Leads, Leads, Leads and Touch?

Posted by: Mitch Ribak on April 3rd, 2008

So most of you know by now that I am all about leads. I can talk with the best of them about lead conversion, lead capture and basically anything lead based.

Today I want to talk to you about the human part of what we do. You can drive a million people to your site and get 10,000 leads, but if you don’t understand the human aspect of what we do as Real Estate professionals, this is all for not.

To me, and my staff, leads are a God send. We are constantly working and currently our Florida office is averaging 130+ different customers per month and we just grew to our final number of 22 agents.

Even though the market is tough right now, we are still selling 15-25 homes per month. Not very stellar for the amount of people we are showing, but if you understand our Florida market the past couple of years, you would think that is great!

If it weren’t for leads, my company would have been gone a long time ago, which has been the fate of about 20% of our Realtors and many Brokerages.

So you have a lead, what happens then? I’m not going to talk about your drip campaign or for that fact anything computer or tech related…except maybe having a good CRM system to insure your great follow up.

Firstly, if you are not picking up the phone and calling your new customer within 24 hours, preferably within a few hours, then you are wasting money.

The key to this phone call is to find out a couple of things.

  1. Are they working with any other Realtors – We are not big on helping other Agents make sales. Our ethics do not allow us to “steal” the customer from other Agents that may be working with the customer. (I wish I could say that is common practice with all agents!)
  2. Goals – Are they buying a home as a primary, 2nd home or investment?
  3. Time Frame – This is very important because it will influence your follow up with them.
  4. Criteria – In order to discuss anything, you need to be able to understand their criteria, set them up in your prospecting system and help them find their home.

Of course during this phone call you are getting your opportunity to shine. This is your chance you use that great personality you have developed over the years. If you have fun and they have fun, you have a great chance for a very long and rewarding relationship.

Never forget that even though you met these potential customers the ”New” way, you have to build a trusting relationship that only comes over time and customer service.

End every phone call with: “It was great talking to you today, when would you like me to call you back” or “It was great talking to you today, I’ll call you back in two weeks to check on things”.

Either way, always let them know you will be calling them back.

Now the fun begins. You have had a great first phone call and in your mind you have created a new customer. You are half right, you probably had a great first call.

Even though you spent an hour on the phone with them, and you are going to send them every new listing that comes up, they are still going to be looking on other websites and talking to other Realtors.

At this point, you need to put them into not only your drip email campaign, but your phone call campaign.

Here is a little scenario to understand what happens when you don’t keep the “touch” alive. You had this great call and put them in your MLS update system. You are feeling good about yourself even though they are not buying for 12 months. Then you never call them back. Sure they get your drip campaign, but that alone is not going to sell houses for you. So you don’t call you and you wait for 12 months and hope they email you. During the 12 month period, your new customer is now online and talking to other Agents around the area you are working. They meet another Realtor they like and that Realtor puts them in the update system, but she also calls them every 30 days or so to check in. When they say they are coming in a month or so, she calls them regularly to narrow the search. Who do you think the customer is going to use as their Realtor…certainly not the person they talked to almost a year ago.

So what to do?

Here is what we do in our office. We know how important “touch” is in the Real Estate world. We know that if we don’t work hard before we actually meet our customers, they will most likely use one of the other 4,000 Realtors in our area. Our “touch” system is very simple.

Buying in more than a year – We call them every 6-8 weeks.
Buying withinin one year – Call them once every 4 weeks.
Buying within 6 months – Call them every 2-3 weeks.
Buying within 3 months – Call them every 2 weeks.
Buying within a month – Call them as much as possible.

With this call back model, when they reach a new time frame, start calling in accordingly. This is the deal, no call backs, no sales. You make the decision.

The more Realtors start figuring out the Internet or at least how to get leads or customers from the Internet, the better job you have to do to keep in touch with them.

Statistics state that most buyers will work with the first Realtor who calls them.

It really should be the first Realtor that calls them and keeps “touching” them throughout the process.

Hopefully this will give you a little insight into how my best Agents are converting at 5% versus the national average of under 2%. What would this do for your business if you went from a 2% conversion to a 5% conversion? The difference between having a 2% conversion and a 5% conversion is all about “touch”.

Just reach out and “touch” your customers!

As always, if you need advice on lead capture of conversion let me know. We have finally started testing on our 100MPH Marketing Software and it’s looking great. It should be available in about 60-90 days on a nationwide basis.

Take care and good luck!



2 Comments on “Leads, Leads, Leads and Touch?”

Wayne Long

“The more Realtors start figuring out the Internet or at least how to get leads or customers from the Internet, the better job you have to do to keep in touch with them.”

You are right – the bar is being raised daily.

Barry Karch

Good article Mitch. We run our business very similar to yours.

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