Everyone starts somewhere. For Craig Sherwood, his adventure into eEdge began when he joined Keller Williams Realty in 2010. After two years at RE/MAX and three years at EXIT Realty, he says Keller Williams was “a perfect match” because of the company’s commitment to a culture of education and training. Today, he adds technology to the list of advantages: more specifically, the lead capture and converting power he’s attained through eEdge, Keller Williams Realty’s complete lead-to-close real estate transaction solution.
“I hadn’t fully embraced a CRM system and needed a database management system,” Sherwood recalls. “So when eEdge was announced, I immediately adopted it.” He is also among those associates who chose to purchase the Market Leader Professional add-ons for eEdge, a decision he says is just one of the reasons his business exploded. “I put the tools to work for me and the results followed.”
Sherwood estimates that between 70 and 75 percent of his business stems from his Internet lead generation strategy powered by eEdge. The other 25 to 30 percent comes from repeat clients, referrals and from mortgage brokers who he’s worked with in the past. In some respects, he attributes even that portion of his business to the long-term campaigns activated through myMarketing.
Create a Routine Geared for Daily Results
Every morning Sherwood starts with a quick look at his eEdge dashboard. “I look to see how many contacts came in and how they got to my page, including the search terms people used to find my stealth Website.” By stealth, he means the site is only lightly branded to him. “In the early search stages, people like to remain anonymous, so even though they are registering with the site, they feel more comfortable about it.”
Sherwood says his pay-per-click advertising strategy is bringing in a lot of those new leads. He posts advertisements designed to attract house hunters interested in foreclosures or distressed properties. This also tends to attract people who are looking for a good deal in the market.
Categorize the Lead
All of the newly registered leads are immediately put into the myContacts section of eEdge. It’s an additional step (especially since his eEdge Website automatically sends new users to his eEdge Dashboard), but Sherwood believes in the power of the additional Website and he can’t argue with the fact that it’s working.
Next, he assesses each contact’s situation – things like what kind of properties they commonly search for as well as the price range and location, and categorizes them as “active,” “hot,” Craig Sherwood or “retry,” “sold” or “trash.” Sherwood then assigns them to a group to target with the proper myMarketing campaign at a later date.
He has six groups: buyers, sellers, sphere of influence, past clients, his top 100 and a FSBO group. This is a crucial step, Sherwood says, because it makes setting up and sending out those campaigns easy, especially when he’s on the move and deploys eEdge on the Go to manage incoming leads and contacts on the fly.
Respond to Build the Relationship
Once the user is in the system, Sherwood monitors their activity and responds appropriately. “I email contacts right after they’ve viewed a listing, explaining the property’s features and why it might be a good match for them.” Sometimes the contact responds favorably and other times they ask not to be bothered. “But I never discredit or delete anyone. Everyone stays in the system in some shape or form. You just never know,” he says.
Don’t Worry About Cold Shoulders: They Could Be Your Next Client
Sherwood once called a woman who was searching for properties on his site and registered. She was cold on that first call, telling him that she didn’t need anything at the moment. Sherwood politely thanked her and then put her on “The Bottom Line” eEdge 8 x 8 campaign. And then something interesting happened. “Several months later, to my surprise, she emailed me in response to the ‘Staging Sells’ email, telling me that she would actually like to know the value of her home. We not only did that, we listed and sold her home!”
Use the 10 Days of Pain
If acquiring, categorizing and marketing to leads is the first step, then the second and perhaps most important step is turning them into actual clients. Like the example of the woman above, these conversions can happen as a result of automated touch campaigns.
Which is why, in addition to the suite of campaigns in the myMarketing design center, Sherwood deploys Market Leader’s add-ons for eEdge “10 Days of Pain,” which is an intense program, focused on automated prospect communication over the course of, you guessed it, 10 days. “It’s making a difference in the number of leads I’m converting,” he says.
According to Sherwood, out of the 10 touches, the second and fourth emails are the most effective at eliciting a response from clients. Why these emails? “I think it has a lot to do with the offers,” he says. One offers up a list of bank-owned homes and the other asks users “How am I doing?”