September 1, 2020
Download The Ultimate Checklist For How To Get A Response From Online Real Estate Leads
Following up with your leads is probably the single most valuable thing you can do to grow your business.
Heck, that truth alone is the primary reason Smart Alto exists.
Although, some aspects of following up can differ depending on lead source and your overall business approach (e.g. some agents love to put their tenacity on full display while others prefer to take a more subdued route), there are some fundamentals that everyone should incorporate into their follow up strategy.
For instance, you should absolutely be texting 100% of your leads.
Judging by the fact that you’ve chosen to read this article, I’d bet you understand that but some agents still don’t have a handle on the fact that text messaging is king.
With the rise of spam email and robocalls; texting is the new gold standard in cutting through the noise and actually reaching your leads.
In fact, most agents know that dialing for dollars sucks.
So we all agree that texting is the right approach. But of course, there’s no such thing as a magic bullet.
And just because you’re leveraging text messages doesn’t mean you’re optimizing your chances of converting leads into appointments or clients.
Let’s take a deeper look at what mistakes you’re probably making when sending texts to your new Real Estate leads.
Broadly speaking, instant gratification is becoming a standard in the day to day life of average people. Nobody wants anything they have to wait for; whether it be Amazon’s next day delivery or the millions of dollars Venmo makes on its instant transfer feature.
Americans (you and I included) no longer want to wait for anything, and communication is no different.
At this point “Speed To Lead” should be so ingrained in every Real Estate Agent’s head that it goes without saying. So we all know that making our leads wait (even just a few minutes) for a response is virtually a kiss of death.
But we’re not machines.
We have lives, we have other obligations, we have demanding clients… being a Real Estate Agent isn’t exactly sitting behind a desk waiting for commissions to fall in your lap.
So what do we do? We contact our leads as soon as we can, right?
But here’s the thing, “as soon as you can” just isn’t fast enough”.
Certain studies show that lead response rates drop off 10 fold just 5 minutes after the lead registers.
Meaning your leads go cold within 5 minutes and you’re 10x less likely to make contact with them if it takes you longer than 5 minutes to reach out.
So if “as soon as you can” is just 5 minutes and 1 second after the lead has registered you’re leaving a lot of your potential responses on the table.
Now, this wouldn’t be a problem if you could control when leads register online, I mean it’s not really that difficult to text your leads in a minute or two if you’re sitting at your desk surfing the MLS, right?
But, that’s not this case. Your leads come in at all hours of the day and night.
So you’d need to be able to text your leads in just a few minutes at any given time of day.
In sports, there’s a saying that “availability is your single greatest ability”, the same is true for converting online real estate leads.
If you find that you’re making the mistake of texting your leads too late then consider Smart Alto, our ISAs are ready 24/7.
You’ve probably noticed that we tend to focus on getting a response in our articles about reaching uncontacted leads. That’s because we know from experience that just getting a response is the first step in converting a lead into an appointment and ultimately into a closing.
So if the name of the game at this stage is getting a response why do we make it so hard for our leads to respond?
When you ask questions like “What is motivating you to buy a home right now?”, that’s a hard question to answer mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Mentally Hard because now the lead has to actually think in order to respond, if they’re in the middle of their everyday life they don’t have time to articulate a response.
Emotionally Hard because now they have to think whether or not to reveal their very personal reason for moving to someone who, at this point in time, is a complete stranger. Would you tell a complete stranger why you want to buy a home?
Physically Hard because even if they did know exactly how to answer off the top of their head and they trust you from your branding alone, they’d still have to find a moment to actually type out a multi-sentence (maybe even multi-paragraph) response.
That’s why we always lead with a question that removes friction from the equation and makes it easy to respond.
These frictionless questions are questions that your lead can answer without even thinking.
By asking a question that your lead has to put even a tiny amount of thought into, you are creating friction for them. In order to get a response more often you want there to be as little friction as possible.
Try a question like “How many bedrooms do you want?”, that’s a question so easy that before someone even has to think about it they’ve already responded to you.
In this case if you ask a lead how many bedrooms they want they have to tap their phone twice to respond. Once to click the number of bedrooms they need and again to click send.
Length: A Hidden Source of Friction
Maybe you’re asking too many questions or you’re just flat out sending text messages that are way too long.
This is also a type of friction and a common mistake we see in text messages sent by agents.
The problem with these text messages is that most of your leads don’t have time to read the whole thing unless they know it’s valuable to them so they end up just ignoring it.
Even if you ask a frictionless question, the lead might never actually get to that part of the message because they briefly skim the text to see if it has any information they need and once they decide it doesn’t they click out of it and go about their day.
Here’s a real-life example of what you might be sending:
This is Realtor McRealtor with RealtyWorldWide.
I saw that you registered for my advertisement on Facebook.
First of all, thank you, I put a lot of work into that marketing piece.
Second of all, how many bedrooms would you like?
The reason I ask is that I can search the MLS for homes that best fit your needs and pretty soon here start scheduling showings for you.
I hope to hear from you soon.”
Before you laugh, scroll through your phone, do the text messages you send really look much shorter?
As a lead, I would glance at this, realize it requires more brain power than I’m willing to use on a stranger (AKA any amount of brainpower), and then swipe out and carry about my day.
By reducing the friction in getting leads to respond, you can switch gears from focusing on the response to setting an appointment and building rapport.
We’ve talked about the dangers of using auto-responders and AI chatbots to follow up with your Real Estate leads. Long story short, don’t do it...ever.
(NOTE: Read mistake number two in our semi-famous article called 4 Mistakes You’re Making That’s Stopping Your Real Estate Leads From Responding To You).
Not only is it bad taste, and usually bad for branding, it tends to have a negative impact on your response rates. Meaning that to spite the fact that you’ll save a bit of time by automating your text messaging you’ll see a massive dip in ROI by way of converting fewer Real Estate leads.
One of our most famous experiments at Smart Alto was the time we had our ISAs explicitly tell Real Estate leads that they were texting a real person.
The results shocked us!
By simply inserting a simple phrase that lets the leads know they’re talking to a real person we saw a massive 15% bump in response rate!
That’s 15% more responses, leading to 15% more appointments, which leads to 15% more closings! Whoa!
So what’s the magic phrase that gave our clients a 15% raise?
Well, it’s a tricky one so be sure to take notes:
Instead of having our ISAs reach out and say “Hi Barry Buyer, this is Izzy ISA the real estate coordinator for Aly Agent.”
We had them insert the magic phrase so the message now reads “Hi Barry Buyer, this is Izzy ISA (yes, a real person) the real estate coordinator for Aly Agent.”
Just by letting people know they’re talking to a real person, you are showing them a level of attention and warmth that is notably missing in this high-tech high-isolation world we live in.
Are you making any of these mistakes when texting your leads?
How about all 3?
If yes, you’re probably thinking it’s going to be tough to correct all of these mistakes.
That’s true, it’s a lot to juggle as an agent who also has to balance active clients, pending contracts, and not to mention a personal life.
That’s why Smart Alto exists in the first place.
Being a Top Producing Real Estate Agent is hard, relentless work. And we believe that in order for clients to get the most from you (and for you to get the most from them) you shouldn’t be completely swamped by your new leads. Many of whom may never work with you.
Smart Alto was built to be a huge piece of leverage for you and your business.
Our inside sales agents use text messages that connect and convert better than any algorithm on the market.
They then convert your leads that are willing to work with you into 15 Minute Phone Appointments that show up directly on your calendar, this makes it easy for you to start building the consulting relationship that your clients ultimately love you for.
Doing all of this has given us tons of insight and experience on what works and what doesn’t, if you think now is the time for you to amp up your leverage on lead conversion, then download The Ultimate Checklist For How To Get A Response From Online Real Estate Leads.