No real estate agent gets a call back from every lead. But if your leads disappear after the first point of contact, you're doing something wrong. Here are the most common reasons hot leads go cold and how to get them back.
You’ve put all of the proper real estate lead generation tools and techniques in place and your CRM is finally filling up with interested prospective clients! But when you get around to reaching out to those leads, it’s like they’re intentionally ignoring you.
You’re doing something wrong.
Getting a phone number is easy, it’s getting your lead to answer your calls that poses a real challenge. Even the best lead generation strategies will be fruitless if you’re unable to keep leads interested. And it’s not sustainable to keep funneling money into leads that you never hear from again.
Here are the most common reasons why promising leads just aren’t calling back, and what you can do to keep them on the line.
1. You Waited Too Long to Follow Up
Not following up with an interested lead is often reason why you’ll never hear from them again. If you don’t follow up within the first half an hour of contact, statistics show that the odds of getting in touch with that lead again drop by 100x (this is especially true if a lead reaches out to you first). We’re not saying that you have to keep your phone to your ear 24/7, but you should have some automatic processes put in place to notify clients that their inquiry was received and you’ll get back to them soon.
Create simple automatic emails, messages, texts, etc. (depending on the medium) that confirm you’ve received their message and will be in contact with them shortly. This will keep your leads patient and give you a bit more time to get back to them.
If it takes you a bit longer than expected to get back to them, don’t stall out of fear or shame. Reach out as soon as you can and apologize for not reaching out earlier. If you were busy with another client or real estate-related task, letting them know this shows your commitment to your clients.
2. Your Online Reputation Can Use Some Work
The first thing most prospective clients do when researching a real estate agent is hop online and Google your name. If the first link that pops up is an out-of-date website, followed by incomplete socials and pixelated profile pictures, you can bet you won’t hear from that lead again.
In an age driven by the online world, potential clients are looking for agents who keep up with the times and show a consistent effort to put their best foot forward with a curated brand. Remember that you are competing with agents gathering millions of online views with valuable, free real estate information. A sloppy online image says that you don’t care enough about your own real estate business and likely won’t give 100% to your clients.
Your website is the first step to a healthy overall online image. In general, your website should exemplify what your business stands for, who your target audience is, and how to get in contact with in. AgentFire webpages are built for quick lead generation and long-term retention. In fact, our large range of marketing tools and integrations are consistently updated and expanded based on the current needs of our thousands of successful real estate agent clients. Book a free demo with our passionate web designers and build your custom real estate website ASAP.
Next, your social media profiles need to be consistent with the brand on your website and provide a ton of value in order to rope in an audience. To make sure every one of your social media profiles are client-ready, check out our expansive social media guides.
Testimonials are your next big online concern. If you’re not already asking client to leave positive reviews online, you’re missing out on powerful and free marketing content. Here’s how to get more real estate testimonials now. Positive or negative reviews on platforms such as Google My Business can sometimes be the deciding factor between whether a lead gets back to you or not. To learn more about dealing with negative reviews read: How to Handle Negative Real Estate Reviews.
3. You’re Lacking Confidence
Confidence is more than just a feeling or an idea; it’s the key to building trust and an ongoing client relationship. Think about this: you’ve spent your morning following up with cold leads and by the time afternoon rolls around, you still haven’t received a single response. After a couple of hours of calling to no avail, you’re enthusiasm dwindles and you find yourself calling clients from a hunched over, slumped position on your chair. Alternatively, you could find yourself sitting up pin-straight, desperate for the next cold lead t to latch on.
In either situation, your lack of confidence is contagious and you can be sure that your prospect will pick up on it. On a physical level you can’t project your voice confidently while hunched over in defeat, nor can you appear in control while speaking at super speed, gripping the phone with desperation. Take a breath and think about all you have to offer as an agent; clients are lucky to have you! Then, pick up the phone (or keyboard) and try again.
4. Your Client Contact Information is Disorganized
It’s hard to keep up with clients if you can’t find them when you need to. Every growing and experienced agent should have a CRM in place. CRMs are the easiest way to keep your client information updated and organized in order to reach out to them in ongoing lead nurturing campaigns. Don’t let a lead go cold simply because you can’t find their details.
Most CRMs will allow you to neatly organize client information with designated tags and custom filters. With this information in order, you can define the journey of a lead and schedule reach-outs accordingly. Your AgentFire website easily integrates with all leading CRM providers so that any client information gathered from your website is automatically aggregated into your CRM – no extra steps needed.
5. Your First Attempt Was Generic
If your contact gets even the slightest inclination that they are being spammed, you’ve already lost the race. Generic emails or calls made to appeal to just about anyone, end up missing the connection with everyone. No one wants to feel like they’re just a number on a list, especially when you’re asking them to trust you with the largest and most personal investment of their lives.
Before you reach out to a new prospective client, make sure you know their name and a bit about them. You should have gathered this information from the contact form they filled out, within the research that led you to them, or from the referral who shared their info with you.
Then, show value right away with a subject line or opener that speaks to your client’s concerns. Address them by their name and explain clearly why you’re contacting them and how your unique skills can help them achieve their property-owning/selling dreams.
6. You Don’t See Eye-to-Eye
Sometimes it’s just not a good match. Finding the right home is a personal and time-staking decision. You’ll need to get along with your clients on a level that’s more than just business. Clients expect their real estate agent to understand their lifestyle and share their vision of what they’re looking for in a home. If your principles don’t gel well with the needs of the client, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
There’s nothing wrong with letting a client go (or accepting that they haven’t called you) if their approach and interests don’t match with yours. There are plenty of other leads waiting to hear from you and plenty of agents willing to work with them! You may even know an agent who is better suited to them, in which case you can refer them over and request that the agent does the same if ever need be.
7. You’re Not Persistent Enough
Just because they didn’t respond to your first attempt at contact, doesn’t mean that they won’t get back to you by the second…or sixth. Have you ever heard of “seven touches”? It’s a marketing principle that means most leads require seven points of contact before you’ve got their full attention and they’re ready to move forward. At times, marketers recommend that this “seven touch” rule expand to up to twelve touch points over a longer period of time.
Most people receive over 100 promotional emails per day – and that’s just emails alone. With so many alerts, beeps, and pings throughout the day, it’s perfectly logical that your lead may have missed your first message or gotten distracted by another. A final notification on Facebook or a personalized card might be the push they need to get them to pay attention.
To avoid being marketed as spam or blocked, you’ll want to make contact them less frequently over time and always suggest that you are available at their convenience.
8. You Won’t Leave the FSBOs Alone
We know that as an educated and experienced agent, you’re better at selling homes than most homeowners. But forcing them to get on your side is just going to push them further away. FSBOs go out on their own because they think they can do it all and likely have a negative perception of real estate agents. Reminding FSBOs how uneducated they are and how much better you can do, is only going to affirm their negative beliefs.
Waving potential buyers in their faces can also backfire if it only convinces them that plenty of people are interested in the home (a.k.a. they don’t need you).
If you reached out to an FSBO and received no response, it could be time to try another angle. Openly offer your advice with no strings attached and no pushing. Bring attention to the value you provide, not by shoving stats at them, but by positioning yourself as a helpful and knowledgeable resource. The idea is that as FSBOs realize that your knowledge makes their journey easier, they’ll become curious and concerned about how much more you know that you only share with clients. Honey over Vinegar.
9. You’re Not Open About How You Received Their Contact Info
The quickest way to annoy a new lead is to ring them out of the blue and immediately start asking questions about buying or selling a home. No one truly enjoys being cold-called, even if they signed up for it. There’s a feeling of violation that comes with being called without warning and immediately pitched to. The least you can do is be honest about how you got in contact.
Start the conversation by stating how you got their contact information and the specific reason why you’re reaching out to them. When clients realize that you called to make their lives easier, not to get something from them, they’ll quickly warm up to you. On the other hand, launching into a sales spiel as soon as your prospect picks up the phone, could get you quickly hung up on and unsubscribed-from.
10. You Don’t Know How They Want to Be Contacted
When you first make contact with a lead (whether it’s a contact form, cold call, etc), it’s crucial to find out how they prefer to be contacted going forward. If you’re calling millennials and texting seniors, you’re making it overwhelmingly easy for them to ignore you. Not only does each generation have a preferred method of communication, but each individual has their own preferences and unique schedule.
It’s as simple as adding an extra question to your online contact forms or asking clients ‘how best to contact them’ before you hang up the phone.
11. You’re Missing a Clear CTA
Any contact you make with a client should have a clear intention and expected action. Don’t beat around the bush until clients are forced to ask, “what do you want?!” It’s equally inefficient to jump to the ask before introducing yourself and proving your value as an agent. There’s a balance between pushing clients to make an action and dragging them along until you finally get to the point.
Here’s how it’s done: let’s imagine that a potential client signs up to receive your free lead magnet in exchange for their contact information. Take this opportunity to follow up with an automated email asking how useful the freebie was to them and encourage them to book a meeting with you for any further questions about their market. One CTA leads to the next and so on. Always keep in mind that the goal is to keep the communication going and build long-term relationships.
12. They Truly Don’t Need an Agent at the Moment
If you’ve done everything you can to establish a positive connection with your prospective client and they still aren’t biting, chances are they just aren’t looking to buy or sell a property. However, they may still have an interest in learning about their local market and they could provide you with great referrals down the line.
In this case, you’ll want to focus on providing valuable market information and prioritize staying top of mind (without overwhelming them). Encourage these contacts to follow you on social media or sign up for your email newsletter. They’ll receive consistent, valuable information from you in a way that is non-intrusive, but ubiquitous.
No matter how successful an agent you are, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a call back from every single lead. However, there are specific things you can be attentive to and change to get more callbacks. To sum it up simply: keep your focus on addressing the needs of your lead and do it within a reasonable amount of time.
A long and successful relationship with your clients is always easier when you start on the right foot.
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