How we as agents interact with consumers has changed over the past several years largely due to the widespread dissemination of information over the internet.
In years past, we have had to focus on creating interest in real estate by using buzz words like character, elegant and my personal favorite – charming. The truth is that these words don’t mean very much and what they do mean is different from one person to the next.
My experience with home buyers today is very different than it was even just three or four years ago and they don’t want me or anyone else trying to gloss over faults in a home by calling it character or smoothing the edges of an aging and outdated home by calling it elegant.
More often than not, buyers today would prefer to learn the facts, call a spade a spade and decide based on the information.
From a conversion standpoint, the more information you give them, the better chance you have of turning them into a client. Pivoting off of the idea that online consumers are in research mode first, the best chance to convert them is to present them with what they want concisely and without an immediate solicitation of business.
By engaging an internet lead this way, you can remove the barrier that consumers put up when they prepare themselves for the incoming sales pitch they are accustomed to trying to deflect.
Make yourself a source that they can come to for information and go out of your way to explain that you are here to help.
If they like you, and don’t feel overly pitched to, you will have better success turning inquiries into clients.
If a lead comes in to you and they ask if a home is still on the market, or they want to know the square feet or annual taxes, what makes you think they are ready to get in their car and meet with you, someone they have never met, to go see a home?
A simple and effective method that has been successful for me in eliciting a response back from inquiries goes something like this:
Thank you for contacting me about 123 Main St., the home for sale in XYZ subdivision. The tax records indicate that for 2007, the current owners paid $3,456 in taxes. I realize that you are likely still in the information gathering stage and I respect that. I am here for you should you have any additional questions. If you would like to speak with me directly, I can be reached at 404.630.3187 or by email at email@example.com. I respect your right to gather information as you go and want you to know that I am here to help you any way that I can. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
This method gives them just the information which is exactly what they wanted.
The only other thing that it does is let them know that I will not be harassing them.
This allows them to immediately feel more comfortable and helps to bring their guard down. I am now a source of information they can come to without the worry of solicitation.
Breaking down the anonymity afforded to consumers on the internet is one of the most difficult tasks that we have as salespeople.
Show a consumer you are a person and that you care about their needs and they will learn something about your character.
It’s important to remember, that when it comes to contacts as internet leads, the first contact is often not the money contact. It’s the contact you get back from your initial response to their inquiry that you can use to reel in a new client.
This is the point at which you have successfully removed the initial barrier of anonymity and transformed yourself into someone they have made a decision to return to for more information.
The rest is up to you by demonstrating your knowledge and grasp of the real estate market.