In the real estate industry, organization and follow up almost always equals success. For a solo agent managing multiple deals, or an agent/broker who is part of a large team, the common complaint is usually that leads or past clients “slip through the cracks,” and thus thousands of commission dollars are lost as a result.
The majority of successful real estate industry professionals have talent and skills in the area of personal interaction and human connection. It’s the essence of why and how clients choose a realtor to represent them in what is usually the largest financial transaction of their lives. They know how to present themselves as someone who is knowledgeable and can get their clients the best deal on that home purchase, or sell their home quickly and for the right asking price.
When a reputable and experienced agent connects one-on-one with their client, the magic happens and the relationship is solidified. Chances are, the client chose that agent because she felt the power of the “it factor,” and that agent has something she identifies with. So follows a successful transaction.
Meat on the table
Many agents and brokers are aware that at any given time, there are massive amounts of “meat left on the table,” so to speak. This “meat” represents leads who called in on a listing sign, came through some web lead generation tool, or even referral potential from past clients or repeat buyers/sellers.
The problem is, it’s nearly impossible for agents to consistently and accurately follow up with every potential sale or listing in a timely manner.
Agents have an ever-growing sphere of influence and are consistently adding to their past client database. They have the hugely daunting task of separating the really interested internet leads or phone calls from those who are just curious about the price of the neighbor’s house or trying to plan for a future home purchase in 2021. For most agents, the biggest gap lies within the prospects who inquire and don’t get a quick follow up, so they go back to their laptops and phones and they call another agent, on another listing, or cruise through the MLS on another site.
Enter automation. With a marketing automation software (such as Infusionsoft), every lead gets funneled to an appropriate follow-up sequence, which also contains reminders for the agent to attempt contact with the lead.
Get in front of the client
Why lose those leads? Real estate requires a huge amount of negotiation, face time with clients and co-op agents, title representatives, home inspectors, and more. The entire transaction process is relational in nature and labor intensive.
Through the applied use of automated technology, a busy agent can literally be in several places at once. Marketing automation software can deliver educational emails, reminders, and text messages to interested leads while the agent is attending a closing or showing a home.
Many agents have mastered or at least incorporated the use of social media in order to get leads. They’ve got photos all over Instagram of lucky homeowners holding the keys to their new home, or smiling clients standing next to a sold sign in their front yards.
They know how to use Facebook Live to give their Facebook friends a quick tour of their latest listing or run a contest to give away some movie tickets or a fruit basket to the lucky winners.
These strategies are innate to those who operate best on the interpersonal communication level. But what happens next? How does an agent level-up in order to become more productive, more present, and more relevant in the industry? And the question asked by literally every agent or broker in the business: How do I increase my number of transactions?
The answer is a proper use of automation. When a lead hits your IDX site, social media, or web lead generation site, you should have that person’s information within seconds. An agent should never allow more than two searches before a lead capture form requires at least a name and email to continue. If possible, get the phone number so you can initiate SMS follow up as well.
Once you have contact information, send a friendly introductory email to the clients and, if possible, link to a video that will let the client experience what the agent has to offer. Give them a taste of the “it factor” so that client and agent connection can begin sooner rather than later.
Also, make sure the agent’s contact information, logo, and team or business info is clearly displayed, and send a call-to-action either in the first email response or the second. The real estate prospect should remain in a nurture campaign of some kind until the agent has had a chance to place that client in a “bucket,” which should determine what kind of long-term follow up is needed, if any.
Perhaps the prospect was simply searching homes online out of boredom, or doing some research on home prices because they want to sell theirs. However, it’s possible that they are a prequalified buyer who is currently looking for an agent and has a down payment ready to go. You never know unless you find out.
An agent should make a concerted effort to personally contact every lead that comes their way, whether they have the time to call themselves or need to hire an inside sales agent to call through leads for them. Either way, if the leads are in a database, segmented, and in some sort of nurture sequence, before a phone connection is attempted, there is a much higher chance of conversion of that lead.
All leads are not created equal
Segmentation is so important, especially with real estate prospects. A solid CRM software allows the agent to tag these customers by their category so that they automatically receive emails relevant to their status.
For example, even if a client comes through as a buyer lead, it is possible they also have a home to sell. Some buyer leads are looking to buy a home in the short term, and some are six to 12 months from purchase. It’s important to stay in front of those leads because they may need credit repair services, loan approval or referral, and market updates during that time period.
The same can be said of sellers; some are ready to list their homes ASAP, and some sellers have a specific listing date in mind. I once overheard someone say, “You can’t throw a rock without hitting a realtor,” and while it’s kind of funny, it’s also pretty true. Many areas are saturated with agents and competition for clients is tough. If an agent has multiple clients who are several months out from transaction, it’s critical that those clients are placed in a time-frame based, relevant nurture drip in order to maintain that agent and client connection.
It’s also really imperative to consider content within these nurture efforts. Sending one email each month to say, “Hey, I know you’re not ready to buy yet, but I’m here if you have any questions” is something that will get boring and uninteresting to a client. Instead, send them something useful like a newsletter with a market snapshot or photos of a monthly featured client who has achieved the goal that your prospect is waiting to accomplish. Send them an overview of what they can expect in the buying or selling process, or tips that they can utilize to prepare themselves ahead of time.
Your leads want to sell their home or to achieve the American Dream and post that pic of themselves on Instagram holding those keys. Capitalize on that, and show them the “it factor.” Get ahead of the client and initiate targeted follow up in order to use automation to close the gap on lost leads. If a knowledgeable and experienced agent has the power of automation technology behind them, they hold the formula for success in the industry.
Anjie Roberson has been an Infusionsoft coach and strategist for four years and specializes in working with clients in the real estate and finance industries. She is a proud Arizona State University alumna, lover of music and dance, and Star Wars enthusiast. She currently resides in Gilbert, Arizona with her husband, Donavon, and their children and puppies.