July 03, 2017

Decoding 'The Conversion Code' for Real Estate Agents

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The sales funnel, the sales pipeline, whatever else the kids may be calling it these days...we all recognize the importance of having a strong process for converting leads into clients. But have you mastered it that process? Turns out there's a bit more to it than placing an ad and letting your phone ring off the hook with all those prospective leads.

Our friend Chris Smith has mastered this process and turned it into a bestselling book to boot. Chris Smith is one of the founders of Curaytor - a marketing and sales coaching company - and has also worked with several very successful startups and business people. He knows what he's talking about here and The Conversion Code is proof of that.

That's why we're breaking down his processes for real estate professionals looking to perfect their sales process and improve the experience of each and every lead that comes into their system. From their first glimpse at your website to their final decision as they choose YOU as their real estate agent, we'll walk you through using The Conversion Code for yourself.

Step 1: Capturing Internet Leads

Isn't the web where all leads are coming from these days? We know, it's not entirely true, but it's safe to say that most of your leads are coming from online sources. More often than not, we're facing the dilemma of properly capturing all the leads that come in through your online channels in the first place.

1. Improve the landing page experience

If you're sitting there wondering what the heck a landing page is, it's okay! You're not alone. And most likely, as a real estate agent, you may not have to build out your own landing pages from scratch anyway. That being said, the rules of building an efficient landing page still apply to any one of your contact pages on Zillow or Trulia, or even your personal website.

A landing page is a dedicated page or website with one focus, and generally that focus is to capture leads. The objective of the landing page is to gather information on prospective clients so that you can contact them in the future. If you have a website already, think of a lead-capturing landing page as a separate arm of your website, one where your potential leads won't get lost or confused. If they're looking for more information or want to reach out to you, the landing page offers a simple destination for them to input their contact information and go!

But, the point here is to keep it simple, so you must prioritize what information you need and make it very conspicuous on the page. The point here is to convert anyone who lands on the page. The "conversion" could be that they sign up for your email newsletter, sign up to receive a free e-book or other giveaway, or it could simply be that they give you their information for a particular listing they're interested in. Whatever your objective, Smith has 9 guidelines for creating the 'perfect' conversion-optimized landing page:

  • A clear headline/title
  • A subheadline that keeps them moving down the page
  • Concise and proofread description of the purpose of the page
  • A testimonial from a former client
  • Call to action with an obvious button
  • Clickable buttons that draw attention
  • Remove any links that may drive visitors away from the page
  • Image or video that keeps visitors' attention on the page
  • Keep all your information above the fold and keep visitors from having to scroll down

2. Optimize your content for social media

Don't think your blog or social media plays a part in all of this? Think again. According to NAR,  51% of home buyers found the home they eventually purchased on the Internet. More often than not, prospective leads and clients are going to be doing their research into you as their agent, too. You want to optimize everything you put out there for both the folks looking for you, AND for Google. This is where your SEO skills may come in handy, but also where some quick tips for optimizing your social media postings and profiles will come into play:

  • Use images and photos
  • Share content often and use relevant hashtags when you do
  • Target the right people or groups with your posts and information

Look into doing more with platforms like Facebook and explore your options with advertising and boosting your Facebook posts to relevant audiences. We're in the Age of Information and, more often than not, your leads and clients will be doing as much online research as they possibly can on both the home-buying process and on you. Make it as convenient and simple as possible for them to do so!

Step 2: Creating Quality Appointments

So you've brought in all those warm leads from your optimized website and social media profiles, but now you actually need to meet these leads and move them along in your pipeline. How will you make it happen? Sure, it's easy to say that you'll just give them a call, but is that realistic? According to Smith, "In a perfect world, you have someone dedicated to calling every new lead as quickly as humanly possible to schedule them quickly for a lengthier call or appointment." But more likely than not, you don't have an assistant or that kind of help, leaving it up to you to start the follow-up process.

To improve your speed to lead, invest in a CRM that simplifies and streamlines the process of sending out follow-up emails, or gets your leads into an immediate email drip campaign. The key here is setting up some automation for following up with your leads as quickly as possible when they come to you from an online form or via social media. The fresher you are on their mind, the better chance you have of staying relevant with them as they move forward with their decision-making process.

Smith's best advice for sending an email, whether it be a bulk email or personal email, is to make sure it falls into at least one of these three 'buckets':

  • Educational
  • Entertaining
  • Conversational

'Conversations create customers' and building relationships from those conversations is one of the best ways to earn trust, close sales, and get more referrals.

Step 3: Close All the Sales

Last but certainly not least, is actually closing all those internet leads and creating happy clients with new homes! Smith's recommendation is to get on the phone as soon as possible with your leads. But first, do a little research on your leads...maybe a little "Google stalking" to use Smith's terminology. "When you find a lead on Facebook, it immediately opens up a treasure chest of personal information about them that is highly empowering for me as a salesperson...it also helps me remember that it is still a person on the other end of the call" says Smith.

It's an easy way to do your 'homework' on the lead, in an effort to get to know them as well as you possibly can as you get ready to assist them in one of the biggest and quite possibly one of the most personal purchases they'll make in their life. Take the time to make meaningful conversation, ask deep questions, and build trust.

Start converting

Ready to implement The Conversion Code into your sales process? It's certainly not a one-size-fits-all solution but in a world where most sales and sales decisions are coming from online sources, it's more important than ever to master the fine art of bringing in and closing internet leads. Start building in aspects of The Conversion Code into your process (pat yourself on the back if you're already taking some of these actions!) and let us know what works for you and the successes you're finding!