Over the past month, we have been keeping a close eye on and tracking the unique ways users are navigating the post-quarantine phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While we are not entirely out of the woods just yet, there have been steady gains in user activity, conversion rates, and a lot more positive sentiment coming from multiple corners of the market (across North America).
That said, just because buyers and sellers want to transact, does not mean they are doing so with the utmost confidence. In fact, compared to this time last year, user anxiety has never been higher.
This means that while you may get more leads and inquiries during this period of time, the fall-off rate is much higher if you don’t nurture them correctly. The leads are there, but they have lost confidence quickly.
Thankfully, we can utilize content and other lead-nurturing strategies to ensure that leads don’t simply fall by the wayside. Here are five things we’d recommend to help put potential clients at ease:
An oft-used phrase in real estate marketing, and marketing more generally, is “sticky.” This essentially illustrates how the content you produce should be designed to stick with a client and to continuously bring them back to your website.
In this current market, that means creating content specifically designed to make your lead feel as confident as possible before they even reach out.
If you haven’t considered putting together a video-based market update, you should do so immediately. Not only is it designed to help expand on your expertise, but anxious leads will appreciate a smiling face giving them a read on the market.
A user who visits your website is far less likely to convert the first time they visit, compared to the third, fourth, or fifth visit — what you need to do is give them a reason to return, so you need to provide content that is not only engaging but gives them a reason to come back expecting more new content.
Once you do that, you’ll begin to notice more leads reaching out. What happens next, though?
Response time is likely one of the biggest factors influencing lead engagement, bar none.
Especially right now, there is an expectation from leads that they will be responded to in less than 24 hours. This may seem like an incredibly short amount of time, but the perception of working from home, visiting less open houses, and generally commuting less has resulted in leads expecting an immediate response. If you can, you should be responding to leads almost instantly.
In fact, during the research phase, we have noted that your average lead is not simply content reaching out to one real estate agent. They will reach out to multiple agents or teams and the first responder often has a distinct advantage.
This response doesn’t necessarily need to be custom, but it needs to feel custom. If you put together a meaningful content strategy around following up, via your CRM, clients will feel like they are being reached out to — even when things are fully automated and you don’t have to lift a finger.
Once you’ve followed up with a potential lead, you need to make contact time and again.
This, now more than ever, is essential. An anxious buyer or seller is potentially looking for many reasons to hold out longer, to sit on their hands, or to exit the market entirely. They are testing the water, and it is just as easy for them to jump out as it is for them to take the plunge.
So, you need to go the extra effort and pivot on using empathy-driven content to help them come to the right decision. You want to avoid over-selling, and instead, reach out with verbiage that encourages a lead to go at their own pace and to reach out when they are ready.
If they have already made contact, this is exactly what they want to hear. One of the most consistent client anxieties is that they are going to be rushed into decisions we need to emphasize and preach patience.
Multiple Touchpoints & Channels
We often have clients ask us to force leads to stipulate how they would like to be contacting, whether through phone, email, text, or more. The question becomes: Why not through every channel?
If you have someone in your system, it is to your benefit to try and interface with them on multiple platforms. If spaced out correctly so as not to overload them, they’ll be able to reach out on the terms that suit them best.
This comes down to a false assumption we often make of leads — that they truly know themselves or what workflow works best for them.
Sometimes, they believe that they prefer to text when really they like a phone call. Or maybe they love the phone, but there’s a crucial week in their decision-making process where they’d much rather compose an email of all their thoughts.
Especially during the nurturing phase, it is important to be available to potential clients on terms that suit them the best. Do they want to schedule a quick video call? It should be simple. Would they simply like to text? Easy enough.
We need to engage users on their level and help them come to the decision of where they want to engage in the first place.
Extensible Lead Magnets
This is definitely something you’ll want to consider during the nurturing process.
What is a lead magnet? This is basically something like a downloadable guide, or resource, which you can share with a lead to help them engage and convert.
Often, this is a great way to get leads into the door. They trade some of their basic information in order to get a market report, a first-time buyers guide, or something else of that nature.
But, during the nurturing process, these lead agents can also work to ratchet up the level of engagement that you get from a lead. Once you make contact, it can be especially helpful to keep them coming back.
Think of it like this: During COVID-19, a lot of weight was placed on expertise and trust the experts. Once you make contact with a new lead, after your first or second conversation, you offer them a PDF pamphlet of all the professionals you trust in your extended network (contractors, brokers, lawyers, etc.)
This form of extended lead magnet is not something you just want to give anyone, but it is a way to take a qualified lead and share something special with them to keep them in your network.
Capture, Convert and Retain Your Leads
Traffic is up, and so are conversions, which means that your digital strategy needs to be poised to engage, convert, and capture the business of leads looking to transact in this market.
That said, you need to have a well-thought-out strategy to do exactly that. Not only do you get someone into your network and engaging with your content but the practices you use to keep them around.
Want to generate more sales by implementing a lead and client nurturing strategy? Download our Lead Nurturing Workbook. It’s a self-guided, interactive workbook where you answer questions about how you attract, handle, and market to your incoming leads, and put together a plan to implement a solid lead nurturing strategy that gets results. And, it’s free to download.