Increase Lead Conversion

Real estate buyer calls are like gold to agents. Getting a real prospect on the phone is the goal of every successful real estate agent. One way to accomplish this is floor time in the office, but there are other methods as well. Real estate agents spend a great deal of time and money with marketing strategies designed to get a prospect to call them.

Most agents realize that a strong online presence complete with a feed of active properties taking directly from their local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is a minimum requirement. As a result, not only are listing agents receiving calls from yard signs and advertisements, but buyers are also calling based on web searches as well. Regardless of how the call is generated, most agents are still unprepared for how to convert that phone call into a client.

In my new video, “Increasing Your Lead Conversion,” I help real estate agents design a strategy for converting a cold phone call to a warm prospect. By understanding the techniques for answering the questions posed by the buyer, real estate agents can learn how to direct that phone conversation to ensure it ends with an appointment.

Why is the Buyer Calling?

Before you develop a plan to handle the call, it’s important to understand why the potential buyer is calling in the first place. Believe it or not, typically the buyer is not calling to see the property; they are calling with 2 goals in mind:

  1. To eliminate the property as an option
  2. To eliminate the agent as a possible representative

Don’t believe it?

It might seem counter-intuitive to bother to call someone with such a negative intent, but it’s true that most buyers call with the hope that they can eliminate a few options. Buyers are busy; they want to cross options off their list as quickly as possible so they can spend their time on homes which actually fit their criteria.

Eliminate the Property

If you pay attention to the questions buyers ask, you can see that they always start with questions designed to eliminate the home.

  • What is the price?
  • How many bedrooms does it have?
  • Does it have a pool?
  • What school district would my kids attend?
  • How close is it to the freeway?
  • How big is the lot?
  • Is there a main-floor bedroom?

These are qualifying questions. The buyers already know some information about the property and like it enough to call, so now they are asking about other features which are clearly important to them. In other words…what is it missing?

Eliminate the Agent

Typically a buyer will call because they have not yet chosen a buyer’s agent. There is a fear of the “salesman” who will somehow cast a spell which will cause them to buy something they do not want. Of course, we know this is not true, but the buyers on the phone are wary. We need to immediately put them at ease and create an atmosphere in which we can start to build rapport and get the appointment.

Real estate agents lose opportunities by doing 3 things.

  1. They answer the question directly and the phone call ends
  2. They ignore the question and blab on about themselves and their expertise

In both cases, the agent has only managed to frustrate the caller and created a sense of annoyance. This is NOT the way to demonstrate experience or convert a phone caller into a client. How you respond to the questions needs to be a carefully crafted strategy, one that you practice and can execute seamlessly.

Transition Strategy

Building rapport and credibility takes time, so it’s critical that you keep them on the phone long enough to establish a simple relationship. This is why it is so important to know how to master the first 5 seconds by employing a transition strategy.

A well-designed transition strategy allows the conversation to flow and continue. If a caller asks the price, and you simply answer it, then they have what they came for and the call ends. Instead, stall a bit and ask follow-up questions while assuring the caller you are searching for the answer to their question. For example:

I’m calling about the home at 123 Main Street, can you tell me the price of the home?”
“That’s a great property, we’re getting a lot of calls on that home, you must be one of the neighbors?”
“No, I just drove by and liked the neighborhood.”
“It’s a great community; do you live in the area?”

 

As you can see, the agent has started to gently lead the caller into new qualifying questions which give the agent more information about them. Let’s see how this call continues:

No, but I like the school district. Can you tell me how much it’s listed for?”
“Of course, let me look that up for you. How many children do you have in your household?”
“2 kids, 10 and 6”
“Those are such fun ages. How many bedrooms are you looking for?”

Probably 3 or 4, we’re just not sure we can afford the neighborhood, so we were wondering about the price.”
“I completely understand. What price range are you comfortable with?”
“We’d like to stay under $500,000.”

As you can see, the agent is gathering more information that they will need to close the caller on an appointment. So now the agent will set a time to meet by offering something of real value to the caller:

The home at 123 Main Street is listed at $550,000 and I’d be happy to arrange a showing for you. Also, while we were talking, I also did a quick search of active listings in that area for you. There are 6 active listings in that neighborhood with 3-4 bedrooms priced under $500,000. Why don’t we find a time for you to stop by my office and we can view them online and see if any of them fit your needs?

Are weekdays or weekends best for you?”

Close! The agent is offering something of value which fits the criteria they shared. By ending with an “either-or” question, it’s almost impossible to refuse. If the caller does refuse the appointment, then they will offer an objection which again allows the agent to uncover more information, such as “Oh we’re not really ready to move yet.” Ok…so when will they be ready? Maybe they would like to meet and see what options are available so they start to understand the market.

As you can see, using a transition strategy of questions and answers, the agent has turned a quick question into the start of a relationship which will lead to more clients and more closings. That is why it is so important to me to help you understand more about this strategy and how to use it today to create better prospects and more sales.

I’m Shon Kokoska founder of ICON COACHING an elite training program for real estate agents. It is my goal to help Real Estate professionals reach their career goals, and find success. The only way to do this is with hard work and proven practices. For more life changing tools you can use to accelerate your business, register for the Icon of the Month Webinar now. Seats fill up quickly so do not hesitate. Change your life today.- Register Here.