Posted by: Anand Srinivasan, founder of Hubbion
Published: July 19, 2018
Real estate marketing can be quite expensive. The average cost of a lead can be anywhere between $50 and $60, with the total cost of acquisition ranging from $3,000 to $5,000. This is likely to be higher for large cities like New York or San Francisco. A successful real estate agent will thus seek to achieve two things: reduce the cost per lead and increase lead conversion. In this article, we will look at ways to do this.
Identifying Your Lead Channel
The marketing channels you invest in can determine your lead acquisition costs. Craigslist could work well in some markets. In others, Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com could be better sources. One way to identify your best source is to prepare a spreadsheet where you diligently update the lead channel and cost of conversion for each of your clients. Over time, you will be in a position to know what channel works best for you. Split your marketing budget accordingly.
While it is a good idea to refrain from spending on marketing channels that don’t convert, do not stop investing completely from any channel. You never know when any one channel turns around for you and starts delivering better results.
Staging for More Leads
Staging can make or break your lead generation process. The first seven seconds that your potential client spends looking at your listing can play a significant role in their decision-making process.
Sometimes, real estate agents assume there is a higher chance for a website visitor to share their details when they are “intrigued” by the lack of sufficient photos to make a decision.
While this may work in some cases, it is important to note that converting leads into clients can be the most challenging part of real estate marketing. It is thus important to show your potential clients what they get. This helps you filter out prospects who may not convert. With staging, prospective clients get a real feel of how their new home could look. This helps convert more visitors into legitimate leads.
Although staging can help improve lead generation, it may not necessarily help you convert. For this to happen, it is important to make sure that the expectations of your potential clients are matched by what they see during their site visit.
The Value of Following Up
Following up with interested prospects is an integral component of real estate marketing. Studies conducted by the Association of Sales Executives show that 81% of sales happen on or after the fifth contact. This is not very different in the real estate market.
However, a lot of real estate agents either overdo it or do not follow up at all. Doing either could lead to you losing your client. As a best practice, always follow up with your client around two days after you have shown them around the property. It is not rude to follow up further until your client makes a decision one way or the other.
But having said that, make sure that you are in compliance with all the necessary regulations. Calling a client regarding a property they are interested in may be legal. However, calling them to talk about other properties in your list is a gray area, unless they have expressed interest in this offering. Also, if you handle real estate in a cosmopolitan city like New York or San Francisco, you may need to be mindful of relevant laws when dealing with international clients. For example, citizens of the EU are protected by a new regulation called GDPR that forbids any business (in Europe or elsewhere) from contacting a prospect without explicit written consent.
Real estate sales can be an exciting career choice that allows you to provide clients with homes they dream about. But at the end of the day, your success is measured by the number of leads you generate and the clients you convert. Following the tips above should enable you to bring your costs down, while improving the experience for your clients and the conversion rate for your business.