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Yes, we know, online real estate leads can be a pain. Whether they come from a third-party platform where you advertise your listings, directly from your own website or you buy them from somewhere, these leads generated from online activity have that bad reputation of not converting. But is that really the case? And how can you move around it?
Since online users mostly skim information when browsing the internet, many of them invest very little time in filling in forms, even when it comes to offering details about something as important as their future residence. Knowing that 95% of all home shoppers start their buying process online, it might really pay off to hang in there and try to separate quality from quantity.
There are several things you can do to transform your captured real estate leads into clients and close those sales:
Automation Is Your Friend
The first thing to do when tackling online leads is, of course, get back to senders and do it as fast as possible. The sooner you get in touch, the closer you are to sealing the deal. Luckily enough, with the new advances in technology, this can be done automatically.
There are several solutions out there, from a simple out-of-office email in which you can ask for specific details and clarify the sender’s intent, to more complex products, such as website plugins and CRM systems, which may require more time and money to implement.
Once you get the ball rolling, you can separate motivated home seekers from browsers and pick up the conversations from there.
Calling Is Not Overrated
Provided you get a number, it never hurts to just pick up the phone and call those leads, even if some of them may not seem that great at first. You may think that this is time-consuming and that it doesn’t bring any results but don’t underestimate the power of human interaction!
It’s no secret that networking is a must in real estate, so it’s worth taking advantage of every opportunity you have to connect with new people.
Even if you end up talking to someone who is just starting to research the market, you can show your knowledge in the real estate field and prove you’re a true professional. You can offer your services to that person’s friends or family also. If you make a good impression, you never know when they’ll come back seeking real estate help from you!
Outside Help Is Always Great
If you’re not a fan of calling yourself, or you have very little time on your hands, you can always hire some help. There are lead concierge services out there and these professionals can check the validity of leads for you. Some of them are open 24/7, so you’ll get an instant message or a notification as soon as they come across a solid home seeker profile.
Another option is to hire a virtual or inside sales agent (ISA) to verify real estate leads on your behalf. You can even invest some time in training a student to do this. It’s a win-win situation, since you have somebody to help pinpoint the right leads for you and the student gains work experience and pocket money in exchange.
The Source of Your Leads Matters
Where your leads come from determines whether they’re good or bad. On one hand, if the source of your leads is a dedicated real estate portal, it’s easy to conclude that people who browse that type of website are more motivated to buy a home. A survey conducted on real estate marketplace Point2 Homes, for instance, showed that 54% of its visitors plan on purchasing a property in under six months.
On the other hand, if the lead source is a general interest portal, like a classifieds website, or a social media platform such as Facebook, chances are users are either looking for something completely different, or they’re just killing time over lunch and happen to stumble upon real estate related topics.
It’s also important to determine when the leads you receive are generated in a home shopper’s online journey. Is it when they created an account, when they used a mortgage calculator, or when they actually filled out a lead form? Be sure to browse portals and test everything yourself. See where in the process the leads are captured so you can decide on their quality.
Last but not least, make sure your leads are exclusive and select those services and platforms that don’t hand them over to other real estate agents. After all, who likes their potential clients being snatched up by competition? Point2 Homes, for instance, does not share your leads with anyone other than yourself.
Online real estate leads may have the reputation of not converting but putting some time into how you obtain them and how you handle them makes the difference in the long run. Once you’ve streamlined your approach to dealing with online leads, you’ll be sure to get more clients in no time!
And don’t forget, the best online leads remain those that come directly to your profile or listings. So, getting the most views possible for your services is essential!
We’re reaching out to all real estate professionals out there who can lend a helping hand to those displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Tens of thousands of people have lost their homes due to this natural disaster, so it’s up to all of us to offer our support in these difficult times.
As part of the Yardi Systems Inc. family, Point2 Homes is helping sister company RENTCafé assist people who are relocating because of the devastating hurricane. RENTCafé has created a housing registry website where property managers can add their available rental units with special concessions, and where displaced residents can search for a temporary or permanent home.
Help us share the news about this registry to all those who have properties they’re willing to offer and to all those who are in need of a place to call home.
Yardi and RENTCafé have waived all listing fees, so housing providers can post their properties on the platform at no charge. Displaced residents also get to use the website for free.
Additionally, RENTCafé customers are being offered disaster response assistance through which they can communicate with any residents they have in the affected area. Nudge messaging, voice messaging and call automation are all offered at no charge.
“We have many valued clients in the affected area, and it is important to us to assist those clients as well as their residents who may have been displaced. Thousands of people have lost their housing due to this devastating natural disaster, and we want to help in any way we can,” said Anant Yardi, president and founder of Yardi.
Please spread the word about the Hurricane Harvey Disaster Response Page and help us gather as many available homes as possible. Share this on your websites and social media profiles and let everyone know about the initiative.
Evacuees looking for a place to stay can also get housing assisstance by calling the toll-free number (844) 363-6317.
It has become increasingly hard for a real estate agent to stand out from the crowd. More and more people are joining the real estate game and business is more and more competitive every day. Whether you’re new on this battlefield and want to make a name for yourself or you’re just looking to improve your existing marketing efforts, differentiating yourself from the competition is definitely the way to go. How can you achieve that in today’s dynamic marketing world? Through content.
We had the pleasure of talking to Sarah Layton from www.BestRealEstateWriter.com about how content can take a real estate business to the next level. Sarah is a professional real estate writer and content marketing coach who empowers real estate professionals nationwide to leverage content into cash and closings. She takes a results-driven approach to creating real estate content for her clients and followers that she believes can be transformative.
Here are her insights and some useful tips and tricks:
Tell us about your job as a real estate writer. What do you love most about what you do?
Being a real estate writer is the realization of nearly every dream I have ever had for my life so I never think of it like a job. My days are split between writing, coaching my clients on content marketing, and operating my business, which is truly a media company. The best part of being a real estate writer, is that I get to use my writing and coaching to propel my clients to levels of success that they didn’t believe possible for themselves before hiring me.
How do you think real estate agent marketing has evolved in the last 5 years?
Real estate marketing has changed dramatically in the last 5 years. What terrifies me is that so many agents are oblivious to the reality of the shifts that have happened with the emergence of social media. Too many real estate agents are caught up in old-school methods like door knocking, direct mail, and billboards without realizing that social media is more powerful for marketing than all of those things combined, and then some. By the time many real estate agents catch up to what digital marketing is now, it will be too late. Those that are strategically investing in digital marketing will win.
What advice do you have for agents managing a real estate website?
Invest in your own independent agent website. If you execute your website and content strategy correctly, you will be able to sell your domain for six or seven figures when you retire, the way my clients do. That means you must own the domain and the website it is directed to, not your broker.
In your opinion, how do blogging and social media add value to a real estate agent brand? What about creative content?
People connect with real estate brands based on the content that they produce and market. It is those connections to the content that spark the purchases. Social media is the most logical and powerful platform for distributing that content. Content creation and social media marketing go hand-in-hand because you can’t be successful in either without both.
How can real estate content generate leads?
When you create overwhelming amounts of content that is in the best interest of your ideal clients, they begin flocking to you. Real estate content is all about farming for leads rather than hunting for them. It also gives you the chance to position yourself as an expert and dominate in search engines. I write hyper-targeted, original content that generates real estate leads through SEO, as well as, making my clients look like the best real estate professionals in their market.
What are the most common marketing mistakes real estate agents make and how can they overcome them?
They try to be something to everyone. What I mean is they don’t do targeted marketing which is carefully choreographed to attract a specific buyer or seller audience. Instead they put out broad and boring messaging that makes them sound like everyone else and they fall through the cracks. It’s depressing how much money real estate agents waste on marketing this way. The best way to overcome this problem is to decide what your profitable niche market is, and then start creating content that solves their problems and helps them reach their goals.
Any last piece of advice for real estate professionals?
Stop being romantic about the way things used to be and start being realistic about the way things actually are. The way to win in the real estate game has changed completely and if you stay caught up in what worked in the past, you will be squeezed out of the game altogether. The clock is ticking and with every second you waste on outdated methods of marketing, your competition inches closer to crushing you.