If you run a real estate business, you may spend a lot of your time figuring out how to bring in more customers. Of course, even a single sale can bring in significant revenue, especially if that customer refers other friends and family to you. But how do you bring in and nurture more leads to grow your business?
There are several different ways you can approach lead nurturing. Read on to learn how to convert leads to customers and keep your business growing and thriving.
Why You Need Lead Nurturing
Before we dive into all the different ways you can nurture your leads, let’s talk about what lead nurturing is and why it’s important. Lead nurturing is the process of guiding potentially interested people from the discovery phase through to a full purchase. So no matter what your goals for your business are, lead nurturing is important.
One of the aims of lead nurturing is to keep your business name at the forefront of customers’ minds. This way, when they need your services, your company is the first one that springs to mind. You’ll also aim to prove your expertise to your customers so you can gain their trust and establish a strong reputation for yourself.
One of the most important tools you have when it comes to lead nurturing is email. You should begin by creating a list of all your contacts for whom you have an email address. This could include previous customers, referred leads, purchased customer lists, professional connections, and even friends and family.
Once you have your list set up, you should segment it into different categories based on characteristics and interests. For example, you may have buyers, sellers, investors, and other niche categories that define your customer base. While everyone on your list should receive certain emails (such as announcements about your latest blog post), you should also send out specialized emails to each segment.
Using Social Media to Improve Communication
Social media is also a potent tool for business owners looking to grow their customer base. Almost 70 percent of American adults have a Facebook page, and another 37 percent use Instagram. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any other single platform that contains such a large portion of your customer base.
Research has also shown that almost a third of customers would rather interact with a company via social media than over the phone. And in fact, half of the customers with annual incomes higher than $200,000 prefer social media customer service to live customer service. So maintaining a strong social media presence can help you better connect with your customers.
Meet Your Customers Where They Are
One of the best things about social media is that it allows you to meet your customers where they are. Other marketing methods require you to draw customers into your world, either through recommendations or advertising. But social media allows you to go to where the customers are, bringing in more new leads.
Before you decide on which social media platforms you want to be active, you must research your target demographic. Which platforms do they use, how do they use them, and when are they most active? Facebook is always a good place to start since it has the highest user percentage of any social media platform.
Engage with Followers
Simply having social media pages is not enough to really nurture your leads, however. You also need to post the right content and be active in engaging with your followers. Social media can allow you to build better relationships with your leads and customers, but you need to be engaged and involved with those platforms.
Do some research into the kind of content your customers want to see, and remember to skip the sales pitch. People go on social media to relax and connect, so focus on sharing content valuable to your customers, such as weekend DIY tips or local restaurant reviews. Also, post questions or action prompts from time to time, and be sure to interact with any followers who engage with that content.
Show Community Involvement
As a real estate agent, one of the things your customers expect from you is that you’ll be involved in your community. Of course, they want you to help them sell or buy a house. But, they also want to know that you’re working to make the community they’re buying into better for everyone who lives there.
Use your social media platforms to promote the humanitarian efforts you’re involved in. Be an advocate for your community, promoting new local businesses and sharing community information if you run a fundraiser or charity event benefitting your community, post about it on social media, and use your platform as a way to become a resource for your area.
One thing you want to avoid during your social media activity is coming off as fake or insincere. In today’s mass media and canned marketing world, customers want to see a more personal touch. They want to feel like they’re getting the real you and that you’re genuinely interested in forming a connection with them.
Don’t be afraid to show your human side when planning posts on your social media pages. Make jokes, talk about your day, post pictures of yourself, and engage with your followers. Then, when they make a comment or send a message, they respond to it, focusing on making a real connection with the human on the other end of the screen.
The COVID-19 pandemic transformed what our social calendars have looked like over the last year. And while the pandemic is starting to ease some, many people are still hesitant to go to full-on social gatherings. However, there are some fantastic ways you can engage with your customer base even while you’re physically distancing.
If your area is still in lockdown or waiting on higher vaccination rates, you can use your email and social media to stay connected with your customer base. As always, stay connected with your customers and leads, and aim to be an information resource for your community. You can also host virtual coffee dates with prospects, run live social media events, or even organize a group of leaders in your community to brainstorm about recovery strategies after the pandemic.
A blog is another amazing tool you have for connecting with your customers and establishing yourself as an authority in your field. Not only is this a great opportunity for you to share your knowledge, but it can also serve as the backbone of your social media presence. For example, if you post on a blog once a week, you can share that post to your social media, along with tidbits of information from that post throughout the week.
Keep your blog focused on local goings-on, including news from the neighborhood, school events, and community happenings. Promote and review local businesses, share community calendars, and shout out local leaders. It’s also a good idea to share your real estate expertise, providing advice for staging a home, what to look for during a home tour, how to host an open house, and so on.
While direct mail is a somewhat older approach to marketing, it can still be tremendously effective when done correctly. People love receiving mail, especially if it’s customized to them or contains important discounts or information. In addition, starting a monthly newsletter or magazine can help you reach your leads in various ways.
Print publications can help you maintain positive connections with your leads and keep you in the front of their minds. Because they see your name in their mailbox every month, it will be easier for them to remember you when they need real estate services. Print publications will also help build your community’s brand reputation since a magazine or newsletter will make you seem more of an authority to your leads.
Reasons to Send Postcards
In addition to magazines and newsletters, you may also want to consider sending postcards to your direct mail leads. Sending these postcards out at the right time can help you form stronger connections with your customers. They’ll feel that you care about them personally, which will make them more likely to work with you and recommend you in the future.
You may want to consider sending out postcards to leads who have just bought or sold a home, as well as people who have a contract pending. If a house drops its price or announces an open house, you may want to send a note to your leads. You may also want to send out postcards for absentee owners, real estate renters, market reports, expired listings, and holidays.
The word “free” will always get your leads’ attention, and you should use that to your advantage. People love a good giveaway; it has the perfect combination of exciting risk and enticing rewards. You will want to keep your giveaways small, limited to a specific segment of your clients or leads, so you give everyone a reasonable chance of winning.
Put together a gift basket of goods from all your favorite local vendors – you can even ask for donations if you like. Invite leads or customers to enter a raffle to win the basket, and consider offering second or third prizes. You can also offer incentives, such as a gift card to a local restaurant for each customer they refer to you.
Calculating ROI for Lead Nurturing
Of course, all of these ideas are wonderful and effective, but they also cost money. So you need to make sure you’re earning a strong return on that investment so you can keep your business in the black and keep growing. However, keep in mind that lead nurturing is a long game; the same person who gets disqualified from a purchase today may purchase from you next year.
When you’re calculating your ROI for your lead nurturing efforts, start with your lead-to-customer conversion rate. For example, how many of your leads make a purchase, either immediately or in the long run? You should also keep an eye on your average sales price or how much each of these conversions earns you on average.
Calculating ROI for New Leads
You’ll have two different types of leads you’ll want to calculate an ROI for new leads and cold leads. To calculate ROI for your news leads, start by looking at the amount of revenue you generate each month from non-nurtured leads. Next, take the number of new leads you get each month, multiply it by your current conversion rate, and multiply that by the average amount each new lead spends or your average sales price.
Next, take a look at how much revenue you generate from the leads you spend resources nurturing. After you start your lead nurturing campaign, take another look at how many leads you’re converting each month. Then, multiply your converted leads by your new average sales price, and compare the result to your non-nurtured revenue amount to see how much money your investment is earning you.
Calculating ROI for Cold Leads
Sometimes, a lead may not want or be able to purchase from you right away. However, nurturing them, long-term could earn you a sale further down the road, whether through them or through someone they refer to you. But is it worth the money to continue nurturing these cold leads?
On average, you can expect to reactivate between 2 and 5 percent of your cold leads, so start by calculating how many potential leads leaves you. You can also expect to have a conversion rate for these leads three times higher than your standard rate. So figure out how many of these leads you can eventually expect to convert, multiply that by your average sales price, and you have your cold leads ROI.
Learn How to Convert Leads
As you’re trying to grow your business, nurturing your leads is critical to expanding your client base. Social media, email, and a blog can all be fantastic tools to engage with your leads and become a community resource. You can also use direct mail and giveaways to stay in contact with your leads, as well as hosting virtual social events.
If you’d like to learn how to convert leads for your real estate business, check out the rest of our site at The Website Marketing Pro. We can help you manage everything from online advertising and SEO to social media marketing and online lead generation. So contact us today and start making internet marketing work for you.
Need more local marketing tips? Check out our entire Guide to Local Marketing for Real Estate Professionals