Internet leads are hot for real estate agents, with over 90% of buyers starting their home search online. Add in social media, online portals and your own private websites and you have a great shot at getting someone’s contact information, but the next steps are the crucial part. Connecting with them at the right time, and getting them to not brush you off if they aren’t quite ready is the key. Dirk Zeller has some great advice for Internet leads in this video. Transcript highlights are below for a quick read!
Why did you write the Dummy Series books on Real Estate?
The dummy series is a very well-known brand, and it was great for new agents and agents struggling knowing what to do. A new version just came out this week and it’s great for prospecting, lead follow up, sales strategies, and the mental approach to being successful in real estate, and the physical actions people need to take on ongoing basis to be able to do that.
What would you say are three things that you would get from this book that would make you become a better real estate agent?
You are going to get granular ideas on how to prospect, how to do lead follow-up, how to generate referrals, how to work FSBO’s and expired listings. Couple of new things we added to the new book is how to be successful in any marketplace. Whether it’s the low end marketplace, or is shifting to a more challenging marketplace with more inventory, and we’re not in a seller’s market place anymore we’re in a buyer’s market place. What do you do, how do you change, how can you be successful in any marketplace. Technology influences the real estate marketplace heavily.
We have 70 million internet leads that are created on an annual basis. But only 5.2 million sales a year, so there is a huge drop off between the internet leads and the conversion rate. What do you do, how do you convert them, how do you get face-to-face when 70% of buyers hire the first agent that they meet. You have to be more compelling and valuable on the phone, on the text, on the interaction, and get the prospect to meet with you because two-thirds of all real estate transactions happen through the agent they first met with.
It’s proven 90% are going to start on the internet, so what is the first step for those leads?
The first thing you have to do is get beyond the brush-off. And first thing, the first response is almost always “I’m just looking, I’m not ready for a real estate agent” and that’s the typical sales brush-off.
The first thing is we need to respond immediately correct?
Yes, the Cold Case Study from MIT and the Harvard study, all say, whether it’s five minutes or less response time for whether it’s a registration lead or direct is true. If you look at Zillow concierge service for people that are using Premier Agents, Zillow has their dialers contacting them within 90 seconds.
Right you have to get these leads while they are still looking at the computer, otherwise they are going on with our life in 20 seconds right?
Right there is no substitute for speed to leads.
So what do we do now?
Yes, so 70% of the time they are giving me the brush-off, so I’m going to say “hey can I ask you, you’re probably in the early information gathering what have you, is that correct? I have to tell you that’s the stage where a realtor can add a lot of value, I can give you websites and resources that you probably don’t know about, and information that you don’t have access to, is that something you might be interested in?” Now I’ve gotten beyond the brush-off and I’m providing value, and transitioning from providing value to the appointment. This accomplishes lowering sales resistance, I’m not just trying to slam you into a home. You could also use a customer service angle, “just so you know this is not a sales call, this is a customer service call….” get them to relax.
The internet consumer believes that the information they are staring at is the exact same information that an agent has, they don’t see the difference. The agents aren’t selling them the difference. Agents need to understand the differences, what a client see versus what agents see, look at the difference – pull properties up in the MLS versus other websites and do side-by-side comparison so you know exactly what they are syndicating and what they are not. Ask them “I see you are looking online do you realize that you can’t see days on the market? That’s important because if you knew the house was on the market for 6 to 8 weeks you would be less interested wouldn’t you? You would probably want to negotiate if it was interesting to you with a seller if you knew that. I would be happy to provide that level of information, would that be something you find value in?”
You have to bring value in a manner that is exclusive, that they can’t get somewhere else. The online consumer believes they can see all these properties. The goal is getting them face-to-face. Problem for most agents is we’re not creating the gap and identifying the pain point in the frustration level. The big pain points for consumers are, I’m not finding anything I like I’m just looking through properties that don’t meet my needs, and when I find something, it’s gone. You should know what percentage of your Market is selling in 7 days or less so you can build the urgency.