December 07, 2015
As a real estate agent, your leads are a big deal; they're the difference between selling a home, and well...not. And as a real estate agent, you hear from a lot of people throughout your day, and all those contacts and connections you make are your leads.
You know how to sell a house or two, but do you know the best practices on reaching out to your cold leads and converting them to new hot leads?
First you have to understand what exactly qualifies as a cold lead before you can start the conversion process. Whether they're buyers or sellers on the market, these leads can easily fall by the wayside or can even drop the ball on communicating with you.
It's up to you to maintain the relationship, whether that means the initial connection, or the first connection in a long time. And now, it's time for you to take a deep dive into your email inbox and your online presence to start hunting for your cold leads.
How can you convert a cold lead if you're not even sure what qualifies them as a cold lead in the first place? You need to define what a cold lead means to you. Is it someone who's touched your website or quickly reached out to you on social media? Or maybe it's someone who reached out to you a few months ago and never followed up again. Perhaps it's someone who dropped by an open house and left you their card but nothing panned out from there.
Now that you have your definition, it's time to start hunting for these cold leads. Begin by digging through your inbox from the past year. This is where taking a look into getting a CRM software may come in handy in helping to keep you on track with staying in touch and following up with these leads. You may find some emails back there in the depths of your inbox that you simply forgot about or you may have even received some mail that just got lost in the shuffle of your desk. Sure, they may be cold now but it's worth a call!
Keep in mind, you won't be connecting with your leads in all the same manner, so you need to make sure to classify each of your leads in order to reach out to them in the most appropriate way. Understand that those folks who sent you a letter or left you a voicemail a few months back won't necessarily respond positively to a quick email from you.
Engage! The first step to converting your cold leads is engaging with them. If you've discovered some cold leads in the depths of your inbox, reach out to them with some engaging content that doesn't necessarily have to do with real estate. Share an interesting article or some information about a new restaurant in their neighborhood, or send them a quick email to say hello and ask how they're doing. These leads are far more likely to reply to you if you're not just trying to sell them something right off the bat. Contact them on a human level, especially if it's been a long time since you heard from them last. Keep in mind though, that about 12% of buyers say that they are turned off by a salesperson who's 'too pushy.' Think about how you as a customer would want to be sold to, and treat your leads the same way.
Once you've made that initial contact, you can then follow-up and find out whether they're still in need of a realtor. Even if they're not on the market anymore, they're likely to remember your personal engagement and could send plenty of references your way. A quick hello, a holiday card or an email with a personal touch is enough to keep you top of mind. And hey, it doesn't hurt to ask for their references either because everyone knows someone who's looking to buy or sell.
Be sure to maintain your online presences, more people than ever are finding their homes through online searches, so stay on the ball with your social media platforms. If a lead reaches out to you on social media, then we say to respond in kind. But don't just leave it at that, make sure to continue your engagement with them. 'Like' their update on Facebook or congratulate them on their job change on LinkedIn, do your best to maintain some type of personal relationship with them through these platforms and remain at the top of their mind.
We all know the importance of trusting your realtor today, and what better way to gain potential leads' trust than by maintaining a friendly relationship with them over social media? Humanize yourself and your business and watch as more leads stay in touch and convert throughout the year.
If you're looking at cold leads sitting in your inbox from a few months ago, you need to ask yourself some key questions and understand why they're sitting there in the first place. Take a look at this handy flowchart for determining exactly what your next steps are in the conversion process. You may have to re-evaluate your strategy for following-up or perhaps present them with some new options if they weren't quite ready to buy/sell the last time you spoke to them.
All of your leads are unique, so don't just put them all on the same email campaign and expect big results. You need to nurture them in an individualized way that makes them feel like you're really listening to them and paying attention to what they need. If they'd rather speak on the phone, then stop emailing them and give them a call. Don't get discouraged if they don't respond right away, show initiative, be persistent (but respectful) and try out a few different methods for reaching out to them.
As you probably already know, this conversion process most likely won't happen overnight. But it doesn't hurt to start the process right now. Keep your clients in mind as you begin to reach out for that initial contact, create the ideal experience for them and don't leave them out in the cold. We know that personally reaching out to each and every lead isn't necessarily viable so instead, take the time to segment out your lists of contacts based on your lead classifications. From there, you can reach out to them in the most appropriate way...and watch the responses roll in.