As a realtor, a big part of what drives the success of your business is lead generation. Without a constant flow of prospects, you’re going to have a hard time selling properties.
Fortunately, there are a few ways — both in-person and online — to supercharge lead generation. For example, you get leads when people:
- Come to your open houses and sign in
- See a posting online for one of your listings— and submit their email address
- Sign up for your newsletter on your website
You can even use Boost by HomeSpotter to generate leads. Anytime you have a new listing or open house, Boost can automatically create ads for Facebook and Instagram and shows the ads to people based on their interests. If the ad content is aligned with the audience, then you have a constant stream of new leads coming in per ad.
For example, when someone sees one of your ads, they can request more information about the property. Let’s say someone asks for more property photos; Boost will send you a real-time alert to your inbox with the lead’s contact information.
What are you doing after you get these leads?
Think about your own customer experience. Doesn’t it feel good to get a follow-up message or call after you show interest in a product? Your leads also like that feeling.
As you get leads, you need a way to keep them excited about what you offer. What you need is a strategy and automated tools that make follow-up simple and effective and get as many leads as possible to convert to customers.
Lead follow-up needs a re-engagement strategy to be successful
Lead nurturing — like a phone call or email after a lead shows interest — keeps you top of mind. But you need a strategy to make it work like when to follow up, how often, what to say and which marketing automation tools to use to streamline follow-up. This way you easily re-engage leads without spending hours doing it.
Not having an automated strategy — even when you do follow up — 1) increases the chances of turning off leads and losing them for good and 2) means you spend more time away from generating income in other places.
For example, your follow-up strategy can include the following:
- Segment your leads based on their needs. Some might be looking to buy or sell while others might be looking for more information on financing a new mortgage. Distinguishing between segments makes your follow-up more targeted and relevant.
- Create relevant content. Based on the segments you identify, create applicable content so that you can speak to different kinds of leads.
- Put in place a timing and frequency calendar. Lay out when to start follow-up and how often to follow up until leads convert. You’ll need to run A/B test options to find the right mix but, once you do, this will help you automate follow-up.
- Incorporate the right tools and automate follow-up. The first three steps set the stage for follow-up and this fourth step ties everything together. Automation lets follow-up run on its own and gives you the flexibility to focus on other aspects of your business — like prepping homes for sale, planning events like mortgage workshops or staging open houses.
Let’s focus on this last step of the strategy because, even if the first three steps are strong, if you don’t choose the “right” tools for you, you may end up spending more time on follow-up than you need to.
The best marketing automation tools to help you re-engage with your leads
Here’s a list of automation tools that lets you plug in your leads and then lets lead follow-up run automatically without too much effort from you.
1. Customer journeys and drip campaigns
We live in a digital age so the majority of your leads will give you their email address vs. their phone number. Add to this the fact that email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to connect with leads and you have a huge opportunity to follow up and nurture your leads.
Studies show that people are six times more likely to click on links in your emails than they are to click on links on social media. In fact, Monetate ran a survey that found that “4.24% of visitors from email marketing buy something as compared to […] 0.59% from social media.” Remember, by giving you their email address leads are saying “yes, please contact me.” This isn’t always the case on social media.
So when leads submit their email address, keep them engaged with a drip email campaign — a series of targeted emails — that guides their customer journey. Use the drip campaign to introduce yourself and your services, restate the value you offer and include calls-to-action (CTAs) that steer leads towards buying a house or paying for a service you offer.
Include four to seven emails in the drip — depending on what you’d like to share — so that new leads consistently hear from you.
Once you create content and the corresponding emails, set up drip campaigns based on the needs you know your leads have.
For example, use the lead segmentation you’ve done to create different email lists in Campaign Monitor.
Then create a customer journey for each segment. So when you get new leads, they’re automatically filtered into the right email list and receive the relevant drip campaign.
With this tool you invest some time setting up the emails and the flow but, once you’re done, it runs itself with little interference from you. Your last one or two emails in the drip campaign can be more direct so that leads know what’s next. Whether they’re looking to buy or sell a home, by the end of the drip campaign they’re primed and ready to take action. End strong with a time-sensitive reminder — for example, call out the state of the market and why now’s a good time to act or you can present an offer.
Depending on the customer segment — let’s say sellers — you can offer a discount on home staging fees if there’s a company you work with closely. Just make the offer something relevant to a need or a problem in each lead segment.
While there are many tools available for email automation and drip campaign creation, here are a few others we recommend:
Constant Contact -With this tool looking like a professional is fast and easy. They have beautiful email templates and it’s easy to upload a list of emails to their platform. Once completed, you’ll be set with an automated series of emails that will send out at the right time to keep your leads engaged.
MailerLite – Plans start at just $10/month, so this is an inexpensive way to get started with automation and dip your toes in the pond.
Follow Up Boss – This tool incorporates email drip campaigns, open and click tracking, reporting, integrations with things like video messaging and much more. If you have a lot of leads coming in from many different channels, it may be worth the extra investment to incorporate a full lead management tool like this.
2. Canned messages
Chances are there are questions that you find yourself answering all the time — like what the current mortgage rates are.
Canned email messages — saved email responses — are another form of automating the follow-up process. This works especially well for teams that work with lots of different leads.
Most email service providers offer a canned message feature. For example, with Gmail you can set up standard email responses so that no matter which agent gets the question, the response will always be the same. This ensures that messaging is consistent so that leads along similar parts of the buyer circle get the same message.
For example, if a lead gives an objection — like they don’t think now’s a good time to buy based on rates — create different messages based on their responses that anyone on the team can send. Canned messages ensure messaging is always the same and makes follow-up quick.
As a team, come up with a list of common emails and draft responses to each one of them. If you’re a small brokerage, this option works great because each person can upload the responses to their own account and they’re all set.
Gmail lets you can as many messages as you need so that you can anticipate questions and comments from leads and have responses ready to go.
So the next time a familiar question comes your way, hit reply and then click on the arrow at the bottom of the message window. From here you can choose which response to embed in the email body and send.
3. Video Messaging
With apps and platforms like Facebook and YouTube, people spend a lot of time watching videos online. That’s why videos are “a 600% more effective marketing tool than print and direct mail combined.”
Plus with the widespread use of mobile devices, it makes sense that almost 50% of all videos are watched on cell phones and tablets.
Add a personal touch to your follow-up emails by using BombBomb to add in a video message to new leads. It’ll be a pleasant surprise and keep them engaged. For example, if your email drip campaign has six or seven emails, then add a video to the first or second email. The video appears early in the sequence so it gives leads an idea of the type of content to expect and the type of realtor you are.
You can also have more than one video email or types of videos. For example:
- Include a welcome email that all new leads get as part of the drip campaign
- Depending on the segments you’ve identified, speak to specific pain points in each group
- Include a video response with your canned emails to make them more personable or to add more relevant information
Another way to use video is to reach out to leads who haven’t engaged or responded so far. Automatically send them a video via email with a special offer — like a $500 gift card to IKEA or Home Depot.
Embed videos in your email and then track the results — for example, how much of the video was played — so that you can make adjustments as needed.
Get started with lead follow-up and automation
The best way for you to thrive in real estate is to have a competitive advantage over other agents in your niche. Having a simple, automated follow-up process is one way to do that.
You’re engaging your leads but all you have to do is set the automation and leave it to do the heavy lifting for you. Automation saves you time to work on other income-generating tasks.
2 thoughts on “The Best Lead Follow-up Tools for Real Estate Agents”
Great article! My business partner and I run a real estate team that operates largely on technology and online lead generation. We’d love to contribute to your blog and/or have a feature article about how we close over 60 deals and $25M+ each year.
Thanks for including BombBomb in your rundown, Evelyn! Great recommendation on including video in some, but not all, of your nurture sequence. It should be used in the mix to built trust, explain complex topics, and generate replies.