There are three simple things that real estate agents know they need to do to nurture leads, but don’t always take the time to do them. In fact, if you look at top-producing agents and teams, they do these three things as part of their core practices to nurture leads. Take a lesson out of their playbook and use these three lead nurturing tips for every new lead you capture:
- Be of service: A natural inclination of many agents is to sell first and ask questions later. But when it comes to leads, it’s actually better to do the opposite with a new lead because they don’t know you yet and you don’t know them. The first step to building a strong agent-lead relationship is to engage the lead and find a way to begin a dialogue. The most effective way to do that is to offer something of value to the lead. This is vital. There has to be an answer for their WIFM – “what’s in it for me?” – and that’s where your role as their agent can begin to shine. Offering a lead something they want – access to property data and information they can’t easily get online – will allow an agent to build a meaningful relationship with a lead. At the same time, immediately starting to engage with and nurture leads helps you qualify if the lead is hot, warm or cold. Throughout the lead-nurturing cycle this is true, not just at the beginning of the relationship, but throughout. Nurturing your leads by providing them value is what slowly builds their loyalty and trust, and that’s what turns leads into clients.
- Be super responsive: Those who respond first most often win. This should be the real estate credo for nurturing a lead. Agents won’t be able to nurture a lead if they don’t lock it down from the very beginning. This is the place where the majority of agents fail miserably. The WAV Group did a telling study on lead responsiveness where researchers posed as consumers and inquired about listings on broker websites, Zillow.com, Realtor.com, and Trulia.com. Remarkably, 48 percent of buyer inquiries were NEVER responded to. Worse, for those that did get a response, the average response time was 917 minutes! In terms of nurturing practices, the average number of call back attempts to reach a new lead after the initial contact was a meager 1.5 times. The average number of email contact attempts by agents was not much better at 2.07. Technology can help agents solve this problem; Agents can text, email and call, and frankly should be doing all three. Better yet, provide every lead with tools that allow them to collaborate with you, because once you can get a lead to collaborate, chances are you are going to get the deal. But first and foremost, you should treat every lead as if it involves a million-dollar transaction with 100 percent commission. If agents treated clients like kings and queens at every stage of the lead nurturing process, they would never complain about bad leads again.
- Be patient: This is often the hardest one for agents, particularly newer agents, to accept as a core business practice when it comes to lead nurturing. It takes time and you need to be in it for the long run. Nurturing leads and planning a continuous stream of follow-up is required. This is the relationship-building cycle of lead nurturing. The process requires multiple touches – especially in the first two weeks of contact – and then a strategy that provides ways to collaborate and engage with those who are ready to make a move, as well as ways to stay-in-touch with those who will take more time to buy. The key for success when it comes to lead nurturing practices is to have a system in place that will turn “lookers” or “loafers” into “loyalists” – clients that will stay with you for life.
At Listingbook, we know agents can get so busy closing current transactions that they don’t find the time they need to nurture their leads. They get caught in the business cycle of “prospect, prospect, prospect,” and then once leads turn into clients, it becomes “transact, transact, transact.” The problem is they can do one or the other, but not both. That creates a rollercoaster business cycle.
Listingbook is designed to help agents eliminate the sharp peaks and valleys of the business cycle by automating the three things they need to do to effectively nurture their leads. The single most important benefit for agents: You can give leads something of great value they can’t get anywhere else when you give them their own Listingbook account.
This allows agents to be super responsive as they can watch their leads’ behavior: You’ll know what a lead needs before they tell you they need it. Finally, Listingbook automates the lead-nurturing process to take good care of the “lookers” and the “loafers” so agents can one day, when these leads are ready, turn them into “loyalists.”
For more information, visit www.listingbook.com.