Hello, real estate agents! Let’s talk about online lead generation and expired leads. We have two great opportunities coming up with the market shifting. It’s not going to crash. Don’t worry. As of right now, we’re okay - just heading into a normal market.
Let’s jump right into this.
So, let’s start with online lead generation. That’s one thing that our team just doubled down on through this market. Yes, the home search for Google, “homes for sale in… [any area],” is down dramatically all throughout the US, around 15% year-over-year. But people are still buying homes.
Now think about this. Typically, we have:
We know that Realtor.com and Zillow are playing the Google game because we see them on ads every time. So, think of this funnel: At the top, you have all of these leads coming in—Facebook and Instagram leads are typically more affordable, but they take a lot longer to close because the intent is not as strong as for Google.
Next in that funnel is Google PPC. The intent is extremely high, but it is more expensive than your Facebook and Instagram leads. If you type in “homes for sale in Los Angeles” on the first page of the results, you will see ads. There are typically three to four spots in that ads section.
More often than not, you’ll find Zillow in that spot, alongside Corcoran, Toll Brothers, and Realtor.com to name a few.
That is how Zillow appears in the top spots (on the first page) of your Google SERPs (search engine results pages)—they are playing the Google game with PPC. If you click on the Zillow ad, it will take you to a landing page with all of the listings of Zillow in LA.
If this is how Zillow gets their online leads, and succeeds at it, who’s stopping you from doing the same thing?
This is what we’ve also been doing for years. I am paying Google $16 per lead through a company called Ylopo. Compare that to me, paying Zillow or Realtor.com $500 a lead in my area.
I hear a lot of people saying that online leads suck, the buyers they get online are liars, etc., but try to stop a second and think about how you approach these leads when you call them.
Chris Voss, the author of Never Split the Difference, says that in a conversation, 7% of the time, people are listening to what you are actually saying. Thirty-eight percent of the time, they are listening to your tone, and for the remaining 55%, they are watching your body language.
If the body language is missing because you are on the phone, then what matters most is your tone. A lot of us miss out on that energy when talking to other people.
So, maybe you got this all wrong. Because it works for us. It also works for big companies like Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com.
Our number one source of closings is referrals from past clients in our sphere, and number two is online, through Google PPC.
The thing that Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com, and other big names in real estate are spending millions on, is where you win. It’s Google, the most visited website in the world.
So, how do you communicate? What is your tonality? When you reach out to people that you meet online, regardless of where that lead came from, your approach to the conversation matters.
My motto is to lead by example, so this is how I would tap into my online leads.
If you come to my website through Google, my conversation will look something like this:
That’s my process if I don’t reach you on the phone. But if I do get you on the phone and I am talking to you, the conversation I will initiate is very easy-going, no pressure, and non-aggressive. Then, find their motivation. What are they looking for?
When you touch on a lead, it isn’t about the closing. Find the motivation, create a relationship, and then follow up. Because most of the time, the first time you reach out to them, they are not ready to buy yet. They are still in the process of “just looking.”
I have this process that I call 7 Days of Love for Google PPC, Facebook lead ads and buyer leads.
For seven days, when an online lead lands on my website, I use this outline to contact the lead. And the key part of this is to come from a point of contribution. Don’t just spam your online leads, give them value. If you get someone texting you the word “Stop” you know that you failed because you sound like a robot or an AI.
Your goal for online leads is to get to people, and connect with them, and focus on giving them what they want. Don’t pressure them. You know that they are ways out of being ready to buy a home. They don’t have an agent because they are coming in through Google before they visit the portals like Zillow and Realtor.com.
In this shifting market, we have an opportunity with expired leads. A lot more of them are going to pop up. Pay attention to them.
We are using REDX for our expireds. We also use some of their geoleads, for sale by owners and for rent by owners, but right now, we are mostly focusing on expireds.
If they are on the Do Not Call list, it shows on the interface. You can also put your script for your pitch in case you forget what you have to say. The most important feature, though, is the stats for that lead’s area.
The most important thing I do, once I get a hold of an expired and get them talking, is to get a confirmation from them whether I can text them after the call. It doesn’t matter if they decide to sell or not after my pitch. I get their confirmation, because if they say it is fine, I am going to put that lead under our expired drip campaign, listing quickly if I think he is going to list in the next three months. We use AgentLegend for this whole process.
We rotate around texts, voicemails, emails, and videos—all content that provides value to the lead. Why do I do this? Because I know, from experience calling expireds since 2004, that it takes a while for most people to decide to list again.
Most agents drop off in the first week. I end up being one of three agents that are still talking to them after two months after the first call. At that point, it just becomes about who they can connect with best. Who seems to have the most value? Which agent seems to really connect with them and make them feel that the agent has their best interests at heart?
Hopefully, that is you.
Your approach and tonality matter. Don’t pressure or spam them. Connect with these people.
And if you want to take it to another level and really get that listing, what do you do? You go to their home, show up, and drop off something of value. Go the extra mile and still be there 1.5 to 4 months in.
Our team tracks everything on REDX and FollowUp Boss. If you are missing a CRM, jump onto FollowUp Boss or Chime, both are really great and easy-to-use CRMs.