In the real estate world, it’s all about making a good first impression. Prospective clients come to you with their wish list in hand and want to see what houses are available that meet their criteria. However, there are some things even a seasoned pro might not know when looking to increase their qualified leads or how to automate the lead qualification process to show off your skills as an agent.
I’ll dig into 4 ways you can wow your new leads, shorten your sales cycle, and close more in this post.
You’re looking for ways to get more done, but you don’t want to have to put in even more hours.
You could study all of the time-saving methods for Realtors or you could set up an automated lead scoring system to qualify your leads when they come in, so you don’t have to tackle the leads that are just looking to kick a few tires.
There are many real estate CRMs that provide scoring or you could lean on a marketing automation solution like HubSpot to do it for you.
Once you get your system set, you first need to fully understand your requirements for your Ideal Customer Profile or ICP. Understanding what the lead is looking for and when they are looking to make a decision are key drivers that directly impact your follow-up efforts.
Then you’ll need to build your website form to qualify the leads as they come in. Yes, you want to get their contact information, but you also want to fully understand their time frame so you can adjust your next steps.
This example form is from our friend Chris Watters, with Watters International Realty. Frankly, this form is not going to work. It is functional and short, two things the industry says you need to have. But, it does not provide you any real intelligence on the lead.
Your form needs to have questions to dig into the lead's intent to get their timeframe for making a decision.
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Regardless of how you shape your questions, you need to have a system to score them so you can make the intelligence you gain during the process actionable.
For instance, if the lead says they’re looking to move sometime in the next 12 months, you can simply put that lead on an automated nurture campaign to provide them with a few items to wow them now while you focus on leads that will hit your bottom line in 2021.
Using BANT to your advantage
If you’re looking for a proven method for lead qualification that’s worked for decades, then it’s time for you to BANT.
BANT is a four-step acronym for Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline.
This article from Sales Odyssey is a great read if you want to dive deeper into the process. For our purposes, here’s what the four steps include:
Budget: Pretty obvious but how much is being allocated in the purchase or sale of the home. As you well know, what the prospect thinks is the budget and what really is the budget can be two different things.
Authority: Will the prospect make the final decision or are there other parties to contend with? That can range from parents helping with the down payment and wanting to see the home or issues with mortgages and banks who need to weigh in on the sale.
Need: What is their true need when it comes to a realtor? The key is a true need -- another way to put this is what is their top problem they want you to possibly solve for them.
Timeline: When do they want to buy or sell? Usually, the easiest to ascertain although time can bring all sorts of surprises.
If you can get a positive reaction to at least three of the criteria, then you can consider the lead as a qualified lead.
Since the model was created in the 60s and was used for early sales practices, you’ll need to be mindful of how you inquire using BANT. It will require some finesse and emotional intelligence on your part or you can use an AI tool to ask questions to each lead in equal measure.
For example, don’t look at the husband or the one who identifies as male when you ask about who will make the final decision. And though BANT starts with budget questions, don’t start with “Oh, you only have this amount? Not sure about that number.”
All in all, BANT is a classic approach to help you automate your questions and give you an approach to get the right data to qualify the leads.
Qualify with a little bit of SPIN
Question-based selling or SPIN comes from “SPIN Selling” by Neil Rackham. SPIN stands for Situation, Pain, Implication, and Need-Payoff.
The SPIN question method works for any type of sales qualification, inside and outside of real estate. If you are the type of realtor that wants to take the time to know the prospect, then this will work well for you.
Situation questions are just about that: what’s the current situation for the lead. What brings them to you?
Questions about pain deal with the problem. As you know, trying to buy or sell a house is a pain point. The key is to really hone in on the core issue of their pain.
Knowing the core issue can help with implications. What happens if their pain doesn’t get alleviated? The implications may be that they lose out on a “dream” home and often, leads may not even know what the widespread implications could be.
Finally, the need-payoff. What happens when you solve your problem? And more so, what’s the payoff for hiring you as the realtor?
The trick for SPIN selling is to ask these questions in this order. Too often, interviews focus on the situation without addressing the pain points of a home search or go straight to the payoff of a new home.
That’s the goal but honing in can help you qualify leads that have problems that you can solve. More so, it helps you as a realtor build a relationship with the lead that can be fruitful in the long term.
For all bells and whistles of the lead generation process, there are a few things that can gum up the system.
But one thing stands out: incomplete data.
Having leads skip fields in contact forms or not checking for the correct email or phone number. Incomplete data leads to an incomplete ICP...and that means an incomplete lead qualifier.
A solution to that is data enrichment. That’s a fancy way of saying that you’re updating and refining data that you have already collected. You’re taking internal data that you’re compiling and merging it with external data from either a third-party or more research that you’ve done.
The way data enrichment helps qualify your leads is by adding more data points, like income, job title, years renting, etc., it helps complete the picture of them. It adds more details to your ICP and thus, helps qualify the lead.
As a realtor, you can approach data enrichment a few different ways:
- Build on the data you currently have through manual research.
- Use third-party data services to automate for you.
The more detailed you want to go, we recommend you get a third-party sales intelligence tool that can help you. The key for data enrichment is knowing what type of data will actually help you qualify the leads the way you want.
These four ways will get you on the path to lead qualification success. The key is to find something that works for you as an agent so you can get those leads qualified and into new homes.