15 Ways to Increase Sales for Real Estate Agents
We all know the importance of making a good first impression as it is a highly regarded principle in our society. Whether you are interviewing for a new job, making social connections at a dinner party, meeting colleagues at an important networking event, or heading out on that first date with a prospective romantic partner, first impressions definitely set the tone for our future encounters. However, in the real estate industry when it comes to making connections with future clients, note that first impressions are more than just important–they are crucial to your business success.
As a real estate agent, a huge part of what drives the overall success and profitability of your business is lead generation. You will have a difficult time selling properties without a constant flow of quality prospects. There are only a few things that are more valuable to a real estate agent than loyal real estate clients. There is no denying that in an industry highly driven by lead generation, referrals and repeat business is what can elevate you to a new height of success.
As you develop your database of loyal real estate clients, you will note that less cost and effort are required in order to get new listings. Does that sound ideal? Also, keep in mind that the ways you may follow up with your real estate leads or prospects have considerably increased in the last decade. However, the fundamentals of follow-up in real estate have not changed much…not to mention that the rapid expansion of many lead generation opportunities in the real estate industry has brought a few new twists and turns to many of the old unresolved lead follow-up issues and challenges.
In the real estate business, a majority of your time is often spent focusing on strategies behind developing your brand, finding quality leads, negotiating and then closing sales. But, how often do you think about the part in between finding real estate leads and negotiating sales? And what about the important period of time when you have found the lead (or maybe the lead has found you), but you have not yet turned this lead into your client?
Are you wondering why referrals in the real estate industry are such a powerful source of leads? 92 percent of consumers tend to trust recommendations from their family and friends above all other types of advertising. Note that you might be the most sophisticated and knowledgeable real estate marketing ninja, but note that no marketing tactic is likely to generate as many high-quality hot leads as referrals from your happy clients.
The best practice when following up with your real estate leads is — speed to lead! Do not wait another second. According to studies, 70 percent of home buyers will work with the first agent that they talk to. So, you should get on your phone and call your leads that are thinking about real estate.
Sellers and buyers are not willing to sit for hours, waiting for answers. They expect real estate agents to reply instantly to their inquiries. And you have to respect that. 78 percent of customers, in fact, eventually purchase from the first individual who responds to their inquiries. Hence naturally, you have to be the first individual to respond when a seller or buyer makes an inquiry.
Don’t let a call go to the voice mail unless you are already with a client. Keep in mind that many consumers will not leave you a message, and will likely move on to another real estate agent if you do not respond to their call right away.
More interestingly, perhaps data has determined that five minutes is the magic number. You’ve five minutes for responding to a real estate lead before it goes cold. This is because your odds of converting the lead decrease substantially after five minutes.
Another neat and great trick to close more clients in the real estate industry is to offer valuable content and materials to all of your prospects. If you fail to get the listing on your initial follow up, then your next call should recap your conversation and contain something valuable, like a piece of content highlighting and emphasizing your service in a subtle way. Keep in mind that the more value you offer to your prospects, the higher your chance of converting them into loyal customers.
Note that it does not necessarily need to be salesy, but it must be related to your services and industry. There are many types of valuable content and materials that you may offer once a new lead comes in. Here are some good examples:
- first-time homebuyer’s guide
- free home valuation (or comparative market analysis)
- weekly articles on topics like mortgage rates and industry reports
- case studies and client testimonials
- neighborhood news and recent events
It is no secret that value-based marketing tends to work the best in today’s fast-paced world. It is the law of reciprocity which states that if you offer someone something of value, then they will be more inclined to do business with you. Don’t we all do that!
The main goal of email drip campaigns is to steadily and consistently help your potential buyers or sellers make the best decisions in their real estate journey, via a series of automated emails.
Have you wondered how some agents keep closing most of their new leads on a consistent basis? Well, we will share a great secret that not many agents actually implement with their prospect list. It is creating and sending personalized drip emails to all your prospects with an email marketing system. Note that email drips are considered some of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to automatically reach out to your leads. Your close ratio will climb when you start doing this.
To be non-confrontational, you should keep your drip emails very casual and informal with the end goal of getting your leads to take a desirable action, such as responding. We suggest that the first thing which you must implement in your drip email campaign is to separate potential sellers, buyers, and real estate investors.
You should also send a weekly email update about new properties according to their specific preferences and target areas. For prospective real estate investors, you may email updates of real estate market trends and new investment opportunities to keep them interested.
Before setting up your drip email campaign, you will want to consider where your lead came from and what they are looking for. This will allow you to tailor your email content accordingly.
Besides following up immediately with all your incoming real estate leads, you also have to block out some time in your daily schedule every workday in order to proactively follow up with your leads. Note that statistically, the best times to reach prospects are 4-6 pm and 8-10 am. Hence, for the best chance of success, your follow-up must take place during these hours. Here is what you can do: Open your day planner and block off half an hour (at least) each. This is important because if it is not on your calendar, then it will not happen.
There are a variety of different channels that you can use to follow up with your real estate prospects. Chat boxes, phone calls, SMS, emailing, and industry events are some examples. You may also use social media, such as Facebook, to interact with your prospects. For instance, if they are posting about you or are interacting with your posts, then you can also like their posts and respond to their comments, or even send them direct messages. It is important to stick to those networks that they interact with you on, like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
Although you may advertise on alternate channels, such as Instagram or Facebook, we recommend that you don’t encroach on their personal pages and “like” family photos or video clips of their kids. Overall, keep in mind that there is no such thing as the best way to contact a lead. Every real estate prospect has a preferred communication channel, and you will have to respect it.
Some prospects may prefer direct communication over the telephone. On the other hand, some find email more acceptable, especially for business communication. After your initial contact with the lead, ask them which communication method they prefer.
You will have to adjust your tactics in order to fit the person you are reaching out to. This will help you get the best results.
Still, keep in mind that despite your best efforts, a few prospects might not respond. They might have chosen another real estate agent or are still undecided. Regardless of the reason, it is vital to find out if that is the case. This is because it will help you avoid wasting both time and resources. It is in this way that real estate lead scoring and intent data can be helpful.
Although this may seem like a very obvious point, it is often easy to overlook if you are quickly calling your leads. Many professionals make this mistake. Have an effective game plan before you pick up the telephone to talk to your real estate leads. It is important to have all your questions prepared, and you should be ready to answer any queries and questions they might have. Anticipate their questions to stay one step ahead.
Also, make sure that you have sufficient time allotted to speak with your real estate lead. Keep in mind that if they answer, your call can last anywhere from thirty seconds to one hour. This is why make sure you are fully prepared to have a detailed discussion if you do make contact with them.
There is no denying that the most suitable time to get your lead’s commitment to another discussion is often at the end of your conversation. And if you offer incentives, like an e-book or a market report, you can mention it now. “I have a valuable e-book about the home purchasing process. May I email you a link to a complimentary or free copy?” Note that if your phone conversation with the lead went well, you should urge them to agree to take that important next step. As they will likely have their schedules right in front of them, you should make the most of this moment by locking them down for the follow-up.
Here is another important thing you should keep in mind. If your lead asks for a proposal, then ask them politely when they would like to schedule a call in order to discuss it. And make sure you do not let them get away easily with the old “please send it over, and I will get back to you as soon as possible” line. This is because once your lead leaves without a commitment, it often becomes an evasive game of cat and mouse. And that is something that you don’t want.
Most of us lead a busy and hectic life. Yes, your prospective client is looking to purchase or sell a home. But you should keep in mind that they also have many other things that are going on in their life and you need to respect that.
So, if you pick up your phone in order to call a real estate lead and she or he sounds busy, then you should ask them if there’s a time that’s more convenient to talk. And then always make sure that you call them back at the agreed-upon time.
A sales cadence is a series of well-defined contact activities used by a sales team in order to engage leads over time in a productive and predictable manner. It is an excellent technique that you can use in order to streamline and improve your lead follow-up efforts. Perfecting your sales cadence is great as it will ensure you are driving your real estate leads down your sales funnel.
By doing it, you may boost your business financial results by almost 110%. Sales cadences will allow you to effectively organize a timeline of your lead follow-up activities.
Keep in mind that you do not have to contact your lead every day, though. So don’t worry! Every other day would suffice. Sales cadences can include automated outreach, including SMS texts, social media, and emails, among others.
For example, you can send an email to your lead on day one. On day three, you can make a call and then follow your call up with an email later on the same day. And on day six, you can follow up through LinkedIn.
It is worth mentioning that the exact length of your sales cadences must be determined by your sales cycle. On the other hand, its structure will often depend upon the size of your sales team, and budget, etc. It is no secret that there are several advantages and benefits to using a sales cadence in your real estate follow up strategy. It brings structure, order, and repeatable results to your sales and marketing efforts.
As soon as you establish your sales cadence, it would be much easier and quicker to track as well as optimize your sales process. Your real estate prospects may respond better to your emails early on in the process and to your calls later on. You can leverage this knowledge in order to fine-tune and streamline your sales cadences and process.
Setting goals is important in all campaigns and marketing strategies, and real estate follow up is no different. How will you know how well you are doing if there is not a bar to which you can measure your results? This is why it is important to set goals when you are following up with your leads. Then, you should make time and see how you’re doing with regards to meeting or even exceeding them.
And the best thing is that tracking your results isn’t that difficult or time-consuming, and it will likely pay off immediately as well as in the long run. And if you start to see a pattern, whether positive or negative, you will be in a better position to decide whether you have to change your follow up method based on the past results.
For a majority of industries, including real estate, a sale requires five touches (at least). We can define a touch as any interaction with a real estate prospect –email, phone call, webinar, office visit, or in-person presentation. That means every agent who would like to be successful has to keep track of all interactions with his or her prospects and then schedule future follow-ups. Organizing your CRM is important here. First and foremost, you should make sure that you’re logging all your incoming real estate leads into your CRM. CRMs are inexpensive. Pipeline offers one for just $9/ month!
The good news is that many real estate marketing tools and software integrate with popular CRMs. You may also utilize a forward email to send any new real estate leads directly to your CRM. Many software solutions on the market build a completely customized lead follow-up schedule for your leads. You can start by segmenting your real estate leads based on their source. The lead source will give you a general idea about where your lead came from. For instance, if you meet your lead at a coffee shop and they give you their contact information, the source must be “face to face prospecting.”
You should also create follow up tasks for all your prospects and leads and assign dates for them in the CRM. Note that this will help you follow up on your leads when they’re ready to make a decision two to three months from now. Keep in mind that the more data you can gather about your real estate prospects in your CRM, the better.
We can’t emphasize this enough. When you speak to your lead, it does not always mean that she or he is ready to buy or sell today. In many cases, it may take over several months or even a year for a lead to transact, and this is normal. However, that does not mean that you have to brush them off.
You will be successful if you take some time to answer their queries and questions and build the foundation for a long-term relationship. It should be considered an investment in your future business.
Note that there’s often a fine line between polite conversation and being intrusive or overbearing. You would like to contact a prospect as early as possible, which often means calling them several times in a brief period. However, note that doing this is likely to make you seem annoying and desperate.
So how can you hit that sweet spot of calling your leads enough to get in touch with them and not annoying them? It is very simple. You should create a follow-up schedule and then stick to it. One good tip is to avoid following up with your leads on Monday mornings as most people are busy.
Regardless of the response you get from your lead, always acknowledge the time they have spent to communicate with you on the phone or read your proposal. They gave you their time and consideration, and that is a difficult thing for most people these days. Always thank your leads for their time, and they will remember how nice and polite you were–and may consider your proposal down the road.
Give your real estate leads multiple ways to get in touch with you. Phone, email, text, or social media are some great options.
It is important to be persistent when it comes to following up on your real estate leads, but being annoying and intrusive is not always an option. Remember that if you schedule your various touches, stay polite, commit yourself to investing in a meaningful relationship, and use multiple mediums of contact, you will likely get a positive response from your leads without being annoying and irritating.
We hope that these tips and techniques help give you a kick-off point for your real estate lead outreach. Follow these tips and best practices to effectively follow-up with your prospects and easily close more sales.