As Bob Dylan so aptly put it, “the times, they are a-changin’,” and they’re more uncertain than ever. Industry projections remain volatile this year as we adjust to a higher interest rate environment. What’s more, the real estate and technology landscapes are also shifting, many would say for the better. As a result, transaction workflows are being automated. Brokers and agents have always held the role of trusted advisors and experts, and this is even truer now. These realities are underscoring just how important better lead strategies are, so that teams can increase their lead flows over time, whether the market is up or down.
A lead paradigm shift
Leads are scarcer these days, which means they are even more valuable.
In the past, it was cost effective to just buy leads when you needed them. But today, the market has changed, so strategies like pay-per-click campaigns may not pack the same punch they once did.
To be able to grow, rather than treat lead gen like a switch that can be turned on or off, we need to start thinking about lead gen like a dial, with low to high settings—but no off button. The best lead strategy for long-term growth is to build the machine this dial controls. Its optimal setting can change depending on market conditions, and like all machines, it will require some maintenance. But the advantage of this machine is that it’s always running, so no matter what the market is doing, your lead stream doesn’t stop.
Build your lead machine
Technology is your greatest asset for building the right lead machine for your business. All machines are made up of multiple elements that do different things, and your lead machine is no different:
The frame: optimize your touchpoints
Your business interacts with consumers in a variety of ways, but chances are your most common and important touchpoints are digital, so it’s critical to invest in your online presence. This means having a robust and easily searchable website, investing in SEO/SEM to drive organic traffic, and harnessing the power of social media. Don’t neglect your analog touchpoints, either—consumers should not have to guess how to reach you.
The bearings: perfect your lead capture
Once you’ve got traffic to your website, you need to provide insights your leads want (and for which they’ll gladly provide their contact information in return). These could be trend reports, home valuations, market analyses, community information, neighborhood reports, location insights, or any number of other resources. Once you have their contact information, the machine needs to spring into action automatically to route the lead to the right place.
The gears: find the right route
It’s not just about bringing leads in; it’s also about actioning them as quickly (and effectively) as possible. Automatic lead routing is great, but rule-based lead routing—the ability to set rules that funnel leads to just the right agent—is even better. Most real estate leads go with the first person who responds, and responding within just a few minutes increases conversion exponentially.
The belts: refine your nurtures
In times of uncertainty, leads take longer to convert. They’re waiting for news about interest rates before they list, taking their time to look for the right property, or backing out of a deal because of unforeseen hardship. There’s a lot you can’t control, but what you can control is ensuring that you’re the first person they think of when they are ready to take action. Your website (saved searches, home valuation, blog, community information), social media presence (timely industry news, interest rate information, preapproval or mortgage advice, etc.), and CRM (nurture emails) should all work in sync to keep you, and your business, top of mind.
The interface: monitor your performance
All machines need monitoring. Is the fuel level low? Do you need to grease the wheels? Is the engine overheating? The final component of your lead machine is your feedback loop, your instrument cluster, your indicators—whatever you have that tells you how it’s running and, most importantly, what your lead gen dial should be set to. When times are good, you might lower the setting because your machine doesn’t have to work as hard. When times are tough, or if you’re scaling, you might set the dial higher so that you’re generating the leads you need.
Technology at the core
All these elements can be powered by technology. There have never been more (or better) tools on the market to make your lead machine run smoothly. I encourage you to take a good look at your tech stack, especially if you haven’t looked in a while, to see what’s working for you and what isn’t. Then see what’s out there or ask a trusted colleague for a recommendation. You may be surprised how easy it is to build (or tune up) your own lead machine.
For more information, visit https://constellation1.com.
Tom Demos, Director of Enterprise Sales, Constellation1 has been helping brokerage leadership assess their technology and business processes to support their growth for the past 20 years. He helps management teams identify opportunities by evaluating their current tech stack, customer journey, and unique business processes and create strategies that drive value at every level of the brokerage.