4 Steps to Convert Online Leads into Buyers

By
Real Estate Agent with BEX Realty Orlando

The single most important part of converting online lead is to first realize the difference in buying timeframe of internet buyers.  While sign calls or office walk-ins indicate “ready to transact now” buyers, online leads take on average 12-18 months from the time of first contact to the time of transaction. As an agent you need to stay in front of the buyer and provide useful information during this entire lead nurturing stage so when the time comes to write an offer you will be the first one in their mind. Staying in touch with hundreds of internet home shoppers for 1-2 years could be a daunting task and that is why it is important to enlist technology to help automate this process.

Here are 5 steps and to help you convert online shoppers into buyers:

 

1. First Contact

Lead response study from MIT shows that responding to your lead within first 5 minutes after initial contact  increases your chance to convert this lead into buyer 80x compared to responding in 30 minutes. Make the best use of your Zillow or Trulia marketing dollars by responding to your leads immediately.

Automate your first response with FiveStreet.com which can send text message and email to your leads for you 24/7.

 

2. Buyer Websites

The only thing online buyers are interested in are listings and information about them. This is after all the reason they reached out to you through Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com. This is our chance to move the buyer away from these portals (where they will be exposed to more other Realtors) and put them on our own property search where we have better control of their house shopping experience. The advantage of your own buyer website showing latest listings from our MLS directly is that that get the most accurate and up-to-date information about properties and they are only exposed to you as their Realtor.

There are many vendors for buyer websites feeding directly from our MLS. You can FlexMLS portal for free, have basic website built locally or use more robust systems like BoomTown.com,  MarketLeader.com or Zurple which include back-end Customer Relationship Management, listing updates or email campaigns. I had a great experience with RealGeeks website www.Shore4UHomes.com and their customer service

 

3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems

CRM systems can help you stay in touch with high amount of online leads for long period of time consistently throughout the entire 1-2 year lead nurturing phase all the way up to successful closing. Automated email drip campaigns can be assigned to each lead to send out useful information about the buying process, market reports or area information. This will help you to stay on top of minds of your clients and you will be the first one to thing of  when it comes to real estate. The best part is that you only have to set up the campaigns once and they then run automatically.

Most popular CRM Systems include TopProducer.com, Contactually or Zoho.

 

4. Monthly Market Reports

One of the best tools to show online buyers  your expertise and knowledge about your market is to send monthly market reports showing real estate activity in their area of interest. While this can be done manually using data in our FlexMLS, it requires significant investment of tome and becomes a challenge with higher number of customers. Of course technology can help and automate the entire process.

Our association just recently competed our integration with RPR. Access to RPR is provided for free as a part of our membership benefits. RPR can create variety of visually appealing market reports you can send to your clients as PDF. Another great tool is TopProducer’s Market Snapshop which can trigger and send automatic report about specific neighborhood or property when new sale closes or new listing comes to market in the target area.

Managing and nurturing of online leads is a long term process which can be made easy with use of the right technology and awareness of the fact that your buyers are most likely at the beginning of their research.

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Rainmaker
699,027
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

All very good points.  The hardest is getting past #1 with a really legitimate lead.

Jun 29, 2015 11:26 PM #1
Rainmaker
212,605
Stefan Winter
Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger - Las Vegas, NV
Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech

All great and important steps, especially getting them away from Zillow or Realtor.com to our own website or app. Only thing I'd add is do something to stand out from other Realtors they signed up with online, like sent video emails instead of just words or something not many agents do.

Jun 29, 2015 11:27 PM #2
Rainmaker
680,255
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Nice first post here to Active Rain. Welcome aboard! Contacting a lead within a short amount of time is paramount. They will move on to someone else very quickly. 

Jun 30, 2015 01:10 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,105,751
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Good points. My practical approach after 1-2 months of lack of personal contact, Kiss the leads bye bye.

Jun 30, 2015 01:35 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,105,751
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Thanks for sharing. I will work on the sales data...

Sam Shueh

Jun 30, 2015 01:36 AM #5
Rainmaker
183,392
Michele Milic
Realty ONE Group ~ 702.419.5359 - Las Vegas, NV

Tony, congratulations on your first post and welcome to Active Rain. Excellent article on lead conversion....nice RG site.

Have a great day.

Jun 30, 2015 04:01 AM #6
Rainmaker
2,463,612
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Welcome aboard Tony! Great first post, I think this was a very informative and nice blog. I hope to see many more from you in the future!

Jun 30, 2015 07:10 AM #7
Rainer
292,121
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

This is all good information that many agents do not apply. Do not forget that the CRM and autoresponder will not always increase conversion. Allocate the time each day to call and or leave a message when you have a phone number. And remember that multivariate touching is also critical.

Jul 01, 2015 03:33 AM #8
Rainer
8,176
Angie Dziurgot
Equity Colorado - Aurora, CO
Aurora, CO Realtor

Great first post Tony.  It is really hard to stay in touch with non-responsive leads, but I do it until they unsubscribe or tell me stop.

Do you know and Prochazkas in the Denver area?  We are good friends with a family in Aurora, our son's played hockey together.

Jul 01, 2015 04:03 AM #9
Rainer
157,815
Laura Moore
Coldwell Banker - Granite Bay, CA
Competent ~ Caring ~ Committed

Getting the lead onto our sites is key. Knowing what they are looking at, and how frequently they are are logging in gives great clues to when they are getting closer to being real.

Jul 01, 2015 04:10 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,431,803
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Great post and those are 4 important things to watch and keep in mind.  Thanks for the post.

Jul 01, 2015 04:38 AM #11
Rainmaker
512,421
Bill Kennedy
Keller Williams Realty - Greenville, SC
Homes For Sale Greenville SC

Great job on your first blog! Keep up the good work and welcome to AR!

Jul 01, 2015 05:19 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,573,838
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Is this your first post? Good job. Keep this up and you will have more leads.

Jul 01, 2015 11:46 AM #14
Ambassador
2,011,382
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Tony - 
This is great information as online leads are just different than other types.  I'm bookmarking it for later.

Jul 02, 2015 03:46 PM #15
Ambassador
2,011,382
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Tony - This is very well done, especially for a first post.  Welcome to the community.

Jul 02, 2015 03:47 PM #16
Ambassador
2,011,382
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Please know that the ambassadors, those with the orange badges, are here to help if you have questions.

Jul 02, 2015 03:47 PM #17
Rainmaker
628,651
The Temple Team
THE TEMPLE TEAM - Mooresville, NC
Specializing in Lake Norman/Charlotte/Charleston

CONGRATULATIONS on your First BLOG and WELCOME TO ACTIVE RAIN! You're going to love it here!

KT

Jul 05, 2015 02:06 PM #18
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Rainmaker
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Tony Prochazka

REALTOR®
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