Hey all! This is my first post for HomeGain so go easy on me! I know a lot of readers here are online lead generating superstars so you probably already do a lot of this, but I thought I could share it with those who focus solely online. First a little background.
I am new to online marketing as I really got into it in the winter of 2008. Prior to marketing online, I was 100% into offline marketing, newsletters, post cards, personal thank you notes, and of course getting out of the office to mingle with the locals. I was very successful in this aspect of marketing as I quickly became a top producer. But I started to notice a trend. Buyers were heading online more and more. I knew I needed to up my game and delve into online marketing.
I quickly learned how important it was to give buyers online what they want most, access to listings. As many of you know, IDX is key to generating leads online as well as a website that shows up in search engines either through organic or PPC listings. Over the last couple of years I have been testing a few ways to increase my conversion from leads to actual sales. Anyways, enough about me, let’s get to the good stuff!
How To Use Traditional Marketing To Help Online Lead Conversion
Step 1 – Get A Physical Address
Every time I talk to a lead I ask them if they would like to receive information about our local area. I ask if they would like a detailed packet (we call them buyers packets) containing information about my company, real estate statistics in the area, entertainment pamphlets from our local visitors bureau, job statistics, and schooling information.
In order to send this information, I would need their physical address. Nine out ten leads will give me a correct mailing address and I now have another way of contacting them. I ship off a buyers packet within a couple of days and add them to my mailing list.
Step 2 – Creating A Rapport
My next contact is to talk about the buyers packet and see if they have any questions regarding the information I sent them. Instead of a sales pitch, I am now creating a rapport by talking about the usefulness I am providing them.
Questions like: Was the information useful? Do you have any questions about real estate statistics or jobs in our area? Can I help you find the best schools for your kids? Are you interested in attending any events the next time your in town? By showing them I can help them with every aspect of a real estate transaction, they seem to feel more comfortable actually talking about real estate. It works.
Step 3 – Useful Follow Up
Every month I send out a local newsletter with news about local events, real estate statistics, an article about real estate (buying process, lending news such as interest rates or applying for a loan etc. ), and recently sold listings. This is going out every month, and every month I make sure I am contacting them about the offline information I am sending them.
Instead of calling and asking if I can help them buy, I am instead focusing on the value they are receiving in my newsletters. Asking them if it was useful or if they have questions about the articles I sent them. Usually around this time they compliment the fact I never ask them about buying real estate. I can’t tell you how many times a buyer will say they signed up on multiple websites but I was the only one that actually followed up!
Step 4 – Maintain A Relationship
Many times after generating a lead real estate agents will make an initial contact and put them on a drip campaign never to make a personal contact again. This happens too much in our business. I am all about personal follow up and creating a relationship with my contacts before pursuing their business.
Anyone can create a drip campaign and I find them cold. I prefer to maintain a more personal relationship through offline and online marketing with the philosophy of adding value to the lead rather then selling my services. The agent that uses multiple avenues to create a more useful and value added relationship will get the business.
What about you? Do you use non-conventional avenues to convert online business? Do you have any experience with integrating offline marketing and online marketing? Any criticisms are welcomed, I would love to hear how you’re making your lead conversion work for you.