Much like going to the bars in your 20s to find love, converting real estate leads is largely a numbers game — but most top agents have at least one thing in common: persistence. Leading a panel at Inman Connect On the Road Chicago, Executive Vice President at Carrington Real Estate Services Wendy Forsythe spoke about efficiently using technology and good ol’ fashioned (but systematic) follow-ups to convert leads.

  • People spend around five months researching homes before jumping into action.
  • 94 percent of potential buyers expect a response within an hour, and they don't sit around waiting in the meantime.
  • According to BoomTown, the magic number of follow-up calls or texts is six.

CHICAGO — Much like going to the bars in your 20s to find love, converting real estate leads is largely a numbers game — but most top agents have at least one thing in common: persistence.

Wendy Forsythe/Facebook

Wendy Forsythe/Facebook

Leading a panel at Inman Connect On the Road Chicago, Executive Vice President at Carrington Real Estate Services Wendy Forsythe spoke about efficiently using technology and good ol’ fashioned (but systematic) follow-ups to convert leads.

According to Forsythe, who is also global operations manager at Carrington, buyers spend around five months researching homes before jumping into action.

“Almost all of the ways buyers are doing their research involves screens,” she said. “It’s on you to avoid being a lead loser.”

“Lead losers,” she said, are people who let legitimate transaction opportunities slip away because of laziness or lack of communication. To avoid being a lead loser, Forsythe said there are three ways to ensure having the best chance at landing clients with short attention spans:

1. Respond quickly

Forsythe says 94 percent of potential buyers expect a response within an hour, and they don’t sit around waiting in the meantime. “Most of them will be calling other agents while they wait for a call back,” she said.

Around 70 percent of agents receive contacts from Facebook, 65 percent hear from clients through Zillow and almost 50 percent take advantage of Trulia. With agents using multiple outlets to feature their services, buyers are using the same approach in their research.

2. Follow up frequently and often

According to BoomTown, the magic number of follow-up calls or texts is six (93 percent of buyers will respond after that, the firm says), but 40 percent of agents only follow up once. By using a systematic approach with following up (a mix of calls and texts every two to four hours with different approaches each time), buyers will see the how much an agent wants their business.

“Many agents will receive a call back from someone they sent calls to months later, because the person wasn’t ready to buy then saved and remembered all of those calls,” Forsythe said.

3. E-alerts

Clients are much more likely to respond if they receive listing updates and notifications from an agent. If websites like Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com can send several listing notifications per day to buyers, then agents must be just as diligent.

Email Thomas Mitchell

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