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Email Marketing General Lead Funnels

Estate agents. Why your approach to cold leads could be costing you money

In a busy estate agency, the number one commodity is time. You’ve got vendor calls to make, viewings to follow up, enquiries to reply to.

So, when it comes to talking to potential vendors who are clearly not serious about selling, what do you do? How many of these cold leads make it on to your call list? And even if they do how often do they get called in favour of your hotter leads?

It makes sense that when your time is at a premium to focus energy on the leads that will provide the best results. What is interesting is that whilst many estate agents talk to us about lead generation, many overlook this long-term potential source of income. Even worse some are trying but get their approach wrong, damaging the chances of a future conversion.

You may well be spending money on expensive lead generation when you have a potential source of long-term leads right in front of you.

Cold leads can be a challenge to convert

One of the challenges is that a high number of leads won’t convert. This can leave you feeling tired and frustrated. However, to maximise this opportunity we must overcome this feeling and turn it into a positive. Let’s for a moment, think about the consumer at the time of their initial enquiry.

In the scenario of an instant online valuation quite often they were just curious about the value of their home. The majority will not be ready to sell and simply looking to get a rough guide on price.

Now, thinking about an applicant who registers with you. When they registered with you their main goal was to be notified of the best properties that suit their needs. Of course, as part of your qualification, you should get to know their circumstances and identify if there is an instruction opportunity. But again, many will tell you they are fine or not ready because you have not yet earned their trust.

How to improve your results

There are however two key areas that you can focus on to improve your results. Some of the leading UK estate agents are taking action and in return growing more rewarding and profitable businesses as a result.

There are many reasons for their success but we have identified two in particular:

1. Ensuring their staff are well trained professional and happy

They have happy staff who have mastered the art of listening as well as selling to deliver great customer service. Industry trainers like Julian O’dell and Matt Giggs can have an amazing impact on both your team’s happiness and motivation. Not only that, but they can transform how staff speak to potential clients. To get more valuable information but in a way that builds a relationship and trust.

Look to build a solid foundation for your business. This will increase not only your success with these cold leads, but also referral opportunities, repeat business and your ability to get social proof for your future marketing.

2. Understanding that they can’t speak to everyone 24/7

Becuase dealing with so many leads and conversations presents a real challenge, they complement their personal service by adding technology which can help them nurture these relationships and identify timely opportunities for action. In particular, introducing email nurturing can be one of the lowest cost ways to achieve this.

Create an effective follow-up plan which combines email, SMS and phone calls to build a trusting relationship over time. It must be geared towards their unique situation, not simply full of self promotional messages. Allowing you to stand out as the local experts and estate agent of choice.

 

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What about GDPR?

With GDPR and changes to e-privacy coming very soon, following up cold leads will become increasingly challenging. Establishing a strong relationship, coupled with creating a relevant nurture program could help you convince potential leads to let you keep in touch. In comparison, your competition will become trapped, unable to contact recent leads, because they failed to get consent.

Conclusion

Smart estate agents ensure their teams are well trained, that they continue to be engaging with a high level of customer empathy. When they ask the question about keeping in touch they are able to clearly communicate the benefits to the client. Ensuring the client opts-in to continue to receive their message. They often look for ways automate this to deliver the same high standards even when they get busy. Maximising their long-term opportunity from cold leads and boosting profits.

If you are interested in implementing a nurture program for your leads, check out our software or get in touch.

Categories
General

How to measure the performance of your instant valuation tool

In 2017, we saw the widespread adoption of instant online valuation tools like ValPal. The tools are helping estate agents to capture new leads from potential vendors in their local area. In this article, we look at the promotional activities used by some estate agents and give you a step by step guide on how to review your own instant valuation performance.

Why use an instant valuation tool?

The idea of an instant valuation is a good one from the consumer’s point of view. It is quick, hassle-free and simple to do. And from an estate agents point of view, it gives access to the top of funnel leads they would previously have not been able to reach.

The Challenge

However, many estate agents will have found that having it on their website was not enough to generate a high volume of new leads. This is where some smart estate agents have been thinking of new ways to increase the number of instant valuations leads they receive.

This included better banners and popups on their websites, promotion elsewhere including social media, special canvasing campaigns and other paid adverts.

We have seen in particular that social media and paid Facebook ads can bring hundreds of new leads to your estate agency. We have also seen the risks of poorly executed ads when left unmanaged can result in hundreds of pounds spent but with little or no leads.

A chance to review

No matter what approach you have taken, the New Year represents a great opportunity to review your instant valuation performance. Helping you to understand which audiences worked best, which ads cost the most to run and ultimately did your instant valuation tool deliver any instructions and completions!

Below is our simple 5 step plan for how to measure your estate agency instant valuation tool performance so you can optimize it for 2018.

Step 1. Download social media post performance

Create a spreadsheet or download the performance of your online posts.
For each social media post collect the following:

  • Total Reach
  • Number of clicks
  • Total ad Spend

 

Pro Tip: If you use Facebook ad manager rather than your personal ad account you can save hours calculating this info.

No time to do this? Speak to us about how we can help.

Step 2. Calculate Cost Per Click Per Advert (CPC)

For each paid ad take Ad Spend / Ad Total Clicks (not engagements) to get a cost per click (CPC). This should be a low amount around £0.30. If it is higher than £0.50 then you may need to improve your ads or narrow your audience.

Example

Post
£30.00 spend

Clicks
100

£30.00 / 100 = £0.30 CPC

Step 3. Review your best performing ads

For each ad, review its CPC calculated in the previous step combined with the audience, post type, images and ad text to understand how each ad performed. You can now see which are your best performing ads. This should help you create new variations of them so that you can do even better in 2018.

Step 4 Calculate cost per lead

The next is to calculate the cost per lead. How much did each email address cost you? For this you will need to export or generate a report of your converted valuation leads for the same time period as your ads. Your valuation tool should have an option to do this. If not you may need to look at your notification emails for this information.

Get the following information

  • Total Spend for valuation ads from your Facebook account
  • Total Reach for these ads
  • Total Clicks for these ads
  • Go to your instant valuation tool account and export the leads for the same date range.

 

Example

Total Ad Spend
£300.00

Total Ad Clicks
1,000

Total Leads
200

Calculate your Cost Per Lead
Total Spend / Total Valuation Leads

£300.00 / 200 = £1.50 Per Lead

Or more correctly if your instant valuation tool cost you £50 per month the calculation would be:

Valuation Tool Cost
£50.00 * 12 months = £600.00

Tool Cost + Total Ad Spend
£600.00 + £300.00 = £900.00

£900.00 / 200 = £4.50 Per Lead

Common Question: Why is my cost per lead so much more than my cost per click? This is because your valuation tool may have different conversion rates. If in our example only 20% convert then in our example from 1,000 clicks we only got 200 unique email addresses. Again, a pro tip is to understand if you can improve this figure by improving your landing page or social media ads.

Step 5. Calculate number of actual valuations and completions

The final step is to work out how many of these instant valuations converted to actual valuations.
To do this you would need to match your instant valuations to your appraisals. If you would like help with this then we can do this for you at a competitive rate.

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Conclusion

From here you should now be able to see how well your instant valuation tool is performing and did it produce any deals or was it just a good source of email capture. If the results look bad there are some things to consider before you give up on your instant valuation tool completely:

1. Optimising your ads could lower costs significantly.
2. Digital is here to stay so mastering it takes investment. Even those who did not convert will be more aware of your brand.
3. Nurturing those leads who did not convert with email because they are not yet ready to sell could lead to conversion in the future.

This article is really just the start of understanding your marketing performance and improving your results.

For further help and advice on this topic or any other related questions, you may have, please get in touch.