With so many of the national real estate portals—Realtor.com, Zillow.com, and others—generating and offering leads for sale, purchased Internet leads have become a source for many of today’s real estate professionals. But, once you’ve purchased and received the lead, how do you turn that into viable business?
The dawn of the Internet has changed how we get leads. While some of the traditional, pre-Internet nurturing tactics still apply, there are new rules for the new world.
Here are 5 tips on how to nurture, follow-up with, and close the leads you get from the national portals:
#1. It’s Not Dead Until It’s Dead
Perhaps the biggest mistake that real estate agents make is giving up on the lead too early—considering it dead on arrival if the prospect isn’t ready to take action right away. Yet, according to the 2015 National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, the average home search process takes 10 weeks, and then add another 45-60 days to close the deal.
Getting buyers and sellers to the closing table takes time, and lead nurturing is a long-term game. If you’re not in it for the long haul, your competitors are—and they’re capturing your discarded leads. Make a contact database using our free template and create an efficient plan for staying in touch.
#2. Personal Still Matters
Even in the digital age, the human touch still matters. While a quick text message can help reduce all-important response time, it’s important that you communicate with your prospects as people—not robots.
Your computer can’t sit down and have coffee with someone. It can’t send a handwritten note. Adding these types of human gestures into your nurture strategy distinguishes you from other agents.
#3. Response Time is Crucial
One of the aspects of lead nurturing that is constantly evolving is response time. Gone are the days of returning the prospect’s call the next day—by then, your competition has already scooped them up. Sadly, the average response time to incoming real estate leads is around 15 hours and 42% are never responded to at all!
But, according to a study conducted by Prof. James B. Oldroyt at MIT, your odds of reaching a lead if you call within 5 minutes of their reaching out—compared to waiting 30 minutes—drop 100 times. Short response time is the key to connecting with your online leads!
#4. Brand Matters
The same Generational Trends report also tells us that one of the most important factors in choosing a real estate agent is their reputation. Home buyers and sellers are researching and finding their agents online. They’re looking at your website, your LinkedIn profile—anything they can find to get a better idea of who you and your brand are. Take this into account when managing your reputation online. Keep it fresh and consistent. Here are some tips for focusing your message.
It’s also important to remember that your brand and reputation don’t stop there. As a realtor you need to turn yourself into an appealing brand and that brand needs to reach far beyond a few social media pages. American Lifestyle magazine expands your brand past the screen in a memorable way that prospects and clients love.
#5. Follow-Up Takes Time
As mentioned before, lead nurturing is a long-term game—and follow-up is no different. On average, agents make 1.5 call-back attempts after the initial contact is made. But, many sources agree that it takes 6-8 calls before the home buyer or seller is ready to move forward—so be patient.
Patience, persistence, and ongoing outreach will help you move your prospects forward from lead to client to close.
Putting it All Together
In today’s ultracompetitive real estate market, there’s no time to let good leads die—especially if you’re paying for them! Make sure your nurturing efforts are not wasted by adding American Lifestyle magazine into your touch points.
A high quality, custom-branded magazine delivered directly to your clients, American Lifestyle magazine is just what you need to build brand recognition, stay top-of-mind, and extend the life of your follow-up. Learn more today!