At Designed For Agents we've hosted many online lead generation trainings and every now and then we hear an agent say, "...well online leads don't work. The leads are trash." This is an especially common misconception when it comes to Facebook Ad Leads.
Yes, we said "misconception" on purpose.
There is a very real reason as to WHY many Real Estate Agents struggle to convert Online Based Leads – both buyers and sellers. Let's break down the top 5 reasons why real estate agents struggle to convert online buyer and seller leads.
#1 You Don't Understand The Lead Generation Source
Here's a Cheat Sheet:
Zillow Premier Agent Leads – Relatively Warm, but will cost you a premium because Zillow's Call Centers filter out the wrong phone numbers/emails and pre-screen the leads. It's important to understand that these leads CAME TO ZILLOW (from a Facebook, Google or YouTube Ad actually...) and so they are indeed browsing real estate actively. Whether or not they're ready to buy or sell is the question of course.
Facebook Ad Leads (To Website) – Room Temperature, but will likely be a cost effective option because you will be the one "pre-screening" them (unless you can afford a Call Center like Zillow Premier Agent). It's important to understand that these leads were served your Facebook Ad and many may be several months out from purchasing or selling. You're catching them at the browsing phase, but remember, this gives you loads of potential for long-term relationship building.
Facebook Ad Leads (Lead Form direct) – Room Temperature, but will likely cost you a bit more money than sending them to your lead conversion real estate website. The reason is that Facebook pre-populates the lead's information into the form and all they have to do is click submit. Unfortunately, this means they can easily hit that submit button with outdated information. (Example, my Facebook info is a phone number and email from the past...what's yours?)
Google PPC Leads – Relatively Warm, but may cost you more than Facebook and possibly less money than Zillow Premier Agent. The reason being that, depending on how you run the ads, you should be getting leads based off of individuals who literally typed in keyword search terms that signal they want to buy or sell in that market soon.
There are so many other online lead sources and lead generation services, but we wanted to break down this point: You must understand the potential mindset and filtering requirements for the online lead sources you choose to use.
#2 You're Waiting Too Long To Contact The Lead
Now let's say you're a Real Estate Agent who has either (a) mastered generating online leads through advertising or organic social media content marketing; or (b) has paid for a reputable online lead generation service.
How do we solve the problem of leads not converting when you have them in abundance? Simple. You're not contacting them fast enough. An online lead should be contacted within the first 2-5 minutes of submitting their information. The longer you wait to call/text/email them (yes, all three) the longer it will take to get them on the phone and convert them to an appointment.
#3 You're Not Contacting the Lead Enough Times
Now let's say you do actually call your online leads within the first 2-5 minutes, but you're still having trouble converting them into appointments and then sales. The problem may be that you're not contacting them enough times. It can take 9-18 touches/contacts (and some sources say 35 touches/contacts...) minimum to reach out to and convert an online lead. This means you must try calling, texting, and emailing the online lead 18-35 times before you have success. Are you currently doing this, or forgetting about the lead after 1-3 touches?
#4 You Don't Have Enough Leads Coming In (C.R.)
When it comes to online lead generation, your C.R. (Conversion Ratios/Rate) matter. A relatively average real estate agent will have a 1% Conversion Rate with Online Leads. This means that for every 100 Online leads received by that average agent, only 1 will convert.
If we scale that math, it would mean that if the average agent would like to close 12 Sales in 1 year, they would need to generate 1,200 Online leads in those 12 months.
Take this information into consideration when deciding what your advertising budget will be. If you're netting at $5/per lead you'll need to spend $6,000 for the year. If you're netting at $25/per lead you'll need to spend $30,000 for the year. If you're netting at $2.50/per lead you'll need to spend $3,000 for the year.
#5 You Haven't Practiced Your Scripts Enough
The final piece to consider is your individual skill set. Real Estate Scripts exist for a reason! Top Producers practice them via role play for a reason. Let's say you have an abundance of leads coming in, you call them right away, and you even have a CRM that automatically follows up with them for 1,070 days and YOU STILL are not converting them into sales.
The solution is simple. Work on your scripts. Find a role play partner, find a role playing group, find a team leader who role plays – and just do it. Practice! You'll see a difference within a few days if you do.
Did you find this article helpful? Let us know in the comments and share it with your real estate friends.
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