There is a myth in the industry that we wish to focus on. Real estate agents who are closing a disproportionate number of deals are not getting better leads – truly they are performing a better job at nurturing the leads that are coming in to them. To those who feel that they are struggling, this insight is good to know as it means that you have more power and control than you might have thought before.
Really conversion rates are dependent not so much on your lead generation system or techniques (although that has some weight) but what will mainly drive your success is the on the effort (and finesse) you put into lead follow-up.
Even more wonderful news is that you will not be tasked with reinventing the wheel to efficiently convert leads. What is critical is to develop good follow-up habits which will provide higher conversion rates for you.
The Element of Speed
If you secured constant web leads each day – which you have done if you are lucky enough to have an account with RealEstateLeads.ca – then you might just think everything is set. However, our lead service is only half the equation for success; the other half is naturally up to you. So if you are not calling your leads then you are definitely not on a path for high-conversion rates. Various studies have pointed out that calling your leads within the first 5-10 minutes enable much better results even than calling 10-30 minutes or more or later. What are they doing after 10 minutes of submitting their information on the internet? Chances are they are in an anxious mode and perhaps already dialing another agent, or perhaps they are just engaging back into their work, domestic duties, or regular routine.
Studies have shown that most leads will work with the 1st agent they engage in a conversation with; even if they speak to some other ones afterwards. Of course, this also depends on how well you tell them what they are hoping to hear without being dishonest. So if you call a lead in those five to ten minutes; you are making a good impression – and so you are also most likely to be the agent of choice that will they end up working with. One study reported that quick lead response positively impacts lead conversion by 230%.
The reason why most agents don’t pick up the phone as they should is not so much because they are lazy, but often because they feel afraid to fail. Failing sometimes is always guaranteed, but as the old adage goes – “no pain – no gain.” A tried & tested way of overcoming calling fears is rehearsal of scripts. For great script examples, see our previous article on that topic. So every time you make a call, you have a fine tuned the script right in front of your eyes, so you effectively reduce your chances of losing control of the conversation.
The Art of Following-up
Again an immediate reaction to a online lead should be calling them about 5 minutes after the lead was delivered to you – despite any automated email that might have been sent. Not every lead is going to answer your call immediately, but with today’s smartphones – they should be able to see that you called – and they will appreciate that when you are able to get a hold of them. It should be repeated again NOT just send an a manual or automated email – that is, unless you want to be a member of the big bucket of agents who convert less that 10% of leads. Realistically you can push that number higher that 50%, or more.
If nobody answers your first call,leave a voicemail and perhaps also send a text if it is a mobile number. Your text will most likely be full read in any case. Also, if you have it set-up – automated home searches sent from your website and drip campaigns are both good methods for keeping in touch.
The biggest mistake you can make, other than being rude or insulting to the prospect, is to decide to stop following up with a lead because you quickly feel you are not getting the response you hoped for. But if a lead specifically asks you to stop, you should continue to follow-up with them at least by email or text; or even by snail mail if you have an address.
Not all leads are ready right to talk away. As you might already know, a small percentage of leads will either sell or buy (or both) within a few months. Most leads actually take up to a year (and in some cases longer) before they will take the plunge. However, your job in the meantime is to make sure you are in their line of sight, so to speak, whenever they are ready.
Setting up a meeting with your lead, face to face, is equally crucial as a call. Negotiate with them on the phone to initially schedule an appointment for discussion over a cup of coffee. Another idea is to invite them to one of your open houses for a more light-hearted approach. Nothing beats real physical visual interaction. If you can swing it, try to arrange for a skype video call with them.
The main idea is to build rapport and therefore meeting your leads in person too. Choose voice calling over email or sms – those are a dime a dozen sort of speaking. Of course you know this, but it goes in line with this train of thought – purchasing a house is probably one of the biggest decisions and investments your leads will ever make. Therefore, they will probably want to take their time, so feel them out and react likewise. Use their feedback to build their trust in you.
With a smart and strong system in place, you can practice with every lead to iron out the art of following up and working those leads down. The net result of doing this better = more deals.
Don’t be disillusioned. Follow up with leads is a lot of work, but such efforts will turn into your bread & butter. You shouldn’t just go at it freestyle. Each new lead should be another chance to perfect your communication skills. Best wishes from your secret helpers at RealEstateLeads.ca