Want more leads with less effort? A lead referral partner can take the ‘cold’ out of cold calling and improve your conversion success rate.
Cold calling has always been a traditional technique that agents have used to get leads for their business.
But with a success rate of less than 1% - and a growing number of people willing to accept calls from unknown numbers - it requires an extraordinarily high number of calls to be made, taking a huge amount of effort and time to get any result. It also has a flow-on effect to the detriment of other activities that support building relationships for life which is where the real value is created.
But this doesn't have to be this way. It pays to question the premise that more volume is the only way to improve lead conversion. Improving the quality of the leads is the most viable way to grow your listings. At OpenAgent, we’re proud of the fact that up to 60% of our referrals become a listing within 12 months.
This demonstrates that having a quality lead referral partner can achieve two key objectives for your business.
The first is by having someone whose job it is is to solely work on delivering leads, you have the security of knowing this important work is being done for your business even if your staff take their eye off the ball for any reason.
The second is that a referral partner has the skills, tools and expertise to find better quality leads more quickly than the typical ways used by agents so your team is not making calls that are completely cold. These include:
1. Capturing intent through website leads
Many consumers feel more comfortable exploring the information about buying and selling real estate through a neutral third party site and will often engage for longer without the fear of being "sold" to by an agent. Referral partners have extensive analytical insights into this behaviour which helps them identify not just the likelihood of listing but timeframes and motivation.
2. Big data analytics to enhance behavioural understanding
The referrers website is just the beginning. Good referral partners will also have excellent capability around data analytics able to overlay additional data sets on top of their list of potential leads. This can both enrich the insights about who those people are and what motivates them, while also identifying new ways to reach out to them and the channels they are active in. This can be extremely helpful in understanding how to approach these leads, improving your engagement and setting you up for relationships for life.
3. Nurturing programs to warm leads further
A good lead referral partner knows that the more a prospective lead engages with information, the greater their propensity to list. In real estate however, having the programs and structures in place to run a consistent lead nurturing program based on quality content can be resource-heavy for individual offices. A quality lead referral partner will have structures in place to nurture leads through engaging content and measure their engagement, feeding that back into their data analytics and improving the quality of leads you receive even further.
4. Qualifying behaviour with a phone call
Algorithms, no matter how clever they are great at an initial discovery, but nothing can replace the value of a good old fashioned phone call. A good referral partner will qualify the majority of leads before sending them on to your business. This is a huge step that really confirms that the final leads being sent to you are genuine and have a high possibility of listing. When done well, it will also deliver a much higher conversion rate for your team than the typical one to three percent. Think of it as a personal introduction from a friend which is always likely to get you a warmer reception than going in cold.
5. Tools to measure performance
Finally, a quality lead referral partner won’t just throw their leads to you and hope for the best. Too much work has gone into identifying them, matching them to other datasets, recognising propensity, and nurturing and qualifying. Now that you’ve got the lead, they’re invested in that lead going to market and the client to have a great experience with the agent they passed it to. Great lead referral partners will have the tools to help you track your own performance according to metrics such as response times, appraisal appointments and listings rates so you can understand your conversion levels and see quickly where you can improve to lift your success rate.