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MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2299 vote 171
 

How do you turn an online lead into a sale? Any tips?

I just came across this MIT study by Dr. James Oldroyd that says that a real-estate agent’s odds of successfully contacting an online lead are 100 times higher if the lead hears back from the agent within five minutes of filling out an online form. The odds of qualifying a lead are 21 times higher if the lead hears back from the agent within five minutes.

http://www.matrixintegratedmarketing.com/MIT.pdf

Tip 1: respond within 5 minutes of receiving the lead!

Very interested in hearing what has worked for you, and putting together an all-star list of tips for online lead conversions.

23
Canada / General Chit-Chat
 
 
 
JORDAN DANZIGER
NewBee
reply 3 vote 2
 
 
2 BEST REPLY
I work for a broker and do lead generation while I am taking my course (My P3 Exam is Nov 8th - wish me luck). In a 6 hour day; I call about 45-55 people, talk with with roughly 24 and convert an average of 12-14/warm leads into face-to-face meetings and usually have 6 people request call backs (when a partner is also available, at work and couldn't talk, etc).

Timing is key; most people (even ones who don't pick up blocked/unknown numbers) will answer a call if they just submitted a form online as it is fresh in their mind.

What I've noticed is when dealing with leads usually over 48 hrs old - most have already moved on unless you really have something they need and another agent can't provide(which all comes back to your online presence, image, marketing).

A very important aspect is what information you request from the client when they contact you. Even with stale leads (3 months +) I've been quite successful (about 30-35% are willing to meet) even if they have already purchased. It is your attitude on the phone. As long as you don't sound like you drained a bottle of scotch the night before and can have an engaging phone manner - you can convert most people. The goal is to get in front of them. Always get on the phone with someone before calling clients. Just to warm up your voice and reanimate it.

From my background; I have helped/trained a few people on phone calling and am putting together a little tutorial summary (free of charge with dialog examples from actual calls) that I'll post a link when i get around to finishing it.

FYI: My background is cold lead generation/sales in the advertising/marketing/software industry!

Keep these tips coming - great stuff so far!
 
 
 
BRIAN ELIZABETH
Buzzer
reply 166 vote 10
 
 
According to #reTECHchat last night, using alerts for new listings from your website has a major impact on converting a lead to a purchaser.
Tip: Use alerts for new listing.
 
 
MICHAEL KLASSEN
NewBee
reply 1 vote 2
 
 
2
No question about it...the faster you respond, the better your chances!
 
 
MARK SAVEL
Buzzer
reply 143 vote 26
 
 
1
Give them what they're looking for!
 
 
ROY BHANDARI
Senior Buzzer
reply 512 vote 60
 
 
Mark said:
Give them what they're looking for!

+1
 
 
MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2299 vote 171
 
 
Michael said:
No question about it...the faster you respond, the better your chances!

What do you respond with?
1. Information on what they are interested in? Or,
2. Set up a time to meet with them?
If they don't respond, how often do you try to reconnect with them following their inquiry?
 
 
EVAN SAGE
Buzzer
reply 12 vote 3
 
 
1
I completely agree with the need... the need for speed.

I also think that you have to give them what they are asking for if you want any chance to build rapport or even get a response. It isn't always possible to give them the answer within 5 minutes, but a customised response promising to get back as soon as you are able to goes a long way.

We are in the midst of defining and developing an E-Team. Only Agents who qualify will be eligible to get the online leads. They are completely different from walk ins, sign calls or referrals and they require special commitments and qualifications to warrant receiving them.

Any thoughts on what qualifications are required to properly handle online leads?
 
 
RATEHUB.CA
Buzzer
reply 115 vote 5
 
 
1
As a lead generation service for mortgage brokers, we definitely see common traits amongst the most successful of our partners. And it's really important to choose the right partners. It's better having a few select partners that are stellar and can handle volume, than to distribute volume amongst too many partners. The partners need to get enough qualified leads to see an accurate conversion ratio.
How does one get to a good conversion ratio?
1. Response time. This is THE most important - as mentioned above. If you're not on the phone with the lead right away, they are already talking to someone else. Trust. Even if you don't have the time to answer all their questions, just call them to tell them you received their request and will be getting back to them as soon as possible.
2. If you're too busy to answer all the leads as they come in, hire someone else. Lots of our brokers have assistants or agents under them who are always answering the phone.
3. Know your stuff. This seems obvious, but if you're not experienced and knowledgeable, you should not be signing up for a lead generation service. The customers who come in are shoppers - they compare and they know how to spot a good deal, or service provider, rather.
4. Collect the right information. If the lead says they want to be called back in the evening, call them back in the evening. They don't want to work on a 9-5 schedule.
5. Be persistent! Sometimes, it takes 4 or 5 e-mails and 2-3 calls to get a lead to respond to you. They may still be collecting information or waiting for the right time to take the next step, and will typically not ignore you after such persistence.
6. Be nice. Another obvious one but our most successful partners are the most friendly.
I hope this helps!
 
 
VANCOUVER BUZZ
Buzzer
reply 23 vote 2
 
 
1
Matthew > exactly what I was going to quote as well. Unfortunately, speed is the #1 issue that can turn a registrant into a qualified lead into a converted sale.
You can't always help people who inquire and have no intention on buying or moving forward .. but speed seems to be the key when dealing with 'real' leads.
 
 
RATEHUB.CA
Buzzer
reply 115 vote 5
 
 
Another thing - if you feel you can't remember when to follow-up, use a service like Pipeline Deals.
 
 
DAVID PYLYP
NewBee
reply 6
 
 
Evan said:
I completely agree with the need... the need for speed.
I also think that you have to give them what they are asking for if you want any chance to build rapport or even get a response. It isn't always possible to give them the answer within 5 minutes, but a customised response promising to get back as soon as you are able to goes a long way.

Any thoughts on leads?

Absolutely correct! But for those who wan to be guarded and only ask questions by email, you also need to create a library of suitable responses. then customize hen response for them.
Speed is again paramount.
David Pylyp
 
 
MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2299 vote 171
 
 
Is it best to respond quickly with the information that they are requesting, or respond quick with a teaser and try to set up a face-to-face meeting?
 
 
JEROEN VAN DE PEPPEL
NewBee
reply 1
 
 
Some really great tips here for agents. I recently wrote an article about this very subject. If you have a few minutes I would love you to read it and provide feedback.
http://www.realestatemarketing-blog.com/tips-to-increase-sales-lead-generation-through-your-real-estate-portal-listings/
Best regards
Jeroen (Perth - Western Australia)
 
 
JORDAN DANZIGER
NewBee
reply 3 vote 2
 
 
Not sure how to quote here yet but @Matthew Slutsky " Is it best to respond quickly with the information that they are requesting, or respond quick with a teaser and try to set up a face-to-face meeting?"

Even if the property they are interested in is sold - I always say, I have 10 properties you have to see. When are you available; tonight, tomorrow? I always give them same day or next and let them tell me another day - usually the following weekend. If you say the weekend and it's Monday; it leaves it too open for them to say that this weekend won't work and maybe the following weekend... And they are likely to find another agent.

A really eager buyer will meet the next day usually. I never give full details or address to a property. If you give an address; they have no reason to call you back. Same reason I would never recommend an agent meeting a client at the actual address. If they have the address they don't need you and you waste your time. 
 
 
MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2299 vote 171
 
 
@Jordan Danziger ...do you see different success rates between email and calls?
 
 
JORDAN DANZIGER
NewBee
reply 3 vote 2
 
 
100%; have you ever texted your wife/girlfriend saying something quickly/short and she took it the wrong way or have you read an email and not known or been able to pick up on someones attitude/tone/hesitation?

Email is great for initial contact point - Client Inquiry To Agent. However, the agent should reply via phone until the first in person. You can easily get stuck in an email-only correspondence that never ends and what is your time worth (I'll explain in another tip)

When I'm on the phone with a client; I can hear the nuances that I'm sure most of you would as well and allow myself adjustments on the pitch. Besides! How many times have you heard agents say that they spoke to a client "EG: I want a detached, 4 bedroom, in Forest Hill for $280,000.00 - he i out of his mind!" and it turns out he might of qualified for $400k and willing to settle on a Oshawa . How many agents would you believe would actually ignore that email. A good amount and I encourage you to call some agents and try it yourselves when all they need is a bit of guidance.

Also if a client inquires about a sold property - tell them you have 10 in that price range/in that same area to show them. Don't say if it's sold or not and don't just let the client get off the phone - do your call sheet questionnaire. 

Remember its like dating; you want to close the deal. Getting them on the phone is like 2nd base, meeting in person is 3rd and buying is a home run :)


 
 
JAMES KILPATRICK
NewBee
reply 1
 
 
Call within 5 minutes. Get them to see a property, any property.

When highlighting different projects/properties, send individual emails for each. No other reason than you want them to see your name in their inbox throughout the day and throughout the queue.  Also easier for you and them to reference different properties and pull up information - including the phone number in your signature.
 
 
LIANNE TANNIS MCOUAT
NewBee
reply 1 vote 1
 
 
1
We recently ran a Seminar for our New Home Clients on this exact subject and partnered with Alan Daniel of Smart Touch Interactive - a great real estate based CRM program. We studied 50 low rise sites across the GTA and found only 10% responded within 2 days! As a marketer, its frustrating when we generate the leads and the sales teams wait days to respond (or don't respond at all!) effectively negating any conversion opportunity!
I', planning to approach BILD to give this Seminar soon, as it is real failing in our industry unfortunately. @Matthew Slutsky - we should do it together! @Cary Chapnick came to our seminar and he is doing a great job using Smart Touch! I hope more agents read this board and realize the opportunity online leads can present to them...if they follow up!
 
 
MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2299 vote 171
 
 
@Lianne Tannis McOuat, count me in!
 
 
MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2299 vote 171
 
 
I found this article in the Harvard Business Review really interesting (2011):

"Firms that tried to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead (which we defined as having a meaningful conversation with a key decision maker) as those that tried to contact the customer even an hour later—and more than 60 times as likely as companies that waited 24 hours or longer."

Source: http://hbr.org/2011/03/the-short-life-of-online-sales-leads/
 
 
BRIAN ELIZABETH
Buzzer
reply 166 vote 10
 
 
Here's an other: make it easy to buy. 

Nothing worse than a convoluted system, where I have no idea what to do.
 
 
MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2299 vote 171
 
 
1
I just saw @Jamie K.post this on Facebook, and I think it is pretty awesome.



"The odds of qualifying a lead in 5 minutes versus 30 minutesdrop 21 times. And from 5 minutes to 10 minutes the dial to qualify odds decrease 4 times."

Read the whole thing, here: http://www.leadresponsemanagement.org/lrm_study

Oh, now break it down by 5 minutes!

PS: This is from 2009.
 
 
JAMIE KINCH
Buzzer
reply 142 vote 40
 
 
1
@Matthew Slutsky regardless of date ( IMO it's just become more critical since 2009) it shows that in todays word immediacy and speed of follow up with leads matters more than ever. 

I had someone signup to receive neighbourhood listings by email on my website today and I called them literally 2 minutes after they signed up. They were amazed that I'd responded that fast and that I just wanted to check up and see if they had any questions and to let them know that I had received their request.  Blew their mind.
 
 
 
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