Converting Leads

3 minutes
Collaboration with tablet and laptop

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Conversations Into Appointments

Joshua Smith Apr 3rd, 2020
Real Estate Advice
Joshua Smith
Real Estate Success

Consumers love to consume (in this case, buying and/or selling real estate), but they HATE being sold to.

To find success in real estate, your mindset must be to come from a place of adding value by leading with contribution. And know that once your contacts are ready to buy and/or sell, they will think of and reach out to you.

So, yes, more frequency than ever is required to convert leads into appointments; however, you do not need to resort to using high-pressure tactics. In fact, when delivering high-pressure scripts, you will end up turning off far more people than you are allowed to help.

The goal is to follow up frequently, lead from a place of contribution, and develop a relationship over time.

Let me give you an example:

My team generates a ton of leads and business by running Facebook Ads. These leads register on my website to unlock the ability to search for homes. Let’s say I just received a new lead who saved a property as a favorite on my website.

I would call this lead ASAP and say “Hi (lead's name), this is Joshua Smith with REVISITO Real Estate. I wanted to reach out, as I noticed you saved (the property address) as a favorite on my home search website, and I wanted to see if you had any further questions on that property, as well as see if there is other info/data on that home and area I can send you. (Pause to let them answer, answer any questions they may have, then try to set an appointment). I have some time this evening between 5pm and 7pm if you would like to meet at that home on your way home from work and spend a few minutes checking it out. Is that something you would like me to set up?”

IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember from Creating Real Estate Success: Lead Follow-Up, that the same lead will reject you for an appointment five times before saying yes. So, I am expecting a no and will then say, “No worries at all. If you have any further questions, or ever need anything, please feel free to reach out anytime! Have a great day!”

The goal is to follow up, lead from a place of contribution, try to set an appointment, and if unable, repeat the process.

As you can see, my lead follow-up is far from pushy, but I do follow up frequently with courtesy check-ins.

As the famous sales saying goes, “The fortune is in the follow up”. And I have seen time and time again that it really is.

To make your life easier and your business manageable, a lead follow up plan/system is essential. But the plan or system is not enough. You also have to execute. Please know that generating leads is not the main issue. Converting leads into appointments is a much more crucial step, and one that most realtors struggle with, as they do not have a dedicated lead follow-up system in place. 

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

2 minutes
Typing on laptop

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Lead Follow-Up

Joshua Smith Mar 27th, 2020
Real Estate Advice
Real Estate Success
Joshua Smith

The average realtor follows up with a lead within 40 minutes and only follows up twice. These numbers are just not good enough for any agent to ever be able to create a profitable real estate business. As you read in Creating Real Estate Success: Lead Generation and tracking, the average realtor only converts .5% of leads into a closing. More on predictable lead generation systems here.

But as you have demonstrated by your dedication to learn to perform at the highest level in the real estate business, you are not the average realtor.

Let’s now dive into what steps you can take to turn your leads into appointments and point them toward closing.

Consider these averages about lead follow-up:

-- You must follow up with a lead fifteen times before that lead will reach back out to you.

-- Each lead will reject an appointment five times before ever agreeing to meet with you.

-- Every consumer is sold to 2,000+ times each and every day.

You must be diligent about lead follow-up. I recommend, at a minimum, that you follow up with every lead 21 times in the first 30 days. You can use any combination of phone calls, emails, and text messages, but the key is to reach out 21 times in the first month of your relationship with a lead.

Plan to get voicemails and few responses. That’s okay and is expected industry-wide. You can only focus on and control your actions. So your job is to continue to follow-up via phone, email, and text until you can get a lead to respond to you. At that time, you can work with that lead to identify goals, expectations, and time frames for purchasing or selling a home. More on how to turning conversations into appointments here.

In real estate as with anything else, hard work and persistence are key.

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

9 minutes
Buyer clients agreeing to work with an agent.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Getting Buyers to Commit to You

Joshua Smith Sep 18th, 2020
Buyers
Appointments
Converting Leads

Many realtors are afraid to ask for their buyer clients to sign commitments, but your time and services are valuable and must be treated as such or risk leaving your business in a vulnerable position.

But I have good news: getting buyers to commit with a signed agreement, if you have an effective process in place, is pretty easy!

As realtors we understand the importance of getting a seller/listing agreement signed. I know those agreements are required to list a property, but why not make it a requirement for your buyer clients, as well? Yes, you have more money invested into a listing/seller client, but you typically have much more time into your buyer clients. And time is money!

So, how do you do it? You must treat the process just like you do with your seller/listing clients. You need to perform an official “Buyer's Consultation”. At the end of the day, it does not matter where the consultation happens, as long as it happens, it may be at your office, a property, at their house, or at a local coffee shop.

To get this buyer consultation appointment scheduled, you MUST sell the value in the appointment. Most realtors try to sell themselves to potential clients, but the reality is we need to sell them on the appointment first. Then, during the consultation, we can sell our services.

Buyer Consultation/Appointment Setting Script: 

“The next best step in the process is to set up a time for us to meet so I can fully understand your goals, your needs, what is important to you, as well as educate you on the buying process here in (your area). There are some costs which you will incur during the process. For example, inspection fees, appraisal fee, loan down payment, lender and title closing costs, etc. There are also areas you are protected by in the contract, and areas in which you are at risk. With that being said, I like to meet with all my clients and thoroughly explain the entire process, answer all of your questions, and give you all the information you need to make the best decision for yourself and for your family. You may decide now is the time to buy a new home, or you may decide now is not the time to buy a home. Whichever route you decide is 100% okay, of course. Just so you know, there is no hassle, no obligation, and everything I do is 100% zero pressure. Again, the sole purpose of us meeting is to provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision for yourself and for your family. Also, I like to make everything as convenient for my clients as I can. We can meet at my office, your current residence, at a local coffee shop, or whatever works best for you. I have X time and X time available tomorrow (just as an example), which one of those times works best for you?”

IMPORTANT NOTE: If a buyer says “No”, they are not rejecting you; they are essentially saying “Not right now.” So, in that case, you can say something like, “No worries at all, I know you may not be ready to meet at this time. I will continue sending you homes which meet your criteria and will check in from time to time to see if there is anything you need or any questions I can answer. Thanks again, and have an amazing day!”

Then continue to check in frequently.

OK. So let’s say you have the appointment set. Now what do you do during that appointment? First, and this is really important, you must ask great questions and listen deeply to the buyer’s needs and wants.

Things To Cover During The Appointment Process:

#1: All the features they would like in their new home. Remember, it is not just about the home itself but understanding everything that is important. For example, in addition to the home features, maybe their kids are involved in certain activities, and they want to be close by to those, etc. The deeper you go, the better!

#2: Identify their time frames. A great question to ask is, “In a perfect world, if we could time this out perfectly, when would you be sticking the key into the front door of your new home?” This question can tell you a lot, and can help prevent you from becoming a chauffeur for the next six months. 

#3: Educate them on the step by step buying process. What each step is, timeframes, contract contingencies, how they are protected by the contract, potential ways they can be at risk, and what those consequences are, monetary investments, etc. A mistake I see a lot of realtors make is to skip this process with buyer clients who have purchased multiple homes in the past. The average person moves every five years, which is a long time to remember everything that is involved in the process. Even if it is a reminder, it is always better to over educate than the alternative. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: In addition to educating your clients, this process is important as it shows the value you bring. As an example, while educating, you can use scripts like this: “Per the contract, we have X days to perform our inspections. We can always request more time, if needed, but in most cases this timeframe provides enough time to do the necessary inspections. During the inspection period, we have the option to cancel the contract, accept the property as is, or ask the seller to do the repairs which you would like to see performed. Again, we have X days to do our inspections. Let's say you want to request some repairs. We must get that request in writing, signed by you, and delivered to the listing realtor by 11:59pm on X day. If we miss that time, even by a minute, you have now accepted the property AS-IS. So, it is absolutely critical we pay close attention to all the timeframes inside the purchase contract. Now, I don’t want you to stress about it, as this is what I am here for. I will make sure all the timeframes are met, and I will always look out for your best interests.“ In the above example script, you are educating and showing your value as their realtor.

#4: Educate them on everything you are doing for them as well as how you get paid. Make a list of everything you do. Don’t be afraid to make it a full page of items. This list demonstrates the value of utilizing your services and is critical to educate them on what you do and how you get paid. Instruct them on what must happen if they attend an open house without you, or want to see a FSBO, or want to go look at new build developments in your area, etc. In the majority of cases I have ever seen where a realtor get’s “burned” by a buyer client (home purchase with a different buyer agent), it was the realtor’s fault for not educating the client properly.

#5: Ask for their commitment via a signed “Buyer Employment Agreement”, or whatever your area and/or Brokerage calls the document.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I have found it is critical to do the “Buyer Consultation” in the exact steps outlined above, as doing so allows you to build a relationship, trust, and value to utilize you as their realtor!

Simple Script To Getting The Signed “Buyer Employment Agreement”

Have the agreement ready to go right after you get done explaining all the services you provide. You can then transition into a script just like this: “There are other things that I do in the process, but that was a list of the main items I am doing to ensure your real estate goals are accomplished. As I stated, I only get paid upon the successful closing of your home. I want you to know that I am fully committed to helping you accomplish your real estate goals. I will always put your needs first and always lookout for your best interests. I am 100% committed to my career and my clients, and all I ask in return is your commitment to me. Here is our “Buyer Employment Agreement,” which states that if you choose to buy a home in the next X Days or Months (however much time you are asking them to commit for), that you are committed to using me as your Realtor. You are in no way obligated by any means to purchase a home, and I would never push you into doing anything that you don’t want to do. Again, I am 100% committed to my clients, and ask that they commit to utilizing my services in return.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: I recommend you role play this script over many times. The more natural you make the transition, the more success you are going to have. Also, don’t make it seem like you are asking them if they are going to commit. Instead, lead with the approach that you are assuming they are. As you deliver the above script, have the agreement and a pen ready, start filling it out, and then ask them to sign and date it.

You may get some push back, of course, but you will be amazed at how many clients agree to committing to you right away. If you hear something like, “I refuse to sign that. I am going to go with whichever realtor finds me the right home,” in my opinion, don’t walk but run from them. Those are clients you do not want. However, if the buyer says something like, “I see the value in your services, and I do want to use you, but I feel uncomfortable signing anything as I have had a bad experience in the past.” Well, then you can make your best judgement call on how to handle it from there.

Alright, I know this was a long one today, but hopefully you found MASSIVE value in it! Now, it is time to get your “Buyer Consultation Process” dialed in so you can get more committed clients, which will 100% result in more closings!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

3 minutes
Real estate agent speaking on the phone while on her laptop. On the table with her, an iced coffee slowly sweats. She loves talking to her clients. But she came to this coffee shop on this day for an iced coffee and some laptop time. As each droplet darkens the wooden table, she considers claiming another call is coming in. But she doesn't do it. She powers through as she glances confidently at the camera. She can always order another iced coffee.

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Speed To Lead

Joshua Smith Nov 6th, 2020
CRM
Follow-up
Joshua Smith

We live in an instant gratification world. Press one button, rent a movie. Purchase anything you want in minutes and receive it at your doorstep in less than two days. Pop a K-Cup in your Keurig, and within seconds your coffee is ready to go. Everything is fast, so people have been conditioned to expect speed!

So people are not going to wait, and why should they? There's no shortage of realtors, just a shortage of realtors who do not respond promptly.

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: From a TON of personal experience, I can assure you that every lead in your CRM is in the CRM of six other realtors. Start calling everyone in your CRM, and you will get a ton of leads who inform you they just bought or sold their home with someone else.

Per realtor.com’s research, if you respond to a lead within five minutes, you are 100x more likely to get a response than if you waited only thirty minutes, and if contacted within five minutes, you are 30x more likely to set an appointment. And that’s just the difference from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. Can you imagine if you waited 3 hours? Any time I can increase my likelihood of success by 100x and 30x, I am going to do everything in my power to make that happen!

I know what you might be thinking, “I can’t always respond that quickly, as I am on appointments, in meetings, etc.”. I 100% get it, and understand. Here is the AWESOME part about it, with all the amazing technology which exists today, you can automate so much.

But, as much as I love technology and systems, I have yet to find anything which can beat just picking up the phone, which is not always an option. Today, any good CRM will have auto responders, and the really good ones will have text video auto responders, in addition to email. 

Let’s say you are on a listing appointment. You set your auto responders on. A new lead comes in while you are gone, and within seconds gets a video text which is a video of you saying, “Hi, this is (your name), with (your company). Thank you so much for your inquiry. I wanted to send you this quick video text message to let you know I received your inquiry. I am with a client at the moment but will get back to you the second I am done meeting with my client, which will be in less than two hours. Thanks again, and have a great day!”. Then, at the same time, the lead receives an email with the same message.

People don’t always need an answer to their specific question right that second, but they do want a response when to expect an answer. You can’t keep everyone from hopping on another realtor’s website, but and auto response will greatly lower the chances.

Moral of the story: When you can, pick up your phone and respond in under five minutes.  When you can’t, get effective auto responders in place!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

3 minutes
Notes out in a meeting

The Path Toward Real Estate Success: Standing Out

Joshua Smith May 8th, 2020
Converting Leads
Joshua Smith
Making Money in Real Estate

The marketplace is overrun with realtors.

What are you doing to separate yourself from your competition to make sure you stand out?

Not everyone is thinking about buying or selling at this given moment, so the ultimate goal is to offer those who either may want to buy or sell at some point in the future something of value and stay in touch with them to build a connection over time.

In the noisy world in which we live, we must think differently and lead from a place of contribution.

Let's think about For Sale By Owners. Instead of just asking/begging them for their business, what about offering them some free tips and tools that can ultimately allow them to be more successful?

The reality is, only 8% of FSBO’s are ever successful at selling their homes on their own, and per the National Association of Realtors, the FSBO’s which are successful, on average, sell their homes for 16% less than the average realtor listed property.

If you offer free tips/tools, you are establishing a stronger relationship over time. So, when the 92% that are unable to sell on their own decide they want to hire a realtor, BOOM, you are the first realtor they think of!

What if you offered for FREE:

  • An in-depth current market analysis report
  • A “How To Prep Your Home For Sale To Get Top Dollar” guide
  • A guest registration login book
  • A blank Association of Realtors contract
  • A seller's guide from your local title company
  • Some tips on creating social media ads
  • Some tips on lead follow-up
  • Some tips on holding a successful open house

This is not an exhaustive list, but rather some suggestions to give you a mindset of ways to offer something of value and become a resource. While other realtors are begging for their listing and telling them how they are going to fail, you are offering value and building a connection. So when they get to that point of frustration at which they decide they need to hire a realtor, you are the realtor who comes to mind.

The key is to always offer something of value in exchange for the consumer's contact info, and then you can follow up, continue to be a resource, and develop a relationship over time.

Keep pushing hard, and keep up the amazing work!

Thanks for reading!

  Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur

-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal

-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily

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