Where do your leads come from? And could you convert more with a real estate lead management system?
Your prospects come from a variety of sources: referrals, ad calls, expireds, door knocking...and from online lead generation websites.
You've heard us say before that online leads shouldn't be your top priority—but that doesn't mean they have to be totally absent from your lead generation strategy. In fact, I've been a huge advocate of using web leads my entire career.
I started in real estate sales in 1987. The internet wasn’t in common usage until the late 90s. At that time, I remember coaches telling agents to sift through web leads and only pursue the hot buyers and sellers. (Really! They really said that!) But the truth is, internet leads are gold if you have a good nurturing system.
In this blog post, I'm going to talk about some tactics for using your real estate lead management system (or CRM) to convert your online leads into clients.
When a lead first comes in...
That first follow-up that happens right after a new lead comes in is crucial. You need to respond immediately. But what if a lead comes in at 11:00 p.m. and you're already asleep? This is often the case with online leads.
The solution, of course, is automation through your real estate CRM! Here are 4 ways to automate that first follow-up:
1. Set up your online leads to automatically feed into your real estate CRM.
2. When a new web lead is added to your CRM, it should automatically launch a follow-up workflow.
3. The first action in that follow-up workflow should be an auto-responder—a text, email, or both—that will be delivered immediately to the lead, letting them know you will be calling them as soon as humanly possible (ideally, within 5 minutes, unless it's the middle of the night). The first person to speak with a lead has much better odds of landing them as a client.
4. At the same time the workflow is sending the auto-responder to the lead, it should also send you a notification to reach out to the lead. Then you call them morning, noon, and night until you reach them.
For long-term follow up...
Let's talk a little more about that follow-up workflow and what it should include. After your initial response, the key to converting your online real estate leads is using a variety of methods to follow up consistently over a long period of time. When you're diverse, you can be sure to hit on a suspect’s favorite means of communication. And by following up consistently over time, you will be slowly building a relationship with each of your leads...even if you've never met them in person.
Here are some activities your long-term follow-up workflow might include:
- Phone call reminders
- Email templates (easily automated!)
- SMS text messages
- Checklists for sending direct mail (postcards, letters, Buyer/Seller Packages, etc.)
- Short videos (like the ones BombBomb enables)
And when you finally meet face-to-face...
Back in my real estate sales days, I found that a great way to demonstrate my value to a potential client during a first meeting was to show my hand. I would be totally transparent and let them in on my little secret—that I had a powerful workflow driving my every action. I let them see the great lengths I had taken to ensure that nothing would fall through the cracks.
It was my value proposition. It was what set me apart from the mooing herd.
My pitch usually went something like this:
“Some time ago, I realized that there are far too many critical details in every real estate transaction to leave to a paper checklist—and certainly not to my memory! So I invested a significant amount of time and money into a software system that ensures I dot every I and cross every T. It relentlessly reminds me to do every little detail I need to do for you. It has reduced my stress levels tremendously because, before I started using this system, sometimes things got overlooked. Not any more!”
Then I would SHOW them what my workflows looked like (because talk is cheap)!
When working with couples, I often found that at least one of them was a very detail-oriented person. I called that person “the engineer type.” And let me tell you—when I pulled out that list of 150+ steps I took for each transaction, that engineer type’s eyes would bug out.
If I still couldn’t close them on that appointment, I would pick up all my materials—the list being one of them—and my potential clients would look at me like I was stealing something from them. Trust me...it sells.
Conclusion: CRM is a must for real estate agents
In those early days of my real estate career, there were only two agents in my office who used a computer—me, and the broker. I spent so much time in front of that big, clunky monitor that my broker was constantly saying, “Gary, you know you can’t sell houses to your computer.”
What she didn’t understand was that I was building a follow-up system that would net me the number two position in the office in terms of GCI within the next two years.
I had no sphere of influence, I had a very small family, and I was new in the area. And yet I was successfully building my business, because I was doing something well that most agents were doing poorly: I was following up consistently. What a concept, right?
As someone who has 25+ years of experience studying and implementing more than 50 CRMs, I can confidently say that this software is a necessity for real estate agents, especially when it comes to converting online leads. Using a CRM is how you accomplish consistent follow-up. It's how you respond instantly to incoming leads. And it's how you assure your potential clients that nothing will ever slip through the cracks.