"It's Not the Quality of the Lead - it's the Quality of the Lead Management"

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In todays Internet real estate industry the buzz is all about lead generation. Everyone is talking about quality leads. Of course it would be great if every lead called and stated exactly what they want , when and how much. The reality is leads do not know and all want to be educated. If capturing leads was that simple then agents would not be needed. Lead generation is one part of a four leg stool and each leg is equally as important. Below you will find a game plan for building a four leg lead machine.

Table of contents:

1. Introduction

2. Today’s Real Estate Industry

3. What is a Lead

4. How to Acquire Customer Contacts

5. Internet Real Estate News

6. What is a Good Customer Contact?

7. What is a Bad Customer Contact?

8. What to Expect with Customer Contacts

9. How to Handle a Customer Contact

10. First Contact Strategies

11. Manage the Customer Contact

12. Summary

1. Introduction

For Internet leads to work all parts of the machine must be working together. Like a four leg stool each leg is dependant upon the other. The first leg acquires the lead. The second leg converts the lead into an active prospect. The third leg is the agent that closes the sale. Lastly, the forth leg is management which, is responsible system development, training, monitoring and holding everyone in the process accountible.

This report is short and to the point, with little fluff. Selling is not rocket science and you do not need to read 100's of books or listen to scores of tapes. What you do need to do is follow some basic principles and start looking in the mirror. This report has two goals; first, to help you understand what leads are. Second, to help you develop techniques that are simple and easy to use.

2. Today’s Real Estate Industry

Gone are the days when you could run a newspaper ad, have an open house, mail to a farm area or count on your sphere group and receive multiple leads. Sure, sometimes you can find a new customer but the ROI is not there.

The sales cycle is longer - to cultivate a sale from a lead takes longer, that is today’s reality. Today’s smart agents are building database systems to manage all their leads on a continuous and long-term basis. They understand that their leads may not buy tomorrow but they will buy, and when they do buy their leads know whom to call.

• A recent study of 1 million leads found that within 28 months, 40% of leads moved. (Realty Times)

• Our own study found that 65% of our contacts bought within 4 months, with only a few from our own agents. (Kemteck Inc.)

3. What is a Lead?

“Leads are customer contacts, treat them as such” Eliminate the use of the word, ”lead” and substitute it with “customer contact”. New customer contacts are the live blood of your business. New customer contacts are the well that feeds the pipeline to sales. Without customer contacts you will have no sales. A customer contact gives you an opportunity to put on a show and to sell your services.

4. How to Acquire Customer Contacts

Opportunities to acquire customers are all around you.

a.) Friends, relatives and groups you belong to.

b.) Ad and sign calls from your marketing

c.) From open houses

d.) From your personal or your company’s web site

e.) Outsource customer generation to a company similar to http://www.CondoBuzz.com
f.) Arguably the most important source for customer contacts is the Internet. The most important reason is because of the length of the sales cycle is longer. Buyers and sellers start their process sooner on the Internet. Realtors that capture, properly service, follow-up and market will build loyalty and acquire sales.

5. Internet Real Estate News

Below are recent news articles about Internet customers.

a.) National Association of Realtors states, “85% of buyers and sellers search the Internet”.

b.) Nielsen/Net Ratings states, “shopping for homes is one of the Internets most popular activities. Nearly 10% of online surfers (12 million people) looked for real estate in March of 2003.”

c.) California Association of Realtors found that 78% of Internet users found their realtor online!

d.) Realtor Magazine, August issue; ‘Internet Gold is Real” They way Realtors do business has changed. Realtors must do business on the Internet that is what customers want.

Obviously Internet leads are a vital source for your income.

6. What is a Good Customer Contact?

A good customer contact is one where you have an opportunity to contact someone to sell yourself and your services.

7. What is a Bad Customer Contact?

A bad customer contact is bad only when you have insufficient or false contact information.

All other customer contacts are good. They give you the opportunity to put on a show and sell why they should meet / work with you. Don’t assume a customer contact is bad if they do not call you back. Call them again in a week, month, etc. Put them on your mailing list and continue to market over the long term. You are in competition with other agents, out-perform them.

8. What to Expect with Customer Contacts.

Keep in mind every customer contact has an interest in purchasing or selling real estate, condos or town homes. Some customer contact will be honest and say right from the beginning what kind of service they want.

Some will be evasive and you will need to use your sales skills to sell them and have them open up to you. We have seen cases where prospects say they want to buy in a year but end up buying within days. Some will say they are working with another agent, but may still buy from you.

If you call a customer contact back right away, often and be available for callbacks expect 25 -60% immediate contacts. If you are a good salesperson expect to close 30-50% of your customer contacts for appointments. O ver the long term expect that, out of 100 leads, you should be able to get 25 appointments and 5 sales within 3 months. Remember: Do not qualify to eliminate prospects. Sell prospects on meeting with you.

9. How to Handle a Customer Contact.

First, remember your goal is to create a sale. To create a sale you must follow a process, with no short cuts. S ee the below proposed sales process; if you have another sales process that works, by all means use it.

Sales Process:

a.) Generate customer contact (provided by http://www.CondoBuzz.com)

b.) Build rapport and gain their trust (you must call /talk and sell the idea of working with you). You must chase them (other agents are) call them up to 5 times, be persistent.

c.) Set up meeting and/or showings (get prospect excited about meeting with you and seeing properties)

d.) Ask questions, listen and close (overcome objections, create urgency and close for the appointment).

10. First contact Strategies.

Goal – Get an Appointment with everyone – no matter what they say! Here is an interesting fact – Absolutely every lead or customer contact will buy or sell within 12 months! (Or knows someone who will)

a.) Contact customer contact ASAP. First by phone, leave message if you cannot reach them. After you call follow-up with personalized email. Continue to call every day for 3 days until you reach them. Then once a week for 4 weeks, then

2 times a month for 3 months.

b.) Assume the web site did not answer all of their questions and tell them you can find the information for them and take care of them.

c.) Build rapport and excitement. Your main goal is to get an appointment to provide a free no-obligation consultation or look at available MLS and non-MLS listings etc.

d.) Try to answer their questions and ask more. Always close for the appointment.

e.) Ask if they need to sell their house. Tell them you will go to their house to prepare a market evaluation and also bring specific information on condo or single home properties that meet their criteria.

f.) Tell them it is never too early to start the process. Tell them an appointment is free with no obligation.

11. Manage the Customer Contact

Goal – Get an Appointment with everyone – no matter what they say!

Below is a recommended customer contact management program. If you have another system that works, use it.

a.) Have customer contact go into contact management program such as Top Producer.

b.) Phone Program - Contact customer contact ASAP. First by phone, leave message if you cannot reach them. After you call, follow-up with personalized email. Continue to call everyday for 3 days until you reach them. Then once a week for 4 weeks, then 2 times a month for 3 months. Then once every 3 months. Only stop if they tell you to.

c.) Email Program – Develop an email program to use on a continual basis for buyers and sellers. Try to keep it simple. Have a newsletter that you can send once a week. Newsletter should always sell the idea of free noobligation appointments, free market analysis, announce new listings, industry news, free mortgage qualifying, we love referrals program, etc.

d.) Mail Program – Mail your newsletter 3 times a year. Mail theme postcards once a month.

12. Summary

Treat every lead as a customer looking for help. Be persistent, helpful and close for an appointment. Do not qualify to eliminate customers – sell customers on meeting with you. Monitor and experiment with different techniques and personnel. If you have someone to call for you pay him or her $5 - $20 for each appointment they acquire.

“Its not the quality of the lead – it’s the quality of the lead management.”

CondoBuzz.com is the nation's only network of 1000+ premium real estate web sites and domain names focusing on condos, lofts and townhomes. CondoBuzz web sites are consumer centric and locally niche focused. Each individual web site is marketed and designed for a specific metropolitan area and one broker. With locally focused web sites we are able to provide better local content, more useful information and locally based real estate services for the consumer. Locally based web sites gives us the ability to target market and develop more focused traffic which will provide quality leads and sales for our partner real estate brokers/agents. Only 50-75 real estate companies/brokers are allowed into the program at any onetime. Brokers in the program can increase revenues by featuring their listings and MLS search on their assigned local web site. Also, brokers are able to increase their profits with the ability to promote other profits centers such as mortgages, title insurance, etc. For more information about the condo broker program call 612-623-8347 or visit http://www.CondoBuzz.com.

Kemteck Inc is an Internet business development company created in 1999, focusing on Internet solutions in the areas of marketing, communications and business development. The main headquarters is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more information about Kemteck visit http://www.kemteck.com.

Randy Kempenich is the president and CEO of Kemteck Inc. a graduate of the Carlson School of Management from the University of Minnesota and has over 20 years of experience in business management, marketing and business development and is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Minnesota. The Kemteck team includes graphic designers, web developers, programmers, content writers, engineers, administrators and service professionals.

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Randy Kempenich