Succeeding at Internet Real Estate Leads
You may or may not know, but 90% of internet lead transactions are done by less than 10% of Realtors. Ever wonder why that is? I can tell you it's seven simple reasons.
One of the first things you need to consider as an agent is whether or not your capable of making the commitment to work leads consistently. That means making the time daily to follow up. 95% of sales do not take place until after follow up #7 or greater (keyword here being greater). Some agents, however, are always hoping for "magical leads" that are just rearing to go. Those agents don't do much business at all. It's all about your personal conversion ratio.
MIT did a study of 50,000 internet leads and 10,000 Realtors, I'm going to share with you what they found and 7 simple rules to succeed at working internet leads that are time-tested and proven effective for sending your business through the roof. Though I use the word "lead" here, I don't think of them as leads, but as people trying to accomplish something; I've always hated that term.
- Rapid Response: Did you know that every 10 minutes that goes by, your odds of converting a lead into a client drop 20%? Imagine waiting a half hour. Put the odds in your favor. It's nothing to excuse yourself from whatever, just acknowledge the person and set a time when you can talk about their inquiry even if you can't help them immediately. At a showing for instance, it's nothing to tell your buyers to have a look around, take two minutes and let a lead know you have all the information on a property but you're with a client and ask when a good time to speak is.
- Be Consistent: No matter what CRM or follow up system you use, it's useless without consistent follow up. 80% of leads do not respond until after follow up #6. Agents always seem to die two feet from the well. If it takes 3 minutes to leave a voice mail, text and send a quick email, that's less than twenty minutes total for six follow ups to win a client. I coach agents to push past seven.
- Personal Quality Follow Up: Are you barraging your leads with a ton of personal or sensitive questions at the outset? Don't do that, it's a put-off. Respond to their inquiry be helpful and save the more sensitive questions for when a open dialogue is established.
- Know When to Use Drip Campaigns: Some agents will take a ton of leads, do no personal follow up or perhaps just one or two personal follow ups and place them on a drip campaign. Don't do that. Nothing beats a highly relevant, personal follow up. Drip campaigns work best as a last resort when personal follow up has been exhausted. Drip campaigns don't speak to a person's unique situation or current interests like personal follow ups do.
- Be Helpful: Even when they say they already have a Realtor. Everyone tells little white lies people, it's true. Many times a prospective buyer or seller will state they already have an agent. Have you considered; Maybe they don't, not ready to commit, or, if they have such a good Realtor then why are they not calling them about properties of interest? Being helpful, answering questions and offering assistance regardless will pay you back over and over. "I love being helpful, I don't want to step on your agents toes, but if you're not getting the help you need, I'll be glad to." You'll be surprised how many times leads will end up working with you in the end.
- Don't Play Psychic: This one really gets me. Agents don't know who is capable and who isn't, who is serious and who isn't until a substantial conversation has been had. You can't tell by looking at a lead whether they are "golden" or not, and sometimes even after talking to them you still don't know until a buyer's credit is pulled by a loan officer and sadly, sometimes the truth pops out with an underwriter's touch. Treat all leads as equal until the truth wills out.
- Don't Ignore Low Dollar Leads: This one too amazes me, agents will turn their nose up at a lower dollar lead (see the bonus about the Cracker-Head Box). First of all, the sheer bulk of low dollar leads will end up buying higher in the end. Too, you don't know the circumstances (don't play psychic). I'll give you a true example. Low dollar lead, $25,000, and I followed up. Turns out she was looking for a fixer upper to finance for her son to live in while going to college. She also wanted to sell her home ($180k), and buy one ($200k) near her son. Looking at the original lead I would never had known that unless I had followed up.
BONUS: The Cracker-Head Box
Just because it's a low dollar lead does NOT mean they are a cracker-head. Just because they are looking at higher dollar doesn't mean their NOT a cracker-heard (this goes with not playing psychic and not ignoring lower dollar leads). Again, you simply don't know. An agent's focus should be to get to the bottom of it quickly and determine if the lead is;
Naive: They are low dollar but capable of buying higher, perhaps they don't understand if they are financing they can't do any repairs themselves and might as well go FHA 203k and buy a better home, which they usually do if they have the credit and financial capacity.
Challenged: Sometimes people start looking really low, they are actively working on their credit and paying down debt. In the beginning when they are looking at low dollar homes, it takes a while for it to sink in about not being able to do repairs themselves, and slowly the light comes on they need to continue working on their finances and credit. It's a 50/50 payback for following up and staying in touch as they progress. You'll find some of these are highly motivated to fix it so they can buy and worth staying in touch with.
An Investor or Cash Buyer: Either or, these are usually quicker cheddar for agents, I had an agent on my team a couple years ago that rejected a $34,000 lead so my business partner Marty Snyder and I took it. We followed up, after several attempts we finally talked and turned out to be one of our best investor clients that buy three or four homes a year with us and always cash.
The True Cracker-Head: While not profitable, this category is often a source of amusement, but sometimes sadness too. There are just some people that are not going to fix their life, or it has gotten so out of control you know that there is no way in hell they are going to be able to buy a home in the next two years if ever. They are unrealistic, unreasonable and always remember you can't help someone that won't help themselves. They are not going to fix it, can't fix it and you can't do it for them. Get them off your radar immediately.