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Delta Media Group Blog


Monday, April 21, 2014

The Top 8 Factors For Increasing Real Estate Leads and Conversions





Succeeding in the real estate business boils down to gaining more leads than everybody else, and then ultimately converting those leads into sales.



Your real estate leads probably come to you from all sorts of places.... from ads, referrals, online, your brokerage, or through a service you pay monthly for a set number of leads, or per lead. However they come through, leads are the starting point to every transaction you’ll generate.



So the more leads you have coming in, the more sales you will have the ability to close.

But getting leads is only the first half of the equation.  Once you have them, you must be able to convert them.

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.



Improving your lead conversion rate is the other half of growing your real estate business, and there is always room to improve in this area. And in our research, your lead conversion rate is dependent upon the quality of your incoming leads and your ability to respond to them effectively. 



To help you be more successful with leads and conversions, we’ve assembled a list of the top 8 factors critical for gaining leads and improving your conversion rates on those leads.  We invite you to read through the list and examine how they apply to you and your business!


1.   Your Real Estate Website

Most leads come from the web. There might still be some debate as to how much marketing dollars to put into non-web areas, but there’s little debate any longer about how the overwhelming majority of real estate leads are generated these days. 



However, generating quality leads from the web requires more than a nicely designed website or MLS property search functionality. It requires a robust brokerage platform  or custom agent website that’s built around advanced search in order to push your visitors effortlessly to exactly what they’re looking for.



If a customer can't immediately find what they're looking for, they'll go right back to their Google search and find another local real estate website, and you'll lose that lead.

  So make sure that your website has the advanced search capabilities consumers now demand.



2.   Email Marketing

Once a visitor finds the listing they're looking for on your real estate website, they need to be able to quickly and easily request any additional information they would like, and receive that in a timely manner. If it’s a showing request, they should receive an email notifying them instantly that the request was received, and an email within a couple of hours from an agent confirming that the showing was scheduled, or is in the process of being scheduled. 



If your visitors are interested in a specific area, they need to be able to request and receive not only email updates of listings in that market, but detailed information of real estate trends in that market. They should receive comprehensive market reports, which all provide the info necessary for them to make a well-informed decision. 



A well-designed email report will prompt a consumer to take action when they find the information they're looking for, which equates to lost leads for you if you are not offering that report to prospects.




3.  Mobile Real Estate Website

If the visitor is browsing on a mobile device, they should be redirected immediately to a mobile real estate website. They should be able to find your website through a search engine (which can't happen with an app), should be able to find listings around them regardless of where they are, and should be able to quickly submit a request directly from their mobile device for more information on that listing or schedule a showing.



To that visitor, your mobile website is a more convenient version of your desktop site. And it should feature functionality optimized to work well on smartphones. Gone are the days of mobile websites that served only as watered down versions of desktop sites. Smartphones are smart, and can leverage location data to provide a much better user experience to consumers.



If your mobile website doesn't provide a cutting-edge mobile user experience, your website visitor will find one that does, and you'll lose that lead.




4.    Mobile Lead Management

Leads submitted to your mobile website should route the same way they would if submitted from a desktop site. 



Many of the integrated real estate websites we build and manage see one-third of all visitors coming from mobile devices, and mobile shoppers are interested in making a buying decision. Desktop computer users might be more likely to browse, but a lead submitted on a mobile website from a visitor sitting in their car near that listing is a hot lead.



Those leads should route through a central lead management system that distributes them to you instantly. You should be able to log into your lead management system to see all your leads, whether from desktop or mobile, in the same database. You should be able to follow up with them just as quickly, and with the same options. 



How your leads are managed greatly impacts your ability to convert them, and whether you'll receive more. Mobile leads that aren't responded to quickly might as well have never been leads at all.







5.  Responding to a Customer
It seems silly, but some might feel they can pre-qualify 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, intending to respond at a later date.



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 can contribute to a non-response as well. In many case brokerage management has no automated system for tracking the lead or maintaining accountability for what happens to leads after they distribute them.  Many brokers send leads to agents thinking he or she will respond to the customer instantly. And if that agent doesn’t respond to the customer at all- this 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 lead conversion and future business.





6.  Time of Response




Improving your lead response time is one of the top ways to instantly improve your lead conversion rate.

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.

Brokerages might be sending quality leads to agents who don’t quickly respond to them.  

In our lead analytic reporting, we’ve found that a slow response time is one of the top contributors to a sub-par conversion rate. We’ve also found that in some cases brokerages or agents attribute a low conversion rate to their leads being "low quality" or cold.  However, independent research often shows that the customer experienced slow response time, or received no response at all.




7.   Quality of Response


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




8.   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 that poor responses to a lead (or no responses at all) will go unnoticed.


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 several people in the marketplace who might not have known 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. 



On the other side of the coin, good word of mouth can 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—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.

Our research indicates that 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.



So where do you start?

Taking an honest, in-depth look at the each of the eight factors listed above and examining how they grade out for your business is the first step.  After you do that, here are a couple simple questions to ask yourself... 

Do you feel that you need additional expertise with your marketing technology? How about some help improving your incoming lead and conversions rates with a mobile website or more advanced lead management features? Perhaps you are looking for a true strategic partner, not just a vendor?

Contact Delta Media Group.  We can help.

We will partner with you and help you implement proven, integrated solutions that will grow your leads and improve your lead conversion rates... which ultimately grow your business!






About Delta Media Group, Inc. 

Serving over 600 real estate brokerages, 35,000 agents and 225 MLS's nationally and internationally, Delta Media Group is the enterprise marketing and business management solution for real estate professionals. Delta partners with companies and top-performing agents at the point where marketing meets technology, helping our clients efficiently navigate their business pipeline from lead to close.

www.deltagroup.com


Phone 330-493-0350
Toll Free 866-233-9833
Email info@deltagroup.com
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