How to Convert Your Real Estate Leads to Clients

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller,April 15, 2022

Male,Hand,Pointing,With,A,Pencil,At,A,Sales,FunnelGenerating leads is a very important part of the real estate business. But what may be even more important is getting those leads to convert. You can have all the leads in the world, but it won’t matter unless they end up becoming clients.

So, the question is, how can you move your leads down the funnel, so they end up working with you during the buying and selling process? Here are some suggestions.

Are Some Leads Better Than Others?

The short answer to this question is yes. A lead that’s further down the funnel will be better than one that’s not. Generally, a lead that’s engaging and has been contacted several times will be moving down the funnel.

Certain leads can also be better than others due to their individual circumstances outside of your sales efforts. For example, if you happen to contact a lead that’s ready to buy or sell, you have better chances of sealing the deal. These types of leads are generally attained through a personal referral, but if you cast a wide enough net, you may just catch one.

waylong headshotWaylon Chavez, CRS
Owner/Realtor of ABQ Premiere Properties
16+ years of experience

“The answer is a definite NO! That being said the way to convert leads into clients is to know their goals, and what and why they are looking to purchase, sell or invest in real estate. We the agents need to be an advisor and look at each situation as a way to serve and help someone rather than a “sale” because the truth is we can’t sell anything to anyone that doesn’t want t buy. Therefore we need to have a relationship-based mindset, not a transactional one. The way to move your leads to clients is by nurturing them, having their best interest in mind, and being of value and service. Then you will not only build a strong faithful client you will be extremely referable and have a steady flow of warm pr-qualified leads coming to you by way of your customers.”

 

Anthony (1)Anthony Minniti
Professional home buyer in Tyler, Texas

“Following are some of the ways that help you move down the funnel with leads are as follows:

  • Create a landing page for each of your properties 

  • Embed or link the landing forms on website

  • Promotional offers through emails

Once you get the email addresses of the prospective leads, you have to nurture the leads. To nurture the leads, it is important to send them updates periodically on any new listings, to keep them engaged. It is essential to keep sending relevant content, and eye-pleasing visual graphics. Avoid spamming the inbox of your prospects.”

 

How Do You Move Leads Down a Funnel?

It’s up to you to move leads down a funnel to get them to the point where they are ready to buy into your services. Here are some techniques to use.

  • Create a Repeatable Strategy: A successful agent will have a lot of leads. They won’t have time to create a new strategy for every lead they have. They must come up with a strategy that’s effective, repeatable, and relatable to their target audiences.
  • Create a Measurable Strategy: It’s essential to have the tools to measure how well your strategies are doing. That way you can determine what’s working and what isn’t. this will help you produce a high ROI.
  • Your Strategy Should be Adjustable: Your leads may have various needs. Some may be buying, some may be selling, some may be residential, some may be commercial, and some may have specific questions and concerns. The idea is to create a blanket strategy that can be adjusted according to the leads’ individual situation.
  • You Need a Strategy You Can Depend On: This means the platforms you use should be reliable. There’s nothing worse than planning on sending out bulk emails and realizing you are unable to because the platform is not working.

Ben (2) (1)Ben Wagner
Real Estate Investor at Leave The Key
3+ years experience in Amityville, New York

“What ways do you go about moving leads down the funnel? 

We take keen interest in the prospect and thus follow up regularly to move leads down the funnel. Nurturing leads is especially important in progressing the sales funnel. In case we do not follow up, there is a high chance of losing the lead entirely.

How do you nurture your leads once you have them? 

We use several methods to nurture our leads. The most prominent being following up with personalized emails. It allows us to stay in touch and keep the customers assured of their value. We also identify multiple customer touch points and cater to them intimately.”

 

amy kite headshotAmy Kite
Keller Williams Infinity
18+ years of experience in Chicago, Illinois

“One of most important things for our agents and inside sales agents to understand is money is in the follow-up and pipeline.  We have leads who we have nurtured for 3 years who are under contract right now.  Our leads are on campaigns that keep our name in front of them.  We call them and have conversations with them depending on when they expect to be ready to move.  If they say they are moving in a year we will call again in 6 months, check in with them and our emails will keep our name in front of them.  If they are ready in 6 months we will call them again in 2-3 months.  After our conversations we schedule our next call back date so we don’t forget when we will have our next conversation.  It is imperative you have a system that you follow and you stay top of mind with all leads.  Most will buy and sell down the road. The question is will you have communicated with them enough that you are the one they remember and want to use because you have proven you are knowledgeable, customer centric and care about them.”

 

Tips for Nurturing Leads

shutterstock_1024677733Creating an effective strategy for moving leads down the funnel is a good step. Here are some other techniques that will drive it home.

Connect with Leads Immediately: Mobile is taking over the world of technology. This means that many people use their mobile devices to shop for homes. They can be out and about house hunting and call multiple agents in minutes.

Once they reach out, the competition is on. The one who gets in touch with the client first may be the one who ends up with the conversion. You can’t afford to miss out.

It’s advisable to start with a text or phone call that provides a form of immediate contact. If you are not available to get back to them right away, try to get a colleague to ring them back.

You should also have automated emails set up to provide responses to clients. The emails you send should welcome them and include answers to FAQs to ensure their concerns are met.

john reidl headshotJohn Riedl
CEO at Easy Cash Offer Florida
7+ years experience in Tampa, Florida

“One of the best ways to move real estate lads further down the tunnel is by creating landing pages for each property. When there’s traffic on your website, you want to make it seamless for them to look for suitable homes. Making separate landing pages enables visitors to quickly and easily request more information.

In this regard, it’s an excellent idea to create and upload videos of each property on their specific pages.. This will allow visitors a closer look into the houses and further boost your conversion rate.

Once you have gained leads, the best way to nurture them is by being communicative. Your potential clients don’t want to have to chase you for everything, so being proactive is the name of the game. Set up frequent appointments, listen to their needs closely and work hard to help them meet their goals. Let them know what you are doing every step of the way.”

 

Deliver Value Immediately

Real,Estate,Agent,Talked,About,The,Terms,Of,The,HomeOnce a client is in your database, you should begin delivering value immediately. This can come in the form of emails, blogs, custom property search alerts, market updates and more.

Delivering value will establish you as a thought leader in your field. It will build trust in the client. It will also keep you in their peripheral, so you are the one they call when it’s time to buy or sell.

You can reach clients on multiple platforms including social media, websites, emails, newsletters and more. It’s essential to make the most of all the channels available. Provide information that will help them make wise investments.

eric new horizon headshotErik Wright
Owner & CEO of the New Horizon Home Buyers
Licensed Agent in Chattanooga, Tennessee

“The first item on our list of real estate agent advice must be that you must engage leads as soon as they appear on your radar. This might be through a Facebook ad (more on that later), a response to your drip campaign (again more on that later), or any other technique. Time is always of the essential, regardless of the situation. Because responses aren’t prompt enough, up to 71% of internet leads go to the trash. Furthermore, calling your leads within a minute of receiving their online inquiry can increase conversions by as much as 391 percent. At the very least, send a text message if you’re on the run or otherwise detained. That initial point of contact is crucial to converting that lead.

Put Testimonials on Everything

When it comes to selecting a Realtor, your leads may assess their alternatives in a variety of ways. Obviously, the suggestions above are all focused toward making things better for you. Good testimonials, on the other hand, are so powerful that they may be able to shift that favor to another Realtor – even if they don’t include any of the other suggestions above. After all, a testimonial is confirmation that the Realtor is capable of delivering exactly what the lead desires. In one of our previous tips, we emphasized social proof. This is an idea that is related to the previous one.. You want to demonstrate that you know what you’re doing and that the people you’re working with have nothing to lose by entrusting you with such a significant decision.
Show Your Past Work

If you show off what your work entails, you may take testimonials to the next level. While testimonials are worthy of a place on our list of real estate agent advice, some are better than others. It’s beneficial if someone compliments you on how easy you are to deal with. However, if you can combine a testimonial with other details about the home you helped them sell or buy, it will be considerably more powerful. Your prospects will have a better understanding of what to expect from you. The finest extra information you can supply is photographs of the homes involved. According to the National Association of Realtors research we discussed earlier, 89 percent of home purchasers find images “very beneficial.” That was voted the most important feature on a Realtor’s website, beating out:

  • Property details in great detail
  • Virtual tours are available
  • Information about the area
  • Maps that are interactive”

 

Create a Professional Follow Up Package

After a client has made initial contact, you should follow up by introducing yourself and telling them a bit about what you can offer. This can come in the form of a package that includes:

  • A cover letter/ thank you letter
  • A resume that includes your personal accreditations as a realtor
  • Relevant reports like CMAs and Neighborhood Reports
  • Sample marketing materials like flyers and newsletters

These can be delivered in physical or digital form.

ryan waller headshotRyan Waller
Beth and Ryan Real Estate Team
7+ years of experience in North Carolina

“1. Listen: this is the most important. Listen to what the lead is saying to you. If they say they’re first time buyers and just getting started with the finances, hook them up with a mortgage broker. Don’t know the buying process? We send them to our blog for first time buyers. Most agents sell before they listen and leads are tired of being sold to.
2. Have a reason to communicate: Leads don’t want you to call them all the time with “is it time to sell?” or “I provide better service”. They want you to add value to their experience. Text or email them periodically with “Hey, this house that you asked about sold for xxx amount, thought you’d like to know”. Or “houses in your preferred area continue to sell at a discount vs the rest of the city”. Providing basic useful info will likely get you a better reply.
3. Keep regular, but not annoying frequency of contact: We have a monthly newsletter that we send out to all leads; a light read summary of our blog posts and market data. It comes out only once per month at the same time every month. It’s amazing how many cold leads reply to the newsletter with “hey, I was meaning to ask what this house sold for”- the newsletter frequency keeps them engaged.”

 

Identify Problems

Part of delivering value is identifying customer problems and showing clients you can solve them.

Common buyer problems may include bad credit, a seller’s market, balancing selling and buying…and the list goes on. Sellers may have issues in getting their homes ready to sell, dealing with a buyer’s market and more.

You can address these issues by sending out emails and articles that show you can help them complete a successful transaction regardless of the problems that they are facing. Another great tip here, is to focus on the long game with renters. Often, they feel they can’t afford a mortgage payment. Focus on helping to find them a solution.

Deni-Supplee HeadshotDenise Suplee
Co-Founder of Spark Rental
Licensed Realtor with 35+ years of experience

“Converting a lead to a listing or sale is perhaps one of the most challenging for a real estate agent. Especially, since everyone usually has a friend or relative in the business. I have found that the best way to convert a lead is to build a relationship. Many of my leads come from rentals. Initially, I helped find a rental for customers. I, then maintained a relationship with them through follow-ups. I do not just mean holiday and special occasion reach-outs. I make sure they know if there is any issue with the rental, I am here for them. That has gone a long way. Not only have my rental clients turned into buyers, but I also had referrals from many of them for listings and other buyers.”

 

Create Scripts

Creating scripts is a big part of a repeatable market strategy. It’s essential to create scripts for buyers and sellers at various points in the funnel. You can further customize them depending on whether you are reaching out via text, phone, or email.

When speaking to a client, be careful not to make your script feel too forced and unnatural. Improvise and use it as a loose basis for what you want to say.

 

Start Conversations

Adorable,Black,Couple,Chatting,In,Coffee,Shop,At,Lunchtime,,HavingSending out emails and newsletters and posting on social media are all effective strategies, but they are also passive. They don’t leave opportunities for the customer to engage which makes them ignorable.

The best way to engage a customer is to text or call them and start a conversation. But it’s important to tread carefully here. If the conversation sounds forced or lacks authenticity, it could drive the client away.

The best strategy is to start the call with a phrase like, “I was thinking about you because…” Then you will want to follow up with something specific to the client’s needs. For example, if you know they love colonial architecture you can complete the sentence with “…. I just saw the cutest colonial style home.”

This kind of personalized approach will make your client feel special.

Another option is to open the conversation with a question like, “How do you feel about retro style homes?” People like to give their opinion so it’s likely they will take your bait and become engaged.

Then you can follow up with something like, “I see listings for retro style homes all the time. Do you want me to let you know when one comes up for sale?”

marie brombergMarie Bromberg
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Compass
7+ years experience in New York City

“Everyone develops their own style for converting leads. However, I have found leads that you actually know, the easiest to convert. I know it sounds fairly straightforward, but you would be surprised by how many agents don’t actually market to their friends and family. They’re embarrassed by it, and honestly, I think they’re afraid of being rejected by their friend or family member. My advice is that, it happens, I have had close friends (like bridesmaids) use another broker, and of course, it’s devastating. Several thoughts go through my mind like “how could they think anyone would take care of their business better? Or did I do something wrong?” The truth is none of that is probably true, they’re using someone else likely because they don’t want to endanger the friendship, or maybe they just think this person knows their market better.

Regardless, the amount of leads I am actually able to convert from people I know, is quite high. People do feel their friends will look out for them.. And if you’ve managed to build a record of success, then so much the better and easier. After awhile your friends will be asking you, and you won’t even have a problem converting them. 
That said, I think this question pertains more towards leads that you pick up from outside sources, maybe you paid for them or maybe you met them at an open house. In those cases; I think the key is consistency. Follow up with them at regular intervals and send them personalized information when you can. To accomplish this I try and get out a newsletter, ideally monthly but quarterly will also work, and then when I see something online, or a newspaper article that might interest them, I share it. You cannot overuse the share functionality from The New York Times or Washington Post, and increasingly I’m sharing things from Instagram, even if we aren’t connected on Instagram, screenshots and texts are so easy now.
Finally, the best way to convert a lead is to call them. Often, an agent will have a lead’s phone number and never call them. That is a wasted opportunity. Leads appreciate the personal touch, just like everyone else. The more personal you get, the better and the stronger the conversion will be.”

 

Create a Community of Leads

Friends,Community,Chill,Out,TogetherYour leads shouldn’t feel like just another name and number. They should feel like part of your community.

You can create a community by hosting events on a regular basis. For example, you can host real estate workshops at local community spots and invite them all to come along. Treat them to a cup of coffee and snacks to motivate them to show up.

Online events will also work well. And it goes without saying that you should invite them to your open houses.

This kind of face-to-face contact will work to build trust.

Mathew BowleyMatthew Dailly
Managing Director at Tiger Financial

“Your leads & potential leads are included in your sphere of influence. It’s pretty much everyone you know. Show up and demonstrate that you care about remaining on their radar. You’ll be the first person they think of if they need an agent or broker. So, as a real estate agent, how can you be of assistance? Provide relevant information and pay close attention to the finer points. Providing real estate information in the local group to keep people informed about market trends is one way to provide important information. It could also take the form of being an expert in a certain field and sharing that knowledge with other real estate agents. It could be as simple as delivering a customer dinner on relocation day or providing advice for services in a different location than you know a lead is searching for. 
There are numerous methods to deliver relevant information and pay attention to the details; the main thing is that you value service over sales. People in your area of influence are more likely to convert from real estate leads to clients if they feel recognized on that level.”

 

Ask for the Sale

Close,Up,Businesswoman,Hand,Point,On,Dashboard,Screen,Tablet,DeviceThis may not seem like rocket science, but it’s always advisable to ask for the sale. Don’t beat around the bush.

So, if you’re sending out written media like a blog or email, you may want to include a CTA that says “Are you ready to buy or sell with me?” If you are on the phone, you can say something like, “So should we start the process?”

This is a gutsy move, but the risk just may pay off. In a worst-case scenario, the buyer may say, “not right now”, or “let me get back to you”. But at least you have planted a seed.

andy headshotAndy Kolodgie
Owner of Sell My House Fast
Licensed Realtor for 3+ years

“We send personalized emails as our preferred tactic for lead nurturing. We send triggered emails whenever a visitor on our site or social media platforms completes an action. These actions can be downloading our gated content, visiting certain pages on our website, or demonstrating a high level of engagement. By combining the power of marketing personalization with our triggered emails, we have been able to deliver the right message to the right audience.”

 

Reach Out at Different Times of the Day

It’s likely you have done some research on the best time of the day to reach out with blogs, emails, social media posts, etc. But if you are not getting a response, it may be time to change things up. You can never be sure of everyone’s individual schedule and going outside the box just may pay off.

 

The Two-Week Assault Plan

Asia,Real,Estate,Sale,Agent,,Stock,Market,Trader,Woman,WorkThe two-week assault plan is a strategy some real estate agents have found effective in converting leads. It is designed to yield a conversion in 10 business days. It involves reaching out to the client via a variety of methods including social media, emails, and texts. After this initial stage, you will be able to customize a suitable script.

The end goal of this activity is to try and get the client on the phone. After that, you will want to move them to a video conference or in-person meeting to build a rapport.

Your meetings will help you determine how urgent they are as a lead, i.e., how close they are to buying or selling. If they are on the verge of a real estate transaction, now is your time to make a move. If not, maintain contact via a drip campaign. This will make them likely to call you first when they need your services.

paul-corazzaPaul Corazza
Principal at Independent Property Group Gungahlin
Licensed agent for 27+ years

“There are a few ways to move leads down the funnel. One is to create a lead magnet, a piece of content that entices people to give you their contact information in exchange for something of value. Another way is to offer a free consultation or demo, which allows you to get to know the lead and see if they might be a good fit for your business. Finally, you can use targeted content and ads to reach leads further down the funnel and more likely to be ready to buy.
One way could be to check in with your leads regularly simply. Sending a quick email asking how they’re feeling or what’s been happening lately will help establish that personal connection and show them you care about their situation. You can also send offers for related products, helpful articles, or sponsored content.”

 

Remain Positive

Real,Estate,Agent,Showing,A,Family,A,House,,Closer,InReaching out to leads can be frustrating, especially if you are not getting a response. But it’s important to stay positive.

For one, you never want to seem stressed or aggravated in front of a lead. This can burn bridges with the client, and it may also damage your reputation in the industry.

You will also want to stay positive for the good of your own mental health. Accept the fact that you win some, you lose some. This will prevent you from being down on yourself and it will provide you with an attitude that’s effective for conversions.

zev headshotZev Freidus
Broker/President of ZFC Real Estate
20+ years experience in Boca Raton, Florida

“After mastering the art of SEO and how to generate raw real estate leads online, I quickly learned that although these users have intent, their timeline is usually pretty far out, meaning we are capturing them very early on in their home search process. This is a good thing because it means they are likely not exclusive to any one specific Realtor yet. However, this also means that without a proper system in place to nurture these leads, when they are finally ready, they most likely will not remember a website they stumbled upon years ago when they first began searching online.

In our case we developed an in-house CRM that was designed specifically to manage this cultivation process, however there are many off the shelf CRM products that one could also use to nurture leads. The key is to stay in front of the prospect on a regular basis throughout their journey from initial google search to ultimately closing on a home.

Most likely, the leads you generated online were searching for homes for sale in a specific city or neighborhood, this is because they are out there on google looking for a house, not looking for a Realtor. So, sending repeated emails about yourself, why they should use your services, or why you are the best Realtor, are not going to resonate and will likely result in their unsubscribing from your future emails, at which point you’ve lost your ability to stay relevant. If however, you send them listings that match their criteria, they will click through and return to your website for the listing details. Each visit is another impression, and by the time they are ready to pick up the phone and see homes in person, you will be the obvious person to call.

A well-designed system will track visitors’ activity on the website. Knowing what properties they viewed, or better yet, knowing what they typed into google that landed them on your site in the first place, will give you the information you need to set up new property alert criteria that are on target for this particular prospect. You want these alerts to go out as quickly as possible as new listings hit the market, because you must assume that if they ended up on your mailing list, they are likely on at least few other lists from your competitors, so being the first to notify them of a particular listing increases the chances that they click through and view the listing on your website vs your competitors. Having said that, you don’t want to send emails too often because if you do, they will unsubscribe and you will lose them.

In addition to an effective email alert mechanism, a good CRM will help you keep track of when you last spoke to each lead and will remind you when it is time to follow up. You should never go more than 30 days without picking up the phone to follow up with each of your leads. Even if they are 2 years away from buying, if you want to be the Realtor they use when that time comes, you must get to know them and cause them to get to know you. This window of time is your opportunity to do that.  Your CRM should also allow you to set follow up reminders. This is important when a prospect gives you insight into their timeline, you can schedule follow up at the most opportune time.

Lastly, you must understand that prospecting leads is a numbers game. Most Realtors will close between 1% and 3% of the leads they generate. This means that to get one closing, you have to follow up with as many as 100 prospects, sometimes for a number of years. But with a the proper tools, as described here, you can automate most of it, which allows you to cultivate a large enough pipeline to generate a steady flow of closings for you.”

 

Don’t Get Too Caught Up in Digital

In today’s world of technology, we commonly turn to digital means to generate leads. This makes sense as digital tends to reach larger audiences and it often produces a high ROI without a lot of footwork.

But it’s important not to neglect physical products like postcards, business cards and even billboards.

GeorgeGeorge Beatty
CEO of Problem Property Pals
Real estate investor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“Our strategy for moving leads down the sales funnel revolves around content. We use whitepapers and infographics to help raise their awareness about what we do and how we can help them. The key here is to create interesting content that clearly indicates how we can help solve the lead’s problems. At this stage, you need to act fast to attract the lead’s attention and eliminate any thoughts about our competitors. Additionally, we ensure that the language of our content isn’t too sales-heavy, lest we scare them away. 

To nurture our leads, we create an automated marketing campaign for them. Each campaign is personalized for the leads, and the content they receive is according to their profile. Every lead receives its targeted content at the right time to maximize its effect. We don’t manually monitor leads when nurturing them. Our marketing automation brings in a new prospect and gives us a fully nurtured lead at the end of the sales funnel by the end of the process.”

 

Tips for Getting Leads

Realtor,Showing,Hispanic,Family,Around,New,HomeYou will only get conversions if you have leads coming in. So how can you attract leads? Here are a few tips.

Use a Paid Lead Generation Platform: You must spend money to make money. A reliable lead generation platform will guarantee you a certain amount of leads each month, so you always have new clients to add to your contact lists.

Use an MLS Connected CRM: A good CRM platform is valuable in helping you keep track of all your interactions, so you know exactly where you clients are at on the funnel. One that’s connected to the MLS will tell you your prospect’s activity including the properties they viewed, their saved searches and their preferred communities.

A Lead Generating Website: You can make your website work for you by including popups and landing pages that collect contact information.

A Marketing Center: A marketing center will help you keep track of all your marketing activities. It will serve as a dashboard for launching automated emails and printing on-demand marketing materials. It will also have analytics that help you keep track of your progress.

Attracting leads is essential in the real estate industry. But all the leads in the world won’t mean a thing unless you can convert them. The tips in this article will help you get more sales so you can generate income and expand your career. We wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

erik nellsonErik Nilsson
CEO of Rentola

“I move leads down the funnel through client testimonials. Through this measure, I showcase how I have helped buyers and sellers in the past. This allows me to help build credibility. 

Individuals can talk to my previous clients to get an idea of what to expect during the process to avoid any kind of misconceptions. The process should be well balanced and indicate both the good and the bad side of the current process.

Once I have my leads, I nurture them through segmentation. This allows me to split my email list into various categories, such as location, so there’s a high chance of hearing back from the prospective client. I use descriptive categories for each list, which allows me to send relevant content to my consumers. 

My audience is divided into three categories: potential buyers, potential sellers, and past clients. Segmentation assures that these diverse categories are sent different messages and not one monotonous text.”

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 5/20/2022

Comments

1 comment

    Nigel G

    That is a cracking read. A lot of information to digest & have Evernote clipped it. Thanks! - Nigel

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