As a real estate agent, there are two paths you can take to grow your business. As a marketing professional, you can increase lead spend or change the source to generate more leads. Although a pile of leads is not a goldmine until you convert your leads to appointments. As a sales professional, you can grow your business by improving conversions or by leveraging your existing sphere of influence.
KW agent Gene Rivers says, “We all know that three-quarters of sellers make only one phone call and 65 percent of buyers work with the first agent they have significant contact with. So the real estate business is truly about getting appointments.”
But consistently setting appointments can be tricky depending on the type of lead in question. Unless a lead is a direct referral or past client, chances are they know very little about you, your brand, or your services. With leads considering multiple agents at any given time (especially online leads who contact on average 3 different agents), you are auditioning for the chance to be their representative.
“Most internet leads are going to be first-time homebuyers, in part because younger generations are more inclined to start their process on the internet. If you can get someone to meet with you, you’re statistically 75% to the sale. It’s easier to gain trust with people in person, to interact in real time, and your conversion rate is going up from there,” excerpt from Mindset, Methods and Metrics by Nick Dreher.
Here are a few tips for setting more appointments:
Don’t be afraid to be blunt and ask for an appointment. Your leads are not mind readers, and often times are unaware of how the home buying or selling process works. If you don’t ask for the appointment, you risk not getting it! Immediately after asking for the appointment, explain the benefits of the appointment. Your leads are more likely to say yes if they understand how a consultation will directly benefit them.
Be the market expert and know your market better than anyone else. Preview new listings to gauge inventory, do market research and know the median days on market, know the asking versus closing price percentages, know the price per sq/ft, familiarize yourself with the schools, and build relationships with service providers (who are your trusted inspectors, plumbers, lenders, etc?). Your expertise will persuade leads that you are the best agent to represent them and care for their needs.
Practice handling objections to build confidence. It’s difficult distinguish yourself from the competition if you are sight-reading a script while on a live call! Authenticity comes with practice, so role play with another agent to learn how to think on your feet to better react to objections. Your confidence will show leads you are the best agent to negotiate a deal on their behalf.
Have your questions ready before picking up the phone. Before you can sell your services, you’ll need to learn about the specific wants and needs of the lead. Asking questions establishes rapport as it demonstrates to the lead authentic interest in their business. Have a working list of questions ready and be prepared to add new questions as they arise for future reference.
Build stronger rapport by nurturing more. Even if the lead isn’t ready to buy immediately, the National Association of REALTORS® has found that 70% of prospects will hire the first agent they talk to. By the time a lead begins their home buying or selling process, they are already actively looking on Zillow. Most Zillow buyer leads contact at least two agents and at least three agents as a seller. Use emails structured into drip campaigns to nurture leads and to keep them in the loop.
A ‘No’ is an opportunity for a future ‘Yes’ so use unsuccessful follow-ups as an opportunity to educate the lead on the value you bring to the transaction. As Dirk Zeller says, “buyers, especially first-time buyers who presently comprise roughly 30% of sales and 40% of sales historically, often come to the transaction with limited knowledge and a lineup of misunderstandings about how real estate agents and real estate deals work.” Often times prospects have not found value in hiring an agent and will attempt to navigate the industry without representation. Use this opportunity to educate leads on the benefits you bring to the table.
“[Prospects] want to talk about their wants, needs, and desires and your benefits. Arm yourself with a good list of questions, and you’ll be be well on your way to not only gathering the information you need to do your job well, but also to establish the rapport and confidence necessary to gain the prospect’s commitment,” Dirk Zeller, 10 Tips and Strategies when working with buyers.
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