It’s no secret that one of the first places that potential home-buyers go when looking for a home, is online.
According to NAR (National Association of Realtors) 94 percent of millennials and 84 percent of baby boomers used online websites in their home search in 2015. That number has only grown since then.
So as a realtor, you probably already know that you should be doing more online to engage with your potential clients — but what? Should it be Zillow, Realtor.com, Google, Facebook…and what should you be doing, where, and how do you find a digital marketing strategy that fits in with the rest of you already busy professional life?
When I first got started helping realtors with their online marketing, I was proud of myself by how many leads we were generating, and at such low rates!
But it quickly became evident that agents need more than just leads — they need truly qualified and interested prospects, and an automated system to stay top of mind during the entire buying cycle. Otherwise they risk burnout trying to chase after every lead that fills out an online form for a “free homebuyer report”.
To truly fill your pipeline with qualified leads and an opportunities, on autopilot, you need a 3 pronged strategy:
- You need to ATTRACT more of your ideal prospects to you, and into your funnel
- You need to KEEP more ideal prospects in your funnel, get their contact information, and add them to your database.
- You need to PRE-QUALIFY prospects before they talk to you, so that you are only speaking to prospects who represent true opportunities
- You need to NURTURE and STAY TOP OF MIND at scale — so that any prospect who isn’t ready to buy right now, stays within your online (and offline) sphere of influence, and sees you as the obvious choice for when they are ready to go.
With that in mind, it took testing and tweaking, and continually optimizing over years, to come up with the online strategy that gives realtors and brokers the most bang for your buck, and turns them from chasing clients to being chased.
This strategy will not only have prospects and leads coming to you on autopilot, it will establish you as the go-to agent in your market, and automate the nurturing and pre-qualification so that you only speak to prospects who represent a genuine opportunity.
If you are looking to attract specific types of clients, those clients are probably looking for specific types of houses.
Imagine how much more you stand out when you offer them a (IDX) list of houses with just the exact features that they are looking for. Do you think they would be interested?
For example if you are going after baby boomers with aging parents, you might compile a list of 3-bedroom single-story houses within a specific price range. If you are going after golf enthusiast retirees, they would love to see houses that are next to golf courses. If you want more luxury buyers, compile a list of the best luxury homes in the area.
If you were going after me personally, I want my next house to be a duplex that is perfect for renting out one side and living in another. If I found a list of those types of homes being offered to me on Facebook, you better believe I would click it! (I haven’t, by the way).
The important thing here is to know what your clients want. Talk to them. Figure out what would be an irresistible offer to them.
I’ve seen plenty of realtors, brokers, and agents use Facebook ads. And the worst mistake they make isn’t even the fact that the ad is usually a generic “browse all homes” ad, with no specific irresistible offer (this is a painful common mistake, but it isn’t the worst one).
The most costly mistake is that they usually send that lead straight to an IDX search page on their website, with no attempt at capturing that lead’s information at any time from point A to point B. I guess they are just hoping that the lead will take it upon themselves to do all of the hard work of remembering who they are, figuring out their phone number, and doing the herculean task of actually initiating a real-live phone call, all on their own.