Lead Generation for Brokers and Agents
To a home buyer, a great real estate deal is all about location, location, and location. But to a real estate broker, the key to success in today’s market is leads, leads, and leads.
Most brokerages do a fine job of generating leads. They invest good money in websites, signage, and billboards as well as advertisements in broadcast and print media to bring in a steady flow of qualified leads. But the sad truth that prevails throughout the real estate industry today is that most brokers do little to nurture the leads that they bring in. That’s today’s reality.
It’s a bit like paying top price for some good fertile land, casting quality seeds onto the ground, and then simply walking away and hoping for the best. Through the law of averages, some seeds will no doubt survive and sprout, but the field as a whole will not thrive without proper care and constant vigilance. A bumper crop requires an ongoing effort.
Every lead that comes in the door, through the email, by word of mouth, or over the phone is potential money in the bank and needs to be treated like cold, hard cash. There have to be systems in place and a process for each and every lead to follow so that it can be transformed into a closed deal. After all, that’s the whole point of generating leads.
At most companies, leads are passed off as they come in with no real rhyme or reason and no tracking mechanism in place. They are handed off and forgotten.
How do you distribute your leads? If it’s an inquiry on a specific property, maybe you give it to the listing agent or an agent who lives nearby. Perhaps you hand out general leads in a sort of round robin so that all agents share equally. Or do you give them to a hungry agent who could use a hand up, or post them for any interested agent to grab?
And then what? Do you ask the agent a couple weeks later what ever happened with that lead you gave her?
Well, that is a process, but it is definitely not an effective and nurturing system. Distribution and follow-up of leads cannot be hit-and-miss or haphazard. Is that how you would handle money to be deposited in the bank for you? Of course not.
But it’s not only the distribution procedure for your valuable leads that is lacking. There’s another major shortcoming too: tracking.
If Federal Express can track tens of thousand of packages every day, allow us to log in and see exactly where our package is at any given moment, and follow it every step of the way from pick up to delivery, a broker should be able to keep tabs on a few dozen leads with a simple spreadsheet. Without their tracking system many packages would never arrive on time, and some would not get to their destination at all.
Failing to track leads is like baking bread without a timer or leaving children unattended to raise themselves. Everything turns out better with methodical oversight. And the key to good oversight is accountability. Most brokers don’t have an assigned point person to manage leads as they come in and to follow them through the nurturing process. Sure, you have a receptionist to take a message or forward an email, but that’s like putting your lead on hold.
You should consider a concierge approach to servicing each and every lead, which we will cover in depth in Lesson 5. An immediate response to the lead, a liaison to the service provider, and systematic tracking of each lead from the point of inquiry to the completed transaction is the way to provide a full-service experience to the consumer and the best results for the company.
Besides a gain in customer satisfaction and more successful deals, the tracking information you get at the end of the process will allow you to determine the conversion rate of leads from the website, the phones, referrals, walk-ins, and advertising. As the broker, you will know which agents are making the most of their leads, and you will be able to calculate a number in dollars and cents that tells you exactly how much each lead is costing you from each medium and what those investment dollars return to you in sales.
With that information, a broker can make better decisions about the flow and distribution of leads as well as the most profitable way to direct his investment dollars. That is the way to transform today’s reality of hit and miss foraging into tomorrow’s future of managed cultivation of your leads.