Updated: Jul 12
Having a clear and repeatable strategy to convert your leads is essential to success and yet, it’s one of the most commonly overlooked areas of the average agents business.
The crazy part is that we spend SO much energy generating leads. Whether you do social media, work by referral or you get out and knock on doors to generate leads, the reality will always be that we invest a lot of time connecting with people in order to grow our business.
So let's be honest here, if you're putting in all work to bring the lead to your front door, but do zip to get them to come in...you're wasting everyone's time, especially your own...there's a better way, let's take a look.
Essential Conversion Strategy #1:
Create an annual plan for your databases EXPERIENCE.
So you've likely heard of an annual touch campaign, but let's do a quick refresher for those of you who may be new to the business. An annual touch campaign is essentially a year long plan for how you are going to stay connected to your database. This can include a ton of strategies, but the basics are email, physical mail or direct mail, phone calls, and even items of value for your client.
I know it seems simple, but even the smartest agents struggle to get this right; here’s why:
1: No Plan
For example, you set a goal to send 2 newsletters every month and you don’t put structure around what goes into it, when it is sent and how you create the content, so it becomes a burden. Every part of your annual campaign is going to take some work.
If you have to start from scratch every time, it’s much harder to get into momentum with it. The trick is to do the heavy lifting in up front so the ongoing maintenance doesn’t overwhelm you or get put off.
2: You Overcomplicate It
An annual strategy plan doesn’t need to be overwhelming. It doesn't t need ot have a million moving parts or be wildly creative. Sorry to tell you, but the majority of your correspondence will go unopened and THAT IS OKAY. The point is to remind people you exist, so focus on being consistent.
3: It Doesn’t Get Time Blocked
Even a simple, well laid plan won’t get executed if you don’t have a means to keep yourself committed to hitting the buttons when the time comes to roll it out. REMEMBER that this qualifies as lead generation: It’s OKAY to take a day off the phones! This brings another layer of value so take a morning off your regular grind and enjoy the time you spend doing the database stuff, it’s fun!
Okay, so you avoid the pitfalls. So what’s the trick to making it GREAT?
Create the plan with your mind on the experience you are giving to each and every member of your database:
👉🏻What is the general arc of the year you want your clients to experience?
👉🏻When in the year should you be focused on generating leads and appointments?
👉🏻When should it come only from contribution?
👉🏻When are your clients likely to engage in an event or a contest?
👉🏻Who are the people in your database, and what do they want?
👉🏻What demographic do you serve predominantly?
👉🏻What about personality styles? Is your content well-balanced?
Creating a great touch campaign is more than just 2 newsletters a month and a client appreciation event; it’s the sum of the entire client experience as a member of your database.
Essential Conversion Strategy #2:
Referrals: Lead with Value and Demonstrate Gratitude
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Agents call their clients asking for referrals, but what did they do to bring value FIRST... before earning the right to ask for referrals?
Don’t get me wrong, consistently reminding your database that you are grateful for referrals is essential. It's our job to lead communication, but if the majority of the relationship is us asking, then they are going to tire quickly.
The trick is to bring MASSIVE value to the relationship. If you get it right, your clients will look forward to delivering referrals to you because it is their opportunity to balance the scales.
Massive value doesn’t need to be massive financially:
Send clients quarterly value updates by email
Run contests and give away prizes
Pop by and see them in person a few times a year
Once you’ve earned the way to referrals, the next thing is to absolutely certain that they understand you appreciate it when they deliver.
Call them to thank them personally, sending a text is lazy and won't be received well
Follow up with a gift after you connect with the referral
Call them throughout the process of serving their referral
Show them again and again how much it means to you and remember the golden rule: it isn’t their job to qualify your clients for you. This means you reward EVERY referral regardless of quality.
Essential conversion strategy #3:
Use Standardized AND Custom Communication
Part of your annual plan should include a minimum number of check in calls where you touch base with all of your relationships to see how they are doing. (**ahem** the minimum is four calls btw).
This is a great way to stay front of mind AND to stay in front of any changes they might have in their life.
But what about someone who is actively planning a move?
Calling them just once a quarter can be a risk because things can change quickly. The solution is to segregate your database into people who are being nurtured long-term and people who are being monitored for a coming transaction.
So to be clear, your longer-term referrals will stay in the category of an 'annual touch' bucket. Here are 4 ways to keep them moving, even if it's only once a year.
Call to check in on any real estate plans for the year, mention you love referrals and let them go.
Invite to an event or offer other value.
Call to ask for a referral directly.
Invite to an event or offer other value.
The clients you have who are planning a move need more care otherwise, you might follow up too late and miss the deal. I have an extremely simple way of dealing with this:
ANYONE WHO HAS A PLAN TO MOVE IN THE NEXT 2 YEARS, MUST HAVE A FOLLOW UP DATE IN MY CALENDAR, NO EXCEPTIONS!
Think of it like the net under a trapeze artist. Even if they aren’t engaging in the other value you create, you still have a clear reminder of when they are in need of a connection and if they are difficult to get on the phone you can make a judgment call if you need to find another creative way to get in touch with them.
It’s simple, it’s foolproof, and it works. If you run a team you can even monitor the due tasks each of your agents has to ensure that they aren’t letting anything go.
REMEMBER: Your database IS your business. Put the effort of converting it is the only thing equally important to FEEDING it. Don’t skimp on this step.
I hope this brings you value! Remember that although it takes work to maintain these commitments it's far less work than doing all the lead generation to only convert a small fraction of the leads you create.
So make the most of the effort you are already putting in and use these strategies to boost your efficiency, you deserve it!
To bigger and crazier dreams,