Online real estate leads are becoming more popular as more consumers begin their real estate experience online. When it comes to online leads, unsuccessful agents think they're a waste of time while successful agents capitalize on each opportunity. Why do these agents have different perspectives? Because of their success with their online lead follow-up strategy!
In this article, we will examine a proven follow-up strategy that successful agents implement to convert online leads into clients. A successful follow-up strategy will include a good CRM, a quick response, a plan for leads that were not contacted, scripts for leads that have been contacted, and a long-term nurturing system
1. Have a quality CRM
Utilize a customer relationship management (CRM) software, such as Z57's PropertyPulse software, to store and track the leads you generated online. For your information, Microsoft Outlook is not a CRM, it is a contact book. A good CRM will not only store and organize your leads, but it also tracks a lead’s activity on your website, emails they’ve opened and more. Most importantly, it allows you to set up alerts when you generate a new lead, so you can follow up as soon as possible.
Pro tip: Segment the leads in your CRM into different categories for more effective personalized messaging. You can segment them into buyers or sellers, by their location, their lead status (Cold, warm, hot), their customer status (Lead, client, past client), and more. Once you’ve established the segments, you can cater your messages to meet each group’s needs.
2. Respond quickly
The longer it takes for you to respond to a new lead, the less likely you are to convert them into a client. According to an LRM article, “The standard goal for the first touch is 5 minutes, your chances of contacting decreases 5 times in the first 10 minutes and 10 times in the first hour.” This means you’re 10 times more likely to contact a new lead within the first 5 minutes than in the first hour. Your follow-up should be relevant to their activity. For example, if the lead converted through a Facebook Ad, cater your discussion about the add and the value behind the ad. If they converted on a home search, talk about their neighborhood needs.
Pro tip: Make sure you set up alerts to notify you when you generate a new lead. When you receive an alert, give the lead a call so that you can qualify them. Integrate a follow-up system into your business that automatically sends an email or text if you are unable to respond to the lead within 5 minutes.
3. Follow-up with leads that were not contacted
According to a WAVGroup.com study, “48% of buyer inquiries were never responded to, the average number of call back attempts after the initial contact was 1.5 times, the average number of email contact attempts was 2.07, and the average response time was 917 minutes or 15.29 hours.” With so much opportunity left on the table, it’s no wonder 87% of real estate agents fail within their first 5 years in the industry.
Pro tip: You should have a follow-up strategy for the leads that don’t answer your initial call. A general rule of thumb is to reach out multiple times per day for a week - alternating between call, text, email or Facebook Messenger. If the lead doesn’t respond within the first week, adjust to several touches every other day.
4. Converse with leads that were contacted
Each lead elicits a different follow-up strategy depending on the source of the response, but the general goal is to migrate to a phone call. Let’s say you generate the lead via Facebook Messenger or email, the goal would be to migrate to a phone call or to text and then a phone call. Keep in mind that everyone has a preferred channel of communication and you will need to feed into that channel to effectively communicate with your lead.
Pro tip: You should have follow-up scripts ready and rehearsed before making a call. It’s better to practice your scripts with a friend instead of a client, right? If that’s not your style, be ready to pitch yourself – have a killer hook and give a good reason for them to meet with you. Qualify them if the conversation goes in that direction and try to close for an appointment or another call.
5. Nurturing cold leads
In general, the Facebook leads that you generate will be higher up your funnel and will need long-term nurturing. About 10 - 20% of the online leads that you generate want to talk to an agent immediately, can be qualified, and converted into a client. The remaining 90% - 80% needs to be nurtured between 6 - 12 months (sometimes longer). A lot of agents fail because they don’t have the consistency to maintain a long-term relationship and the lead ends up hiring a different agent. Rather than wasting money on generating leads that you’ll forget about in a few months, install nurturing systems that offer valuable, relevant information and keeps top of mind with your leads.
Pro-tip: You should leverage all channels of communication: emails or texts, social media posts and calls or in-person conversations. Your email drip campaigns should be automated as well as your social media posts if you want to stay consistent and save time. Note: You should try to have every lead follow your Facebook Page so you can both check in on each other. Finally, you’ll need at least one quality touch via phone or in person per month to check in, provide something of value, and make sure you’re on the same page.
Some real estate agents think online leads are a waste of time and that's the reason they fail. Successful agents have a different perspective because they have a proven follow-up strategy that will convert their online leads whether they're ready to buy/sell now or a year from now. They follow up as soon as they generate a new lead and track their activity with a CRM, nurturing them through automated emails, social media posts and periodically checking in with them every month via phone. Are you ready for Facebook clients? Implement this strategy and start converting more Facebook leads today!