From Leads to Listings: A Comprehensive Guide for Real Estate Agents

Espresso Agent > Blog > Agent Success Mindset and Productivity > From Leads to Listings: A Comprehensive Guide for Real Estate Agents
From leads to listings- A comprehensive guide for real estate agents

Regardless of how long you’ve been in the real estate business, you may have heard this adage shared by many of the top producers:

“Buyers take time, listings take skill.”

It’s no secret that the top-earning real estate agents tend to focus on pursuing and securing seller listings. These agents know that the time and energy spent on prospecting seller leads pays much higher dividends in the short, and long run. They know they can work fewer hours and earn significantly more money by lead generating for real estate listings.

However, as the adage suggests, it takes focus and dedication to become a successful listing agent. You need to make a homeowner feel confident that you’re the right person to guide the most important financial decision they may ever make.

In this post, we’ll review the best practices for turning leads into listings based on the experiences of some of the top agents in the country.


Contacts vs. Leads

A realtor lead refers to a potential client or customer who has shown interest in buying, selling, or renting a property. These individuals may have provided their contact information, usually through various channels like online forms, phone calls, emails, or in-person interactions.

Generating and managing leads is crucial for a new real estate agent to build a successful business. Leads are the starting point of potential transactions and represent opportunities to help individuals achieve their real estate goals. Here’s a breakdown of the lead generation process:

Many agents assume that having any contact in a file constitutes a lead. In one sense, that’s a valid assumption. However, top performers work off a different premise defining a lead.

Specifically, a lead, or more accurately, a hot lead, is someone ready to buy or sell within 7-10 days!

Ironically, the more aggressive your annual transaction goal, the fewer leads you will likely hold. Moreover, those leads will have very tight windows for action. Following are general rules of thumb about your lead portfolio, as relates to your transaction goals:

  • 20 transactions per year: Essentially, anybody is a lead, regardless of when they want to act. You could theoretically carry hundreds of leads in your CRM, but not many are hot, or urgent leads.
  • 50 transactions: These are leads who may act within 30-50 days
  • 100 transactions: These are prospects who’ve indicated they will do something within 3 weeks
  • 150+: To succeed at this transaction goal, you’ll have fewer leads who you know are ready to act within 7-10 days.

In other words, to play at a high level, you must focus your energy on homeowners who have a stated sense of urgency. This means you need to work the phones relentlessly to get clarity on a prospect’s intentions.


A proactive approach to success

Most real estate agents take a passive approach to finding clients, such as:

  • Posting regularly on their social media pages.
  • Bidding on keywords on search engines.
  • Periodic post-card or letter mailings.
  • Attending networking events.
  • Asking friends and family members for referrals.

While these approaches are not inherently bad, they put all of the control in the hands of the homeowners. Or, put another way, instead of making their own success, these agents wait (and hope) for success to come to them.

Top-producing real estate agents, on the other hand, embrace daily phone prospecting as the best approach to driving their business. They proactively create their own success instead of waiting for success to find them.

For many of these top-performing real estate agents, the cornerstone of their business is a real estate lead generation system like ESPRESSO AGENT. Espresso Agent is widely regarded as one of the leading sources of REAL ESTATE LEADS, which include:

  • Expired listings are delivered to your desktop every morning. Espresso’s leads are considered among the best in the industry due to the accuracy of our contact information. Most top earners start their mornings by calling newly expired leads from their Espresso Agent dialer, before moving on to…
  • FSBO leads. Working with FSBO (For Sale by Owner) homeowners requires more patience because they need to reach their conclusions about using a professional realtor (and paying a commission). Until they reach that point, you need to provide value and advice without making a hard sale.
  • For Rent by Owner, or FRBO, leads can be tremendously lucrative because these are investors who often have multiple properties… and who are more likely to buy and sell on a more frequent basis than a traditional property owner.
  • Espresso Agent also provides Pre-Foreclosure leads. These are homeowners who, for any number of reasons, are in danger of losing their homes and may be interested in selling quickly.
  • Real Estate Farming (otherwise known as Circle Prospecting) allows agents to become neighborhood experts in their MLS. Espresso’s Real Estate Farming data enables agents to focus on areas surrounding their “just listed” or “just sold” properties.


Comfort breeds confidence

As a real estate agent who primarily prospects expired and FSBO listings, you have one, singular, primary goal: to convince the homeowner on the other end of the call to invite you into their home to preview the property.

No matter how good you are at connecting over the phone, true and lasting relationships begin when you are with the homeowner, face-to-face, on their home turf.

But to get in the door, you need to be effective in building rapport while phone prospecting. The secret to success for most top-producing agents is to use real estate lead seller scripts when making their calls. A script can help you feel more comfortable and confident, giving the prospect confidence that you are the right person for the job.

Here are three tips from our post on Mastering Real Estate scripts:

  • Never Stop Practicing: You need to know your scripts intimately and continue practicing to become more fluid and conversational. If you haven’t already done so, find yourself a role-playing partner. Take 15-30 minutes every morning to work with your partner on scripts, especially handling objections. Role-playing right before actual prospecting is the best way to get focused for the day ahead.
  • Think Positively About Real Estate Prospecting Scripts: Using a script doesn’t mean you can’t use your own words. But it’s essential, and very helpful, to begin by practicing scripts verbatim. Espresso Agent has a variety of scripts for different situations. The more comfortable you become with the scripts, the more you can adapt them to fit your own style.
  • The Importance of Building Rapport: As the agent, the onus is on you to engage and build rapport with your prospect. And there’s more to real estate lead generation script practice than just repeating the words on the page/screen. You must learn how to modulate your voice, add emphasis when needed, and use the proper phrasing. Again, mastering conversation through using your scripts is all about practice.


Persistence pays

Here’s a fact worth remembering: MORE BUSINESS IS LOST from a lack of lead follow-up, than from a lack of prospecting.

Yes, top-performing real estate agents get between 70-80% of their listing appointments due to their persistent follow-up efforts. Here’s what is amazing: about half of all agents don’t even follow up with prospects after their initial phone call. And only a quarter of those agents will make a second follow-up call.

So, the lesson is simple: if you’re not passionate about follow-up, you’ll lose a lot of money to agents who are follow-up fanatics. To that end, here are three tips to guide your follow-up efforts:

  1. SCHEDULE FOLLOW-UP TIME EVER DAY: Just as you should be blocking off hours each day for phone prospecting, set aside time for follow-up. A minimum of 30 minutes each day should suffice to keep you connected and top-of-mind with your prospects.
  2. UNDERSTAND YOUR PROSPECT’S MOTIVATION. Be sure to use your first call to learn what you can about the homeowner’s hopes, dreams, and, most importantly, motivation to sell. Knowing as much as you can about your prospect gives you a reference point for subsequent calls. Plus, you’ll reinforce the fact that you heard what they said, which goes a long way to building trust.
  3. BRING VALUE TO YOUR PROSPECT. Start each call with something interesting and worthwhile, such as the most recent market stats. Your prospect will know you’re approaching the process from a service perspective. This will make them more comfortable and, again, help build trust.


You’re in; what’s next?

Congratulations! Your prospecting skills worked, and you’ve scheduled an appointment to preview either a newly expired or FSBO home.

Before you head to the appointment, reflect on the purpose of the preview. Simply, it’s to build a more intimate and personal relationship with the prospect, with the goal of converting them to a listing client. The homeowner must walk away from the preview feeling confident that you are the best possible real estate pro to represent their interests. And get them the most money possible on the sale of their home, in the least amount of time.

Surely, you’ve heard this TV commercial tagline: “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” To that end:

  • Always show up ON TIME, which is technically 5 minutes earlier than the appointment time.
  • Be dressed for success; there’s no such thing as “business casual” for top-performing agents.
  • Offer a broad, genuine smile….
  • And, a firm handshake.

Here’s one other, important thing to remember: it’s highly likely that the homeowner is watching from behind their living room curtains as you get out of the car and head to the front door. You’re being scrutinized before you even walk in the door, so always be aware of how you carry yourself.

Listing presentation

You should also have a professional-looking listing presentation when you attend your preview meeting. Your presentation should include, but not be limited to:

  • Your brief bio and value proposition
  • A market overview/analysis
  • An outline of your approach to marketing someone’s home
  • Suggested pricing strategy for the property
  • Your client service pledge
  • Several brief client testimonials

ALWAYS REMEMBER: Your goal is to have the homeowner do most of the talking. Your presentation should be concise and compelling. It should inspire questions from the prospect.


You need to “make the ask.”

You’ve done everything you’re supposed to do and the prospect seems to be engaged in what you have to say.

Now the question is: are you ready to make the CLOSE?

For many agents, this step is a no-brainer. For others, it can be a huge hurdle, for one simple reason: it’s not easy to make “the ask” because asking for the business sets you up for rejection. And nobody likes rejection.

Instead of “Always be closing,” perhaps a more appropriate suggestion is to “always know when to close.” You don’t want to come on too strong and try to close too soon. Being too aggressive can come across as if you’re only in this for yourself. Once you’ve built rapport, and shown you care about their goals, you might find that the “ask” will come naturally.:

Hopefully, the tips in this guide will help you navigate the journey from leads to listings. If you’d like to learn more about how Espresso Agent can help you on this journey, CONTACT US.

Doug Spak joined Espresso Agent as a Content Marketing Specialist in 2016. Doug brings nearly four decades of experience as a copywriter, blogger, and screenwriter to his role with Espresso. Since joining our team, Doug has actively updated website content, published more than 300 blogs, and created countless social media posts.

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Espresso Agent > Blog > Agent Success Mindset and Productivity > From Leads to Listings: A Comprehensive Guide for Real Estate Agents

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