Today’s red-hot residential real estate market has agents competing for leads more aggressively than ever before. Not only is inventory low and demand high, but right now there are more real estate agents than homes for sale — another unforeseen byproduct of the pandemic, as more people decided to enter the industry to make a living.
Simply put, competition is steep. Every interaction, every consultation, and every listing presentation counts if you want to expand your client list this year.
Buyers and sellers are carefully scrutinizing the agents they interview to find just the right one. Even a small negative experience that might’ve been overlooked in the past may be reason enough for someone to pick another agent. Ensure you’re the choice agent by avoiding these five missteps.
1. Your response time is too slow
There are a number of factors at play here. First, with properties moving quickly in this market, buyers and sellers are looking for an agent who can act fast. To know whether that’s you, leads are judging your response time.
If a lead submits an inquiry and doesn’t hear back from you for 5+ hours, they’re going to think it’ll always take you hours to respond to them. You can bet they’ll start contacting others, and they’ll select the agent who responds quickest.
A fast, less-than-an-hour response is a high expectation, but it’s the expectation nonetheless, and that’s because of the world we live in. The speed of digital transactions has made us all accustomed to lightning-fast service.
Finally, not all leads will be ready to transaction right away. If you leave them waiting too long, their cold feet could catch up and convince them to delay buying or selling. Then you may not be able to get them on the line at all. However, had you replied quicker, it’s possible you could’ve made them feel more comfortable in their initial decision to start the process.
2. Interactions have not met expectations
No two clients are the same, but you can likely gauge their personalities — laidback, sensitive, nervous — and adjust your approach accordingly. Otherwise, they might instantly recognize that it’s not a good fit and move on to someone else.
Let’s say you consider yourself a “shark” because you’re not afraid to be assertive and a bit aggressive with your negotiation tactics. That plays well with some clients, but maybe other prospects need a more nurturing approach because they don’t want to feel pushed into a deal. If you can sense the frustration, try to re-calibrate and ask clients what they are comfortable with. There’s a delicate balance between making sure they are ready to move quickly in a hot market and making sure they feel heard along the way.
Similarly, make sure you set expectations right off the bat for how intense the process might be. You don’t want a potential buyer or seller to feel like their expectations weren’t met because you didn’t sit down with them and set the stage.
If you think that either of these scenarios may describe you, ask your colleagues, past clients, and even lost leads if they would be willing to give you honest feedback.
3. You aren’t easily found on Google
Buying and selling a home are among the most important financial decisions we’ll make. As such, you can bet that consumers will be researching any agent they are considering working with. Nowadays, that research starts on Google — the most-used search engine in the country.
If a potential lead types in your name and can’t find much about you on the first page of search results, what do you think their impression will be? Probably, “Is this agent still in business?” Or, “Is this agent any good?”
Prospects will choose your competitors instead of you because they appear when leads search for them, providing instant credibility and trust.
Make sure you are easily found on Google by maintaining SEO on your real estate website, updating your Google business profile regularly, and taking out ads that are featured prominently at the top of the search results page, like Google’s Local Services Ads.
4. Leads forgot about you
How are you ensuring that you stay top of mind after acquiring new leads? As we mentioned earlier, not everyone will be ready to transact right away. Some might get cold feet, while others just need to sort out some details before jumping in. Either way, you need to stay visible so that leads get back in touch with you when they do become ready to buy or sell.
Here are a few ways to stay top of mind:
- Add new leads to your digital ads’ custom audience list so your ads are served to them whenever possible.
- Include leads in your regular emails, such as e-newsletters and local market reports.
- Check in with a personal text or email to ask if you can answer questions or help with next steps.
5. You didn’t prove your expertise
Consider the elevator pitch you give when you first connect with new leads. Do you exude confidence, effectively communicate your real estate expertise, and help leads understand how you outshine competitors?
If not, all it will take is a convincing conversation with another agent — or even an intriguing advertisement — to change someone’s mind.
Don’t take personal referrals for granted, either. Just because a former client or mutual connection made an introduction doesn’t mean that lead has committed to working with you. Prove your expertise when you speak to them, be easy to find on Google when they search for your name, and take the necessary steps to stay top of mind if they aren’t ready to transact.
How Homesnap can help
Concierge makes it really easy for leads to find you on Google. Through this service, you’ll unlock access to Google’s Local Services Ads and the coveted Google Screened badge, so your ads appear even higher than paid search ads. Plus, since Concierge includes Homesnap Pro+, you’ll also receive a custom, branded website and professionally managed Google business profile. Plus, we’ll add your leads, prospects, and sphere to the custom audience list for all your digital ads so you are top of mind when they’re ready to buy or sell.
See how else Concierge helps agents stand out against competition.