Unfortunately, real estate agents get a bad wrap in the eyes of the public. In fact, real estate agents are amongst the least trusted professionals in the United States – right up there with telemarketers and used car salesmen. Eeek! But after working in the real estate industry for over 5 years, I know just as much as you do that this simply isn’t true. So who is ruining it for everyone? Can we finally find the culprits and rise above?
I want to get to the bottom of this.
In my own home search I have identified 3 areas of working with agents that made an impression: whether it be good or bad. When agents do these 3 things well, I was left feeling good about my experience. And when they did not do them so well, I was left feeling sort of icky (which likely contributes to the bad rap).
Here are 3 things to keep in mind when working new leads so that you can deliver the best possible customer experience:
- How quickly you respond really does matter.
To truly replicate the experience of a consumer, I started looking for homes on Zillow. Once my criteria was set, I looked through about 10 homes, and sent a message to inquire about 4 of them. Within 3 minutes I already received a call from an agent. This was amazing! However, I am not naive in thinking that you are always sitting by the phone just waiting for leads to come in. One agent linked their Cloud CMA account to their Zillow account so I was automatically sent a custom CMA, which bought him time until he could call. Lesson: regardless of how you respond, it’s important that the lead gets something right away – whether it be a phone call, CMA, etc.
- Listen before you sell.
This one is huge. Qualifying your leads before jumping into sales-mode not only helps you find out where they are in the buying process, but it also helps you build trust with them. Before calling, think of some qualifying questions to ask. Are they first time homebuyers? Do they have to sell before they buy? Whatever questions you decide to ask, make sure you listen to what they say. If they are first time homebuyers, pushing a short sale where the current owners won’t let anyone see the house unless an offer is put in, probably isn’t the best idea. Which is what actually happened by the way, I was strongly encouraged to look at a property that didn’t allow tours until after an offer was made – and as a first time home buyer, this didn’t leave me with the greatest impression of the agent.
- Remember to stay in touch.
While not every lead is going to convert right away, remember that they were still looking for a reason. So instead of just throwing their information in the trash, why not nurture them with listing alerts or your own drip email campaign? In fact, leads that are nurtured convert 50% more than those who are not. Out of all the agents I contacted, none of them offered to set me up with listing alerts or seemed to put me into a lead nurture campaign, which would be helpful for me at this point. Just imagine, what if you were converting more leads?
So why do real estate agents have a bad reputation? Negative first impressions. And while not everyone will want to work with you, keeping these 3 things in mind when you first engage a lead will go a long way!
What’s your process for working with new leads? Let us know in the comments below!