Growing a successful real estate business means creatively and strategically generating leads. In addition to referrals, many real estate professionals turn to “online leads” to generate more business. This could be in-house digital marketing (through Google and Facebook Ads), or paying for leads from a provider.
Whatever your methods, you’ve probably heard plenty of “facts” about online lead generation and quality. And you might be frustrated with your results. But before you scrap your strategy all together, let’s clear a few things up!
MYTH #1: With a set budget, you can guarantee X amount of leads
If you’re investing a monthly budget into paid advertising, you can get a general estimate of what your monthly ad spend should be, as well as your cost-per-lead. However, paid advertising is not static. There are constant fluctuations with the economy, the housing market, as well as supply-and-demand. The more advertisers in your market, the more challenging it will be to get leads. Additionally, seasonality has an effect, with more people searching for homes in certain months.
If you’re working with a service provider or CRM that offers digital marketing services, communicate very clearly what your expectations and goals are. If you are advertising on your own, (A) be patient and (B) track your results over time, so you can measure your ROI and adjust.
MYTH #2: Online leads are mostly trash
This is the oldest lead myth in the book. And listen, online leads aren’t for everyone. Some businesses thrive off of referrals alone – and that’s fantastic! More power to you! But for many, online leads are essential (or at least helpful) for supplementing their business. The tricky thing with online leads, is that it’s more difficult to vet them. You can’t strong-arm someone into giving you accurate information, which means you get some “fake” leads that register.
Those fake leads are a small percentage, overall. BoomTown verifies every lead that enters your database to make sure it’s a real person with a real phone number. Oftentimes, even if a lead has real information, agents will consider them “Trash.” Whether or not a lead is ready to convert right now, they eventually will be. This is where lead management and nurture plans come in. If agents aren’t effectively following up with their leads – they’re not going to convert. And if you don’t have a long-term nurture plan in place, the leads that just “aren’t quite ready right now,” are going to convert with someone else down the road.
MYTH #3: More is more
Surprise! This usually isn’t the case. The trick with online lead generation (especially within a team of several agents) is finding your “sweet spot” with just enough leads. Too many leads can negatively affect your ROI, because there may be leads in your database that are ready to convert, and yet you’re spread too thin to really work them to a closing.
If you’re trying to figure out how many leads is just right, consider these factors:
How many leads do you need to get an appointment?
How many appointments does it take for you to close a deal?
What is your conversion rate?
How big is your current database?
How much time are you willing to spend prospecting?
Once you’ve answered all of these questions, come up with an estimate of how many leads you really need.
MYTH #4: I have plenty of leads on my own
Okay, okay. This may be true. You may be doing pretty well within your sphere from referrals alone. But if you want to build a sustainable and scalable business, it is important to diversify your marketing efforts. That means, don’t rely solely on referrals, or online leads. Test out a variety of methods in order to build your pipeline. If you want to grow enough to become a team leader or broker/owner of a thriving business, you’ll need to establish sustainable lead generation strategies to provide enough leads for your agents.
We recommend diversifying your marketing for the same reason Wall Street investors diversify their stock portfolios. It minimizes fluctuation between lead volume and reduces risk if any one source does collapse. Plus, you have a far wider reach on multiple channels than with just one.
MYTH #5: You can’t verify or qualify online leads
Along the same trope that “online leads are trash,” comes the myth that it’s impossible to verify or qualify online leads. This may be difficult to do on your own, but if you are partnered with real estate technology, you may have the ability to verify your leads before they enter your database.
BoomTown verifies every lead that registered on your site. This allows you to avoid time spent on dead end leads like “Seymour Butz” or “yourmom.com” Every verified lead is a real person with a real phone number. Qualification questions are also an option, so you can get some qualifying information from your leads right out of the gate. These optional questions prompt the lead to answer, “What is your timeline for purchase?” “Are you pre-approved for a loan?” etc.
MYTH #6: Lead generation is just a feature
One of the biggest pitfalls when it comes to lead generation is to think of it as simply a technology feature or a straightforward transaction. “Here is my money, give me some leads.” Think of lead generation as a whole ecosystem with a variety of inputs and outputs. In addition to diversifying your marketing tactics, quality lead generation needs to come from optimizing SEO, effective digital marketing, original content, and a high-performing consumer website.
In the simplest terms, don’t expect online lead generation to be a magic diet pill. It takes a smart strategy and proper follow-through to get the results that you want.
MYTH #7: The hardest part is getting leads through the door
It may feel like getting a lead to talk to you is the hardest part of the sales process. However, we would argue that the biggest challenge is in that middle phase. The phase where you are trying to keep their attention and get them to actually commit to an appointment. The initial follow-up, or “10 Days of Pain,” is the phase where it’s absolutely critical not to drop the ball.
Here are a few pro-tips for better follow-up:
Reach out immediately. The moment a lead raises their hand, give them a call or shoot them a text. Remember that they are losing interest by the second!
Diversify your contact channels. Some leads might respond better to email vs. text, or text vs. phone calls, etc.
Be strategic with your process. Outline a follow-up plan and stick to it.
Practice! Go over your cold-call scripts in the car, and experiment with different templates until it feels natural.
Did we mention be persistent?
BONUS MYTH: Napoleon was short
Napoleon was 5’7, which was actually above average height for a Frenchman at the time! #TheMoreYouKnow
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