Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lead Conversion Agent - The Name has changed, the position is the same!

I know lately I have been talking a lot about the LCA position. I've recently changed the name of Lead Conversion Administrator to Lead Conversion Agent. Why you may ask? Well we recently ran into an issue with the IRS because they believe that mainly because of our name of our LCA (and because we were giving them a base pay), that they are administrators not Independent Contractors. This of course has major tax implications so we decided to change the name to better describe what an LCA is in reality. We continuing to discuss this with the IRS, but why leave things to chance.

Why am I so committed to the LCA program? It's quite simple, I know that the more people we contact, the more loyalty we earn. The loyalty we earn will turn into more sales and more customers for life. In reality, our Agents are only making money if they are out in the field showing homes, taking listings and writing offers and contracts. Our LCA position is the future of our business. It will eventually take the Agent out of the lead conversion role and more into the Realtor role. After all, most of our Agents are great Realtors, but that doesn't make them great lead converters.

Recently we have been able to really start refining the program. Once we started with our new phone calling system, the MOJO system (you can check it out at, in November, we knew we were taking the LCA position to the next level. Now we know we can contact the volume of people needed to generate more showings which in turn means more sales. However, we were still not converting the number of showings I wanted. This past week we figured out another piece of the puzzle. We realized that it wasn't the volume, but better deciding which leads to call.

Our LCA's were spending most of their time calling our Good phone number no contact leads. We had thought that if we can contact these we will be able to save a ton of leads. The program worked well. However, we realized this past week that this category, our prospecting category, should be just called 1 week per month. We also realized we have two categories that really are our most active leads, our shown property leads and our calendared leads. These are the two categories with the most potential to get people in our Agent's cars today.

So here is our new calling schedule for an average month:

Week 1 - Calling our Good Phone/No Contact

Week 2 and 3 - Calling our most active leads that have yet to schedule a time to come see homes.

Week 4 - Calling our shown property did not buy and our calendared categories. This is done the 4th week of the month confirming those leads who booked for the following month first, and then the shown property leads. Recently we added the ability to search our database based on leads that have saved listings along with opened their emails in the last 30 days. In the last 30 days we had 801 leads that have opened their emails and saved at least 1 listing. We can also search those leads by price range they saved. This is a huge step in building our business.

Is this the final step? I doubt it! Most of you who know me know that I'm not going to rest until we are able to convert at a 10% clip. We are actually a lot closer to that than our numbers show. I believe with more refinement of the program and better use of our 100mph marketing program, we will be able to really take the next leap. We are almost there and I know you will be watching!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to deal with short sales as a buyers agent

If you ar a buyers agent and have a large short sale market as we do here in Melbourne Florida, you are waiting much to long when dealing with short sales. Yes, they are a major part of our market. However, you can show your buyer the benefit of buying a resale or foreclosure over a short sale and you will enjoy commissions soone than later.

One of the main problems I see with short sales is that we may be giving the buyer false hope without realizing it. For instance, how many of you say, "It's's going to take 4-6 months before we have approval"? Even though that doesn't sound bad, it's realy giving the buyer false hope. We are currently averaging 25% approval rate on short sales. The reality is, most of these do not go through because either the bank rejects the offer, the buyer ends up not wanting to wait (and blames you) or the bank wants the seller to hold a note and the seller refuses.

When talking to a prospective buyer, this should be your conversation.

"I understand that you have heard that short sales can be a great deal. In reality, they are not any better deals than foreclosures and resales. In the end, the bank is going to require you pay market value or they will not move forward with the short sale. Here is the problem, you are going to wait 4-6 months and have a 75% chance that the offer will not be approved or that the seller is required to hold a note in which they won't.

I have pulled these homes, which are similar to the short sale you have inquired about both in price, size and condition and based on my experience, buying one of these homes will save you a ton of stress and frustration."

In the end you can say this however you want. But, if you accent the positive, that is what they hear. If nothing else, just say "You are going to wait 6 months to not get approved or the seller walking way because they are asked to hold a note. Whether buying a short sale, foreclosure or resale, you are going to pay market value."

This should help some of you convert your short sale customers to buyeres today! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Remember, it's all in the meaning we give things. Change the meaning and you can change the outcome!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Are Internet Leads Bad?

Internet leads are as good as you want them to be. I believe that about 30-40% of the leads we have are actively looking to buy a home. Whether or not we will be their Agent is really up to how well my Agents, or my systems, help those customers become our customers!

If you read any of my manuals, or my book, you know that I have the 40% rule. We have found that approximately 40% of our leads are active on our site. So why would we not be their Realtor? The main reason is lack of follow up. Most Agents have no system in place to convert these leads (customers) to customers for life (sales).

So are Internet leads bad? NO! The key is are you good enough to convert these leads to sales. In most cases, most Agents, are not good enough. Ok, I can see everyone swearing at me right now from saying they are not good. I don't mean you aren't a good Realtor. I do mean that you may not be good at sales. The most important aspect of sales is prospecting and conversion. If you are not prospecting in Real Estate, you are not maximizing your sales. By collecting Internet leads, you are giving yourself the ability to prospect your own database verse cold calling trying to get appointments.

Personally I would prefer to spend my time calling leads that I have built a relationship by sending listings, just checking in letters and the other info that allows us to stay in touch with our customers. I'm not a big fan of cold calling. I'm a huge fan of warm calling.

If you really want to be successful in your business career by using the Internet, then you can't look at Internet leads as bad. You need to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are doing the best job you can to convert those leads to customers for life.