People have been looking for the lost city of Atlantis for almost as much time as we have been looking for the best source of real estate leads. What we tend not to do is ask ourselves what we can do to take the leads we have and do the most with them? How can we approach a lead best? How can we appeal to more people without jumping from one lead source to another searching for the lost city of Atlantis and always winding up somewhat discouraged.
How can we approach leads better?
First thing that most people get wrong is that they rely too much on new technology. Emails are fine for keeping in their minds but are not nearly as good as picking up the phone. Yet most of us will send an email and make a phone call and consider the case closed. We don’t put ourselves into the shoes of the real estate lead.
Leads today are not too different from they have always been. Where in 1999 they may have picked up the local paper and circled a bunch of ads that they were interested in calling and then they picked up the phone and called us. We never thought for a second that they only called our advertisement. We assumed that they called several and we made ours sound as appealing as possible. Many Americans didn’t have email at the time so that really wasn’t the first option. The telephone was it and it worked. We knew we had to get on the phone with the lead and make our case as to why working with us was the right decision. We used the home to either draw them in or to satisfy a listing or a combination of both. But if they were not interested in the home that we advertised we didn’t throw their names and contact information into the trash, we tried to build a relationship with them by asking a series of questions that were meant to engage them while showing off our knowledge of our profession. Please find my pitch below:
“If you want to buy a home and save as much money in the process as possible? That is what I do. I show people how to buy a home for little to no money out-of-pocket and save them as much as possible. I am not here to sell you a house, I help people buy a home…tell me what are you looking for exactly?” I had to practice how to say this clearly and smoothly as possible while making it sound as fresh as possible without sounding too slick and salesey. Then I would shut up and listen and let them know that I am taking notes by asking them to slow down every now and then so that they knew I was taking notes. People like to be listened to and they loved to have their words transcribed by someone.
But once I did, I turned a great many dead leads into active buyers. Generally with blogs we try not to write in the first person but that rule was broken here as I believe it is important to communicate that I sold hundreds of properties to people who other agents had also spoken to but none of the other agents were interested in helping the buyer or were able to communicate it to the level that I was.
The hard part was the next phase which is the call back with information relating to what they had indicated that they were interested in. Be it credit issues or a particular piece of real estate I always called back when I said I would. If their credit was an issue I made a plan to correct it. Co-borrowers, co-signers, straw-man buyers or just clearing up a couple of issues on their credit report. I presented a plan and many times, even with the worst of credit I would sell them a home 6 months to a year later. They called me because I was the only one that was willing to help them. And it didn’t take much time to present a couple of different options for people and provide an encouraging word.
If the follow-up phone call required research on a property that was going to present a problem. For example they loved a community they could not afford or the homes in the community rarely came on the market I would tell them that and then try to offer some reasonable options that could get them closer to their dream home than where they were at the present time.
The point that is getting lost here is that Atlantis is under our feet all the time but we continue looking for Atlantis in far off lands using overly complex tools instead of relying on our problem solving and communication skills as effectively as possible.