Lead Generation Is Worthless Without A Good Lead Conversion Strategy
What To Say Now Episode 42
Listen on the go!
Show Notes and Links:
What To Say Now Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/whattosaynow
Full Show Transcript:
Dan Stewart (00:00): As a real estate professional, there's a point in your career when you say to yourself, "If I only had more money to spend on leads, I could really grow my business," and sadly, what many agents find out is it's not enough to just have the lead, you have to of course be able to convert the lead, which can be incredibly frustrating. That's the topic of this episode of What To Say Now.
Dan Stewart (00:35): Hey everybody, welcome to this week's episode of What To Say Now. My name's Dan Stewart, I'm the founder of Happy Grasshopper, and it's my privilege to come to you every week to answer your questions to help you grow your career, build your sense of net worth, your personal satisfaction, and to help you reach your goals. So today, I see we've got some live people showing up already, love it, thank you for attending, and thank you to each of you who contributed questions since last week's episode.
Dan Stewart (01:07): This week, we're going to start out by explaining what the purpose of this session is, I'm going to give you very clear content ideas that you can follow in order to convert leads that you've generated, no matter how long it's been since you've reached out to them. So let me start by reading a story to you. So I received this request from What To Say Now member Julian Schwarz last week, and it reads, "I have a decent list of homeowners I contacted while circle prospecting. They agreed to me staying in touch, but it's been a year and a half since I originally spoke to them." Whoops, have you felt that way? "What would you say to them to reopen the lines of communication and get back on track with building that relationship?" Okay.
Dan Stewart (01:55): So the first thing I would advise you to do, Julian, is kind of turn your voice inward and say, "You know what? It's okay. I'm going to forgive myself for not having followed up with these people like I told them I would. I'm going to learn from that, and I'm going to actually put a system and a process in place to make sure that when I set that expectation with people, that they actually get me following up with them," right? So whether it's us at Happy Grasshopper, a number of other providers, what you really need to do is get in that habit of expressing to them that you are going to stay in touch with them, tell them they can expect to hear from you, and then just take the next step, put that person in a system, add them to the right campaign, so the right content comes out. And of course, that's the rub, isn't it? That's the hard part. What is the right content, and what do you say?
Dan Stewart (02:46): So Julian, I went digging around in our archives, I pulled some success stories from the past to give you an idea of messages that you could send now. The first thing that comes to mind is that you don't want to apologize, right? Starting a reopening, reopening that relationship with them, it's really tempting to start your message by apologizing, and that just doesn't go very far, right? So it's okay to feel that internally, externally, what we really want to do is focus on our ability to help them, right? And then of course, you want to put them on a messaging plan so that they continue to get messages from you after you reestablish contact.
Dan Stewart (03:31): So I'll give you a scenario here, this is from a Happy Grasshopper member named Brent Dally, he has a team in Mansfield, Texas, and he had a similar issue actually, he had about 10,000 leads that he had generated online. Can you imagine having 10,000 leads? What a goldmine that could potentially be. And yet like most agents, he had found that many of those leads were not legitimate, meaning they weren't ready to convert near-term. Today, we live in a world where marketing companies have gotten so good at generating real estate leads that they're often taking place many months ahead of when they're even ready to begin talking with you about having a transaction, so your expectations need to be realigned around this point, and I do have some things I'm going to break down here to illustrate that before I share the goodness of the message that we sent for Brent.
Dan Stewart (04:33): So when we consider online lead generation specifically, we have to start with the issue of intent, right? So think of it this way, if I go to Google and I search "Homes for sale in" and I put in a ZIP Code, well, that's pretty clear intent, right? So if you're buying an ad based on that kind of search, you can assume that people have an intent, right? That's important.
Dan Stewart (05:01): Now let's contrast that with somebody who's just cruising around Facebook, they're going through their feed, and then they see an ad that says, "What's my home worth?" Right? So they go ahead and they click on that. Well, they didn't go to Facebook intending to get a real estate question answered, they just thought, "Okay, I'll ask while I'm here," right? So the intent of that lead is different, and so you need a content plan that's designed to help you determine intent early, and what my recommendation would be is to consider all of your lead response and follow-up to consist of really three phases.
Dan Stewart (05:40): So in the first phase, you want to acknowledge that the lead exists, right? We all know what an auto-responder is in 2021, this is different than an auto-responder, okay? If I get an auto-responder, I know, "Okay, a computer has my information now." An acknowledgement message is something that demonstrates that a human being is now involved, right? So this type of message should be short, it should have a quick call to conversation, it should set expectations, and then anchor that a couple of times.
Dan Stewart (06:13): So a good acknowledgement example would be something that says, "Hey, thank you for registering on my website. I want you to know it means a lot to me, and I will follow up with you. Do you prefer text, email, or phone?" Right? So I'm setting an expectation, I'm saying, "It means a lot to me, and I will follow up with you," then I'm asking a question that's in their best interest to answer, it's much more likely I'll get a follow-up response. Now, for extra points, if I include a P.S. line that says, "By the way, my day is super busy, I'll call before the end of the day, I promise," and then you have an automated ringless voicemail drop going to that person later in the day, again, you're setting expectations that your automation can fulfill. That's a really smart thing to do in 2021 to convert leads.
Dan Stewart (07:06): So now we're going to go a little deeper, right? We've acknowledged that the lead exists, now we need to teach that lead what's unique and special and different about us than from any other agent that they might work with, and the way we do this is by positioning ourselves appropriately. We have to literally teach this reader what our past clients in our sphere love about us, and we can't use platitudes. We can't say, "I really care, I treat every client like family." That doesn't mean anything to them, right? You have to go deeper. So if you need help with this, that's why Happy Grasshopper exists. We have a whole staff of copywriters that interview our members and create this kind of content for them. A nurturing... Or excuse me, a positioning phase of messaging lasts about a week. It teaches them who you are and helps them understand why they should work with you, and then we switch over into long-term nurturing.
Dan Stewart (08:04): Now if you look at the NAR studies, and I don't have this in front of me right now, I might be slightly off with the numbers, but there are approximately 90 million digital leads generated each year, 90 million of them, for about five and a half million transactions, okay? So if you're purchasing digital leads, you need to understand that other agents may be buying that same exact lead, right? And that means if you're following up with the same exact content, like for example, price change alerts, new listing information, all that sort of saved search stuff that your MLSs and IDX site providers provide, they're already getting that from another agent, so you need to have something that stands out from that, you need to have something that's designed to start a conversation.
Dan Stewart (08:54): So instead of constantly giving them things to get them to link back to your website, send them content that causes them to feel super curious about you, and then leave that curiosity unresolved. That person will pick up the phone and call you, they will reply back to that message, whether it's a text, an email, a ringless voicemail drop. That's how we create engagement, we raise the curiosity, and we leave it unresolved, okay?
Dan Stewart (09:23): So now let's transition all the way back here to Julian's situation. He's done circle prospecting, go Julian, that's awesome. He's reached out to people, he's working that area, he's setting expectations that he's going to follow up with them, he's doing everything right except, like a lot of us sometimes, he didn't do the follow-up that he promised. So now at some point in the future, just like you and I would feel, he's feeling a little sense of guilt, like, "Oh, I didn't do what I said I would do, I got caught up with other things."
Dan Stewart (09:56): So step one, forgive yourself, right? And step two, reach out. You've got to send a message, and don't reach out with an apology, don't reintroduce yourself saying, "Oh, by the way, I'm the guy who doesn't do what he says he's going to do," that's not the right approach. Just reach out with a message that helps them understand that you can help them now, and that there's a reason you're reaching out to them right now.
Dan Stewart (10:22): So this is where I'll call back, I'm going to reference this message from Brent Dally, and again, he's the guy who had like 10,000 contacts that hadn't been nurtured in a while, and so we sent this message, subject line is "Let's chat." It reads, "Hi Dan, the market is moving full-steam ahead, and some amazing opportunities are now available. If you've been thinking about pursuing a real estate goal, now may be the time to act. Let me know if you're interested in an overview of the current market conditions and how to best position yourself, Brent Dally," okay?
Dan Stewart (10:59): That's a very simple, to the point, very straightforward message, and I know, I just read this to you, this is Facebook Live, right? So if you would like that message, go ahead and drop a comment in the chat below, and we will make sure that we get it to you. So, I'll read that message one more time for you. It says, "Subject line: Let's chat. Hi Dan, the market is moving full-steam ahead, and some amazing opportunities are now available." Notice there's no reference of whether their intent is to buy or to sell, right? We're talking about amazing opportunities being available.
Dan Stewart (11:37): Then we continue, "If you've been thinking about pursuing a real estate goal, now may be the time to act," right? And I think if you're watching this as it's being broadcast live, you'll agree, we are in unique real estate conditions right now. So much of the United States and Canada, the market is set to kill, right? It's a super low inventory environment, and especially if you're a seller, now may be the time to act, right? So then we go on, "Let me know if you're interested in an overview of the current market trends and how to best position yourself," okay?
Dan Stewart (12:13): So Julian, I'm going to speak directly to you. If you just take that message as I read it to you and you send it out to those group of people, and then you follow up, right? And my recommendation would be to send them a single message once every three weeks, does not always have to be about real estate, can just be about interesting things that are happening in the area, it can be content that lets them get to know you and feel good about you, you'll quickly develop relationships with some of those people than can turn into real estate opportunities. So that's my advice for you this week Julian, again, thank you for asking your questions. Anyone else who's watching this, please go ahead and take a moment to post in the Facebook group, facebook.com/groups/whattosaynow, myself and my writing team will be happy to answer your communication challenges.
Dan Stewart (13:08): Now, tomorrow we are hosting a webinar that is very cool, and it's only for independent brokers, right? So this is not an agent-facing webinar, this content is specifically for brokerages, so if you're watching this and you'd like to learn more about recruitment and retention strategies that actually work, that can help you add the right agents to your brokerage so that you can grow quickly and meet your expectations, you should attend, and you can do that by going to happygrasshopper.com/webinar to register. So thanks everybody for attending, super glad that you're here, and I'll look forward to your comments and feedback. Bye, everybody.