As real estate agents, we gather a lot of leads with the goal of growing our sales funnel. Do you know which leads are most likely to turn into a closing? If you don’t, you’re wasting time and creating a frustrating situation for yourself. Quit guessing and start prioritizing leads by assigning a value, or score, to each. This will increase lead follow-up efficiency and convert more leads into sales. If you’re tired of guessing which leads are converting and why, read on to learn more about the value of scoring.
Factors for Scoring Leads
Lead scoring provides a means for assigning points, or a value, to leads based off of a variety of criteria. Various, repeated behaviors exhibited by buyers and sellers that lead to a sale, are considered the highest scoring factors. If you have a blog article that gets a lot of traffic, leads to buyers asking you to represent them and ultimately leads to a sale, score the article high (ex. 800 points). If your Facebook ad has a decent open rate but it has never led to a closing, for example, score it low (ex. 100 points). Keep in mind, the higher the close rate, the more points you award. The following list gives you some suggested criteria to consider when scoring your leads:
- Information provided by the lead
- Engagement with your website
- Blog post views (reading multiple articles vs. just one)
- Email interactions (open rates; customer replies and requests; call-to-action clicks)
- Social media interactions (how many times the lead “liked” your Facebook posts; how many shares on Twitter, etc.)
- Demographics (specific areas; single parents; families, etc.)
- Length of time between first interaction with lead and sale/purchase of a home
- Credit score
Behavioral data is a important factor when it comes to scoring. Look at leads who eventually became customers and how they interacted with your website. How many times did they view your website? What did they download? What form did they fill out? Which of these hold the highest value? A high value form, like “sign me up for a showing” that led to a closing, results in a high score (ex. 700). If they simply look at a listing and click “email to friend”, without any further action, this would result in a low score (ex. 100). Determine which behaviors lead to closings vs. a view or click, to help you build a solid scoring system.
Are emails, which include a link to the “featured listings” page of your website, getting a lot of clicks and listing views? As a result, are you getting more showing requests which lead to closings? In this case, the “feature listings” email link will receive a high score. Or, if the "featured listings" link is getting clicks but then the lead doesn't do anything on your website, the score would be low.
Is the lead generation form on you blog generating a lot of first-time, high quality leads that later become clients? Do you know how they’re finding your blog? Dig in to your analytics (mentioned later in this article), to see which forms of marketing are leading to increased blog visits and rank that form of marketing with a high score.
Creating a Scoring System
Talk to different agents and you’ll see there are many different ways to score leads. Although scoring systems used by others may be appealing, look at data from your past leads vs. adopting another agent’s scoring system. Look for commonalities in leads that became customers. Do the same for those that didn’t become customers. If you represent buyers and sellers, consider traits for both. As you dig deep to learn which event(s) triggered them to reach out to you, and eventually led to a closing, you’ll begin to develop a scoring system unique to you and your clientele.
Keep in mind, you want to avoid making inaccurate assumptions when scoring your leads. If you assume a customer hired you because of an email you sent them about “buying your first home”, when instead they saw one of your ads about you being voted the top regional agent, you’re wasting your time and efforts. Make time to research which factors correlate with a high closing rate, vs. making assumptions, and you’ll see a higher return on your marketing investments. Once you define what you want to track, and assign a value to each factor, you will be able to calculate your lead-to-customer conversion rate (divide # of conversions by total # of leads).
Brainstorm With Your Sales Team
If you have a sales team, recognize they are a great resource for knowing what works to convert customers and what doesn’t. For example, they might recognize that when a lead comes to an open house, after receiving an email invitation, they typically want that agent to represent them as they look to buy a home. Hence, a higher score would be given to leads that clicked on the email open house link. I encourage you to visit with recent customers, who fit this profile, to determine if the email did in fact compel them to choose you as their agent. Make time to talk to your sales team to determine which form of marketing encourages a conversion and use the information to score your leads.
Utilize marketing analytics to measure and analyze which marketing efforts are leading to conversions. To make sure you’re spending time and money on the right resources, run an attribution report. An attribution report will give you insights on how prospects move through various touchpoints before making a commitment to purchase or sell a home. Learn which customer actions lead to closings then assign scoring values.
Google Analytics Assisted Conversions are popular for looking at attribution, or “interactions”, but other options exist including HubSpot’s Attribution Reports. There are a variety of attribution models worth consider, including the following:
- First-touch attribution or first interaction model. 100% of credit is given to the first page that drove a lead to your website. This model provides an easy way to see what attracts people to you and your services.
- Last-touch attribution or last interaction model. This focuses on the first touchpoint of the most recent visit. For example, if they visited your blog, clicked on an ebook download, which led them to your website/landing page, the blog gets the credit.
- First-and-last attribution model. Equal credit is given to the first and last touchpoints. For example, they visited your blog where they clicked on a link to one of your landing pages. From there, they clicked on a link to your website listings page, then clicked on a home to look at details. All of this contributed to the lead calling you to see the inside of the home and eventually a closing. In this case, the blog and listing detail page get equal credit.
As you can see, there are many options to consider when looking at attribution reports. Dive into Google Analytics or another source to learn more about customer actions that lead to closings.
Predictive Lead Scoring
If you want an automated way to score your leads, consider predictive lead scoring. It uses marketing and sales tools, algorithms and models to automate the process of scoring leads, saving you valuable time and removing the guesswork. Whether you want to look at personal insights, number of website views, email click through rates, or mortgage and financial information, predictive lead scoring can access and weigh the data for you.
Scoring based on behavior, demographics, social media engagement, etc. is essential in helping you recognize when a lead is ready to buy or sell, or when the lead needs more nurturing. As you analyze your marketing efforts and begin the scoring process, know that there is no perfect model when it comes to scoring leads. Figure out what works best for you, then build on your scoring system as you become more comfortable with scoring leads. Talk to your sales team to gain insight on what's leading to customer conversion. Look at marketing analytics and run an attribution report to gain a better understanding of where your marketing dollars have the greatest impact. Consider manually scoring your leads then move to an automated system to save time as you grow your sales funnel. Lead scoring will change the way you look at your leads and customers and increase sales. Now get out there, score some leads and make some conversions!