Even top-producing realtors find themselves stuck with online prospecting from time to time. There are days when everything goes smoothly, and days when you’re disappointed with the long hours that bring few results. While real estate prospecting is one of those actions agents aren’t usually fond of, it’s nevertheless essential to keep the business going. If you feel your real estate prospecting activities could supply more quality leads to your database, use the following advice to rethink what and how you do.
Generating new business online, while opening up exciting opportunities, may sometimes not live up to your expectations. So many tools that can be used and so many marketing techniques to try – sometimes it feels like it’s just too much information to digest.
However, according to BusinessBrief.com, you’ll lose about 14% of your customers each year. What does this mean for you? Never stop prospecting.
Below is some wonderful advice from top-performing agents on how to get better at online real estate prospecting and start generating more new leads in a digital landscape.
11 ways to ramp up your online real estate prospecting
1) Set online systems to do some passive prospecting for you
The premise behind this tip is that digital tools can empower you with great prospecting opportunities with little effort on your part. These tools typically include:
- your real estate website as your 24/7 salesman;
- a real estate CRM system to help you manage the leads, automate and schedule follow ups and catch up with your growing database efficiently;
- your social media profiles on major platforms: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, etc.;
- your online customer reviews, be it Google reviews or the ones on review sites like Yelp;
- your real estate blog targeted at your audience and locally optimized.
In other words, you set up these essential online systems once and let them work to your advantage. (Of course, you may want to update these accounts periodically.) This is why it’s sometimes called ‘passive prospecting’ as it doesn’t require active effort every day.
While some agents wouldn’t like to call these systems prospecting tools, it’s hard to argue with the fact they’re instrumental to online lead generation. They may not reach out to people on their own but they provide powerful platforms for the first touchpoint.
Once you have these systems put in place, you’ll notice you can generate more business much easier than you could have otherwise hoped for. Much less time-consuming and tiresome, they’ll let you dedicate the time for other equally important activities as well.
2) Craft your prospecting blueprint
It may sound obvious but phone call scripts and prospecting letters are important. If you’re cold calling for two hours straight, only to start noticing you keep saying ‘Ermm…’ every now and then, you might be wasting your time.
Spare some time on carefully thinking what you’re going to ask your prospect about? Some questions are key to identifying client needs so you might want to jot them down and figure out a sequence in which to ask them. The list doesn’t have to be huge. You only talk about the most important concerns, anything else will be discussed during your appointment.
Typically, you’d want to include the following questions into your real estate prospecting blueprint:
- preference – does the client want to buy or rent?
- location – what’s the ideal neighborhood for them?
- price – self-explanatory;
- financing – a cash buyer or a mortgage buyer?
- cooperating with an agent – how long has the client been trying to buy / rent a home?
- finalizing an appointment – when is the best time to meet and discuss how you can help with their real estate needs?
A simple real estate prospecting blueprint will help you sound more confident and knowledgeable. And you’ll never find yourself at a loss of what to say next again.
3) Follow up consistently and every day
Agents know they have to follow up every day to keep their database full of quality leads. Yet research shows quite the opposite: 80% of leads are either lost or never followed up because the proper documentation has never been created.
You may be surprised but follow up is actually one of the best ways to stay ahead of the competition. Skeptical about how exactly since your competition is probably doing the same? Don’t be so quick to jump to negative conclusions. These stats will convince you the opposite is true:
- 48% of salespeople never follow up;
- 25% of salespeople only make two contacts, then stop;
- 12% of salespeople only make three contacts, then stop;
- only 10% of salespeople go for more than three touchpoints.
Did you just see the prospecting opportunity emerging in front of you? And an excellent chance to beat the competition?
Use follows up to stay on top of your market. Leverage the power of your real estate CRM to automate follow up reminders and set up follow up campaigns. You’ll be quick to notice it’s a very rewarding approach.
P.S. Extra points if you manage to persist in your follow up. 80% of deals are closed after at least 5 to 12 touchpoints so don’t quit too early.
[Related post: CRM for Real Estate: 6 Perfectly Actionable Follow Up Formulas]
4) Track and qualify your online prospects
For the record, companies see a 451% increase in qualified leads with lead tracking and marketing automation tools like a CRM. This is mostly due to the two facts:
- you can qualify your prospects depending on how close they’re to closing the deal with you and
- you can then spend more time on following up with ‘hot’ prospects, at the same time keeping cold ones in the loop with your email campaigns, newsletter updates, etc.
Lead tracking and qualifying are invaluable when identifying the most important events in the sales cycle as it happens. It’s simply not right to follow up with everyone the same way.
Once you made a successful call and booked a meeting with your prospect, head to your real estate CRM and leave some notes. When your sales negotiations with that prospect start progressing, this intelligence can help you close the deal.
[Related post: Insider’s Guide to Lead Tracking with Real Estate CRM]
5) Run a blog – it’s incredibly important
A real estate blog is a key to your email prospecting. According to Tech Client, 90% of consumers find custom content useful. Indeed, no one wants to receive endless pitches; but since you have to be persistent to reach your prospects, you need something meaningful to say each time, right?
Well, this is where you will need a real estate blog. Follow this path and your email prospecting campaigns will instantly become more effective:
- fill your blog in with targeted, locally optimized content that your prospects will find interesting and educating to read;
- set up a drip campaign to deliver that content to your contacts periodically and keep them in the loop;
- check out open and click rates to spot ‘hot’ leads in your database and follow up with them personally.
Agents who set up a professional, periodically updating a real estate blog manage to get most of the online prospects solely by the means of blogging – no door knocking or dropping postcards in dozens of cafes.
Most of the customer lifecycle happens online. In today’s state of the market, a real estate blog is an incredibly robust tool to become part of that lifecycle in a much more meaningful way than just cold-calling.
[Related post: 7 Types of Real Estate Content That Make an Exceptional Blog]
6) Don’t forget about social media
Although people use plenty of social media platforms, Facebook seems to beat each one of them. With its 1.6 billion users from literally every country in the world, it’s a powerful source of prospects for agents to tap into.
93% of social media traffic comes from Facebook. Moreover, 95% of people use it to find information about an agent before contacting them.
Facebook, and any other social platform is a great way to get in touch personally. You can also get a glimpse of what the prospect is looking for as well as some general info about their background that will help you craft your sales pitch better.
Use advanced search, reach out to prospective clients personally and offer your advice. Additionally, use custom Facebook tabs to add powerful functionality to your business page and showcase your properties better.
[Related post: 14 Ways to Use Custom Facebook Tabs to Win More Leads]
7) Set up online retargeting campaigns
Yet another awesome tool for passive real estate prospecting is dynamic retargeting. Only 2% of website visitors convert on a first visit. This means prospects are slipping through the cracks and you may not get another chance to win their attention again in a crazy online world.
So one more way to do some prospecting without actually doing it personally is to set up a retargeting campaign to bring people back to your site. Here’s how it works:
So with as much as few clicks (and some guts to figure out the parameters of the campaign), you can send your ads to intelligently follow up your website visitors and keep your brand on top of their minds.
Indeed, how can you possibly ignore the opportunity to appear in front of potential leads everywhere on the web and consistently iterate upon your brand messaging? Backed up by a great real estate website and blog, retargeting is going to make your online marketing strategy effective and your online presence ubiquitous. And that will translate into more prospects and leads for you.
Enough talking for now – go try this out to secure yourself more prospects! With these real estate prospecting tips shared and tested by top-performing agents, you’ll find it worth the effort.