When it comes to lead nurturing, every agent has the exact same goal: higher long-term conversion rates without overtasking.
That’s why today I am going to give you my easy follow-up tips as well as show you how to stop overtasking and get you excited about long-term lead nurturing! These tips and tricks will quickly turn your database into a money-making machine and increase your conversion rate.
Before we get to the scripts though, let’s start with my two rules for nurturing leads over the long term:
1. Stop Sweating That First Phone Call. The Money Is Made in the Follow-up.
Let’s face it, that first call is just sexier, right? You spew out all of your charm and knowledge, do the happy dance, and get excited for that future closing … That is, until reality sets in and you find out they are not in the market until next year!
So you set a reminder, forget about them, and never speak with them again. Sadly, this is what the majority of agents do with lead nurture these days: “Set and Forget.”
If you truly want to increase your conversion rate this year, you have to shift out of this mindset. Make your new mantra “No lead left behind.”
The truth is internet leads spend hours, days, and weeks scouring the web before you get their contact information. They leave a trail every time they want to see more photos or get more information on a home. This creates the competition, because they generally leave their contact information on multiple websites, not just yours.
Agents are in constant competition to call the lead immediately because of the popular “speed to lead” being drilled into the industry. I am not going to disagree, but I would also like for you to see each lead as more of a marathon than a race. It is equally important to focus on being at the right place at the right time when the lead is actually ready to make a move.
So stop sweating so much over that first phone call. The money is made in the follow-up.
2. You Only Need to Be a Little Better at Long-term Nurturing Than the Competition
I always say, “The agent who has the conversation is the one setting himself up for future success.” This is because an actual conversation with your lead will let you know their situation and what has to happen for them to need your services.
Thinking long term and bigger picture is what gives you the competitive edge. I promise you the leads are not getting followed up within your competition’s databases. How do I know this? Because I see it every day with the brokerages and agents I train: One phone call and the lead goes into the Bermuda Triangle of their customer relationship manager (CRM) to be forever lost.
The First Call: Learn Their Needs & Set Expectations for Long-term Follow-up
Earlier, I mentioned the importance of keeping the lead in your database instead of expecting them to come back to your website on their own. After all, it is so much easier for leads to ask Google, Alexa, and Siri “Hey, how much is the home on 123 Main Street?” than it is for them to come back to your site and search for the home.
This is why it is imperative to learn the lead’s expectations on that first call and to let them know they have ALL the listings they will ever need on your website.
The following script is an example of what a first call conversation should look like to learn their situation and set expectations for long-term follow-up:
Agent: I totally understand your timing and that you are not ready and in the process of educating yourself on the market. What information is most important for you to know in the meantime?
Lead: I am not sure, I am just looking right now.
Agent: The best thing is to really be able to see what you get for your money and start the process of eliminating locations based on what you are seeing in the market. I can set up a general search to update you on new homes coming on the market and we can review them and work on specifics over time while you are studying the market. How does that sound?
Lead: That would be great, yes.
Agent: Great, I have your email address as firstname.lastname@example.org, is that the best email?
Lead: I don’t check that one very often, use this one __________.
Agent: Got it, how often would you like to receive updates? Daily or weekly?
Agent: Perfect. I am going to send an email out as soon as I set it up. Please make sure you receive it, as it may go to spam. We have been having problems with email servers marking the emails as spam because of the links within the email. I will touch base with you in a week or two to make sure you are receiving them and see if there are any changes you would like to make. How would you like me to contact you, phone, text, or email?
Lead: Text would be great!
Agent: Wonderful, will do. So in the meantime, how often would you like to hear from me? I know homes may come up and your time frame may change. I don’t want to be guessing on when to communicate with you, but really would like the opportunity to earn your business when that time does come. Is there anything else I could currently be doing to make sure we communicate when you are ready?
Of course, most of the time, the lead will have no idea what their actual needs are. That’s OK—just setting the expectation of follow-up sets you apart and builds your value proposition. Just remember to set a reminder in your CRM to do exactly what you said on the day you said you’d do it.
It is imperative to monitor these leads as emails do get lost, communication gets forgotten, and the lead gets left behind … and there you have a missed opportunity. So set yourself a task to check in with these leads at least once a month.
Of course, before setting that task, you need to make sure this lead is worth your time. Agents these days have a tendency to overtask everything, so their CRM is filled with tasks that they never seem to have time to complete.
We all know agents who are constantly overwhelmed and let important tasks slip through the cracks. That’s why I want you to think about the quality of the lead when you are creating a task. Do you have a 70% or more chance of sitting at the settlement table with this lead? If yes, then that is a task-worthy lead!
This is your future pipeline of business. Treat it like it is your only deal!
Setting Expectations With Lower-priority Long-term Leads
We all have leads that we don’t know what to do with. We set a task with every intention of following up, but well …. you know what happens. We get “busy.” Yet with all the demands of real estate, these longer-term leads take a backseat because they are such low priority and seem to take so much of our time. The tasks add up into a tidal wave that makes us want to poke out our eyeballs. Follow-up inevitably gets forgotten.
Actually, this is my personal favorite category of leads to work. These leads are important BUT don’t really qualify for time on your calendar. Think about the following scenarios and having the ability to mass communicate via text and email. With this strategy, you can follow up with hundreds of leads at one time! Here are a couple examples:
Lead: I am really a year or so out. I am in a lease for another 10 months but would really like to own a home and not have to sign another year lease.
Agent: OK, great!
Lead: My job is looking at relocating me. It will be at least six months before I know anything for sure, but want to get an idea of the market now so I’m more prepared.
Agent: Not a problem. I’m not going anywhere and I want to be a valuable resource for you in the meantime. Is your email address email@example.com? And what will be of most interest to you in regard to style of home, price, and must-haves? What is most important to you in regard to location?
Create a tag in your database as “Monitor Activity.” You will use this tag to group leads that you want to be sure they are receiving your emails and staying active with property alerts. The benefit of this tag is having leads grouped together, eliminating tasks and having to work them one by one.
When you search the leads that have this tag applied, you get a group of leads that have confirmed emails with home searches created. At a glance, you will be able to see if they are opening emails and staying engaged with the new listing alerts.
You primarily want to be looking for the last contact call and last login activity. Remember that we cannot depend on emails going through. The majority of all emails go to spam. If we set and forget, they will too! It is all about branding yourself with the new property alerts and making it easy for them to access.
Automate Mass Follow-up for Lower-priority Leads
Your mass follow-up text or email to the leads who have not opened an email or looked at a property since you spoke last could be something like:
Hey [first name], I just wanted to check in with you about the homes I have been sending over. Anything of interest to you?
Hey [first name], I have a list of newly listed homes to get over to you. Is firstname.lastname@example.org still the best email? I don’t want you to miss them.
You can send this out to one or hundreds of leads at one time. The name of the game here is to keep them engaged so you stay top of mind. Remember the importance of making their home search easy and convenient and being there at the right time.
The Real Secret to Long-term Nurture: Tagging by Situation
Let’s make systems work for you. It’s all in the “tagging” process. Hopefully, you are having several real conversations with the leads in your database and you may be noticing there are a lot of conversations that are repetitive. We’ve all heard these before: “I am working on my credit, I am in a lease until next year, I am retiring in two years, I am going through a divorce, I am on hold, I have an agent, I am looking for someone else.” And the list goes on!
These are real situations and quite frankly, you probably have already paid for the lead—so don’t lose them! Think about each lead as a retail product on the shelf in a store. You need to organize your leads’ situations into groups to keep the ones together that have a similar story.
This gives you the ability to be very intentional with directly targeting the leads with mass communication at a later date. Here are some ways you might want to start tagging leads by situation in your CRM:
- Buyer lost (already purchased)
- Seller lost (already sold)
- Lender lost (can’t get financing)
- On hold, has agent
- Looking for a friend
- Just looking (1+ years)
When leads are categorized according to their specific situation, it eliminates the need for an actual task!
You have just taken an entire database of potentially lost leads and organized them methodically. Now you know exactly who needs what to happen with all the leads you have spoken to without having to look at each individual profile and read notes. What a time-saver.
Now what to do with them? You should create your database with a list of tags as I mentioned above. Here is my personal list of all the tags that we use.
I like to refer to these leads as “the extra credit” of working the dashboard. Just think if settlement has been rescheduled, a showing canceled or rescheduled, and you had the time blocked out on your calendar. Instead of taking the day off, you now have the ability to sit down and work hundreds of leads at a time to stir up some new potential business.
The big picture to remember is it is our responsibility to attempt being at the right place at the right time. Just about every one of your leads is going to be moving at some point. You just have to be the one that “gets lucky,” and the more organized you are, the more efficient you are, the higher your chances of being the agent who “gets lucky.”
Text messages are a great way to automate outreach to a large number of leads you have organized in your CRM by situation. Just try not to blast out too many texts at once. The follow up can be overwhelming for leads who are not high priority. I like to keep mass texts to no more than 100 at a time. Here are a few text messaging scripts for leads in different situations.
Leads that are “just looking”
Hello [first name], Last time we spoke you were just watching the market. So much has changed lately, do you have any questions?
Hey [first name], How’s your home search going? Am I sending you properties you like?
Hello [first name], Just checking in to see how your home search is going. Has anything caught your eye yet?
Leads that “have an agent”
Hello [first name], I was just checking in on your homebuying process. How is it going?
Any of your leads who have been receiving the update alerts or opening emails
Hello [first name], Are you still interested in receiving a list of homes that are for sale in [location]?
Any of your leads
Hello [first name], Are you planning on a home purchase in 1, 2, or 5+ years?
Hello [first name], If we were able to find you a home with about the same payment a month, would you be interested in purchasing a home?
Leads that have not been opening emails
Hello [first name], Have we dropped the ball?
If you want more text messaging scripts, check out my 6-Day New Lead Text Messaging Campaign + Agent Texting Scripts article here.
Over to You
Have a great strategy for long-term lead nurturing or ideas for organizing leads by situation? Let us know in the comments or join our Facebook Mastermind Group here.