- Losing even a single lead can be a disaster. You never know how much potential referral and repeat business you might have lost.
- Buyers can be just as valuable as vendors. Don’t neglect them.
- Following up online leads in 5 minutes or less makes you 9 times more likely to convert.
- For the highest chance of repeat or referral business, don’t forget about your clients once the closing papers are signed.
I’m not trying to wag my finger in anyone’s face here – but if you’re losing leads, you need to ask yourself a few stern questions. For added effect, feel free to do this out loud. In front of a mirror.
“Why did I lose that lead?”
Sure – a single lost lead isn’t the end of the world. Sometimes they just slip through the cracks. But you at least have admit to yourself that there are cracks in your process. Cracks that could do with some grout.
Likewise, if you’re spending the bulk of your work week out prospecting, you need to do a little more soul searching.
“Where is all my repeat and referral business?”
Let’s go ahead and break down some best practices you can follow to keep all your leads and get the right amount of repeat and referral business (read: lots of it) in 2017.
Losing even one lead can be a disaster
Searching for hot leads is often the bulk of an agent’s workload. Anne Gibson, property editor of the NZ Herald, has shown that the average New Zealand agent spent over 64% of their time prospecting. That’s two thirds of their working week. The cost to acquire new business is huge – so when you get some, you really want to make the most out of it.
How valuable a lead is is entirely up to you. A client’s lifetime value can go well beyond that of a single successful sale. Sure, you sell a $500,000 house at 3% commission and make $15,000 up front. But what happens next? Let’s say you treat your client so well they recommend you to three friends. That’s just saved you two whole weeks of prospecting. Maybe even more? After all, the vast majority of agents and marketers believe that one word-of-mouth referral is more valuable than 10 online leads. Do you see where I’m going with this?
A lost lead can be so much more than just a single missed opportunity.
Don’t neglect buyers
In a survey by Qazzoo, 68% of homebuyers said they hadn’t been contacted enough by their agent. This is understandable; buyers are necessary, but it’s more important to have ample stock to sell. But, like all vendors hide untold business, your buyers could be far more valuable than you think.
CoreLogic estimates there are 2.6 million investor owned dwellings across Australia – with an approximate net worth of around $1.37 trillion. That’s 26.9% of all housing stock by number, or 23.8% of the net value of all Australian property.
There’s no reason to suggest that a buyer lead won’t become a sale – treat an investor buyer well and who knows how much business they could bring in. Besides, if anyone is interested in buying a property it’s likely they also have one to sell. If they don’t yet have an agent – or their current agent isn’t performing – treating them well can go a long, long way.
For more information on using Rex to effectively manage your buyers, check out August’s webinar:
Follow up leads quickly
Your leads are looking to sell or buy a house – this isn’t a dating website. You might be the perfect match, but at the end of the day, they’re far more likely to go with the first person to get in contact with them (provided they give off a good first impression). In fact, Follow Up Boss have reported that if you follow up a web lead within 5 minutes you’re 9 times more likely to convert them. You never know who else they’ve just gotten in contact with alongside you. Problem is, most salespeople don’t respond quite that quickly. In fact, it takes, on average, 504 times that long for most companies to respond to their online leads. The average response rate is 42 hours. You need a system in place that allows you to quickly respond to your online enquiries.
Our Leads add-on pulls online enquiries from your website or other portals directly into Rex, creates new contact records for you, sends you instant notifications when leads arrive, and helps you process them with a semi-automated step-through. Any new lead that comes through can be immediately responded to – giving you the edge over other agents who might not have had their inbox open when that web enquiry happened to be sent.
Tailor your service with tracks and notes
Once you’ve responded as quickly as possible, it’s time to focus on consistency.
Some clients feel that if they’re not being called every day then their agent isn’t doing their job properly. Others find daily contact pushy, and prefer you to tone it down and email them a couple of times a week. It’s all down to the individual you’re working with. You’ll pick up how much communication they’re comfortable with as you go along, but as a general rule of thumb, over-servicing is better than under-servicing.
This is where Rex tracks are invaluable. If you’re not already using these – we strongly recommend you head on over to the help documentation and familiarise yourself with the functionality. Tracks are best-practice follow-up workflows – by which I mean Rex reminds you when and what to send to a client. And there’s a different one for every situation you can think of – or even create your own to suit your agency’s unique style.
Using tracks and buyer match profiles ensures you don’t accidently send a vendor six broadcast emails in a row without anything relevant or personalised in between.
Protip: Record everything. The more information you have on a contact in your database, the more relevant you can make your correspondance. Your client needs to feel like they’re your only one – which isn’t too hard to achieve when you have a perfect memory of all your interactions. Use Rex’s notes functionality like it’s going out of style.
Don’t forget about clients once the closing papers are signed
Tracks are so simple to use, you can afford to keep them going even after the closing papers are signed. You’ve helped a client, collected your commission, but the story doesn’t end there. Actually, the story shouldn’t end at all.
You might have provided the most memorable service imaginable, but if you really want to ensure repeat or referral business, you need to keep following up your client even after the house is sold. Run an anniversary track to remind yourself to call the buyer to congratulate them on a year in their new home.
It costs so much to acquire a client, but very little to keep their business should they want to move again in the future. A few extra touch points a year can double a client’s lifetime value.
Where to from here?
Bottom line: agents often invest a disproportionate amount of time acquiring new business and not enough keeping it. After a few years as a real estate agent, the majority of your clients should be repeat or referral business.
- Follow up leads fast. Unlike the good old days when a client would walk into your office, you can’t be sure you’re the only agent a potential lead is talking too when online. You need to get in quick if you want the best chance of converting that lead into a sale.
- Follow them up regularly, with relevant information. Don’t spam them, but remember over-servicing is better than under-servicing.
- After the sale, don’t let any potential future business you might have gotten from your client go. The hard work is over – now all you need to do is check in on them from time to time to give yourself the best possible chance of repeat or referral business – saving you a tonne of prospecting time.
That’s it. Follow these steps and you’ll start to see the amount of time you have to spend dropping brochures in letter boxes radically decrease.