Mining for Internet leads: Create familiarity while not sounding pushy

Email and phone tips to put potential clients in comfort zone
Karen Fiddler

Karen Fiddler

This post by Karen Fiddler, real estate broker with HOM Sotheby’s International Realty in Orange County, Calif., originally appeared on ActiveRain.

When I find a slow week/weekend coming up, I go gold mining. I head into the database of Internet leads that I’ve gathered and see what I can do to drum up some face-to-face activity. “There is gold in them thar hills.”

It’s common for us to use our laptops and smartphones to research almost everything. We rarely need to leave our couches to shop for clothes, cars and even homes. It’s possible that the only thing that still requires personal attention is squeezing the melons at the supermarket, but I imagine we’ll give that up at some point also.

Just because a lead didn’t turn out to be an instant connection doesn’t mean it’s not a real buyer/seller on the other end. The Internet allows people to slowly develop the idea of buying or selling. I do a lot of research and lurking before I jump on a product … and with such a big move as a real estate transaction … it makes sense that they are hesitant to talk at the first contact.

I keep a spreadsheet of contacts and my interaction with them. I find that unless I make an instant connection, the next most common interaction seems to come somewhere between six to nine emails/phone calls. A number of things have happened by this time:

  • They have been getting daily listing alerts for a while.
  • They have seen my face on the alerts.
  • They have had numerous emails from me, which hopefully have created a comfort level with me.
  • The emails have addressed something of relevance to their search and/or activity.

The point is to create a familiarity with these leads while not sounding pushy. My first email will always ask them if they would like to go see homes — certainly I want them to know that I’m here if they are ready to get into a car and see houses. But after that, I vary my emails from informational only, checking in and “Do you see anything that you’d like to see in person?” I don’t want them to feel that any response from them will result in a hard push to meet.

Comfort! It’s rare that I ever do business with someone that I’m not comfortable with first.

This weekend was turning out to be rather slow. My son is out of town and I don’t have any real plans, so I took out my spreadsheet to see who is in my “gold zone” and sent out a few emails. I have already heard back from one lady who might be interested in Saturday morning. I’ll call her tomorrow to firm up.

We have to remember that these leads came to us for a reason. If they continue to come back, then it’s more likely they are considering a move and are not just a looker. They are waiting for that golden opportunity (OK, have I used the gold metaphors enough now?) and we can be there for them when they are.


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