I don't have to tell you guys that real estate is very much a service industry and so it follows that the way you communicate with prospective clients from the off is a direct reflection of how you do business. When you follow up a lead, you make your first contact with someone you are hoping to convert into a client.
Following up on any leads you generate from visitors to your website, via a property portal, direct mail marketing, newspaper advertising and so forth is absolutely crucial to your success as an estate agent. Hopefully in the current climate you are generating leads in significant volume too! So how do you go about most efficiently using that contact information for maximum conversion success?
The ability to generate leads has increased considerably in the past decade, with more and more estate agents working their socials for all they're worth or running email blast campaigns to draw attention to listings, but the fundamentals of lead follow-up haven't changed at all.
Everyone has different strengths and many agents feel at their most comfortable face-to-face with clients, preferably viewing or talking about potential homes with them. That's generally where your passion lies.
At Propertyshowrooms.com we are in the business of generating leads and so this article is intended as a guide on how best to work your leads to create new business.
- Always respond promptly to new leads, particularly if they have a specific enquiry. It says a great deal about a company when it responds efficiently to new opportunities for business and importantly accords the prospect appropriate respect.
- Be clear about your objective in your first communication which is to make an appointment to talk more about a home purchase or sale. Although estate agents can form very close bonds with clients when directly involved in their property transaction, the first call is not the time for small talk. Know what your 'call to action' is behind the first communication and cut to the chase, (obviously without being rude).
- Elicit a definitive answer from them – either a 'No' or 'Yes' is fine. Buying or selling a property is never going to be an overnight process. You know best how time-consuming deals can be on either side of the transaction. If you weed out all the 'don't knows' or 'I'm thinking about its' from the off, you'll save yourself heaps of time in the long run. For those leads actively house-hunting or looking to sell…….well I'm sure you know the drill!
- One of the advantages we have these days is that there are a few different ways to reach your prospect. Don't give up at the first hurdle if the email address bounces back or the phone number is unobtainable. Try all the avenues available to you to make your first contact but obviously, if you have no joy, it's time to file the lead under B for bin!
- It's important to determine the value of the lead and how much effort should be expended to get them to the committed client level and also what degree of service will be required to get them to list or buy with you. Agents invest large amounts of time, money, energy and emotion to work with leads and some require more resources to convert than others; the trick is knowing which ones are worth investing in.
- If a prospect has shown interest, it's best for you to try and determine if they have a demonstrated need for your services at the first point of contact. Is there a difference between what they want and where they currently live? Are they looking for assistance? Is there a need to relocate or is it a want or wish? Do they have the ability to proceed in terms of things like equity, credit score or employment? These are the kind of questions you want to be getting answered as soon as the prospect wants to take the conversation further.
- Categorise your leads. For example, create categories like 'A' for those who are likely to act in 30 days or less, 'B' for those who will take action from between 30 to 90 days and so forth. Then you can assign your time to each category according to the level of service required for the conversion or completion of business.
Your lead follow-up strategy needs to be based on your ability to correctly asses the conversion probability of your prospect. The sooner you are able to determine what category your new prospect falls into, the better. By adopting a clear strategy you can get a clear picture of the health of your business too. Leads are an agents' lifeblood after all and to operate a healthy business you must have reasonable numbers of leads in each category.