The keys to effective conversion of your Powerline™ leads are:
- Use focused, proven, and effective dialogue.
- Respond to your Powerline™ IVR calls quickly, ideally between five and fifteen minutes after you are notified of the call.
- Qualify and build rapport with the prospect by asking the right questions.
Use Effective Dialogue
Using a script template can provide structure to your follow-up call by keeping you focused on using proven and effective dialogue to greatly increase your call to close ratio. Do you want to work with this prospect? Are you able to set an appointment with the prospect?
The Arch prewritten script templates provide a strong foundation on which to build your follow-up process. Remember, a conversation is completely organic. A person can easily tell if you are reading from a script. The scripts are simply templates and suggestions for topics of conversation that provide you with the most information about the prospect as possible while keeping the conversation open-ended. Try not to ask questions that can be answered simply with a “yes” or a “no”.
For additional tips when speaking with prospects, refer to the Neighborhood Marketing Guide.
Respond to Your Powerline™ Calls Quickly
Follow up with your prospect when their mind is on you and your services: within 5 – 15 minutes. Prospects will be far more receptive to your call if they are seeking out your assistance in that moment.
The Powerline™ system has the unique advantage of uncovering prospects early in the home buying/selling process. At least 30% of these prospects must sell a home prior to purchasing a new one. Quickly Making contact with these leads offers you a great opportunity to lock up these listings early.
More than half of all buyers do business with the first agent that they talk to, according to the NAR, so you need to get a jump on your competition. Responding quickly to your Powerline™ leads gives you the best chance at being that agent and greatly increasing your odds.
Additionally, prospects want an agent who will be proactive in selling their house. A quick turnaround shows that you are motivated, organized, and professional.
Call Coordinator Service
We realize that there are times when you simply cannot respond quickly. With that in mind, we created Arch Call Coordinator Service to help maximize your time and ensure that you can quickly follow up with each new lead.
Arch’s Call Coordinator Service (CCS) trained operators call each lead that has accessed an extension number on your Powerline™ IVR System. Using your personal filters, the operators use a series of scripted questions to qualify buyers, list available properties, determine whether or not the prospect has been pre-qualified by a mortgage professional, and obtain a referral. We offer scripts for Realtors as well as originators. Contact an Arch representative to review the available scripts.
Operators generally respond to leads within fifteen minutes of the originating call. If no contact is made, the CCS operator will call back in one-hour intervals, leaving a voice mail message on the third attempt. Once CCS operators have qualified your latest leads, you receive instant notification of the results, including indications of your hottest leads. By identifying potential homebuyers, you also have the lead on a potential seller. This often affords you the opportunity of being the first agent to list their home, often in a non-competitive environment.
With Powerline™, you are able to instantly follow up with your hottest leads. CCS labels a lead as “hot” if they answer “yes” to any of the following questions:
- Would you like more information on the property and are not represented by a buyer’s agent?
- Do you have a home to sell but are not represented by an agent?
- Are you pre-qualified by a lender?
You also have the ability to easily manage your CSS settings to suit your needs. You can choose to employ CSS only on your days off or you can cap your monthly CSS expenditures at set limits. Options can be customized using the Arch website.
Qualify and Build Rapport by Asking the Right Questions
People work with agents they like, trust, and from whom they can confidently expect results. Scripts do not engender respect or trust in prospects. A natural dialogue with prospects is crucial to your success. By asking questions that specifically address their needs and wants, you build that rapport. Your questions should accomplish the following:
- Uncover valuable information about the prospect to build trust and rapport.
- Build credibility by positioning yourself as a service-oriented agent.
Uncover Valuable Information to Build Trust and Rapport
With your initial follow-up call, you should build a rapport by cultivating a relationship with the prospect. Building rapport starts with uncovering areas of commonality between the prospect and you. Gaining a better understanding of the prospect exhibits a sincere desire to know the lead personally and allows you to offer real solutions to their needs. With the initial conversation, you should focus primarily on selling yourself, as opposed to trying to sell listings or services.
Some example rapport-building questions are:
- Where did you grow up? In what area of town do you live?
- Do you have any children? If yes, do you plan on having any more?
- Is there a particular school zone you would like to live in?
- Do you have an idea of how long you would like to live there?
- What do you like about the schools, restaurants, parks, etc. in that area?
- What kind of recreation do you enjoy?
- When are you thinking of buying?
It is imperative that you position yourself as a service-oriented, professional agent who will help them accomplish their goals. This will build credibility and reinforce the connection you have created with this prospect. Creating your service-oriented image requires that you inform and educate first. When you exhibit a genuine concern for the customer’s needs, you develop a sense of trust in them that often leads to business with you. There are several great ways to represent yourself as a credible, service-oriented agent:
- Ask questions about exactly what the caller needs in their new home. This not only positions you as a caring agent, it also uncovers invaluable information on the motivations of the caller.
- Offer a free written report targeting the prospect’s needs or wants. For buyers, consider free reports that outline common mistakes or pitfalls of home buying and how to avoid them. For sellers, consider tips on how to showcase their home to maximize their profit. As the author of these reports, you build credibility as a knowledgeable professional.
- For Sellers: offer a free evaluation of what you would do to position the home for best resale.
- For Buyers: offer a free Comparative Market Analysis.
- Offer a referral list of your professional associates (for example, mortgage originator, lawyer, appraiser, inspector, plumber, exterminator, et cetera)
Manage Fear of Loss
Many agents make the mistake of responding to the prospect’s questions regarding price or specific home details prior to establishing a rapport out of fear of losing a prospect. They feel that if they don’t answer the prospect’s questions right away, and instead choose to engage the prospect with questions on areas of commonality, they will actually alienate and potentially lose a buyer.
This does not make good business sense. You will increase your numbers significantly if you hold out and build rapport with your prospects. The opportunity to bring new leads into your sphere of influence far outweighs the risk taken in potentially losing a few prospects in your attempt to get to know them prior to offering answers to their questions.
Refer to our template scripts for making initial contacts and follow-up calls to prospects that have previously accessed your Powerline™ number. Over the course of the past 15 years, we have tested, tweaked, and fine-tuned these scripts to ensure the maximum conversion rate from your Powerline prospects.
We suggest you use these samples as the foundation for follow-up. Remember, the easiest way to extract information is to build rapport and make them feel at ease with you. Keep the conversation moving forward, and always make the prospect feel that your goal is to understand their goal.
Converting Expired Leads
Expired listings are one of the easiest ways to increase your listing inventory. Since the seller has declared that they are willing and motivated to work with a full-service agent, many agents target expired leads.
Along with for sale by owner(s) (FSBOs), new agents target expired leads because they are easily identified. Typically, the MLS sends an email notification when a property expires or allows you to perform a targeted geographic query. Because expired leads are so desirable, they are also very competitive. To win these listings you must:
- Understand and appreciate the seller’s mindset
- Know how to communicate with that mindset.
- Offer a comprehensive plan showcasing your unique ability to separate yourself from the competition.
- Demonstrate the patience and persistence to present those unique and compelling values to the expired leads.
The Seller’s Mindset
The primary challenge you must overcome in the seller’s mindset is distrust. In most cases, the seller expected to sell their home in a few weeks. Six months later and their home is still on the market. The seller is obviously frustrated and upset, and excuses from competitive agents are not going to cut it.
With a few exceptions, homes sell themselves if they are priced correctly. Unfortunately, most listings expire for one reason: it was overpriced, and the listing agent couldn’t negotiate a price reduction. Don’t expect to earn the trust of the seller by stating that fact. Appreciate their mindset. Their previous agent told them they could sell their home at that listing price, and now they feel deceived. Even if you showed comparable examples to the seller to substantiate the price claims, winning listings would not be about evidence. It’s about presentation.
Listen First, Direct Second
Consider this: if the seller absolutely had to sell (due to relocation, building, financial duress, personal issues), they would have been motivated to lower their price and the property would have sold. The seller usually has a price in mind, and some sellers are simply unwilling to compromise that price. Emotional barriers such as this can be removed, but you must earn their trust first, and address the price barrier second. Sellers have no comprehension or confidence that there is any substantial difference between agents. That’s why over 50% of expired listings re-list with the same exact agent. To win the expired listing, you must alter this belief.
Uniqueness Is Key
First, ask the seller why they think their home did not sell. All that matters is what they believe the reason is, not whether or not you agree with them. Listen closely to their reasoning, and see this as an opportunity to demonstrate to the seller your unique selling propositions (USP) and how these propositions will overcome the reason your seller believes their home did not sell. Most likely, the seller will say their home did not sell because of a lack of marketing by the listing agent. A common complaint is that “the agent stuck a sign in my yard and was never heard from again”.
This is a communication issue. What the seller wants to hear is how you will deploy a targeted and specific marketing campaign and keep them informed of your progress. You must display a unique marketing plan and present it in an organized calendar with specific launch dates. Stress to the seller that your new technique is what separates you from your competition.
Examples of expired USP techniques include:
- A specific marketing deployment with calendar
- An extreme attention to detail and organization
- Advanced technology systems that generate interest
- A demonstration of technologies (24-hour call capture with live operator follow-up, virtual tours, visible web presence)
- A preauthorization to lower price at a specific date if no offers are accepted
Demonstrating your commitment to executing your marketing plan will earn their trust and inspire confidence that you are capable of selling their home. Remember: trust is not always earned immediately. It may require several follow-up contacts.
Demonstrate Follow-Up With Prospects (Follow Up With the Seller)
If the seller was upset that their previous agent stuck a sign in the yard and was never heard from again, they may sit back and see which agent follows up on their marketing presentation. The seller rightfully assumes that how the agent behaves to get the listing is exactly how the agent will behave when following up on a buyer lead.
If you want to win this listing, you must demonstrate patience and consistency in your approach. Present a unique selling proposition to them, a call to action to close (with perishable timestamp whenever possible), and if they do not close, a precise day and time when you will be heard from again.
You met with the seller on Wednesday, and they said they would like to think about it. They request a callback on Friday. Always cut in half the amount of time a prospect tells you to contact them. Call them back on Thursday. Your approach would be something like this:
[MR./MRS. SELLER], I know you asked me to call you on Friday, but something very important has come to my attention, and I must share it with you. This Monday is the cutoff date for me to submit any advertising for [LOCAL MAGAZINE] in our area that distributes over 200,000 copies per month. I would like to run an ad featuring your home on the back cover. I will use my call capture system in the ad to ensure that we are able to contact each and every prospect that calls on your listing. We will make the initial call within fifteen minutes so we are sure to make contact. Since your former agent never featured your home in this magazine or ever used call-capture to track their advertising, we will have a significant opportunity to showcase your property.
The magazine will be distributed the following Monday, so this will give us a week to take care of some minor home improvements I have listed here that will help us capture the maximum sales price for you. From today until [PRECISE DATE WHEN AD COMES OUT], when our ad comes out, I will personally contact the 23 prospective buyers I’m working with to let them know about your property. I will then call and e-mail the 854 prospects in my database to let them know about your property.
On [DAY AD COMES OUT], I will follow up with you on how the contacts to my buyer universe went. If we have not received an offer by the following Friday, I will send you a report detailing:
- How many calls we received on the [LOCAL MAGAZINE] ad
- The result of each call
- How many showings we have performed
- The feedback from agents and buyers
But for all this to happen, we need to go ahead and have our listing agreement executed today, so please sign the agreement
If they do not sign, call the seller back on a designated day, offer another unique selling proposition, set a perishable time stamp when the offer expires, and ask for the agreement. For example:
[MR./MRS. SELLER], unfortunately we have missed the deadline for [LOCAL MAGAZINE], but I have contacted my editor in the Sunday paper, and I have arranged for your property to be one of the featured listings on the front page. I will include my call capture on the ad and offer a three-hour open house. The deadline that I must respond by to feature your home is tomorrow. With such short notice, we have to perform our minor home improvements immediately so that I can also offer an open house this Sunday.
After the open house, if we have no offers, I will contact you Tuesday, [DATE], and give you a report detailing each buyer’s feedback from the open house and what other agents commented. For this to happen, we need to go ahead and have our listing agreement executed today, so please sign the agreement
Continue this practice until the seller signs with you. When the seller agrees to sign the listing agreement, present your calendar of marketing initiatives. On a specific date, ensure one of the initiatives is an agreed-upon price reduction.
Preemptive Price Reduction Agreement
Price reductions are far easier to negotiate if they are done in advance when there is a certain amount of positive emotional expectation. Waiting until the seller is disappointed in the results only hinders the chance of finding the best price point. Unfortunately, neither agents, sellers, nor comparable homes Converting Expired Leads P a g e| 7determine the selling price. The buyer is the main factor determining the selling price. If no offers are coming in, then the market has spoken. You must lower your price.
In your listing agreement, include a preset date for when you agree to lower the price. This is after you have exposed their listing to a full array of marketing initiatives so there is no excuse for the seller to disagree with your position. If the seller is unwilling to lower their price, and no financial condition is present (absolutely need to sell at a price or they cannot cover at closing), you must consider whether or not you are willing to take the listing. There are listings in most agents’ inventories that they wish they had not taken. Saying no to a seller if they refuse to agree to a future price reduction is empowering and liberating because you know you’ve made the right decision.