In a perfect world, someone would find your website, register or fill out your contact form, and immediately begin doing business with you. We don’t live in that perfect world. Getting the lead is only part of the process. Once you’ve got them, you’ve got to turn them into a client who wants to work with you.
If you find yourself getting plenty of leads but almost no business from it, it might be time to change tactics and do a little more to convince these potential buyers and sellers that you’re the one to make their dreams of home ownership come true.
When a message or email comes through, don’t let it sit in your inbox without a quick reply. How fast you follow up might depend on how you received the message – email, Facebook message, text, etc. But don’t let a full day go by without some sort of reply, even if it’s an acknowledgement that you received their message and will respond with answers as soon as possible.
You may want to consider email templates to make responses easier and faster, especially if you get the same inquiry over and over again. This can make replying less of a hassle for you and let your lead know that you saw their message.
If your lead asks questions, answer them. If they ask for a reply by email or phone call, reply in the way they prefer. This lets them know you are responsive to their needs. It’s a good way to make them feel more comfortable and prove your willingness to work with them.
Share information they need based on their questions, and add more if you can see that your reply will lead to more questions. Ask your own questions if you need to know more in order to help them. They’ll see that you’re a qualified professional who cares about doing a good job and making sure they have the information they need.
One word answers rarely inspire trust and confidence. Being grumpy on the phone is off-putting when you’re talking to someone for the first time. Get better at clearly stating information to your leads and listening to what they’re telling you. Communication is half the battle when it comes to real estate.
Don’t leave a lead hanging. Don’t promise a response by a certain date and then miss the deadline. Don’t give only part of the information. Share what you know and talk to them like people, not faceless leads generated from your website.
Most people who reach out don’t know what they don’t know. They will likely give you the barest details and believe you can find the house of their dreams from a sentence or two. When you get these leads, ask questions of your own. Don’t be afraid of asking a lot of them.
Your questions will likely show them there’s a lot more to real estate than what they learned watching HGTV. You’ll also show that you’re interested in them and their needs. It’s also a good way to get them to think more about what they want and need which will help you once they become a client.
Never be stingy with your knowledge. Not every lead becomes a client, but you can’t predict who will and who won’t. Share your expertise, whether it’s through a Facebook message, a DM on Twitter, or through email. It’s okay to tell a lead you may not be the agent for them, too.
Share what you know and point these potential clients in the right direction, even if it’s away from you. People work with professionals they trust. When you give advice and insight, you build that trust and authority. As a result, you also build your business.
You know you need to be helpful to your clients, especially if you want them to refer you to their family and friends. That sense of customer service should start with your lead. When they reach out to you with vague or probing questions, tell them what they need to know.
This is a good time to send them resources and links, to your own website or other reputable (non-competing) websites. You may also want to set up a custom search for them to make the process easier. Offer to do a free consult for a new seller. Whatever you can do to show value, be of real help, and offer great customer service can turn a curious lead into a happy client.
Lead generation isn’t always an easy thing. You’ve got to find the right combination of information sharing, marketing, and friendliness to get people to reach out. Once they do, don’t lose them as potential clients by missing a few key steps. The bottom line is that if you’re a helpful, responsive professional who doesn’t ignore your leads, you’ll find that turning them into clients isn’t too difficult.
Former Communications Director for a local Realtor Association and a big cheerleader for all things real estate related, Michaela is now a full-time freelance writer specializing in real estate and other business industries. When she's not writing the serious business-y stuff, she's likely to be found writing about the hilarity of being a Mom to two rowdy boys.