I've been in real estate for roughly 15 years. Every single year I utilized the internet to lead generate. In the beginning it was a hand crafted html page that linked to a really poor mls site. As time went on, this grew into more sophisticated real estate websites. As of this writing, my web presence still generates over 300 home buyer and sellers every month. I don't write this to brag (I know some of you might do 1,000 or more) but rather to help validate the process of following up for you.
What's the secret to converting internet leads?
When a internet lead comes in you got 2 "shots" - be first or last the longest.
1. Be First
Statistically, over 80% of home buyers work with the first person they talk to. Your job is to be that person. Ultimately, that means either talking to them in the first 5 minutes they are on your site or friendly stalking them for, on average, 8 months until they are ready to talk to a real estate agent.
2. Be Persistent
Basically you need to call/text/email almost every day in the first 30 days, then at least every other week in order to stay top of mind. Sometimes you would do this twice a day.
If you're unsure about what to say in an e-mail or voice mail (we covered e-mail subject lines in another post) but something simple works best.
Subject: Checkin in...
Hey I noticed you on the site the other day and wondered if.... (MAKE AN OFFER), [you'd like more photos of that home], [you'd like to see the inside of that home], [you'd like more homes like that home]?
What home you might ask? That's not the point, the point is to get the buyer to engage with you. Statistically, less than 1% of callers are going to buy the home they call on.
While On The Phone With A Lead Prospect Human
Once you do get them on the phone, here's some reminders. Control isn't a bad thing. If you don't know what you are doing and have a plan on the phone with someone who visited your website, then why are you calling?
- The person who asks more questions will always be in control. This also shows that you are listening and interested in them.
- When you answer their question...immediately ask one yourself. Too often real estate agents will answer the buyers questions and the buyer simply thanks them and hangs up.
- Buyers are calling other agents. Whoever secures their information and appointment will win the business. The appointment is crucial. You have a 75%++ chance of closing business with someone you meet in person. If they aren't ready to buy, meet them for coffee and help them plan for the future.
- You are not trying to sell them the house they called on (never, ever); you are securing an appointment and gaining information.
- You (may) only have one shot…the Buyer won’t call you back! When you get them on the phone they are forming an opinion about you. Get the appointment and solidify the relationship.
Before you start making calls (with scripts) you need to remind yourself of these assumptions:
- Expect that you will be successful
- Assume they don’t have an agent (but you will ask about it)
Assume they CAN buy (but you will ask about it)
Assume but don't ASSume
a little sidebar about this. I've seen agents call a luxury home buyer with trepidation and treat a low end buyer with almost visciousness. First, the person you are talking to is a person. That's someone's Mother/Father/Son/Daughter. Secondly, I've had luxury home buyers look at low end homes for investments and first time home buyers dream about luxury. So you don't know until you ask.
- Assume they are looking at homes because they actually want to move.
The word “scripts” may sound mechanical to you and practicing them may feel awkward. You might have even heard that some agents go “off the cuff.”
Far more top producers use scripts then the ones that don’t.
Ask yourself, did the actor in my favorite movie use a script? Was it improv? Truth is, that you use a script whether you want to or not. You assemble the words that you have together. It might not be repeated every time but sure enough it’s a script.
At the end of the day we use scripts for two reasons. Control & Consistency.
If you know what you are going to say before you say it then you can control the conversation. If you use a script and your conversion is low, we can tweak it because you know what you are saying.
Remember the purpose of each real estate conversation is an appointment. I'll let you search for scripts, but this acronym, LPMAMA is a good reminder for what kind of information you should be getting.