There isn’t a magical way of converting your online leads. Let’s be realistic – some of the leads inquire on accident, some put the wrong information, and some are just not interested. However, there are ways to increase that conversion and take a good portion of those from a lead to an opportunity.
There goes that question, “what is considered an opportunity?” Here is the simple answer; anytime you can get face-to-face with a client, they go from a lead to an opportunity. But what if they are not pre-approved? What if they don’t sign a buyer’s agreement? Like really, it’s time to get over yourself. You’re in an extremely saturated market, nowadays people tend to make impulse decisions, and you’re going to miss out an opportunity to make thousands of dollars because you don’t want to meet a lead at a house?
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, so, let’s take a step back… It all starts with how you manage your business. What’s the process? What happens when a lead inquires? What CRM do you use? Do you integrate any additional software? Are you buying the right leads? Are you marketing yourself and your brand correctly?
One thing to keep in mind, when the lead inquires online they don’t care about you, but you care about them. They have no idea who you are, and you are trying to build that relationship. So making the right first impression is critical. Don’t be “salesy,” you are a Real Estate professional not a used car salesman, most of the time you are helping them with the most prominent financial purchase they’ll probably ever make.
So what’s the process?
Well first, before your lead even inquires, where do they go? If you are still manually inputting your leads into an excel sheet and have the F column labeled as “date I followed up,” there is your first problem. You need to find a user-friendly CRM. You need a way to track the leads; you need a way to know when you last spoke to them, what stage they are in and have tasks in place to follow up when they ask, along with notes on your last communication. People say email is dead, but it’s funny, once you meet that client face-to-face and they start to receive listings based on what you learned about them, they are way more inclined to respond to that email and say “can we see this.”
Secondly, what do you consider a dead lead? So they inquired at 4:30 pm on a Wednesday, you reached out, and they didn’t respond to your call. So you email and text, nothing… dead lead. Is it possible that they were at work and inquired and all of the sudden their boss came into the room? What if they just inquired and the baby woke up crying? Let’s not forget that people do have friends and family that call out of nowhere, could it be possible that they received a call within those five minutes?
Lastly, if you are going to take anything from this, this is where I would pay most attention. Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up! At the end of the day, people get distracted by this thing called “life.” Their priorities shift. So what you think is a dead lead, really isn’t. It’s critical to continue to follow up with that lead until they tell you STOP. Here is where life comes into play, and your strategic skills outsmart “life.” Follow up at different times of the day. Try them in the morning, in the afternoon, in the early evening, figure out what time works best for THEM. Find out their best method of communication – a study showed that 79% of leads prefer text messages over emails and calls. Why? When you get a text they will almost always read it, they can answer on their time. Imagine this, you call your lead, they just spent 2 hours trying to put the baby to sleep, and now their phone is ringing, and the baby is awake. That lead is going to be livid and probably will not give you the time and day because all that time they spent getting their precious baby to sleep, is worthless because you decided to call them. Try making that follow up call in an hour; lets see how fun that will be!
All right, now you got your CRM in place, you figured out your leads best communication method, now you finally get to meet them at the house. Don’t just jump in and sell… “Hi, this is a 3bed, 3 bath with beautiful views, you need to see the upgrades, and it’s priced perfectly” You might as well leave at that point. Clients are emotional beings, take the time to chat with them, get to know them, most importantly, understand the “why.” Find out why they are buying, why they are selling, understand “why” they are considering this decision. Pay attention to the smaller things, the kid’s names, where they work, what they like. Most importantly do not make it seem like they are wasting YOUR time. If that lead feels uncomfortable at all during that initial showing, the chances of them calling you again for another showing are slim to none. Also… make sure to be prepared! Look up the local schools, understand what the main cross streets are, see how far the freeways are and look into the community.
If you can master being sensitive to their needs, making them comfortable, while providing value about the area as well as the homes in the area, you’ve won! All that builds rapport with the client, and now you’ve become more than just a “realtor.”