Last Updated on April 9, 2017In Part 1 of this article, we covered 6 strategies for generating online buyer and seller leads. Now we’ll shift our focus to an even more important area of web marketing… converting leads into commission-producing clients.
How To Convert Online Real Estate LeadsThe first step in the conversion process is capturing the contact information of leads so you can follow-up and give them more reasons to become your client.
INTERNET STRATEGY #7: Make An OFFER For Valuable InformationContact forms are not new to real estate websites, but it’s surprising how many agents don’t include a “lead generation magnet” to collect the contact information of interested prospects. This is a specific offer for a free report or free video in exchange for a person’s email address, mailing address, or phone number. Remember, 99% of your website visitors will not fill out a “Contact Me” form just because it’s on your site. You need to offer visitors something THEY value and then create a custom opt-in form for them to request the free information. What could you offer?
- Free MLS searches
- Allow visitors to view 2 listings, before they register (this method is proven to get 14 times more leads than other options)
- Allow visitors to save searches — if they register
- Create a signup for HouseTrack to get automatic email updates on the listings they like
- Free “Introductory” Services
- “Dream Home Finder Service” for buyers
- “Maximum Home Value Audit” for sellers
- Free information
- A relocation package, including local information and moving tips
- Special “consumer awareness” reports filled with helpful information for buyers or sellers and pre-sells your services
- A video tour of homes in specific subdivisions or areas of your city
- Free news and updates
- A free signup for your real estate newsletter
- You can also offer staging tips, market information, local event reminders, and real estate news
INTERNET STRATEGY #8: Track Your Visitors On Your SiteIt used to be that you would have to talk to a homebuyer first in order to discover what they’re looking for in a home. Now, the right technology allows you to immediately know what a homebuyer is searching for in the MLS. Meaning, you can have that information ready before you actually have a conversation with them. This allows you to be more efficient when dealing with new leads AND you make a better impression when you talk to them.
Common situations where this information is helpful:1. You can’t reach a homebuyer. Whenever you call, they aren’t available. Well, when you know the time of day that a homebuyer is usually searching for homes, you can customize your strategy to reach the homebuyer at a time you KNOW they are available. 2. A homebuyer has viewed the same listing repeatedly. You notice that a homebuyer has returned to your MLS Search page to view the same listing they saved a week ago. You know that they are obviously interested in that specific home so you can contact them offering to setup a viewing. Several high-end IDX MLS Search tools now offer tracking information similar to what is mentioned above. These tools also help you track your communication with leads. If your IDX search tool includes these features, it will more than pay for itself from the increase in the number of leads you can convert into commissions.
INTERNET STRATEGY #9: Send Out Listing Update EmailsIf you have a tracking system on your website you will know if a homebuyer is searching for very specific features. The more focused the homebuyer is, the closer they tend to be to purchasing. You can offer to setup showings or send other listings that you know match their search criteria. These “listing update” emails are an invaluable service to a homebuyer! There are two ways to implement this strategy: FIRST, you could search the MLS and send your leads periodic emails about new listings, updated listings, and hot buys that the homebuyer may be interested in. SECOND, you could use a system that has a built-in feature for sending out listing updates automatically. When visitors save a search on your MLS Search page, they have the option to receive HouseTrack and get automated listing update emails. All emails should include your photo and link back to your website, meaning your name stays at the top of their mind. These emails are a great way to keep your website visitors coming back to your site and to convert them to from online to a live showing of some of the listings.
INTERNET STRATEGY #10: Follow-up ASAP and OngoingThis is perhaps the most important strategy of all to increase the number of online leads you convert to clients. If you don’t try to get in touch with new leads immediately, they won’t become your clients. They will not pursue you. If you are unresponsive, homebuyers will move on to find someone who is responsive. Why is quick response time so critical? Because it communicates how responsive you’ll be if they were your client. A slow response time sends a message that you cannot provide the support they need. No one wants to work with an agent that is too busy to even talk to them. Plus, if someone fills out a form on your website and you wait a week before you respond to their inquiry, they may not even remember you. According to a study done by the California Association of REALTORS®, when homebuyers were asked why they were satisfied with their agent, the most common response was “always quick to respond”. So make sure your real estate website has a way to notify you every time a new lead fills out a form on your site. ALSO, and this is really important, most of your leads will not be ready to buy or sell when you contact them. Most will needs weeks if not months more to decide their next move. How can you stay in touch with these leads at least once a month without spending a lot of time managing the process? The biggest mistake agents make after the initial contact is failure to follow-up sufficiently to convert a lead to a client. The important point here is you continue to keep in contact with leads you generate…offering them more information and resources to help with their search, or simply being on their mind when the time is right for them. Here are two ways to contact leads without it taking a lot of time:
- After a lead opt-ins on your website, add them to an automated drip email campaign. You can send them market information, real estate news, home buying and selling tips, or anything else that is relevant to what they requested from you. Showcase your expertise and the high level of service you offer. These emails can be sent daily or weekly at first and then monthly to ask them how else you can help.
- Consider sending them a monthly real estate newsletter (email or print) that is NOT all about real estate. They may be close to buying or selling but the vast majority of people will welcome and value helpful consumer-related information more than continual mailings that are only about the real estate market. You’ll be surprised at how well this can build trust and pre-sell your services, especially if you continue to offer multiple reasons for them to contact you in your monthly newsletter.