Getting more clients from your pool of leads is hard. This article makes it easier.
Read on if you want to:
- Boost your commission income.
- Learn the essentials of real estate lead nurturing.
- Increase lead-to-client conversion rates.
- Build meaningful relationships and get more lifelong clients.
- Enhance efficiency by working smarter instead of harder.
What Is Lead Nurturing in Real Estate?
Think of yourself as a gardener. But instead of tending to plants, you tend to your leads. Over time–with consistent, careful attention–your leads can grow into clients.
But enough with the metaphors…
Lead nurturing involves making a positive first impression, establishing a genuine connection, staying “top of mind,” building trust, and leading them farther down your sales funnel. That said, learning how to nurture real estate leads is among the most important things you can do for the long-term health of your business.
Pro Tip: Fill Your Pipeline First
With more leads, you’ll have more opportunities to put these real estate lead nurturing strategies into practice, which will result in more closed deals.
Real Estate Lead Nurturing Best Practices
You’ll have a hard time reaching your lead-to-client conversion rate goals unless you follow these six rules.
✔️Understand Your Target Market
First, it’s important to understand who your target market is, what their specific needs and concerns are, and how they prefer to consume real estate information. If you want to get as specific as possible, consider creating profiles (or “personas”) based on your top two or three ideal clients.
The second step is to segment your leads. Proper segmentation results in a win-win. Not only does this make for a positive lead engagement journey and customer experience, but it also increases the likelihood that your leads will become clients.
For example, you could use the following segmentation categories:
- Demographics (e.g., age, life stage, family size)
- Behaviors (e.g., lead source, how they engaged with you, frequency of contact)
- Lead Type (e.g., “cold,” “warm,” or “hot”)
- Preferences (e.g., style of home, area/neighborhood, amenities, etc.).
Having a clear understanding of who your target market is and who your leads are sets you up for success. You’ll be able to anticipate their needs, and speak directly to their desires and concerns in your marketing and lead nurturing. And doing that increases the likelihood that they’ll take actions that bring them farther down your funnel.
✔️Personalize Your Communication
Marketing studies have proven (many times over) that highly personalized messages tend to outperform generic, broad messages.
So as you’re learning how to nurture real estate leads in the right way, remember – don’t try to “be all things to all people.” Instead, stay hyper-focused on the specific needs, desires, and challenges of the particular segment you’re trying to reach.
From consumers’ perspective, lead nurturing campaigns can either be helpful and much appreciated. Or they can be overbearing and annoying.
What makes the difference? Personalization. The former are packed with high-quality content that aligns with their interests and pain points. The latter are irrelevant, unhelpful, and therefore uninteresting.
So make sure your content is valuable from your intended audience’s perspective, not yours. You can provide value through informative articles, expert tips, market updates, and exclusive offers, for example. Or you could incorporate storytelling techniques (e.g., client success stories) to captivate readers and foster a sense of connection and trust.
✔️Don’t Be Overly Salesy
Be relational instead. No one wants to feel like they’re being used to boost your bottom line. So be friendly and provide value. Demonstrate that you actually care about them as a person.
Your ultimate goal, of course, is to turn your lead into a client. But that shouldn’t be the goal for every touchpoint you have with them. No matter how good your lead nurturing skills are, you’re not going to be signing any contracts at this point.
Instead, focus on being genuinely helpful, and replace your ultimate goal with a much smaller one for the time being: to get them to take the next step (which, for example, might be something as simple as scheduling a follow-up call).
✔️Don’t Be Annoying
Later in the article we’re going to look at several real estate lead nurturing strategies. As you start implementing them, you may notice that it’s surprisingly easy to overdo it.
But be careful. Maintaining a delicate balance between proactive engagement and respectful restraint is paramount.
While consistent communication is key, bombarding leads with an excess of messages can swiftly veer into annoyance territory. Remember, the goal is to provide valuable insights and assistance, not to overwhelm.
Approach lead nurturing with finesse. Ensure a smooth and productive journey towards conversion by being a guiding presence instead of an intrusive force.
✔️Test & Optimize
Start by establishing key performance indicators (KPIs), which will be your benchmarks and goals when it comes to nurturing real estate leads. For example, you could track the following:
- Percentage of leads responded to within a specific time frame (e.g., 1 hour)
- Open rates and click-through rates of email campaigns
- Number of website visits
- Time spent on website
- Conversion rate from lead to qualified prospect
- Number of follow-up interactions (calls, emails, messages) per lead
- Engagement levels and conversions related to different types of content (e.g., property listings, market reports, blog posts)
Keeping an eye on these kinds of important data points can help you know how well your lead nurturing is working. Plus, data tracking will allow you repeat successes and test different tactics so you can further optimize your strategies.
How To Nurture Real Estate Leads: 5 Best Strategies
1. Email Drip Campaigns
Drip campaigns are strategically planned series of automated messages which an agent sends to potential clients over the course of a specific timeframe. Probably the biggest benefit of drip campaigns for real estate agents is that, if done right, it is hands-off marketing.
Sure, they require time and effort on the front end – determining what your goals are, planning the drip campaign, writing the content, establishing a send schedule, etc. But from there, it can be completely automated. Meanwhile you can spend time on more important tasks.
The campaigns also reduce sales funnel leakage. A certain percentage of the leads you stuff into the top of the funnel will leak out at some point as they move down, but a campaign of consistent contact reduces that number significantly. Get tips and content ideas for real estate drip campaigns!
2. Text Messaging
Text messaging (SMS) comes with four main benefits.
- High open rates: Text messages have an open rate of approximately 98% (whereas emails only have an open rate of about 20%).
- Quick response times: Ninety-five percent of texts are opened and responded to within three minutes.
- It’s often the channel consumers prefer: Forty-eight percent of consumers prefer direct communication from brands via text, and 90 percent prefer text over phone calls.
- It’s simple, quick, and easy: Text messaging is perfect for on-the-go communication. And you don’t have to worry about writing the perfect subject line or preview text.
Here are some scripts you could use for getting conversations started with leads via text message:
Making Yourself Available
Asking About Their Preferred Contact Method
Following Up With a Buyer After Sending an Email
Following Up With a Seller Lead
3. Send Direct Mail Pieces
Direct mail can still be an effective lead nurturing method. It’s true. Even if it is slow, “old school,” and relatively costly (compared to email).
There are five main types of direct mail marketing pieces you could send for lead nurturing purposes:
- Real estate newsletters
- Handwritten notes
- Informational brochures
Want to learn more?
- Check out this how-to guide for real estate direct mail marketing.
- Get templates for writing real estate prospecting letters to help with your lead nurturing.
4. Call Your Leads
Considering all of the many real estate nurturing strategies that are now available, it can be easy to forget the simplest of all – picking up the phone and actually talking to your lead.
Here are some call scripts you can use to increase engagement.
Following Up With Website Leads
Hi, [name]. My name is [your name]. Thank you so much for downloading [content’s title] from [your website]! Do you have any questions about that or the home selling process or anything else? I’m here to help![…]
I’d love to learn about what kind of home you’re looking for. When’s a good time to talk?
Following Up With a Cold Lead
Hey, [name]. It’s [your name] with [your company]. I wanted to touch base and see how you’re holding up.
Are you still thinking about [buying/selling]? It’s normal to feel unsure about the market right now. I just want you to know I’m here and available as a resource. If you have questions about the current real estate market, how things are trending, or what’s going on with mortgage rates and financing options, I’m here. If you want to keep searching on your own, I’m here. If you need anything, I’m here.
The All-Purpose Voicemail Template
Hi, [recipient’s name]. It’s [your name] with [brokerage]. I’m calling you because [reason]. I’d love to connect with you and talk about [benefit(s)].
Please call or text me back at [your number]. Talk to you soon. Bye, [recipient’s name].
5. Use More Than One Channel
All four of the above strategies are effective on their own. But using more than one channel to diversify touchpoints may be a worthwhile consideration.
It ensures you’re not missing out on potential opportunities due to communication preferences. Also, by using a mix of channels, you can create a more dynamic and engaging brand experience for your leads as you cater to different learning and interaction styles.
Emails, for instance, can provide detailed property information, social media allows for interactive content sharing, phone calls enable direct conversations, and webinars provide in-depth insights.
For example, here’s what it might look like to use an “omnichannel” approach to lead nurturing:
- Touchpoint #1: After capturing the lead (and their contact information), you send an initial welcome email.
- Touchpoint #2: You reach out to them on social media by sending them a funny meme or a quick aerial shot of a home you recently sold.
- Touchpoint #3: Give them a quick phone call just to ask how things are going or to set up an appointment.
- Touchpoint #4: Send a short follow-up text.
Consistency is key in real estate lead nurturing. Using multiple channels allows you to maintain a steady presence in your leads’ lives. Regular email updates, social media posts, and phone calls keep your brand and expertise top-of-mind, which helps you foster a sense of familiarity and trust over time.
If all of this is starting to sound a little too overwhelming, don’t worry…
Here’s the Tool You Need: A Real Estate CRM
Relationships with consumers – built with lead engagement and lead nurturing – is ultimately what allows you to reach your transaction goals. And when it comes to improving how you nurture real estate leads, customer relationship management (CRM) software will make you’re life much easier and your business much more efficient, especially if it can automate the most time-consuming tasks.
But with so many CRM platforms out there, it can be difficult to determine which is the best for you and your business. Ironically, the search for something that’s supposed to simplify your life is often very complex!
To speed up the process, we put together a quick shopping guide so you can know what to look for: Learn how to find the best real estate CRM for your business.
“Which CRM Should I Check Out First?”
Here’s what agents love most about it:
- Robust lead nurturing functionality
- Know when your contacts have been on your website and which properties they’ve viewed or saved so you can more effectively tailor your lead nurturing strategies
- Top-of-the-line marketing automation options
- Integrates with 40+ lead sources, including Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com
- Provides all the essential tools needed to maximize productivity and performance
- Includes a marketing center with thousands of customizable templates for newsletters, flyers, and postcards
- Fully integrated mobile app so you can decrease response times and increase efficiency while on the go
- Plus, Market Leader’s team of advertising experts can generate a predictable number of exclusive leads for you each month and have them automatically imported into your CRM