Updated: May 13, 2020
We spend time and on getting leads. They can be through telemarketing, flyer mailers and door-knocking. But some of us just have a hard time converting their leads into sales.
From the many agents that I coached, I found out that one of the reasons is that they cherry pick their leads. They "shortlist" the really good ones and forget about the rest. The result is less closings.
The most common complain I hear from my customers is that their previous agent didn't follow-up with them. Well, these agents lost that opportunity and that was why I could serve that client.
Agents misunderstand that good leads means strong chance of closing. This is a myth. In my entire real estate career, I found time and again that the money is actually in the conversion of leads. Not in the shortlisting of leads.
The key here is the repeated follow-ups done over and over again. Some veterans say that you only stop following up with the prospect is when either one of you drops dead.
There are 5 effective tips to help you convert your leads into sales. They are :
"People go through three conversions. The conversion of their head, their heart, and their pocketbook. Unfortunately, not all at the same time." - Martin Luther
TiP 1 : SPEED
The Golden Rule of 5 means that you have to follow up with that lead within 5 mins when it comes in.
Why under 5 mins? This is because prospects could send multiple requests to several agents they picked up from 99.co or PropertyGuru. You are not the only agent, you know.
If you are occupied with a client at that moment, get your downline or your PA (Personal Assistant) to follow up for you.
If a calls comes in, pick it up the call in 5 rings or less. This is also the Golden Rule of 5.
Always have a standard script prepared for each of your listing. One for rental and one for sale. At least you would sound professional and not be tongue tied. If you need a rental or sales script, call me for free downloads.
You have already used credits on your portal to post your listings. You put a "Boost" and "Spotlighted", and reposted your listings,. This is all money. If you don't follow up fast enough, it is as good as not following up at all.
If you do assign your downline or PA to follow up, do catch up with then after you have finished with your appointment.
CASE STUDY An agent complained that all the prospects who called her were not "serious". She said that when she called back the prospect, that person doesn’t sound interested to talk to her. She added that about 50% of her prospects behave like that. When I found out that she called them back after an hour later, I corrected her. I said that normal people will not take the effort to shortlist a listing can prank call agents. After I shared with her the Golden Rule of 5, she applied it straightaway. Subsequently her business improved and her rate of closing also improved tremendously. This Golden Rule of 5 is not rocket science but it can definitely rocket your sales through the sky.
TiP 2 : RAPPORT
Building rapport is a lost art.
Real estate is people’s business and yet a lot of agents neglect the importance of building rapport when they talk on the phone.
A lot of agents speak as if they dread to pick up the call. Some don't like to speak at all and justify that using WhatsApp to be "more efficient".
There is no efficient way of building rapport because we are dealing with people.
It's very important to hear the prospect's voice because you can pick up how sincere or genuine their tone is.
If the caller is a co-broke agent, you can also tell whether they have done the necessary qualification on their clients.
Besides, talking will help you in your negotiations later on. This will be covered in a separate topic later.
In NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), building rapport is all about mirroring. There are "Fast Talkers", "Medium Speed" ones and "Slow Talkers". This is because different speeds reflect the type of personality the person is.
Knowing how to "mirror" your prospect will help you increase your rapport building. This is especially useful during your viewing with this prospect.
For example, if he is a fast talker, and you speak slowly, you will bore him and give him the impression that you are slow to take action.
In actual fact, you are already fast worker since you have followed up the lead under 5 mins. You may have lost your opportunity because of not building rapport.
The volume of your voice is also very important. Some people are naturally loud talkers. But you have to be careful not to mirror them in this aspect. Or else it may turn into a shouting match accidently!
Rule of thumb : 60 sec to build your rapport with mirroring. People tend to do business with like-minded people they can relate to. If you don't appear to be like them, they will just give you the excuse to hold back the viewings.
CASE STUDY An agent came up to me after one of my training sessions. He said he tried to build rapport with fast talkers but he could not catch up. He found that he generally could relate more to medium speed talkers. I recommended him to take a different approach. Medium talkers like him will find speaking fast a challenge if they have a lot to say. So I advised him to shorten his sentences and to use more keywords. In NLP, fast talkers is a trait of "visual" persons. So talking (audio mode)is already too slow for such people. The solution is to speak with keywords so that the message gets conveyed sooner. After practicing on this for a month, this agent developed this habit so well that now his family complained that he speaks too fast!
TiP 3 : QUALIFY
If you don't qualify your prospect, you are wasting your time, your client's time, the co-broke agent's time, and landlord's time in the viewing. opening the door.
Qualifying Checklist For Rental
When is start date
How long is the lease?
How many people staying? Related?
What line of work?
Any other request? Furnishings? Pets?
Can they view this Sat 10 am (date and time depends on situation)?
In addition to the rental qualifying questions above, you should also have separate qualifying checklist for serving potential seller and and another one for serving buyers.
Carry these qualifying checklists with you all the time. one way is to store them on your iPad or mobile phone.
Qualifying a client is really all about caring and see if you can solve the problem for them. If you can help them to solve their problem, you have a higher chance of motivating the client to accept your listing.
CASE STUDY I overheard one of my student agents sharing about his recent case. He said he was serving a buyer who wanted to buy a new launch condominium. He thought that the buyer was most qualified he didn’t own any property or car. They went to several show flats over the next 2 to 3 months. When buyer finally decided to shortlist one of them to buy, he went to speak with a banker to get IPA (In-Principle Approval). The banker called my student agent and said that his buyer's IPA amount was very low. Although he didn’t have any home or car loan, he was the guarantor for the home loan that his parents took. His parents bought the property and needed him to be the guarantor. The buyer was deemed by the bank having an existing loan. So his IPA amount became very low. This was one of the qualifying step that my student agent didn’t include.
TiP 4 : APPOINTMENT
A lot of agents are weak in appointment setting. This is because they tend to ask the prospect when can they view.
In business settings, appointment scheduling is an art.
Always give definitive 2 viewing dates and times for the prospect. in this way, you have a stronger control over your time management (in another separate article)
CASE STUDY An agent shared that she was so swamp with viewings. I congratulated her but she said all these viewings were just for that few listings. On deeper conversation with her, I found out that she left it to the prospects to decide when to view. That was why she often had to zig-zag back and forth to cover the viewings. I explained to her that there is a chance that she is the first agent that the prospect called. She could have offered 2 alternative dates and times for the prospect to choose. If not, that prospect would put her to work around the schedule of the second agent. After she applied my recommendations, she said her viewings became more productive. Sometimes even same day viewings, same day offer and same day closing!
TiP 5 : FOLLOW-UP
There is also a checklist for following up with the client after the viewing.
What part about the unit did they like?
What part of the unit they did not like?
Would they like to make an offer for the listing?
So as long as the Buyer or Tenant has not made their decision, always follow up until they said they have given the deposit for another unit.
Never give up on following up when the prospect said "No".
Even if your prospect said "No", you can always put them in Category 2. This approach is called "Drip Campaign".
If the prospect don't buy from you today, it doesn’t mean they won’t buy forever.
Even if the deal slipped because the Tenant decided to rent another unit, you can still put the Tenant into Category 3 of the "Drip Campaign".
This is when you send a "hello" note to your Tenant about 6 months later. There is in case he/she has issues with the rental and want to terminate. Also, the Tenant may want to upgrade to a larger unit because people's needs may change.
So, you still stand a chance to service that client when it comes to tenancy renewal or the Buyer may want to recommend another Buyer to you.
If you send a "Congratulations" message to all those deals that have slipped, you can still maintain the relationship and find out how much did they closed the deal for.
Last but not least, there is a Category 4 for the "Drip Campaign". This is meant for long term staying in touch with these clients. These techniques will be covered in another article on the action-steps.
Don't lose your clients to another deal just because you didn't do a "Drip Campaign".
CASE STUDY One of my students was sharing about his missed opportunity. He served this Buyer for 3 months to look for a resale condo. He stopped because buyer couldn’t find what he wanted and they seemed to have exhausted all the viewings. His buying criteria was very precise, however. Half a year had gone by, the agent bumped into the same buyer. The buyer revealed that he had just bought a bigger condominium unit. He said he could do so because his parents decided to stay with him and help him with the cash. So they “upgraded” to a larger condominium purchase. The buyer felt embarrassed to call back the agent since they have viewed so long already. The agent regretted that he should have a "Drip Campaign" to follow up so he would have closed this deal. After all, this was a ready buyer. It’s just that he hasn’t found a suitable unit with the layout he wanted.
CALL TO ACTION
Your next task after reading this article is to take a look at your latest text messages. Follow up on the latest 3 cases that you see.
After all, all the revenue is in the conversion. And conversion is only possible if you follow up.
If you need scripts on the different types of follow ups, so let me know.
Anthony Yeo is a Senior Associate District Director of OrangeTee & Tie, and has helped 450+ home owners successfully find buyers and tenants for their properties since 2009.
As one of the senior leaders in the industry, Anthony is also a real estate trainer and speaker.
Being certified for ACTA and NLP Masters Practitioner, Anthony has successfully groomed and mentored many top million dollar producing agents.
In 2019 3rd Quarter, Anthony received the award for 2nd Top Recruiter in OrangeTee.
Throughout his career, Anthony has helped many clients grow their wealth through selecting great property investments and managing their portfolios actively through Property Wealth Planning.
In his spare time, he's obsessed with reading and Netflix. Occasionally, he indulges in rollerblading on the East Coast. Anthony can belt out a tune or two on the harmonica.