“Why do Real Estate leads require more follow-up now than ever before?”
This is one of those unasked questions that we all wonder about but we don’t address. We instead assume the leads were poor or the lead source was a scam. What we don’t do is ask ourselves about the market around us and how we fit into it. This is not to say that some leads don’t suck out loud and that some lead generation services aren’t scams. It is just important that we think about where we fit into the process and understand that the idea of an exclusive lead is absolutely not plausible in today’s online market place. Take Lendingtree as an example. I am not saying that their leads are bad or that they are a scam. What I am saying is that regardless of the suits against them for cherry picking their best real estate leads and sending them to their own mortgage company, their length of form which is basically an entire 1003 is filled out by buyers and if we think that a buyer that fills out nearly an entire 1003 is not going to fill out another form on another site which is only a fraction of the Lendingtree form right after filling out the Lendingtree form we are kidding ourselves.
Studies have shown that consumers often get into “fill out a form” mode and jump from site to site completing forms on several different sites. This is really no different from when a buyer once called several ads in the newspaper and exclusivity wasn’t even a question. This dynamic has not changed, it has just migrated to the internet and the only way to defend it is to unplug your buyers phone, take their mobile device from them and hope they don’t borrow their friends. In other less cheeky terms. There is no way to stop your buyer from becoming someone else’s buyer also. Our only true defense against this trend is to provide the fastest and best service that we can and build that essential bond between ourselves and the real estate lead in order to create a client that relies upon us for our advice when buying and wants our assistance in making a decision.
Converting a real estate lead to a potential buyer will not be helped by telling them not to go online. In fact it will work the exact opposite and they will think that you are trying to hide the best home in the world from them. This is no way to create trust. We have to accept that they are going to go online and they are going to fill out forms on sites and even make contact with other professionals. The average buyer does not see this as we do. We see it as an insult and take it very seriously. They see the same action as a way of doing research. Why wouldn’t they?
The internet has created the free flow of information. Some good, some not so good. But it is free and our buyers are curious and they don’t want to be handheld as much as they want to get to their goals met. If we allow them to do this, we may lose a couple of deals every now and again but we need to count what we gained and not what we lost if we were trying to control the buyer. It is hard to not try to control everything. Control gives us comfort and in our industry we need some degree of comfort. But we need to gain control by giving up a little and making up for it by providing the best service possible.