"More leads. Just pay for more leads and my real estate business will grow. I just need to invest in more lead generation."
As a real estate team leader or rainmaker, this thought has likely crossed your mind at one point or another, and that's great! Investing in lead generation is just one aspect you bring to your team, but buying more leads will never be the silver bullet to real estate success.
Just ask Dan Armstrong, team leader at Keller Williams Legacy in San Antonio who is investing in Zillow and other online lead sources. One day he realized his approach to buying more and more leads might have been costing him and his agents.
Dan quickly found that his lead generation efforts left his agents overwhelmed and discouraged. Ultimately leaving his team staring at a growing pile of cold leads. Dan realized he had a lead conversion problem, not a lead generation problem.
Invest in conversion, not generation
"If you want to attract more agents to your team, give them leads.” That's a familiar thought, right?
Dan thought the same when building his team, but quickly found that is not the case in practice,
"We were getting a lot of leads and a lot of agents were discouraged because the leads weren’t ready to buy or sell and they weren’t engaging with the agents, so we were having a lot of agent turnover. When agents got overwhelmed and couldn’t keep up with the leads they would quit. I was sitting on thousands of leads and there was no way to qualify these leads without wasting a lot of time and money."
Investing in more leads was costing Dan his agents, not attracting them.
It was clear that Dan needed to invest in a real estate follow up and nurture program to give his agents the tools they needed to scale.
Enter the Inside Sales Agent (ISA)
As we've discussed with Erik Hatch and Robby Treferthren at Hatch Coaching, an ISA can and should be hired after a showing partner or two. This gives your producing team members the ability to do what they do best - produce!
Dan knew this and went in search of an ISA to solve his real estate lead nurturing problem. However, he was met with a lack of scalability in the ISA role.
"I have tried over 4 inside sales agents and it never worked out. It takes a lot of work and tenacity for an ISA to call leads that don’t always want to talk to them and they would get discouraged. They were enthusiastic the first few weeks, but then they would just give up. We’ve never been successful with any human doing inside sales. The amount of work and money that went into hiring and training an ISA just didn’t add up."
Dan was finding the same problem over and over again in his business, which was simply that he had invested in too many leads without the ability to scale. Without the right systems in place to handle his team's monthly lead volume, as well as work their existing pile of old leads, Dan could never get out in front of his business.
A real estate follow up program that scales
With Dan's newfound realization, he went in search of a real estate lead follow up and nurturing system that could scale to his lead volume.
At the time, Dan had amassed nearly 2,500 old leads that weren't getting touched by his busy agents. He knew from past experience he couldn't rely on his agents, nor a team of human ISAs, to work this list of leads effectively.
This led him to search for alternative methods to achieving the lead conversion he wanted. Enter the new world of high tech real estate tools like artificial intelligence and mass messaging services. Dan found the AI Assistant by Structurely, artificial intelligence inside sales agent, that could finally help him increase his average real estate lead conversion.
Old leads aren’t lifeless
Dan was ready to put his old leads to the test. As a salesperson, it's common to think the leads in the middle of your funnel, who you've not been able to engage, are simply dead.
That was not the case with Dan's 2,500 "old" leads.
On the first day of re-engaging these leads, The AI Assistant was able to set an appointment and convert the first lead she engaged, ultimately leading to closing for Dan's team. The Assistant was batting 100% and she never looked back.
Dan described the AI Assistants success with his old leads,
"Not only are you [Structurely] able to engage our new leads but re-engage our old leads and that's worked extremely well. In a week, the Assistant has already brought 7 cold leads back to life. Those were the leads that multiple agents had tried to contact. Those were the leads that were so hard to convert because it’s taken 4-5x to engage and the agents didn’t have the patience to follow up with the lead 5x until they got an answer."
Text messaging is the new cold call
Dan's success with the AI Assistant got him wondering why his agents and ISAs, who've tried working these exact same leads, weren't having the same success.
The answer - real estate text message marketing is the new cold calling.
In today's increasingly digital world, why would any prospective buyer or seller want to talk on the phone?
With the rise of Amazon, PostMates, Uber, and other on-demand services, consumer's appetite for phone calls is diminishing, and fast.
That's why the AI Assistant uses real estate sms messages to engage leads. Texting is a passive, yet comfortable channel that allows both parties to hold qualifying conversations first, to later set a phone or in-person meeting. This was exactly the case for Dan Armstrong.
"Our lead volume has increased and 6 appointments have been scheduled. We were getting about 30 leads a month and now we are getting more new leads and old leads that the Assistant is re-engaging. Just with the old leads, she is able to get re-engagement from at least 1 lead a day. We’ve had multiple agents contacting the list of old leads and we haven’t had anything close to the success that Aisa has had."
As a team leader considering the next best lead generation source to invest in, look first into the leads you already have as Dan has. Second, consider alternative methods of communication to engage your new and old leads like text messaging. There's a reason most text messages are read in under 5 seconds and replied to in under 90 seconds.
With the market continuously shifting and the cost per lead continuously increasing, isn't it time to invest in your lead conversion?