When having conversations with your leads, there’s a few things that we should be focusing on during those conversations. And that is the when, the why, the what, and the where, in that order. So a lot of individuals will go from the what and the where and then go into a why and often not even a when. So the when the lead is asking is the most important bit of information that you could be grabbing from your lead.
Now, we’ll go over these key points in a little bit more detail. However, when following up and calling your leads, always be customer service-oriented. So not the sales approach. No one wants to be forced or feeling that pressure into buying. However, the by-product of being amazing at customer service will often result in the sale.
So the when. Having a better understanding of when your lead plans on actioning their criteria is going to allow you to have a more effective follow-up plan. For example, if you have a lead that plans on moving in three months versus a lead that plans on buying next year, your follow-up on that lead is going to differ significantly. So always understanding when they plan on actioning.
Their timeline will also allow for you to provide value and educate the lead, depending on where they’re at in the buying or selling process. So again, somebody that’s getting that much closer; maybe they’re four to six months out; you may be encouraging that pre-approval versus somebody that’s just looking and really doesn’t have an intention of moving, you may not be making those same recommendations.
Now many agents, not all, will go straight for the criteria. That is a comfort zone thing. We know that they’re looking at listings and we know we are able to edit that criteria for them. However, without a timeline, what ends up happening; and I’ve seen it before; is they often think; and the agent, I’m referring to; that just because somebody gives them criteria means that they plan on actioning it. And then, they start to pursue them as if they want to go look at homes. All this ends up doing is creating a barrier between you and the lead because they just wanted listings. They’d had no intentions of making a move just yet. And here you are, trying to push them to an appointment of some sort. So that when of understanding, when they plan on actioning that criteria, is super important and the number one tidbit of information that is really going to help you with those leads.
Now, the why. So having a better understanding as to why your lead is moving or what their current situation is. Again, it’s going to allow you to offer information related to their specific scenario or situation. Educating your leads will build trust, often resulting in better relationships and results. So knowing why. So again, if somebody is downsizing, for example, the information that you provide to them may be a little bit different than somebody that is relocating due to work or somebody that is retiring or they’re a first-time buyer, different things like that. So just having that information allows you to have an alternate rapport with that lead. Again, building a strong relationship with them.
Now, you can ask your leads directly or you can find indirect ways of asking different questions. So for example, “What’s your current situation? Do you guys own your home or are you guys currently renting?” Or, “How long have you lived in your current home? Has the situation changed where you now have to move or are you just looking for a change?”
So if you take note, these are all open-ended questions. They’re not yes or no. We’re not drilling them with a bunch of questions, getting them to respond. We are focusing on just having a great conversation with these leads. And the more you just focus on that conversation, the more relaxed you’re going to be, as well as the lead itself. You’re going to notice that their walls start dropping and you start to have better conversations and things just come out in however they come out and different talking points. And really, when you start to follow up with the lead, they’re going to be more receptive to those calls. Because again, we are focusing on the customer service, not the sale. So again, they can feel confident in approaching you without feeling the pressure of having to make a purchase anytime soon.
Now, the what and the where. So offering value at the end of the conversation by updating their criteria will end the conversation on a positive note. You’ve left them with something of value. So there’s a reason why you’re calling, there’s something that you can do to help them. So I often, just how I would put that is, “Before we go, I just want to perhaps make some tweaks to your search here so that we’re sending you the listings that best match the home that you would be looking for when that time comes.” So here, I have, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, right? And so, that’s where you can start asking some questions about specifics or if they have specifics and things like that.
Now, it will also allow for you to ask mortgage-related questions. For example, when you’re confirming the price, you could ask, “Out of curiosity, how did you come up with that price point?” That as an indirect way of asking if they’ve been pre-approved. So instead of just asking that hard question that everyone is asking them, you’ve got an indirect, softer approach to asking it, which then opens up the opportunity for conversation.
You’ve now also, by doing this at the end of the conversation, you’ve now also gained an additional opportunity to follow up. So whether it’s right away or the day after. So perhaps you just updated the list, you shot them off that updated list of homes. So you could send them a text message right away, like, “Hi, lead! Just sent you off the list of updated homes. Let me know if you have any questions. Take care.” Whatever it may be. Or perhaps, it’s the day after and it’s something like, “Hey, lead. Just wanted to make sure you received the updated list of homes okay. If there’s any further adjustments I can make, just let me know.” So again, it’s allowing you the opportunity to further connect with your lead, rather than just doing it all in tidbits and then hoping that they got it and being a little bit disorganized or just focusing specifically on criteria. But again, keep in mind that a lot of your leads need handholding.
So one of the biggest things and errors that we all make in the industry is that we understand the industry inside and out. And so, we forget that others do not know the industry inside and out. So we’ve got to treat these leads as if they’ve never done this before. And we’re here to add value.
And one of the things that I can illustrate for you is, there’s so many realtors out there. And at the end of the day, anyone can open the door to show a home to anyone. Any licensed person can go and open and show a home. You want to be value behind opening that door. Why would they be using you in the first place to go and open that door for them? So we’re going to be providing that value, not only in initial conversations with your leads, but through further follow-ups and connections, to build that trust, to build that relationship. And essentially, again, focusing on your customer service will achieve higher results in conversion rates.