When calling real estate internet leads, it's important to know what to say on the phone in order to move the conversation into a consultation appointment or a showing. As real estate agents, we don't want to sound like we're reading off of a script, but we want to gather the most valuable and pertinent information. What if you made a connection with each lead just by asking specific, relatable questions?
Let me start by saying the lead has probably visited multiple website so other agents might get the same lead. If you don't call them within 5 minutes, another agent will.
Be an active listener -- ask questions based off of what the lead says. We're in the people business where good communication is key to building relationships. If the lead mentions having a family, ask questions about the family (how many kids do you have?). This shows you're a caring person who is actively listening vs. strictly following the format of a buyer questionnaire or lead sheet. Getting all of your lead sheet questions answered isn't the best way to build a connection with a lead.
When the lead knows they're being heard, it will be easier for them to build trust in you. For example, they may start out saying they rent but are looking to buy a home. Use the topic of renting to transition into other, more pressing questions you need to ask.
Agent: "So you've been renting. When are you thinking of moving into a home?"
Lead: "I would like to move within the next 6-8 months."
Agent: "There are a lot of homes on the market which will make it easier to get you into a home within that time period. Do you know when your lease ends?"
Lead: "The lease is up in 6 months, but I can go month-to-month after that."
Agent: "That's good news. Why is it important for you to move into a house now?"
Leads: "I'm tired of renting and throwing my money away. I have saved a significant amount for a down payment and I would like to start a family."
Agent: "That's fantastic. How many kids do you want to have?"
Lead: "2 or 3. We looked at a 3-bedroom house the other day and figured that would be the way to go vs. buying a smaller house and moving in another 4-5 years, as our family grows."
Agent: "Do you have an agent showing you homes or did you view the home on your own?
Lead: "You're the first agent I've talked to. I went to an open house, on the corner Sussex and Stafford."
Agent: "Open houses are a great way to get a feel for a home. Earlier you mentioned saving for a down payment. How much have you saved?"
Lead: "$20,000 and we're continuing to save."
Agent: "That's a great down payment. Have you been pre-approved by a lender?"
Lead: "No. I figured we would start looking to get a better idea of what we like then get pre-approved."
Agent: "I understand, although, pre-approval from a lender will narrow down what you can afford and enable you to get into a house quicker. What price range are you looking in?"
Lead: "We are hoping to find something between $190,000-$210,000."
Agent: "I looked up the house you mentioned earlier and it falls within your price range. I would love to help you find a home for your future family. Let's get together and chat about some options. How does tomorrow at 5:30pm, or Tuesday at 2pm work for you?"
If you've used a lead sheet on a call before, you'll recognize this conversation doesn't strictly follow an organized list of questions. It's more conversational, yet covers many of the questions on the lead sheet. You're casually building a dialogue and a connection vs. going through a list of questions that don't relate to what the lead just told you. A lead is more likely to want to meet with you when they feel comfortable speaking with you on the phone, sensing they can trust you.
So don't be afraid to go "off script" to learn more about leads and book more appointments and showings. As you learn to build personal conversations, without strictly following the questions on a lead form, you'll start to build your own scripts and better connections. Keep track of what has worked for you, rinse and repeat, and you'll master the art of booking appointments with online leads. Now let's make some calls.