Be a resource instead of a salesperson.

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC BK607690

BAM!!! Got me a Broker!Hi folks. Today I want to write a little bit about Internet leads and how to handle them. This post was inspired by Monika McGillicuddy's recent post "Don't hit the delete key.....pretty please". First, I need to disclose that the bulk of my business is NOT Internet based. Since I rarely work with Buyers the Internet is not as powerful a tool for me as it would be if Buyers were my target. Some Sellers do find me through the Internet but most are referrals or folks responding to my expired letter.

Having said that, I have sold many properties sight unseen over the Internet. These were sold to Buyers who found a listing online and sent me an email requesting additional information. The only reason I am not an expert with working with Buyers over the Internet is because I don't want to be. I am however an expert at sales. I can sell "ice to an Eskimo" if need be.

Having been in sales of some sort most of my life the most important thing I have learned is...do NOT sell folks. My job as a "sales person" is to persuade people to make decisions that are beneficial to them and to me. TLW says I am a manipulator. She's wrong. I am a persuader.

You must remember folks who use the Internet are after one thing, information. This is VERY important to understand. They do NOT want to be sold. If you try to sell them the game is over.

Your response back to an Internet inquiry should be designed to:

  • First and foremost....answer their questions.
  • Provide additional information.
  • Be non intrusive.
  • Build trust and likability.
  • Invite further interaction.
  • Let them know you will be following up.

Now folks, having a blog goes a long way to achieving these goals. I have already written several posts on how to push your information at folks so I won't repeat it here. Here are the links to what I have already written.

The key is to get your information in front of them without selling. What this does is create a non threatening environment where the consumer can get the information they are searching for without feeling like they are being sold or coerced into dealing with a "salesperson" when they are not ready.

You want to be a resource. A source of information that the consumer sees as valuable. You want them to feel comfortable enough to come back. And they will come back if you have the information they are searching for.

If you have spent any time at all reading my blog, then you know, that I NEVER sell my services. I don't have to. When the consumer reads my posts they are getting valuable information. They contact me because I am giving then this information with no strings attached, it's free for them to use as they choose.

Also remember, folks are on the Internet searching not only because they want information but because they want it quick. If you do get an inquiry you must respond immediately. If you don't respond instantly or at a minimum within a couple of hours you can be sure they have moved on.

I'm not a big fan of auto responders, however, if you are not set up to respond to inquiries quickly you may have to set up an auto responder. If you do just make sure the response is not too generic and is giving them information. Don't use the "out of the office will respond later" thingie. Your response, at a minimum, needs to be friendly and have additional links in it to keep them busy until you can get back with them. You will have more success converting Internet prospects by sending them "anything quickly" than sending them "something more comprehensive" later.

OK that's it, Broker Bryant's Ramblings for today. Hope it helps. Any thoughts?

Graphic compliments of Jay Merton.

Copyright © 2007 Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings | All Rights Reserved

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 Tutas Towne Realty, Inc handles Florida real estate sales, Florida short sales, Florida strategic short sales, Florida pre-foreclosure sales, Florida foreclosures in Kissimmee Florida Short Sales, Davenport Florida Short Sales, Haines City Florida Short Sales, Poinciana Florida Short Sales, Solivita Florida Short Sales,  Orlando Florida Short Sales, Celebration Florida Short Sales, Windermere Florida Short Sales. Serving all of Polk, Osceola and Orange Counties Florida. Florida Short Sale Broker. Short Sale Florida.

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Rainer
139,927
Kelly Sibilsky
Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD. - Lake Zurich, IL
People don't want to be sold...but they do want to buy! I agree that we should give them the information they are looking for! I hope what we are doing by blogging is becoming that likeable, non-intrusive resource. :)
Dec 02, 2007 11:33 AM #28
Rainer
12,647
Larry Hammelman
Mel Foster Co. - Sterling, IL
Sterling, Illinois Real Estate
BB, I agree, you have to respond very quickly with information on how you can help them, not a sales pitch.  Thank you, you included many good points, and I plan on refering back to them again.
Dec 02, 2007 04:32 PM #29
Ambassador
1,653,307
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection
You are so right, the typical internet customer wants to get the information so be a resource.  If you provide what they want they will contact you when the decision is made to purchase.  Blogging is very important, I can't tell you how many contacts I have made because of providing information to my marketplace even on the none real estate subjects.
Dec 02, 2007 04:57 PM #30
Rainmaker
593,907
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

JI just let it come to me and go with the flow...to me responding quick is usually the best way for me.

ust happened to me. see below...although my name was spelled wrong..who cares...my response time was important to the potential client.

Hi Neil, thx for ur quick response.

Dec 02, 2007 10:37 PM #31
Rainer
155,621
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

I agree whole heartedly.  While some people do need help making a "buying" decision, for the most part they don't want to be "sold" to.  Excellent post!

 

Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 

Dec 03, 2007 01:47 AM #32
Rainer
37,637
Karl Burger
ERA Beach Ball Realty - Pensacola, FL
Pensacola Real Estate News
This is great advice. I say take a lot of time crafting your autoresponse so the prospect knows that you are genuinely interested and will get with them ASAP. Give them the feeling that you are the one they want to work with. Change your response as you get new and better ideas. Run it by some friends and get some feedback. Thanks for writing. I'll get back to you (Just doesn't cut it). Let them know who you are and they mean the world to you.
Dec 03, 2007 01:51 AM #33
Rainmaker
236,392
Debbie Summers
Charles Rutenberg Realty - New Smyrna Beach, FL
As always... Excellent post, thank you for sharing.
Dec 03, 2007 02:43 AM #34
Rainmaker
1,142,210
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Well howdy folks!!!! Been a real busy day so haven't had a chance to get back here. But..........as always........THANKS!!!

I like Karl's response. In a nutshell: Just because it's an autoresponder doesn't mean you can't put some thought into the response.

Dec 03, 2007 06:46 AM #35
Ambassador
2,681,561
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services
Bryant- Another great post! No one buys unless there is a know, like, trust thing going on. That is first and foremost. When you sell, sell, sell, you are pushing people away in the form of pushiness as sales is known as. IN actuality selling is what you said, helping the consumer to discover what they need and that you are the one to fill that need. Thanks for sharing, Katerina
Dec 03, 2007 10:52 AM #36
Rainer
62,831
Allen C. Wright
RealtyU - Aliso Viejo, CA
NS, AHS, REPS

Excellent point ... A designation I took several months ago pointed out the fact that many consumers have tons of information at their fingertips and by being a resourse you are repositioning yourself in the transaction.  course was called Certified Neighborhood Specialist

Thanks for sharing

Dec 03, 2007 11:09 AM #37
Rainer
72,472
Kristin Small
RE/MAX Southern Shores - Myrtle Beach, SC
REALTOR -GRI, Myrtle Beach Real Estate
I agree BB.  It's all about being knowledgeable while having a great personality while building relationships!
Dec 03, 2007 02:33 PM #38
Ambassador
254,133
Melissa Grant
A Serendipity World - Greenbackville, VA
The Law of Attraction In Life & Business

Excellent post and very informative. Consumers need to be knowledgable. I cannot tell you how many consumers I have spoken with over the weeks that have no idea of the market, the neighborhood, commissions. Many think they know because of what they heard ( ie : media, etc ). January 1 I start classes to become Certified Neighborhood Specialist because I want to learn more and become their resource !

The sad fact to the class only 11 slots were available in my area, it is Dec 4 and as of yesterday 3 were filled ! Go figure !

Dec 03, 2007 09:45 PM #39
Rainmaker
453,651
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
As you already know BB I firmly believe this to be true.  So what will become of the lakehouse? You really moved?
Dec 04, 2007 02:11 AM #40
Rainmaker
1,142,210
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Hi folks. I just got settled in from a long day of moving. I must be getting old. All I did was watch and I'm exhausted!!

Allison, I don't know what we are doing with our other house yet. May try to sell it.... may try to rent it. But more than likely, with the market the way it is, I'll probably just end up carrying it for awhile. Add it to my list of vacant homes we own. Not much of a market for a 65 year old 2/2 with 2600 sq ft liv area. Got anyone looking?

Dec 04, 2007 09:41 AM #41
Rainmaker
338,442
Gary Bolen
McCall Realty - South Lake Tahoe, CA
CRS - Lake Tahoe Real Estate Information

we always respond immediately, and answer every question. we also always link to our blog, and remind them where the answers are there, which they usually are. 

How could you leave the gator pond? Or do you have a new one?

Dec 04, 2007 02:14 PM #42
Rainmaker
123,462
Rebecca Savitski
BSR Real Estate Group - Cary, NC
NC Real Estate Listings
BTW - I have turned my auto responders off. I am trying to answer all of my emails personally with the information and then some.  Great post
Dec 05, 2007 09:11 AM #43
Rainmaker
593,907
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate
So now you guys are offical Codgers!
Dec 05, 2007 10:46 PM #44
Rainer
3,792
Vanessa Igtiben
Grupe Real Estate - Stockton, CA
Great information! I'm not a big fan of "salespeople" myself, so I will be me, myself and I (friendly and genuine) and have the information people are seeking at hand.  P.S. - I hope to blog even half as good as you some day.. when I find the courage to start. You're great! Thanks
Dec 06, 2007 08:26 AM #45
Rainmaker
1,142,210
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Hi Vanessa, The best way to get better at blogging is to jump in and get started. Go for it!! We all started somewhere and most of our early posts sucked. I tell you what, put up a post and send me a link to it and I'll come by and read it and comment on it for you to get you started. We don't bite.....I promise:)

Neal, we are and have been for a while official Codgers. I have an entire set of graphics that Jay made for us. He's good.   

Dec 06, 2007 09:12 AM #46
Rainmaker
453,651
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
As I say Broker Bryant- be the source of the source!   Internet Customers are indeed a breed unto themselves. I think your advice is sage !   Thanks again for another wonderful post.
Dec 06, 2007 11:29 PM #47
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