No matter how long you’ve been a real estate agent or how experienced you are, having leads go cold is a common hurdle we all face. Understanding why this happens and how to get back in touch with people can be challenging, but reviving cold leads is an important skill for your business.
When you initially realize a lead has gone cold, you need to know exactly why it happened. It’s harder to solve a problem without knowing what caused it in the first place, right?
In this blog, I’ll cover the main reasons that leads go cold and what you can do to repair those broken connections.
1. You waited too long to follow up.
The simple mistake of failing to follow up in a timely fashion is probably the most common reason leads go cold. According to this study, the odds of getting in touch with a lead decrease more than 100 times after the first half hour. In other words, you have a small window of opportunity.
If a lead reaches out to you first, he or she probably had a few spare moments to talk. That means if you aren’t available at that time and don’t reach out fairly soon after, you might miss the chance to engage with them.
If a good bit of time lapses, reach out as soon as you can, and apologize for not getting in touch sooner. Being embarrassed about following up late holds a lot of people back from pursuing leads they could very much still convert.
When you do call, you can even share a little bit about your schedule to explain the best times to reach them in the future. For example, if you were with another homeowner or tied up with a showing, revealing this information will let them know that you have other clients — but that their business is important to you, too.
2. You tempted a FSBO with interested buyers and it backfired.
Tempting a FSBO with potential buyers can seem like a great idea, but it doesn’t always help your cause. For some owners, attempting to entice them with buyers simply validates their own marketing skills and makes them feel like they don’t need you. In their minds, if buyers are interested in their property, the property must be desirable enough that they can sell it to them without your services.
Secondly, tempting FSBOs with leads does not establish trust. Most FSBOs are dead set on selling without an agent, at least at first — why else would they choose to sell FSBO? It’s best to build trust by offering to help with no strings attached.
Get owners to call you back by offering friendly advice — not buyers — for their listing. Once a relationship is established, you can share FSBO statistics and how your services will end up saving them time and effort, as well as obtaining a bigger sale. Remember, nine out of ten FSBOs end up listing with an agent. That means there’s a great chance they will end up listing with someone. To make sure it’s you, be patient, and don’t push too hard.
3. You badgered a FSBO about their listing.
Similar to promising a string of buyers, bugging FSBOs to list with you is not a great way to earn their trust. Calling and leaving aggressive messages or sending numerous emails insisting you can sell the home is not going to get you anywhere — they’ve already heard the same thing from other agents.
If you appeared to be overeager and the FSBO went cold, reach out to them with a different angle, as I mentioned in the previous tip. Earnestly offer your advice without any strings attached, and give them helpful suggestions. Even though chances are good that they will eventually list, badgering them for the listing over and over won’t work. You need to be more indirect.
4. They don’t know how you got their number.
The truth is, people are always suspicious of a cold call. Many times, the attitude is, “If I wanted your services, I would have reached out to you myself.” But remember, if they’re annoyed by you, it probably means you didn’t go about reaching them the right way.
Whenever you make cold calls, be open about where you got people’s numbers. If you aren’t, their initial impression of you is likely to be a negative one. In fact, they may even hang up and ignore your future attempts to reach them.
Even if it’s not a “real” cold call because they filled out an online form for a housing search, they might not remember doing this — and they definitely won’t remember you. Fix this problem by telling them you got their information from the form they completed.
Above all, never say “I got your number from the Internet.” This explanation upsets people because they feel their privacy has been violated. If you got their name and number from REDx or even just the MLS, it’s better to tell them you got it from a database of local people who may need your help.
5. You didn’t leave a voicemail.
These days, most people don’t pick up or return calls from unknown phone numbers. So, if you don’t leave a voicemail, there’s probably zero chance they will call you back. It’s better to leave a short and friendly message that lets them know how you got their number and how you hope to help them.
Still, you need to carefully evaluate leaving these types of messages based on what type of lead you are dealing with. I don’t recommend leaving messages with expired homeowners or FSBOs, since these owners already are getting “blown up” by other Realtors. Unless your voicemail is telling them they won a million dollars or a vacation, they won’t listen to more than a couple of seconds of it.
For these leads, try calling back at another time when they might answer.
BONUS: Make a personal connection from the start.
In the real estate business, a lack of personal connection slows things down. Owners might have a difficult time separating you from other agents unless you connect with them in a creative way.
Our members have great tools to build a rapport with leads. Whether you’re struggling with listing presentations or getting people to respond to your calls and emails, with the help of our guides and resources, you can easily establish a connection so a relationship develops more easily in the future.
Are you constantly losing touch with leads? Check out part 2 of this blog on Friday for 10 tips on how to stop leads from going cold in the first place.