Let’s be frank about lead quality. At the end of the day, it’s important for agents to remember that just because a lead isn’t ready to buy right now, or even if they say “No,” this does not mean that they are a dead-end or “trash” lead. Leads take time. Especially cold, online leads. So keep in mind if you’ve already taken steps to improve lead quality, and you’re still complaining about lead quality issues – it may be an agent problem, and not a lead problem.
However! There are some simple ways to assure that you’re avoiding the true trash leads (ex: fake or out-of-service numbers, or fake names like Seymour Butz or Mickey Mouse), and also funneling leads into your pipeline strategically for higher conversions. Let’s take a look at a few ways to get started.
1Verify Your Leads
Is there anything worse than spending an hour of your day cold-calling, only to sift through a handful of fake names, and then dial 20 out-of-service numbers? You can’t force a lead to input accurate information, which is why it’s beneficial to have some sort of lead verification process. Otherwise, you’re the one spending hours sifting through a mystery list, when you could (and should!) be spending that time working with real leads.
So, what are some options for verifying leads?
- Hire an assistant or Inside Sales Agent: While this doesn’t fully alleviate the problem (because you are still paying someone to spend the time nixing trash leads) it at least allows agents to focus their energy on what they do best – working their hot leads and closing more deals.
- Partner with a CRM that verifies leads for you: BoomTown’s system verifies leads who register on your site, by validating a phone number (mobile/landline/VOIP) and cross-checking to see if the name matches the data source. So when you’re ready to reach out, you know you have verified information that will lead to real conversations.
- Use a lead generation service that provides verified leads: If you are paying for one (or several) lead generation services, make sure your dollar is going as far as possible. Shop different services, read reviews, and avoid using services who don’t verify leads.
2Qualify Your Leads
When a lead registers on your site, what are they prompted to answer? More than likely they’re only answering: First Name, Last Name, Email. Consider this… What if you asked just a few more questions to start qualifying your lead right out of the gate? For example: What is their timeline for purchase? Or, have they been pre-approved for a mortgage? Pre-qualifying a lead means that agents are getting more than just, “Ann – 843-555-2989.” They’re getting insights right off the bat to get a higher quality conversation going.
Putting a qualification system in place will vary depending on the technology that you’re using.
- If you’ve used a third party service to build your website, reach out to them and ask if it’s possible to add more questions upfront when a lead registers.
- BoomTown has built in (optional) qualifying questions, that help funnel your leads into appropriate categories. Once they’re in the system, you’ve got insights right at your fingertips so that you are prepared the second you pick up the phone.
The “quality” of a lead can be dependent on when they’re contacted. If you contact a lead within the first few minutes, they’re more likely to want to talk to you. They’re still in “home-search” mode, and they’re likely still by their computer or phone. If you wait 3 hours, or even a day… chances are higher that they’re focused on something else, or they may have already spoken to another agent.
A great way to boost response rates is with texting. It’s a quick and easy way to make contact, and leads feel a little more at ease. A 2018 Ellie May Study showed that texting is on the rise as a preferred method of communication from consumers. You can quickly shoot an introduction text to a new lead, like this one:
“Hi Andrew, this is Joanna with Cobblestone Real Estate Group. I’d like to email you a few listings. Any specific neighborhoods you’d like to browse?”
Not sure what to send? Free Text Templates for Getting Homebuyers Interested
4 Improve Your Content Marketing
Real estate is a very personal business. Purchasing a home is a big decision, and not one that clients are willing to trust with just anyone. This is why the best real estate professionals have a brand that is client-forward and customer-service focused. One way to set yourself apart from the rest is to put strategic thought behind your content marketing. What are you sharing on social media and in your advertisements? What information is on your website? For example: if a lead lands on your website from a Facebook ad and all they see is a list of properties, they’ll probably either (A) move on, or (B) enter their email and then move on, without giving your brand much thought.
Consider adding your photo or a team photo to your homepage. Having a clear and visible mission statement or value proposition helps as well to differentiate your business.
Check out The Bob Lucido Team’s homepage for a great example.
“We see home as more than a house. So we approach real estate as more than a transaction. Whether you’re ready to move in to your first home or move on to the next one, Bob Lucido Team is there with you at every important moment along the way. Delivering the ultimate real estate experience has driven us to be the #1 team with the largest real estate company in the world. It’s how we sell a home every 4 hours, and how we’ve been able to sell over 35,000 homes over the past four decades.”
5 Be Patient and Strategic. (And do the work.)
Oftentimes with real estate, it’s just about being in the right place at the right time. The way to maximize your chances of that is to have a rock solid follow up plan. Aside from the real trash leads (fake numbers and dead ends), there is a wealth of “cold” leads that may seem impossible to convert. But the truth is — they’re not. These are leads that have the potential of converting 2 weeks, 2 months, or even 2 years down the road. With a long-game nurture plan in place, you can capitalize on those opportunities year after year.