What if right now, you had all the leads you needed to grow your real estate business? Your database of existing leads could be a gold mine—but it can take a lot of time, and frankly a lot of patience, to convert leads. That’s why you need a simple, organized, creative lead nurturing strategy—and the tools to make it effective.
With our tools and techniques for expert lead nurturing, you’ll be able to put together a mix of automated and personalized communication that will help you convert your top-of-funnel leads. With this guide, your lead nurturing efforts will result in more deals with the contacts you already have in your database.
What Is Lead Nurturing in Real Estate?
Lead nurturing is the art (and science!) of commencing and maintaining a relationship with a lead through the sales funnel. Leading a prospect all the way from visiting your website (top of funnel) to handing them the keys to their new home (payday!) can mean months, if not years, of careful nurturing.
The goal of lead nurturing is to be the agent who your lead calls when they’re ready to sign an agreement. Your careful stewardship of your relationship has led to that moment. It has taken patience, communication, consistency, and—most importantly—the ability to remain relevant and helpful.
The idea of nurturing every contact in your database might feel overwhelming. But understanding where your leads are in the funnel will help you go about this vital task in an efficient way. Leads who are in the “awareness” stage, at the tip top of the funnel, need a lot less attention than leads in the conversion stage. Prioritizing your focus will make your nurturing more effective and leave you plenty of time for your other real estate duties.
Let’s take a look at the tools and strategies you’ll need to master the art of real estate lead nurturing and reach the closing table.
Nurture Like an Expert
How do you stay out of the junk folder and top of mind for any real estate needs? You follow these three key tenets of touchpoints:
- Personalize: Sprinkle in some personalized emails, texts, calls, social media messages, and letters. Send one to celebrate a birthday or congratulate the lead on their favorite sports team’s win.
- Show your creativity: Originality drives engagement. Content that is interesting and unexpected makes people want to open, read, and follow your calls to action. This might not come easily, but taking the extra time to think outside of the box will pay off down the line in your nurturing journey.
- Be authentic: Staying true to yourself (and true to your brand) makes nurturing all the easier. People are going to be drawn to you and engage with you if they feel like they’re getting to know the real you and not just a sales pitch.
Lead Nurturing Begins & Ends With Your CRM
Not everyone has a love affair with their customer relationship manager (CRM), but honestly, it’s your greatest partner in this mission to nurture and convert leads. Every tool we discuss below will be better optimized if you have a CRM that can track your communication and prompt your activities.
So before we talk about any nurturing strategies, the very first—and most important—step is to fall in love with your CRM.
There are plenty of amazing CRMs out there, and you can read about our favorites for this year here. But our top pick is LionDesk. It’s affordable, features an easy-to-use interface, and has all of the bells and whistles you need to launch an effective lead nurturing campaign.
Organizing & Segmenting Your Contacts
We bet your CRM is full of dozens, if not hundreds, of chilly leads. With your best-friend CRM, you can organize your contacts so you’re sending them the most targeted content, reaching out in the most effective way, and staying on schedule with your touchpoint cadence.
Here’s how we would recommend you segment your contacts, along with typical strategies for how often to reach out and the types of outreach that work best.
|Lead||Funnel Stage||Touch Point Cadence||Activity|
|Want to buy/sell right now||Conversion||Daily||Text, call, email|
|Actively considering buying/selling||Consideration||Twice a week||Text, call, email|
|Passively considering buying/selling||Interest/|
|Twice a month||Email, social media, direct mail, event invites|
|Undecided (on the fence)||Interest||Once a month||Email, social media, direct mail, event invites, phone call|
|Cold leads||Awareness||Once a quarter||Email, social media, direct mail, event invites|
Automated & Personalized Lead Nurturing Tools
Nurturing is all about touchpoints, or the number of times you initiate contact with your leads. There are lots of different ways to reach out to your contacts, including email, SMS, social media, event invitations, and the good old-fashioned phone call.
Email Lead Nurturing
Everyone knows that email is a powerful tool for lead nurturing and conversion, but it’s surprising how many people get it wrong. Agents often take a set-it-and-forget-it approach, creating automated email campaigns and blasting would-be clients with too much or the wrong type of information and then no personal follow-up. But with the right approach, email is still king.
Email Drip Campaigns 101
Your emails should be a mix of content so your recipients don’t get bored. Campaigns should consist of anywhere from four to 10 different targeted emails. You’ll want to space your emails out so there are several days or even a week in between, depending on your audience. You want that sweet spot between staying top of mind and driving people to the unsubscribe button.
The key to a solid drip campaign is to remember your goal: to create a lasting relationship that nurtures your leads over time. Your emails should lead to a call to action (CTA), such as an in-person meeting.
What to Send
Again, this is a great place to lean on your CRM; LionDesk, for example, has a whole library of email scripts and drip campaigns to get you rolling in your lead nurturing.
You’ll need several different types of campaigns for your segmented buyers and sellers. Your automated campaigns should have a mix of appropriate, interesting, relevant, and helpful content. Here are some of our favorite email examples:
Here’s an example of an email drip campaign cadence targeting passively looking homebuyers:
Email #1: Welcome, introduce yourself, provide a few new listings
Email #2: Light and carefree check-in, offer a homebuying resource
Email #3: Email with a video (maybe a listing tour)
Email #4: Check in with a CTA to get coffee and chat about potential properties and next steps in the process
💡 Pro tip: Make sure your CRM (that you are quickly falling in love with) tracks your email open rates. This is crucial to monitoring and evaluating your success. If people aren’t opening your emails, you can adjust your content strategy.
23 Real Estate Email Templates That Will Generate Business in 2023
Automated & Personal Text Messages (SMS)
Your SMS strategy should be similar to the one you use for email, so make sure your audience is segmented and correctly targeted. Be creative, consistent, and above all, brief.
Remember, text is a slightly more personal form of communication and it’s easier to overstep with recipients. That’s why we encourage you to get permission from your leads to text them. You can do this in a lot of different ways, but it goes a long way in setting the stage for a lasting relationship.
Here’s a great text script that tacitly asks permission:
Hi [lead’s first name], this is [your first name]. I haven’t heard from you in a while and was wondering if you’re still in the market to buy a home in [your area]. I’d love to chat with you if you are. Let me know.
What to Send
There are endless possibilities, but be sure to pick one that corresponds with where your lead is in the funnel. For example, SMS is a fantastic way to send a relevant listing that just went live. Check out our best text message scripts to send or this six-day text campaign for new leads.
Here’s one of our favorites for reaching out to a cold lead. It’s short, friendly, and eager to offer help without being pushy:
Hi [lead’s first name], this is [your first name]. I hope you’re doing well! I was wondering if you were still interested in purchasing a home. Please let me know if you are, but if not, feel free to reach out to me when you are ready. Wishing you all the best.
💡 Pro tip: Be creative. Texting is more informal than email, so have some fun! Emojis and GIFs are a great way to break the ice and show some personality. You can also personalize your texts with video and flash that bright, beautiful smile. We like BombBomb, an easy-to-use platform for creating meaningful videos in text and email.
Social Media Lead Nurturing
We often think of social media as a way to market ourselves. But consider this: Your leads use social media to reveal themselves. Often, their accounts tell you exactly who they are and what they value in life.
While email and text messaging are traditional (and proven) ways of staying top of mind, engaging through social media is just as important. It can be as easy as commenting on prospects’ posts, sending a relevant article, or tagging someone in a post about a new restaurant you think they’d like. Keep the conversation going and we bet you won’t just be friends on social media, but maybe also friends in real life.
In terms of touchpoints, there are few better ways to reach out than by calling. Calm your nerves and dial that phone. Set yourself up for success by making your call quick, courteous, and respectful of their time. The goal should be a casual reminder that you’re there and ready to help with any real estate needs. The farther the lead is down the funnel, the more specific your CTA can be. Maybe turn a quick check-in into a cup of coffee on Thursday. And a listing appointment on Friday.
Check out our vast library of tried-and-true phone scripts for you to adapt, depending on the type of lead:
Direct Mail Lead Nurturing
Before there were phone calls, there were—you guessed it—letters in the mail. Direct mail shouldn’t be overlooked as a tool in lead nurturing. Consider this the easiest touchpoint in your arsenal. Send out postcards, flyers, even a quarterly recipe. Take it a step further and send out handwritten notes to warm leads further down the funnel.
Consider this experience from our own Jodie Cordell:
I became a listing machine when I used one of my very first listings in a neighborhood as a catalyst for a massive direct mail lead nurturing campaign. The homeowners in this neighborhood had no choice but to see my face more than 12 times that year as I sent our numerous postcards, and I generated several additional listings. That’s the power of a strong direct mail nurturing campaign.
One of the key steps in lead nurturing is to get face time. Leads are far more likely to enlist your services when they’ve met you in person. Give them that opportunity by hosting an event. Of course, events can be expensive, so don’t go too crazy, but maybe host a class on the homebuying process or an annual holiday party. Even inviting leads to a local open house can be a great way to meet in person and show off your real estate expertise.
Bringing It All Together
You might actually have all the leads you need, just sitting there chilly in your database. You know you need to nurture them, but blasting a new lead’s inbox with irrelevant content is a great way to keep those leads freezing cold. Instead, put together a thoughtful nurturing campaign—with the help of your loveable CRM—and begin a warm, lasting relationship that turns a recent website visitor into a happy client.
My last piece of advice is to remember that lead nurturing is most effective when it’s authentic, so listen to your gut when you’re putting together lead nurturing campaigns. Now get out there and nurture those leads!
Have any tips or strategies that have worked for you? Or maybe some questions? Leave us a comment below!