The most common sentence I hear from Realtors® when I first start talking with them about digital marketing is, “I tried it, but I stopped. Online seller leads suck and they’re a waste of my time.”
The leads typically are expensive and they are getting little or no conversions from them. So it is understandable to see why they may feel this way. The issue is that their feelings are misguided.
The truth is online leads don’t suck. Online leads are some of the best leads a Realtor® can get. The problem is where they are getting their leads from and how they are handling these leads. Today I want to share some key issues with online Real Estate leads and how to avoid falling into the trap of blaming the leads on them sucking.
Never Purchase Leads From A Pool
Realtors seem to primarily depend on getting leads from places like Zillow, Trulia, Boomtown, Realtor.com, Tiger Leads, and more. The problem with leads from any types of sites like the ones I just mentioned is the leads aren’t strictly for one individual Realtor®. These leads are distributed to multiple Realtors®, so it becomes a game of racing to see who can get on the phone with the lead the fastest and how quickly they can try and build a relationship with that lead.
On top of that, the way these sites are set up, many times potential sellers or buyers are simply putting in fictitious information into the lead forms because it’s a gate that they must go through to get a piece of information that is being hidden by the website they are on. They have zero intention of actually wanting to talk to a Realtor® or even most likely doing a Real Estate transaction. They are just interested in the info they want to obtain from the Internet.
These types of leads are horrible quality leads. Insult to injury is a Realtor® is paying a good amount of money to get them. The key to any successful digital marketing campaign is ONLY targeting the people that are your ideal customers. These sites do not do that and don’t care about who your ideal customer is. They just want to sell you as many leads as possible.
Realtors® Don’t Understand The Sales Funnel Of A Digital Campaign
For Realtors® that don’t believe in sites like Zillow, etc (Good for you by the way), one other problem I see that makes them think their online leads suck is that they really have no idea on how to create a campaign that is going to lead them through the sales funnel and turn them into clients.
There is a saying that you don’t walk into a bar and walk up to a woman or man you are interested in and immediately ask them to go home with you. Of course, you don’t. They don’t know you, so why would they do that? The same holds true for your Real Estate digital campaigns.
Almost every single campaign I’ve seen run by Realtors® says something to the effect of “Let me help you sell your home”. That’s asking them to go home with you right away and you can’t do that.
When you run your campaigns you aren’t just running a single campaign. You actually need to be running 3 different campaigns:
Campaign #1- Educate
Your first campaign should be targeted at cold leads. They don’t know you, so you have to present them with content to speaks to their needs, pain points and goals. As they start to see this content in ads you are serving to them, they will get to know you, get educated by the things you are sharing with them and begin to think of you as the thought leader in the space.
VERY IMPORTANT: Give them the content and info in your ads. DO NOT put it behind some sort of landing page. Gated content will not work for this stage in your funnel.
Campaign #2- Ask For Buy-In
Next, you want to run a campaign that is served up only to those that have engaged with your first campaign.
Now that they know who you are, a prospect is much more likely to give up their personal details, such as their name, mobile number and email address. The trick to this campaign is to create an item of value that will make them willing to give up that info. For instance, a market report, a video talking about the current market conditions in your marketplace, or the opportunity to sign up for something like a listing alert on your website.
They are already familiar with you and you gave them great educational content with zero expectation of anything in return, upfront. Now psychologically they will feel obligated to return the favor.
Campaign #3- Go For The Close
Now you are going to retarget the people that filled out the landing page forms in campaign #2.
Once they’ve gone through your initial campaign, then saw the second one and opted-in for your piece of quality content, now it’s time to start moving in on them to get an appointment.
At this point, they have told you twice that they like your content and think of you as someone that is knowledgeable in your market. You need to follow up with them immediately on the phone, email, SMS, and however else you can touch them and try to get an appointment scheduled.
It’s Tricky, But Not Impossible
Setting up a 3 step campaign, creating retargeting audiences and setting up landing pages can be tricky. It’s not impossible though. There are of course agencies such as ours that can do it for you, but with a little practice, if you have basic knowledge of platforms like Facebook and how the ad manager works, you can do it 🙂
Also, if you are looking for actual content and a marketing plan that details how to follow up with the Hot Leads (Campaign #3) you get, we’ve got a free cheat sheet that will show you exactly how to do it. You can get that sheet for free, simply by clicking here.