[ecis2016.org] We look at some of the methods of lead generation that brokers can use to improve their business and how they can effectively manage such leads
Selling property is not similar to selling any other product. After all, selling a high-ticket product would require a different kind of strategy. This makes the value of sales leads far greater in this business than any other business. Although, in property markets across India, the focus of brokers is always on the lead, yet, the subject of lead generation and lead management is not widely discussed.
What is lead generation and lead management?
While lead generation is the methodology of identifying the potential buyers, lead management is the next level of identifying quality leads and working diligently upon it. Conversion of a lead into actual sales, depends upon the quality of lead generation and lead management.
Since real estate is a one-time purchase product for most of the Indians, the follow-up aspect of lead management is hardly a matter of concern, either for the developer or the broker. However, the follow-up lead management could reward sales channels with referral buyers and in a few cases, repeat buying when one decides to go for a second home purchase.
Lead generation in real estate
There are many traditional, as well as new-age channels for creating sales leads. The most common sources of lead are as follows:
This traditional format of generating leads is still quite popular in the Indian property market. The reason is that it is easier for the sales channel to measure the marketing ROI, since the advertisement is immediately followed by sales enquiries and a few sales transactions. The sales channel just has to manage the inquiries with proper follow-ups.
However, with the impact of Coronavirus on real estate, leading to shrinking marketing budgets, this method is becoming costlier, in terms of its cost-to-conversion rate. Moreover, as the vast majority of the developers continue to use the same media for advertisements, the absence of quality leads is an issue. Everyone has the same data in any given property market.
Online engagements through various social media outlets are another tool to generate leads. It is a cost-efficient way of getting to know the potential buyers. However, managing social media is a time consuming exercise for brokers. One also needs to have an understanding of the buying behaviour of property seekers. Failing this, these platforms also throw open many non-serious enquiries.
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Data analytics involves the use of technology to track potential buyers through their online searches. These data platforms track the search preferences of the buyers through online searches and call tracking. It is then followed up with targeted messaging and/or advertising that leads to conversion. It is a new marketing channel and at an infancy stage in India. However, if property agents learn to make use of data analytics, it could be a highly rewarding lead generation and management practice.
Referrals or peer-to-peer marketing is a tried and tested lead generation exercise, with high returns on capital employed. Referrals could be through a past buyer or word-of-mouth publicity of the broker. In terms of quality of leads, this is the best sales exercise and property agents, who have earned goodwill in a neighbourhood, know its importance.
While the advertising serves as the above-the-line lead generation exercise, below-the-line activities like industry exhibitions, seminars, neighbourhood events, etc., have often led to better lead generation. The key here is one’s networking skills and managing the relationships.
This is actually the best. It costs nothing, has higher chances of sales conversion and is a sign that you have got yourself a serious buyer. Nevertheless, lead management remains relevant here, as well. A property agent with no willingness to follow-up, can never make the best use of this lead.
In today’s digital age, with many free social media platforms, including YouTube, the video marketing of the project and/or the location can be a useful way to generate leads. For example, 3D virtual tours of the property are fast gaining ground. However, as the property brokerage business in India is largely unorganised, this medium has not been explored to its best.
This is probably the best marketing channel for lead generation in today’s world. A blog that could weave the story of a project, its USPs, the lifestyle its offers and other such consumer touch points, can connect well with the buyers of today, who are not only conscious of their choices and concerns but are also well-informed.
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More importantly, buyers today can filter what is an outright paid promotion and what is a legitimate review blog post. Brokers need the help of real estate bloggers for this route of lead generation. Unfortunately, there are very few cases of such smart content management in the Indian context.
While lead generation could be done by adopting any of the above methods, where the data is readily available for one and all, the difference will lie in how a property agent can improve upon his lead management, to secure better sales conversions.
What is a real estate lead?
A real estate lead refers to someone who is potentially looking to buy or rent a property.
What are the mediums that brokers can use for lead generation?
Some of the common platforms for lead generation include advertisements, online platforms, offline events and referrals.
How do you manage real estate leads?
This can be done by having a central repository for all the leads, assigning the leads, tracking it and following up with the potential customer.
(The writer is CEO, Track2Realty)
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