Successful businesses implement strategies and processes to dominate their markets. In the real estate industry, solid lead generation and detailed follow up strategies will draw a line in the sand to separate you from the competition.
The Big Real Estate Challenge
The biggest challenge agents face is the follow-up. Why? The consumer timeline is often neglected for home buyers and sellers because of the long sales-cycle, with most transactions closing 12-18 months after they begin their buying or sales journey. As such, frustration with leads is common because initial contact is often not made after an agent’s first time contacting the consumer.
The average time that an agent will follow up with a lead is only 1-2 times and 44% of salespeople give up after one follow up attempt. Of all real estate leads received, up to 71% are never followed up with.
It takes 3-5 phone calls to get a real estate lead to engage, respond and for an agent to make an impact. Timing is also extremely important in terms of lead follow up. According to Forbes, “the odds of contacting a new lead are extremely high if you call within the first 5 minutes of submission. The odds drop off dramatically by the first 30 minutes.” After the 30-minute mark, contact is 100X less likely to be made which is why response time is everything!
Clearly lead follow-up is a challenge in the real estate industry, but implementing a plan for every lead to receive multiple touches is an easy change to make in your lead generation strategy.
Your Plan: If it’s not Measurable, it’s not Repeatable
Agents who do well with digital lead generation have a very meticulous strategy for a variety of scenarios. Establish a lead generation strategy for your business to capture and convert leads in a way that’s both manageable and repeatable.
1. Online Leads
Purchased leads are the beginning of the lead generation process. At this step you cannot discount any lead as a bad lead. As we mentioned earlier, no response from a lead after your first contact attempt is a common frustration for agents. The reality is, ever lead should be cared tended to with the same amount of attention. The real estate sales cycle is a long one and, according to NAR, most consumers work with the first agent the talk to–so discarding a lead who isn’t responsive at first could cost you a full pipeline down the road.
2. The Follow-Up
As soon as you get a new lead, you should respond immediately with a call, text, or email. Send a quick response to let them know you are working on getting them more information from their request. You need to do this as soon as possible to prevent them from filling out forms requesting the same information on other platforms–i.e., opening lines of communication with other agents.
If you don’t provide value or set yourself apart from the start, consider the ball dropped!
3. Consistency is Everything
Consistent follow-up makes the biggest impact on a consumer’s real estate journey. Work out a replicable system to follow up everyday for the first 10 days. After your initial outreach, spend time to work on a market report for a buyer or a detailed CMA for a seller. Send the lead an email with the documents and print a copy to mail along with a handwritten thank you note.
After your first response and additional relevant information is sent, the rest of the 10-day period is crucial for follow-up. Be patient because the sweet spot for a lead to convert is typically between 4-6 months. Build your pipeline for the consumer journey and show commitment to each lead because remember… there’s no such thing as a bad lead!
4. Stop Their Search
The long sales cycle in real estate can be problematic for impatient agents. At a certain point, some agents write leads off out of frustration from lack of response or willingness to meet. Not giving the lead enough attention or being too aggressive right off the bat won’t stop their search for an agent, it will only wedge you further away from them.
Most leads aren’t ready to talk to an agent right away (let alone meet with one), so why continue to reach out? To provide value.
Keep in mind people are creatures of habit and, through providing valuable information, you can prevent them from unsubscribing or filling out online forms from your competition because they’re already getting the information they need from you. Whether they’re responding yet or not, if they haven’t unsubscribed, they’re interested.
Stop their search by driving them back to your website through your marketing campaigns, eliminating their need to search for information elsewhere. Providing all the value you can while you establish their timeline and demographic to better target them with listing alerts, drip campaigns or market reports. Through those methods, you will EARN the right to meet the lead in person and help them throughout the remainder of their consumer journey.
5. Learn from Your Mistakes
Perfect your lead generation strategy by taking the time to learn from your mistakes. Establish a detailed process and target your contacts to build momentum for your business.
As Tom Ferry says, “Every lead deserves love.” Take the time to slow down and approach a new lead with a 100mph sales pitch. Nurture the lead and provide relevant information consistently until they’re ready for the next step. You can’t impact the consumer timeline unless you’re guiding them through it.