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How to Find Quality Real Estate Leads

January 31 2015

ixact find quality leads 01Is real estate lead generation one of the primary things on your mind when it comes to your business? If so, you're not alone. Considering the average REALTOR® gets only 12 leads per year, it's no wonder many agents are researching ways to obtain more high quality real estate leads.

In this blog post, I'll share some valuable real estate lead generation ideas and examine the tips and tricks for how an agent can get more quality leads.

First Things First, What Exactly is a Real Estate Lead?

Simply put, a lead is the name and contact information for someone who is potentially a future client. A quality real estate lead is the name and contact information of someone who is eager to move forward and already poised to buy or sell. We also refer to these contacts as "hot leads."

A hot real estate lead may have already expressed that they'd like to work with you. This contact likely knows when, where, or why they want to buy or sell, and what their price range is. Ideally, buyers who are hot leads also have financing already pre-approved.

Hot leads should be handled professionally and efficiently as they are motivated to make their sale or purchase. They are more promising sales for you as an agent, and are more likely to lead to a commission than a more ambiguous contact.

ixact find quality leads 02A best practice for agents who have identified hot leads is to add them to a high-touch three or four month campaign with weekly communications, while your longer-term leads can go into a one or two year nurture campaign with monthly communications. A great way to think about this is that there's no such thing as a cold or dead deal. There are only hot leads and those that are not hot yet. Your leads can warm up over time if you do a great job of nurturing them by keeping in touch and educating them on the exceptional value you provide to your clients. Your so-so leads can become important sales for you so leave no lead behind!

Sifting through Facebook leads and networking in your community are part of your role as a real estate professional but be cautious not to let these time-consuming processes become the bread and butter of your lead generation efforts. Focus your energy on generating higher quality leads that are more likely to mature into hot leads that mean more business for you.

Now that you understand what a real estate lead is, consider these effective tactics for how to generate quality real estate leads:

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Real Estate Referrals

ixact find quality leads 03Maybe you've visited a dentist or doctor's office and noticed a sign with a message like, "Your referral is the best compliment you can give our practice." Many businesses rely on the recommendation of satisfied clients and real estate is no different! If you have happy clients, openly ask them to refer family and friends to you. Lots of great leads come from past clients so always keep in touch to make sure that you are fresh on their minds. A good real estate CRM can provide you with the automated tools you need to keep in touch, like an e-Newsletter, Activity Plans or direct mail.

The key is to focus in on your Sphere of Influence (SOI), including your friends, family, and acquaintances who may be willing to recommend you to others. The average homeowner knows three to five people who will move each year. Try crunching those numbers a bit. Assume there are 25 people in your SOI. If that's the case, you could get 75 to 125 new referrals per year from the contacts in your real estate CRM! Often the real estate leads you gain from referrals will be warmer than leads you gain by cold calling because these people have already made it clear they're interested in moving.

Don't be shy about asking your contacts for a referral. You can take a low key approach. Let your circle know they're not obliged in any away just because they're a friend or relative. Make it clear that you are respectful if they are already loyal to another agent.

Encourage honesty. Let your contacts know that if they'd prefer not to be one of your referral sources, to be upfront with you as it will help your business to know who is open and not open to being a potential referral source.

Nurture Leads with Drip Marketing

Not all contacts are ready to make a move yet but that doesn't mean you should ignore them. Lead nurturing is the process of keeping in touch with your prospects over time and building your relationship with them until they're ready to use your services.

Use your CRM for Realtors to schedule "keep in touch calls" and assign your leads to marketing activity plans. A marketing activity plan for email is a series of emails that go out automatically at various time intervals. Your real estate contact management software should have a number of different campaigns created for you and designed for different types of leads, such as for-sale-by-owners (FSBOs) or renters. Activity plans should be customizable and can also be comprised of letters or a mix of emails and letters.

ixact find quality leads 05When you're making the most of your real estate leads, you'll find that you're maximizing your time while building a successful, flourishing business. When an unexpected job change or new addition to the family means a contact needs to buy or sell a home, the first agent they will think of is the one they have a relationship with. Nurturing your leads through real estate drip marketing is the no-fuss way of establishing that relationship and reminding contacts that you're there.

The keys to successful direct mail and drip email are sending material people will find useful and being consistent. If you decide to send a monthly newsletter, make sure you send it at the same time every month. People are more likely to read and keep this information then just a straight up sales pitch. Drip marketing is one of the simplest, non-confrontational, and least expensive ways to generate real estate leads.

Identify Your Hidden Hot Leads with Email Reporting

ixact find quality leads 06Email marketing is a powerful way to keep your business top of mind for your contacts. But imagine the insight of actually knowing who is opening, clicking on and forwarding your messages?

Campaign reporting capabilities take the guesswork out of email marketing by showing you statistics on your email campaigns including open rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, and more. It also shows you who's opening your emails and who isn't, who's clicking on hyperlinks, and who's forwarding your emails on to others. Email campaign reporting identifies the hot leads in your database that are reading and clicking on your email marketing.

Try sending a targeted email or series of emails to the people who you see have clicked on or forwarded your emails. Targeted messages like this will further engage your contacts and reveal to you who is very interested in moving in the near future. People who open and read your email multiple times and click on hyperlinks within your email are clearly engaged with your content and are very interested in what you have to say.

Email campaign reporting in your real estate contact management software makes it quick and easy to determine the hot leads in your database by offering you in-depth insight on who your message is resonating with.

Automatically Capture Leads into Your Real Estate CRM

ixact find quality leads 07Potential new leads find agents on a variety of online platforms, including your website, emails, Zillow, Trulia and more. With a good real estate CRM, you can streamline the process by capturing these online leads and even automatically assigning them into a drip email program.

Capturing leads from the web will help you ensure no contact falls through the cracks. Your CRM should generate email alerts for immediate follow-up, assign a drip email campaign for automated lead nurturing and auto-assign new leads to your monthly e-Newsletter. You should be nurturing your new leads from the very moment they send you their information.

Online real estate leads are especially valuable because they are people who voluntarily submit their information to you. It's important to follow up with them properly and start the nurturing process as soon as you can.

Conclusion

You only have so much time during the week to follow-up on your leads. So make sure that you're focused on generating high-quality leads that have the potential to grow into happy clients. This will save you a lot of time – and increase the percentage of presentations that turn into listings.

Be open with your network about how much you appreciate referrals. People respond well to authenticity and leads generated from referrals are often high quality. When you do obtain new contacts, nurture them carefully to warm them into becoming hot leads.

Want to learn more? Consider whether your body language is sending the right messagebody language is sending the right message when you meet new real estate leads, and learn how to make the most out of your real estate leads.

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