Lead generation is a lot like online dating. It’s important for agents to create a virtual online relationship with their clients and prospects if their programs are going to be successful. There’s no “magic bullet,” but with focus and planning, online lead gen can definitely boost your business.
Below are five ways to make your lead gen efforts more successful.
1. Be trustworthy. Make sure your photo is current and that your information is consistent on all business-related sites.
- You might prefer your photo from 10 years ago, but a prospective client MUST be able to recognize you at a coffee shop based on your photo — so if the picture doesn’t look like you anymore, be sure to swap in a current one.
- Make sure all posted information is up-to-date and consistent. Prospects often search multiple online sites and social media channels, so it’s critical that your sales data and testimonials are current. Keep a record of all sites where your name appears, and pick one day a year to update everything.
- Always tell the truth. It might be tempting to embellish the facts a bit, but given the availability of online data, chances are, you’ll get caught.
2. Show prospects that you care. Even though your lead gen efforts might be geared towards a mass audience, your responses need to be customized and personal.
- Create a library of content based on lead type, which you can repurpose as needed. For example: first-time buyers, or baby-boomers interested in downsizing. Information can include testimonials, neighborhood or area inventory or price points.
- It’s generally preferable to make your first response in the same medium as the original request. For example, if you received an email, email the prospect back. But don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call if appropriate.
3. Inform, engage and interact. When developing a relationship, you first want to inform, then engage in a dialogue and finally interact. Doing so helps you evolve and cement a relationship.
- Informing the prospect can simply be a specific answer to a question — property information, price points, or something else they want to know.
- Engaging with the prospect involves a dialogue with the objective of setting up a meeting or an appointment. A phone call, Skype or FaceTime call can work, but in-person is always preferred.
- Interacting with the prospect is the last phase in the process, and this is where you truly have the chance to shine — wow them with a listing or buyer’s presentation. The goal is to cement and focus the relationship.
4. Be patient and flexible. Building relationships takes time, and prospects often contact you at the very beginning of their property search. It’s important to keep in touch on a regular basis. That way, you’ll be top-of-mind when the prospect is ready to act.
- Be responsive and persistent, but don’t nag — and always have a reason to contact the prospect. Perhaps a property near them has sold, or there’s a new listing in a preferred neighborhood.
- Flexibility is key because needs often change. Be ready to address any new concerns or issues that arise. If a preferred market is too expensive or inventory is too low, suggest a similar neighborhood nearby. An initial downsizer might suddenly decide they want a dream home, so it’s critical to be able to adapt.
5. Make a plan and stay focused. Managing your lead gen efforts can quickly become overwhelming. Be sure to have a process in place to make it easy for you to respond as needed. At a minimum, you’ll need all of the following:
- A testimonial library: Always ask for a testimonial at the end of every transaction.
- Drip campaigns: Set up drip campaigns for the different buyer/seller types who you work with.
- Listing/Buyer presentations: Create the framework and then customize as needed.
- Annual assessments of your buyers and sellers to identify trends and help make your marketing efforts even more effective: Are you a first-time buyer specialist? Do you help a lot of military clients? Capitalize on these client types in order to garner future business.
- Ask for referrals: If your clients like you, chances are their friends and family members will too.