We all know that a business needs leads in order to make sales. But what’s the definition of a lead and how can you get your hands on them? In simple terms, a lead is a person who expresses an interest in your product or at least wants to know more about it. They may, or may not, be ready to buy now. Those who aren’t quite ready yet could come back and buy from you in the future, but this will depend on how you treat them – now, how good you are to follow up and how good you are in closing the sale.
Here are 10 tips on how to generate and handle leads as a real estate company on the Costa del Sol.
1. Know your audience
The first step is to know your product, the second is to identify your target market. Whether you’re selling luxury villas in Benahavis or cheap and cheerful apartments in Benalmadena, you need to know who your products will appeal to and then target them accordingly.
Knowing your audience really is the first step towards generating leads. Do your clients live on the Costa del Sol or are they in a different country? Are they looking for an investment, a family home or a rental property? Once you’ve identified your clients, you can further segment market based on their interests and needs. In other words, your aim is to find their itch and then help them to scratch it!
2. Choose your product to fit your audience
So far so good. Step two, is to select a product that will appeal to your audience. It’s no good reaching out to potential prospects with products that won’t appeal or are way out of their price range; think about their budget, preferred location and the type of property. Do they want an apartment, villa or bungalow? Are they looking for newly built or a resale? Do they want property in your local vicinity and if not, are you willing to take clients on viewings in another area? And just as important, you should consider whether showing property is within your area of expertise…and if not, get some help!
3. Every lead is a potential future sale
If you remember only one piece of advice, it should be this…every lead is important and must be responded to immediately. No excuses, no delays, the longer you wait, the cooler it gets, and after 24-hours it will be stone-cold. Remember, every lead you lose is a win for your more proactive competitors.
Buying property is an enormous commitment and it often takes several months or even years to build up a relationship before a client is ready to view, particularly if they’re based overseas. They may be testing the water before they decide to buy, so now is the time to put in the ground work and make a connection, so they’ll come back to you when they’re ready. Each lead you get could be a potential sale, so it would be a shame to throw them away.
4. Not all leads are equal
What happens if you’re getting leads but they’re just not converting? It could be the quality of the leads, which can vary depending on the source. For example, Facebook doesn’t generally provide the same quality of leads that you get from Google. This is because people who contact you via Google are actively looking for your product, but this is not the case with Facebook. That said, Facebook leads are much cheaper and they can also be converted into sales, even if it takes more time and effort, it will still be worthwhile.
When targeting clients in a different country, these leads will obviously take longer to convert. They may be just as keen the local leads, but they need to physically pack their suitcase and jump on a plane, making it a much longer process.
The key. Imagine a lead as a seed which needs to be nurtured if it is to grow into beautiful plant. It may need a little TLC, water and sunshine, but eventually all of your efforts could pay off – big time!
Lead generation is a science. When reaching out to potential customers online, you need to know that your campaigns are hitting the mark by identifying the words and images that appeal most to your audience. This is done by split testing (or A/B testing), which involves creating and running different variations of advertisements for a set period of time to determine which versions are more effective. Once you know which works best, the budget is allocated to the winning campaign.
Do you know that an image accounts for between 75% and 90% of the success of your advertisement? And a video is even better.
6. Monitoring and adjusting
OK, so now you’re running the most effective version of your advert - job done. Wrong! It is just the beginning, now you need to keep a beady eye on the adverts to monitor and adjust… constantly. If you work with an agency to generate leads, it is vital that you give them feedback on the quality of the leads. This information will determine the type of adjustments needed to fine tune the campaigns and deliver the right results.
7. Landing pages
Great, you’ve designed a super cool landing page… but does it work? The first piece of advice is to bear in mind your branding (it should reflect your company’s corporate image) and the function…which is to generate leads. This is a clear case where function should win over form. The purpose of your landing page is to show the amazing properties you are promoting, not to showcase your graphic designer’s skills. Also consider if you give too much away…
Consistent message = lower cost per click
The message on a landing page should be consistent with the rest of the campaign, as this will improve your quality score, which will lower the price you pay per click.
Here’s a house that you could have bought earlier…
Just one more thing about your landing page…the sole purpose is to get leads and sell property, so all of the properties featured must be available to buy. The good news is that landing pages can be automated so that properties are removed and replaced when sold.
8. Consider the funnel
It takes time to build trust and convert website visitors into property buyers. There are several stages to the sale funnel:
- Awareness – This is when a potential customer is aware of your company. Many people discover new brands on social media, so if you want to increase awareness, paying for a Facebook ad is a good place to start.
- Consideration – at this stage, the customer is aware of your company, and probably other real estate companies too. You are helping them view houses. If you want your company to be found online by people searching for, for, example “Marbella properties”, spending money on Google Search ads is a good place to start.
- Conversion – This is when your client has chosen your company. This is your favourite stage of the marketing funnel…but your job doesn’t end here.
- Loyalty – It is a mistake to forget your existing customers. Retain them and create loyalty by keeping your customers updated with helpful and interesting content i.e. newsletters. Offer discounts on services, where you can, to reward loyalty.
- Advocacy – Since you’ve delivered an amazing service, your client is now recommending you to friends. These friends are now in your marketing funnel, but since you come so highly recommended, they have fast tracked through the awareness stage and they are already in the consideration stage, viewing properties with you. There are many clever ways you can encourage clients to recommend you to friends, but one simply way is to ask them!
9. Stand out
In 2017 alone, approximately 500 new real estate companies were registered on the Costa del Sol. This means that competition is fierce and you need to be unique to survive. One way is to come up with strategies that will make your business stand out, such as using offers or specialising in a specific area of the coast. You need to think about how you are going to say, “look at us, we’re different!”
10. Get a professional
We’ve all cut corners to save cash. Unfortunately, this can be a false economy, and in fact, it often turns out to be the most expensive solution. There’s a difference between knowing what needs to be done and having the ability to do it. Google Adwords campaigns are fantastic for generating leads quickly, but only when set up right. The campaigns should be finely tuned to attract only your target audience. The wrong keywords, type of keyword match, location, bidding strategy can be a costly mistake, in time and money. There’s a difference between knowing what needs to be done and knowing how to do it.
Do you have a digital marketing strategy?
Our last word has to be about the importance of having a realistic digital marketing strategy, that will identify your goals, processes and costs.