How to Find, Nurture, and Close More Leads in Real Estate

Being a real estate agent can be tough since the competition’s always growing. If you’re not on the top of your game, you can get left behind. New agents often want to go out there and market themselves yet they just don’t know where to start. In that case, here’s a quick guide on finding new leads in real estate.

How To Find Real Estate Leads

Most real estate leads come from real-world networking and online sources. Some tried and tested methods that result in valuable leads are:

· Contacting those who previously listed their homes

· Regularly touching base with former clients

· Hosting open houses

· Following up on “For Sale” sign inquiries

· Following up on client referrals

· Advertising yourself and your business

Moreover, social networking sites can be a goldmine for new leads, when done correctly (see below).

Online

Prospective clients have enormous amounts of information at the tip of their fingers thanks to websites such as Zillow and Trulia. What sets you apart? How do you generate leads in a crowded online market? Create value for your prospects and demonstrate your knowledge.

Post market updates on your social media platforms (like Facebook), offer valuable tips for your prospects such as how they can increase their home’s value using low-cost improvements, and share success stories of past current clients (with their permission, of course). These kinds of efforts will position you as an authority and make it easier for them to reach out when they do want to buy or sell.

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Classified ads are a traditional method of real estate marketing and can still be an effective tool to reach prospective clients, especially if you’re targeting an older audience. Some successful agents recommend devoting an hour a day to lead generation, which includes knocking on doors, distributing “For Sale” or “Just Sold” flyers in the neighborhood, and calling potential clients.

Networking

Successful real estate agents know how to market themselves without being pushy or obnoxious. At parties and social gatherings, always work to build rapport and offer value first. If you feel like you made a solid connection and might be able to help them in their real estate search, let them know you’re an agent and that you’d be happy to assist them in taking the next steps.

Specialize

Generating leads in real estate is easier when you specialize in one particular area. Get familiar with the school districts, upcoming neighborhoods and developments, and even popular hang-outs. You can send postcards or flyers with local attractions as part of your marketing strategy and as a way of keeping in touch with your clients.

How to Nurture Leads

Real estate agents work very hard to generate new leads, yet they often fail to convert them into clients. Most leads never convert due to a lack of follow-up and lead nurturing. Here are a few tips to nurture your real estate leads and convert them into loyal and lifelong clients.

· Add each new lead to your real estate CRM: You need a real estate CRM (customer relationship management) platform to organize and manage your business, stay in touch with clients, and nurture leads. Assign each new lead to a marketing campaign, such as email auto-responder sequence that contains buying or selling tips. This helps to educate them on your services and ensures that you’ll be the fresh on their mind when they’re suddenly ready to make a move.

· Contact immediately: Respond to each lead as soon as possible since response time is critical in the early stages of the relationship. Being the first person to respond to a lead gives you the upper hand when it comes to converting a hot lead into a buyer or seller. When a person’s in the heat of the moment and you don’t call them back, they’ll just move on to the next agent they find.

· The most effective way to nurture a lead is to become their trusted advisor by providing them with relevant information throughout the home-buying process, without being pushy. Remember that not all leads will be ready to buy or sell right away. If you stay in contact with them and provide valuable information, they’ll choose you when they’re ready.

· Be open to alternate forms of communication. Most agents want to get every lead on the phone. This is a huge mistake. Some prospects prefer to communicate in written form, such as by email, or even text (with the younger generation). Simply ask them, “Would you prefer to continue communication by email or phone?”

Turning Leads Into Clients

In a perfect world, every lead would be interested and engaged with you and your services. Yet it doesn’t work that way in the real world. People are busy and often get side-tracked and will forget to follow-up with you.

Make sure to continually follow-up with them in a professional manner and ask them open-ended questions. Here’s a breakdown of the communication from start to finish.

· The first contact is precious: During the first contact, you have to chance to find out what what’s really driving them. Do they want to sell their home so they can distribute the earnings to their family? Do they want to buy a new home so they have enough space for a new baby that’s on the way?

· Once you find out their real reason for making a decision to buy or sell, you can use it as a touch-point to build rapport. “How’s it going with your brother and sister? Are they still pushing you to sell?” As the client explains their reason behind the move, you can be their confidant and advisor.

· Demonstrate your expertise: Send them a list of references without being asked, and show them your case studies. Reassure them that you’re watching the market constantly and continually touch base with them on their desired end result (such as distributing the assets to the family or getting a bigger house for the baby).

· Talk about your success: Share stories of past deals during casual conversation to reinforce their confidence along the way. Many prospects get nervous when they’re about to make a big decision. It’s your job to keep their interests in mind and keep them grounded.

· Make them a priority: When clients reach out for help, talk with them right away. Sit down with them and address their needs and concerns. Go through the entire buying process and layout a clear and concise plan for them. Often times the prospect is just getting nervous and needs your reassurance.

· Keep them on track: Help them to continually take the next step in buying or selling. When that final counter-offer comes in and you know it’s their best chance, strongly encourage them to take the deal. Likewise, if a bad deal comes in, advise them against it.

Their most important need is for you to be there when they’re ready, answer their questions, and provide resources and solutions. When they come out on the other side with a new home and a successful transaction, celebrate! Ask them for a quick note so you can save their experience as a case study and add it to your portfolio. Then add them to your follow-up system and keep in touch every few months to see how they’re doing.