In real estate, we typically talk about lead generation as our primary focus, but how we convert and maximize those leads is just as important. In order to maximize your real estate leads, you have to understand how to convert potential customers in all aspects of the sales funnel, not just those ready to act.
Since real estate is a relationship-based business, leads can take time to develop and ultimately turn into a conversion. The flip-side of this is with the volume of leads that come in, you may not have time to cultivate a relationship with all of them. So how do you create relationships with potential leads without running out of time? This article will walk you through 3 ways to maximize your real estate leads.
Understanding The Real Estate Sales Funnel
In order to understand how to maximize your real estate leads, it is essential to understand the sales funnel and how it works. A sales funnel is the multi-step process by which real estate professionals lead a customer or client through to purchase a product or service. The process is multi-stepped because it takes time from the moment a potential client enters your funnel to the time they decide to use your service.
The sales funnel is broken down into four phases, awareness, interest, decision, and action. As a real estate professional, our job is to get as many qualified potential clients into this funnel as possible through our marketing efforts. Once the prospect has entered the funnel, there need to be systems in place to retain these leads all the way through to the action phase. Understanding each phase of the real estate sales funnel and how to maximize each phase of the funnel will allow you to retain more leads and ultimately convert them into clients.
The awareness step is where a potential client becomes aware of you or business through various forms of marketing. This can be through SEO, PPC, Social Media, direct mail, content marketing, or word of mouth. It’s important in this step to be able to offer something of value to your prospective lead and capture their contact information from it. This could be a free evaluation of what their home would sell for or a free ebook download.
One of the best forms of marketing is advertising your free ebook or home evaluation as opposed to how great of a real estate professional you are. People like things that are free and if you provide tremendous value to them upfront, they will want to learn more about you and if you can help them.
Once a lead has given you their contact info, you need to guide the lead to the next step in the funnel, interest. Once you have someone’s contact info you want to set up a campaign to send them free information about their local area. This could be through articles about their city, events going on this weekend in their city, a housing report of their area, or any other relevant content. The bottom line is you want to be in front of your prospective leads as much as possible and drive them to your website to learn about you or your company.
The interest phase is also where potential clients want to learn about you or your company. Make sure your “about us” page is filled out and contains information about you, your accomplishments, and your team. If you are accredited by any local organizations, make sure those symbols are visible as well.
If you’ve provided tremendous value to potential leads and having glowing reviews and testimonials, picking you or your company should be easy. If you find yourself still trying to sell potential leads on your service or product, go back and address the value you are giving away. Is this something everyone in your market is offering? Do your competitors offer something better? Do your competitors have more reviews than you? Does your website have enough content about your target market?
All of these things can affect converting a lead into a client. According to Crazy Egg, if customers are receiving your emails, visiting your page, but deciding to go with another candidate or company, they are not perceiving you as a candidate or company they trust. This comes down to value and trust. Remember, it’s not about what you think is valuable, it’s what the customer thinks is valuable.
The final stage of the real estate sales funnel is action. This is where the prospective lead decides to choose you or company and you find out how effective your sales funnel truly is. Again, how well you move leads through this funnel will determine how successful you are as a real estate professional.
Whew! Now that we covered the sales funnel, it’s time to focus on ways to maximize your real estate leads.
Maximizing Your Real Estate Leads
1. Follow-Up Automation
As real estate professionals, if we personally sent emails to every lead that filled out a form, we would never get anything accomplished. Thankfully there are ways to automate your follow-up. When a potential lead fills out your form, you should be capturing both their email and phone number. Ideally, you should set up a follow-up sequence for both phone and email. The initial contact needs to be as soon as a lead fills out your form. They are thinking about you currently, and you want to get your information in front of them as fast as possible.
There are plenty of companies out there to help automate your follow up, just find one that works within your budget. I recently spoke with Zach Tetley, co-founder of Nexus Homebuyers, about their real estate follow-up sequence. He mentioned that they use their CRM system, Podio, to send automated follow-up sequences to potential leads. “This allows us to contact a client as often as we like by setting the dates for the follow-up,” says Tetley, “we have had amazing success implementing this system and could not run our real estate business without it.”
Related Article: 5 Five Minute Tips: Write Effective Follow-Up Emails
2. Be Available And Responsive
The WAV Group did a study on the responsiveness of real estate agents and found that 48 percent of buyer inquiries were not responded to. As a real estate professional, it’s essential that you respond to your leads. I’m sure you hear this frequently, “I chose you because you answered the phone”. As simple as it seems, a lot of real estate professionals don’t answer their phone calls or emails. Potential clients want to know you’re a real person that can actually solve their problem. How will they know if they don’t speak to you?
Ideally, you need to answer phone calls directly, but having a “filter” is a great option. If you have an assistant, he or she can help filter calls from telemarketers or other solicitors that keep you from taking the important calls. With the technology available today, assistants no longer have to be in the office to be effective. Virtual assistants are becoming very popular and a necessity if you’re serious about your real estate business.
3. Add A Personal Touch
One of the things that sets a great real estate professional apart from a good real estate professional is the ability to connect with their potential clients. Sending personalized notes after you’ve met a potential client is a great way to show them that you appreciate their time and look forward to working with them. People want to feel special and that their time is valued. By sending small personalized reminders, you can create a great relationship with your prospective clients, and since real estate is relationship-based, hopefully, they will tell their friends and family about you.
Another personal touch is to meet in a less formal setting such as a coffee shop. Some people don’t feel comfortable coming to an office, especially if they work in one all week. Meeting at a local place for coffee or lunch is a way to get to know your prospective clients and address their concerns.
Driving potential clients to our real estate funnel is very important, but what we do with those potential clients is even more important. Following these 3 ways to maximize your real estate leads will hopefully help you to convert more potential leads into clients, and establish long-term relationships in your market for years to come.