Yes, we know, online real estate leads can be a pain. Whether they come from a third-party platform where you advertise your listings, directly from your own website or you buy them from somewhere, these leads generated from online activity have that bad reputation of not converting. But is that really the case? And how can you move around it?
Since online users mostly skim information when browsing the internet, many of them invest very little time in filling in forms, even when it comes to offering details about something as important as their future residence. Knowing that 95% of all home shoppers start their buying process online, it might really pay off to hang in there and try to separate quality from quantity.
There are several things you can do to transform your captured real estate leads into clients and close those sales:
Automation Is Your Friend
The first thing to do when tackling online leads is, of course, get back to senders and do it as fast as possible. The sooner you get in touch, the closer you are to sealing the deal. Luckily enough, with the new advances in technology, this can be done automatically.
There are several solutions out there, from a simple out-of-office email in which you can ask for specific details and clarify the sender’s intent, to more complex products, such as website plugins and CRM systems, which may require more time and money to implement.
Once you get the ball rolling, you can separate motivated home seekers from browsers and pick up the conversations from there.
Calling Is Not Overrated
Provided you get a number, it never hurts to just pick up the phone and call those leads, even if some of them may not seem that great at first. You may think that this is time-consuming and that it doesn’t bring any results but don’t underestimate the power of human interaction!
It’s no secret that networking is a must in real estate, so it’s worth taking advantage of every opportunity you have to connect with new people.
Even if you end up talking to someone who is just starting to research the market, you can show your knowledge in the real estate field and prove you’re a true professional. You can offer your services to that person’s friends or family also. If you make a good impression, you never know when they’ll come back seeking real estate help from you!
Outside Help Is Always Great
If you’re not a fan of calling yourself, or you have very little time on your hands, you can always hire some help. There are lead concierge services out there and these professionals can check the validity of leads for you. Some of them are open 24/7, so you’ll get an instant message or a notification as soon as they come across a solid home seeker profile.
Another option is to hire a virtual or inside sales agent (ISA) to verify real estate leads on your behalf. You can even invest some time in training a student to do this. It’s a win-win situation, since you have somebody to help pinpoint the right leads for you and the student gains work experience and pocket money in exchange.
The Source of Your Leads Matters
Where your leads come from determines whether they’re good or bad. On one hand, if the source of your leads is a dedicated real estate portal, it’s easy to conclude that people who browse that type of website are more motivated to buy a home. A survey conducted on real estate marketplace Point2 Homes, for instance, showed that 54% of its visitors plan on purchasing a property in under six months.
On the other hand, if the lead source is a general interest portal, like a classifieds website, or a social media platform such as Facebook, chances are users are either looking for something completely different, or they’re just killing time over lunch and happen to stumble upon real estate related topics.
It’s also important to determine when the leads you receive are generated in a home shopper’s online journey. Is it when they created an account, when they used a mortgage calculator, or when they actually filled out a lead form? Be sure to browse portals and test everything yourself. See where in the process the leads are captured so you can decide on their quality.
Last but not least, make sure your leads are exclusive and select those services and platforms that don’t hand them over to other real estate agents. After all, who likes their potential clients being snatched up by competition? Point2 Homes, for instance, does not share your leads with anyone other than yourself.
Online real estate leads may have the reputation of not converting but putting some time into how you obtain them and how you handle them makes the difference in the long run. Once you’ve streamlined your approach to dealing with online leads, you’ll be sure to get more clients in no time!
And don’t forget, the best online leads remain those that come directly to your profile or listings. So, getting the most views possible for your services is essential!
By CRISTINA JISA