Working Internet Leads Requires Just That -- WORK!

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Real Estate Pipeline, Inc.

** Disclaimer -- Hard-knock advice contained here. I usually write things with humor, sarcasm, and a certain lilt that most enjoy. This has none of that. Toughen up. This is about as serious as I can get without thinking I need coffee...or a vacation.

As one of our Facebook fans recently put it, “Internet leads are the new office phone call!”

The truth of the matter is that the internet lead is here to stay. And according to a recent NAR stat, 94% of all home buyers searched on the internet BEFORE they ever contacted an agent. So, agents have had to adapt to take advantage of this accepted fact.

But, the general opinion on internet leads is that these prospects are anywhere from six months to two years from making their purchase. And, in some cases, this is surely true.

But, the factual statistics simply state that the majority of internet inquiries are exactly the opposite. This data reveals that the vast majority of internet-generated leads are six months or less away from sealing the deal. Specifically, research has shown that a generous portion of all internet leads are only 4 months or less away from making their purchase.

In truth, internet leads tend to:
• Be better educated
• Buy more expensive homes
• Use a Real Estate Professional
• Have higher incomes
• Have a shorter search time
• Stay loyal to their Agent
• View fewer homes

So, why is it that sooo many agents have such a hard time converting them into prospects and, eventually, into a closing?

Well, to quote Bob Stewart of ActiveRain...

"...it's not because the leads were bad, it's because you (the agent) were not good at working them."

Working an internet lead is different than working someone that walks into your office or even calls you on the phone. And, the reason most agents fail at working internet leads is that they do not recognize that these individuals are merely gathering information. And, as such, they may be gathering it from multiple sources.

They have surely signed up on more than one website. There is no implied loyalty here. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are the only person they are talking to...or your site is the only one that they are checking. Thinking that you are the only resource they are checking at this point is setting yourself up for failure.

So...The goal here -- Be THE source that they should go to...Be the expert. Be the leader. Be the most responsive, best educated, and MOST WILLING to help them get the information that they need when they need it. Doing that will put YOU in the forefront in that buyer's mind. Make yourself stand out.

Which brings me to my closing point here: Follow-up phone calls. (Notice I didn't say anything about emails.)

Most agents simply do not call an interent lead. Fail. They email them. Fail. That is setting yourself up for failure. It is a cop-out. It's the easy way. And, in the vast majority of internet inquiries studied, it does not work!

Of the agents that call those inquiries, most agents do not call an interent inquiry more than two times. Fail.

You have to remember that by signing up on your website, they are asking for information. They want something you have...and it is your job to get it to them. Don't worry about "being a bother" or thinking that you are going to offend them.

(Does that happen once in a while??? Sure... But, that doesn't mean it happens ALL THE TIME! Ever have your order get screwed up at the drive-thru window?? Yup....everyone has. But, you still go through it, don't you. Same concept.)

Text them right away. Don't text?? Call them! Call them several times. They are asking you to do your job. Following up with them is your job. That requires calling. Don't call once. Don't call twice. Call twice a day for 5 days, if that is what it takes.

What is the worst that can happen?? They tell you not to call them any more?? Awesome!! At least that way, you have an definitive answer as to whether or not they are serious, right? The serious inquiries will want to talk with you. And, the ones that aren't will tell you not to bother them. Either way, you were successful.

Following up with your leads is your job. Learn how to do it properly. And, if you can't, hire someone that can. You will close more deals! You will be a better agent! You will make more money!

 

If you want more information on working internet leads, check out our FB page and Clint... You can follow him on Twitter.

 

 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Cheryl Ritchie 04/06/2010 12:32 PM
  2. Patricia Aulson 04/07/2010 05:10 AM
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Rainer
175,061
John Howard
Century 21 LeMac Realty - Mountain Home, AR
GRI, Mountain Home, Arkansas 870-404-3614

Clint,  Right On!  I work them like they are gold....cause they are to me!  Have a Great week!

Apr 07, 2010 01:35 PM #116
Rainmaker
189,766
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

John -- Awesome! And, they should ALL be worked that way...yes, some of them dont work out. But, some of them do! Work them all like they are gold and you will have more of it to spend. ;-)

Apr 08, 2010 12:27 AM #117
Rainer
64,064
Nicole Donaghy
Re/Max Purpose Driven - Lexington, SC
Helping Families Home in Lexington and Columbia

Ouch.  Thanks for the step on the toes.  I have always been told not to call the internet lead -- "studies show" they do not want to be called first.  Oops.  Plus, there's the problem with that 5000 lb phone...LOL!

Apr 08, 2010 01:11 PM #118
Rainer
222,458
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage - Kenmore, WA
Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA

All so true.  Keep up the good advice.

Apr 08, 2010 03:51 PM #119
Rainmaker
189,766
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Nicole -- Those phones are hard to pick up when you have been told not to call them, arent they?? :-) I can tell you having worked for a lead generation company for 6 years now, NOT calling them is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot. Call them. Trust me. Yes, you will get some that dont want to talk to you. Thats part of the game. But, for the most part, you will be talking to responsive people willing to discuss their needs. Just call them. :-) 

Oh....and......sorry about the toes. :-)

 

Jurius -- My friend! How are you?? .... Thank you! And, I plan on it, my man. ;-)

Apr 09, 2010 12:08 AM #120
Rainer
13,683
David DeSantis
Dadz Featured Tours - Elmira, NY

Clint, no attendees, however I did do a recorded internet presentation of "The Sale Starts With The Online Listing", here's the link for it presentation

How about doing an educational meeting or webinar session together?

Apr 09, 2010 04:37 AM #121
Rainmaker
189,766
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

David -- Yeah, today was a rough day to do that because of the rebarcamp going on in PHX...most techies are there or watching it online. ;-)

I wouldnt be opposed to that at some point. Have to clear it with the boss-people here, however. Email me -- clintmiller@recr.com

 

 

Apr 09, 2010 05:41 AM #122
Ambassador
703,921
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Clint you always give such good down to earth advice to REALTOR®.    I love our Internet clients.  As you said they are so much farther along and very educated about the RE process.  They've done their homework, they know what they like and it's up to me & my team to make the connection for them.  

Oh, and IMHO the other reason most agents fail at conversion is that they will call or email once and if that prospect isn't ready to buy today (or in the very near future) they quite.  We're seeing conversion on leads that came to us 12-18 months ago.

Apr 09, 2010 10:34 AM #123
Rainmaker
918,181
Norma J. Elkins
Elite Realty Group - Morristown, TN
Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team

Follow up is the key and that means to do it quickly - thanks for sharing!

Apr 09, 2010 11:31 PM #124
Rainmaker
334,102
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Clint

Internet leads require a different follow up system than any other leads but once you can connect it all comes back to the basics again.

Very good post

Ty

Apr 10, 2010 03:59 AM #125
Rainmaker
189,766
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Lee and Pam -- Awww, thank you so much! And, thank you for the validation on the article. :-) And, I completely agree with you on the failure issue. Its about the follow up skills of the agent, for sure. ;-)

Norma -- Amen!

Ty -- You got it, my friend.

Apr 14, 2010 06:24 AM #126
Rainmaker
2,433,114
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!
Great post Clint, I am the one who just calls once a day everyday, I think I will take your advice!
Apr 26, 2010 02:04 PM #127
Ambassador
574,969
Chris Alston
Chris Alston (Keller Williams Realty, Silicon Valley, California) - Campbell, CA
Silicon Valley, California

Thanks for sharing!  We do need follow up systems..  not just hope!  :)

Apr 28, 2010 07:25 AM #128
Rainmaker
423,061
Nevin Williams
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation - Cary, NC
Senior Mortgage Advisor

Clint - I am having serious issues with your company.  I followed our contractual agreement regarding cancelling my service and I am due $1,600 from you guys. RECR has owed this money to me since February and  now they are ignoring my calls.  Believe me,  if your company does not stand by their claims I will share my experiences and the outcome with all Active Rain members.  Maybe you can talk to someone and help me get resolution????  Thanks

Apr 28, 2010 02:32 PM #129
Rainmaker
546,671
Lori Cain
eXp Realty - Tulsa, OK
Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer

I really needed to read this today. Looks like I will *YIKES* be picking up my phone later this morning!

May 11, 2010 01:38 AM #130
Rainmaker
189,766
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Lori -- :-) Get on it, Lori! :-)

May 11, 2010 01:41 AM #131
Rainmaker
273,670
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

This is good advice that I am quilty of not following. I will change that. Thanks.

May 23, 2010 12:57 PM #132
Rainmaker
189,766
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Wayne -- You are welcome.

May 24, 2010 12:45 AM #133
Rainmaker
532,794
Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

Hey Clint, I have to say that I generate a nice number of leads from my lethbridge homes for sale blog.  I know that I could always improve my response and conversion ratios and am constantly working to improve that ratio while at the same time increase the number of leads that come in.  It is tough to do both at the same time though.

Jul 23, 2010 07:23 PM #134
Rainmaker
189,766
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Robert -- The best way that I have seen to do this is to develop an immediate response system. This way, as the leads come in, they are responded to immediately. The faster you reach them, the better they will convert.

Jul 26, 2010 01:12 AM #135
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