By Maddie Jostol, Senior Marketing Manager
There seems to be a real estate leads shortage happening. You either have a steady flow of real estate leads but they’re converting at a painfully low rate, or your conversion rates are OK, but your agents are thirsty for more leads.
There are a few things happening here. Everybody is still upset that Zillow “took” their leads and there’s hesitation to adapt to a changing landscape that consumers are demanding. On top of that, we consistently see a low rate of lead follow up by agents. Rather than focusing so heavily on the competition, look critically at your current sources of business and consider systematic ways to not only drive more leads, but to convert them at a higher rate as well. As for the low or slow follow-up by agents, our opinion is not that they aren’t trying, but that they’re overwhelmed. Agents live incredibly busy, on-the-go lives, and lead nurturing requires time and attention that they frankly don’t have.
Here’s the problem: In the United States, the annual volume of real estate “leads” are increasing at a much, much higher rate than annual existing home sales. If increasingly more people are really looking to buy or sell, then why aren’t there more transactions? The term lead is used loosely and has become very vague, and what we often forget is that a lead is just the starting point. A client doesn’t go from lead straight to client – there is a lot that needs to happen in between. Leads need love.
Meanwhile, everyone is looking for a silver bullet. In real estate, you’re inundated with the latest fads that all promise to solve all of your business woes. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to navigate a landscape where there are truly helpful methods, tools, and tricks, but woven through are quick fixes and shiny objects.
Let’s take it back to basics because it’s quite simple, really. If you take more care in your leads by properly nurturing them under your brokerage brand, build trust and value and in the mind of the consumer, and qualify that lead so you know when they’re ready to talk to a real estate agent and move forward with a transaction, your agents will save time and convert at a higher rate, your brokerage business will save money, and your clients will have a better end-to-end experience.
It’s time to switch your mindset from quantity to quality. Does that mean that volume doesn’t matter? Of course not. It just means that quality should come first. Nobody wants to be treated like a lead. We all know the real estate industry is built on relationships, and that should remain at the core of your lead generation strategy. The key is to understand where your leads are in their journey. It’s likely that most of your leads aren’t truly considering a transaction and aren’t ready to talk to an agent. This can be frustrating, but rather than discarding them as low quality leads, what if we use it to our advantage? If we take a longer-term approach and guide those cold leads through their natural journey, providing value and serving as a resource along the way, we’ll be right there when they are warmed up and ready to transact.
The catch is, proper nurturing takes time, which, as we discussed, is a resource that most real estate agents have very little of. There’s the disconnect. Connect those dots with a proven system that fits into your existing process but takes the heavy lifting off your and your agents’ plates. By outsourcing that piece of the puzzle, home buyers and sellers are only introduced to one of your agents when they’re actually ready to engage with one, setting your agents up for success. This will enable you to maintain focus on the human element of buying and selling a home by nurturing leads in a systematic way without it being a burden to your staff or agents. It will lend a better customer experience, teeing your agents up for success, and enabling your agents to do what they do best.