The purpose of your real estate website isn’t simply to showcase your listings and serve as a digital advertisement for your business. What you want and should expect from your website are online leads for future business. If you’re not picking up business from those online leads, you may be missing a few key steps.
A lead from your website can come from a few directions:
It may be direct contact by email, phone, or text asking for more information.
You may receive a message through social media on your business or personal accounts.
Someone may complete a form on your website in exchange for the free ebook or whitepaper you offered.
All of these are examples of online leads. What you do next will determine whether they become customers and clients or not.
It’s easy to forget there’s a person behind the email address or the online form. Don’t do it. Treat people the way you want to be treated (or better). Set aside your inner salesperson for a moment and get ready to have a conversation with another human being.
Don’t make an online lead wait too long. Of course, if they email you at midnight, you may need to respond the next morning. But if you get a message at noon, the moment you’re available, you need to get back to them. Respond in the manner they reached out to you.
If they sent you a Facebook message, message them back. If they emailed you, email back. Unless they specifically asked you to call them, don’t do it until after your initial contact. Most people just want information not a phone call they may perceive as a high pressure sales tactic.
I mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating – get ready to have a conversation, not give a sales pitch. When you follow up, be prepared to listen to what they want and talk for a few minutes. Be your professional and friendly self, not a fast-talking, wheeling and dealing salesperson ready to show them 10 listings tomorrow. Many online leads aren’t ready to move that fast, and if they feel pressured, you may never hear from them again.
Sometimes a lead is ready to make a quick move, but many times, they won’t be ready to buy or sell for a few months, sometimes longer. This is your chance to show you’re a professional real estate agent with plenty of knowledge to get them through the process and a willingness to share what you know.
With their permission, add them to your email list so they receive your newsletters and new blog posts. Offer to send them a free ebook, even if they didn’t fill out the form on your website. Show them your value as a real estate agent without constantly nagging them to find out when they’ll be ready to make a move. You want to be the one they think of when they’re finally ready, not the one they avoid when they see your number on caller ID.
It may take a few text messages or emails before an online lead is ready to meet with you. You may answer several questions before they’ll commit. They may call multiple times before you get a sense they’re ready to meet with you. Take that extra time, and it will be worth it.
Once you get the meeting with them, follow it up in a non-pressure but memorable way. Send them a handwritten note or card. Thank them for their time. Mention their love of coffee or golf or whatever came up in the conversation. The note will make them remember you. When you mention something personal, you’ll show you were listening and care, and they’re more than a commission to you. Those things matter.
Whatever you do, when you get an online lead, don’t ignore it, procrastinate, or let yourself forget it. You’ve got hundreds, sometimes thousands of competitors in your market just waiting for their own online lead. Don’t make it easy for them by neglecting the people who reach out for more information. Your leads won’t wait for you to decide you’ve got time to contact them; they’ll move on to the next agent with an equally nice website and try again with someone else.
Former Communications Director for a local Realtor Association and a big cheerleader for all things real estate related, Michaela is now a full-time freelance writer specializing in real estate and other business industries. When she's not writing the serious business-y stuff, she's likely to be found writing about the hilarity of being a Mom to two rowdy boys.