February 4, 2009
While industry experts may vary on the percentages of real estate transactions that begin on the Internet from 70-84% none of them will disagree with the importance of capturing and managing real estate leads. This was the driving force that moved the founders of UltimateIDX™ to create our system. Our founders are REALTORS® and we understand the importance of real estate leads. Let’s face it, the days of a real estate Brokerage’s ability to survive on “walk-in” traffic alone is over. If you want to stay in business you need to learn how to get leads from the Internet and how to convert those leads into closed transactions. In this market it is more crucial than ever to keep leads (potential buyers) in your pipe line.
While we all love it when a buyer visits our website that needs to move or relocate within 30 days. The truth is it just does not happen that often. Discounting “tire kickers” buyers can generally be classified in one of four groups;
A) 30 Day Buyers
B) 30 – 90 Day Buyers
C) 90 – 180 Day Buyers
D) Over 180 Day Buyers
All to often inexperienced real estate Agents discount C an D buyers opting to devote most if not all of their time to the quicker sales that A and B Buyers potentially offer. The more seasoned Agents see the time lag on the C and D Buyers as an opportunity to develop a relationship with the buyers over time. By developing a relationship with the C and D buyers the seasoned Agent has a much better opportunity of making a sale than he/she does with an A or B buyer. The veteran also realizes that sooner or later the C and D buyers will turn into A and B buyers. The trick is to build your real estate lead pipeline so that you have a steady supply of all classifications of buyers.
One of the most critical steps involved with real estate lead capturing is the follow up email and phone call. Agents need to know as soon as a potential customer registers on their website so the Agent can follow up immediately. The UltimateIDX™ immediately sends out a “Welcome” email with YOUR contact information from YOU. The system also notifies you of the new registration by: Text Message, Email, Web Alert or all three methods. Your notification will give you the Name, Phone, Email and searched properties of the new lead. You will also be notified of “Revisits” each time a registered lead goes back into the system.
REMEMBER: Most experts report the Agent that contacts a new lead within 15 minutes of them logging on to their website and starts a rapport stands the best chance of making the sale.
Suggestion: Call within 15 minutes. Keep your call brief, professional and friendly. Introduce yourself, explain that you noticed that they logged onto your website and invite them to contact you if they need further assistance. If the call is going exceptionally well offer to set them up on your VIP Email Alerts so they can be notified of new listings on the MLS that match their criteria. DO NOT keep them on the line if they do not wish to talk.
Our Client Resource Manager allows you to monitor your leads search habits as it records the search criteria, viewed listings and saved favorites. In addition to giving you a good indication of what a potential customer is looking for it helps you quickly identify “tire kickers” and mark them accordingly so no time is wasted pursuing them. This frees up your valuable time assisting serious property buyers.
Different Agents in different markets use techniques for follow up that may or may not work for other Agents in other markets. Phone calls and drip mail are some of the most popular methods to keep in touch. Try different things with different intervals and take detailed notes on your lead follow up. Chart what works best for you, and repeat the process. The main thing is to follow up, build that rapport and make the sale. If you don’t your competition will.
About the author: SEOWolf
K.M “Mack” McMillan comes from a family of REALTORS® and was a Broker himself for 14+ years. Mack built one of the 1st real estate websites in 1994 which helped his family run Agency become the most successful Brokerage in south central Missouri. As the original founder of the UltimateIDX in 2000, Mack continues to serve the real estate community and maintains an advisory role in UltimateIDX.
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