Regardless of the state of the economy, the local real estate market, or your recent sales, it’s a savvy business move to regularly assess your marketing strategy to ensure your resources provide maximum value.
Most Realtors invest $5,000 – $20,000 on annual marketing, allocating most to lead generation. Regardless of their budget, most agents rely on anecdotal information rather than data when investing in lead generation services.
Unfortunately, anecdotal information is often skewed by our most recent experiences.
For example, you found your last two clients from sources that guarantee a minimum number of leads monthly for a service fee. You probably think these paid services are worth the cost – but how much money did it take for you to get those two transactions?
Do you know the amount you spend on a lead source to gain a client? If your immediate answer is “No” don’t feel bad because it’s the most common response for residential real estate agents.
While the cost of a new lead varies by source and strategy, the industry average cost per lead is $55. Reviewing your Lead Source ROI often will help you maximize your marketing budget.
Review Your ROI
Examine Your Lead Acquisition Marketing Expenses – How much are you spending on each lead source?
Compile your lead generation expenses and data from the past 12 months in one place. Include metrics such as total monthly cost, cost per lead, bad leads, lost leads, converted leads, closed volume, closed units, and cost to acquire a client to get a clear picture of each source’s performance.
If you need help getting started, download our Lead Source Conversion Calculator:
Analyze Lead Source Conversion Rates – Now that you have critical metrics for each source compiled in a single place, you can compare the data points that are most meaningful to you.
For example, while our calculator ultimately focuses on the cost of acquiring a new client from a lead source, that may not be your current top priority. If you’re newer to real estate, your priority may be the number of units closed to build your name and client list.
Once you’ve identified which providers have proven their value (and those who have not), it’s time to take action.
Strategies to Gain More Clients Without Buying More Leads
Top of Funnel Strategies
Communicate With Poorly Performing Sources – Before eliminating a provider (especially if you signed a service contract), reach out to your point of contact for the service to discuss any performance concerns. Use data to explain where the service has fallen short, then allow the provider to adjust their strategies to provide higher quality leads.
Redistribute Your Budget – After following up with low-performing services, you’ll probably identify at least one service that no longer meets your needs. Cancel the service as soon as possible. If you’re in a contract with the provider, find out how to avoid a service auto-renewal. Once the service fees stop, redistribute newly available funds into a higher-performing source, or one you’ve wanted to try but were limited by your budget.
Build Your Brand With Niche Marketing – It’s not a secret that the Residential Real Estate market is very competitive. While you can assist anyone wanting to sell or buy a property, your marketing dollars go further when you target a specific subset within the market. Every client wants to be represented by an agent they can trust. Building your reputation as a local authority for specific needs, neighborhoods, or lifestyles can result in more leads proactively seeking out your service.
If you’re tired of trying to be the perfect real estate agent for every buyer and seller, download a copy of Identifying Your Real Estate Niche – Strategies for the Modern Real Estate Agent:
Middle of Funnel Strategies
Don’t Focus Solely On Hot Leads – Most prospecting strategies focus on new leads, but most lead generation services provide 2 – 5% conversion. So, what about the 95 – 98% of leads who aren’t ready to work with you? Build value in your role as a Realtor and stand out from your competition by consistently sharing educational content. When a lead is ready to move, you’re much more likely to win their business.
Make It Easy for Leads To Connect With You – Smartphones changed how consumers connect with service providers. Very few home buyers or sellers want to pick up the phone and dial a number to connect with an agent. Include an option on your website for leads to tell you they’re ready to talk and the best way for you to follow up with them. Consider incorporating a similar strategy in the ongoing emails to leads. When a request comes in, follow up quickly.
Keep Your Promise To Follow Up – Between phone prospecting and ongoing email efforts, you will encounter leads who need to delay their real estate plans. If someone asks you to follow up after they return home from a vacation, clear up a financial hurdle, or move past another time-based delay, make sure you follow through. If you fail to stay connected with a lead, someone else will ultimately win their business.
Bottom of Funnel Strategies
Stay Connected With Past Clients – You work hard before and during a transaction to build trust with your clients and provide excellent service. A common mistake is to let these relationships fade by losing touch. Check in periodically, and provide information regarding the local market to maintain relationships. Show clients that you value them after the deal closes to solidify your role as their agent to increase the chance of earning their business again.
Consistently Ask For Referrals – Your past clients and network know how hard you work. However, they don’t know if you are in a position to accept new business. If you are looking for referrals, communicate that to your network. Send the occasional email to ask for a referral, pick up the phone a few times a year to say hello, and, most importantly, remember to say “Thank you” when you receive a referral, even if the referral does not become a client.
Send Referrals To Your Partners – The service providers you rely on to assist your clients during transactions likely work with other agents. In addition to being an agent these providers enjoy collaborating with, aim to be a preferred agent for their clients. The easiest way to stand out as an agent worthy of their referrals is to pay it forward. Does your neighbor need a reliable painter? Make the introduction. The service provider will remember the compliment and be more likely to think of you when they know someone looking to buy or sell.
Too Much To Handle?
If you were making a mental to-do list while reading this post, rest assured that you don’t have to tackle each item alone. The right software will help you to automate complex, time-consuming manual processes for a fraction of the cost of hiring support staff.
I invite you to explore sGrow through our 7-day free trial. Our service is designed to
- provide visibility into lead source performance.
- educate and nurture the 95%+ of leads who aren’t ready to work with you.
- identify leads engaging with your nurture emails and may be ready to work with you
- alert you when a lead requests a follow-up call.
- keep you connected with past clients.
- automate referral requests.
What could your business look like a year from now if you fix the holes in your funnel to increase lead conversion, and boost referral business?