Simply getting good leads isn’t enough to drive your real estate practice to greater success. Once you have them, you need to shepherd them along to move them towards an eventual closing. Lead nurturing is the practice of turning a contact into a conversation with an eye towards eventually converting it to a sale. Here are four ways to leverage its power:
The first step in lead nurturing is to have good leads to nurture. This starts with having a robust prequalifying program in place to ensure that the leads that enter your pipeline belong there. Your first response should also be rapid to keep the lead engaged with you. As you do this, continue looking back at the leads you receive to manage their quality and track how effective you are with them. There is always room to change your lead generation and response strategies to increase both up-front traffic flow and the number of leads that move into the lead nurturing stage.
There is a fine line to walk between setting up systems that make it easy for you to handle hundreds or thousands of leads and being overly impersonal. One strategy that can let you be systematic and personal at the same time is to focus on a niche market. If you collect leads from a tightly defined demographic group or you focus on a specific geographic area, you can push out marketing pieces that focus on those common elements, making every member of the group feel like you’re talking to them specifically. Another strategy can be to take advantage of variable printing technologies that let you send out personalized mailings or emails that reference the prospect by name, and potentially look different for each recipient, based on their interests.
Content marketing and lead nurturing are practically the same thing. It’s hard to build a relationship with someone by constantly pushing out marketing pieces that have branding messages but no real value to the recipient. Instead of just sending a “just sold” postcard or email, consider adding an opportunity for the recipient to get his/her property evaluated in the current market in light of these sales. Another lead nurturing strategy can be to create an email newsletter or blog that is filled with useful tips on choosing a school, landscaping, events in the community, or anything else that might be of interest to your lead pool.
It’s hard to form a meaningful relationship when only one party does all of the talking. Something as simple as adding a comment section and a “call to action” to post comments at the end of your blog posts can work wonders for your engagement.
Engaged leads serve a second purpose — they’re easier to track. However, tracking goes beyond reading comments or adding “share” buttons to your content. Consider sending out special response cards on your direct mail, or including responsive URLs on your emails, so that you can capture information and see who responds to which marketing pieces. An integrated database marketing program allows you capture the interests, gather updated contact information, and track the status of your prospects through the lead nurturing process.
If you’d like to learn more about how Continuity Programs can help with database marketing and lead generation, contact us. We have extensive experience helping real estate agents like you build your businesses.