By Maria Patterson
What holds agents back when it comes to converting online leads?
The No. 1 reason we drop the ball is that we don’t respond as quickly as possible. Agents are out showing houses all day and then at midnight, they’ll respond to leads. So they’re responding hours later instead of minutes later. You need to connect with that buyer while they’re still in front of the computer in search mode.
Also, with Internet leads, the most important thing is to establish rapport and a relationship. You can’t take a hard-sell approach.
How do you stay in touch over extended periods of time?
We use Top Producer to keep in touch through automated emails. You definitely want to have a drip campaign in place with valuable messages, such as, “don’t forget to get prequalified” or “be sure to schedule a home inspection.”
We send people a Market Snapshot through Top Producer (an automated market condition report that shows what is selling in the neighborhood and how market conditions are changing). We also have a product called TigerLead to send out listings that meet their criteria. TigerLead allows us to set up a search based on a person’s specific criteria and then follow what they’re looking at, so we can personalize the interaction and not just be a REALTOR® who’s out there ready to pounce.
Do drip-marketing and automated email programs negate the need to call prospects by phone?
Nothing can replace personal communication. And there are certain things you can’t communicate in an email, so I try to solicit a phone call in a variety of ways, such as trying to find them on Facebook—that way we can send them a message asking for their full contact information. Also, if someone is asking about a specific property, I’ll send them an email that says, “I have some information for you but I’m driving for the next couple of hours, so please provide a number so that I can call you to discuss.”