When it comes to the online world many agents have moved past “how do I generate leads” to “How do I convert these leads”. Converting the leads is where the real challenge comes into play. You can generate as many leads as you want assuming you’re willing to pay for them. Those will do nothing for you if you don’t know how to convert them to an in person appointment. Nothing you do online matters if it ultimately doesn’t result in a face to face meeting.
There exists a lot of opportunities to improve lead conversion but I often see the same mistake being made time and time again and its right at the beginning of the process. It’s how many respond to the initial inquiry.
So let’s take an example of a common lead. Someone fills out a form on your website asking a question about a specific listing. What many people do right now is respond to the lead with something along the lines of:
Thank you for reaching out about 123 Mainstreet Avenue, it’s a great listing, priced right, and not likely to last long on the market.
As per your question, the current owners would like to close within the next 60-90 days.
Are you working with an agent? If not, we should set a time to go over Buyer Representation and how that works so you know all the ins and outs. I have a lot of experience representing buyers.
Would you like to set an appointment to see this property? I’d be happy to show it you. It has a great layout, its been well maintained, and its close to some great schools. Presents a great opportunity for a young family.
Is your current home listed on the market right now? If not I can give you a free home evaluation and talk to you about the steps to take so we can get it on the market.
Do you have any more questions about the property I could help you with?
I look forward to hearing from you and thanks again for reaching out!
*By the way, I’m never too busy for your referrals"
While it seems like a simple response and hits many of the points agents want to get across and asks for the information they like to know, it is not an optimal response for high conversion rates. It will work better with the more serious buyers sometimes but those earlier in the process you are probably going to lose.
It asks too many questions and is way too long. People send questions online instead of calling because they are looking to control the conversation. They don’t want to be overwhelmed.
All you are doing is trying to get them to respond to you with the initial contact. You just want to get them to engage in a conversation. It’s better to ask those questions over a couple emails instead of doing them all at once.
So if someone asks you a question about closing time frame of your sellers from your website try something like this;
Thanks to Melanie Piche of The BREL Team for this response:
“The closing date is only one part of what the seller will take into consideration. While their preference is mid-October, for the right offer they could be flexible. What time-frame are you thinking of?”
Or this response from Moe Vacheresse of The Susan and Moe Team:
"The closing time will depend on a number of factors for my clients. What sort of timeline are you looking for?"
It answers their question, isn’t overwhelming and ends with a question that has an expectation of them replying. You are not overwhelming them with a lot of information. When they respond to that email then you can start the next step of your qualifying process.
You are still going to ask them all the questions I outlined in the initial example, but try spacing them out a bit and see how that affects your conversion rates.
What is your experience with online leads; do long or short form responses work better for you?
Let me know in the comments below! If you think I’m wrong I’d love to hear from you. All it takes to change my mind is proof of something else working better!