SAN FRANCISCO — Giving up on a lead after leaving a voicemail is akin to tossing $5 on the ground, Realtor Rachel Adams said on stage at Inman Connect.
To get your money’s worth, you must be doggedly persistent and reach out repeatedly, she and other experts agreed in a panel on online lead generation.
Here are seven lead-generation tactics they shared during the discussion.
1. Call within 30 seconds
Calling leads ASAP is essential to maximizing the return on investment, all panelists agreed.
Jesse Zagorsky, broker-owner of Del Mar, California-based Z Team Real Estate, says his team always rings leads within 30 seconds of receiving their contact information.
Lightning-fast speed is important because you are often racing against other agents, Zagorsky said.
2. Use an inside sale associate (ISA)
Setting appointments with strangers by phone is a special skill that not all agents have developed. Plus, agents aren’t always able to drop whatever they’re doing and call a lead.
That’s why Keith Dunham, CEO of Austin, Texas-based Homecity Real Estate, recommends using an ISA to call leads, ask relevant questions and set appointments on behalf of agents.
3. Role play
“I don’t think it’s done enough,” Dunham said.
Agents who conduct lead outreach themselves should realize that real estate is partly a “telephone job” and act out different scenarios to perfect their skills, he said.
“Your skills have to be good enough that if they talked to three other agents they like you better,” Zagorsky said.
Adams added that purchasers of online leads find a “script partner,” and work to become savvy “objection handlers.”
4. Follow up relentlessly
Zagorsky said his team often only converts leads after contacting them 10 to 12 times.
Agents need to be creative about how they nurture contacts over time, added Adams. Sending marketing emails with generic themes like, “what you need to do to sell a home” won’t cut it, she said.
In some of her emails to leads, Adams promotes community events that she hosts, such as a recent “Mommies and Mimosas” gathering.
“You have to have interesting subject lines,” she said.
5. Send a video text message
Adams says part of the secret to her 14 percent conversion rate of online leads is sending text message videos if they don’t pick up.
“They want to know you’re a real person,” she said.
So whether they are at the gym or in the grocery store, her agents will record and fire off a personal video message if they reach a lead’s voicemail
6. ‘Peel back the onion’
Leads might say “I was just playing around” when you ask them why they inquired about a property, Dunham said.
But the truth is, “no one forced a client to go online, click a button and say, ‘I want to talk to someone.'”
They have a reason for submitting their contact information, and the job of an ISA or agent is to “peel back the onion” to discover what it is, he said.
Agents should not simply throw in the towel if leads tell them they don’t want to buy a home, according to Dunham.
“That’s a mistake,” he said.
7. Consider realtor.com leads
“They are the furthest lead down the pipeline,” Zagorsky said, expressing a view shared by other panelists.