1. Online leads take time to convert
The truth is, most online leads do not convert fast - it takes them, on average, 6 to 24 months, depending on where these leads are on their purchase journey when they register on your site.
Living in the internet era has changed business for many industries, including real estate, however, if there is one thing that did not change, that’s the timeframe it takes people to think about making a move and actually making the move. The only thing that’s changed is that they now have the ability to start looking, and we have the ability to see them looking.
Back in the day before the internet, we didn’t see people sitting at their kitchen table on Sunday mornings reading the newspaper and looking at all the open houses.
Nowadays, people can google anything. And with online lead generation, it’s like you know who opened that newspaper looking for properties because they are thinking about moving sometimes in the future.
So just because the lead registered on your website, it doesn’t mean they will transact in 30 days since not every browsing is motivated by a potential purchase. Especially not in the short term. Can you get lucky and get a quick close? Absolutely! But that’s an exception, not the rule.
You’re not paying for online leads to have a quick sale. You are paying for these leads to build your pipeline and fill your book of business in the future. Because this business is very cyclical.
You jump in, you get the leads, you work the leads, you get them to settlement, and then you need to start all over again.
Where, with internet leads, if you’re staying consistent, you should be able to start adding names to the whiteboard and be able to say:
John will start looking in May
Beverly will start looking in June-July.
You can literally put the number next to them and have security in your future book of business.
2. Conversion ratio grows with time
If you are just starting lead generation, you can expect a conversion ratio of 1% in your first year meaning that you need to generate at least 100 leads to make your first sale. The conversion ratio grows exponentially as the time goes by because of the 3 main reasons:
1. Since it takes at least 6 months for online leads to transact, in your second year of doing lead generation, you will be converting leads generated the previous year along with the leads generated in the current year
2. By working with online leads, you will be introduced to their sphere of influence, and you will start getting referrals from them.
3. You’ll get better at online leads game, allowing you to get much faster through 100 leads to find the one ready to transact.
3. It’s not that difficult to be better than your competition
The average real estate agent is only making 1 phone call in an attempt to reach a lead. So, if you make 2 phone calls, you’ll be only slightly better than your competition.
If you make 3, you’ll be a lot better than your competition.
But to be exponentially better than your competition, it’s necessary to make 6-8 call attempts in the first couple of weeks after a lead enters your dashboard.
4. TRIPLE your chances of getting people on the phone
You ALWAYS need to call leads at different times. Everyone has different routines, and it’s not about it being convenient for you to make the phone calls, it’s about them being convenient to answer the phone.
You can’t reach Sally if you call her every day at 10 AM and that’s when she goes to her Yoga class. So, if you call at 9:30 AM this morning and then in 2 days at 1:30 PM, you are increasing the chances of getting people at a more convenient time.
Remember, these leads are not going to do business with you because they’re loyal. They are going to do business with somebody because you were just accessible at the right time. You were convenient. If we don’t work our leads, we never position ourselves to be convenient.
5. Stop making this mistake
You have about 5 seconds for a lead to determine if they are going to hang up on you once they answer the phone. Where a lot of agents get caught up is that they feel like they have to tell them the brokerage, the website name, how many awards they have had, that they have been in business for years, etc. Leads don’t care. They want to know why you're calling and NOT who you are!
So the best opener would be:
Hi, this is John. I saw you were online looking at homes in [area], so I’m just checking in to see if you have found what you were looking for.
All they need to know is your name. They don’t need to know what company you’re calling from or the website you’re referring to because it doesn’t matter to them. We are simply calling to find out their current situation and when they will need our services.
Also, no need to ask Is this John? when opening the call. Assume it’s the person that you’re calling and just go right into: Hey John!
6. Every single transaction started with an objection. Started with someone saying my leads are bad quality.
- An essential part of the lead conversion game is handling different types of objections that come up either during phone calls, text messages, or email. A huge mistake a lot of sales representatives make is asking the lead if they have an agent too soon in the conversation. This question has no benefit to the client and people will often lie and say they have an agent because they don’t want to be on the phone.
Do you have an agent? Yes!
It isn’t that hard, isn’t it?
The rule of thumb is to avoid asking the lead whether they’re working with an agent directly. This question will shift the conversation in the wrong direction. Your focus should be on understanding the lead’s current situation.
Instead of asking them if they have an agent, ask them how long they have been looking and if they have been in any homes.
If they say Yes, ask them how they got in.
If they say open house you can ask directly So you are not committed to anybody?
If they do have an agent, that’s where they’ll say I have a friend that’s an agent. Or I’m working with Susie over at RE/MAX.
Another biggest complaint when it comes to online leads is that everyone is just looking.
However, when you go into a retail store, and the sales clerk says:
Is there anything I can help you with?
What do you say?
Just looking, isn’t it?
But what if that sales clerk followed up with:
Well I’m so glad you came in today. If you were to make a purchase today, what would it be for? Business? Casual? Or a special occasion? Special occasion! Oh my God, where are you going?
We need to be really focused on being great question askers because then you’re controlling the conversation and building that rapport. People love to talk if you can ask the right questions. So is it the quality of the lead or the quality of the questions we’re asking? You need to find out where they are in the home buying process and by asking the right questions, you start peeling back the layer of the onion and start finding out what their situation is.
Here are some of the ways to handle this objection
1. I totally understand. Most individuals who visit my website are just looking for information. My goal is to connect you to the properties you want to see. Is there a particular area you are interested in?
2. And what are your thoughts on what you’re seeing currently on the market? Do you like what you see?
3. How long have you been looking for already?
4. No problem. Just browsing and doing some research is always smart before making a big decision. What neighbourhood would be on top of your wish list if you were to buy?
5. Great, I work with buyers that are in every stage of the home buying process, whether you are ready to buy today or ten years from now there won’t be any pressure. How many bedrooms are you looking for in your new home?
6. I understand you're in the information stage. My goal is just to make sure I'm sending you the properties you want to see so you're not manually searching for it. I know that you're looking in [MostViewedCity], but what are some of the other areas that you're thinking of?
7. Oh, you're just looking? No problem. Just browsing and doing some research is always smart before making a big decision. My goal is to connect you to the properties you want to see so you're not manually searching for it. I know that you're looking in [MostViewedCity], but what are some of the other areas that you're thinking of?
8. Awesome! I am glad to hear you are starting your home search. I know I am calling you out of the blue so I will be brief, what about this particular home caught your eye?
7. Stop leaving voice messages
Rather than leaving a voicemail to a person you’ve never spoken to before, put more effort into trying to have a phone conversation with them. If you leave a voicemail, they’ll now know it's a Realtor calling them, and you're lowering the chances of them answering the phone. If you still want to leave a voicemail, make sure it's specific. Do not say:
Hey, I saw you online looking for homes, and I just wanted to know if I can be of service in case you have any questions.
Guess what? They can have all the answers they want online. The right approach would be to say:
Hey John, I was just calling about this property that you just looked at 123 Main Street, and I have some updates for you!
Remember, when we’re building the business, it’s just like a table. And that table can only stand with a minimum of 3 legs i.e. internet leads; door knocking and SOI. It stands even better with 4 legs.
Your sphere and your past clients is only one leg of business. That can keep that table very wobbly because it’s really difficult to scale repeat referral business. So, when you’re bringing internet leads, what you are actually doing is: helping stabilize that table.