What are the most successful lead cultivation practices?
Real estate professionals cultivate leads in a variety of ways. Before the Internet it was all about networking, print marketing, T.V., radio, homes magazines, business cards and other traditional media that still work for us. Then along came the Web and we added websites, blogs and social sites. Let’s examine how we handle leads that are generated on our websites and why one agent takes a higher percentage to the closing table than another.
There’s only one way to define “success” when it comes to working with website leads; it’s a closing and commission. Nothing less is acceptable if you place maximum emphasis on lead conversion. We should also define a lead as a prospect, someone we have enticed into giving us their contact information. Until we have that, we have no lead to cultivate.
- EVERY lead is a good lead. Start with this in mind and don’t pre-judge leads by their questions or search habits. If you’re watching their activity in your IDX, you still may not know their true motivation or financial capability.
- DO NOT judge, but definitely use their questions and search habits. If you’re going to try to help your prospect, you’ll want to send them information that relates to their needs. Don’t send canned email about McMansions to a searcher who is marking 2 BR ranch homes as favorites.
- DO send them a drip email campaign, but make it relevant. Unless you have a very narrow niche, a single all-encompassing drip email campaign will be less effective in building on your relationship with the prospect. Create several campaigns, each focused on a niche prospect type, area or property type. The fastest path to an “Unsubscribe” is sending emails that are of little or no interest to the prospect.
- ALWAYS concentrate your maximum immediate effort on the leads you think are the “hottest” based on their statements or questions. When prospects give you information that indicates they’re going to buy or list within a short time period, concentrate on their needs first; make them a priority… but,
- NEVER let the other leads slide. Studies have shown that the majority of sales professionals will drop attempts to convert many leads if they get no response after three attempts to make contact or a sale. Unless a prospect tells you they’ve bought elsewhere or listed with a competitor or they die, never drop your efforts to convert them to a closing. In some way, with email or phone calls or both, contact every lead on a regular basis.
- In all of the above activities, reinforce your status as a local real estate expert with the information and help they need to successfully buy or sell real estate.
If you want to distill all of the above into a single lead conversion strategy statement, it would be: “All leads are good leads, though some are more urgent, and a lead is never “expired,” so ongoing targeted communication is your path to a closing and commission.”