Superstar Lead Conversion Playbook & The 3 S’s of Lead Conversion

In the real estate industry, one of the most common topics of discussion and debate is lead conversion, particularly when dealing with leads generated online. Agents may vehemently defend this method or that piece of software. But many forget to return to the fundamentals of real estate lead conversion and to reexamine the systems they have in place for capturing and nurturing leads.

In Episode 30 of #OfficeHours, we examine the Superstar Lead Conversion Playbook and the 3 S’s of Lead Conversion. Catch what you missed from the episode below.

Now let’s take a look at the fundamentals of real estate lead conversion, including the 3 S’s. Once we have those basics covered, then it’s time to invest money into lead conversion tools and strategies.

Back to the Basics: The 3 S’s of Lead Conversion

Breaking down real estate lead conversion into three S’s is a simple way to remember a critical component of your sales funnel.

These are the 3 S’s of lead conversion:

  • Sources – Where buyers are coming from. To maximize sourcing, you need to know where your leads are coming from and establish a strong, authoritative presence in those places.
  • Speed – The importance of responding quickly to communications with leads. It’s not always about having the perfect script or even being the best real estate agent for the job.  Being first and fast is more important than being best.
  • System – The tools and processes that convert leads to sales, from initial contact through follow-up communications to the sale itself.

When it comes to real estate lead conversion, it’s critical to nail down these fundamentals first before investing money into other technology, software, or personnel to your business. Let’s break down each S and how they work together to generate and convert leads for your real estate business.

Sources

Lead Conversion
Source: Virgo Group via Wikimedia Commons

Understanding where your leads are coming from is critical to maximizing lead sourcing in general. It’s only detrimental to you—and helpful to your competition—if you are not established, or at least present, on the main platforms where leads are first able to connect with you.

Whether you’re a top agent in your area or a newly licensed realtor just starting out, about 50% of your leads on average will come from your friends, family, and sphere of influence. Always focus on the people who know you best. These are often some of the easiest leads to capture and nurture due to your proximity to or shared connection with the lead.

But where do the other 50% of leads come from? Picture for a moment what happens first when someone decides they want to buy or sell their home. More often than not, they pull out their smartphone or hop on their computer and start searching for listings and other information relevant to the homebuying or selling process.

So where are your leads going when they first embark on this real estate journey? And is your sales pipeline configured to effectively and efficiently siphon leads from those sources?

When it comes to real estate, agents tend to pull leads from four main sources. These include more general search and social platforms like Facebook and Google as well as real estate-specific sites like Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia.

4 Key Sources for Real Estate Leads

  • Facebook
  • Google
  • com
  • Zillow/Trulia

If you’re generating leads from these sources, the next step is to determine whether they are good leads and how you should follow up with them. Marketing analytics can help you determine which platforms work best for your particular business and community, and you can adjust your efforts to have a more established presence on whichever platforms generate you the most and strongest leads.

Speed

Mobile Phone Lead Conversion
Source: carinakrammer via Pixabay

Once you know where your leads are coming from, the next step is to ensure that you are responding to them with whiplash-inducing speed. As a general rule, if you get a lead, your goal should be to respond to almost any communication within 5 minutes. If not, you may miss your opening to jump on this lead before your competition does first.

Imagine the mindset of a potential homebuyer when they first enter the buying cycle. They may go to Realtor.com and click a listing, but when do they want to set an appointment to see that house? In many cases, right then and there, while they’re thinking about it. So if you don’t respond to that lead within 5 minutes, you could be missing a promising opportunity, and that customer may move on and funnel into the next (Read: faster) agent’s sales pipeline.

Consider this stat: If you respond to a lead in 30 minutes versus 5 minutes, you have a 100 times (100x) worse of a chance to convert that lead. Usually, you’ll lose the lead because another agent followed up with the lead first, or because the lead stopped the search or lost interest for whatever reason.

In short, if you respond within 5 mins, regardless of what exactly you say, you will have a significantly better chance of capturing that lead. Speed is one of the most important pieces of this lead conversion formula.

But with that speed must also come a sense of patience and understanding about where your lead is in the buying cycle. That lead could be several months from actually being ready to pull the trigger on what is a massive, life-changing decision. That doesn’t mean the lead isn’t of high quality—you just need to nurture that lead until they are ready to move forward.

That’s where the last S comes in.

System

Real Estate
Source: fernandozhiminaicela via Pixabay

Once you know where your sources are coming from and have addressed the speed with which you respond to them, it’s time to develop an internal system for collecting, organizing, nurturing, and eventually converting leads.

Without an effective system in place, your leads might be good, but you may not be responding fast enough. Or they might be a great lead, but they’re not ready just yet, and you lose track of the lead over time without a system for following up.

The main goal of this system is that when your lead is ready to pull the trigger—whether that’s in 5 minutes, 5 days, or 5 months—you need to be there. Your job is to be present and to be the authority and expert when that time comes. Your system shouldn’t push the natural progression of that timeline and should always nurture rather than force or pressure your leads too hard. But it should also have enough follow-up built into it that those leads don’t run cold.

The first step in building your system is to create a database that you can feed leads into so you can later follow up and convert those leads into sales. Rather than investing in complicated tools or software, you can much more quickly, easily, and inexpensively create a simple database using a Google spreadsheet or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, should you already have it or similar software. This allows you to funnel the leads from your key sources into one organized, searchable, and sortable database.

The database is a critical component of your lead conversion system, and without it, you’ll be left without a reliable system to follow up and nurture leads.

Computer
Source: Vojtech Okenka via Pexels

This system will also help with speed. As real estate agents, it’s easy to get in the habit of telling clients, “I’m available 24/7.” Well, unless you’re a robot or the Terminator, that’s actually impossible. But, with the right system in place, you can determine when leads are shopping and browsing online.

If you know the most common times of the day and week when current and potential leads are most likely looking at houses, your system will enable you to respond within that critical 5-minute window. Bottom line: Unless you are bombarded with leads, you have time to respond within 5 minutes, whether through text, email, or any other channel.

Now, you may be considering investing in certain technology, software, or even personnel as you develop this system. But before spending any money, I encourage you to invest time and effort instead. Then you become the system of follow-up. Build a personalized, user-friendly database. Keep up with tracking and nurturing your leads. Analyze your marketing metrics, and continue to always optimize your system. Then, you can become a lead generation monster.

Eventually, this lead conversion system will work so smoothly that you are overwhelmed by the number of leads coming in. And that’s a good problem to have. Only then should you consider investing money into technology, software, or personnel that can increase in your lead conversion rate. Then, you can also become a lead conversion monster.

Marketing Funnel
Source: Jared Sexton via Flickr

But the fact is, most of us don’t have that problem—yet. We have a systematic problem. Where are the leads coming from, and how are we nurturing them over time? Until we can answer those questions and build an effective system in response, lead generation and lead conversation rates will stagnate.

The ultimate goal of this lead conversion system is to capture leads online and take them offline. After generating leads through search engines or an email, the next step is to schedule a viewing, grab a coffee, or otherwise meet face-to-face.

Your sources and speed, as governed by your internal lead conversion system, will ensure you get to the point where you can create that personal touch and actual relationship with leads. Because it ultimately is that personal touch and sense of relationship or partnership that contribute to a higher, healthier real estate lead conversion rate.

Building Your Real Estate Brand with Realtor.com

Are you getting the most out of Realtor.com? Or how about a better question, are you even aware of all of the absolutely FREE and amazing features the site offers that can help you grow your real estate business? On last week’s episode of my weekly real estate talk show #OfficeHours, we welcomed Rhett Damon of Realtor.com onto the show and we got down in the dirt and really unmasked some of the features that every Realtor should not only understand but should be taking full advantage of right now!

If you subscribe to your local MLS, then you need to know that you have a profile ready to go for you on Realtor.com. Think about it, when you list a property for sale and place it in the MLS – it is automatically syndicated to Realtor.com. This is one of the many advantages to your client wisely choosing to list their home with a Realtor. However, it is amazing to me how many Realtors have not even claimed their profile where their very own properties are being marketed all over the world! In this post, we are going to break down some of the important – and free – features of Realtor.com that you should be using right now in your real estate business.

(Full disclosure – for all features included in this blog post you must be a member of your local, state, or national Realtor Association to have them free)

Watch the Full #OfficeHours on Realtor.com with Rhett Damon Here

Claim Your Realtor.com Profile

First and foremost, let’s make sure you have claimed your Realtor.com profile! If you are a member of the Realtor Association, then it is important to know that you already have a profile setup (or saved) on Realtor.com as a member. However, it is just a shell that sits there blank and empty unless you decide to do something with it!

Remember, you don’t want possible clients or customers to Google your name and find an empty profile on Realtor.com. It just plain looks bad, and a potential lead or potential client might think you went out of business or are not really in the real estate business in the first place!

Claiming your Realtor.com profile is quick and easy, and will instantly add huge credibility and visibility to your real estate brand. If you have already done so, make sure you have the profile completely filled out with a professional picture, backdrop, contact information, and other essentials so that your profile looks as serious about real estate as you are.

Click here to see how to claim your Realtor.com profile on #OfficeHours.

Build Your Brand with Client Testimonials on
Realtor.com

According to a recent study, about 88% of people admit that they trust online reviews as much as they trust reviews of any other source. 88%! Which means potential clients and customers client testimonials feature on Realtor.comare definitely considering what others say about you before they decide if you are the right real estate agent for them.

Think about yourself as a consumer, think about the last time you were about to make a big purchase or possibly hire a professional like a contractor or a doctor – I’ll bet reviews and testimonials played into the equation. Whether you saw them on Yelp, Facebook, Amazon, or even the Better Business Bureau’s website – if you see reviews from others (good or bad) it absolutely factors into the consumer’s decision. Therefore, another great feature included within your Realtor.com profile is a testimonials feature built right in that you can use immediately to add instant “internet cred” to yourself and your real estate business.

Make sure that you follow our advice and get clients and customers to submit reviews about their experience with you! If you treated a client well, and they are happy and satisfied, you might need to prompt them to leave a review for you in order for that to get done. We all know how easy it is for someone to find the time and energy to post a BAD review, but let’s make sure the good ones are making their way onto your profile.

Click here to learn about the testimonials feature on Realtor.com

Your Secret Weapon – The Content Sharing Hub

If you have a website, blog, Facebook page, or any other web presence already then you probably already know the importance of producing and presenting content to the world as a way of generating leads and building brand presence. (If you don’t have a website, please watch this episode of #OfficeHours). This is what we call “content marketing,” and it really is king in this day and age of the mobile device and social media. Heck, what you are reading right now is a type of content marketing! It is key, and it should be employed by any real estate agent looking to build their brand and become a presence in their local marketplace.

But what about content? I have heard it all before. “I am not a writer Chris!” “I can’t shoot professional videos and make my own commercials Chris!” “How in the world do you expect little old me, the local real estate agent, to compete with these content giants?” Exactly. That is why you need to check out a really cool feature from Realtor.com which is called the Content Sharing Hub. Again, it is FREE and could be employed by you right away.

What is the Content Sharing Hub? Well, to give you an idea there are a series of videos and commercials featuring Elizabeth Banks which aired on television or were produced specifically for social media. And the Content Sharing Hub is built and designed so that you, the Realtor member, can take this content absolutely free and employ it on your personal sites. You can literally copy and paste from the site and have a professionally shot video about new home buyers and it will show up on your Facebook page. How easy is that?! Want videos that you can include in a listing presentation or possibly include in an interview with new home buyers? Done! Again, there is no additional membership fee it is included with your membership to your local Association of Realtors.

How’d I Do That? See Below

Click here to see us discuss the sharing hub on #OfficeHours

Integrating the .REALTOR Domain with Your Profile on Realtor.com

Another fantastic way that the National Association of Realtors is working to help its members is by the creation of the .realtor domain. Just as it looks, rather than having a .com or a .net – if you are a real estate professional you can establish a unique presence on the web as a real estate professional by using a .realtor as your domain. Pretty cool, huh? Now the .realtor domain does come at a cost, as all domain names do, and you can find out more information about this topic specifically here.

So with one last shameless plug for #OfficeHours here, one of the reasons I enjoy the show is that we do live Q&A to finish off each show. In this episode discussing Realtor.com, we had a question from the live internet audience about integrating your Realtor.com profile with a .realtor domain. Of course, Rhett had a great answer for this and obviously the two are designed to work beautifully together. Without saying too much on the topic, I think it is best if you just watch this short clip on how it all works.

Market Reports and Research for Realtors

If you have ever been in a training session with me, you know one of the big questions I like to pose to you as a real estate audience is “what makes YOU an expert?” It’s a fun discussion because if you have never been in a session with me before, the simple proposition makes some people uncomfortable. However, most real estate agents get it and what I am trying to remind us all is that we must become actual experts in the field of real estate if we intend to continue having clients pay us for our service!

market reports on Realtor.comOne great way to display your expertise is by knowing your market. Think about it, if you sit down with a seller to discuss the possibility of listing their home what do they want to know most from you? They want to know how much their home is worth, they want to know about the market, and they will probably want to know if the Zestimate they pulled down from Zillow is right! So we already understand the importance of the CMA, and knowing our market, is one of the important displays of expertise that our seller is depending on.

Therefore, as a company which caters to real estate professionals Realtor.com has a unique page built just for you which is run by their team of Economists and Researchers. This fantastic site provides data, research reports, trends, graphs – you name it all in the name of providing YOU the real estate professional with free information that you can use to help build your expertise or stay on top of the market. Heck, you can even pull local market data and graphs and use that as a part of your listing presentation! See what I mean? The possibilities are endless. Make sure to take advantage of this research and data, and make sure that the next time you are discussing the market with a potential client that you actually have the data to back up what you are telling them.

Here is the section of #OfficeHours where we talked about the research page

As you can see, without payment of your hard earned dime to your local Association or the MLS you have a ton of features that you can take advantage of to help build your real estate brand. Your web presence can get an instant shot of juice simply by ensuring you do the basics that we discuss here in this post. If you are a Realtor, make sure you claim your page and fill it with testimonials! Use the Content Sharing Hub to help produce content for your personal website, and of course don’t forget about the research reports page which was built for you to keep up on the marketplace and display your real estate expertise.

My goal is to see you all succeed, and I will help you in any way that I can. Please share, like, and engage with me and this post and let me know that you are reading! You can also email me anytime at chris@christalks.com and I would love to here from you. Until next time, go get em!!

I do not work for any Realtor Association nor am I officially endorsing any product or service with this post. Any information here is simply for informational purposes in our mission to help real estate agents succeed. There are absolutely no paid product advertisements in this post whatsoever. 

Are You Focusing on Lead Conversion?

Lead Conversion is Really The King

For years the conversation in real estate sales has been centered on lead generation. It comes from good old fashioned sales theory, which is that you need leads in order to generate sales. This is still as true today as it was then, however it is the method by which we gain new leads that now determines the manner of approach.

When it comes to real estate sales, lead conversion is actually king.
When it comes to real estate sales, lead conversion is actually king.

Since lead generation is largely targeted towards the internet, it is important to understand that while generating leads is important – converting them to clients and sales is more important. So important, in fact, I call it “king.” All leads should be treated as internet leads, as there is a distinct difference between how an internet lead should be handled and a referral from a friend, for instance.

The Sheer Numbers of Internet Leads

According to Move, Inc.  there were 2.9 million internet leads generated for real estate sales in 2011. In just a few short years, that number had increased to 40.6 million leads in 2014. To put that into perspective, there were only 5.1 million real estate sales in 2014! Which means there were about 8 leads generated for every 1 closed sale. Since the internet space is noisy, and there are tons of leads available and being generated daily, what top real estate agents need to understand is that converting those leads and closing sales is the real key to success in real estate. If you are not at the point in your career where you can simply live off referrals and reputation, you better have a lead conversion strategy in your arsenal that works!

According to Move, Inc. there were 40.6 million internet leads generated in 2014 as opposed to only 5.1 million real estate sales

The Importance of a System

If you are a real estate broker, then having a defined system in place on how internet leads are not only generated – but converted – is going to determine important metrics that measure success. All anyone talks about anymore is how to generate more leads, but if the leads are not converting into clients and into transactions what does it matter? Quality leads, converted into transactions, that’s what really matters in real estate.

For instance, how fast will someone in your organization respond to an internet lead? By what manner will that lead be contacted? Is there a follow-up plan in place in order to nurture those leads over time? How will agents be delivered these leads, and how will their success be tracked? There are so many questions a broker needs to ask herself, and generating more leads may not simply be the answer. A few options that brokers may wish to consider in order to convert more of those precious internet leads could be the following:

  • An inside sales agent or conversion specialist
  • Utilization of an outside sales agent service
  • Assigning leads directly to real estate salespeople in the firm

Speed Kills on the Highway and in Lead Conversion

Speed kills on the highway, and also converts more leads
Speed kills on the highway, and also converts more leads

Nick Saban, who is one of the most decorated college football coaches of all time, has a phrase where he says “speed kills on the highway and on the football field.” I have heard him say this many times, all the way back to his days with my Alma Mater LSU. Of course, he is referring to the types of players he wants to recruit for his program and how speed is as important in football as any particular trait.

This mantra plays very well into lead conversion too. Speed, above all else, is the most important metric which should be tracked. Consider the internet lead, and think in terms of where they may have come from and how they became a lead in the first place. Many times this lead was generated by their searching for a particular property on a search portal (such as REALTOR.com, Zillow.com, Yahoohomes.com, etc.) and you receive information about a potential buyer. This buyer is likely driving through the neighborhood right at that moment, is on their cell phone, and has never heard of you or your brokerage. So what really matters here? First one in usually wins. I will say that again, first one in usually wins! Speed trumps all else when it comes to online lead conversion.

In fact, the more time that goes by (the older that lead becomes) the less likely you are to convert that lead. Consider the following:

http://www.payonperformance.com.au/customer-response-time-matters/
http://www.payonperformance.com.au/customer-response-time-matters/

So how do you respond to leads faster? It all goes back to what I mentioned earlier in this post, which is that having a system becomes paramount in this ever increasing competitive landscape. For instance, do you use a real estate CRM in your business? If so make sure that you are using the right CRM for your real estate business. For instance, if converting internet leads is crucial to your business model then it would be crazy to have a CRM without automatic responders as a part of the system.

As you look at the statistics above and you consider how speed trumps all else in lead conversion, it also bears considering that none of us can be available 24/7. It is literally impossible – you have to sleep! Therefore, having a CRM to be on top of things for you and respond to leads effectively and quickly can make all the difference in the world. If a buyer lead is generated online at 3am, your CRM can send an automatic message letting that lead know that you received their request and cannot wait to speak with them. That way, even if you are not actually awake at the time of the generated lead at least you responded quickly. And if you are managing your time effectively, then first thing the next business day you would be right on top of converting that lead.

I plan to post much more on this topic very soon, as with the emphasis on lead generation in the marketplace I want to also make sure that those leads you worked hard to generate are actually converting – which is where the real staying power is in real estate.

 

Lead Generation and Prospecting (Superstars 2.0 Day 2)

Prospecting and Lead Generation for the Modern Agent

real estate sales success - lead generation

THE number one thing that every real estate agent needs to know, new or old, is that while the real estate business has certainly changed in recent times – it is still the same. Real estate sales is just that – it is sales. And if you intend to make it as a real estate agent in this game, you first need to understand the game. Prospecting and lead generation is what separates the “haves” and the “have nots” as real estate agents. In other words, those who make it big have lots of clients. Where in the world did they get all those clients??

The game really is simple, in theory. You need leads. You then need to convert those leads. You then need to sell the properties you converted. Rinse and Repeat. In essence, real estate sales is all about prospecting, presenting, and closing.

real estate sales is all about prospecting, presenting, and closing

How Do I Get New Clients?

phone call - lead generation and conversion

THAT, my new real estate agent friends, is the name of the game. Once you have your real estate license, that is obviously an excellent first step towards a rewarding career in which you can make a fantastic living. However, once you step out of real estate class and into the sales world – you need to make your phone ring. The real business of real estate is all about prospecting and lead generation, making your phone ring and then knowing what to do when it does.

Leads You Say?

Yes – LEADS! Without sales leads, who are you going to sell yourself to? How are you going to get those shiny new “For Sale” signs in the yard? How will you ever make it in a sales business?

That’s what lead generation is all about. The key to real estate sales is generating leads – lots of them – and then converting those leads once you have the opportunity. Once you have your real estate license, you have the wide open opportunity to make as much money as you want. Let that sink in! But also remember, since this is a sales business you can also make very little – or even 0. However, if you are constantly working on prospecting and you are constantly generating new leads for your real estate business YOU will be the one who makes it while the other guy does not. If you cannot market yourself, how in the world will you market someone’s property for sale?

Superstars 2.0 – Day 2

YOUR tailored system to make the kind of money you really want in real estate

In this session which is absolutely packed with practical strategies to help you make money in real estate, you will learn such skills as:

  • The difference between marketing and prospecting
  • Understanding what really makes a real estate agent money
  • How to target your niche and develop just the right strategy
  • Specific actionable steps to take in order to generate leads – NOW!
  • Working with social media and unleashing its power
  • Learning the numbers game
  • What to do with a lead – strategies for effective conversion into clients
  • and MUCH MUCH more!

This class was written by a real estate agent just like you who wants to unveil the secrets to a successful real estate career and help you have the career of your dreams. Don’t miss out – your competition just may be there!

For more information on superstars 2.0 real estate agent training please visit:

Superstars 2.0 – Website Information

for specific information and how to register for superstars 2.0 – day 2 see our flyer below:

Prospecting and Lead Generation (SUPERSTARS  2.0)