Catch up on the entire Leveraging Modern Tech to Nurture Leads Into Clients!
Day 1: Buying into Modern Lead Nurture & Great First Impressions
Welcome to Day 1 of the Leveraging Modern Tech to Nurture Leads Into Clients Course!
As a reminder, each agent action is designed to take an hour or less. If you’re feeling inspired to go further, feel free to do the extra exercises.
Over the course of this week, we’re going to be outlining how to use technology to effectively nurture leads. Today, we’re focused on setting a great first impression with your lead nurturing and automation.
Ideally, when leads interact with your brand’s content, whether that’s a lead capture form on your site or a Facebook advertisement, that information filters into your customer relationship management (CRM) system.
But what do you do next? What’s your next step with that lead? Before you answer, you must develop a lead nurturing philosophy that works. Most agents fail to do this, and therefore end up taking shortcuts to save time that really doesn’t help them convert leads into clients.
Modern leads are used to getting what they need right away. Everything from food to appliances can be secured without a long wait, so the expectations around their home buying and selling needs starts to follow this same model. Of course, working with an agent, they’ll come to realize these processes may take time, but in order to do that you need to convince them you understand the modern consumer’s needs.
Why is nurturing leads in real-time important? It tells your leads some critical things about you as an agent:
1. That you have important knowledge for them, right at their fingertips 2. That you are committed to engaging with each of your leads 3. That you are attentive and on top of things, building critical trust early on
This course isn’t just focused on getting you accustomed to using technology, but understanding how using technology wisely can make you a better agent in the eyes of consumers. So what does that mean for your lead nurture strategy? Let’s revisit the question we posed earlier: When your CRM notifies you of new leads, what do you do next? What’s your next step with that lead?
There are a few things that matter for today’s Agent Action:
The source: Your leads interacted with a particular piece of content or form, and this will give you important information about what they’re looking for. The messaging: Taking information about the source, you can craft messages that fit the needs of your lead. The timing: Any lead who interacts with your site deserves communication right away, whether that’s a personalized reach-out or an automated one. For the purposes of today’s activity, we’re going to focused on the automated kind.
Agent Action: Do This Now
Today’s activity is focused on building that initial contact point: a critical moment of developing a great first impression with leads.
1. Identify your top 5 lead sources. What are the top campaigns you run that generate leads? You likely have some really strong lead sources, whether that’s a lead capture form on your listings page, a social media advertisement, consultation request on your bio page, open house events, etc. Right now, write down 5 major lead sources that generate the most leads for your business. No doubt you may have many more lead sources, but for the purposes of today’s activities, pick 5.
2. Craft a follow-up message for each of the lead sources you’ve chosen. To understand what works for lead nurturing, put yourself in the shoes of your lead.
If they’ve filled out a consultation request, think about what messages they’d love to receive:. Would they rather: “I’m not available right now but I typically respond within 24 hours.” or “Thanks for contacting me for a consultation! I really look forward to hearing more about your home search goals. Below are some tips my clients have found helpful in the past. In the meantime, I’d love to hear what types of homes you’re looking for!”
If they’ve filled out a listings page’s lead capture form, would your lead rather: “I’m away from my desk. I will reply to your message as soon as possible.” or “Springfield is a great community, so I’m delighted that you’re searching for listings there. I’m very knowledgeable about the community and look forward to getting you acquainted with the area. I’ve also listed below a link to the area page on my website so you can see what makes it great! Before we talk, do you have questions for me?”
The messages above are only guideline examples, but you can see the differences between the first ones and second ones. The second messages feel personal and relevant. These types of messages set the tone for your interaction with these leads and increase the likelihood they’ll consider working with you. Here are some guidelines for your email messages:
- Thank them for contacting you and mention the trigger activity based on the source campaign
- Offer help in some form, whether that’s more content or advice
- Gather information for next steps that you can reference in your follow-up conversation and that get leads comfortable with talking to you
- Give them a sense of when and how they should expect to hear from you
Give yourself 45 minutes max for this activity.
Now, let’s talk about automating these messages. Autoresponders are prepared messages that send when a particular trigger action occurs. These can be sent at any time you dictate, which is important for moments when you are busy working with another client, eating dinner with your family, or even sleeping. Because consumers research home needs at any time of day, autoresponders help engage them to make it feel as if you’re connecting right away, even if you’re not. And the more targeted you can make these messages, the better your personalized follow-up will be. You should also have a plan for how quickly you’ll reach out, both with your automated messages and your follow-up. According to a recent NAR Report, 70% of buyers interviewed only one real estate agent during their home search. That could often mean that the first agent who makes a great impression on a lead gets their business. That’s why it’s important to set up autoresponders. Once you’ve identified each trigger campaign from Step 1, and crafted your messaging, it’s time to build the emails and set them to send at an appropriate time interval — the sooner the better.
Why do we focus on email? Email isn’t the only means for nurturing leads, of course. Agents have phone calls, texts, and more at their disposal to engage with leads, but studies show that email has one of the highest returns on investment of any marketing activity. Leads often check email multiple times a day, but more than that, emails can connect with leads when other forms of communication won’t work. Your lead may have filled out a form related to your services while commuting on a crowded bus or right before bed, when phone calls may be difficult. In these cases especially, leads will still be able to engage with your emails, and likely expect to receive word from you that they can read directly from their mobile device.
1. Build these emails as autoresponders in your lead management system or email automation system. First, your system should allow you to easily add in emails where you can host a series of autoresponder messages per campaign or form. Create one now for each message you’ve crafted above.
Then, identify the trigger, meaning the form the lead filled out. Build a campaign name, for example ‘Saved Search Registration Form.’ Then add in the steps, starting with the form the user filled out and the email message(s) you want sent. Below is an example of how this is done within the Placester platform.
2. Download and read through our Modernize Your Real Estate Marketing Strategy Ebook. This ebook offers tips on how you can fuse your marketing across channels to be ever-present and helpful when and where your leads need it most. It also divulges tactics for marketing in real-time that will be helpful to you as you create your nurture strategy.
3. Watch our webinar on Engage Your Prospects Efficiently with Email Autoresponders for more ideas on how effective these messages can be.
Good luck! We’ll see you on Day 2.
Day 2: Identifying and Segmenting Your Leads
Welcome to Day 2 of Leveraging Modern Tech to Nurture Leads Into Clients!
Yesterday we covered the ways you can set a great first impression using autoresponders when leads interact with your campaigns and forms. Today, we’ll show you how to set up your own lead organization system within your CRM.
Let’s visit a common scenario most agents experience: Your site captures a series of leads and they funnel into your chosen lead management system.
You grab your coffee for the day and open up your lead list. You see a stream of contacts from a variety of sources and, phone in hand, prep to make your calls for the day. Who do you call first, and why? Do you have a system in place that gives you a hint of who’s most important to contact first? Most agents don’t, which can result in lots of lost time and effort, and leave you feeling seriously overwhelmed.
Every agent deserves a system for clearly identifying who should be contacted immediately and who needs a longer communication approach. Once your CRM is organized to show you what leads are hot, warm, and cold, and what types of leads they are, you’ll be in a position to use your technology’s features effectively to nurture them. Because the rest of this course will involve nurture processes, it’s important to set this foundation early.
Today’s Agent Action has 2 steps:
Step One: Segment Your Leads Step Two: Score Your Leads
Agent Action One: Do This Now
Most agents generate a variety of lead types. Segmenting allows you to sort through your large list and develop categories for your leads. In the Placester platform, for example, these are called ‘Type.’ This could mean segmenting based on home buyer leads, home seller leads, renters, and other.
This Agent Action requires you to go into your system right now: Assign each lead to one of these segment groups. (Again, the categories and process of doing this will depend on what system you’re currently using. If you’re using the Placester platform learn how to do this here.)
Give yourself 15 minutes.
Agent Action Two: Do This Now
Now that you have solid groups to identify your leads, it’s time to prioritize them within those groups.
No two leads are the same, and that’s why successful agents use scoring to monitor which are the most valuable in their system. There are triggers that can let you know a lead’s level of interest, intent, and readiness so that you can effectively score them. While some of these factors are dependent upon your own market and lead base, here are some general guidelines that can help you with scoring:
“Hot” leads — May have recently filled out a form or provided you their contact information in some other manner; regularly visit your website or consume and engage with your content; respond to personal communications; are pre-approved and have a timeline in mind
“Warm” leads — May visit your website and have engaged with some content, but their timeline for a sale isn’t urgent; they may be pre-approved but not actively looking; respond occasionally to communications
“Cold” leads — Were once active but have since faltered in communications; are not pre-approved; have expressed interest in working with you in the future
For the leads who do fit into your target profiles, score them now based on their activity. Find a system that works for you, based on your lead management system, to score leads based on how ready they are to move forward.
In the Placester Leads platform we use Green, Yellow, and Red to signify values, and agents are given freedom to choose how they’d like to assign value to each of those colors. Having a visual scoring trigger like this for your leads assures that you won’t run into the scenario we talked about at the beginning of this email. Instead, you’ll easily see that you have buyer leads with a “Green,” for example, and know immediately who to reach out to first that day. Then you can make your way down your scored list. (Note that each lead management system will have their own scoring system. If you’re using Placester, this guide can help.) Below you’ll see how easy it is to score within a modern CRM system.
Here you’ll see the visual breakdown of leads and how they relate to the scoring system the agent has devised, as well as lead sources and types.
Once you’ve scored, it’s also easy to see this information at the top of each lead profile so you can determine their position in the sales cycle.
Give yourself 25 minutes.
Indulge in our lead scoring webinar.
Lead Scoring is best demonstrated through action. Our recent webinar ‘Lead Scoring: Prioritizing Your Lists to Engage Prospects More Effectively,’ walks you through the processes of lead scoring step-by-step. Go a step further with your lead scoring and watch the video now here.
Set aside time to segment and score weekly or monthly.
Leads’ readiness and needs will change quickly, and often. Leads who were once off the grid may become more active as their needs escalate, while leads who were in constant communication may suddenly fall off the map. It’s important to watch your leads’ activities within each scoring category and adjust accordingly so you can focus on the right types of nurturing, or decide whether to pursue the lead at all.
Managing a team of agents? Segment for your team.
Segmenting and scoring helps you take into account the needs of both leads and the expertise of agents before matching them. When leads come in, take a step back to assess the quality and focus of the lead, and process the information from there to match them with the best agent for them. Read How to Assign Leads to Agents in Your Real Estate CRM Software.
Good luck! We’ll see you on Day 3!
Day 3: CRM Features That Build Detailed Lead Profiles for Strong Nurturing
Welcome to Day 3 of Leveraging Modern Tech to Nurture Leads Into Clients!
Yesterday we covered ways to prioritize leads in your system with segmentation and scoring. One of the most valuable features of all-in-one lead management systems that integrate with your website is their ability to deliver and organize data. Having lead activity data is critical for great follow-up, because it will make your communications stronger. Here are some of the best aspects of using a modern CRM for lead nurture:
- Lead organization. Having critical lead information all in one place, organized into sections for quick viewing, makes sifting through your lists much easier.
- Visibility into what leads are doing. Now you can see how your leads are interacting with your website pages and how often.
- Insight into what they care about. Curious about what content and listings they like or what searches they’ve saved most? A great CRM logs all of this into their lead profile so you have a history of what they’re most interested in.
But, as we covered yesterday, you have many types of leads: hot, warm, and cold — who all have varying profiles, like buyer and seller, and different timelines, budgets, and expectations. Each of these details builds strong lead profiles that help make you more savvy for nurturing each them. Yesterday you segmented and scored these leads so you could identify who is primed for follow-up.
Today, we’re going to go deeper into how you can monitor and manage lead profiles, and then leverage that profile data to build better relationships with your leads.
Today’s Agent Action will prove why having this information in one place is important to the next lead nurture steps in this course.
Agent Action: Do This Now
Right now, pick your hot and warm leads from yesterday’s exercise and build robust lead profiles for each using the steps below:
Monitor leads’ activities. How many times has your lead visited your site? What are they looking at? Did they favorite listings? Do they have saved searches? Hopefully, your lead management system offers Lead Activity Tracking so you can see what leads are doing on your site and how they’re interacting with your content and communications. A strong lead detail page will list out this activity, as well as if the lead has been contacted, when they were created in your system, and their original source. This information will help you craft better plans for what to deliver to your lead to help nurture them to a sale.
For example, in this Placester view of an individual lead profile, you can see when they last visited the site, what listings the’yve favorited, and which searches they’ve saved.
Write Notes for each lead. Sometimes, leads will mention important information in conversations and emails, or will change their mind during the process. Additionally, their activity will continue to build on your site, giving you details about what they like and don’t. You will also want to keep track of what they’ve seen during the process. Each time you correspond with your lead or see activity changes, it’s the perfect time to make notes in their lead profile. This will ensure that as you continue to nurture them, you can target the materials for their needs, and they will feel as though their interactions with you are specific and thoughtful.
Create Tasks for your leads. Once you have insight into what your leads are up to, what is the next step in your nurturing plan? Most agents have a plethora of leads, and this information can be easily organized and tracked within your CRM — but only if you use it effectively to keep yourself accountable for following up. It’s time to set tasks for yourself about how you will translate those insights into action. A great lead management system will allow you the option for setting tasks and reminders so you can reach out with a downloadable guide when it’s convenient, send cards for a special occasion, or give your lead a call on a particular day and time they’ve requested. Tasks are critical for managing your leads because they allow you to follow up on important one-time events so you can maintain a solid nurturing process. Set aside time each day to attend to the tasks. (The Placester lead management system allows you to create and view Tasks within the Tasks Tab or a specific Lead Profile.)
Set Reminders for your tasks. Setting tasks only works effectively if you can actually remember to do them. The reminders option will ensure that every time you sign into your lead management system, you’ll be given notifications of important reminders you’ve set — so you never forget to take action on those tasks.
Give yourself 45 minutes.
Download and read our new ebook ‘Simplify Lead Management and Nurturing with a Dynamic Real Estate CRM’ for a step-by-step guide on what makes a great CRM and how to use the latest features to revolutionize how you nurture your leads.
|DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE|
Good luck! We’ll see you on Day 4!
Day 4: Automating Nurture Messages to Leads
Welcome to Day 4 of Leveraging Modern Tech to Nurture Leads Into Clients!
Recently we covered ways to attach value to leads in your system based on their activities and how modern CRM systems connected to your website will offer extensive data about your leads. Having lead activity data that’s organized is critical for great follow-up, because it will make your communications stronger.
In the examples below, shown in the Placester platform, you can see what searches the lead has as saved, how many listings are favorited, and also what pages the lead has visited on the agent’s site.
Using this data, today you’re going to build targeted automation messages to nurture your leads to the next step in the sales cycle.
There are many ways to follow up with leads, but the most important factors of follow-up are timing and consistency. You, of course, want to reach out as soon as possible after you’ve collected a lead’s information, but what happens after that initial call or email? Nurturing is a process that happens over time, of course.
The most successful agents leverage email marketing to nurture their leads, mainly because it has one of the highest returns on investment of any marketing activity Today, we are going to cover drip email marketing, and why it’s the best way to nurture leads.
Drip email marketing allows you to set a series of communications that nurture your leads actively through the process. The best benefits of drip marketing?
Personalization for your leads. What resonates with you more? An email from a random company that wants to sell you a product or an email relevant to the topics in this course? Humans connect with content that’s personal to them. 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement and marketers have noted a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns. Drip marketing allows you to create more targeted communications than what you can send in a general newsletter. For example, if you have a series of first-time buyer leads, you can create a whole drip marketing series about saving for your first home and what they should know about the process.
Streamlined communications. Try writing a custom email to all of your leads every few days and keep track of where they are and what email they should receive next. Sounds like a headache in the making. With drip marketing, you can develop pathways based on the segmentation, scoring, and activity tracking that YOU’VE ALREADY DONE within this course.
Saved time on nurturing. You create series of a few to several emails for buckets of leads and schedule them to send on a schedule you think is appropriate. Sure, the initial building will take a bit of time to create, but then you can set these to run for a few weeks and monitor how they perform (and it sure beats creating new emails for every lead every week). The best part? Even though you’ve made these communications in advance for a number of leads, these targeted emails will feel custom and appropriately timed from your lead’s perspective.
Today’s Agent Action has 2 steps:
Step One: Planning Your Drip Campaign
Step Two: Building Your Drip Campaign
Agent Action One: Do This Now
In this first step, you are going to plan the structure of a great email drip campaign and write the copy.
For time’s sake, pick 1 lead type that you will focus on. Don’t pick a lead type that is rare, but one that represents a specific, large pool of your leads. First-time owners seeking condos, luxury second-home buyers, or young families seeking to expand their home size.
Now, list out six major topics you want to walk them through for their stage of the funnel and their score. There are many ways to approach a drip, but here’s a great flow to work with today:
1 a goal of this persona
2 a question often asked by this persona
3 a pain point this persona may be experiencing
4 a question often asked by this persona
5 ways they can become more informed
6 ways you can help with the sales process
For each of these, come up with a topic and piece of content you can deliver for each drip email:
1 Appeal to their goals and how you’ve had lots of experience helping other leads achieve this goal. Show them successful recent customer case studies or homes you’ve recently sold and offer your expertise.
2 Leads are often confused and undereducated about the process, but don’t know the questions to ask. Take your experience and introduce answers to questions your leads may be thinking (or may not even know how to ask) and offer an article or download to help them understand it better.
3 Customer pain points are critical pieces of the process because these will be the things they care about solving most. Offer one or more, and how you can help them solve it.
4 Just like number 2 above, leads have many questions. Provide them answers they aren’t yet expecting.
5 There are many market reports, data infographics, ebooks, and guides that may be useful to your leads. Send a couple with explanations of why they’re important.
6 Follow up on your communications with ways you might be able to help and asking if they may have additional questions.
For each above right now, write out 6 emails that will be part of your drip. Before you get bogged down with technology, it’s important to just get started on the actual content. Starting drafts in a document will help you simply cut and paste into your drip marketing system when it’s time.
For each email remember to:
- Use an enticing subject line that appeals to what your leads cares about
- Personalize it with their name and characteristics about them that will make it feel as though these communications are for their needs, not for a generic audience
- Include your personality and showcase your value through the knowledge you present
- Remember to sign of with contact details and offers of how best to reach you in case they have more questions.
- Keep them simple. No need to write a ton here, but just enough to keep the conversation going.
Not sure what to write or how best to articulate your points? Check out these 16 Perfect Drip Marketing Emails for Your Real Estate Leads
Give yourself 35 minutes max.
Agent Action Two: Do This Now
Now we’re going to take it a step further and learn to actually build this within your marketing automation system.
(If you’re building drip email campaigns within our Placester Plans platform, learn how to build your campaigns here.)
CRMS will allow you to create your emails for the drip campaign, and some will also come with pre-made email templates you can recreate or customize. Placester comes with pre-made templates for drips you can send about buying, selling, and for your brand.
In these examples you can see our buyer and seller templates, and the email fields and copy.
Below is an example of a custom template an agent would build. Copy and paste over your subject line and body copy for each email. You can also add your logo.
Once you’ve created and selected the emails for your drip campaign, use the drip plan building feature to determine the schedule you want the emails to run on. You don’t have to send drip emails every day, but you also don’t want to send so infrequently that they forget about you. Determine your average sales cycle and how in tune your leads are with you, and strike a balance. A couple of days to a week max between emails is appropriate depending on whether the lead is hot, warm, or cold.
Then, it’s time to add your leads to your drip. Pick the leads who are most appropriate to receive these communications and add them to your campaign. Below is an example of an agent being added to a Branding drip within Placester’s Plans program.
Watch our video for drip campaign strategy top tips.
Drip marketing can seem complex. Our webinar walks you through the steps for creating your own and advice for best practices agent use to get the most out of them to nurture leads into great clients.
Sign up for a private walkthrough of Placester’s lead management system here.
Good luck! We’ll see you tomorrow for Day 5!
Day 5: How Mobile Apps Take Lead Nurturing to the Next Level
Congrats on making it to Day 5 — the last day of Leveraging Modern Tech to Nurture Leads Into Clients!
Busy agents know that business doesn’t just happen in the office. You’re likely always on the go, whether meeting with clients or running showings, and your “desk” could be anywhere. But that also affects how you nurture leads. If you’re not at a traditional space all day, or if your leads contact you during hours that are less convenient for you, you don’t want that to negatively affect that way you nurture them.
Modern lead nurturing is all about real-time marketing. That means monitoring and engaging with leads anytime, anywhere. This is not just a win for your leads — it’s also a win for you. The more engaged you are in real-time, the more you can work to shorten sales cycles.
But many agents worry about how this impacts their schedules. You’re probably wondering how you can stay “always in touch” without sacrificing time with your loved ones, sleep, or peace of mind. This is where mobile CRMs come into play. So far we’ve discussed how you can automate some of your messages to leads to nurture them down the funnel or watch their activities and make notes, and those are still useful. But let’s consider how a mobile CRM can take that to the next level.
Let’s say you’re out at a showing in the area. Later when you get back to your office and look at your lead data, you notice a lead has favorited a listing you had access to that day, but now it’s late and you’ll have to set up a time on another day. Wouldn’t you rather have information about their favorited listings on your mobile phone so you can call them and set up a time to meet right away? Or perhaps you just met with a new lead and want to put some notes and reminders into their profile — a mobile CRM gives you the ability to do this right away (before you have a chance to forget).
Here you’ll see how the Placester CRM allows you to view leads and their scores, with the ability to easily email and call them from your mobile device.
You can manage tasks from your phone as well:
And see your leads’ website activity from anywhere:
And you’ll be able to follow-up faster, making your lead nurturing simple. Mobile CRMs take your lead nurturing to the next level.
Agent Action: Do This Now
Today’s Agent Actions are all about understanding the benefits of real-time marketing, and today you get to sit back, relax, and let us walk you through some of the best capabilities of modern CRMs. Get ready to take serious notes!
In this first step, find out how to use your technology effectively to nurture your leads better.
Then, see the capabilities in a modern mobile CRM and how you can stay top-of-mind with leads.
Sign up for a a private walkthrough of Placester’s lead management system here.
Thanks for participating in this course. Stay tuned for your upcoming webinar!