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Converting purchased leads can be challenging and frustrating. Prospects don’t return phone calls or emails — and it’s often difficult to stand out from the digital crowd. When managed effectively, however, online lead gen can be a lucrative supplement to your current business. Our VP of Marketing, Lisa Fettner, recently hosted a webinar alongside Kimberly Cameron of Better Homes & Gardens Preferred Properties and JLA Realty’s Ryan Bokros, to discuss tips to get you closer to the close.

During the webinar, Lisa, Kimberly, and Ryan shared five best practices for turning cold prospects into closed deals:

  • Help your leads get to know the “virtual you.”
  • It’s not about you (it’s about the needs of the lead).
  • Provide instant gratification.
  • Be prepared to play the long game.
  • Have a lead management plan.

Tip #1: Help your leads get to know the “virtual you.” Online lead generation is a lot like agent client dating. You really want your clients to get to know who you are — it’s about reputation, not vanity. That’s why you must have a professional/recognizable photo, consistent information across the web (from your Zillow page to your Linkedin profile) and a clear, unique selling proposition. It’s also important to be professional, but human. People want to work with people with whom they connect and have common ground, so don’t be afraid to share things like your involvement with your local community.

Tip #2: It’s not about you. For every prospect or lead that comes through the door, you should be thinking about what they want or need. Sharing testimonials from past clients is an excellent way to show prospects that you have the experience and expertise they need. Make sure that you have a variety of different ones targeted to different audiences. Based on that information, make the data you send them personal so you can be their “go-to” real estate resource. Lastly, you need to be responsive. Whether you’re helping them put an offer on the home of their dreams or managing inspections on their listing — time is everything.

Tip #3: Provide instant gratification. Our reality today is that we live in an instant world — everyone expects everything, immediately. When servicing clients, a quick follow-up is critical. You should respond in kind at least 4x (don’t be afraid to pick up the phone!) and provide information with each response. Between showings, client meetings, family life, and those rare times you get to catch some shut-eye, it’s humanly impossible to be available to your clients 24/7. In those cases, an auto-response is better than no response. This enables you to let your clients and prospects know that you’ve received their message and will get back to them as soon as possible. If you have a team, consider providing a team members’ name and contact info if the inquiry is urgent. When you do finally get in touch with a prospect, make sure to inform them (e.g., property, neighborhood, market info), engage with them (e.g., “What are your needs?” “What’s your preferred price point/area?”) and interact with them (e.g., set an appointment, provide a walk-through, view properties).

Tip #4: Be prepared to play the long game. Lead generation is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Although prospects expect instant gratification, as an agent, you have to be prepared to play the long game. Keeping in touch with clients occasionally (no nagging allowed), could be the difference between a prospect forgetting who you are or calling you a year later to sell their house. Keeping in touch doesn’t mean you call them once a month to ask if they are ready to sell. It means you continue to provide value to them by creating engagement opportunities (e.g., invite them to a block party in their favorite neighborhood), tell a story (e.g., what’s new in the community) and by being their real estate resource and subject matter expert. It doesn’t have to be all business all the time. Letting a prospect who you know is a dog lover know that a new local dog walking service is available doesn’t just show that you’re a valuable person to know, it also shows you are thoughtful. For buyers, consider sharing information with them such as market data, a home buyer guide, relevant testimonials, and information on the community. Sellers may be interested in recent comps/sales, selling tips/guide, and an info sheet on your process of selling a home. These topics can all be shared easily through different touchpoints such as a blog, social media channels or remarketing. Kimberly shared that she adds all prospects to her teams’ monthly client parties which include coffee meet-ups, dog happy hours (“Yappy Hour”), bowling nights, and fun events celebrating national holidays like Margarita and Doughnut Day. This gives prospects the opportunity to meet Kimberly and her team in a casual environment and chat with their past and current clients.

Tip 5: Have a lead management plan. If you don’t have a CRM and a system in place to manage your leads, it’s going to be very challenging to get the type of ROI that you want from your lead generation efforts. Many leads could take anywhere from six to nine months, or even longer to convert. You need to have tracking in place to manage and prioritize leads and assess what’s working and what’s not.

If you have an overflow of leads or leads that are outside of your preferred property type, price point or area, use a referral service such as ReferralExchange, or take the time to find someone who can handle it for you. A 25% referral fee is better than no fee at all.

Kimberly is a big believer in implementing a system and using a script when contacting prospects for the first time. She highlighted the importance to always do the following:

  • Ask if it’s a good time to talk.
  • Ask them for their story and what they need.
  • Close with a contact request or an offer of assistance.

Watch the full recording here to learn the best ways to leverage these techniques every day in your lead generation activities.