Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably been sold online lead generation in the past two weeks. Maybe even in the past 24 hours. Online lead generation is the latest and greatest of the real estate business-building tactics.
This is good news. It can produce some amazing results for real estate agents.
But, one thing we noticed is that some agents don’t know what to do with online leads when they get them.
Every agent remembers the first time a client asked for their help with a home. Part of that memory is sometimes overlooked. Remember how you arrived at that point with your client? What actions got you there?
While some clients have their own journey, there is likely a specific moment in your relationship that secured you the client.
Every agent starts at a different spot with the first client that they represented.
Some clients may have been ready the moment you contacted them, while others might have taken multiple conversations and meetings.
It's important to understand this because online lead generation works the same way.
Understanding Why They Chose You
Your brother doesn’t have a choice when he decides it’s time to choose a real estate agent, but people searching online for real estate have plenty of choices when it comes to real estate agents.
So, why would someone choose you?
They chose you because you are providing some tangible value. In the case of most online leads, your website was the source of this value.
Sharing your knowledge in the form of neighborhood blogs, helpful how-to articles, home selling resources and the property listings on your site provide an immense amount of value for your clients and keep them coming back to your site.
As you continue through the transaction with your client, always remember why they chose you, because you are providing tangible value for them.
There are many other options for your client, so continue to provide value for them from start to finish and you’ll retain a client for life.
The Point of Contact
You’ve shown your value online and now you have a new lead. Congratulations! Now what?
Make contact. This is the single most important thing you can do is establish a relationship with your new lead.
One thing to realize is that many folks browsing the internet are early in the buying process, so understanding that and tweaking your messaging to fit that scenario can mean the difference between engaging and scaring off a new online lead.
It’s also important to note that you should always make contact with your lead before leaving a voice message.
A contacted lead is a more engaged lead. Voicemail messages can be disregarded, but a conversation isn't swept away so easily.
We recommend calling three times at three different times of the day before ever leaving a message.
In order to engage your new lead and not scare them, try the following simple dialog when you get your new online lead on the phone.
This is your line:
“Hello, Mr. Internet Lead, my name is Smart Realtor. You were just browsing for homes and information on my website. Did you find the information you were looking for?”
Don't say another word until he or she starts talking, or hangs up.
Yes, bold and caps are for emphasis. The lead will speak, and they will tell you why they were on your site. You must listen.
Nine times out of 10, your new lead will say something along the lines of, “Oh, I was just browsing homes.” This is fine because it gives you another great opportunity to learn more about your new lead.
“Okay Mr. Internet Lead, that’s great! Were you browsing for anything in particular?”
Agent quiet time again.
Mr. Internet Lead will likely tell you, “Nah, I was just looking. We are thinking about moving in a year or two.”
Well, look there, you now have a time frame. It may be well into the future, but you just booked a deal for next year.
It might even end up being your first deal of the new year. Congratulate yourself mentally. Now follow up with the goods.
“That’s Awesome, Mr. Internet Lead. As a free service to anyone registered on my site, I send out the most up-to-date homes for sale in the area you are looking at.
Are you interested in three bedrooms or four bedrooms?”
At this point the preparation you made before the call pays off.
To prepare, you used the saved search function within your CRM and taken an educated guess at what the person is looking for in terms of bedrooms, baths, school districts, pool, garage, and all else.
When Mr. Internet Lead says, “Yes, I’d love to see those homes,” give yourself a pat on the back. Mr. Internet Lead has just given you permission to send him property alerts and you can now actively market to your new lead. The hard work is done, it’s now on your CRM to do the dirty work.
Upon hanging up the phone do three things:
- Assign Mr. Internet Lead to a property alert based on the criteria you just discussed on the phone.
- Assign Mr. Internet Lead to a drip campaign that is specifically designed for long-term buyers. This should include language that positions you as a helpful resource while not being pushy.
- Create yourself a task to check back in after 30 days and asking how they are liking the property alerts and if their home preference has changed.
Continue this until you sell Mr. Internet Lead a house.With a little work, you’ll be nurturing your internet leads into deals left and right.
The best part? Your CRM does most of the work for you. All you need to do is a little research about the lead’s property preference and have some persistence in contacting the lead.
Once you’ve invested in the lead up front, checking back in and guiding them through their journey is the easy part.
Now it’s your turn. What works for you when first contacting a new online lead?Quick Tips for Calling Online Leads
- Use the person's name as they entered it into your system. Once on the phone ask the lead what they like to be called if there is uncertainty.
- Call three times at three different times of the day before ever leaving a voice message.
- If a lead is too busy to talk when you initially make contact with them, ask when a better time to call is and set up a time to call back. Then make the call at that time.
- Wear a smile when you call! Always be smiling when calling for the first time. Put a mirror on your desk if you need to be reminded.
- Text messaging can be very useful to start dialogue and break the ice with your new lead. Give them a heads-up that you will be calling and then follow up as promised.