Real estate agents are always looking for new leads. After all, you have to, right? Most people only buy a home once, maybe twice, in their lives. Even if those clients come back time and time again, it’s not enough repeat business to really keep most agents afloat.
Fortunately, those aren’t your only choices. Though new leads and repeat business can certainly help your bottom line, there’s also another powerful way to build your business: Bring your old leads back from the dead.
Here’s A Secret: Your Database Is Full of Ripe Leads
Take a minute to comb through your database. How many names don’t you recognize? How many potential buyers or sellers fell off the face of the map months or even years ago?
If it’s a fair amount (and it usually is for experienced agents), then you’re sitting on a goldmine. Just how much is it worth? Let’s break it down here.
To determine how much your database is really worth, take the number of leads it contains and multiply it by your conversion rate. Then multiply that by your average commission. Here’s an example:
1,000 leads X 3% conversion rate = 30
30 X $8,000 = $240,000
In this scenario, your database would be worth a whopping $240,000 in commissions. That’s how much untapped earning potential sits in those cells. It’s also how much you’re losing by not revisiting your database and putting it to work.
What Did It Cost You?
You should also consider how much that database cost you to build in the first place. To calculate, take the number of leads in your database multiplied by the cost per lead. It’s probably a pretty high number.
Let’s say you have a cost per lead of $20. That means your database (in the above scenario) clocks in at a cost of $20,000. What else could you have done with that $20,000? Hired an assistant? Taken some additional training courses? How much value could that have added to your business?
Don’t let that huge expenditure go to waste. Once you determine how much your database is worth (and costing you), it’s time to revive it.
Now, that doesn’t mean you go through, line by line, calling each and every one of your old leads. In fact, the work may not even fall on your shoulders. Depending on how much your time is worth, you may want to outsource the work, either to a fellow team member or to a marketing tool.
Before you can do that, though, there’s a little housekeeping you’ll have to tend to first.
Prepping Your Old Database For New Results
You might have labeled your leads with “hot,” “cold,” “nurturing” or some other vague status back in the day, but those don’t say much about the person on the other end of that screen — especially to an outside party.
If you want to use third-party manpower or a marketing tool to streamline your efforts and most efficiently utilize your database, you need to get specific with your labels. That means setting statuses for your leads that are accurate, are clearly defined and come with a set objective.
Here’s a look at the lead labels I use in my own database:
• Subscriber: This is someone who doesn’t know much about you or your brand. They signed up for your blog or email list, asked for a home valuation, etc. To move them to the next stage of the sales life cycle, you need their full contact details.
• Lead: At this stage, the person is showing some level of sales-readiness. They’ve shared more contact information via your website, on Facebook or through a lead form, and you know they’re interested in buying or selling a property. To move them on, you’ll need their location and price range.
• MQL: This is someone who’s actively engaged with your marketing efforts but is still not ready for a sales call. Maybe they’ve shared their budget, but they haven’t made any sort of decision to move forward. To move them on, you need to know they’re a decision-maker (or be connected to whoever is).
• SQL: An SQL has shown that they’re ready for a sales conversation. They might have answered some deeper questions via text or email, or maybe they set an appointment or called you to learn more. To move them forward, you need to know their needs, wants, expectations, timeline, etc.
• Opportunity: This is an SQL but more timely. They’re qualified, you know what they’re looking for and they’re ready to buy/sell within the next three months. To move them forward, you’ll need a signed agreement.
• Client: With a client, you have a signed agreement and an opportunity for a buy-side or sell-side commission. To move forward, you need a finalized transaction and a happy customer.
• Evangelist: These are clients who are ready to refer your business and share you with their circles. It’s where you’ll get referrals and repeat business.
You don’t have to use these exact labels. Use whatever you’d like, as long as you clearly define what you know about a lead, what they know about you and how far they have to go in the life cycle.
Knowing this information allows you — or whoever is mining that database on your behalf — to offer up the most relevant content possible and increase those conversions (i.e., talk to your leads about what they actually want to talk about).
The Work Is Worth it
It may sound like a lot of work (especially if you have hundreds of untapped leads), but the goal is to make your lead nurturing efforts more scalable, efficient and, ideally, transferable. With an accurately labeled database, someone else (or an automation tool) can take over the tedious work while you do what you do best: serve your clients.
After all, you spent good money building that database. Don’t you want to milk it for all it’s worth?