Mastering Conversion in Real Estate
We devote a lot of content in this blog to finding and working with REAL ESTATE LEADS. Leads are the lifeblood of a successful real estate business. But no matter how good your leads might be (and if you’re an Espresso Agent client you have the opportunity to work with some of the best leads in the industry), they will not serve you unless you learn the fine art of REAL ESTATE CONVERSION.
In this blog post we’re going to focus on HOW TO CONVERT LEADS IN REAL ESTATE. We’ll break down what some of the top producing agents in the business do to move a prospect from being a lead to being a commission-paying client. These agents know that it takes practice, patience and focus to nurture leads through the buying process.
WHAT ARE LEADS IN REAL ESTATE?
A lead refers to a potential customer or client who has shown interest or expressed a need for your services as a real estate professional. These individuals may be looking to buy or sell a property, or they may have general inquiries about the real estate market. A lead is someone who may be opened to a pitch from a real estate agent; in some cases, sooner as opposed to later. In fact, many top producing agents, especially those who focus heavily on recently expired listings, define a lead as someone who is ready to sell within a few weeks. Leads are the foundation of your business, and play a crucial role in helping you to generate revenue, and build a long-term client base for business down-stream.
But here’s what’s important to understand: real estate leads to not automatically translate to listings or GCI. There is a great deal of work, time and skill involved in converting a lead to a client who is willing to entrust you with one of the most important financial decisions of their lives.
WHAT IS CONVERSION IN REAL ESTATE?
LEAD CONVERSION REAL ESTATE means you have nurtured a lead prospect through the various stages of a sales funnel, and secured a listing contract.
For the purpose of this post, we’re going to focus on seller listings. One thing that nearly all top producing real estate agents agree on is that the best path to success and significant income is working with sellers. These agents have learned through experience that “buyers take time, listings take skill.”
Another thing many top producing agents have in common is they are willing to invest in a platform like ESPRESSO AGENT as the foundation for their business. Espresso Agent provides a proven, industry-leading LEAD CONVERSION SYSTEM that includes:
- Proven leads delivered to their desktop every morning, including new expireds, FSBOs, FRBOs and even Pre-Foreclosure leads. As we’ve often discussed in this blog, top producing agents don’t wait for leads or clients to come to them. Instead, they begin to CONVERT REAL ESTATE LEADS by proactively prospecting for listings, relying on the accurate contact information provided through Espresso Agent.
- A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and dialer platform that is invaluable for helping agents manage their leads and lead follow-up.
- Espresso Agent is home to a robust community of like-minded agents from around the country who rely on training programs like LAUNCH or TODAY’S BREW to discuss tips on HOW TO CONVERT LEADS IN REAL ESTATE.
OK, let’s assume you’ve invested in the best real estate leads. Congratulations… you’re off to a good start.
The next, and bigger question is: How do you master CONVERSION REAL ESTATE in order to have the kind of business, and life, you’ve dreamed of?
The remainder of this post discusses important strategies real estate agents of all experience levels can employ to guide a lead prospect through the sales journey to listing… and hopefully a large commission check.
COMMIT TO PROSPECTING
The first, and most important step in REAL ESTATE LEAD CONVERSION is connecting with and engaging your potential clients. And this process of connecting with leads means active prospecting, or working the phones. Here are a few tips to consider with regard to real estate prospecting:
- Make the commitment: You must embrace phone prospecting as the foundation to your future success. It often helps to have something that serves as your motivation or inspiration. This motivation can include something short term, like being able to purchase that car you’ve always dreamed of. Or, the motivation can be something longer term, such as ensuring that your kids will have a great education. Always know “the why” being your efforts.
- Stick to a schedule: You can’t treat prospecting like an occurrence that happens some days and not others. Have a block of time each day where you are focused on nothing but calling your leads; even if it’s only an hour to begin.
- Fight call reluctance: Many real estate agents shy away from phone prospecting because of their fears of rejection and/or confrontation. It takes time and effort to overcome call reluctance in order to achieve your goals. Check out our two-part series on CALL RELUCTANCE for some excellent tips.
Here’s the thing: prospecting is not easy; if it was, all agents would do it. But only a fraction of licensed agents work the phones. Therein lies a tremendous opportunity to any agent who is willing to step outside their comfort zone in working with CONVERSION REAL ESTATE.
WORKING WITH SCRIPTS
Success in REAL ESTATE LEAD CONVERSION starts with building rapport and projecting confidence, especially in the initial prospecting phase of the sales journey.
As we discuss in detail in our blog post MASTERING YOUR REAL ESTATE SCRIPTS, many agents avoid scripts for fear of sounding too robotic, or inauthentic. These are valid concerns that can be easily remedied by embracing and internalizing scripts.
By constantly practicing your scripts, either alone or with a role-playing partner you’ll become more fluid and conversational. You’ll be able to control the flow of every conversation, and project an air of confidence which will not be lost on your prospect.
Of all the benefits you can realize by working with scripts, two stand out above all the others:
- Scripts help you to ask effective questions. Learning how to ask solid, open-ended questions is critical in building rapport, and getting your prospect to do most of the talking.
- Scripts help you to handle objections. You’re going to face objections, many objections, especially “reflexive no’s.” Your scripts can guide you to handle any objection with easy, which again gives your prospect confidence that you know your stuff.
FANATICAL ABOUT FOLLOW-UP
Being dogged about lead follow-up is an essential element to improving your REAL ESTATE LEAD CONVERSION RATE (i.e. The number of prospecting calls needed to convert a lead to a listing/client).
It’s staggering to consider how much business is left on the table due to poor (or no) lead follow up. Consider that more than half of all real estate agents don’t even follow up with prospects after an initial call. That might explain why top-producing agents derive as much as 80% of their listings opportunities (conversions) from persistent lead follow-up.
If you think you’ve been a little lax in your follow up, now is the time to refocus your efforts. To that end:
- Schedule follow-up time every day. Just as you block time for phone prospecting, devote an hour or so to follow-up on promising leads, or reach out to your sphere of influence.
- Be patient with FSBOs: The majority of FSBOs will turn to a pro after a relatively short amount of time going it alone. Patient, persistent follow-up will keep your name top of mind with the FSBO decides they need your expertise.
GET IN THE DOOR
If you want to be a CONVERSION REAL ESTATE star, your lead nurturing efforts must end with an invitation to preview the prospect’s home.
No matter how good you are at connecting during a prospecting call, true and lasting relationships begin when you are with the homeowner, face-to-face, on their turf.
Given the important of the preview to REAL ESTATE LEAD CONVERSION, here are a few tips to consider:
- Always show up on time and look your professional best.
- Make sure you tour the property with the homeowner so you have a chance to build rapport.
- Use open-ended questions to guide the conversation, allowing the homeowner to do most of the talking.
- Compliment the specific things that you genuinely like about the house, instead of being general (“Love your house.”).
- Be authentic.
Our two-part series on NAILING THE PREVIEW offers detailed suggestions on how to make the best out of your first face-to-face interaction with the homeowner.
THE LISTING PRESENTATION
With a successful preview under your belt, the next step in your LEAD CONVERSION SYSTEM is a solid listing presentation.
Up until this point, you’ve done an excellent job of nurturing your CONVERSION REAL ESTATE LEADS. You’re sitting across from the homeowner, walking them through your nicely-designed, informative listing presentation. But something’s not quite right. The prospect seems disengaged, maybe even bored.
Regardless of how long you’ve been in this business, there are going to be days when things don’t seem to be in sync. In our post on COMMON MISTAKES MADE IN LISTING PRESENTATIONS, we cover some of the reasons why the presentation may be falling short. Here are a few:
- You might be droning and on about yourself, instead of focusing on the details that are most important to the homeowner.
- You might be trying too hard to be their friend. Remember, you’re building rapport with a prospective client, not looking for a new pal. Stick to the matters at hand.
- You’re not asking solid questions, which means you are likely doing most of the talking.
Remember, the goal of every listing presentation is to find alignment with the seller in order to move the dialogue one step closer to conversion.
CONVERSION REAL ESTATE IS ABOUT THE CLOSE
If you’ve done a good job of nurturing your leads as outlined above, you should be in good shape to get the listing. You’ve built rapport and established your credentials. The lead prospect is confident that you’re the person to best represent them in the sale of their home.
There’s just one thing left to do:
ASK FOR THE BUSINESS!
Anytime you are with the prospect, either during the preview or in the listing presentation, you must be ready to take the listing. You’ll know when it’s time, but you still need to be prepared with the paperwork and a plan for selling their home. You still need to ASK FOR THE BUSINESS, to let them know you’re ready to make their dreams come true.
If you’d like to learn more about Espresso Agent, contact us HERE and someone will get back to you quickly.