Realvolve Webinar: Your Real Estate Business Beyond Web Leads

Hello everybody. Sorry, I’m about two
minutes late here this morning. I apologize. Had a little technical
difficulties. GoToWebinar has been giving me problems the last couple of times. I’d
like to turn my camera on too so let me see – I wonder if you guys can see me here? I’m Dale with Realvolve and I’m really excited to talk about one of my favorite topics today which is
leads. I am very passionate about sales and a key part of sales is understanding
leads and understanding where they fit into your process. Today I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on leads. I’m going to be sharing some tips, some
things that I’ve learned over the years and things that I’ve learned from
talking with lots of real estate agents recently and I’m going to be sharing
some things that I learned in discussing leads with some experts from around the
industry. When we first put together the information that I’ll be sharing
with you today on the webinar, we kind of went back and forth on the title that we
wanted to share. Here are a few of the titles that we kind of tossed around.
Number One: Why Web Leads are Weak. Number Two: The Leads are Weak, You’re
Weak. Number Three: Love your Clients, Lose the
Web Leads. Finally I settled on: Your Business Beyond Web Leads
because it’s sometimes a challenge to understand exactly how leads fit into
our business and it’s a challenge to understand the nuances of all of the
different kinds of leads. Really, that’s what we’re going to be talking
about today. I do have one of my colleagues on the
webinar with us today. Jon’s here to answer any questions as
they come through and to potentially read questions to me. If you have any questions, feel free to put them into the questions section there of GoToWebinar. I
can see Rick already is commenting on my hairdo. We both have the same barber. Actually I think we have a different barber, I’m my own barber. You
can’t tell what a good job I do on my own hair? Everybody, just feel free to put anything in the questions section there. You can even
just say Hi so that we know you’re here and that you’re paying attention. I
really do prefer a lot of engagement. I don’t want to just talk at you, I want to
know what you think. We built in some polls today so be looking for those in
the polls section. I’ll start my first poll here in just a few minutes and then
of course, if you want to interrupt me at any point just go ahead and chime in. If we can get to you on the webinar, we absolutely will. Otherwise, we’ll follow-up with you after the webinar. The first thing I want to chat about is a principle, a timeless principle that I think is important just
to at least set the stage so that we’re all on the same page. This timeless
principle is – that the more discipline you have in life, the more success and
surplus you have around the thing you’re being disciplined about. It’s a timeless principle, you don’t have to agree with it but you do have to live by
it. It’s like gravity. I don’t care what you think about it, it’s true and it
affects all of us. For example – the more disciplined you are with your money, the
more money you have. That is an absolute fact. You’ll have more money in savings,
more money invested if you’re disciplined with it over time. The more
disciplined you are with your time, the more free time you’re gonna have. The
more disciplined you are with your health, the better your health is gonna
be long term. The reason why I bring this up is because the same thing is
true with lead conversion and lead generation.
Whenever there’s any progress made or wanting to be made around lead
conversion or lead generation, I always recommend that you ask yourself first – am
I doing the things I already know I should be doing? That should be question
number one because it’s sometimes a temptation to try to look for some Hail
Mary, to look for some new ways, some innovation when really the timeless
tried and true methods a lot of times are what we should kind of fall back to
first. Stick to the fundamentals first and then try to improve things. Along the
same lines, I wanted to illustrate this point a little bit deeper so let’s break
apart this principle and see how it would apply to a fake situation. It’s a
real situation but it’s my situation, not yours. For the uninitiated, first I want to go over some terms. I want to talk about goals, strategies, objectives
and tactics. This is how I define goals, strategies, objectives and tactics.
A goal is a broad primary outcome that you want to accomplish. The vision is why
it’s important to accomplish that goal or why you’re wanting to move toward
that goal in the first place. A strategy is the approach you take to achieve that
goal and the tactic is a tool that you use in pursuing an objective associated
with a strategy that is associated with a goal. There could be numerous tactics, there could be numerous strategies but there’s usually one
vision associated with one goal. To illustrate that point, my friends and I
decided that we wanted to summit Pikes Peak. We’re going to hike up Pikes Peak in
Colorado, right outside of Colorado Springs which is where I live. We put together a plan. We said – Hey, let’s go in a couple of weeks on Saturday. Let’s go
hike to the top. Let’s invite some people and hike up there. What was the vision? What was the why? Well, it’s not anything heavy. It was just because we
wanted to have fun and kind of hang out together. What was the strategy? We were gonna hike. You can drive up there, you can ride a bike, some people run. We just wanted to hike. The tactics we were gonna use – this is where we get into the nitty-gritty. It’s gonna be clear why these are important when I get to the lead discussion here
in just a minute. The tactics can be things like this – what time are we gonna
do it, which route are we gonna take and then kind of mapping out a rough
schedule of what we’re gonna be doing. Just so that we have an idea of everybody’s on the same page of what we want to do and what our pace is and then
how we’re gonna get home at the end of the day. For us, we were gonna hike all
the way up but then we’re gonna have someone drive us back down because there is a road that goes up there. We didn’t have a lot of time that day. There’s what – one, two, three, four, five. There’s seven bullet points or
so on the page there but here’s where where things get differentiated for people. This is where
you separate people that do things very disciplined where they can excel at
those things which actually gives you more freedom is where you can go deeper
on the tactics. The strategy isn’t changing here, the goal isn’t changing
here, the vision isn’t changing here. I’m just gonna change the tactics by going a
level deeper because there’s preparation before the hike. There’s very specific
times for everything that could happen. There’s what specific food and snacks
and quantities and everything that we need to bring. You can see when we go
deeper with our tactics like this, this is what opens up the door for us to have
a way more enjoyable hike. It ensures that we’re safer, it ensures that we’re
all on the same page and it ensures that we have a much better time because we’re not stressed about the details after we start the hike because
we’ve thought of everything before. This is where there’s a lot to be gained
in our businesses as well at this tactical level. Yes the vision is important to get right, the strategy is important to get right. If we really want to improve something, the first thing we should look at is the
fundamental tactics behind what we’re accomplishing. My core belief is that most of us understand at a basic level why we’re
doing what we’re doing. Sometimes it’s a little subconscious and we need to
uncover it. Really, if I went through this webinar and asked everybody
attending today to tell me why they’re in business, why they’re interested in
talking about leads today. You know kind of why, without even having thought of it
before. There’s just that vision, the goal, the strategy is kind of there. The tactics is where we really go deeper and that separates the less disciplined with
the more discipline and that’s where lead generation and lead conversion
numbers really start to separate. I want to talk about the truth about web
leads today. Like I said before, I want to talk about some expert
opinions that I uncovered doing a little bit of research, my own research. Statistics about leads and new business in the real estate industry, pros and
cons around different types of leads, the psychology behind lead conversion. We’re
just gonna scratch the surface on a lot of these things and then talk a little
bit about how to build a process and build tradition around lead generation
and lead conversion. Let’s go through our first poll. If you could pick one
thing that you need to do to get better at to help your business what would that
one thing be? I launched the poll so you should see a poll on your
screen there. Go ahead and fill that out. I’m looking for at least 70% of you to participate in
this and then I’ll move on. We’re just over 50% of the way there. If you could pick one thing to get better at that would help your business, what would
that one thing be? It doesn’t necessarily have to be leads. I know we’re talking about
leads today. That could be one small minor thing that you’re curious about
and you’re always wanting to improve but what’s the big thing that you know would
be kind of a game-changer in your business? All right, I’ve got about actually 80% so I’m gonna go ahead and cut it off and I’m gonna share the
results with you so here you go. 53% of you said staying in touch with
past clients or lead conversion. That’s kind of a confusing category there. Time
management, taking time off, social media marketing or lead gen so staying in
touch with past clients or lead conversion. Both of those things are about communication aren’t they? It’s really encouraging to see that because
communication is one of the big challenges that every business faces.
Matter of fact, it’s the largest topic of study at the Harvard Business School, one
of the elitist of all business schools in the
world. They study business communication more commonly than anything else. Let’s dive into what the experts say. Keep in mind that most of you said
communication, be it past-client communication and follow-up or lead
conversion. I asked people from around the industry – what do they wish that you
knew about leads and specifically about web leads in real estate today? Jack
Miller, the President and CTO of the Swanepoel T3 Group said – that the money you spend on web leads is less than 50% of your investment. The rest is the time and diligence in doing follow-up so that lines up with
everything that I’ve talked about today. It’s more about the tactics that you’re
using and the discipline that you use. I shouldn’t say more but that’s at least
50% of it – the diligence, your tactics and your discipline. Ethan Beute,
one of my best friends, one of my favorite people in the entire world. He’s with BombBomb. He says – that every person you connect with online is more
of a conversation opportunity than a conversion opportunity. You’ve got layers
of opportunities to uncover. Rather than thinking and by the way, Ethan Beute is one of the best people at converting lead. He’s been responsible
for converting thousands of leads over his time. He’s been in marketing for a
long time and his career has been devoted to helping people build
relationships and with new leads that’s crucial. By the way, I have put together a
little mini guide, a little PDF with all of this information in it with all of
these quotes and all these people. If you’re interested in kind of writing down some notes about some of these quotes, I promise that I’ll
share a link with you during the webinar here so you will have that information
after the webinar. Travis Robertson from Robertson Coaching International. He
said that – it’s not your online leads that stink, it’s your follow-up and follow-through. Plenty of people make money working the
same leads that you are calling crap. That’s so true. We hear people all the
time when we’re talking with real estate agents – they complain about certain
markets or they complain about certain aspects of the business. A lot of people in other markets don’t complain about those same things because a lot of times we’re just making excuses for why we’re not performing
well. It might be because we’re using the wrong tactics or we just haven’t discovered the right tactics or we’re just not disciplined enough. That’s something to keep in mind throughout this whole webinar is that
I’ll be sharing different types of leads and some pros and cons around them. For some people, even what you might consider the worst kind of lead can be
the best kind of lead for somebody else because they’re using the right tactics
to help them convert those leads into customers. Steve Pacinelli from BombBomb. Another great individual, super warm person, one
the most genuine and intelligent people that I know. He says – they’re people, they’re not leads so think about them as people, think about them as
having emotions and dreams and desires and stress, the same as you and I do. Nobu
Hata from NAR, National Association of Realtors says – all agents should
accept the fact that business is earned over a long period of time. We’re not
entitled to something because we met a lead first or have a for sale sign in a
yard. I like that because it implies that there is definitely some work involved
in building a relationship long term. This is right in line with what Ethan
Beute said – leads are a conversation opportunity more so than a conversion
opportunity. Seth Price from Placester told me – real estate agents don’t
need more leads, they need better follow-up. Then he says – #nurturewhatmatters Again, getting back to the relationship side of lead
conversion. Matt Fagioli from the Xplode Conference said – even the worst lead can become a great lead given enough time, nurture in the hands
of a talented agent or team. That was the last quote that I have. I asked a lot of people that I respect in the real estate industry and
that’s what they had to say. I think there’s a lot of wisdom in those words. Let’s talk about some statistics. First of all, I think it’s time for another poll. I want to know what is your best source of new listings?
Matter of fact, think about it this way – where did your last listing come
from? Just think about your last listing because it’s hard to think about the
whole last year unless you do a really good job of keeping track and you know
your best source of listings. Just go ahead and put in your last listing – where
did that come from? About 60% of you, 68% of you have voted
now. 71% – 72% Cool. Just maybe five or ten more people vote and I’ll close that out. Okay, there we go. We passed the 75% mark. Here are the results – your best source of new listings or where your last
listing came from: repeat clients and referrals. 13% of you said web leads. Nobody said door-knocking or direct mail. Nobody said open houses, that’s
interesting. I’ve asked that poll question a couple of times and I’ve not
gotten zeros on that open house one but that’s about what we see typically. About
90% of people say repeat clients and referrals so the audience here on the
webinar today holds true with the national statistics and with our polls
that we’ve done in the past. Let’s look at why 87% of you said that your listings came from repeat and referral business. Where did buyers find the home they purchased? The Internet 51% of the
time. Starting a few years ago, there was a lot of talk about internet leads. A lot of talk about what buyers are doing online and how that’s differed from what’s
happened in the past. I think now we’re kind of settling into being a
little bit more even keeled about things because when buyers say they found their
home on the internet 51% of the time, I think we all know that that
doesn’t necessarily mean that they found their real estate agent on the internet
51% of the time. That means they found the house on the internet. Sorry, the backgrounds messed up on this slide. 64% of sellers who use a real estate agent found their agent through a referral. 25% used the agent they previously worked with so that’s 89% repeat and referral business. 87% of you said it was repeat and referral for your
last listing. If 89% are repeat and referral, then 11% is leftover for all
other lead sources combined – direct mail, sign calls, expired’s, cold calls, walk-ins, web leads. All of those things make up for 11% or less because you can include other things and that’s in that list as well. Sellers who definitely would use the same agent again, 70%. NAR asked – would you definitely, probably, maybe or not use the same agent again and 70% said definitely.
That’s a really good stat but the sellers who actually used the same agent
again is 25%. Not great at all. Often real estate brokers, teams and agents
self report lead conversion rates of 3 – 5%. When industry wide, web lead conversion is examined a little more closely, the rate is .5% or 1% at the best so those online leads don’t really convert
all that well typically speaking. One more poll for you here before I go into
the next section. I want to talk about the different kinds of leads but first I
want to know about buyer clients. We asked about sellers. Where did your buyer
clients come from? Where did your last buyer come from that you worked with? 87% on the seller poll said repeat clients and referrals. I know there’s not
a comprehensive list, we could only put in five options. If you feel like there’s something else you want to share you can go ahead and put it in the
questions section. Wow, we’re already above 70%. You guys are getting faster, I
love it. Where did you last buyer client come from? I’m gonna close it off and share it. There you go – 65% repeat and referral, 12% open houses, 22% web leads. Do you know what percentage of buyers are first-time homebuyers nationally? Does anybody know? If you
think you know the answer, go ahead and type that in the questions section there.
I love seeing 65% repeat clients and referrals and 12% open houses and 22%
web leads. It’s a good breakdown, we’ve got a good crowd on the call here today. First-time home buyers, what percentage of buyers are first-time home buyers today?
I see 70%, 67%, 25%, 5%, 20%, 25%, 40%. For the last few years it’s been about 30% so just about a third of all buyers are first-time homebuyers so it’s a pretty good share
and those kinds of first-time homebuyers, obviously they’ve never worked with a
real estate agent before so they can’t be repeat business. You would expect
about 25% or one in four of those, one in three to be a web lead
because the other 2/3 should be referrals or sorry the other basically
3/4 should be referrals or web leads. Those 25% of them should be referrals. Friends and family should tell them – I know you’ve never worked
with an agent before but here’s an agent so think about that. Let’s get into some different kinds of leads here. This is the nitty-gritty, my favorite part. This is just my own personal take. You don’t have to agree with me here. Based on how I see the
industry, I feel like there are these different categories of leads. There are 100% purchased leads that require almost zero setup from you but
they’re based on budget and/or tenure. Sometimes if you’re the first person in
your zip code to take advantage of a lead source, you get priority or you get
exclusivity sometimes. You don’t have to handle messaging, you don’t have to handle content. That’s all taken care of for you. It’s a third party that is creating
content, managing a website and then selling their audience to you for a fee. When you’re doing that, you’re actually renting their audience.
You don’t own it at all and your at the whim of their rules. They can change
the rules on you. The quality of the leads can go up and down drastically
depending on what they’re doing. They’re also the most expensive but they take the least amount of work to generate the leads. When it comes to
converting the leads, that’s a whole different story. Those are lead sources like the Zillow group leads and, Trulia, Of course
they all have different kinds of leads that they sell but generally speaking, portal leads are 100% purchased leads. This isn’t the comprehensive list of course. You always have to keep in mind with these 100%
purchase leads that it’s really important to understand how many other
people are fighting for the same eyeballs that you are and how many other
people in the context of that buyers journey. When I say a buyer journey, I just mean a consumers journey through a website or through a home search or
doing any kind of research online. They have maybe already stopped at three or
four or five different websites, they might have filled out forms on three or
four of those websites and those leads might be shared with other agents each
time they’re filled out. It’s important to keep that stuff in mind. I know a ton of agents, we all do know a ton of agents that make a good living by converting web portal leads like this, the 100% purchase leads but it’s challenging and it takes a lot of discipline and a lot of speed and a long
time sometimes to convert these leads. Another kind of lead source is paid self-generated leads. These are still paid, you’re still buying leads from somebody
but you’re generating them because you’re actually spending time managing the process, you’re creating messaging, you are kind of
handling the conversion points and deciding how things are done. The messaging is always going to change and the tactics that work today are not
necessarily gonna work in six months and you’re still at the whim of somebody
else’s rules. When you’re doing paid self-generated leads, I’m talking about –
Facebook, LinkedIn, Google AdWords, things like that where it’s somebody else’s
audience. You’re using Facebook’s audience or Instagram or whoever it is.
You’re using their audience but you might have your own audience within that
audience and then you’re creating your own messaging on that site in that
audience. You do get skills that can benefit you long-term but you’re still
at the whim of their rules changing. The tactics change really frequently. It’s
more affordable typically than a portal lead or a 100% purchase leads but it requires a little bit more work on the generation side. The
thing I like about these kinds of leads is they generally convert at a much
higher rate than 100% purchase leads because typically they’ve already
engaged in your brand somehow with your specific messaging somehow and that
resonated with them for one reason or another so it’s typically a little bit easier to convert them. The third kind is an organic self-generated lead. This is still using a shared audience. You’re still using Facebook, you’re using
Google, you’re using your website but typically people are coming to your
website from another audience source. They might be going to your Facebook
page but they’re coming from Facebook so you’re still relying on Facebook for having the audience or whatever social media is the popular social media
of the day. You’re relying on that social media platform or that website in
Google’s case to have the largest audiences. It requires a lot of time and
energy to create and maintain these kinds of lead sources but they’re much
more sustainable long term. In other words, it becomes less expensive to
continue to generate leads from these sources over time but it’s moderately
expensive to get things going because typically you can’t just kind of turn something on overnight and then the floodgates come in. It requires a lot
of content, it requires a lot of presence but you do get this long-term benefit of
those leads. Keep in mind even with organic self-generated leads, you are
still at the whim of that shared audience. You’re still at the whim of
Google’s rules. If you’re ranking well on Google and some of you are. Some of you I
know have been spending a lot of time, energy, money on your SEO for the last
5-10 years and that has been a good thing for you and you know full well
that you’re still at the whim of Google. When they change their algorithm, that
might change where you land on the page. Another competitor might come in and knock you off of the pedestal. Sometimes they change the rules and it can completely obliterate somebody’s rankings. Somebody could rank on the first page of Google and Google changes their algorithm. They might not
even be anywhere on the first couple of pages. I don’t want to be a fear monger but that’s just something to keep in mind as you work through your long
term strategy that you’re still at the whim of somebody else’s rules so it’s
always good to have at least a few different lead sources that you’re
accustomed to that your business is ready for and that you already have
strategies and tactics around handling. The last kind of lead. I’m cheating a little bit because I’m going to veer off
of the true web lead definition, 100% owned leads. I’m just simply sharing this for the contrast. The only kind of 100% owned leads is your own
database – your email lists, your relationships, the phone numbers you have.
Obviously that requires a long time and a lot of energy to create and maintain.
As 87% of you earlier said, your last listing came from this source. 87% or 89% of the time according to NAR stats, this
is where the business comes from, especially the majority of listings. These are the most sustainable long-term and become way
less expensive over time because they’re your relationships. It’s the most efficient lead source and the strategies change very, very, very slowly. The
principles of relationships, business relationships have not changed much in a
long, long time. It’s still about staying in touch, it’s still about understanding
people and it’s still about finding a tribe of people that appreciate your
personality and your style and that you appreciate their personality and their
style. That database is the only thing you truly own, that email list is the
only thing you truly own when it comes to all of these various different kinds
of lead sources. You have a lot of flexibility and leeway when it comes to how you want to communicate with your past clients – through email,
through calling them, through texting them. You have tons of freedom to do
things how you like to do them but do not neglect this lead source, do not
neglect your past-clients. Not only do we hear it all the time, it’s absolutely
true that this should be your number one lead source and it should be where you
spend a lot of your time and energy. Don’t let the portal leads or those
purchased leads, even the paid self- generated leads, don’t let that take up a
majority of your time. Don’t neglect to stay in touch with your past clients. One thing in our business, I’ve been working for tech companies for
a while now, about a decade and a half and in the tech world there is a lot of
discussion about churn. Churn is where we’re measuring how many of our
customers leave every month or every year. It’s easy for us to measure that because we’re a subscription based service and I can compare who billed last
month and who didn’t bill this month and I have a very clean churn number. For
a real estate agent, it’s much more difficult to immediately recognize when
you’ve lost a past-client to another real estate agent but it’s something that should be at the top of our minds all of the time. We should be constantly
evaluating your database of individuals. Try your best to measure
the relationships that you have with people and I want to tell you how we can help you with that toward the end of this webinar. I know we have about 60% of the people on the webinar today are customers of Realvolve
already but a lot of you are not yet clients of Realvolve. Whether you’re a client or not, I want to show you what you can do to kind of
measure the health of your relationships. Now if you’re a brand new agent just
getting into the industry, I think keeping in mind that when people say –
you need to build up a database, you need to focus on a sphere.
All of that stuff is absolutely crucial. What they’re saying is absolutely true
so don’t discount that. It’s really, really important to keep track of
everything that goes on, all of the interactions that go on. l have a really good friend down in Florida and he told me that he’s got a pretty big
real estate company down there, multiple offices across the state. I was talking to him a couple of years ago and about 20% of his business came from
leads that were generated more than 12 months ago, at the time. He was staying in touch with people that were web leads for more than 12 months.
Sometimes 24 months and then they would do
business with him and he was keeping track of it. If you’re just starting to build up your database, keep track of everything that you possibly can. Try to
stay in touch with people longer than you might think you should because you
never know when someone’s gonna come back. Maybe they were offended by the
person they were working with before, they just didn’t get along with them, they changed their mind, whatever it is so don’t burn bridges and stay in touch
with people as much as you can. Another thing is don’t be afraid to put
yourself out there and turn people into I like to call them, they’re halfway clients. I think of people that you meet at open houses, people you meet
at networking events. Get involved with them. Usually there’s a Home Builders Association and things like that you can get involved with. Even
if there are other real estate agents already there, make friends with the
other agents, make friends with all the people there. That has a huge long-term
impact, not a big short-term impact on your business but it’s important to
start that stuff as early as you can and be adding people into your database.
Those halfway clients that you meet, put them in your database and start reaching
out a couple of times a year. At least once a quarter, once every other month. Reach out to them and just shoot
them a text message, shoot them an email and keep track of those interactions in
a CRM so that you can be measuring that relationship over time. Let’s talk a little bit about the psychology behind lead conversion specifically. This really
applies to all relationships but it especially applies when you first meet
somebody. It’s really, really important to keep this in mind for first impressions
whether you’re converting a lead, meeting somebody at a networking event, meeting a friend, meeting somebody new at church or around the community. Anytime you’re
meeting somebody new, keep this in mind – when people interact with you, they’re
sizing you up. Of course we know this but there’s really two key things that social psychologists analyze. When I talk about sizing you up, there’s two categories – can I trust this person and can I respect this person? You’re doing the same thing when you meet other people.
You’re always asking yourself – can I trust them and can I respect them? Trust and respect are categorized as warmth and competence. Respect falls
into the competence and warmth falls under that trust so warmth and
competence respectively. Ideally you want to be perceived as having both of
those things but one comes first, one takes precedence. I’m gonna ask you an
impromptu poll here. Take a guess in the question section. Which do you think is
more important, warmth or competence? Think about this in the context of a
business relationship. Converting a lead – when you’re first starting to correspond
with a lead or when you first meet somebody in an open house. Do you need to be competent first or warm first in their eyes and it’s a split-second thing. I love this because I’m getting kind of a split here. It looks almost
evenly split between 50% warmth and 50% competence as I’m just kind of browsing
through the questions here. That’s pretty even, warmth/competence. Now, warmth is first. Warmth first, competence second. The reason Amy Cuddy from Harvard says – if someone you’re trying to influence doesn’t trust you, which is the warmth. When we say Trust, we mean warmth. If they don’t trust you, you’re not gonna get very far because you might even elicit suspicion. You come across as
manipulative so think about that for a second. If you come across as really
smart but not necessarily warm and trustworthy. You’re competent, you’re
smart but not trustworthy. You come across as manipulative. A warm and trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration. Only after you’ve established trust does your strength
become a gift rather than a threat. Being competent and intelligent is only
a strength after they perceive you as being trustworthy or warm. Anytime you’re
meeting anybody in life, even when you’re interacting with people that you’ve
known for a long time. If you haven’t seen them in a long time, you always have to lead with warmth first. Remind them that you’re a warm,
trustworthy person before you illustrate how smart or competent you are.
How can we imbue warmth and trustworthiness into our correspondence
when we’re trying to convert leads? How can we show them that first we’re warm
and then we’re competent? I think a lot of us do the complete opposite. We
try to convey – I am super competent, I have X amount of experience, I have
worked with this number of clients, I’ve sold these homes. Here’s my strategies
for how I can sell your home or here’s how I work with people and we completely
forget about the warmth part. I think even when we know intuitively that we
need to be warm and even if we’re a warm individual in person and some of us are and some of us
are not naturally very warm. Even if we’re warm in person, I think a lot of
times we are very cold and we rely on the competence to try to gain people’s
trust when really it’s the warmth that gains their trust. The competence is
just how we illustrate how smart we are and that’s about respect, not about trust.
Two different things. Build trust first, lead with warmth. Try to gain their trust
before you gain their admiration for your experience. When you’re writing
emails and you’re writing text messages, make sure to always be including things
like for example, include the warmth. Here’s an example – somebody might email you and you might have had one or two
correspondence back and forth. A lot of us are tempted when we get an email
from someone asking a question, we are tempted to write a real quick response
that simply answers their question. We cut to the chase, it’s a very businesslike response and we feel really good about that. The way to do it properly considering the warmth first is to
always include a line that says – Oh, it’s great to hear from you. Or – Oh, I’m so
glad that you wrote. I was just thinking about you. Things like that. They might
say – Hey, I’ve been getting emails from your website with your saved search in
there. I just had this question, blah – blah – blah. Instead of just saying – Oh, no
problem. I’m happy to answer your question, here it is. You can always say –
I’m so glad you reached out. It’s always good to hear from you. Here’s the answer
to your question. So warmth first, competence second. Now let’s talk about
what can we do to build better processes around lead conversion, considering the
psychology of lead conversion where we need to be warm first and competent second. What can we do to make sure that we’re streamlining everything that we’re doing?
Remember at the beginning of the discussion – we were talking about
strategy, we were talking about vision, we’re talking about goals. Really we want
to get down to the tactics and we want to go deeper than our competition. We
want to go deeper than everybody else is willing to go and we understand that
warmth comes first above competence. What I highly
recommend is try to get templates for everything that you do. You’re not
necessarily always going to use those templates but it’s nice to have a
fallback and a lot of times you are going to use the templates, depends on
the situation. Having templates for everything is such a freeing, liberating
thing. I can’t even tell you. Remember the timeless principle that
discipline usually breeds more of the thing we’re being disciplined about. If we want to streamline things, we want to get more time back but we also want to get good, better at lead conversion, better at staying in
touch with our past clients then we need to have these templates in place. It takes the discipline to plan ahead to write templates for everything. Every
text message that you send to a new lead, every follow-up that you’re doing with
past clients, template it out and use those over and over again. Test them,
refine them. If the response you got back after using a template wasn’t what you
wanted then tweak it a little bit but then use it over and over again. Don’t
wing it, don’t reinvent the wheel every time. That’s one thing we can do to make
sure that even when we’re busy we don’t forget the warmth at the beginning of
our message. We keep that warmth in there so that we’re always very, very friendly
and trustworthy. In our real estate business, there are lots of different
times where templates can apply and I think a lot of us miss the boat. I think
we don’t necessarily realize how often templates come up. Templates can be used – think about a first-time home buyer. If you’re working with a first-time home
buyer, they’re going to have a lot of questions that are different maybe than
someone that has already purchased two or three homes in their life. That first-time home buyer has a ton of questions. There’s so many unknowns that
they’re dealing with and by the way the stress level could be way higher with a
first-time homebuyer because there’s just so many unknowns. It’s our job to
help them through that process, educating them along the way, letting them know
there’s nothing to worry about here. Here’s what to look for in this
situation and keeping them informed about what’s happening next. In our heads, we see this process of a transaction or a listing or lead conversion. We like to kind of organize things into a straight line in
our heads but that’s never, ever, ever how it actually works out. The reality is – we’re dealing with people, we’re dealing with complicated legal transactions,
we’re dealing with appraisers and we’re dealing with unknowns. An inspection
might come back with a problem, we never know so we always need to be changing
gears throughout transaction or listing process. We know that, we’re accustomed to this process but our buyer clients, our seller clients, they might not be
accustomed to this kind of flexibility, this kind of changing gears. The more
we can educate them, the more they’re gonna love us so take some discipline. I recommend using templates for all of this stuff. Think about this, when you’re working with a first-time home buyer. What do you wish all
first-time home buyers knew before an appraisal comes back, before an
inspection report comes back? What things should they be worried about, what things
should they not be worried about? Even something as simple as saying – when the
home inspection comes back three days after the home inspection, I’ll walk
through it with you if you have any questions. Just setting the expectation
like that can go such a long way for that relationship that you have with
them. When we’re talking about lead conversion processes, it’s even easier to
work off of templates. You can have templates for lead conversion using text
messages, using emails and you can even template out your scripts a little bit
and use the same kind of verbage over and over again. You can still adjust
based on the situation but it always gives you a head start, takes less time and ensures that you can get better and better and better over
time when you’re working off of a template. That’s one of the things that Realvolve is built on. This idea that being disciplined before things
happen, being proactive about creating marketing materials, creating lead
conversion scripts, creating templated transaction processes is so freeing.
That discipline gives you more time. The discipline creates more success in
your business so you can have these data entry templates, checklist templates,
email templates, text messaging. All these things can be all templated out. You can
even remind yourself to call a lead. In the marketing world, we call them a conversion cadence. You can map out that you want to call them within five minutes of the lead coming into your business. Then you want to send an email right after. Then you
want to text them the next day. Then you want to email them another day after
that. You want to check in with him with a call and then two weeks after you
got the lead, you can remind yourself – I need to re-evaluate this lead because it’s been two weeks. Have I heard from them? Am I making progress toward
turning them into a long term client or do I need to put them back
into a nurture campaign where I just stay in touch with them every month?
All of that kind of thing can be built into a campaign which is a template that
you use over and over and over again. You can build in all that warmth in those
templates so that you never forget. Regardless of how stressed out you are
or how busy you are, all that warmth is built into all of your communications. If you have staff, if you have coordinators or other agents that you’re
training and coaching, these templates are even more powerful because you guys
can work together to refine them. You can share your experience with less
experienced people that you might be working with so that everybody
understands that warmth that you’re trying to achieve on every relationship,
every communication. Everybody knows that there’s a right way to do it, there’s a
wrong way to do it. It’s the way to set culture. This is what our founder Dave Crumby says – you can set culture by using templates and I don’t think a lot of us
think about it that way. I think a lot of times we think about templates as simply
a way to shortcut things but when templates are done right, they’re used in
the right context or used at the right times, those templates can set culture,
can build warmth, build relationships and help you elevate your game. Your
customer service level is higher, your lead conversion success is higher, you
keep more of your past clients. You’re not churning them out of the business,
you’re keeping them as repeat and referral business. It’s such a powerful thing. Almost everything we do in Realvolve is built on the idea that proactively using templates to help you in your business is a huge, huge
benefit. Like I said, we have these workflows that are all templated out so when you’re converting leads, you can have all
of this stuff planned ahead of time. You can have a workflow that is specifically
for one kind of lead and then a different kind of a lead uses a different workflow. Those workflows can start automatically but they include
automatic emails, automatic text messages and also just reminders for you to reach
out with personal touches. Maybe even for you to reach out with a half written
email. Sometimes we just write half the email for ourselves. We want to evaluate
who these people are, what their needs are and then insert a little bit of personal information. We still are using a template but it’s not automatic,
it’s a manual template. We pull it up, we fill out the rest of it, then we hit send. You can kind of have a blend of that 100% fully automated workflow and then
we also have some some manual shortcutted workflows. Even when you’re
responding to people, sometimes you want things to happen in tandem. I call it double up follow-up. When you’re converting leads, let’s just say we’re working with a portal lead. A lot of times, I think what
we’ll do is we have a cadence in mind for how often we want to email them. We
have a cadence in mind about where you’re calling them every day for the
first five days or something like that. Then we stick to that cadence but what you want to keep in mind is that even though we might have been calling
them the last five days in a row and they got an email from us every day. They
might have had ten touches from us. On that tenth time, we’re assuming that they
know we’ve reached out to them ten times. The reality is they don’t know. I’ll tell you – the last company that I worked for, we were getting up to 2,000
leads in a month sometimes. We’d have these drip campaigns that were going out,
I had inside sales reps that were reaching out to clients. We could have sent somebody through a two week follow-up campaign where they got ten,
twelve touches from us. Then on the thirteenth day, we’d reach out and say –
sounds like you might not be interested. I’m gonna send you over to the marketing team. They’re gonna send you some information and then we send them two emails from the marketing team. Then all of a sudden out of the blue, they respond to our email that says – Hey, I’ve been a
little busy. I did want to talk to you guys. When can we get some time on the
calendar? As if it was the first time they heard from us. After we sent them twelve emails, they responded with – Hey, Yeah I do want to talk with you. One thing that I always advocate is give yourself credit for how persistent you’ve been in
every single follow-up. What I mean by that is when you call somebody, let’s say
it’s the second day after you got a lead. You got a lead yesterday – you
followed-up with them, left a voicemail, didn’t talk to him. Day two now – you call
him again. What do you say on the voicemail? I
always recommend you say – Hey, I’m reaching out again. I called you yesterday. I wanted to leave another quick message. You reference the previous follow-up and then you reference the next follow-up. You say –
I’m also going to be following-up with an email so take a look for that in your
inbox. Talk to you later. Bye bye. You’re referencing what you’ve already
done and you reference what you’re going to do in the future. That gives you a ton
of credibility with them because they know you’re persistent, you’re not going
to go away. Those are the kinds of people that most consumers want to work
with, somebody persistent like that. That kind of thing can be built into
Realvolve. We call it a double up follow-up. You could get just get off the phone with somebody and then have the next email prompted where again, it’s half written. But as soon as you get off
the phone, you can be clicking through these things and send off that double up
follow-up right out of the gate. It makes it really easy for you because it’s so
shortcutted. If you want to take a look at a couple of
examples, they’re simple examples – go to: We’re gonna put that in the chat there so that everybody can see that.
Jon – if you don’t mind, you want to go ahead and paste that for me. Also, I want to leave a few minutes here for questions. If you want to download the guide. We have like I said, a PDF I put together with a lot of this information in there. Especially the quotes that we
talked about from industry experts. Jon will post that as well. We’re also going
to be sending out emails after this. The webinar was recorded so you’ll get this
webinar in your email and you’ll have the links to the scripts and to the mini
guide in that email as well. I want to go over a few questions that I saw come
up. Tom – started setting things up, fell off. Where do you suggest I start
over, resource videos, etc.? Tom, that is a fantastic question. If you want to get a jump start, maybe you’ve been using Realvolve for a little while but you feel like you haven’t used it to its full potential or maybe you’re just getting started. We have a really fantastic
resource and there’s a lot of videos there. They’re all chaptered out, they’re categorized out. You can watch
those videos on demand and there’s a ton of learning that’s available there. Go
check that out – If you’re interested, we also have some one-on-one training available. It’s like a concierge type set up – Onboarding. We have some people that are trained on Realvolve here at our offices in Denver. They’re familiar with your industry, they’re familiar with Realvolve, they’re experts. They can spend time with you, evaluate what your goals are
and help you get started. There’s small fees for that. It depends on how much
training you want or how much customization you want but I highly recommend that people take advantage. We see huge success when people get their
Realvolve account configured the right way. They get their workflows at a spot where they can start using them right away. There’s just a
huge benefit to your business so I highly, highly, highly recommend our
virtual training programs. That’s at for virtual assistant. You can also just reach out. Tom – if you want us to reach out to you, we can just look you up and give you a call and point you in the right direction there. What other questions does anybody have specifically about leads, lead conversion
techniques or best practices or about Realvolve and the Realvolve workflow
platform? Anybody have questions? Hey Dale – I saw this one come up. Basically, how do you start building a list if you’re a new real
estate agent? Yeah, I talked a little bit about that but it’s a really good question. The most tried and true techniques that that everybody uses, they really do work. I’m here to say that they
do work. It’s things like – doing open houses for busy agents that don’t want
to do their own open houses, door knocking for those agents in those neighborhoods where the open houses are taking place. Things like that
can really kick start a list, I mean really quickly. There’s a lot of people
out there that are available for stealing. There are other agents clients that are available for stealing because a lot of us don’t do a fantastic
job at staying in touch. While the default decision that a consumer might
make is just to go with the agent they used in the past. If somebody new came
along, they would switch. They’d switch sides. It happens all the
time. We think about that stat, 70% of people said they would use their agent
again. They said they would definitely use their agent again but only 25% actually
did. There’s that 50%. You don’t want to be the agent that those clients are getting stolen from. You want to be the agent that is stealing those clients
by going and doing the door knocking, open houses, going to networking events. Talk
to other people in your office about what works really well in your market,
what’s worked really well for them? You have to remember, a lot of agents that you might talk to in the office have a pretty good book of business. They’re in maintenance
mode where they’re getting a lot of repeat and referral business.They might
be relying on some web leads but they know how they built their business up
and that’s kind of the first place I would go. If you’ll remember at the very
beginning of the webinar, we talked about the first question to ask yourself is –
what do I know I should be doing that I’m not already doing? That’s where you
should start. I used to think that I was really good at hiring and training
salespeople and team members and then I read this book called Who: The A Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart & Randy Street. I had a pretty good track record for hiring
people but it wasn’t perfect. In the Who book that I read, the author
recommends reference interviews with former bosses and co-workers so I started implementing reference interviews. That’s a great example of
what I already knew I should be doing but I’d never done it because I’ve never
really come up with a script, I’d never researched reference interviews. They
were uncomfortable for me because I just didn’t know how to do them. Once I implemented them, now I absolutely do two, three, four reference interviews before I
ever hire anybody and it has saved me time and time again. Those fundamentals are really where you should start if you’re wanting to build up your
business. The key is – do not neglect to keep awesome records. That discipline of
keeping records will be your freedom in another year or two because you’re gonna
have so many people in your past-client database that you’ve done a really good
job of staying in touch with over the last couple of years. Your repeat and
referral business is gonna be close to 90 or over 90% and then you’re gonna have the business that you’ve always wanted to
have. True business built on relationships, that’s the real key. Let’s
see – using Realvolve for a drip? Realvolve for drip campaigns is pretty simple. Simply have to build a workflow using these templates like we talked about and then you put things in order how you want them to happen. You write the
emails out. Then you decide at what intervals you want something to happen
and then you simply have a workflow start. That can be automatic or you can
manually start those workflows for people. If you want very specific
direction on that, we can walk you through exactly how that happens in Realvolve. By the way, when you get the links to
these, the real estate web lead guide is at and there’s a link in the webinar here and we’ll send it out in an email. You’ll have an opportunity to say
I want to talk to somebody at Realvolve. We will spend 30 minutes to an hour
going over your business with you and showing you exactly how these things
work in Realvolve. If you answer yes I want to talk to somebody at Realvolve, we
will call you so don’t fill that out if you’re not serious about talking with us
because we’re gonna be reaching out. That’s a really good opportunity if you
want to go deep into a lot of exact tactics inside Realvolve. We can go over those with you. By the way, there’s people contributing to this
discussion. Somebody said – you can build up your business by visiting local
businesses, organizing community events. There are so many different ways to
build up your database. I think where a lot of people fall down is not recording
everything that they do. Actually turning people you meet in to those
halfway leads or those full-blown leads for yourself. Let’s see, what other
questions? Michele says – she’d love examples of a potential seller, how
to follow-up with calls, texts, emails, videos. Michele, we have a whole workflow
library in Realvolve that has lots of examples. Some are free,
some are paid workflows that other people have written and contributed. There are agents from around North America that have shared their templates
with the whole Realvolve community. We also have a really powerful Community on
Facebook. Go to Facebook, look for the Realvolve Community and join there. People are open to sharing their ideas. There’s
a lot of really good back and forth between agents all over North America
that talk about exactly that thing but a really good place to start is our workflow library inside Realvolve and you can see lots of examples there. Are there basic templates in Realvolve to get started with workflows? Yes, there are. There are some really simple, basic
workflows that are still very powerful. I wouldn’t say just because
they’re simple and basic doesn’t mean that they’re not powerful. A lot of times
the most simple and basic things are the most successful. You can take a look at a lot. You can browse the library. If you don’t have a Realvolve account
and you’re interested in talking with us, we can show you some examples, we can
show you the workflow library. Just let us know. Go to one of those links
that we shared in the control panel there and request that we call you and
we will call you and share those things with you. Any other questions? We’re about
six minutes past the hour here but I’m happy to hang around for a few more
minutes if anybody has any questions. Otherwise, go download that lead guide
that has all the information from the webinar here and let us know how we did.
Love to get feedback from you. If you want to share feedback or ask any other
questions, you can always email us: [email protected] That’s [email protected] We’re happy to answer your questions there as well. Those
emails come to me as well as a couple other team members so I’ll see that and
I try to respond personally to almost every single request that will come in.
Any other questions? Last call before we wrap it up here. I really appreciate
everybody’s feedback. I really appreciate everybody engaging with us today, asking
questions and most importantly filling out those poll questions. It really helps
us to get a sense for what’s going on from
the people that are actually on the ground working hard day in and day out
to advance their real estate business and advance the industry so we really
appreciate you. We’re here to help in any way that we possibly can so reach out to
us. We’d love to chat with you about what’s going on in your neck of the
woods and how Realvolve might be able to help you with some of these proactive
activities with workflows, with templates and to just get better intelligence into
your database and into your relationships. Thanks so much for joining
everybody. I hope you have a fantastic day. We’ll see on the next one. Bye for now.

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