Real Estate Leads - Traction or Distraction?
BTW, I really hate the word "lead",
I think of leads as potential clients. They're simply people like you and me at some stage of the home-buying or selling process. Interestingly, the national average of internet real estate leads converted by agents into clients is an amazingly low 1 out of 24 while a handful of agents convert nearly 50% into clients. Why is that?
When & why buyers choose to work with you;
This is a good read for buyers too, as this article will give you indicators about whom to work with. Look at this way, it's two ends of a sliding scale, and agents should put themselves in the buyer or seller's shoes and imagine what they think or feel; too aggressive? Or not aggressive enough. Either is not appealing to most, and the answer is actually closer to the middle.
Are you annoyingly aggressive? Or do you give the impression you just don't care?
In order to develop "traction" with home buyers and sellers that come across your media and outreach, you have to follow up and it pays to become a master of good follow up skills. Done correctly, potential clients will love you for it.
Ask yourself; how many times have you ever inquired about something (not just real estate) via text, email or some internet form and you get one response? Ok, but then you get busy and totally forget about what you inquired on, but never hear from anyone again. Usually, some new opportunity will take the place of the previous one which you tend to forget and you give your business to someone else.
That's why follow up is important, and if you're anything like me it often takes several attempts to get my attention and keep it, there's so much out there online it's difficult to remember what you saw and where.
At one extreme of the slide or scale, agents can be too aggressive. It's fine to send a quick acknowledgement to someone that's just looking and let them know you're there to help should they have questions. A day or two later, ask again and make it known (succinctly) you're available to assist. After that, just touch base several days apart, gently reminding them you're a local expert (at least I hope you are) and can also provide resources like lending options or customizing a specific property search for them; it doesn't hurt to send them listings.
- I know when someone badgers me, I find it very annoying, but don't mind someone staying in touch; there is a difference.
- In a two week period, reach out a few times early on to help them remember you and casually stay in touch. Remember, it can be months to over a year before someone is ready to buy or sell. Agents die two feet from the well, giving up after three or four follow ups, but statistics have proven over 80% of buyers don't respond until after following up six times or greater. That doesn't mean follow up daily, six days in a row!
- I usually follow up 2-3 times the first week and about once a week for a while, petering out to every two weeks, then monthly. I cannot tell you how many times I hear "thanks for staying in touch".
- Another part of being too aggressive and destroys the opportunity to gain traction is what you email. You're reading this, but I can tell you most people don't like to read a whole lot. Not unless it's something particularly important, but we tend to manage information better in small "digestible" pieces. Send a little here, a little there. Keep emails brief, don't tell or ask everything at once.
- I've seen agent's first emails asking them for everything, literally several to over a dozen questions or send a buyer or seller a huge list of to-do's or laundry list of their qualifications. Don't do that. A little here, a little there and offer reviews if you have them. Testimonials are powerful, send a link. Potential clients want to research you.
Not Aggressive Enough
If you only email, text or call someone initially, and maybe reach out a second time and quit, you're never going to get anywhere. Why? Because that buyer or seller is going to close with someone, and the more helpful you are (without being annoying) and the more consistent you are with follow up, the more memorable you are.
Distraction Ruins Traction
Again, the simple game of staying in touch, having let a potential know about your services and availability is key. Nearly all busy sales professionals of various industries have some sort of follow up tool. That being said, I cannot stress the importance of blocking out time for follow ups.
I can pretty much guarantee you, if you get a real estate lead, reach out once and your next follow up is a week or more later, you've likely already lost the chance of gaining a client. There's a lot of other Realtors out there who will enthusiastically respond and court that business when you fail to do so. Just because they came to you through some channel doesn't mean their not exposed to several agents in your area.
Remove the distractions, plan time for follow ups! If you don't, you'll only ever get further behind and feel disappointed you're not successful with working internet buyer and seller leads.
My business partner Marty Snyder, does an amazing job of keeping in touch, winning many over for his casual, laid-back style but still is responsive, quick, helpful and the track record to go with it and great reviews on places like Zillow. Together we co-manage our company's E-lead program, and he's very successful at working these strategies, and very successful helping buyers and sellers in SW Ohio. If you'd like to join or team, or if you're buying or selling in SW Ohio, give us a shout!