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The No. 1 Reason Cold Leads Never Warm Up

York Baur

CEO of MoxiWorks. Start-up and turnaround exec with a unique blend of general management, sales and marketing and technology skills.

How many times in your life have you felt like just a number? In your classes at university? At the car dealership? When you’re speaking to a bot over the phone? When you inquire about something and never hear back? Chances are, that made you feel pretty small, and not in a good way. When we feel like we aren’t being treated with a certain level of respect and decency, we easily feel brushed off and are unlikely to willingly move forward.

To many of us in the real estate profession, leads often feel like just a number, or something cold as their position in the sales pipeline suggests. The truth is, leads are people — living, breathing humans. Remembering that and turning it into a mantra for actions and tasks moving forward is central to conversion success.

A Broken Model

For an industry that’s all about people, it’s a wonder why conversion rates in real estate are often estimated to be so low. The way the technology industry has treated lead generation at the brokerage is essentially as if the brokerage said, “I’d like a car,” and the tech industry opened up an auto parts store where the broker had to go buy all of the parts and build their own car, when all they wanted in the first place was to get from point A to point B — which, for brokers, equates to highly qualified leads delivered to their agents.

Meanwhile, the rest of the industry still tends their auto parts store in the vain hope that after decades of trying, something will be different this time. As we all have heard, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Here’s The One Thing Cold Leads Need That They Aren’t Getting

For anyone paying attention to their brokerage's numbers, it’s easy to deduce that real estate leads — people — are not getting the love they deserve when it comes to being contacted right away, if they are contacted at all.

Make it your mantra: Leads need love. They need to be treated like real people, not just numbers. Leads need to be properly nurtured within a given time frame so that when they raise their hand and are ready to transact, the agent and brokerage that’s been nurturing them is the one they’ll use.

The Obvious Drawbacks

Prospects need to be qualified. Leads need to be nurtured. Calls need to be made. It takes a lot of time to nurture properly. The problem is, agents often don’t have the time, which is why many leads aren’t followed up with immediately or at all. Agents are out meeting with clients, showing homes, working on marketing, attending office meetings, working on ongoing professional development, holding open houses — the list could go on forever. The fact is that agents can’t do it all, nor should they.

Find The Time Or Find Help

Leads (people) need to be prioritized. However, with a sphere full of people you're already taking to coffee, catching up with at parties, showing homes to and constantly trying to stay top of mind for, it's obvious why it's near impossible to tack another massively time-consuming task onto the list.

I recommend picking 30 minutes to one hour a day that is solely dedicated to lead follow-up. While you might miss the ideal five-minute window on some of these, the fact that you're still following up within a short time frame is key.

If that isn't realistic, then outsourcing is going to be your best friend. Whether it's going out and finding an assistant or using a service, there are many options out there that can make lead follow-up worth the time and money. You can also ask your brokerage what they may be willing to offer for help in the leads department, and you may be surprised by the answer.

Whatever you decide, know that leads, when treated properly, can and will be a huge driver for new business, whether you're looking to scale or hit that lofty year-end goal you made for yourself.

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