Real estate leads are essential in the life of a real estate agent. Without leads, agents must rely on someone from their Sphere of Influence (SOI) to randomly reach out, a referral from a client, making FSBO calls, etc. Take advantage of all leads you receive and nurture them into clients.
Agents dream of receiving only the best leads, those that are pre-approved and ready to buy NOW. Unfortunately, that's unrealistic. Many leads start looking at homes online when they're in the preliminary stages of home buying, but they aren't close to being ready to buy a home. These leads may not know the average cost of homes in their area, the amount of money they need to save for a down payment, or what a mortgage entails. As agents, it's easy to forget that some leads know very little about the home buying process and will need a lot of nurturing before they can be moved into the "customer/client" section of your CRM program.
Agents are in a great position to help these early-stage leads by educating them on how they can improve their credit scores, where to get funding, and the latest programs designed to match the needs of modern-day buyers.
You could make all of the difference in educating millennials, first-time senior home buyers and anyone in between, so they can afford a down payment and buy a home... from YOU.
Do you have a lead nurturing email/text/direct mail campaign that's geared toward leads who need to learn more about the basics, like the average price of a home and what it takes to afford one? Keeping in touch with leads through a lead nurturing campaign puts your name and brand in front of potential clients, increasing your chances of them choosing you as their agent. Here are some suggestions for emails, texts, or blog articles you can share with leads to educate them into buying a home:
- What you can afford and what the market offers in that price range. (If nothing matches their budget, provide steps to help them grow into a position where they can afford to purchase a home.)
- Improving your credit score (what is FICO?)
- Where to get funding (suggest how to find a lender or mortgage broker)
- $0 down payment loans
- Down payment options when you don’t qualify for a $0 down payment loan
- How to get your down payment paid for and not have to pay it back (ex. HomeFundIt)
- How the market is changing, whether or not it's in their favor, what it will look like when it is in their favor
- Loan options that require less than 20% down but include PMI
- Living with student loan payments and how that affects home buying and debt-to-income ratio
- Which loans do they qualify for with their credit score (illustrate in an infographic)
- Financial priorities: where to get financial counseling
- Understanding the difference between must-have vs. want-to-have when looking at homes and why it's important
You don't have to start from scratch in coming up with material to share with these leads and you don't have to use pre-fabbed material provided by your real estate agency. Instead, share easy-to-understand blog articles that already exist online -- articles from lenders, other real estate agents, or something you've written. Dive in and find current, relevant information that helps your leads find their way into homeownership. If you don't do it, another agent will.
It's time to stop making excuses and nurture ALL of your leads, not just those who are eligible to buy now. Develop a nurturing campaign to educate future home buyers and then encourage them to pass the information on to their friends. This kind of proactive nurturing may result in gaining more clients organically. Don't let these leads lose hope. Everyone should have the opportunity to own a home but it's up to you to educate these leads so they can accomplish their goal of owning a home one day. When you've got a lead in front of you, make the most of it. You've got this!