As noted in The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, lead generation is among the core pillars of a successful real estate business. And, while finding good leads is great, without the ability to turn the activities into leads, all activities are futile. In SHIFT Tactic #5, Gary Keller underscores the most important, dollar-productive activity agents should be focusing on during a shift – lead conversion.
In a shifted market, motivated leads can be scarce, so each one becomes precious. That means, you cannot afford to waste even ONE. Converting any and ALL you can becomes critical. – SHIFT (pg. 85)
In the chapter, he lays out a seamless process that, when followed, can help you stand out among the competition, secure appointments, and turn possible business into probable business.
Step 1. Capture
“Converting a lead begins with capturing or getting enough information to be able to make contact with the prospective seller or buyer.” – SHIFT, Pg. 86
Your lead generation activities in a shift are centered around showing others you care. You’re making care calls, serving your community, and providing immense amounts of value in every interaction. Everything you’re doing, you’re doing with a servant’s heart. And, while you’re doing these things, it’s important to note that you can only get rewarded financially when a sale occurs. So, as you’re providing prospects what they are seeking, you must also get what you need – their contact information. Keller calls this, “service with a purpose.”
“It’s not that we walk around worried about getting paid or calculating our commissions. That’s nonsense and I’ve never met a great real estate agent who ever felt that way. While serving others we also serve ourselves. In serving ourselves, we are in fact providing for and protecting the interests of those who count on us – our family, our close associates, and the causes we support,” he writes.
On page 91, he doubles down on its importance by sharing his personal experience.
When I first got into real estate, I thought all that the world needed was an honest, servant-hearted, information-providing, will-do-whatever-it-takes-no-matter-how-long-it-takes, you-want-it-you-got-it real estate agent. That’s who I became and it was the right thing to do. But my narrow way of thinking almost caused me to go broke.
Along with my commitment to serving others I soon realized that I required something too. I needed to close transactions and in order to do that I had to first and foremost devote my time to those who would tell me who they were and how I could contact them. Ultimately, these were the only people I would talk to or provide information to and I called them leads.
How to Capture Contact Information Without Being Pushy
If you’re fearful of sounding pushy when asking for contact information, “Don’t be,” Keller reassures. “You shouldn’t fear running someone off by asking for information. If they won’t tell you or give it to you, that’s what you need to know as early as possible.”
The earlier you can confirm if someone is going to work with you, the earlier you can move them through the process and the more prospects you can pursue.
Related Reading: SHIFT Tactic #4 – Learn How to Find the Motivated
Here are six straightforward scripts to help you capture contact information:
- I’m <your name>. May I ask your name? Thanks, what is your phone number?
- If I were to get in touch with you, what would your number be?
- If I found exactly what you’re looking for, how would I contact you?
- If I found out the information you’re wanting, how would I get it to you?
- During an open house: The owner asked us to let them know who has dropped by and how we might get your feedback. Thanks for signing in.
- Internet registration: For a virtual tour, click here; or, for the lowest financing options, click here.
This requires a capturing system, like landing pages in Command. “If you do not have a place to capture, you’re offering your value for free with little chance of getting compensated,” Keller reminds.
Step 2. Connect
After capturing someone’s name, number, and/or email address, it’s time to connect. The goal is to quickly lay a foundation for a working relationship so you can understand their wants, needs, worries and concerns.
“At this point you’re investigating, not selling. You’re generating trust and building confidence. First yours, then theirs. It’s your chance to let them know what it’s like to work for you,” he writes.
This step is in line with the adage, “people don’t care about you unless they know how much you care.” To do so, you have to listen, take notes, and qualify as you’re doing so.
Six questions to help you connect with your prospects:
- Who are they? Goal: To assess personal details. (e.g., Back up and, if you would, please tell me a little bit about yourself?)
- What do they want or need to do? Goal: To assess wants, needs, current plans. (e.g., So you folks called about Sunset Drive, are you looking for a new home?)
- Where do they want or need to do it? Goal: To understand their situation. (e.g., Thanks for sharing. If you would, can you share with me where you are thinking of moving?)
- Why do they want to or need to do it? Goal: To determine motivation. (e.g., Thanks for sharing that. Now, if you would, can you share why you’re doing this? What will this move mean to you?)
- When do they want or need to do it? Goal: To get a feeling for their timetable. (e.g., Now, if you would, can you please share with me when you’d like to do this?)
- How do they plan to do it? Goal: To assess action they’ve taken, expectations, and their experience. (e.g., What have you already done to plan for this?)
Step 3. Close
Once you’ve connected with the prospect, it’s time to close for an appointment – the goal you’ve been working toward. Once you conclude the discussion and move to an appointment, a new cycle begins to see if another can take place.
A successful close comes down to:
- Setting up a meeting.
- Asking for an appointment either by phone, in-person (via video conference), or in writing. Keep in mind, writing has the lowest conversion rate.
- Asking for the appointment early so you can understand where they are at in the continuum of their decision. There is a lot of sentiment in the middle of an “Absolute no” or “Absolute yes,” and your goal is to figure out where their commitment level is at.
If the prospect gives you a reason as to why they can’t meet, don’t get into verbal warfare, feel flustered, or threatened, Keller says.
“Learn how to respond and let the conversation take its natural course. In the end if they can meet and have a good enough reason to meet they will. And if they don’t they won’t. And that’s okay. You don’t care what their answer ultimately is because you’re not getting people to do anything they don’t want to.”
Step 4. Cultivate (For Future Conversion)
Finally, recognize that no matter how talented you are and how hard you work, there will always be a small percentage of leads that can’t be converted directly into an appointment.
“This is when your cultivation system becomes your indirect path to an appointment,” Keller writes. This means touching base regularly, systematically by entering them into your database and implementing a touch program. If you’re a Keller Williams agent, assign them to a SmartPlan. Don’t let the lead slip by not getting back to prospective buyers and sellers. When you implement a simple cultivation approach, you stay top of mind and be there when they decide.
“You can’t know or predict when they will come to a decision, but if you’re reconnecting with them in a systematic way you’ll have a great chance of being there when they do. That’s when you’ll be able to close for an appointment,” Keller concludes.