Posted over 5 years ago

3 Easy Steps to Turning Cold Real Estate Leads Into Hot Sales

Have you ever signed up for a gym membership but barely used it? You dedicate little time or effort to working out and see no results, so paying your bill starts to burn more than leg day. In the same way, paying for real estate leads without dedicating the time or effort to working with them properly will get you little results and is an easy way to burn money.

Real estate agents pump nearly $15 billion into generating online leads each year, yet 45 percent of real estate inquiries never even receive a response. By paying for large amounts of unqualified leads without processes in place to quickly and accurately qualify them, agents spend too much time chasing uninterested prospects and fail to maximize return on investment.

Turning Cold Leads Into Hot Prospects

Lead qualification is the art of turning cold, unscrubbed leads into hot prospects who actually want to work with you. Unfortunately, while generating leads is important, most agents invest no money on lead qualification.

Only 25 percent of leads are legitimately worth pursuing more seriously, and if you don't engage them immediately, you'll lose them to another agent. What's more, most agents don't have the manpower to respond to every lead quickly — or at all (which explains why nearly half are ignored). Without lead qualification, you're simply throwing away money, time, and opportunities.

I've been working in the real estate business for 10 years now, so I understand too well how challenging it can be to keep up with leads and follow up, which is where the fortunes are. Now, as the owner of a real estate lead qualification business, here are three lead qualification rules that we live by:

1. Forge a human connection immediately.

Engaging leads quickly is the key to dramatically increasing lead conversions and driving more sales into your pipeline. Leads contacted within five minutes are 21 times more likely to convert than leads contacted within 30 minutes. Modern consumers expect instant gratification, and failing to meet that expectation dramatically reduces your chances of landing new clients.

Call or text the lead directly. If you don’t get an answer from a phone call attempt, send a text right away. Many people don’t answer phone calls from numbers they don't recognize, but if you send a text saying who you are and why you’re calling, you will get the conversation started.

If you don’t have the capacity to respond to leads quickly enough, consider using an inside sales agent (ISA) or lead qualification concierge service. At the very least, set up an autoresponder system. Be cautious, though; prospects can sniff out chatbots a mile away. Technology should enhance — never replace — the human touch.

2. If at first you don't succeed, try again.

Even with instant contact attempts, some consumers still won’t pick up the phone. That doesn’t mean the lead isn’t worth pursuing — just that you need to keep following up.

Consumers might fill out a form and go to lunch, then forget about the request entirely. It’s your job to follow up with them, not the other way around. According to Velocify, you need to call a lead six times before you have a 93 percent chance at a conversation. If calling doesn’t work, text, and email. Don’t give up until you’ve tried 10 times.

Set a schedule to try to reach the prospect three times in the first day, twice the next day, and then once per day for the next week. Mix up your strategy between calling and texting for the best results, and keep the messaging targeted. Again, the personal connection is critical, so avoid relying on robots to establish human relationships.

3. Get face to face.

Once you finally speak with your lead, set up an in-person meeting. A 2015 profile of home buyers and sellers found that around 70 percent hire the first agent they meet. Send a calendar invite through Outlook, Gmail, or a calendar service, or let your third-party lead concierge partner or ISA service set the date based on your availability.

To transform online leads into loyal clients, make them feel like they know you. Invite them to your office or to coffee to discuss their needs and establish a personal relationship. If a lead is hesitant to meet, offer an incentive like inviting him or her to lunch or to come see a list of pocket listings that haven’t hit the market yet. Offer value! Creating that connection will transform a cold online lead into a warm qualified prospect.

Don’t waste your time chasing leads that go nowhere. Use these strategies to qualify your leads and increase your conversions quickly.