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Making Leads Count

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By Patty McNease, Director of Marketing, Homes.com

agent_on_phone_with_leadLeads are the cornerstone in establishing a successful real estate career. While many real estate professionals have their own system in place for obtaining leads—many of them utilizing Homes.com—getting them is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s how you act on the leads that will “lead” to success.

This important topic was explored by Bob Corcoran in Homes.com’s Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, “10 Best Practices for Converting Online Leads,” which revealed tips on what to do with those important leads once collected. This week, we will touch upon his first five tips.

Corcoran is founder and CEO of Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, an international 25-year-old company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into a broker’s or agent’s existing practice.

“The Internet has really taken hold, and it’s not a lead generation issue, but a lead management issue,” Corcoran says. “Generally, with leads these days, I’m hearing numerous success stories from Homes.com agents with getting an abundance of leads. You need to know how to convert.”

If you follow his advice, Corcoran promises you will most likely double your business in the next 12 months.

Tip 1: Call Immediately: Lee Iacocca once said, “The speed of the boss is the speed of the team,” and Corcoran believes that as the rainmaker of your team, it’s important to take charge. Statistics show that 95 percent of generated leads contacted by phone within the first five minutes of being received will have a 95 percent success rate. If you wait 10 minutes, that percentage is going to drop to 80 percent.

“After 45 minutes, the lead is all but lost and you might as well throw it in the garbage,” he says. “Of course, you can’t do leads 24 hours a day, so I advise to make a policy to call within five minutes of being contacted from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.”

And do call. If someone gives you a phone number, Corcoran says they are giving you permission to ring them and that’s the best way to contact them. For those that don’t leave a number, email them and let them know you respect their privacy and when the time is right, you are there to assist them.

Tip 2: Email Effectively: Whether you use an auto-responder or not, you must ensure that your emails are effective.

“The average person receives 147 emails per day and that’s a lot of white noise,” Corcoran says. “People spend two and a half hours a day on email and 50 percent of emails are being deleted. What is going to make your email be read?”

The trick, he says, is to start with a compelling subject line like “quick question” and then keep the email short. “You want to make the subject line so compelling that they don’t dare delete it,” he says. “People’s attention spans are quite low, so keep them short and to the point.”

Tip 3: Use Video: Corcoran says a lot of people don’t think of using video but that it’s vital in connecting properly with your leads. He suggests posting videos on Facebook and setting up your own channel on YouTube. He also sees value in social aggregation (Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon) and recommends this as another avenue to be a part of.

“Shoot your own video blog testimonials from past clients and get them posted,” he says. “Don’t forget to highlight the community. People—especially military markets—love this, and the more information you can offer about the community, the more they will have a kindred spirit with you.”

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