Guess what the average closing rate is for real estate leads that are generated online? It’s a meager 1%. That means millions of leads are going to the virtual dead lead drawer and millions of dollars invested by brokers to purchase those leads are being tossed away.
Brokers often make the mistake of letting their agents handle lead management. But how well do agents handle leads? That’s a subject that the WAV Group, real estate industry consultants, studied.
Their researchers called agents, posing as homebuyers, and then waited for a call back: Half the agents never called. For the ones who did, the average response time was 917 minutes, or more than 15 hours
That’s why brokers must not rely on agents to manage inactive leads. Fortunately, there is a better way.
Here are 4 steps to bring dead leads back to life:
- Centralize your inactive leads in one place. The problem with agents managing inactive leads is that the leads are scattered: They’re in Outlook, on a spreadsheet, in a CRM, in their Gmail or Hotmail accounts. They also are not categorized: Are they renters or are they move-up or move-down candidates? Are they single homebuyers or first timers? Are they looking for an investment property or a second home? If you first can corral all the inactive leads in one place, you can begin the segmentation process. That’s something agents hardly ever do, but extremely valuable to increasing the success of your the lead nurturing process. The key is to quickly add new inactive leads to your central repository as soon as an agent pronounces them dead.
- Start the nurturing process. Now that you have your leads, you need a system that touches them on a regular basis. Imprev, for examples, provides email and print/mail campaigns that help you stay-in-touch with your inactive leads. You can’t use hard sell tactics to engage today’s consumer. And don’t waste your time sending them recipe postcards.
You need to provide relevant content – information that makes a connection and gets them to pay attention to what you send them. We do that through a number of campaigns, some are as simple as sending a greeting on a traditional holiday, others provide timely seasonal information or content that strikes a chord with a particular group of leads (how to go from renting to owning; downsizing strategies, etc.).
Automating this process is the key. You don’t have time to manage this manually, even on a monthly basis. Having an automated system in place can make managing leads a simple set-and-forget process.
- Stay connected. Ninja marketing experts tout how vital top-of-mind awareness is when someone is at the tipping point in deciding to buy a home. They will tell you that most people know at least three real estate agents, but the one they are most likely to hire is the one they came into contact with last. That’s why staying connected is so vital and that you must be in it for the long run. You have to realize that some cold leads may not be ready to buy for years. But if you do the math and add up what you spend to stay in touch with these folks, your return on investment will be incredible. Even if just 5 percent of all your cold lead transact over a five-year period of time, you have doubled the success of your lead performance.
- Don’t do too little, don’t do too much. If your inactive leads feel bombarded with your messages or you don’t touch them as frequently as you should, you’ll lose them. It’s not solely about providing them relevant content: It’s also in the timing of how often that content is received. Once again, this is where automation is a great option. It not only saves you time, it allows you to create an entire year’s worth of touches, with the pacing that is just right.
The key to nurturing inactive leads and bringing back to life is being realistic with your expectations and being committed to see the process through. As an industry, we often talk about a client goal being keeping a “customer for life,” yet we don’t have an ecosystem established for you customers’ entire lifecycle. By creating an ecosystem, you’ll stay connected, stay relevant and eventually take leads left for dead and turn them into real deals.