Best Tactics for Converting Online Leads
Online real estate leads are one of the most challenging type of sales leads to convert to clients, or buyers. While it’s easy to find a lead to follow, convincing a stranger to trust you with assisting you in buying or selling their home will require you to follow a carefully-laid plan—and even then, keep in mind that skilled, experienced agents will still strike out around 95% of the time.
Despite all that, when you are able to convert an online lead, you’ll find that your efforts are repaid tenfold. The key is choosing the right leads to pursue, then following a well-defined process that will help you shepherd your client through each step of the transaction. In this article, we’ll be covering the best tactics for converting online leads, but these tactics will serve you equally well when you’re following any type of sales lead.
1. Response time is crucial.
Ideally, you’ll make contact with an online lead within minutes of receiving your lead alert. Research has shown that agents are up to 80% more likely to successfully contact a lead when they reach out immediately, but this number plummets to 25% when they wait more than thirty minutes to reach out. Remember, if you don’t follow up on a lead, a more motivated agent will reach them first.
3. Embrace drip systems.
Simple to establish and essentially self-maintaining, email drips are embraced for their efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Your drip communications should be congenial and informal, with an unwavering focus on drawing a response from your lead.
2. Embrace the initial “10 Days of Pain.”
Toss aside your gut instinct against being a pest, because during the first week and a half after you receive a lead, you need to text, call, and leave excellent voicemails repeatedly. As we said above, you should already have a drip system in place that will email your lead for you, so perhaps you’ve felt like that was enough contact. The truth is, hearing from you directly—several times—may make the difference between you or another agent closing the deal.
4. Be prepared for your phone calls.
This suggestion is so fundamental that it might seem useless, but because you’re calling leads within moments of hearing from them, your game plan won’t be on point if you haven’t prepared ahead of time.
Have your questions and suggestions written down (even if it’s a hastily-scrawled list) and be prepared to answer their questions. Set aside enough time that your lead doesn’t feel rushed or dismissed, even if the last 100 calls you made lasted less than thirty seconds. If you aren’t fully prepared for the one lead that would have turned into a client, your efforts will have been wasted.
5. Be a knowledgeable resource - never a nuisance.
Clearly you want your lead to choose YOU over another agent, but it’s up to you to convince your potential client of your value. What will you bring to their home-buying or selling experience that another agent wouldn’t or couldn’t? This should be your guiding principle every time you reach out to your lead. Instead of unfocused, self-promoting communication, you should be giving your lead pertinent information that cultivates their appreciation for your market savvy.
For example, you might reach out with information about listings that have not yet reached the market, or share the details about sales that have just happened in neighborhoods they’re interested in. Always pepper your communication with these types of valuable tidbits, because a client is far more likely to continue to work with you if they feel you have your finger on the pulse of the real estate market in your area. Be the one-stop resource they’ve been looking for!
6. Qualify yourself first.
You’ve no doubt constantly heard that it’s important to qualify your leads, but it’s equally important to qualify yourself. That means that you must effectively and concisely communicate your qualifications to your lead, letting them know that you are more than qualified to be their partner on this important, exciting journey.
Qualify yourself in every type of communication during the initial conversion process: this means honing your email drips, phone calls, and voicemails so that they clearly state your value.
7. Make sure your questions reveal their real estate dreams.
When your lead is becoming your client, employ a congenial and conversational tone while making sure your questions are designed to learn about their lifestyle and real estate dreams. For example, if a client loves wine and late-night fine dining, you’ll suggest very different properties than you would to a client who loves early-morning fishing and dreams of long trail walks with their hound dog. Tapping into your lead’s dreams will make you a better agent for them and will simultaneously make your client more likely to open up to you and allow you to help them achieve their real estate dreams.
Once you’ve made this connection to their hopes and dreams, it’s then safe to move on to less enticing aspects of the sale, like their moving timeline, schedules and financing, but it’s still advisable to keep your overall tone peppy and casual.
8. Scout ahead to uncover obstacles.
Asking questions like, “Would there be any reason we couldn’t meet later this week once I find properties you think you might love?” will help reveal obstacles or hesitations while also involving your lead’s positive emotions. This powerful combination will keep your lead feeling positive and hopeful about their prospects—and your involvement—even while they’re considering what might be holding them back.
This list is far from comprehensive, but it’s our hope that these eight steps help you through the awkward beginning stages of converting your online leads. Involve your whole team on these steps, because the more cohesive and cooperative your team efforts, the more likely you are to convert online leads into happy clients.