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It's Just a Ticket to the Dance
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Do you remember those junior high and high school school dances where the guys milled around on one side and the girls on the other?  What about the Sadie Hawkins dances where the girls were supposed to ask the boys?  Most of the time the word "dance" was was a misnomer, since  the two groups would generally stand and stare at each other from opposite sides of the room the entire time.  Well, it’s not too great a leap to compare those adolescents we were then with a large segment of the real estate industry today.


We were recently discussing lead generation and in particular why the conversion rate is so low on an industry-wide basis.  There was a general consensus among the group and it was spot on with a discussion iSucceed had with one of its mentors; Michael Russer, President and CEO of Russer Communications.  In that interview Michael got right to the point at the outset … leads are not enough. 


Most agents focus on how to drive business to their website but give little thought on following up on the leads that it generates.  Today that is more important than ever before as we all know that this is the age of the “Internet Empowered Consumer.”  And the problem is wrapped up in the fact that you can’t “reach” them unless they allow you to “access” them.  By way of a check list, Michael laid out 3 key stumbling blocks to successful lead conversion; i.e. getting the consumer to allow you to communicate with them:


Stumbling Block #1 – Returning Email


As strange as it may seem, not returning website visitors’ email is still the number one stumbling block to successful lead conversion.  In a personal study, 50 agents were sent an urgent message from a qualified buyer – “I am coming to town and need to buy immediately” – and all 50 agents failed to respond.  When you look at the other side of the equation, highly successful agents schedule 4 to 5 times a day to specifically respond to all email traffic. 


Stumbling Block #2 – Lack of Target Marketing


Agents expend significant sums on driving traffic to their websites – search engine optimization, keyword purchase, pay-per-click, etc, - but when the consumer arrives at the site there isn’t any pertinent or targeted information waiting for them.  You need to target a specific or niche market such as first time buyers.  Your website needs to be very content-rich with material answering their specific questions.  It is critical to fulfill the promise being made in your marketing efforts.


Stumbling Block #3 – Online Interaction 


In traditional real estate space you meet the customer face-to-face or on the phone.  It’s been estimated that about 80% to 93% of communication is a face-to-face encounter that is highly nonverbal, which means it is all about body language, eye contact, etc.  On the telephone it’s based on tone, pacing and inflection.  The online customer doesn’t have these tools available to assist them in making the necessary connection.  So what’s one to do?


If we are going to successfully get today’s online consumer to do business with us there are 3 things that have to happen:


  1. They have to trust us.
  2. They have to feel that we have their best interest at heart.
  3. They have to believe that we have the expertise to get the job done.


None of these things are going to be accomplished if we can’t even answer their initial email inquiry.  We should be responding immediately and today we have “auto responders” that can do that for us.  And that immediate response needs to include the information they are looking for and our assurance that we are going to respect their privacy, not be intrusive and not contact them until they are ready.  In short, they need to know that they are in control.  And when they are ready to interact with us we need to “be there.”


Your auto responder should set the stage for you to accomplish the 3 key elements noted above, and the first step is to immediately acknowledge and thank them for visiting your website.  The next phase should be to place that consumer into a regular email “drip system” or some form of regular contact.  There are any number of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software programs that are fully automated and will provide you with the analytics needed to ensure that your marketing efforts are getting you the most for your dollar.


Your website truly is just a “ticket to the dance” and will be a sincere waste of your money if you don’t effectively convert the generated leads into closed transactions. The bottom line is – once you have generated the lead you need to ensure that your website (you) converts them. 

To convert those leads, you've got to ask that boy or girl to dance.  So get off the wall and on to the dance floor!


If you would like access to experts like Michael Russer with just a click of your mouse you should take a look at  iSucceed is the industry’s leading Self-Help Coaching company with over 200 of the industry’s Top Producing real estate professionals in its faculty that have shared all of their secrets to success.  The entire vault of strategies, tips, tools, teleconferences, success modules, online skills courses and much more is available 24x7 from iSucceed.  


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