presence with our web-sites and blogs. Yet we are not handling the inquires in a timely manner, or at all. Do you make one attempt and then say, “Next”?

We know according to NAR that over 72% of buyers start their home search on line. We also know that static’s tell us 60 to 80% of the consumer works with the agent that contacts them first. Look at that number… that is huge!

I submit the answer lies not in the amount of leads an agent is getting but in the agents response time to the inquiry, or forgetting about them after you answer their initial question.


This is a three step process, not ONE phone call, not ONE email and then bam they buy a house. Maybe back in the day when any Realtor could sell anything with no skills or experience, but those days are over. I suspect those days will not be back for awhile.

If you are sitting in the office and you get a phone call or a consumer sends you an inquiry, what are you doing with it? Are you getting back to them right away? 24 hours or more later? Are you ONLY answering their question and never thinking about them again?Are you trying one time and then forgetting about them?

In this day and age most agents have iPhones, Blackberrys or some sort of smart phone. There is no excuse to not touch base with them within minutes. You can set up an email signature on your phone, something simple, “got your email, showing houses, I will get back to you as soon as I can.” When people want information they want it NOW.

Don’t Give Up

Don’t give up on them, they reached out to you. Send them a Thanksgiving card, a Christmas card, check back in with them, a simple friendly email. If you see a home listed that you think is similar to what they inquired about, send it to them with a friendly note, “Saw this new listing come up and wanted to send it to you”.Short, sweet and to the point.

Someone will connect with them, someone will sell them a house.

Why not you?
***Photo credit***

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

Continue Reading


  1. Paula Henry

    November 17, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Missy – You are absolutely correct. We stay in contact with the people who search online and the largest percent of them are actually buying and/or selling six months later.

    I just received an email from a prospect yesterday who said Thank You for staying in touch and continuing to send homes for them. They are out of state and have a home to sell there, but they appreciate the continued emails and “touches”.

    I recently read many agents only have a two week threshold for dealing with buyers, then they are on to the next one. It takes a long term commitment to the leads we receive.

  2. Joel McDonald (@joelrunner)

    November 17, 2008 at 11:24 am

    I couldn’t agree more Missy! In fact I wrote a suprisingly similar post just this morning!

    We deal almost entirely in online lead generation, and the biggest difference between our top producers, and everyone else — is their willingness to develop a relationship with the prospect.

  3. Missy Caulk

    November 17, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Paula, that is exciting when that happens, we have potential residents start to look thinking they may attend U of M. We nurture them and then IF they get assigned here they contact us.

    Joel, well said! I see it over and over again.

  4. Kent Shaffer

    November 17, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Is there any research showing if the two statistics you gave apply to commercial agents as well?

    “We know according to NAR that over 72% of buyers start their home search on line. We also know that static’s tell us 60 to 80% of the consumer works with the agent that contacts them first.”

  5. Craig Ernst

    November 17, 2008 at 4:10 pm


    Great post on the virtues of perseverance!

    I think that the biggest problem most agents have with follow-up is that they have no real follow-up plan, nor do they any follow-up systems in place.

    If it’s not as simple as “When we get a web lead, we do A-B-C-D,” lots of leads can and will fall through the cracks.

  6. Missy Caulk

    November 17, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Kent, I do not have any data on commercial sales, do they use residential web sites?

    Craig, systems are critical for follow-up, with a system to stay in touch according to the time table they are looking in.

    Ask any big box company how many fall through the cracks. Terrible

  7. Mary Ann Daniell

    November 18, 2008 at 8:19 am

    This is my absolute weakest link! I am the agent who answers a question from a lead, does one followup and then moves on. Would someone be willing to share their system with me?

  8. Missy Caulk

    November 18, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Mary Ann I will be happy to help you, can you just send an email to me ?

  9. Mack

    November 18, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Missy you should have filed this under extremely relevant coaching for every agent to pay attention to.

  10. AgentsBuddy

    November 28, 2008 at 3:01 pm


    I think knowing where the traffic is coming from is most important. A lot of people like to window shop, doesnt mean they buy anything. Agents, start getting them at home loans, pre approvals, home insurance quotes, and county tax quotes (estimates). Optimize your landing pages to accomodate. Surfers just looking at homes is not going to do it.


  11. Matt Stigliano

    November 29, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Missy – One more reason I love reading your posts. When I first started I was extremely guilty of call once, then figure they didn’t want to speak with me if they didn’t return the call. I’ve learned differently. I’m still not perfect at it, but I am perfecting the craft every day. I’ve also learned that following up in different ways (a call, an email, a note) can make a difference. Some people don’t check their mail 24 hours a day like I do. Some people don’t have 10 minutes in their day to field the call. By varying things you are more likely to get contact. Thanks for the post and I really think it would make a good follow up or two of your thoughts on the best methods.

  12. Cathy Tishhouse

    November 29, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Missy: You have often reminded us of how essential this part of the process is. I have been doing better when someone actually leaves a phone number. I called someone the other day and he told me to call back in a couple of days–I did and left a message–no response. At this point, I give up on calling. If someone sends me a direct inquiry, I am quick to respond and follow up regularly. However, I often just get an e-mail address and send an initial message to offer them additional options in their search. Nine out of ten times, I don’t hear from them. I check to see who has revisited my site several times and send an additional e-mail to them. However, I am not very successful in converting leads to clients. What else should I be doing.

  13. Missy Caulk

    November 29, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Matt, Ok, I’ll post some of my systems.

    Cathy, don’t give up. Try again and just leave a message telling them you are sorry you missed them and that you will send them an email with your contact information. Let them know they are welcome to continue to use your site, and you will not call again. Then shoot them an email, with your info and the Search Site they looked at.

    The sooner you call the easier to convert. it is a warm lead, days later is is cold and they don’t remember. The main thing is be yourself.

  14. CoachKaterina

    November 30, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Missy- What a great post. Taking a lead and nurturing it to turn it into a prospect and eventually into a client should be the priority of any agent. It is a part of the business, any business actually.

  15. Susie Blackmon

    December 1, 2008 at 6:14 am

    I need 2 weeks of Missy Caulk Boot Camp Training!

  16. SharonAlters

    December 2, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Missy – can’t wait to read your posts on your systems!

  17. Rebecca Levinson

    December 3, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    I certainly agree with the don’t give up, it’s sales, you should never give up on leads. You also never know what has happened in that person’s life between the time they inquired and you answered, even if it’s a short time, maybe someone got sick, maybe they went out of town, you don’t know.

    You are dealing with human nature and sales. Don’t give up is right.

  18. John Duncan

    December 18, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Right on Missy. Getting leads is not the issue, it’s what happens afterwards. I can point to numerous clients that closed months, and yes, even years after coming to me through my website.

    I’ve had a number in the 1-2 yr range. My longest one to date, closed 42 months after hitting my website.


  19. Missy Caulk

    December 19, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Jim, me too. They call and say, “hey remember me?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Business Marketing

Hiring managers keep you on your toes – make them take the 1st step

(MARKETING) If you want to stand out from other job applicants, weird outfits, stunts, and baked goods will only get you so far – or it could backfire.



hiring managers interview

According to research by employment search website Simply Hired, hiring managers get an average of 34 applications per job listing, but they spend time genuinely considering an average of only 12.6% of them – that’s less than 1/3. Some applicants may feel the need to go above and beyond the average application and do something unusual or unexpected to grab the hiring manager’s attention.

Simply Hired conducted a survey to find out whether or not “nontraditional” strategies to stand out are worth the risk, or whether it makes sense to stick to a traditional resume and cover letter. They surveyed over 500 hiring managers and over 500 job applicants to find out what sort of outside-of-the-box approaches applicants are willing to take, and which ones do and don’t pay off.

Most notably, the survey found that over 63% of hiring managers find attention-grabbing gimmicks totally unacceptable, with only 20.2% saying they were acceptable. Hiring managers were also given a list of unusual strategies to rank from most to least acceptable. Unsurprisingly, the least acceptable strategy was offering to sleep with the hiring manager – which should really go without saying.

Interestingly, hiring managers also really disliked when applicants persistently emailed their resumes over and over until they got a response. One or two follow-up emails after your initial application aren’t such a bad idea – but if you don’t get a response after that, continuing to pester the hiring manager isn’t going to help.

While sending baked goods to the office was considered a somewhat acceptable strategy, sending those same cookies to the manager’s home address was a big no-no. Desserts might sweeten your application, but not if you cross a professional boundary by bringing them to someone’s home – that’s just creepy.

Another tactic that hiring managers received fairly positively was “enduring extreme weather to hand-deliver a resume” – but waiting around for inclement weather to apply for a job doesn’t seem very efficient. However, hiring managers did respond well to applicants who went out of their way to demonstrate a skill, for example, by creating a mock product or presentation or completing their interview in a second language. A librarian who was surveyed said she landed her job by making her resume into a book and creating QR codes with links to her portfolio, while a woman applying to work at the hotel hopped behind the counter and started checking customers in.

It’s worth noting that while most hiring managers aren’t into your gimmicks and games, of the 12.9% of applicants who said they have risked an unusual strategy, 67.7% of those actually landed the job.

Still, it’s probably a safer bet to stick to the protocol and not try any theatrics. So then, what can you actually do to improve your chances of landing the job?

Applicants surveyed tended to focus most of their time on their resumes, but according to hiring managers, the interview and cover letter are “the top ways to stand out among the rest.” Sure, brush up your resume, but make sure to give equal time to writing a strong cover letter and practicing potential interview questions.

In the survey, applicants also tended to overestimate the importance of knowing people within the company and having a “unique” cover letter and interview question answers; meanwhile, they underestimated the importance of asking smart questions at the interview and personality. In fact, hiring managers reported that personality was the most impactful factor in their hiring decisions.

It appears that the best way to stand out in a job interview is to wow them with your personality and nail the interview. Weird outfits, stunts, and baked goods will only get you so far – and in fact, may backfire.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

Use nostalgia as a marketing niche for your business today

(MARKETING) A market that is making waves is found in the form of entertainment nostalgia. Everyone has memories and attachments, why not speak to them?




Is it just me or does it seem like there is something for everything nowadays? Let me clarify, as that is a rather broad question…

With the way communicating through technology has advanced, it’s become much easier to connect with those who have shared interests. This has become especially evident with interests in the entertainment community.

Entertainment nostalgia

It now seems like there is an event for every bit of nostalgia you can imagine. Autograph shows, meet and greets, and memorabilia collections of all kinds are held in convention halls all around the world. (To give you an idea of how deep this thing goes, there was a “Grease 2” reunion convention sometime within the last five years. Being that I’m the only person I’ve ever met who likes that movie, it’s amazing that it found an audience.)

This idea of marketing by use of nostalgia is something that is becoming smartly tapped and there are a variety of directions it can go in.

For example, the new Domino’s ads feature dead-on tributes to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

What’s your niche?

If you’re a fan of anything, it’s likely that you can find an event to suit your needs.

And, if you want to take it a step further, you can think outside the box and use nostalgia as a marketing tool.

I recently began dabbling in social media gigs that have brought me to a few different fan conventions. One was a throwback 80s and 90s convention that featured everyone from Alan Thicke to the members of N*SYNC. Another is a recurring convention that brings together fans of sci-fi, horror, and everything under that umbrella.

I was amazed by the number of people that came out to these events and the amount of money that was spent on the day’s activities (autographs, photo ops, etc.). I was energized by the fact that you can take something you have a great appreciation for and bring together others who share that feeling. Watching people meet some of their favorite celebrities is something that is priceless.

Hop onboard the nostalgia train

If you’re a fan of something, you don’t have to look too far to find what you’d enjoy – going back to the aforementioned “Ferris Bueller” example, there is a first-ever John Hughes fan event taking place in Chicago next month that will bring fans to their favorite Brat Pack members.

In the same thought, if you have an idea, now is the time to find others who share that interest and execute your vision.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

5 tips to help you craft consistently high-converting email marketing

(MARKETING) Email may seem too old to be effective but surprisingly it’s not, so how can you get the most out of your email marketing? Try these tips.



Email marketing

Email marketing might seem archaic in comparison to modern mediums like social media, blogging, and podcasting; however, it actually remains one of the highest converting options marketers and small businesses have at their disposal.

But Why Email?

Hopefully, you believe in email as an effective marketing channel, but in case you have doubts, let’s hit the reset button. Here’s why email marketing is worth investing in:

  • Email is one of the few marketing channels that you have total control over. Unlike a social media audience, which can disappear if the platform decides you violate their terms, you own your email list.
  • Email is considered very personal. When someone gives you access to their inbox, they’re telling you that you can send them messages.
  • From a pure analytics perspective, email gives you the ability to track behaviors, study what works, and get familiar with the techniques that don’t.
  • The ROI of email marketing is incredibly high. It can deliver as much as $44 in value for every $1 spent.

5 Tips for High-Converting Emails

If you’ve been using email, but haven’t gotten the results you’d like to, it’s probably because you’re using it ineffectively.

Here are a few very practical tips for high-converting emails that generate results:

  1. Write Better Subject Lines: Think about email marketing from the side of the recipient. (Considering that you probably receive hundreds of emails per week, this isn’t hard to do.) What’s going to make you engage with an email? It’s the subject line, right?If you’re going to focus a large portion of your time and energy on one element of email marketing, subject lines should be it.The best subject lines are the ones that convey a sense of urgency or curiosity, present an offer, personalize to the recipient, are relevant and timely, feature name recognition, or reference cool stories.
  2. Nail the Intro”: Never take for granted the fact that someone will open your email, and read to the second paragraph. Some will – but most will scan the first couple of lines, and then make a decision on how to proceed.It’s critically important that you get the intro right. You have maybe five seconds to hook people in, and get them excited. This is not a time to slowly build up. Give your best stuff away first!
  3. Use Video: Email might be personal, but individual emails aren’t necessarily viewed as special. That’s because people get so many of them on a daily basis.According to Blue Water Marketing, “The average person receives more than 84 emails each day! So how do you separate your emails from everyone else? Embed videos in your emails can increase your conversion rates by over 21 percent!”This speaks to a larger trend of making emails visually stimulating. The more you use compelling visuals, the more engaging and memorable the content will be.
  4. Keep Eyes Moving: The goal is to keep people engaging with your email content throughout. While it’ll inevitably happen with a certain percentage of recipients, you want to prevent people from dropping off as they read.One of the best ways to keep sustained engagement is to keep eyes effortlessly moving down the page with short and succinct copy.One-liners, small paragraphs, and lots of spacing signal a degree of approachability and simplicity. Use this style as much as you can.
  5. Don’t Ask Too Much: It can be difficult to convey everything you want to say in a single email, but it’s important that you stay as focused as possible – particularly when it comes to CTAs and requests.Always stick to one CTA per email. Never ask multiple questions or present different offers. (It’ll just overwhelm and confuse.) You can present the same CTA in multiple places – like at the beginning, middle, and end of the email – but it needs to be the same call. That’s how you keep people focused and on-task.

Give Your Email Marketing Strategy a Makeover

Most businesses have some sort of email lists. Few businesses leverage these lists as well as they should. Hopefully, this article has provided you with some practical and actionable tips that can be used to boost engagement and produce more conversions. Give them a try and see what sticks.

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!