Leads are people too: Four ways to persist without turning people off

Real Estate Technology with SmartZip

Industry visionary Brian Boero, of 1000 Watt Consulting, recently wrote about how many top real estate companies are working their leads in highly aggressive ways — in short, he says, real estate agents are starting to “digitally waterboard” their leads with between 21 and 43 touches designed to convert at any cost.

What agents aren’t considering, Boero, says, is how these potential clients want to be treated after they come in as a lead. And while you can certainly work to repair a relationship that commenced with light stalking, wouldn’t it be better to start off on the right foot?

Below are four tips for keeping it real and finding the human connection when you are working to engage and convert new leads.

1. Do some research before you reach out

Yes, the five-minute response is important. You may consider automating an initial response to a lead saying that you’re busy at the moment but will be in touch soon. But in the time between that automated text (or email) and your initial call, be sure to spend a few minutes thinking about how to engage the lead on a personal level.

If they’re a clear buyer lead, Google their name or look them up on Facebook. If they seem to be recently married or have an expanding family, work that into the call by asking if they had any major life changes recently or if they’re just looking for a new home. By giving them an opportunity to talk about their personal circumstances — and not just the deal you’re after — you’re stoking a real human connection that sets the right tone for them to work with you.

If they’ve requested a CMA or price analysis on their current home, do some digging on the home’s exact location. In your call, discuss its proximity to a local park, pool, restaurant or emerging commercial district. Show them that you know about more than just their home’s value and local housing trends; you also know about all their community and what makes it special.

2. Create your own script

Have you ever worked with a coach or service that offers scripts… but you end up tongue-tied or embarrassed as you work to get your point across?

Scripts can be great, but they also don’t take into account your personality, your attitude and how you prefer to engage with potential clients. If you’re an inherently amiable person who’s using an aggressive script, you’ll sound as natural as a vegan working the cashier at a butchershop.

And it’s not just awkward for you — when you fumble a script, your leads will notice something is off and they may even choose to hire an agent who seems a little more comfortable with their pitch.

Review the scripts you use and think critically about the parts you like, the calls to action that seem to work and most importantly, the sections or pitches that trip you up or make you squirm with discomfort. Revise them and ask your broker or a fellow agent to sit in on a 30-minute session where you review each revamped script until they’re fully memorized.

3. Talk about why you’re different

Plenty of buyers and sellers start their search on the web long before they officially sign on with an agent. If your potential leads have been on real estate sites for more than 5 or 10 minutes, there’s a high chance they are already being… ahem… “digitally waterboarded” by other agents.

This doesn’t have to be a roadblock; it can be an opportunity. In that initial call or email (if you don’t have their number), explain that your approach is different and you want to offer them real insights and valuable information that can help them.*

Reinforce that you have a no-pressure, no-obligation approach and see if this change in tone helps you engage with more buyer and seller leads on a deeper level starting on day one. If it does, you’ll know that treating your leads like people — and not a stray herd of cattle that needs prodding — is a unique, effective approach that will pay off in the short- and long-term.

*Of course, you’ll want to be sure they haven’t signed an official contract with any of the other agents who consider them an active lead.

4. Vary your approach (and keep track of it)

There’s nothing wrong with having multiple approaches to engage a client. In fact, we’d say giving them an opportunity to see different sides of your business and personality is a good thing. In fact, that’s why SmartZip’s SmartTargeting system comes with an intelligent, flexible outreach app called CheckIn.

CheckIn reminds you to get in touch with your leads and prospects, giving you the option to email, call, door knock or door drop, or to invite them to a local community event you are hosting. CheckIn also tracks any automated marketing touches you send their way, so you can be sure you aren’t overloading them with too much information.


How do you keep it real?
We’re eager to know how you meld your real-life personality with a focus on closing more business. Finding the right balance can be tricky. Tell us how you navigate the process in the comments!


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Corinne Guest, Managing Broker
Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
Barrington, a Luxury, Country Suburban Lifestyle.

My success comes from a much more hands off approach. I let them take the lead. Have you heard the saying, Do as you would be done by. It attracts your avatar!

Apr 21, 2017 05:56 AM #1
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

I have found pursuing people does nothing more than push a lead away rather than draw them close. You have to ask people what they want and then do that.

Apr 21, 2017 07:40 AM #2
Dr. Karen Jones Lewis, Broker
K1 Realty Group - Pembroke Pines, FL
Residential for Sellers and Buyers in S. Broward

I like the article.. I pesonally don't go after leads but I am sure it will work for the people that go after leads..Thank you for sharing..

Apr 21, 2017 07:43 AM #3
David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
HomeSmart - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

in the end, the key is to do something, doing nothing does not work.

Apr 21, 2017 02:39 PM #4
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Yeahhhh ... I do not like the firehose approach, so never use it myself. Probably lose some folks, but those who like low key send me others like themselves, so it works out.

Apr 21, 2017 06:16 PM #5
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

The key is always to know the style that fits you and be the best at that style.

Apr 21, 2017 06:52 PM #6
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

People buy today, sometime in the future or never. So, when meeting them for the first time, simply find out which buying mode are they in now. 

Apr 21, 2017 09:13 PM #7
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Thanks for sharing these tips. I find that it's important that I be myself and not try to be something I'm not. Understanding the needs of the lead as much as possible is key!

Apr 22, 2017 08:02 AM #8
Diana Dahlberg
1 MONTH REALTY - Kenosha, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

I enjoyed reading your lead-processing tips. I personally like to just talk with the prospect like they are a new friend.  I ask simple questions and just take it from there.  As they respond I come up with more questions.  It works for me.

Apr 22, 2017 09:06 PM #9
Robert Hicks
United Country River City Realty - Savannah, TN

Thanks for sharing these tips and ideas. I like them. Open ended questions and sell yourself first. Works for me..

Apr 24, 2017 08:24 AM #10
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