Real Estate Agents, Make Sure You Are Marketing To Both
There are a variety of types of prospects in any sales database, especially new prospects – people who have recently shown interest and need to be developed into prospects – and the existing sphere of previous customers, which are a valuable source for referrals and potential repeat businesses. Knowing how to categorize a database and create action plans to target these two consumer groups is often a professional skill for real estate agents.
During an agent’s career, the percentage of transactions coming from their existing database compared to new requests is likely to shift over time. As new agents build their network, they may buy leads. Over time, over the course of their careers, they will likely spend more time developing the strength of their network of previous clients. It is important for an agent to know where the bulk of their business comes from and to allocate marketing and advertising dollars appropriately. Both new leads and Sphere contacts require regular and consistent contacting and marketing, but the strategy is different.
Leads are people who have chosen themselves to learn more about a specific property or about buying in general. Converting a lead into a sale can often take both time and patience. Some companies sell the same lead to multiple agents, or a consumer looking at many different properties can fill out multiple forms. This can lead to a situation where a prospect is briefly bombarded with agent interest.
However, it can often take months for leads to be truly ready for a transaction. If you conduct a consistent long term contact campaign, you can get great results for the patient agents. For this group, agents may want to target them with ads related to the listing they may have shown an interest in. Another option is to target these potential buyers with ads that lead to landing pages where a home buyer guide can be downloaded. Sharing leads by zip code is a great way to direct them to neighborhood pages.
Marketing for your sphere
For established agents, their sphere – a mix of previous customers, friends, acquaintances, and business relationships – often makes up the bulk of their business. Keeping in touch with this group can be a challenge. While most customers express high levels of satisfaction with their transaction due to the long time between sales, the same agent is not used over and over when it is time to move. Recent data from the National Association of Realtors showed that only 23% of all sellers returned to a realtor with whom they had previously bought or sold a home.
No agent wants to go through the ordeal of finding out that someone in their sphere has left with another agent. In these cases this can often be attributed to the fact that another agent was at the forefront of the customer’s willingness to sell. While regular contact is essential to ensure this doesn’t happen, advertising can bridge the gaps between conversations.
An effective technique for this important group is to make sure you are promoting the most recently sold properties for them, especially if the property is in their neighborhood. By tracking who clicks or responded to ads, you can also identify superfans. In each agent’s sphere, there will be more dedicated customers in the past who, even if they don’t currently want to buy or sell, are enthusiastic supporters of the agent. These special customers should receive additional contact and support. According to NAR, the most popular way home sellers find their agent is by referring a family or friend. The typical seller recommends their agent twice after selling their home, but a third of sellers recommend their agent three times. A well connected super fan can be extremely valuable.
For successful agents, consistent marketing can ensure that leads are appropriately promoted for their maximum potential and that existing contacts feel connected to the agent and are aware of the current market. When it’s time for transactions, it can make all the difference.