Be first, convert more

You’ve likely heard the phrase “speed to lead”. It seems to be increasingly important in the days of online lead generation, primarily with regard to the big lead portals like Zillow, Realtor.com and their subsidiaries. 

Here’s something you’ve probably heard: 47 percent of all buyer leads were never responded to. Average response time for agents to call online leads is more than 2 days (61 hours!). To crush online leads and increase your CGI in 2019, the first step is sticking to the motto “speed to lead”. Yes, there are plenty of ways to reach out to people but without picking up the phone, you’re not really maximizing your opportunity. 

An agent is 100 times more likely to make contact with an online lead if they call with 5 minutes compared to 30 minutes. This is proven through independent research and our own numbers from generating millions of real estate leads.

Best practices

Aim for a response time of 2 minutes or less.

The goal is to secure a live telephone conversation. This is easily the most impactful change you can make in your business — and the key to doubling your appointments from online leads.

  • Set up an auto-responder to automatically send an email and text message the moment a new lead arrives.
  • Create custom alerts to notify you the moment you get a new lead. Many CRMs include this feature.
  • Hire some help. As you scale your business, it will eventually be impossible for you to manage lead response along with all of your other responsibilities. Hire an assistant to respond to new leads.

Persistence is key. Diversify your communication methods to tee up more appointments.

  • Phone. If you can’t make contact on your initial call, keep trying! Make three calls within the first 24 hours, only leaving a message on the third call.
  • Text. Many leads prefer to use text messaging. Send a text message to tee up your first phone conversation: introduce yourself, include information about the property they contacted you about, and ask what time they’re available to speak over the phone.
  • Email. Consider auto-responder emails to engage new leads the moment they arrive. Your email should be brief and enthusiastic, and should prompt the contact to set up a phone call the same day.
  • Video. Break through the noise with a personalized video introduction via email or text. This strategy gives a human touch to the initial communication and distinguishes you from other agents.

Master the initial discussion with these tips.

  • Speak clearly. Prospective clients are making judgments about you in the initial call, so communicate at a good tone and pace.
  • Showcase your local market expertise. There’s more information freely available to customers than ever before, so it’s important to offer insights they couldn’t glean through online research.
  • Don’t focus on the property. Remember the objective in the initial call is to exchange information. Focus on answering their real estate questions, while subtly asking questions of your own to gain perspective about the prospective client and determine how you can best provide support.
  • Be yourself. Nobody wants to speak to a robot, so practice your scripts before the call so you come across as natural and confident.

Follow the acronym LP MAMA to guide the conversation and gather critical information.

  • Location. I see the address of the property you wanted information on—what are the areas where you would love to see your home? Are you looking in any other neighborhoods?
  • Price. The property is listed at $______. Where does that fall in your budget? High, about right, or low?
  • Motivation. Do you need to sell before you buy? If we find your dream house, will you be ready to make an offer? When are you planning to move?
  • Agent. Have you signed with another agent? What’s your agent’s name? How many offers have you written?
  • Mortgage. Which lender are you currently working with, or are you paying with cash? Are you pre-approved for a certain amount, or are you planning to pay cash?
  • Appointment. I have openings tomorrow at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Which works best for us to meet for a buyer consultation?

The order of the questions doesn’t matter — just get the information while also giving the lead the information they want. Remember, the goal is to get a face-to-face appointment. Approach the call like a conversation, working to develop a relationship. And be efficient — people are busy, so be considerate of their time.

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