In our last Real Estate Leads 101 course, we went over the basics of real estate leads: what they are, and why they’re the lifeblood of real estate. Now it is time to go over what an agent should be doing constantly with their real estate leads or every time they get a lead. In other words, let’s go over a basic follow up system and what your real estate leads expect.
As mentioned in the previous article, real estate leads are clients in training – and they are a client till they buy or die – in other works, until they are contracted with another agent, they are your client. Every lead should be treated with the same attention and respect an agent would provide to their top clients. Sometimes it can take months and years to contract your real estate leads, sometimes it takes a week. The most successful agents start each of their real estate leads with the belief that it is the beginning of a long-term relationship.
It is important to follow up IMMEDIATELY when you receive real estate leads, whether it’s from your website, through a lead generation company, or contact form from an open house somebody filled out. Start contacting them right away. Real estate leads will take notice of how responsive an agent it even before they commit to anything. If an agent can impress a lead with their commitment, they may have just turned them into a client.
The United States has long been in an “instant gratification” state of mind, an the prevalence and advances of the Internet have only increased that mind set. The majority of people who wind up buying or selling a home go online to begin the real estate process. They expect immediate response to their inquiries – in other words, instant gratification. These are real estate leads just WAITING to be farmed!
Disturbingly, the California Association of Realtors conducted their annual study of Internet buyers and sellers and found that 48% of Internet real estate leads are being ignored. Nearly HALF of all real estate leads submitted online are ignored by real estate agents! It is possible that many are considered “bogus” by the agents who receive them and are scrapped. It’s also likely that many agents who have been in the business for decades just aren’t willing to learn the technology needed to be a power head in the real estate game in 2007. Your cell phone, PDA, email and Internet are the basic marketing tools of today.
Real estate leads expect immediate response from the Internet, and it’s up to you to provide it and be available to them. The best case scenario of follow-up when real estate leads are received: the agent is driving to the lead’s house while using their cellphone to call for an appointment as your assistant at the office is e-mailing the lead your contact info and working on a letter of interest for their business.
Of course that scenario isn’t always possible, but you should always be doing as much as you can to get a hold of your real estate leads the first day you receive them. The ultimate goal is to get an appointment. The more time that elapses, the less likely you are to secure the lead. Maybe another agent contacts them, maybe they change their mind about listing, maybe they decide to go with their brother in law as an agent. Whatever the case may be, if you are the first agent to reach the real estate leads, your chances of converting them to clients just skyrocketed… the botany condo