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It’s no secret that leads are the lifeblood of your real estate business, but they are also a source of frustration. Agents often question the ROI on their lead spend, blaming the quality of the inbound leads when they don’t convert, instead of looking at the user experience the lead undergoes from the moment it’s received.

Here are some tried and tested tips to ensure that every lead in your pipeline receives a meaningful, relevant experience, and that you will nurture and convert on a much higher percentage.

1. Evaluate lead source vs. monthly production.
Do you know where the bulk of where your past business came from? Use this handy spreadsheet to backtrack over the past 12 months to determine where your business originated (i.e., Referral Network, Social Media Advertising, PPC Lead Generation, etc.), and make sure you are putting ad spend into the channels that produce.

2. Use a CRM.
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a necessity to effectively manage every stage of your lead’s lifecycle. A comprehensive CRM will allow you to keep detailed lead records, prompt outreach and follow-up, and provide valuable insight into every step of the sales process. I recommend an end-to-end solution like Elevate, which provides one singular location for everything you need without requiring convoluted (and pricey) ‘bolt-on’ technology.

3. Create marketing workflows.
For every $1,000 spent on lead generation, an average of $10 is spent on lead nurturing and follow-up. I assure you that many times it’s not the quality of the lead that’s the problem, it’s the quality of the follow-up! A good workflow will allow you to automatically connect with your leads in a timely manner, while prompting you to take meaningful action along the way. Your workflow should include telephone or text outreach, email, social media connection, and even direct mail (a hand-written note goes a long way). Communication should feel personal and relevant to whatever stage of the process your lead is in, and you should receive analytics on engagement behavior (i.e., opens, clicks, responses) where applicable. Once again, a strong end-to-end CRM like Elevate will have pre-built workflows and communication tools built in that you can easily customize.

4. Look at touch frequency.
Statistically, it takes anywhere from 7 to 13 touches to convert a lead into a qualified opportunity, so when you are developing your marketing workflow, be sure to touch your leads early…and frequently. I develop marketing workflows for many brokers and agents and generally will start with 27 touches over 30 days, with 14 of the touches occurring in the first seven days. Sound like a lot? It is…and it works!

5. Be of service.
The real estate agent who’s just there to sell will not have as much success as the agent who’s there to be of service. When developing your workflows and touchpoints, make sure you include helpful resources, personal insight and local “goodies” as part of your communication process. This helps build rapport and drives higher engagement with your leads. I always enjoy buying from someone who I actually feel connected with, don’t you?

I know, I know…taking the time to learn a CRM and build meaningful, intelligent workflows is not why you went into real estate. Trust me, though. The time you spend putting these strategies in place will be well rewarded. You will have greater efficiency, happier clients and increased ROI on your lead-generation dollars. Happy selling!

Bondilyn Jolly is a tech entrepreneur, investor and business leader. She currently serves as the VP of marketing at Elevate ( and the managing partner of, a full-service digital and creative advertising agency servicing the real estate sector and beyond. Bondilyn and her team work with brokers, agents and companies to build unique, memorable marketing experiences both online and off.