In another post on our blog, we highlighted a recent survey conducted by REAL Trends in partnership with Boston Logic. That research showed 72.5% of all real estate agents had a CRM system in place and 69.4% of all surveyed brokerages offered their agents a CRM system.
But, how can brokers and agents get a high return from that investment?
In this follow-up post, we will discuss how team leaders should coach their agents to leverage software tools to generate and follow up on leads. And, we will outline how technology can help them become more efficient, and provide brokers analytics to improve their operations.
Leverage Technology To Maximize The Value Of Your Paid Leads
All sales professionals know how important it is to keep a client happy. The right technology can schedule daily tasks and create an automated sequence of scripted communication that nurture relationships. Really good ones, similar to health and exercise apps, motivate users and tap the competitive nature in all of us. However at the end of the day it all boils down to one thing. Tools must ensure each client feels like they are the most important client to each agent…from the moment they inquire about a property.
Tommy Mutchler, real estate agent for Re/Max may have said it best, “Respond to clients’ texts and emails right away ideally within minutes although before the end of the day is better than nothing. It’s too easy to respond to someone later. Go above and beyond and respond now. If someone calls you, answer. … If you have to miss the call, call them back ASAP. Just do it. Putting follow-up on the back burner will kill your business.”
With so much done virtually now, the tech also allows for safer communication, showings and a way to maintain a personal relationship with clients. Agents can learn how to use a new CRM, listings management systems, lead routing and contact management tools to communicate and tag their contacts. Lead generation is also streamlined by effective use of digital marketing platforms, social media management platforms. This is where a broker coach can help make an agent’s daily activities more efficient and thereby reduce their work-related stress.
But, a brokerage is only as efficient as its agent’s ability to use the technology provided. Broker coaches must mentor their agents to use the technology to streamline their business processes. If they can do that, they are rewarded with increased agent accountability and insights to drive better marketing spend for listings.
“Technology has made the world smaller, meaning real estate professionals, now more than ever, must learn how to successfully conduct business with people.” – Terri Morrison, author and speaker
Communicate Faster, Close More
Many agents receive leads, but either lack the motivation or lack the systems in place for instantaneous follow up. Unfortunately, that can cause inquiries from motivated consumers to go unanswered. Agents armed with the right tools to capture the moment of intent can tag their leads and contacts for easy follow-up and lead nurturing.
Agents often do not know the statistics and the opportunities in front of them. For example, an exceptionally low percentage of Internet leads are followed up by agents and salespeople in general. Only 27% of leads are ever contacted, according to Forbes. In fact, research demonstrates how few companies are responsive to online leads. A study in the Harvard Business Review showed that only 37% of businesses responded to a lead within an hour. Additionally, 75% of sales go to the agent who responds first. Is your team responding in under a minute?
This is where a coach can utilize a great teaching moment, sharing the knowledge and motivation for an agent to use better lead response technology, like Connect Now’s speed to lead mobile app. An agent can learn that responding to a prospect’s inquiry in less than a minute dramatically increases an agent’s chance of converting them to a client. This is especially true if the agent speaks to the prospect while they are still on the website or viewing the listing.
When a prospect is in front of an available property and wants to learn more, agents need to be able to capitalize on that enhanced and fleeting interest, using technology like CellAHome’s automated video texting. It cannot be emphasized enough how critical it is to respond quickly to a lead, in a way that resonates with that lead. Even waiting an hour can have unfortunate consequences.
Nurture Leads Throughout Their Buyer Journey
While “speed to lead” is vital to agents who focus on rentals, buying a home takes time—a lot of time. A consumer visiting your website, or submitting an inquiry on a portal like Zillow likely isn’t ready to do sign a contract on their first visit. This is where technology can make an agent’s task management much easier.
CRM and other marketing automation platforms enable sales professionals to stay top of mind for that time when a buyer is ready and motivated to make a move. For those new to process of automating communication, coaches can tap a wealth of scripts and sequences from CRM vendors such as Follow Up Boss, or share what has proven effective within their own sphere of influence.
Key to success is selecting the right cadence of communication and the right message scripts and content. The goal is to provide value through personalized service during their quest for a new home, while understanding you might not convert each lead within a day, as many rental agents do.
Kerri-lyn Holland, Owner, Holland & Associates Real Estate was quoted by fitssmallbusiness.com as saying, “An intuitive funnel with retargeting and email will keep you top of mind as the shopper gets closer to a decision. You’re spending money and effort to get buyers and sellers onto your website, but too many agents let those opportunities slip through the cracks.”
With this in mind, teaching agents how to stay top of mind with potential buyers through the use of technology, like video Facebook retargeting can go a long way to helping them close the deal.
So Many Options! Leverage Your Customers’ Preferred Method of Communication
Agents make their living building relationships, and those relationships are built on personalized and effective communication. It is important to coach agents to use direct mail, email, text or leave a voice mail to give the impression that their agents care about their client, and understand their needs.
Emails and texts do provide some value, but a phone call provides that interactive conversational insight into how a prospect is feeling and the challenges they’re currently facing. However, if an your agents spends too much time talking on the phone or traveling around to showings and listing appointments, you can coach them use text messaging.
Quick and effective communication with potential and existing clients can make or break a deal. It goes without saying that staying in touch with quick responses can create lasting relationships that even if a deal is not had right away can result in future business.
This is why in an initial response to a new lead, it is a good idea to ask probing questions designed to draw out a prospects thoughts and feelings, which will allow an agent to tailor his or her interactions better moving forward with this client, giving them the sense that you really care and have a genuine interest in helping them close their deal.
Highlight The Best Lead Sources And The Top Producers
Brokers, themselves, benefit differently from technology tools that enable sales and marketing efforts. But, this rests heavily on adoption of tools by their team. Brokers and team leaders crave visibility into the sales process, from the moment a lead is created to a closed transaction. Unfortunately, though, many teams still rely on manual routing of leads, and worse, have limited insights into what happens to those leads once claimed.
Tools such as Connect Now give them the top-of-funnel metrics about where leads are coming from, how quickly they receive a response, and if they are missed/unclaimed, re-route them to other available agents to ensure no opportunity is lost. Agents with lower up-time or claim rates…or who don’t follow-up with leads after initially claiming them, are also highlighted, enabling the brokers to coach where challenges exist.
As seen in a recent article by Inman, because top producers have a learning mindset, they are often early adopters who experiment with new technologies and are open to trying new ways to build their business. At the end of the day, your agents are your army. Your army is only as good as you prepare them and give them the right tools. Coaching on which technologies and strategies will work best for your agent’s personality, style and your local market will help your army of agents generate leads and sales.