In part 1 of our “Tips for Converting Online Leads” series, we discussed the importance of responding immediately to online leads.
In part 2, we will continue to discuss best practices for contacting online leads, plus we will profile the types of consumers who search online for products and services. After all, today’s consumers searching online are more prepared than any other previous generation, so it’s become most important for you to understand these generations in order to market to them accordingly.
Let’s continue with tips 4 thru 8.
4. The Internet is NOT Traditional.
Bradley Inman, founder of Inman News, may say it best:
“Unlike traditional listings where you want to be the last person the client talks to, there seems to be an advantage to being the first to make contact with an Internet prospect.”
As we’ve stated many times before, it’s most important to respond to an Internet lead immediately. Every minute you let slip away, amplifies your chances of missing a connection. Remember, Internet users seek instant gratification!
5. Understand Generations X and Y.
According to the NAR 2009 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, nearly 50% of homebuyers are between the ages of 25 and 49 – commonly referred to as generations X and Y. Although these generations differ, they use the Internet in a similar manner.
First, you should understand that the main goal in reaching these generations is to get prospects you meet online to eventually meet you face-to-face. But, that doesn’t mean picking up the phone to call them or immediately sending them an email.
The best way to interact with these generations is to understand that they don’t want an expert. Instead, they are under the impression that they can learn anything themselves and are prone to do enough research to even believe so before they even make initial contact with you. For instance, most generation X and Y homebuyers search online for up to 18 months before making first contact with an agent.
So, drop the expert approach and support them in their research. Send them helpful links online, industry stats, local market trends and more. The more you support their research process, the better the chance they will become comfortable with you as their agent when they get to the next step.
For more information on generations X and Y you can view additional information right here on the Homes.com blog.
6. Internet leads take time.
Although Internet consumers seek instant gratification, they do not make instant decisions – you’ve got to stick with them! Today’s consumers are notoriously prepared. In fact, most homebuyers searching online are typically 6 to 9 months away from becoming a serious homebuyer. Thus, you need to understand that just because they don’t respond immediately, does not mean they’re not interested. Simply, it just means that they are just not ready.
7. Do not give up on old leads.
It only takes one attempt to make a connection. You may have missed opportunities to connect before; however, it’s just as important to stay persistent.
How many times have you received an email that states, “Thanks for your help, but we’ve already found a home?” If that’s happened to you, I’m sure you’ve scolded yourself for not staying on top of that particular lead. To avoid this in the future, set aside specific times every week where your only activity is contacting leads. Whether new or old, whether thru a phone call or an email, it’s important to make following up on leads a regular activity in your business.
8. You’re not the only real estate agent they may contact!
It’s important to understand that today’s Internet consumer shops on more than one website, and thus comes across more than one local real estate agent. So, it’s not only important for you to be the first agent to respond, but to be the most recognizable agent in your local market.
What makes you recognizable? There’s one simple answer, brand recognition. In order to stand out in your marketplace, concentrate on three simple things: developing a consistent brand and message across your advertising, defining your value as a real estate professional and demonstrating what makes you unique.
Stay tuned for final installment of the Tips for Converting Online Leads” Series.