With lead generation software, real estate agents can reach out and connect with new clients where they first start their home search—online.
For many home buyers—about 42 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors—the home buying process begins online. However, the majority of buyers will turn to a real estate agent after some preliminary online searching. About 87 percent of recent buyers purchased their homes through an agent or broker, according to NAR.
However, if 42 percent of buyers are starting their home search online, agents hoping to find new leads should be there to greet them. Establishing an online presence with a website, blog, and social media is a good way to start; but the next step is to capture the leads who visit your website or social media page and reach out to them.
Enter lead generation software.
What is Lead Generation Software?
Lead generation software captures leads and helps agents establish and nurture relationships with potential clients early in their home buying process. Rather than waiting until they are weeks away from purchasing a home and hoping they wander into your office, lead generation software allows you to build a relationship from the start so when they are ready to reach out to an agent, they know to call you.
These programs often also have features that allow you to create real estate fliers or newsletters you can send your leads.
In addition to capturing new leads, these software programs also help you to stay in touch with past clients, so when they are ready to buy or sell again, you are top of mind. Lead Generation Software can help with the following tasks:
- Track leads and clients and schedule follow-up calls on a regular basis
- Assign leads to agents in your office
- Import and organize leads from your website, your MLS, tax records, etc.
- Send bulk emails and drip campaigns for different client groups
- Send reminders to congratulate clients on their closing anniversaries and/or birthdays
- Receive showing feedback from other agents with automated forms
Is Lead Generation Software Worth It?
We heard a resounding “yes” from FORCE member Tammy Seymour of Desert Dream Realty in Cave Creek, Arizona. Likewise, Jennifer Ruspini of Ruspini Realty in Monroe, Connecticut, says many of her leads come to her because of her experience in the REO field, but she does use software to capture leads online as well. Ruspini says in some cases people will submit false names or information when searching, but she is able to access the IP address from their computer and know where they are.
What do you do with a lead?
Once she has a lead, Ruspini says, “I follow up on them and nurture those leads. You have to be responsive all the time.” Seymour agrees that staying in touch with clients throughout the entire home buying process is valuable. With her lead generation software, RealtyJuggler, Seymour is able to classify her leads into three categories: a.) those likely to buy within the next 30 days; b.) those likely to buy within the next 60 days; c.) those who will not be ready to buy within the next 90 days. She can then set up drip campaigns for her leads and clients based on where they are in the home buying process.
For a first-time buyer who will be ready to purchase soon, Seymour may send out information on the home buying process. For a lead who is just prospecting but not going to buy immediately, she may send out community information to help him or her decide which neighborhood might be ideal for him or her.
What about agent leads?
Seymour uses her lead generation and CRM not only for potential home buyers but also for real estate agents. Through Showing Suite, Seymour keeps a database of all the agents who have showed one of her properties. She has more than 700 real estate agents in her database, and each name is linked to the property they showed. When she acquires a new listing, she can look to see which agents showed her past properties in that neighborhood, and she will send them information on her new listing. In this way, she is able to target agents based on the locale they service.
Seymour remains in constant communication with all her contacts—new leads, past clients, buyer agents, and REO clients.