Real estate prospecting is probably one of the actions that real estate agents most often avoid. That’s too bad, because it’s also one of the main money makers. Below are 20 tips to take your prospecting skills to the next level.
1. Work on your mindset
Keep an open mind when it comes to prospecting, because a proper action plan can take you a long way. Many real estate agents don’t like prospecting, but it’s one of the most profitable actions you can take. And working on your skills can go a long way to getting the best results.
2. Following up is crucial
Here are a few very eye-opening stats:
- 48% of people never follow up with a prospect
- 25% of people make a second contact and stop
- 12% of sales people make only 3 contacts and stop
- 10% of sales people make more than 3 contacts.
3. Only 20% of sales are made in 4 contacts or less
Here are several other very interesting facts:
- 2% of sales are made on the first contact
- 3% on the second
- 5% on the third
- 10% are made on the fourth contact
Since 80% of sales are made with 5 to 12 contacts, most agents quit way too early. Work on your mindset because today, in real estate, most clients don’t like cold calling. You must persist without exception, because 80% of sales are made between the 5th to 12th contact!
5. Keep track of your hot leads
When a potential client keeps coming back and has visited your website at least 5 times, looking at more and more properties, they are the hottest real estate leads. Those are the people that you really want to make sure that you persist with without exception.
6. Have a plan
There are a few reasons why people give up on prospective clients. Maybe the most important one is the fact that most agents don’t really have a plan. Other must haves include a real estate strategy, scripts, a good value proposition, commitment, and measurement tools. Your mindset should be that of owning a business.
A staggering 90% of agents do no tracking whatsoever. Tracking your results is a necessity in order to achieve real estate success.
7. Focus on quality rather than quantity
How many people do you think you can speak to in an hour? You should care more about what you do with each person you’re talking to, rather than about making as many calls as possible. Agents should also build rapport, and first seek to understand rather than to be understood.
You need to understand where each person is coming from. Almost all buyers start looking online these days, but ultimately they need to call you because you have the listing.
8. Have attention to detail
Do you know how much you make from each call, or how much you make each hour? Do you leave a voice mail, or do you not leave a voicemail? One of the most important ways to improve your numbers is to simply be aware.
9. Focus on appointments
Real estate prospecting is defined as the first contact with a lead. You can exchange emails with your leads, but you should also remember that you can’t sell a house until you’ve had a conversation – a talking conversation – with somebody. Usually, you can’t sell a house without an appointment as well.
The one, single common denominator of top producing real estate agents is that they work every day to get the next appointment. They prospect every day until they have a new appointment.
10. Be aware of the numbers
Do you generate enough leads to get one new appointment? Every 165 minutes of real estate prospecting equals a sale. Every 7.83 people that you say hello to equals an appointment. Also, 1.61 appointments equals one sale. You just have to do your math on your average sale price and your average commission.
For every two and a half hours that you’re prospecting, you’re generating a sale. So, if you want to have 50 sales in a year, prospect for 2.5 hours a week. Also, the 2:00 PM -5:00 PM time frame is the best time to prospect.
11. Have a prospecting blueprint
This is a good blueprint for the prospecting process:
- Location – where do they want to live?
- Motivation – do they want to rent or to own?
- Working with an agent – ask them how long they have been looking for a new home
- Financing – are they a cash buyer or a mortgage buyer?
- Closing the appointment
12. Talk to them like you would talk to a friend
You shouldn’t be nervous on the phone. You’re building rapport, just feel like you’re talking to a friend. You’re offering your clients help and assistance.
13. Ask for specific contact information, not for permission
Saying “can I have your phone number?” is not a very good idea. Instead, just say “and what is the best phone number to reach you on? Is it your home or your cell?”
14. Classify your leads
An A-level is somebody ready, willing, and able to buy in the next 30 days. A B-buyer will buy between 30-90 days, while a C-buyer will buy in more than 90 days.
For an A-buyer, make sure you always have an appointment, because you can’t sell a house without an appointment. Don’t say “I’ll call you in a few days”, because you will have just wasted a lot of time. Always have an appointment with your A-leads.
If you determine that the lead is a B or a C, get them into an email drip system, and follow up with them once a month.
15. Have the financial talk
If your prospect is an A, you should have the talk on the mortgage and financing aspect. Ask if your client will be paying by cash or mortgage.
The main idea here is that you want to make sure that the person you’re working with can afford to buy the house they’re looking for. If they are a cash buyer, you need a letter from their bank, because you’ll want to make sure that they have the price of the house in cash.
16. Don’t shy from talking to your prospect for as much as 10 minutes
Most agents, when they have an A-buyer that they’re excited about, have the tendency to shy away from talking too much. However, the minimum time on the phone at this point is 7 to 9 minutes. If you have somebody that is about to buy a $200,000 house with a commission of $6,000, you should be willing to spend 10 minutes with them.
In order to do that, you need to go into relationship-mode in your brain. Remember, this person needs you, and you should build rapport with them, because you have something they need. It’s called a real estate license.
17. Close the appointment
After you do the mortgage and financing questions, you should close for the appointment. This is where most agents think it’s too early to close, so they say things like “well why don’t I email you some listings?”
So, here’s the basic close for the appointment: “Based on the information we’ve discussed right here, here’s what I recommend we do: Let’s set up a time to get together at my office, where we can go over the home-buying process. I’ll do up a complete market overview and we’ll set up a time to go look at homes. How does that sound?”
18. Listen more than you talk
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason: listen twice as much as you talk!
You have to be the one that’s in control of the conversation. So your approach should be “answer and ask”, or “acknowledge and ask”. Make sure that your questions are structured so that whatever answer they give you, you have a roadmap to guide the conversation.
19. Rehearse your talk
If you want to learn the blueprint of the call, you can always record it on your phone. While you’re driving, just listen to the recording over and over and over. By the end of a week, you will have the call blueprint memorized entirely. Investing in a couple of good scripts helps you say the right things at the right time.
20. Only meet with your A-buyers
The only people you should meet with are your A-buyers. Focus on your dollar productive activities. As a realtor, you get paid to do four things: list, prospect, sell, and negotiate.