How to Keep and Convert Online Real Estate Leads

As the Director of Sales/Marketing at Stewart Title and Escrow in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area I meet with Realtors everyday.  We talk about all kinds of things: Contact Management Systems, iPad training, data lists to target market, video, blogging, AND how to convert Online Real Estate Leads.  To me online leads are the holy grail.  These are consumers that have a need, so they type into Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube what they are looking for and they find you.  The consumer then fills out a form, emails, or calls for more information.  I think that we can agree that our society has moved the way of “impersonal” over the last 10yrs where as the consumer doesn’t really want to call you and chat.  They don’t know you or your value and since email, text and filling out a form online is the same as telling you that they want to talk, that’s what they do.  Real Estate agents and Lenders spend money every month on SEO, Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com leads…sometimes large sums of money.  What I have found is that their conversion of these leads are poor.  The latest stat I read was that Realtors convert only 2% of the online leads they get into paying customers.  Why is that??  Lets talk about it…