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Internet Leads: Managing and Responding The Internet is playing a greater role than ever for consumers. Consumers have come to realize they can obtain information • Quickly • Efficiently • Easily • Affordably on the Internet According to NAR: • One-third of buyers looked online for their first step in the home buying process • 87 percent of buyers used the Internet in their search • The second most frequent way a buyer found their home was through the Internet

According to the NAR Technology Survey … • Nearly half of REALTORS® are using social networking or plan to in the future • Three –fifths of REALTORS® have a website

The greatest challenge is developing rapport with your Internet leads. • Much more different and difficult than developing rapport over the phone • Don’t be surprised if you find yourself EXCELLING at developing rapport online • Your follow-up techniques must be light years ahead of your competition!

MORE NAR Statistics • Email inquiries sometimes take 60 days to receive a response • Email inquiries need to be responded to immediately in real time, especially in the age of Smart Phones, Facebook and Twitter • Today’s consumer wants real time results, that is unobtrusive and allows them to be in control • You have to make them want to give you MORE information Rules for Following-up • Follow-up faster (than everyone else!) • Change the medium (frequently) • Make it personal and relevant • Invite for a visit • Establish urgency Copyright©2009 CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC. All rights reserved. Managing Internet Leads

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Internet Leads: Managing and Responding Solve NOT Sell! • Listen carefully to their situation without selling • Find out who is the decision maker without offending • Establish a relationship with the inquirer • Find out the real issues behind the request for information – Prioritize the interests, then do your homework – Provide a date/time they will hear back from you – Ask if you can call them to discuss NAR National Statistics:  50% of Internet leads never get a response.  Average response time is 54 hours!  21 percent of Internet buyers expect an agent to respond instantly to an inquiry and 23 percent expect a response in 30 minutes or less.  80% of home buyers use the Internet to find a home and a real estate professional to represent them  NAR: ~70% consumers work with first agent to respond.  Excessively high percentage of Internet leads marked as “dead”.  Follow through on company “lead” left to agent’s whims.

What are some characteristics of the eConsumer? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________

MYTH #1: Converting Online Leads Won’t Work • Online Leads are bogus, they’re just not serious • Merely requests for information • You’re just simply providing information to the consumer without receiving anything back for your time • Online consumers are disloyal • It’s a one-way communication

Copyright©2009 CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC. All rights reserved. Managing Internet Leads

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Internet Leads: Managing and Responding Loyalty Can Be a Problem … • • • • •

You are the mercy of search engines There are many REALTOR® websites available, people have options Building a website that ranks well in the search engines is worth the effort Optimizing your website is an ongoing process, be prepared to invest time and money There are a lot of tire kickers or people who want free information that can waste a lot of your time. Identify them quickly and move on …

MYTH #2: Emil Communication is ALL That Is Needed • • • • • •

Sales is now a complex process Communication has taken on many forms It takes time and involves strategy and occurs in multiple stages Need to identify the consumer’s time frame for buying or selling Responses should not be vague, i.e. “call me if you need anything … “ View eCommunications as a relationship building tool

In order for you to be responsive to the eConsumer’s needs, you’ll need to find out what their time frame for action is. Without this information you could be spinning your wheels. Don’t assume people are going to act immediately. Also don’t assume they’re only doing research. Find out what stage of the home selling/buying process they’re in and MOST IMPORTANTLY, whether or not they’re presently working with an agent. What is the Definition of Lead Incubation? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ What is the Value of Lead Incubation? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Lead Incubation is NOT a NEW concept • • •

Most leads, whether they be walk-in, call-in or arrive via the Internet will not act for at least 30 days, they need to “massaged” Branded messages, such as the eCampaign tools were created for this purpose Allow people to get to know you. Let them know you are on Facebook and LinkedIn Copyright©2009 CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC. All rights reserved. Managing Internet Leads

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Internet Leads: Managing and Responding

Leads Need to Be Incubated • • • • • •

If eConsumers didn’t require follow-up, there would be no need for sales professionals Automated response advertising is not “incubating” Agents interpret consumer inquiries as an opportunity to SELL Automated messages are not relationship building Consumers can already get MORE information than they truly want With Internet leads, do one of the following; convert, incubate or get a referral

Copyright©2009 CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC. All rights reserved. Managing Internet Leads

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Internet Leads: Managing and Responding What are some solutions to the following Agent Objections to Lead Incubation? • • • • • • •

I don’t know what to say or write? I don’t write well? I don’t spell well? I have a hard time expressing myself I really don’t receive email leads I don’t have a Smart Phone I’m too busy….

Resources for Agents Who Struggle with Their eCommunications ... • • • • • • •

CLS Library – Scripts area Write your own scripts and have someone critique – Especially frequent user of Internet communication Start building your own communication Library – It needs to be friendly, but at the same time brief Check out the eCampaign tools! Use Spell Check! – ALWAYS! Read more books! Ask for help from someone who is!

Write Down Objection Handlers for the Following Consumer Objections: •

I do not want to give my name

____________________________________________________________

I am just gathering information

____________________________________________________________

I want the address so I can drive by and take a look

____________________________________________________________

I am calling for a friend

____________________________________________________________

I already have an agent

____________________________________________________________

I will just call another company

____________________________________________________________ Copyright©2009 CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC. All rights reserved. Managing Internet Leads

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Internet Leads: Managing and Responding Customize the following Communications:  I completely understand that you may still be in the information gathering stage. I hope my information will be helpful. Please know that I respect your decisions and your timeline. I wish you well and am willing to work at your pace and address any real estate needs you may have.  I understand how you may feel overwhelmed with email communications from many sources. Please know that I respect your privacy and your timeline. I hope this information will prove helpful. I wish you well.  In my effort to build a loyalty based business, I make a point of making sure my clients are in total control. I understand that you may be just looking for information and are not ready to make any decisions yet. I respect your timeline and your privacy. I hope this information will be helpful.  Thank you for your inquiry regarding the property located at 14692 Harborview Lane. As a seasoned real estate agent in the Morris County area, I pride myself on helping those contemplating a move. I have a sincere desire to work closely with each and every client to ensure they have as much information as possible to make an informed decision regarding the sale of their existing property or the purchase of a new one. I understand you may be in the early stages of your search. It’s never too early to seek the advisement of a professional. I look forward to assisting you further when you are ready. Don’t forget to educate the eConsumer about Buyer Agency • • •

What can they expect you to assist them with What is the difference between a CLIENT and a CUSTOMER Take a look at the blog entry on ActiveRain: http://rolandontheriver.activerain.com/post/1218419/home-buyers-areyou-a-customer-or-a-client-

Copyright©2009 CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC. All rights reserved. Managing Internet Leads

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Internet Leads: Managing and Responding Strategies to Use • Treat ALL leads equally • Speed - Respond timely and prioritize • Convey urgency - Ask what their timeframe is • Identify knowledge gaps – “Just so I don’t sound repetitive, how familiar are you with _____” • Use a Contact Manager to keep track of communication – FREE Class – Contact Management Made Easy! Communication Engagement List – Assess Your Current Strategy       

Respond quickly to inquiries Reflect a desire and willingness to build a relationship Demonstrate your market knowledge and expertise Provide information that is relevant Convey to the customer that they are in control Inspire trust and reflect your personality Do you tell all upfront or do you leave them wanting more …

What Are Some Ways You Can Engage the Internet Consumer? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ _________ Tools That Help … The Smart Phone • Enable you to receive and respond to email quickly • There are many different varieties • You’ll need to evaluate your budget and preferred phone carrier as well as necessary phone features • Consider a device that has a multitude of real estate tools – Camera – Voice recorder – MP3 player

Copyright©2009 CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC. All rights reserved. Managing Internet Leads

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Internet Leads: Managing and Responding Are You Using the CENTURY 21 branded eMarketing Tools? • My Contacts area • eCampaign Tools • Tracking Reports • Segmentation • Relevant content and communication • Offers that engage and bring consumers back Create an eMarketing Strategy Don’t just respond to an email…you are trying to engage, make a friend, build trust, be relevant and add value that’s not available via the Internet 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Who is your audience? What is your purpose? What is the message? What is the timeframe? Frequency of Contact?  When do you use a one-time email, drip campaign or make the contact more personal? 6. Build a model…a system  Use the tools on 21online.com

Website Resources: • • • • • • • • • •

www.Mailermailer.com www.Marketingsherpa.com Google.com long tail search email strategy, lead generation and lead conversion www.morebusiness.com www.Blog.mailermailer.com www.Marketingpilgrim.com www.Email-marketing-reports.com www.Newsweaver.comclickz.com www.Emailexperience.org www.Emailexperience.org/resouces/email-glossary/

Copyright©2009 CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC. All rights reserved. Managing Internet Leads

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Best Practices Tips List!  Make your topics relevant to consumer  Get out of the Box..  75% of people who open your email will do so within first 24 hours 84% within 48hrs  Open Rates have experienced a small decline  Monday is best day to send newsletters  Subject lines shorter (35 Characters) will be opened more frequently.  Personalize your newsletter whenever possible.  Deliverability is generally increasing.  Smaller lists ( those that are more targeted) get better open rates due to relevance  Make sure your sender or from name is recognizable, use your Vanity eMail  Including your Brand name will reduce SPAM deletions  Writing, design, brevity  Use social networks..Facebook, LinkedIn, 21Communities, Twitter to drive consumer to website to increase subscriptions ex: send tweet: “sent out Aug newsletter with new information on local stats..”  Clicks..include links to your website..and make sure website offers other opportunities to subscribe or ask for info…not “if you need help buying or selling…”  3.45 % of consumers who open Real Estate emails “click” on additional links. Real Estate is usually one of the top industries with a 6.34% open rate  For Newsletters: Avoid: Large files, irrelevant content, formatting problems, broken links  Subject line: 18.93% opened with less than 35 characters 15.38 % opened with more but you should test different lengths.  Review subject line, confirm it is clear what the message is about and free of spam words, ex. Free, $$$  Popular subject line words: News, Party, Sale, Update, Week, Holiday SOURCE: Data from Email Marketing Metric Reports July-Dec 08

If someone has taken the time to ask for your help, ASK for their business and SEAL THE DEAL!

Copyright©2009 CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC. All rights reserved. Managing Internet Leads

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Internet Leads