Are you as prepared as you should be when meeting with new leads? Do you waste valuable time chasing the wrong leads? A little research can go a long way toward impressing a potential client, or spotting a bogus lead before your time is wasted.
When you’re first contacted by a potential lead, whether they’re selling or buying, you’ll save yourself some hassles and headaches by doing a little research first. You can create a system for researching all leads to “qualify” them before you begin making plans that may never come to fruition.
Let’s be honest, not every lead is a good one – or even real. That 3:00 a.m. email from someone requesting to meet the next day feels like a scam when you see it. That’s a good enough reason to research leads, but another one is to make sure you walk into any meeting with a lead better informed, able to offer better information, and get the conversation going.
Learn who they are. Most people have some online footprint, even if it’s a defunct and ignored Facebook profile. You may learn they love dogs or that their family is growing. That’s a great way to start a first conversation. It also helps to put a face with a name so you know who you’re looking for during your first meeting at Starbucks.
Learn about their property. With a quick search of their address, you can do some research on the neighborhood and come to the first conversation with a few numbers. It’ll impress them at the listing appointment, and give you a starting point for the important conversation you’re about to have.
Learn what they can likely afford. Knowing your lead has a job is important. Finding them on LinkedIn and discovering they’re small business owners with a growing family tells you more. You can speak to their concerns as buyers or sellers, blowing them away with your professionalism and insight.
Learn what they might not want to tell you. While researching leads is a good way to be a better informed professional so you can wow them at the first meeting, don’t forget another important reason. Sometimes, people aren’t who they say they are. A little research can save you days or weeks of working with a client who can’t afford to buy or isn’t in a position to sell their home right now.
Researching your leads should become an automatic part of your process. You’ll learn more than you realize and be able to connect better with this person is still a stranger.
Sometimes, people say things they want to be true (yes, we can afford that home). They also neglect to tell you something because they think information isn’t a big deal (the HOA foreclosed on us for lack of payment). Researching your leads lets you weed out the bad or unqualified leads from the great ones. It also arms you with details to help you provide better service to your clients from the first meeting. You’ll be the rockstar agent who exceeded all their expectations. Keep doing it until they’ve moved in, and you’ll have a client for life.
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.