Do Online Real Estate Leads Really Suck? Here’s the Bottom Line.
Online leads are a totally different ball game. You wouldn't play soccer with a baseball bat, right? Here's how to start working your leads the right way and finally see a return on your investment.
Online leads are what you might call the “black sheep” when it comes to real estate lead generation. Some agents write them off as “trash” and don’t even bother investing a dime. Some swear that it’s a worthy investment that can generate 10-40+% of their business. So what’s the bottom line?
Consider the ROI
First and foremost when dealing with online leads, perspective is key. Think about that arcade game with the electronic claw. It’s incredibly tricky to successfully scoop up a stuffed bear and “win.” It almost feels impossible. A waste of time. But maybe after 5-10 tries, you finally win the bear.
Online leads are similar, in that they’re a calculated risk. It’s an investment that requires patience, strategy, and measurement. At the end of the day, you may only convert 4% of those leads – but if the commission on 4% of those leads is a great enough return on investment, most agents would say that it’s worth it.
“I have too many “trash” leads!”
The number one complaint with online leads is the quality. Too much “trash.” And there are two ways to combat this frustration:
- 1. Get the highest quality online leads available. Here is where you need to test and measure. Compare different platforms if you’re using a third party source. If you’re using a CRM, make sure it has features that improve lead quality (lead verification, lead qualification & matching, etc.).
- 2. Understand that some/many will be trash. Work them, or move on. Look. It’s impossible to have 100% of your online leads primped, primed, and ready to convert. If that were possible, everyone would be an agent. Unfortunately, you can’t strong-arm an online lead into giving you their correct information. So fake numbers and dead-end leads are going to slip through the cracks. If you have at least one email or phone number, you can still try to work the lead. If it’s a total dead end, just mark it as “trash,” move on to the next, and don’t waste your energy being frustrated.
Adjust Your Strategy
You can’t work an online lead in the same fashion that you might work a new lead from an open house or a referral. While they gave you their information, it was more than likely begrudgingly, so they may not be thrilled to chat. Or they may just be “browsing and not quite ready to buy.” These are not the type of leads that will convert on a silver platter.
The single most important strategy with online leads is follow-up. It’s critical that you are reaching out to new leads within minutes and that your follow-up is seamless and regimented.
Consider this. How is your speed-to-lead? You have a small window of opportunity to hook an online lead and become the “go-to” agent. In fact, your chances of converting a lead drop by 400% if you wait 10 minutes to respond. If you’re using a CRM, take advantage of alerts that notify you when a new lead has registered. Reach out immediately via text, phone call or email!
Following Up with Paid & Organic Leads
If You’re Not Seeing Any ROI – Troubleshoot
Take a look at the following things: What is your lead nurture (follow-up) plan? How are you measuring the impact/effectiveness of your lead nurture?
It may seem simple, but often when asked, agents don’t methodically follow through on both items. Your game-plan doesn’t have to be complex! Don’t overthink it. You just need a system that helps you pinpoint what’s going on. It can be as simple as keeping a spreadsheet.
Most real estate teams have a 14-day nurture plan, where they follow up with a lead every day for 14 days. Usually, a CRM automates most of that work. Now, this is where you have to measure/track. If you’re noticing leads are not at the quality level you want, ask yourself:
- Am I reaching out to leads as quickly as possible?
- Am I doing a good job communicating my value right off the bat? (How effective are my scripts?)
- Are my conversations (and objection handling) working? What can I do better?
At the end of the day it’s a numbers game. Put your absolute best effort into working your leads and following up effectively. After some time if your ROI isn’t worth your time or money, perhaps online lead generation isn’t the right strategy for your business. And that’s fine too!
Learn More About Paid Advertising Watch these videos from the BoomTown Library.