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Finding new prospects is the lifeblood of any real estate practice. Lead generation is one of the most profitable tasks you can factor into your schedule, especially in today’s market. But what happens after you capture new leads?

Customized landing pages, social ads and other technological advancements make capturing leads easier than ever, but converting them is more difficult. The sales paradigm has shifted, and agents need to learn how to adapt if they want to fill their calendars with qualified leads and appointments. Here are three tips from Chris Smith, author of The Conversion Code, to help you get the highest conversion rate possible.

  1. Follow up ASAP

Waiting to call a new lead until you’ve finished a showing or closing could mean the difference between gaining a new client or losing them to a competitor. According to the 100x Rule, if an agent attempts to call a potential client within five minutes of a lead submission, the conversion rate is 100 times greater than if the contact occurs 30 minutes after submission. To convert leads to sales, contact every lead within five minutes.

Realistically, it’s often difficult for agents to call a new lead as soon as it comes in. Fortunately, there are other options. For example, text messages have almost a 100 percent open rate. With technology advancements, it’s possible to send a highly customized text message that says, “I just got your request for more info. Can you talk now?” If you can’t send a text, email is another possible way to follow up, but it’s not as effective. In the end, calling is by far the most effective way to get in touch with a new lead.

  1. Persistence pays off

Some agents will call a new lead once or twice and then give up if they don’t receive a response. According to Smith, the optimal number of calls, to reach the highest number of contacts possible, is six. Even if you obey the 100X rule and call in the first five minutes, you’re still likely to only contact about 48 percent of leads. But if you call those resistant leads six times, you’ll end up contacting 93 percent of your leads. By doing this you’ll end up doubling your conversion rate just by working the leads you’re already getting.

If your lead doesn’t pick up the first time you call, practice the double dial—hang up and immediately call them back. For most of us, if we get a call from a number we don’t recognize, and then immediately get another call from the same number, we assume it must be important, and we answer. If a lead still doesn’t answer after the second dial, try texting. Writing a message like, “I got your request about ____. Is this a good time to talk?” allows you to identify yourself and remind them about their request.

  1. Prepare your script

Most agents have a script they’ve prepared for new client contacts. However, don’t just read from your script. Rather than focusing on the logical reasons people are looking for a home, dig deeper to find the emotional reasons. Listen to their responses so you can find a way to connect with them on an emotional level, then use that information to close the sale. Remember, most people make buying decisions based on emotional, not logical, reasons.

One of the most important things to do when you have a new lead on the phone is to gain their trust. If the person you’re talking with is unfamiliar with your company, try aligning yourself with a trustworthy company or brand that they’ve heard of and tie yourself to that company with a powerful statistic. For example, if one of Smith’s leads is unfamiliar with Curaytor, he could tell them the company spends over $3 million a year on Facebook ads for real estate agents. People know Facebook and they know $3 million.

Once you’ve built trust and discovered why your lead is looking to buy or sell, go for the “trial close” with a “here’s what happens next” question to keep the selling process moving forward.   For example, “Does Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. work best for my professional photographer to come by and take pictures?” This will help your client understand what you are going to be doing for them and make them feel more secure in the final steps of the process to list their home.

Does your busy schedule make it difficult to respond to new leads right away? Homes.com’s new Lead Concierge service screens your phone and email leads within minutes and forwards the serious buyers and sellers to you. Don’t let another qualified lead slip by!

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