Help Australian real estate agents list and sell more properties by generating and converting leads.
- Understand how an effective CRM and smart email marketing system produce qualified leads from your own database.
- Plan and execute actions required to convert leads to listings and sales.
What is a good “real estate lead” and how can I use them to grow my business?
A good real estate lead identifies a contact that is preparing to make a move in the market. You don’t have time to chat with everyone in your database, so it’s more efficient to target individuals already considering purchasing or listing property.
In order to improve your lead generation and close more listings, you will need a few things:
1) A good CRM to help you store, track and mature your database
2) A smart email marketing system to communicate with your database consistently, and identify the individuals most likely considering purchasing or listing their property.
3) The discipline to initiate contact with these individuals to get in front of them, and present your sales strategy.
CRM Best Practice
Actually using a CRM is the starting point. It’s funny how many agents, and agencies for that matter, still rely on Excel spreadsheets to track and trace their contact’s property journey. If that’s you, call me immediately (It’s for your own good). Most agents with a CRM only use a fraction of its capabilities. I call them “light users”. The “power users” are usually the #1 agents in their farming area. They religiously input all data into their CRM and keep it updated, whilst using its features to help automate certain contact points.
From entering the contact information, to individual notes based on contact’s property requirements, this work pays massive dividends in the future. You just need to have the discipline to start the process correctly. In time it will become a habit.
Having an open for inspection app on your phone or tablet that mirrors your actual database is the holy grail. Third party apps work ok IF you have the time to double enter your data (unlikely). The discipline to enter all open home attendees gives you the platform to craft the discussion moving forward. You can start by sending a group text message to all attendees at the end of the open home to confirm attendance, and learn interest levels. Even better if you link a copy of the contract in that SMS. This creates a FOMO moment for the attendees, and can force a buyers hand into making an offer. Give it a try; it works!
Discipline differentiates good agents from the average. Most agents underestimate just how critical effective communication is, especially with buyers since they should be your future sellers. Doing more now will increase your repeat and referral business moving forward.
Your CRM should make you look like a rock star in your clients eyes. With it, you can keep them informed throughout the journey, provide crucial knowledge regarding their property, and match likely buyers in your database. Email marketing simplifies this further.
Email marketing in real estate has been and remains the best “bang for your buck” communication tool for agents. It functions as a contact point, branding exercise, and if you use the right solution, a lead generating goldmine! Statistics suggest that 5% of any agent’s database is in “property mode” at any given time. Essentially they are actively looking to buy, sell, invest or seeking property management. The trick is to have a conversation with those 5% whilst providing valuable content to the other 95%. That way you’re strengthening your personal brand and relationship until they’re also ready to transact.
To achieve this, you need to send mobile responsive, good looking, and relevant newsletters to your database. If not, your open, click-through, and unsubscribe rates will suffer. Do you send OFI reminders weekly, or industry focused content regularly? Do you monitor your audience’s interactions with your report? Do you adjust your emails, or call anyone that revealed interest?
90% of agents do nothing with their campaign reports. So why bother sending property newsletters in the first place? Answers like “because we have to” or “branding,” are a start, but the real value of your marketing is lost until you take action.
Remember the goal is to stay connected and relevant with your contacts, while learning who are preparing to purchase or list their property.
Good email marketing systems rely on automated features to reduce your workload. They should email your contacts properties that match their needs, and help uncover your motivated contacts.
The best email marketing software solutions allow you to design your own leads. Would you want to have a conversation with a client that opens your newsletter and clicks on a specific property 2 or 3 times? Or if someone clicks on 4 or 5 different properties? How about if a client clicked on a link offering tips on selling a property? If a previous client suddenly starts showing interest in new listings after years of silence? An effective marketing platform should let you choose the leads you find most helpful, tweak them to fit your business, or build your own.
The average agent has about 1,000 contacts in their database. This means roughly 50 people transacting in real estate at any time. Top agents use systems to uncover those people, and have the discipline to initiate a conversation with them.
If you have the database, CRM, and email marketing systems in place and set up correctly, then you should have a steady flow of leads. These leads should include information like:
- Full contact details taken directly from your CRM
- The time they interacted with your EDM
- Exactly what they looked at in the EDM and the level of interest
- If possible, identify contacts looking for appraisals, selling tips, buying tips or management of their rental properties
Once you have a lead with the info above, you will have all you need to start a genuine conversation with your contact.
According to most agents, appraisal requests are the hottest leads, followed by tip requests on selling their property. If you catch these contacts before they canvas the competition, you have a valuable opportunity.
The speed of the lead being delivered to you is paramount in the above situation. If you have to take time reviewing a weekly report to decipher who to call, you’ve probably lost the battle. That contact is likely speaking with another agent.
Some agents feel uncertain contacting their leads right away. I call this the “stalker effect.” If an agent receives a lead at 9:00 am, and is on the phone by 9:01 am, your contact may feel like you’re digitally stalking them. Obviously this is not ideal.
If you received a real time lead at 9:00 am, you might try calling around 10:00 am, lunch, or mid afternoon. Delay any longer and your success rate drops dramatically as it opens up opportunity for other agents to swoop in. If you have an authentic, relevant conversation first, you effectively shut the door on other agents, and will likely win the listing.
If you’re not sure how to start this dialogue, I’ve provided two tested scripts below. They will help open the conversation with your contact.
Script 1: Appraisal or Selling Tip lead:
Agent: Hi Tom, It’s Clinton here from iRealty. It’s been a while since our last chat, but I see that you’re still an active subscriber on my database, thanks very much for that. How are you?
Contact: Yes, I am actually, I’m great thanks.
Agent: I wanted to give you a quick call and see if I could can assist you with an appraisal on your property? What are you looking to achieve in the short term with the property?
Contact: Ah yes. I am moving to Sydney and need to get an idea of what the place is worth and how long it may take to sell
Agent: Great, well I can certainly help you get a better understanding of those 2 things.
Contact: Ok, so how do we do this?
Agent: I am happy to come out and have a chat about what you are looking to achieve and see if we can help with the process. Are mornings or afternoons better for you?
Contact: Perfect, mornings are usually best.
Agent: Does tomorrow at 10:00 am work for you? What’s the address?
Contact: And so on.
If the lead is regarding a specific property they have shown higher than average interest in, the below script will help uncover more information…
Script 2 – Property Specific:
Agent: Hi Tom, how are you?
Contact: I’m great thanks. Who is this?
Agent: It is Clinton here from iRealty. I wanted to give you a brief call as you have shown some interest in a property I am marketing at 1 Smith St Potts Point.
Contact: Ah yes.
Agent: May I ask whether you’re interested in buying this property or do you have something similar to sell?
Contact: Well I am actually looking to put my place on the market soon and that property is very similar to mine.
Agent: Great. Well in that case I am happy to come out and have a chat about what you are looking to achieve and see if we can help with the process. Are mornings or afternoons better for you?
Contact: OK, mornings are usually best.
Agent: So if tomorrow at 10:00 am suits you, I can lock it in the diary now. Where would you like to meet?
If you’re not willing to have these conversations, the agent next door will. You can spend $1,000’s a month on the latest “magic bullet,” but if you don’t action your leads that are generated, you are throwing your money away. An effective CRM and smart email marketing software will identify exactly who you should speak with, but you still have to make the call.