Over the past decade, the way in which we market and sell properties has changed. The days of cold-calling and door-knocking are all but gone, and most consumers use online resources to research properties long before they reach out to agents. Now, an increasing percentage of real estate deals are made by referrals from one business to another or what one would consider being B2B conversions.
So how can you build and leverage a network of referring businesses as a real estate agent? You can do this by creating a marketing strategy that will drive traffic and conversions from potential business partners. Before we get into the benefits of doing so, let’s take a moment to define what B2B marketing means for real estate agents.
B2B is an acronym that describes any type of transaction between two businesses. Residential real estate has historically been a B2C business, where real estate agents work directly with individuals that buy, sell, and rent properties. Over the past 10 years, more and more real estate agents are closing deals with individuals who were referred by other businesses. Below is a list of potential B2B conversions for real estate agents:
These are all great channels for lead generation for real estate agents. B2B conversion in real estate is specifically the process of converting website traffic from these referral sources into actual referral partners.
You may be wondering how to build a network of B2B referral partners in real estate. B2B marketing is a different animal than B2C. To be successful at driving more B2B conversions in real estate, you first need to understand your target audience.
If you’re going to effectively target a B2B audience, you need to understand how they differ from your traditional B2C audience. For one, B2B clients tend to have different pain points than B2C clients. Understanding these pain points helps you craft your marketing message to provide a solution to their problem. B2B clients tend to have longer sales cycles and may have multiple decision-makers. Also, B2B clients tend to use different channels than B2C customers. For example, you’ll likely have more luck marketing B2B with LinkedIn than you would Instagram.
Once you understand your B2B audience, you can identify what unique selling proposition will resonate with them. What aspects of your business are unique differentiators to what else is out there in your market? It could be higher commissions for referrals, more availability, or a unique approach to client relationships. Be sure to leverage these selling propositions in your marketing material.
Once you’ve identified the channels your potential B2B partners utilize, it’s time to build a strong online presence there. That means creating content that resonates with potential B2B clients and posting it in the places that they frequently visit online. This can be done through organic posts on LinkedIn or through paid targeted content ads via social media.
Typically when a B2B client converts on your website, it is just the first interaction in a longer sales process. Once you get the lead in, you must use different methods to nurture those leads until they convert to a valuable referral partner. That could mean creating email drip campaigns, phone call, and text message outreach, or remarketing ads.
By creating a channel for converting valuable B2B leads, you will begin building a powerful network of industry partners who can send you a steady flow of real estate leads. By focusing on how you can effectively convert those leads from web traffic to a referral partner, you will:
Unlike B2C real estate marketing, a lead will typically only reach out to you when they need to move. B2B leads have the potential of sending a steady stream of leads from just one conversion. This makes B2C leads much more valuable than the standard B2C lead of an individual buying a home. Also by focusing on how you can improve your conversion percentage, you will see a proportional lift in the number of B2B leads generated.
Ask any agent broker what keeps them up at night, and many will say that it’s providing their agents with a steady stream of leads to keep them busy. Nothing is more demoralizing to an agent than a lack of potential business in their pipeline. By focusing on converting more B2B real estate leads, agents will benefit by tapping into a recurring flow of high-quality leads that will increase sales and agent productivity.
When you convert a B2B lead into an agency partner, you're forging long-term mutually beneficial relationships. Unlike B2C clients who come and go, your referral network affords you the opportunity to build strong industry connections that can pay dividends well beyond lead generation. That is why B2B lead generation is such a powerful tool for modern real estate agencies.