Real estate agents who have spent time and resources building a strong web presence using various search engine optimization techniques are hopefully seeing sufficient website traffic and an adequate number of incoming sales leads. Reaching the point where search engines are giving your real estate website a high-ranking for major keywords and keyword phrases requires a seemingly endless amount of effort, and while that may seem like the end goal, it usually opens the door to a whole new set of problems.
The overwhelmingly common issue facing real estate agents with a high-performance website that generates a large quantity of leads is a poor lead conversion. Enabling home buyers to easily find you via the internet is only the first step in the web marketing process, because after all, what good is a real estate website if you or your team of agents can’t convert those web-leads into actual home sales?
While there is no exact science on how to improve your lead conversion, there are some very simple steps you can follow that will often give you the best possible chance for success. Aside from taking your time during the hiring process to make sure you’re getting quality agents with a strong sales-sense, here are just a few tips on how to get the most out of web leads:
Always Follow Up
It isn’t all that uncommon for people viewing your website to fill out false contact information during the registration process. Sometimes these fake names and phone numbers are easy to spot, while other times it’s a bit more challenging. Regardless of how legitimate or how bogus a web lead appears, always try calling the number they provide and immediately set them up on an e-mail drip campaign that automatically sends them new listings to hit the market. Such drip campaigns have a much lower unsubscribe rate, and believe it or not, people are much more likely to give you a fake phone number with a correct e-mail address than provide false information for both. Believe it or not, some brokers have reported that up to 45% of their clients initially gave them a fake phone number, so making sure you follow up in every way possible might eventually pay off.
Run Quarterly Reports
If you’re getting a lot of sales leads but are seeing an alarmingly low conversion rate, it might be time to show your agents just how poor their performance has been. Because they’re the ones receiving the sales leads, obviously they know just how many opportunities they’re getting to sell or rent a home. But when you see all the statistics over a period of time in front of you on paper, often times it can be a somewhat of a wake-up call. Agents like to remind brokers how many homes they’ve sold in a given period of time, but when they’re only converting 1% (or under) of those sales leads, suddenly that one sale seems much less significant. Below is a simple example of how a lead report may look. If you keep a good record of how your leads are distributed, generating such a report should only take a couple minutes for each agent.
|Total Leads||Homes Sold||Conversion Rate|
While an agent selling a home a home is always a good thing, if it took him/her 100 leads to reach that sale, it may be time to reevaluate your lead distribution strategy. Depending on your market, it also might make sense to do semi-annual sales reports since home buyers can often search for the right place for months.
Hold Monthly Meetings
Of course getting your team of agents together at least once a month is good for camaraderie, but if they’re hearing about other agents’ success or how John just closed a high-dollar deal, this might be the motivating factor for them to work their leads just a little harder. Aside from that, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone, so also don’t be afraid to hold regular sales competitions.
Joe Heath is a graduate of Indiana University and also holds a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Drexel University. After working as a Market Research Associate at Hanley Wood Market Intelligence in Chicago, Joe now works as a Web Marketing Specialist and is a managing partner at Real Estate Web Creation, LLC.
What is the optimum conversion ratio for an agent? How do you determine this?
I think it depends on the situation, Marci. But if a broker or website owner is spending money every month on various web marketing services like SEO and PPC to get agents these leads, hopefully they’ve come up with a formula that validates these expenses. Generally, the clients we work with expect a 3-5% conversion, with 5% being very exceptional.