Leads don’t close themselves. Now, if this was the early 1900’s and you were the only real estate shop in town, you could have been picky with who you worked with and less aggressive in how you did business. Nowadays though, the industry is cutthroat, and you have no choice but to use every weapon in your arsenal to bring in leads and to close deals.
Part of this involves marketing the right way to bring in the right customers, and part of it includes dealing with your customers in an appropriate fashion, but ultimately it all comes down to what you recommend to clients based on cold, hard facts.
By focusing your leads on compelling quantitative insights, you’ll be able to close sales at a much better rate. What this means is that when you communicate with clients (or potential clients), you tailor your conversations to make them trust you. Yes, you find out what they want by teasing the information out of them, but once you know how to direct the conversation, you back up everything you say with data that they’ll find interesting. By doing this and relying on impartial sources outside your team, you’ll be able to develop a sense of expertise that they’ll value throughout your relationship – all the way to the close.
The quickest way to find out what leads are looking for is to ask them. However, this isn’t as simple as it may seem at first. While asking questions like, “what type of home are you looking for?” and “how would you describe your ideal neighborhood?” will provoke some interesting responses, they won’t always help you take control of the situation through data.
Instead, what you should be looking for are questions that illustrate how their ideal new home compares to their current (and therefore non-ideal) home. This juxtaposition of old and new provides an easy way to find out what they’re really trying to change in their lives. They may say they want convenience to a grocery store – pushing you to move them closer to crowded, gentrified neighborhoods – but then when you ask about their current home, you find out that they’re dissatisfied with the noise levels and constant traffic in front of their house. It’s something that wouldn’t come up if you only focused questions on what they’re looking for, but it can turn out to be a key piece of information.
There are only so many types of homebuyers. Newlyweds looking for their first shared home, a family with two kids and a third on the way, a retired couple looking for a place that’s easier to manage. They may seem like useless cliches, but these archetypes can be very rewarding when used to predict what incoming leads are looking for. For example, if 90% of the leads that come in the door looking for a new home because they’re about to have their first child are looking for a place near great schools, you can use that insight to guide your pitch from the very beginning.
The trick is to figure out what shared desires cover many different people. After all, no two people are identical, and if you treated everyone the same you would quickly be out of a job. What you need to do is find out which characteristics are paired with which desires. For example, a new child is paired to features of a home that are great for children. A family with kids going off to college is paired with the desire to get a more high-quality house. The pairings can change depending on the location and your own personal insights, but they’re great to have on hand to find out what people are looking for before they say anything.
You can only gain so much insight talking to your new clients and analyzing their behaviors. At a certain point, they’ll want to move forward in the homebuying process and stop talking about themselves. That would normally be great, but the problem is that if they aren’t actuallysold on working with you, you’re going to need more information to win them over. It’s not enough to simply have them sign a contract with you – you also need them to be so thrilled with your time working together that they refer friends to you.
That’s why you should look into a more thorough round of research. Whether this is having them walk you through their current home, or reaching out to their neighbors, the point is to gain that extra level of information that you aren’t going to get directly from them. Now, this is obviously a tricky thing to get right and there is no “correct” way to do it. It’s very case-specific, but even though it requires a lot of initial investment, it pays off when you know more about what your client wants than they do.
Once you have a very clear idea of a particular client’s goals, you can begin to craft a narrative that speaks directly to them. Instead of relying on the same pitch you use with every client, you can tailor every point you say to reinforce the image that you are the expert and that you’re the one they should be working with. The trick to doing this is to use cold, hard facts from third-party sources.
For example, let’s assume you’ve found out that a particular client is looking for a place that has great outdoor running paths. Sure, you’re going to want to show them the paths yourself so they can have an image in their minds. But you also need to reinforce that this is the “running one.” This is done by finding impartial sources of information on how many runners there are in the neighborhood, or sharing how you went by the house again in the morning and saw a lot of people running around, or that you looked it up and there’s a nearby sports outlet that caters to runners. Each of these small data points can reinforce the narrative you’re trying to spin, leading to clients that will move quickly to close deals.
Data can be intimidating. It seems hard to gather, it can be difficult to analyze, and at the end of the day you can never really know if it’s trustworthy. However, as anxiety-inducing as data may be, it’s nowhere near as bad as a world without data. That world is one where you aren’t able to speak authoritatively with your leads, where you aren’t able to convince people to work with you based on unimpeachable numbers, and one where it takes longer to close deals because you have no numerical case to make to buyers. The choice is yours as to which world you want to work from.