If you're in real estate and you're not converting leads, do yourself a favor right now - change occupations now, today. Daylight is burning and you need to eat. |
That's precisely how important leads (and converting them to paying customers) are in the world of real estate. Without lead conversion, you're dead in the water.
And today, more than ever, leads are coming in via the Internet. It's just the way it is. The Internet is the power behind real estate. E-mail, websites, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest - on and on - online is where leads are found. Even those old-fashioned phone calls you get are likely related to something consumers saw online.
So the big question is - How do you handle online leads so they become paying clients?
1. Think speed. You need to establish contact within 15 minutes. Trust me, the younger, newer real estate agents are jumping all over leads instantaneously because they know the stakes are high - a lost lead is a lost sale. And lost sales lead to another career.
Salesforce.com has reported that salespeople who respond immediately and consistently to online leads see a 340 percent increase in sales results. And potential customers who are contacted within an hour are 60 percent more likely to convert than those contacted after 24 hours.
And here's one more key finding: Consumers who initiate contact with a company via an online tool expect their dealings to go more smoothly and quickly than in any other form of contact. What's this tell you? You better have your ducks in a row when you respond to online leads.
2. Think value for the prospect. The first words out of your mouth to an online lead better be something worth listening to because if you and I know anything it's that today's consumers have options - plenty of options - to do business and find what they're seeking elsewhere.
So put yourself in the shoes of a lead. What do you want? You want understanding. You immediately want someone to listen so they understand what you want. Real estate agents call it qualifying a lead. Consumers call it being understood. Bottom line: you have to learn who they are, where they are and what's happening with them.
Here's where the acronym LP-MAMA comes in. It takes you straight to the important items without wasting valuable time:
Location - Where is the buyer interested in living?
Price - What range can the buyer afford?
Motivation - How motivated are they to buy a home?
Agency - Do they have an agent they are working with?
Mortgage - Are they approved and for how much?
Appointment - Set up the appointment!
3. Think delivery, as in delivering what you learned the lead wants. Okay, so far you've responded quickly; you've listened; and now the final step: deliver. Here's where you demonstrate that you did in fact listen and can deliver. It's the essence of why you're in this business -- to help people. Customize your services to meet the specific needs you learned from leads via LP-MAMA. And use some the same language the leads used in describing their situation to you. This will serve to strengthen their faith in you that you can deliver.
Let me hear from you. What are you learning about online leads? How are they differing from other sources of leads? What specific problems are you facing related to online leads? What can you start doing today to convert more leads - online or otherwise? Bubba Mills is executive vice president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems for residential REALTOR, mortgage brokers and real estate companies.
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