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stopwatch_minutesDid you know you are 100 times more likely to connect with a lead if you call within five minutes rather than 30 minutes? This groundbreaking statistic from a researcher at MIT* only proves the point many of us already know: internet leads are only as good as the speed with which we follow-up.

If you feel like you’re not getting any business from the leads you’re generating, or you’re concerned about the quality, here are five tips that might help you refine your follow-up program:

Tip 1: Act quickly.
Your prospects are busy and will move on quickly. When prospects call, email or submit an online form, they are actively asking you to engage with them. As mentioned, even a five-minute delay drastically reduces the chance you’ll turn that lead into a client. In fact, for the vast majority, if you wait more than a day they’ll probably have forgotten they even contacted you. It’s vital to pick up the phone whenever possible (of course, not when you’re with a client!). If you’re worried that you don’t find out about incoming leads in time, have a system in place that automates your notification with text message alerts and responds to them as well.

Tip 2: Do Your Research before Responding
We work in a busy, fast paced world, so look for solutions that let you provide personalized information – quickly and easily. Hopefully your lead generation forms give you a good cross-section of information so you can begin a follow up call on the right foot.

Tip 3: Appreciate the Lead
Not every lead is created equal, and not everyone is ready to transact today. Be patient, and tailor your follow up, and you’ll find you’ll have more opportunities to connect with those internet buyers. Some early stage buyers and sellers take up to 12 months to transact. That is future business, if you follow up is consistent.

Tip 4: Use the Same Method of Contact
This one is pretty simple. If they emailed you, email them back. Same goes for calls. Some people just ‘don’t do email’ and want to talk to a live person. These individuals usually have more specific questions, and have often done more research on the neighborhood. Just remember; get back to them ASAP.

Tip 5: Leave Them with Something Useful
They’ve reached out to you, isn’t there something you can send them? This shouldn’t be promotional, but information. A listing detail sheet, a great article about the neighborhood, market trends are all great ideas. When we follow up well it is a service to our prospects – service they will thank us for through future transactions and referrals.

Over the past year realtor.com® have been engaging agents, brokers and technology companies to see who has ‘cracked the code” on reaching customers in the first critical minutes. Learn what technologies, techniques and tools help agents do this – Watch video.

*The odds of contacting a lead if called in five minutes versus 30 minutes drops 100 times. Source: Kellogg School of Management Lead Response Management Study.

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