When realtors aren’t getting as many new clients as they want or need, they often assume that they have a lead generation problem and so they focus all of their attention on trying to generate more leads.
But sometimes you don’t actually have a problem getting leads, you’ve got a problem CONVERTING them. I’m going to bet that you have leads you don’t even know you have and that you are missing opportunities to convert those leads into loyal clients. If you’re looking to grow your business this year (duh who isn’t?) you won't want to miss this episode!
When realtors aren’t getting as many new clients as they want or need, they often assume that they have a lead generation problem and so they focus all of their attention on trying to generate more leads.
But sometimes you don’t actually have a problem getting leads, you’ve got a problem converting them. I’m going to bet that there are thousands of you listening that have leads you don’t even know you have and are missing opportunities to convert them into loyal clients and that is what today’s podcast episode is all about.
Well hello there and thanks for tuning into the Women Rocking Real Estate show. So appreciate you listening and learning and hopefully these episodes inspire you to implement some new ideas and take some fresh approaches to how you think about this crazy world of real estate.
Alright, let’s dive into today’s episode and answer the million dollar question - how can you convert more leads into more clients. Now I know you’re probably wanting me to get down to brass tactics here with like how you can set up live chat bots on your website or how to use ChatGPT to write email drip campaigns for you or what to say in scripts when you call someone, but as usual, I really want you to think about your conversion strategy differently and to do that, we have to back up the bus, go back to basics and be more intentional about everything you do because you need to realize that it ALL affects your ability to convert leads into clients.
Let me start by saying that before you focus your efforts on converting more leads, you’ve got to make sure you have a strategy in place to attract them in the first place. Not a haphazard strategy, but a methodical, purposeful strategy that you implement consistently every week. Not when you’ve got time, not just when you’re not busy, not just when you feel like, but consistently every week. So step number one is to refine your attraction strategy.
The strategy you use is going to be different for everyone - if you cold call, door knock or harass your friends and family for business - do it consistently every week. Now if those attraction strategies don’t align with how you want to build your business (and they certainly didn’t align with mine), then choose something different, but you’ve got to stop dicking around, pick your poison and stop making excuses for why you’re not consistent with whatever lead gen strategy you’re using. The strategy I used and teach (and still use for my coaching business) is a content marketing strategy. If you’re listening to this podcast and that’s how you found me, it’s proof that it works. The reason I also love using content marketing as attraction strategy, is that it is also a conversion strategy. You create content where people are searching for it (on your website and YouTube) so that you get found by new people who are actively in the market looking to buy or sell real estate and then you repurpose that content through social media and email marketing to nurture those people and convert them. So you get to kill 2 birds with one stone by creating content that both attracts & converts.
Now if you have had an attraction strategy in place for awhile and you’ve been consistent with it (to the tune of like at least 6 months, but more often a year) but you’re not seeing conversions happening, don’t jump to the conclusion that the attraction strategy isn’t working!
Here’s an interesting perspective to chew on…..you may not even realize how many potential leads are hovering around you, because you simply can’t see them. They may be checking out your website and watching your videos or looking at your social media without having opted into your mailing list, subscribed to your YouTube channel or started following you on social yet. For all you know, you could have loads of leads that you don’t even know about and the reason you don’t know about them is because you haven’t converted them yet. For whatever reason, they haven’t decided to take the next step but there’s always a reason for it and that is what we’re going to unpack in this episode.
Alright moving along, step number 2 is to remember the rave requirement. If you want to convert people into clients, you’ve got to get them to rave about you. Now they don’t need to actually rave about you (although that certainly would increase their likelihood of using you), but it’s a convenient acronym and it stands for:
Once you’ve built a relationship and connection with someone, demonstrated your authority, provided value and exemplified excellence consistently, you just need to stay top of mind and when they’re ready to buy or sell real estate or know someone who is, they’ll convert into a client.
But the best part is, that if you’ve done this right, they won’t just convert into any client, they’ll convert into a loyal client and not only will they be loyal, but they’ll value your expertise, they’ll listen to you and they’ll respect you. And all of those things combined will make your transactions and frankly your whole life a whole lot easier and whole lot better.
So in order to understand the RAVE requirement will impact your conversion rates, it’s helpful to break it down by categories of people from easiest to convert to hardest. You’re going to want to focus your efforts differently depending on the category and start with the lowest hanging fruit first.
The easiest people to convert are going to be your close friends and family. Now there is a caveat to this. If you’ve been a flake for 30 years and have a reputation of being unreliable, disorganized, irresponsible and late all the time, you’re going to have your work cut out for you to convert people in this group. On the other hand, if you’ve always been dependable, responsible, organized and thorough, you’re really only going to need to demonstrate your authority in real estate, to seal the deal with them.
The next category of people are those that know you loosely. These are your acquaintances, your neighbours, other moms at your kid’s school, people at your church, people that you used to work with in a previous job and all of your current and past clients. It also includes people that knew you in your past, but that you may have lost touch with. Now if you were a flake in the past, it’s going to be really hard to convert these people, because they’ve got no loyalty to you. But if you had a good reputation, these people can be an amazing source of business and referrals.
So for anyone that falls into your acquaintance bucket you really have to focus on each step of the rave acronym to consistently convert this category. Depending on who they are, how can you keep your relationship & connection strong? For some that could mean connecting In person, for others it could be phone calls or texts. For some emails and newsletters might be appropriate and for others connecting on social media by engaging with their content might be the best choice. Everyone that you know (and I mean everyone) should be in your database and should be tagged with the best ways to strengthen your relationship and deepen your connection and the frequency of how often you’ll do it.
Next up is that Authority piece. People will only work with people that they trust are qualified, so even if YOU know you’re qualified, if they’re not totally sure, you need to make sure they are by demonstrating your authority. Now If you’re using my attract strategy, you’re already going to be doing this consistently and as long as they are seeing that content either on social media or via your monthly newsletter, you can take comfort in knowing you’re demonstrating your authority. But remember if you’re trying to rely on organic reach alone, you’ll only be reaching a small percentage of your following. Check for yourself. Look at the insights from all of your posts and check out the reach. What percentage of your followers saw it? It’s likely only somewhere between 5-10% for most of your content. So unless you’re using a paid ads strategy, you’re likely not reaching enough people.
Next up is the Value piece. There is always an inherent law of reciprocity at work and if you have consistently positioned yourself as someone who always provides value to people, that law of reciprocity will work in your favour. But in order to provide relevant value to people (and that’s the key - it’s got be valuable to the person receiving it), you need to take the time to learn what people need and want. You don’t get to decide what’s valuable to them, so you’ve got to make an effort here to get to know people and then serve them what they need. Doing this will also strengthen your connection with people which is also part of this formula. Get creative with ways to provide value and always try to provide value in ways outside of real estate-related things.
Lastly we have the Excellence part of the formula. Do not underestimate how important it is to exemplify excellence in everything you do. I recently read someone’s social media post and it was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. It was missing punctuation and proper sentence structure….like think about what message that is sending to everyone in their sphere! Careless, no attention to detail, unprofessional and the list goes on. However you are when you’re not working, is exactly what people will assume you are, when you are working. You are your brand, so everything you do in and out of your business, reflects and affects your business.
The next category of people to convert are those that don’t know you personally, but know someone that knows you. You’ll have an easier time converting this bucket because someone else has endorsed you and that can have a big impact on someone’s decision to hire you. So it goes without saying that spending a lot of time nurturing the second bucket of people, will drive more referrals and increase your odds of converting this bucket of people.
The last group of people are those that don’t know you and don’t have any connection to you whatsoever. Although this is traditionally the hardest bucket to convert, it actually represented 60% of my business so I am living proof that it can be done. Now because this bucket of people don’t have any connection to you, they’ve got to find you first. Think about this…. If I hadn’t made the effort to get found and just relied on my sphere of influence, I would have lost 60% of my business. That’s a lot so it goes back to having a lead gen strategy that helps you get found first. Once they do find you, how you nurture and convert them follows the same RAVE requirements.
Although you can’t explicitly build a relationship with people you don’t know, you can create a connection. There’s thousands of you listening that have never met me or even communicated with me, but on some level you may still feel a connection to me. That’s why creating video or audio content is so effective. It creates parasocial interaction which is a phenomenon where people feel a connection to those they watch or listen to regularly. They feel like they’re friends.
The authority piece of the formula is also really easy. If they find you and watch your content that demonstrates your authority, then you can retarget them (even if they’re not following you) so that they see more of your authority-building content. The amazing thing about this bucket of people, is that if you do the strategy the way I teach it, you’re going to be putting your authority building content directly in front of people who are thinking of buying or selling real estate. This is not throwing a video up on your social media and hoping the algorithm delivers it to anyone who might be thinking about making a move. This is putting your content in front of people that you KNOW are planning a move. Much more strategic and obviously more effective. So once someone has seen your content enough and gotten to know, like and trust you, this is where we get down to the conversion tactics.
They may reach out to you directly from your content and if they do, you’ve already pretty much converted them. These are the people that call and say they’d like to work with you, no interview required. Feels pretty good when it happens and can I just say super efficient? Also remember that every amount of effort you put into creating content that is evergreen will continue to get found by more new people and will continue to convert people behind the scenes, while you’re getting to spend your time doing something else.
Now while that does happen, research shows that most of the time people that don’t know you will need a little more to convince them before contacting you and most will check out your website and this brings us to Step number 3 which is to…
I want you to understand that your website can be an asset to your business or a liability or neutral, meaning they get on there and nothing inspires them to take the next step with you, so they move on to find someone else that does. So it goes without saying that you should make it a priority to make sure your website is not a liability. Now the only time websites are liabilities are if 1) you don’t even have one for them to find or 2) it’s really terrible. Otherwise they are usually just neutral, meaning they do nothing to convert someone into a client and this is probably the biggest and easiest opportunity to convert that you are missing out on.
I talk a lot about using websites for lead generation, but what I haven’t talked a lot about, is how to use them for lead conversion. I always say just because you have a website doesn’t mean it’s going to get found and now I need to add that just because you have a website that gets found, doesn’t mean it will convert. If you want to understand what will help your website get found, go back and listen to episode xx, but the key take away is just because you have one doesn’t mean anyone will ever find it. But if you’re doing everything right and they do find it, how do you convert someone off of it and get them to contact you? Despite what you might believe, it is NOT through having listings on your website.
Go onto 99.9% of realtor websites and you will be less than inspired by what you find. They are mostly all property-based when they should be brand-based. Properties are commodities. They do nothing to help differentiate YOU from every other realtor. Instead, visitors are going to connect with you because you’re going to feed their dreams & desires and fix their fears & problems. Every other industry knows and gets this…..the real estate industry, has completely ignored it. But that’s good news for you, because the bar is low and it’s easy to stand out and be different. And as much as you may hate it ...Writing is part of your job description. You gotta be able to sell me on what YOU do, and WHY you do it best.
To start, you need to craft conversion copy on your website, page by page, section by section. I’m not going to lie, writing compelling copy that will convert viewers is hard work and and as much as you may hate me saying this, but ChatGPT won’t be able to do it for you. Sure it will be able to come up with some copy, but it will NOT be conversion copy. The reason for that, is that it doesn’t understand your visitors pains, problems, fears and desires. Now you might think that you don’t either, but for starters, you know a lot more than you think and 2 there is a simple strategy you can use to mine all of the copy for your website. I teach it and a framework called the Path of Persuasion in my Convert program to make sure your website copy and brand messaging is hitting potential leads with the right psychological levers, at the right time.
So having high converting copy on your website is the first step in getting your website visitors to convert into clients and great copy can do this for some visitors alone. But many may not be ready to buy or sell just yet and for those visitors, we need a bridge. We need a mechanism to convert them from a lookey loo, to a lead. For this, we can use a few tools:
Live chat functionality
The goal of all three of these tools is really to get visitors OFF your website and ON to your email list. You’ve got to understand that your email list is the only asset that you actually own. You do not own your Instagram account or your Facebook or any of your other social media platforms. You don't own YouTube or Google or even the traffic that goes to your website. Trying to rely on algorithms alone to market your business is probably one of the most dangerous things that you can do. So it goes without saying that you need to prioritize growing your email list and then nurturing that email list to convert them into clients and referrers. The bigger your email list, the bigger your business will be. If every subscriber on your email list represented a hundred dollars, wouldn’t you be motivated to add as many people as possible? Yes you would. To be effective and help you grow your business, it’s important to understand that list building is ongoing in your business. As long as you are in business, you need to be growing your email list. There are so many people in my programs that come into them saying “I had a great real estate business for 20 years and then all of the sudden it dried up and I’m starting over.” Don’t let that be you and never lose focus on growing your email list.
So let’s chat through each of these tools, starting with adding Live Chat functionality to your website. The key word there being LIVE. Notice I did not say adding a chat bot to your website. I don’t know about you, but every time I’m on a website and want to speak with someone, the second Debbie the chat bot comes up I type ‘speak to a live agent.’ Rarely can they answer the question I have, because I’m smart enough to search for answers first myself and only use the chat feature when I can’t FIND what I’m looking for. All Debbie ever seems to be able to do, is tell me where to find information I wasn’t looking for and all it does, is serve to frustrate the shit out of me and make me NOT want to deal with that company. As a side note, I apologize to all the Debbie’s listening. It was the first name I could think of and I am certainly not implying that all Debbie’s are annoying. The name Debbie is not the new Karen for annoying chat bots. My point here and I know sometimes it can be very hard to follow along….is that in this day and age of AI, people are craving human to human contact. So while all the other agents around you are busy trying to automate everything in their business, be the one that stands out and actually answer your phone, send personalized texts and emails yourself and connect with people on your website as a live human whenever possible. I’m not saying there isn’t a time and a place for using AI in your business. There absolutely is. But use it in the back-end of your business and never in the client-facing front end.
Alright next on the list for how to convert lookey-loos on your website to leads, is through the use of opt-ins. This bucket includes newsletter opt-ins, property search opt-ins and free home evaluation opt-ins and while these are very common and relatively straight forward, I’m shocked by how many agents don’t offer them on their website.
Last on that list of converting website visitors, is through the use of lead magnets. A lead magnet is a necessary list building tool to build, grow, and scale your real estate business. A lead magnet is anything that you give your website visitors for free in exchange for their name and email address. In order for lead magnets to be effective and actually convert viewers into subscribers however, they need to be three things: unique, specific and of high value. Let’s talk about unique. If you’re offering the same lead magnet that every other realtor does like Buyer and Seller guides, it is not going to convert for you the same way as an interesting and different one will, that no one else offers. I’m not saying you don’t need these in your business, you do. But they shouldn’t be the signature lead magnet you offer on your website. Next, the best converting lead magnets are going to be ones that are specific and solve problems. If you create a lead magnet that is generic, it's never going to perform as well as something that is created that solve specific problems. Lastly, for your lead magnet to convert it needs to be of high value. You must deliver on the promise of your lead magnet. This is your chance to make an amazing first impression, so don’t miss the opportunity. If your lead magnet is not packed with value, not only will you loose them as a subscriber but you’ll likely also loose them as a potential client as well. In my convert program, I share 150 unique lead magnet ideas for realtors.
Alright now that you’ve got people signing up to your email list on the daily and on autopilot in the background, you’ve got to nurture those new leads. How you nurture them will depend on why they opted in, but at minimum you want to be sending a monthly newsletter to your database to stay in touch and focus on meeting the RAVE requirements. Remember to convert you have to build relationships, showcase your authority, provide value and demonstrate excellence. A lot of agents have abandoned email marketing entirely, thinking that social media marketing is superior and that could not be further from the truth. As I said earlier, every time you post on social media, your content is only being seen by about 5-10% of your followers. However with email, the average open rate for real estate related content is just over 35%. That more than triples the number of people you’ll get in front of, when you use email marketing vs. Social media marketing.
Now having said all of that, a newsletter strategy will only work for you in terms of converting viewers into clients, if they’re actually opening and reading your emails. However this marketing strategy will NOT work for you, if you’re doing any of the following:
Sending emails too often
Sending boring emails that are not inspiring to read
Sending emails that don’t share enough value to make them worthwhile to read
The good news, is that if you’re creating a strategic content marketing plan like I teach in ATTRACt, you have all of the content you need for your email newsletter and all you need to do is repurpose it.
Alright the last piece of the conversion puzzle is to have kick ass sales presentations for both buyers and sellers. You already know this and if you went out and purchased a fancy listing presentation template and think you’re set, you couldn’t be more wrong. Despite what you might believe, having a pretty listing presentation template, will do absolutely nothing for your business or your ability to convert leads into loyal clients, if you don’t know what to SAY when you’re presenting it. How it LOOKs will definitely impress people, but your conversion rates will fall flat if you can’t follow it up with compelling substance. You must have a very clear understanding of the problems you’re solving, but more importantly you need to be able to communicate that you not only understand those problems, but that you have solutions for them and strategies to actually prevent them from happening in the first place. It’s not about the services that you offer. People don’t buy service providers, they buy problem solvers. So having kick ass sales presentations is not about having pretty presentations, it’s about dialing in on peoples pains, problems, fears and desires, it’s about breaking false beliefs and rebuilding new beliefs that will convince buyers and sellers that YOU are the solution, it’s about getting ahead of objections and redirecting conversations away from your weaknesses and towards your strengths. If you haven’t put your heart and soul into figuring out what your’e going to SAY in your listing and buyer presentations, it’s time to revisit them.
When I was actively selling real estate, I had a 98% win rate with buyers and a 96% win rate with sellers and that all came down to my sales presentations, which 100% of clients said was next level compared to everyone else. Even the people that didn’t hire me, always made a point of letting me know that my presentation was very compelling. Again, it wasn’t about how it looked, it was about what I said.
So the moral of this story is that if you’re not being invited to listing and buyer presentations from people you don’t know. One of two things is happening - you’re not getting found by enough people and you have an attraction problem or you’re not doing enough to convert those leads into calls and you’ve got a conversion problem. But don’t assume you have an attraction problem. Pay more attention to the indicators that happen before someone contacts you. For example, don’t look at your email list size, look at your website visitors. Are you getting traffic to your website? Most realtors don’t look at this stat, but you may be shocked to discover that 100s of people are visiting your website every month. That’s 100s of leads you didn’t even know about and if they aren’t opting into your mailing list, that’s proof that you don’t have an attraction problem, you’ve got a conversion problem.
Alright so I know I’ve been rambling on for 18 pages front and back….who gets that reference? First person to DM me on Instagram gets a $100 coupon to use towards any of my programs.
So to summarize the six steps of how to convert more leads into loyal clients….
1. Refine Your Attraction Strategy
2. Remember the RAVE Requirement
3. Craft Conversion Copy
4. List Build to Last
5. Nurture The List
6. Build Presentations That Connect & Convert
If you need help with any of this, I do teach it all step by step in my brand new Convert program. It builds off of everything I taught in my Foundations of Success program, my website program and my Attract program. Doors have not been open to this program to the public before, so now is the time to start converting more leads into more clients. Website copy, list building, email marketing and sales presentations - you’ll learn it all. To get more details, check out the show notes for this episode or visit my new website at jenpercival.com
Until next time.