Make It Personal
Technology captures leads, but the human touch turns them into clients.
When it comes to lead conversion, the
Internet could be viewed as a mixed
blessing. Ninety-two percent of home
buyers go online to look at houses for
sale, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2014 Profile of Home
Buyers and Sellers. That translates to
a potential boatload of Internet leads—
but also to the time-consuming task of
separating the casual browsers from the
Large brokerages such as 8z Real
Estate in Boulder, Colo., with 104 agents,
assign a customer service team to qualify
prospects by all available means—phone,
text, or live chat—and match them with
an agent. Lane Hornung, CEO of 8z, says
the customer service reps help ease
prospective clients into the homebuying
process. “The consumer feels less pressure because many Internet consumers
want to stand back a bit,” he says.
As co-owner of a four-person team
at Keller Williams Performance Realty
in Colorado Springs, Colo., Mariana
Wagner assigns the qualification process
to administrative sta; or does it herself.
“Most people get into real estate because
they’re really good at negotiating or
they’re really good with people,” Wagner
says, “not because they are really good
at converting leads.”
The Human Touch
Wagner, who works primarily with listings,
has a strong referral base, but she also
gets leads from tools such as zBuyer and
AgentMachine and from Facebook ads.
She’s a firm believer in contacting a lead,
usually by phone, within five minutes.
After that, qualification can take anywhere from 10 minutes to two hours. But
it’s vital to make contact when the lead is
still thinking about real estate, she says.
“If you wait too long, they are on to other
things, like Facebook,” she says. If leads
don’t respond to a phone call, Wagner
reaches out to them with text messages.
“We have a remarkably high response
rate when we text people,” she says.
She also gets a great response to
handwritten cards that include information provided by leads during registration.
“We have gotten numerous phone calls
thanking us for taking the time to handwrite a note,” she says.
Wagner’s team puts those who don’t
respond to calls, texts, or cards on a call
and e-mail drip campaign. “The more per-
sonal you can make these touches, the
easier it is to convert,” she says. “When
you eventually do get a hold of them, they
feel like they know you because you’ve
reached out to them on a personal level
on so many occasions.”
The personal touch can also reveal
your fallible, human side. Wagner once
got a prospect’s attention by mistake:
She intended to e-mail a report com-
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