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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Top 4 Steps to Improving Lead Conversions

Last week we showed you The Top Four Steps to Increase Your Real Estate Leads. 


This week, we’re going to look at what to do with those leads once you receive them.



Just a few years ago, the toughest part of real estate seemed to be managing all the leads a real estate brokerage would receive every month. 



Since then, the market hit rock bottom and monthly lead totals took a nosedive. 

The good news is we have all noticed a strong rebound in recent months. In fact, this year is off to a booming start for many of the brokerages and agents we work with.




So now that we are seeing increased leads in our respective pipelines, we need to reacquaint ourselves with how to manage those leads more effectively and efficiently. 



Your conversion rate is one of the most important elements of your business because it’s turning your leads and contacts into closed transactions that result in you and your brokerage earning more money. It also means happy clients, and potentially getting referrals off the excellent service you provided.



Of course, you might not get referrals or even convert business if you don’t have the customer service to back it up. Many agents and brokerages think their service is great, but the client may say otherwise- and the client is boss. 



So we’ve assembled this list of the top ways to improve your conversion rate, so you can earn your living and start earning more referral business. 



1. Responding to a Customer



It seems silly, but some agents feel they can prequalify leads based on feeling or intuition. They might receive a lead and assume, based on its verbiage or the tone in the voicemail, the customer probably won’t move soon- if at all.  So they move that lead to the bottom of their priority list.



Or perhaps the agent just got so busy that they forget to respond. Maybe they put it off for an hour, which grew to a day, then a week. 



And brokerages hold some responsibility as well. Oftentimes they have no way of tracking the lead or maintaining accountability for what happens to leads after they distribute them.  Many brokers blindly send leads to agents thinking he or she will respond to the customer instantly. Sometimes that agent doesn’t respond to the customer at all-which reflects negatively on the brokerage.



A customer who feels that he or she is being ignored will not only not want to work with you, they’ll also refer additional business elsewhere. Now you’ve lost a conversion and future business.



2. Time of Response



Consumers want instant gratification. If you called to order a pizza and no one answered the phone, you’d likely move on to the next pizza shop in the market. Consumers will move to the next real estate agent they find if you don’t respond to them virtually instantly.



Response time is one of the top ways to improve your lead conversion rate. This is being overlooked by a large number of real estate agents.  Brokerages might be sending quality leads to agents who don’t quickly respond to them. 

We’ve found that a slow response time is one of the top contributors to losing a chance at a sale. We’ve also found that when brokerages or agents claim leads are low quality, independent research often shows the customer received a poor response, experienced slow response time, or received no response at all.



3. Quality of Response



Your customers turn to you because you’re the market expert. They approach you with a predisposition that you are there to help them.



The quickest way to turn them off is failing to uphold their image of your professionalism and expertise. 



If you respond to their inquiry in a vague or uninterested manner, they might feel like you might not know as much as they expect you to. If you respond rudely or with poor grammar, they might question your professionalism as an agent. If you respond late or seem preoccupied while responding, they might feel like you don’t consider them important enough to work with.



Those actions will push that visitor along to another agent that they will feel more comfortable working with, and you’ll wonder why you lost that opportunity. 



4. Understanding Word of Mouth



All the negative lead responses we listed above make for unhappy potential customers. In the age of social media and the instant ability to communicate to a wide audience, only the naïve think bad responses to a lead (or no responses at all) will go unchecked.


A customer might decide to send a post or tweet to hundreds of friends or followers on Facebook or Twitter to complain about your service without you even knowing that you upset them. This could make for a lot of people in the marketplace who might not have known you’re the name of your business before, but will remember to not work with you now. 




The old adage is not correct with social media today—any exposure is NOT good exposure. Bad PR does exist and is extremely hard to repair, particularly when there are so many more real estate brokerages, agents and websites in your market competing for the same business. 



Word of mouth can also be a great attribute to your business. Making the extra effort for a customer—whether it’s responding to them when they submitted that lead late at night, going out of your way to answer a question, or listening and understanding their situation when others might not have—can go miles in regards to referrals. 



A lead referred through word of mouth might be ready to convert as soon as you respond to it, because they already trust you and are not considering working with anyone else. 



Conclusion

You can greatly improve the chance that a lead will convert by increasing the leads you receive through referrals. And the referrals you receive are driven by word of mouth directly from the excellent and attentive service you’ve provided.



We encourage you to analyze these four items and how they apply to your business. Some agents and brokerages might not even realize why they are losing sales.
  Need help improving your leads and conversions? Contact Delta Media Group. We can help by analyzing your business marketing model and customer management platform.  We will work with you to understand where there are gaps, and where there may be opportunities to grow and improve your business through more effective real estate marketing and lead management.

About Delta Media Group, Inc. 

Serving over 300 real estate brokerages, 30,000 agents and 225 MLS's across the nation, Delta Media Group is one of the fastest-growing digital marketing firms in the real estate industry. From desktop to tablet to mobile, Delta offers integrated digital marketing and customer management solutions for every platform. For more information about Delta Media Group, visit www.DeltaGroup.com.
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