CONVERTING REAL ESTATE LEADS BIG PICTURE
I hear it all the time from real estate agents… internet leads suck. Real estate agents are, by nature, extremely impatient and seek instant gratification. When a new lead comes in they want the lead to be completely pre-qualified, ready to buy, and preferably already have the house they want to make an offer on picked out. Translation, they want to get married on the first date. The reality is, however, that the real estate industry has experienced seismic shifts over the last couple years.
Once upon a time, the real estate professional was the gate keeper of the information, meaning that consumers had to go to a real estate professional to view homes for sale. With the invention of the internet and real estate portal sites like zillow.com, trulia.com, and realtor.com, the consumer now has the information at their fingertips.
This shift in our industry has resulted in another huge shift in how our business is conducted when it comes to leads and lead nurturing. Before, when a buyer would reach out to the agent they were typically ready to start the process of buying a home. Now, they are starting to window shop 6 to 12-months in advance and that is when they first interact with a real estate agent. The end result is that a typical buyer is now engaging with an agent far earlier in the home buying process than ever before yet most real estate agents haven’t figured that out. With this elongated timeline, it is more important than ever that real estate agents have a solid lead process to generate the lead, cultivate the lead, convert them, and close them.
One important note, if you haven’t read our blog on the difference between a lead and a prospect, please be click here to read it before proceeding. Having a solid understanding of the difference is critical to being successful with the 4 C’s.
Here are my 4’s to success with real estate internet leads:
In step one, we connect with the consumer that is looking to buy, rent or sell a property. This can be accomplished by many different methods including social media advertising, social media posts, blogs, newsletter registrations, targeted links, and a host of other ways. The most important part of this process is to ensure that whichever method you use, the “bait” on the hook is extremely targeted so that you can ensure that the next step is effective. Once we have their information, then
Next, we need to cultivate the lead so that we can get them to convert into a prospect. Here is where most real estate agents go wrong. It is extremely critical that you have a strong CRM in place that can email and text meaningful and thoughtful content to your leads. For example, if the lead registered to look at homes for sale, then send them content related to the home buying process. If the lead registered on a blog article about staging a home on a budget, then send them content that is related to first-time home sellers and the selling process. Not all leads are created equal and having a meaningful and thoughtful follow-up plan is critical to moving the lead into step three.
Average Time in Cultivate: 3 to 12 months
You’ve been working hard to deliver meaningful and thoughtful content to the lead and the lead has indicated that they are ready to move forward in the process. A lead converts to a prospect when one of the following happens:
- The lead schedules a buyer’s consultation.
- The lead schedules a time to meet with a lender to get pre-approved.
- The lead schedules a listing appointment.
- The lead schedules a renter’s consultation to begin the search.
Average Time in Convert: Less than 90-days.
Congratulations, you’ve reached the final step in the 4 C’s to Successfully Converting Real Estate Leads! Now, make sure you send a thank-you note to your customer and set them up on a long term drip for the next 7-years. You always want to stay in touch so that you remain top of mind when their friends and family ask for a referral as well as when they are ready to buy or sell again in the future!