Should you continue to pay for online leads?January 7, 2016
It’s the start of a new year, which means that it’s also time to evaluate what is and is not working in your business. This process should also include how much time and money is devoted to online lead generation and the corresponding ROI. The average agent is generally converting online leads at less than 5%, yet spending hundreds, if not thousands each month on generating those leads. Recent articles have been posted demonstrating that the world of online lead generation, while good for some, can result in a lot of heartache and wasted resources.
I would like to propose a different take on lead generation all together, which involves not spending a crazy amount of money on new leads… and rather, focusing on what you already have in the form of your past clients. It is generally accepted that retaining our current clients is anywhere from 5-7% less expensive than attracting new ones. I’ve been in countless meetings where I’ve asked about how the agent or team follows up with their past clients and have been less than impressed with the response. I submit that if you could boost the retention of your past clients by 5% (the same as converting online leads) you would add valuable revenue in the form of commissions as well as enjoying the savings of not having to pay hundreds of dollars each month in lead generation.
There is a huge gap between how many customers say they will use their agent again in the future to those that actually do. So how do you ensure that once they become a client they stay a client for life? Stay relevant. Relevancy is one of the most important factors to retaining past clients. Just because someone is not actively buying or selling real estate doesn’t mean you don’t have ways to add value to their life.
Here are a few simple ways to add value, stay relevant and retain your customer base:
- Be present for their moments that matter. Social media lends itself perfectly to this as it gives you a window into everything that is important to your clients. In addition, pick a few occasions to personally reach out such as 30 days in their new home, a month or two before their home warranty expires and drastic changes to interest rates or the market. There are plenty of good CRM’s on the market today that can easily handle the task of keeping track of who and when to make contact. You can learn more about CRM’s here.
- Introduce some technology. The real estate industry does not lack in technology solutions for almost every need. There are a couple of great services on the market that lend itself well to the idea of staying relevant in the minds of customers. The first is HomeKeepr, an agent branded app that allows you to share your trusted network of local home service or maintenance providers and maintenance tips with your past clients. The second is Keep, which send your clients financial updates about their home and mortgage. What better way to stay relevant with your clients then helping them maintain and keep tabs on their largest investment?
- Add a personal touch. Lets face it; people know the difference between receiving generic vs. a personal message. Adding a personal touch to your client interactions shows that you appreciate their business and care about them personally. Services such as Sesame for personalized closing gifts and Bond for handwritten notes both provide a personal touch with the ease of use of your smart phone.
As you make plans for the new year, try adding in some of these simple ways to stay relevant and keep your clients coming back for years to come.