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Real estate follow-ups

Your 3-step lead conversion strategy

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Your 3-step lead conversion strategy

After a gruelling weekend of inspections, auctions and prospecting you need to commence your action plan to make the most of all your hard work and convert your hottest leads into new clients.

How you follow up and manage your new prospects can be the difference between a closed deal and lost business. That’s why it’s so important to know how to make a great first and second and third impression.

Follow this three-step lead conversion strategy to establish yourself as a knowledgeable, responsive and committed agent to increase your chances of converting hot leads into new business and ultimately get more deals.

Step 1. Strike while the iron is hot.

Ensure you respond to any new leads that requested further information (like the Section 32 or a copy of the contract of sale) from you at the inspection, via email or voicemail within 24 hours. Your responsiveness is of the utmost importance to prospective clients. They’ll look upon you and your listing more favourably if you’re quick to answer their questions and supply information they requested.

Within a day of meeting a new lead you need to make an introductory call to answer any questions they have and to let them know you’ve sent the extra information if requested. This is your chance to show off your expert knowledge and that you go above and beyond to help your clients.

Next, send a follow up email with the subject line ‘Looking forward to working with you!’ or something similar, regardless of whether they asked for more info. Recap the main points of your conversation and the answers to questions they had, so they can easily be reminded of your chat and get back in touch.

Step 2. Prove your value.

Two or three days after your introductory call send off a personalised email to your hottest prospects. Within the email supply valuable materials related to their buying or selling process to reinforce your dedication to stellar customer service.

Send through a market analysis and profile of the area/s they’re interested in with comparative sales data, recommended listings (for buyers), a home estimate (for sellers) and a broader housing market report outlining why now is an optimum time to sell/buy.

Follow this up with another call to check in and see what they thought of the information you supplied and if they had any questions about the estimate, the listed properties, or whether they need a broker for their pre approval or anything about buying or selling in general. From here you’ll be able to get a good read on their level of interest, timeframe and can set up appointments if need be.

Step 3. Shore up future business.

If you haven’t heard back from your hot leads after five days or so, call the prospective client again to ask whether they received the market report and information you sent earlier in the week and to make an appointment if they're ready to take the next step. After all, persistence is key when following up and converting leads.

Check what information they found most helpful and probe to see whether they need anything further from you or want to meet. Also, ask the client for permission to add them to a listing-alerts system so that they’ll be the first to know as soon as new properties come onto the market that fit their criteria. This will reinforce your commitment to being accessible and helpful, and open a dialogue for you to learn more about the client to send them better updates in the future.

Even if your hot prospects cool off at this point, keep them in the pipeline by subscribing them, and all your new leads for that matter, to a nurturing campaign. Add their details to your customer relationship management system to keep in touch by sending them helpful information and property updates via regular email campaigns or direct mail.

Your goal when following up hot leads is to qualify them, engage the client and build up a rapport and book in an appointment. With a dedicated and persistent lead conversion strategy you’ll be able to more readily identify and convert ready-to-buy and ready-to-sell prospects into clients.

Happy selling!

From the Homely Team.

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for Burpengary real estate for sale, and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Feature Premier Agent: 5 minutes with John Paranchi

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Feature Premier Agent: 5 minutes with John Paranchi

This week our first Feature Premier Agent John Paranchi from McGrath Hunters Hill shares his predictions on the Sydney property market for the next 12 months, three key sales strategies and some advice for agents starting out.

What trends can we expect to see in the Sydney property market in 2016? 

Overall I think we will see steady growth across most parts of Sydney. Of course, some markets will perform better than others. The markets that I service, including Gladesville, Tennyson Point and Putney, will see reasonable growth over the next 12 months. The main reason for this is the relative lack of properties available compared to the demand combined with great amenities on offer, like waterfront parks, great schools, several major shopping centres nearby and easy access to Sydney’s CBD.

With an outstanding track record for exceptional results and speedy sales (in FY14 John sold 65 homes worth almost $90 million with an average of 31 days on the market) what three strategies do you find are key to maintaining this?

1. Positioning and presentation: You need to get an accurate assessment of the property as today's buyers are very savvy to what's under/over priced. It is crucial to get the price range right up front, then go from there to put the right strategy together and get the presentation of the property right.

2. Meticulous follow-ups: Call your hot buyers before the property listing goes live. It’s so important not to be lazy in following up with hot and old leads. Over the years we've all met hundreds of buyers to whom we promise to call if anything suitable comes along that meets their requirements. In real estate it is so important to make good of this promise with follow up calls. Through continuous follow ups you will gain homebuyers trust over time which will make it easier for you to negotiate with them in the future. Which also in turn means a better outcome for you and your vendor down the track.

3. Communication: Consistent communication with both buyers and vendors during the campaign is key. You should call your vendors daily and meet with them weekly to review progress. It’s also a good idea to talk to your contract holders consistently and try to meet with bidders before the auction.

With over 24 years experience as an agent, is there any advice you would pass on to a new agent?

Apart from working extremely hard and following up with every potential buyer, I would definitely recommend seeking out a mentor when you’re first starting out in the industry. Buddy up with a colleague, which does not necessarily mean someone from the same office, to help you through the process and help to find your feet.

What do you find most challenging about working in real estate? How do you and your team work together to overcome these challenges?

I think the toughest thing about working in real estate is the emotions, both on buyer and seller sides. For most people buying or selling a home is one of the most emotional transactions you'll ever make, so we need to relate to and empathise with our clients and be mindful of their emotions. The best way to go about this is through consistent and transparent communication throughout the selling process.

Why do you list with Homely and what do you like about the Premier Agent product? 

The reasons I list with Homely is because it's clean, easy and fast to use. What I like about the Premier Agent product is that a potential client can really dissect the performance of any agent. They can easily see what an agent has sold up to three years back, and the map listings feature is a powerful way to showcase how active you are in your core area.

View John's Premier Agent profile here or take a look at one of his current listings on Homely at 48 Melba Drive, East Ryde, NSW.

Learn more about Homely Premier Agent or sign up!

Agent bio:

John Paranchi is a Sales Agent with McGrath Hunters Hill. Consistently ranked at the top of McGrath’s 650+ agent network, ranked as high as Number 6 in Real Estate Business Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Agents’ and awarded The Number 1 Sales Agent in the Australian Real Estate Awards. A Partner at McGrath Hunters Hill, John has an outstanding track record for exceptional sales results in any market conditions. With 24 years of local sales experience, John has lived in the Ryde/Gladesville area all his life and has an unbeatable knowledge of the local market. He has set suburb records in every one of his specialty areas of Gladesville, Putney, Tennyson Point and Ryde – a feat none of his competitors can match.

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for real estate for sale and properties to rent in Sydney and right across Australia. Homely incorporates beautiful design and community engagement, to create an enjoyable and simple experience that helps you find a new home quickly.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about.

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog please leave a comment below and share it with your friends. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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5 rules for following-up leads

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5 rules for following-up leads

In some ways knowing how to go about making follow-ups can be more challenging than cold calling people and getting leads in the first place. Follow-ups are one of the most important ways agents have to proactively seek out business and get the process rolling with prospective buyers and sellers.

The purpose of making follow-ups is to qualify leads, gather information about them and begin to build a working relationship. So it is vital you have a clear follow-up strategy and tactics in place to make the most of interactions with your leads.

We’ve developed five rules to help guide you in making better follow-ups, to boost your conversion rates and ultimately grow your business.

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Rule # 1: The purpose of making follow-ups is to book appointments.

When following-up a lead remember your main objective is to book in a meeting with them. You’re not connecting with them to check in, to have a chat and bond with them, to update them about the property market, to get your name out there or any other reason other than locking in an appointment time.

Once you've found a genuine prospect ask ‘When can we set up an appointment to start getting ready?’ and reassure them that you can always make time to sit down and answer any questions they have about buying or selling. Your office is the best place for an initial consultation, but you should be adaptable and open to other suggestions. If the client is unable to come to you offer to meet at their local café or even at their home.

Rule # 2: Your secondary aim is lead disqualification.  

The most successful real estate agents understand the importance of making follow-ups to filter out bad leads. Better agents typically have less leads in their client database because they're mindful of not wasting time and resources continually following-up people that are not seriously looking to buy or sell in the near future. You’ll find that maintaining a database of thousands of leads is too daunting and time intensive, so it's invaluable to weed out the time wasters early on. 

When following-up enquiries from your website, online listings, your open houses, advertisements or wherever you have collected your client database from over the years, you need to get a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer as to whether or not they are genuinely interested. This way if you confirm they aren’t interested you can delete the lead and invest your time, resources and energy in serious leads and finding better prospects.

Always keep in mind consumers can be hesitant and hold back when talking to salespeople as they fear they will somehow get talked into signing their life away over the phone. So the best approach when following-up is to let them know you won't be offended if they turn you down and that it's okay to say no if they’re not interested.

Make sure the script you’re using for your follow-up calls provides an opportunity early on to allow the client to say they’re not interested. Having this chance to be heard lowers the prospect’s resistance, enhances trust and makes them feel more comfortable to communicate their true goals and uncertainties if they decide to continue with the call. 

Rule #3: If you don’t get onto a lead try getting in touch using a different means of communication.

Before disregarding and deleting a lead completely from your contact list make sure you try another method of communication. Nowadays there are many ways to try to communicate with and reach out to prospective clients. 

Simply because you can’t get onto a prospect and they don’t return your call, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not interested. Some people are impossible to reach via phone so it’s always a good idea to test out and hone your sales skills via text message, email, direct mail and even social media to get their attention. You should try at least one other form of communication other than phone before you classify a lead as unreachable and you remove it from your database altogether.  

Rule #4: Determine whether or not they require your services.

A common mistake a lot of agents make when following-up is qualifying potential clients based on the lead’s interest level alone. Without any other information, finding out a prospect’s level of interest in your services is largely meaningless.

To qualify the lead in a more meaningful way ask yourself:

  1. Do they need your services?
  2. Do they want your services?
  3. Can they afford to take action?
  4. What timeframe are they looking at?

A lot of buyers and sellers use the line ‘I’m interested’ as a bit of a cop out and a way of evading commitment to you and other agents. If they are interested ask follow-up questions like ‘When do you plan on moving?’, ‘Have you spoken with a lender yet?’ or ‘Do you need to sell your current home first?’ to see if they are a genuine buyer and/or seller.

Rule #5: Categorise your leads for more time efficient and productive follow-ups.

The best ways to categorise your lead pool is based on the timeframe in which they are looking to do something and the prospect’s level of commitment. You could categorise leads using letters, i.e. ‘A’ for client’s taking action within 30 days or less and ‘B’ for clients taking action in 30 to 90 days and so on, so you can easily prioritise calls and know when you need to make follow-ups.

To classify your leads by level of commitment use the categories ‘committed’ for those that are dedicated to working with you and you're almost certain they will list or buy with you, ‘probably’ for those clients that might do business with you, who are about a 50-50 chance of working with you and use ‘possibility’ to define those where there is a small chance they will work with you.

To have a healthy stream of business you need a reasonable amount of leads in each category. When making follow-ups you should aim to cultivate leads upwards from the 'possibility' category, to 'probably' and eventually to 'committed' clients.  

Categorising your leads and systematising your follow-up process allows you to get a clearer picture of your business's position and helps you to forecast growth.

Following these five rules should help to improve your lead strategy and your follow-up processes.

Are there any script lines you find particularly effective when making follow-up calls? Please let us know in the comments section below.  

 

Happy selling!

From the Homely Team

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog please leave a comment below and share it with your friends. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Ask Rocky & Rob

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Ask Rocky & Rob

Q: What are your most powerful prospecting tricks to expand your real estate clientele?

A: There are many ways in which real estate agents try to grow their client base. Some rely mainly on cold calling or driving new business by working their open houses, where other agents work off their database of existing clients and referral business. When it comes to expanding your real estate clientele, we find the most successful agents use a combination of short-term and long-term prospecting strategies.

Short-term tactics

Short-term prospecting is when you're trying to find the next seller to grow your inventory. This is where good agents leverage off their current listings and sold properties to find people looking to sell.

A great place to start is doing a listing drop. We know that everyone does letter drops and they annoyingly clog up everyone’s letterboxes, so you’ll need to try something different to set your self a part from the competition. What we say next may shock you, but we want you to get out there and try knocking on doors and actually speaking to people. Start by briefly introducing yourself, let them know there is a property for sale near them, apologise for disturbing them, don’t forget to leave behind the details of your listing and business card, and don’t overstay your welcome. The whole exchange shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes or so.

By personally dropping off your letter drops you can make sure you’re not that agent people want to run away from when they see you coming. We recommend repeating this same process with your auction invitations and sold brochures. This way you’ll build up a good reputation and rapport with the locals, and start to be seen as someone who is approachable and knowledgeable about property in the area. Best of all they will come to you when they need you.

Open homes are the first opportunity to put your expertise on display. Make sure your brochures are presented neatly and that you greet everyone that attends in a friendly manner. Ask qualifying questions like what brings them to the inspection and determine whether they are a buyer, neighbour or potential seller. After all this is the purpose of conducting open homes, to find out important information, gage interest in the marketplace and generate leads.

Invite as many people as possible to your auctions. It's a great opportunity to put your office and skills on show, and it leaves a memorable impact on everyone who is there. Neighbours also remember great auctions in their street and the agent that handled them, so continue your home visits to keep them up to date and remind them of your presence.

Long-term tactics

Long-term prospecting is about positioning yourself as your clients’ ‘go to’ person for when they think of buying, selling, investing or renting real estate in the future. For successful long term prospecting you need to systemise yourself and your follow-up strategy.

A great place to start is to touch base with clients from properties you've sold in the past. Good follow up actions include:

  1. A welcome gift on settlement. It doesn't have to be anything too extravagant or big. A bottle of wine, some movie tickets, a restaurant voucher or flowers are all nice offerings.
  2. Call them after three to six months to see how they have settled in and if they know anyone looking to buy or sell.
  3. Send them a gift or card on the anniversary of their purchase date and repeat this each year to stay in touch.

You would be amazed how quickly people forget who sold them their property. These three strategies will give you the best chance of receiving a call when past clients want to sell again.

There are no shortcuts in real estate, so set out in every interaction you have with clients to position your self correctly to ensure future business and clientele growth. Remember, the best agents master both short-term and long-term prospecting and are systemised to succeed.

 

Happy selling!


From the Homely Team.


 
Blogger bio:

As the NSW Sales Manager for Homely.com.au, Rob Trovato focuses on building relationships and partnerships with real estate groups across all of NSW. Connect with Rob on Twitter and LinkedIn.

prospectingtips.rob


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