How To Convert More in Real Estate With a Sound Lead Management Strategy

Quick Tips / August 24, 2022 / Daylite Team

According to statistics, 99% of home buyers between 23 and 56 use the internet to research homes as part of their purchasing strategy. Although many realtors feel that their real estate marketing strategies are ineffective because there are not enough leads, this data makes it quite obvious that a shortage of leads isn’t the issue. With more buyers embracing the internet as their primary means of shopping, the volume of leads has only increased since the mid-2010s.

Converting these leads is what brokers are struggling with. The National Association of Realtors has over 1.50 million active members. To stay ahead of the curve, you must develop a sound lead conversion and management strategy. In this guide, we’ll take a deep look at the reasons why you may not be converting more leads and how you can remedy this.

Illustration shows three houses side by side in the background, each with a "sold" sign. From left to right, a man, a couple shaking hands and a family holding hands stand in front of each house. Title: How To Convert More in Real Estate With a Sound Lead Management Strategy

Why Are You Failing To Convert? 

First, you need to figure out where you’re going wrong. Your lead management strategy may seem sound, but you might not be covering all your bases. This section will explore possible reasons behind your low conversion rates.

Sluggish Follow-Ups

Whether you’re harvesting prospects from lead forms on property portals, your website, or online ads, you must put in the work to convert these leads.  

With the efficiency and speed at which services are delivered these days, a hot lead can become cold if your team takes too long to reply to inquiries. When a lead contacts you through email or fills in a lead capture form, they expect an immediate response.

Your team should be contacting prospects and leads as soon as you’re notified of their interest. It’s no secret that technology has left many of us impatient. If potential home buyers are forced to wait too long for a follow-up, they are more likely to move on to a more responsive alternative. Sluggish follow-ups can be highly detrimental to your lead conversion rates. 

Daylite is an example of a software that centralizes communication between real estate agents and buyers, appointment scheduling, and listings. Learn more here.           

Subpar Lead Nurturing

In marketing, a sales or lead funnel describes a potential buyer’s conversion journey before becoming a guaranteed client. Leads are seldom handled by a single agent; they’re systematically guided from channel to channel and agent to agent. Thus, real estate agents shouldn’t be managing the entire lead funnel process themselves – even with the assistance of AI and other software-based tools.

On the other hand, you may have systems in place to handle your lead and customer pipeline, but they may not be optimal. If all the disparate pieces in your funnel system fail to click the way they should, it can result in poor lead conversion. You must ensure prospects transition through your lead or customer pipeline as smoothly as possible. 

Failing To Personalize Follow-Ups

Realtors now have access to various lead generation channels and tools. However, these solutions have come with some downsides. Our continued emergence into digital media and the internet has resulted in increased cases of depersonalization. It’s easy to get lost and forget that there are actual people behind the words and numbers representing your leads.

And, of course, people are different. They have different tastes, payment preferences, communication preferences, goals, incomes, and so on. In regards to communication, some customers prefer to communicate via email, while others will prefer direct phone calls or text messaging. In regards to transferring payments, some customers may prefer to pay via bank transfer, credit card, or even via crypto, which would necessitate having a place to receive and store crypto payments on your end. 

Consequently, you cannot apply a singular approach to your lead follow-up strategy and expect positive outcomes across the board. Your approach should be tailored to each potential client.   

Failing To Prioritize Leads

According to the NAR’s 2022 Home Buyers and Generational Report, only 7% of all home buyers discovered real estate agents through online property views. 47% were referred to by a neighbor, friend, or relative, while 13% used an agent from a previous purchase or sale. 

However, we should not misunderstand this data. It does not imply or prove the inefficacy of online lead generation. It only shows us that leads are more likely to convert if they’re referred to by a trusted source.

Thus, you should not prioritize leads discovered through digital channels over leads that may have been referred to you by word of mouth. Your repeat or past clients should be at the top of your priority list as they’re more likely to become actual buyers or sellers.        

Addressing Poor Conversion Rates With an Optimized Lead Management Strategy

As you may have gleaned from the previous section, a substandard approach to following up with leads is at the center of poor conversion rates. The quality of your follow-up will determine how quickly you can nurture and convert leads. Therefore, your lead management strategy should focus on enhancing it both directly and indirectly. Your cash flow projections and success as a realtor depend on it.

So what are some methods you can use to build a more effective lead management strategy?

Create More Detailed Lead Forms

It’s crucial  to learn as much as possible from a lead before engaging with them personally. One way to do this is by implementing more detailed lead forms. 

Your lead forms should quiz leads on their preferences, professions, age, income, tastes (city vs. suburbs, houses vs. condos, etc), goals, etc. You can make some of these fields optional, as some prospects may be too impatient to complete the entire form, especially in one sitting. 

Additionally, you should have a system that observes and records how your lead interacts with your website. You must track which properties they view, their search history, etc. It would be even easier to accomplish this by allowing leads to create user profiles to log in to and use your website’s services. As you’re doing this, you must comply with local and international data and privacy regulations such as the GDPR. Again, the point here is to learn as much as possible about your leads.

Improve Your Response Times

Most prospective buyers and sellers expect same-day or even same-hour responses. However, the tempo of your follow-ups may be slow due to the sheer unmanageable volume of daily calls and messages you receive. You and your team may not be equipped to respond to all these queries.

This problem can be partially remedied by implementing a comprehensive automated response system. It would be best to use a system that can personalize responses based on the source of the inquiry.

For instance, if an inquiry is received through a lead form, your automated response system should be able to formulate a coherent reply based on the information provided on the lead form. If your prospect prefers to be contacted by a text message (SMS), your response system should be able to prioritize this channel.

There are a wide variety of AI-powered tools that offer these facilities. You can integrate chatbots into your website, social media, and direct messaging accounts. Your business should also maintain a reliable phone system despite Gen Y and Z’s collective aversion to telephone communication.

Some things are better said than written, and some leads may find a human voice more reassuring than a digital letter. Make sure that your phone system includes rollover lines with interactive voice responses.

Finally, your automatic response system should be able to initiate consistent multi-touch responses. Often, it isn’t enough to send a single response to queries. Because it may take a while to respond to inquiries personally, your automatic response system should feature multi-touch functionality. It must be capable of sending leads daily or bi-weekly messages with helpful information.

Prioritize Your Leads and Schedule Your Follow Ups 

Your automated response system is only a small part of a larger lead management strategy. It is there to prevent hot leads from cooling off. Additionally, it can provide potential clients with critical information and help them schedule meetings with your team.

Nevertheless, you’ll need an automated lead scheduling and prioritization system in addition to your automated response solution. It should ideally feature a record-keeping function that registers all your client and lead interactions. 

When leads use your automated response system to make inquiries or schedule a meeting, your digital appointment book, calendar, and to-do list should be updated too.  

Thus, your automated response system must be capable of interfacing or integrating with your automated scheduling software. Some customer relationship management (CRM) tools bundle these features together. In fact, some solutions can even connect to your business bank accounts, allowing you to streamline your entire sales pipeline from lead acquisition up to invoicing/billing.   

For instance, Daylite, a Mac-based CRM app, offers a host of comprehensive contact management and project management functions. It provides real estate agents with a centralized platform to manage and synchronize their Apple mails, calendars, contacts, and lead-related notes. Furthermore, you can match Daylite with workflow automation solutions such as Zapier to enhance its sync capabilities. 

Regardless, real estate agents should continually reassess their lead scheduling and prioritization process. Your lead management system should instantly capture and organize all incoming leads. The more efficient it is, the quicker and more effective your sales pipelines will bel.   

Putting It All Together

So how should your lead management strategy look? Here’s a step-by-step outline for your potential lead management system: 

  1. Implement detailed lead forms (and wait).
  2. Auto-respond to leads who have made an inquiry.
  3. File, categorize, and schedule follow-ups with the leads – this process includes assigning leads to appropriate team members.
  4. Continue to nurture leads through consistent multi-touch contact.

Again, your team should continuously reassess your lead funnel’s performance – aim for perpetual refinement. Set aside time (weekly or monthly) to review your lead management strategy. Additionally, you should constantly be researching ways to optimize it even further. 

Wrap Up

Much of the realtor’s time and energy is dedicated to prospecting and following up on leads. Of course, modern technology has made both these processes far easier; however, realtors should not be lulled into a false state of assurance.

You still have to work to convert those leads into clients. Conversion primarily hinges on how well you follow up and not just how quickly you respond but how effectively you communicate with prospects. Thus, you shouldn’t neglect your business’ tone of voice and the importance of the human element in real estate. Developing a well-formulated and holistic strategy will go a long way in improving your client acquisition.  

About the author: Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer passionate about SaaS and B2B marketing. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed – among other intriguing things – to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

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