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Many realtors hate internet leads and will be quick to say they are worthless. Internet leads can be challenging, but there is no denying that the vast majority of home buyers and sellers will start their real estate journey with an internet search. As this becomes the new normal for real estate, more and more agents are jumping on the bandwagon to work internet leads. Like anything else, there are tricks for getting the most from your legwork. Here are some tips for finding your next transaction from an internet lead generation service.
First things first: 80% of internet leads will go nowhere, but that’s okay. Instead of thinking of internet referrals as leads, think of them as “opportunities” to have conversations with people who may need your help now, or in the near future, or never. When contacting internet opportunities, first focus on the 5 – 10% of contacts that need your help in the next 30 – 60 days. Next, focus on the 5 – 10% that will need your help in the future. The future buyer and seller is the demographic most neglected by real estate agents, but staying in touch with your future clients maximizes the chance that you will get their business when they are ready to sell. Think of yourself as a farmer of opportunities and conversations and this strategy will pay dividends.
When contacting and following up with an opportunity, most agents try to sell the prospect on giving them their business. While this strategy is understandable, it can cause resentment and distrust to emerge and fester. If you view prospects as walking dollar signs, the prospect will pick up on this. For the prospect, picking an agent means choosing the person you will entrust with what is likely to be the biggest investment they will ever make in their lifetime. To the agent, it might just be one more transaction in their expansive book of business, but to the prospect, working with an agent is a special and intimate undertaking. If they feel that an agent is treating their life’s investment like another run of the mill day at work, they are likely to stop engaging with that agent. Instead, focus on customer service and being a source of knowledge and guidance. Ask them questions about what they want and need, then listen. Don’t pressure or rush them, but rather work with them to figure out how to best help them realize their residential and investment goals.
Work to stay in contact with all of your prospects, whether you think they will transact in the next 60 days, the next year or the next 5 years. Top-notch customer service on the front end will often be for naught if there isn’t adequate follow up on the back end. Don’t let your initial efforts go to waste. Follow up on the follow up and continue doing so until you get that prospect into their dream home.
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