5 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Turn Online Leads Into Clients
The Internet can make the job of finding and managing new leads for your real estate business easier than ever. But even though it’s easy to find or buy leads online, it doesn’t matter if you can’t convert them. Real estate agents need to consistently contact leads with messages they are excited to see if they want conversions. Here are some tips that will help you turn your online leads into clients.
A Quick Note on Leads Vs Prospects
If we are being honest here, an online lead is really just a prospect until you reach out and make contact. They may have visited your website or come from Zillow, but they have no reason to be your lead until you have reached out. That is why CRMs are so important.
1. Have a Solid CRM in Place
Many real estate agents use Client Relationship Managers (CRMs) to organize their online real estate leads. And, for good reason – CRMs are great for turning leads into clients. But, there are so many agents out there that spend good money on CRMs only to joke that they never use them or have no idea how they work. Many agents get excited, set their software up, and then never do anything with it. But, setting up a CRM is only the first step in converting your leads.
Choosing a CRM
Being sure to choose a real estate-specific CRM is so important. Many generic business CRMs have features and tools that don’t really apply to real estate. Picking a CRM that can manage all of your leads (IDX, Zillow, Realtor.com, FaceBook, etc.) in one place is also a must. However, it isn’t enough to just choose a solid one and set it up. It is important to pick one that will actually work to build relationships with your leads and get them to convert. CRMs like Buying Buddy IDX CRM stand out because they send messages to your leads that they actually look forward to getting. These messages include tailored listings that actually match their online search history and their search criteria for a home.
Pick a CRM that is:
- real estate specific
- can import and manage all of your leads
- sends messages that your leads look forward to receiving
Tips for Converting Leads Faster with Your CRM:
After you pick out and set up your CRM, there are plenty of tricks converting your online leads into clients:
Only send emails that say “Sent from my i-Phone” or “Sent from my Android” to create a personal touch. You may not be sitting in your car looking at the email when it was sent, but it will sure look like you were.
Make sure that leads are contacted immediately after they land in your CRM with either a text message or phone call. Strike while your lead is thinking about buying or selling.
Take the scriptedness out of your CRM messages by offering leads tailored listings match their internet home search histories. IDX capture makes this super easy.
All automated messages should contain personal, relevant information. If you want to keep leads hooked, keep it personal. No one likes robo calls, texts, or emails. Be sure every message contains the lead’s first name and wording that looks like it was written by a human. If your message looks like this, “These MLS listings matched your search criteria,” then you are doing it wrong. It should look like this, “Hey Paul, I was looking at the newest listings and I thought these 3 bedroom ranches would be right up your alley.”
Never spam leads; they will block you. Every time you reach out to a lead, make sure you offer something of value! Whether it is news about mortgage rates, listings, or open house info, everything you send from your CRM needs to be something your lead wants to see. If all of your messages look like this, “I was wondering how your home search is going, give me a call…” then you’re not going to get alot of new clients. It should look more like this, “Hi Pam, I saw this cute 2 bedroom condo today and thought of you [link].”
Make sure all texts come from a personal number call back number, instead of spam number (e.g. 538-00).
Use the call function on your CRM. So many agents ignore the call scheduling function on their real estate CRM. Hammering out an hour or two of calling leads will quickly turn into bonds with new clients.
2. Give Lead’s a Reason to Call You Back
Human curiosity can be a powerful motivator in the sales process. Though it’s important to accurately and thoroughly answer any question your real estate leads may have, you also want your leads to have a reason to keep contacting you for more information. This is why leaving your emails, texts, and voicemails on a “cliffhanger” may become a powerful tool to motivate your leads to respond for more details.
For example, if your lead emails you with questions about a listings’ master bathroom and the kitchen, you can reply with all the details of the bathroom that you have available, and then close the message with something like, “Give me a call – I actually wanted to talk to you about a few things about the kitchen.” It’s a subtle call to action – the lead must now call you back to find out what you needed to tell them. Of course, this is only effective if you have additional details to discuss with your lead, so be sure to document the exchange in your CRM, and be prepared to provide additional value when they reply.
3. Become a Valuable Resource
Calling a lead just to check in and see where they are at never works. It places the real estate agent’s needs before the lead’s.
Instead, make it a point to provide something of value every time you call or contact your online real estate leads. Give them useful, relevant information, and establish yourself as a knowledgeable point of contact. Let your leads know that they can reach out to you about anything real estate-related. Then, follow it up by sending them listings that match their home search needs, market reports, mortgage references, and more.
This puts your leads’ needs and concerns first, and will help differentiate you from other agents who, in contrast, may only call your lead to pressure them to sign. It also establishes you as a reliable expert who is looking out for their best interests.
4. Personalize Your Automation
If you are using automated marketing – and you should be – email drip campaigns can be a huge help. Right after you get a lead’s email address, they should be put on an email drip campaign that automatically reaches out at least three times a month. The trick to getting clients is by sharing personalized and helpful information in each email.
Many CRMs and emailing services like MailChimp have personalization features that let you automatically use your lead’s first name, but many messages still end up unopened. Just think about all the unopened promotional emails you have sitting in your inbox right now. The problem many of these emails are too generic and don’t really stand out.
The good news is email marketing can be a super effective way to turn leads into clients. The trick is making sure each of our emails is:
- friendly and informational
- includes useful information like listings and market reports
- has a strong call-to-action
Thoughtful drip emails can go a long way toward making your leads feel like they’ve contacted a real person who wants to help them.
5. Have a Plan – Every Time
Real estate agents should reach out as soon as they get a new lead. But it’s important to have a plan when you call. “I see you want to buy/sell a home…” is never enough. Come up with a few questions before you call and try to prepare answers for any potential questions your lead may have. Most of all, have a follow-up in mind. A safe bet is, “Hey, can I send you a market report and some listings I think might be a good fit?” Your leads want to work with a trustworthy, reliable realtor that can guide them through the home-buying process from start to finish. First impressions always matter.
When you can’t reach out to new leads right away, have a plan in place. Keep an email draft in your drafts folder with a short, friendly “away” message that assures your leads that you’re looking forward to replying to them as soon as you can.
Converting online leads into clients can seem like a challenge. But with a marketing process in place, it can pay off big time. Using tools like CRMs and having a plan place can make it easy to source new clients from the internet.