It All Begins with Lead Generation
As real estate agents, we understand the importance of lead generation. Not only do we understand the importance, but some of us have gotten downright good at it. No, not good. Great. Lead generation can be done entirely online through:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Social Posts
- Paid Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click Marketing
- Google Ad Words
Learning to generate leads is one thing. But getting to the conversion table is altogether different. Lead conversion is strategic, not accidental. As much as we'd like to think otherwise, you need more than a good track record and a great personality to conquer lead cultivation and conversion.
Return on investment of Lead generation
Tracking isn't a hobby, it's a necessity. Not all leads are created equal. Some leads are buyers, some leads are sellers, and you can't just issue a generic blanket response. You must know where those leads are coming from, what attracted them to you, whether or not they already have an agent, whether they need long-term nurture or are ready to pull the trigger, and what additional information you can provide to guide that lead into the next phase of your sales funnel. Do you assign ROI (Return on Investment) to your blog posts? Are you able to say, matter of factly, this lead came from:
- This page (a specific page in your website)
- This source (how they found that page: Facebook, Google organic, paid ad, etc.)
- How much was spent promoting that blog?
- What was the return on that promotion?
- How much commission did you earn?
Additionally, tracking sources is an important part of measuring for results. If you know most of your leads come in through native Facebook posts, then it makes sense to invest more time in posting on Facebook. If your leads are coming from pay-per-click ads, then it would be logical to increase the ad budget. When your leads come in from a stellar blog post, emulate that blog post. Be aware of, understand, and embrace the sources that attract leads to your website or services.
The Numbers Game of Lead Conversion
Do you know your percentage rate for lead conversion? What percentage of leads convert to clients? Here's the deal:
In a poll conducted in a Facebook Marketing Masterminds group of more than 14,000 members, not one could honestly claim a four percent conversion rate. We're talking about cold leads whom you've never met, that's not a referral, and not from your sphere of influence. Cold leads. Start to close, none of the 14,000 plus members could provide proof of four percent conversion. But that's not to say it isn't being done - somewhere, by someone.
Four percent may be a little high, so let's peel back a few layers and see how it looks.
If you could add 20 deals - 20 transactions in 2017 that you don't have now, wouldn't that significantly increase your business? If you could generate 2,000 leads in one year and close one percent of those leads, you'd have your twenty. Sounds do-able, right?
If you got good at your conversions, your systems, and your processes, you could double that and have 40 transactions. What does that look like for your year? Then raise the bar again. The new goal, although challenging, is to get to three percent - 60 transactions. Raise three percent to four percent and you've got 80 transactions -- all off of 2,000 leads.
The leads aren't challenging to get. The challenge is in your ability to convert, and the systems and processes you have in place to assist with conversion.
The systems for lead cultivation
There are certain systems and processes in which you must invest if you're going to be serious about lead conversion on a high scale. You need quality CRMs, tracking systems, and additional tools that can relieve pressure and increase conversion. Here are some examples:
- Ballen Real Estate Websites: It all begins with a website designed for lead capture and conversion. Ballen Real Estate Websites (B.R.E.W.) are set up not only with standard features such as an about us page and blog for publishing content marketing, but also with systems in place for lead capture, tracking, and measuring for results. Your website is your digital calling card and is often the first impression a lead develops of you, your business, and your services.
- IDX Provider: IDX Providers such as IDX Broker help you manage listings. With the use of widgets and plug ins, you can pull properties into pages in your website not only for viewers to find, but also to add to search engine authority.
- Infusionsoft: Infusionsoft is a CRM that can not only store contacts, but can sort and filter, then cue you when you need to take action. Infusionsoft prioritizes tasks, letting you know which leads are hot. Of course, the system can also use email to communicate with your leads who require long-term nurturing via pre-established email campaigns. You'll also have access to reports on those campaigns: How many opens? How many clicks? How many unsubscribes? How many sales? Furthermore, based on the actions leads take in those campaigns, leads may be re-sorted into new campaigns. (You may also enjoy: Internet Marketing Tips | Using Infusionsoft Campaigns to Automate Your Marketing)
- Autopilot ISA is a system designed by Ballen Brands to work in conjunction with Infusionsoft and programs like autodialers and Parsey.com. Not only does Autopilot ISA work with Infusionsoft as a CRM with email capabilities and campaigns, but also incorporates text messaging for best results.
- The Ballen Method: The Ballen Method is a self-guided digital marketing curriculum designed to guide you through the steps and resources for real estate lead generation. The Ballen Method curriculum includes actionable items such as checklists, toolkits, ultimate guides, worksheets, workbooks, and more. Furthermore, it includes more than 20 hours of webinar playbacks for you to view in your own time.
- Tech Tuesdays / Got Leads: Once a week, for 30 minutes, Lori Ballen and the Ballen Brands team deliver webinars designed to help you succeed in business. We get right into the down and dirty of blogging, social media, search engine optimization, content marketing, tracking and measuring, and tons of other timely, relavent topics pertaining to real estate lead generation online.
Lead Cultivation to Conversion
Here's where many real estate agents miss the boat in lead cultivation: "How can I help you?" Whether you're responding to a lead by phone, email, or text message, be aware that nobody wants "help". When your message to your lead is, "How can I help you?", chances are you won't receive a reply. Or worse, you'll be turned away with a, "No, thanks."
People who find you through IDX pages are interested in properties, not help. Offer them properties!
Avoid the "When can we meet" temptation and embrace long-term nurture. Some leads require courting before saying "I do" to your propositions.
Another detriment to lead conversion are the look-loo web surfers who already have an agent but are shopping your properties anyway. One of the first questions you should ask out of the gate is, "Who is your agent?" If a prospect already has an agent, that's a dead lead. Remove that lead from your list. Cultivate your leads so you know which are hot and which are not.
Summing it Up
Best practice suggests that you spend 2-3 hours each and every work day dedicated to strategic real estate lead generation. Strategic real estate lead generation is not like throwing spaghetti at the wall with the hopes that something will stick. On the contrary, it's well-thought-out tactics implemented with time on task and consistency. When your conversion rates are based on 2,000 leads, you've got to put the time in to generating quality leads. Lead generation is your domino.
Determine the ROI of your lead generation by knowing your numbers and sources. Where are your leads coming from? Where are those leads landing? What did you invest to attract those leads? When you find what's working, do more of that! It sounds simple, but you'd be surprised at how many real estate professionals are spinning their wheels and making motion with no progress. You must track and measure for results. If something isn't working for you, let it go.
Lead cultivation comes, in part, from understanding how to communicate with your leads. Avoid questions that lead to yes or no answers. Instead, create a dialogue - a two way path of communication that encourages leads to engage with you. Qualify your leads, then sort and filter so you can communicate with your leads about their needs.
Have the right systems and programs in place for lead cultivation so that you're ready to nurture and convert those leads. Don't aim for instant gratification -- understand the importance of long-term nurturing, and don't make the mistake of treating all leads the same. Four percent conversion is not outside of your reach, but it will not happen by accident. Set your goals, then go after them with strategic efforts, determination, dedication, and passion.
Our Gift to You
Because we understand the immeasurable value of tracking and measuring for results, we've put together a handy tracking toolkit - yours FREE.