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— by Tristan Ahumada

5 Simple Questions To Ask ALL Your Inbound Leads

Inbound leads usually come from two main sources: Signs and Ads. Signs can be “or sale” signs, “open house” signs, “corner” signs or other signs. With ads it could be magazine ads, postcards, newspapers or online leads. In the last few years we find most inbound leads are coming from the internet.

51% of buyers found their home online in 2016, according to NAR. Most real estate agents I speak to, across the US, tell me that they’ve purchased online leads or are purchasing them now. Even in the Lab Coat Agents Facebook group we find “online leads” to be a common topic. I find that one of the biggest challenges when speaking to online leads is asking the “right” questions, regardless of where the inbound lead comes from.

I’ve listened to agents talk to incoming leads. I’ve listened to incoming sign calls, online leads, ad calls, etc… and I’ve also personally been on thousands of those calls. The truth is that it can get pretty “nasty” very quickly. The most common thing I’ve seen is when agents come across too strongly at the beginning of the call. Some agents are still of the mindset that they can close strongly on the first call so they go at it hard and most of the time come across too tough for most people. I think Bob Dylan said it best, “The Times They Are Changin” – we aren’t in the era of hard core door to door sales people anymore. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work as much as it used to.

It’s time we change the way we approach inbound leads. In high school I had a few different telemarketing jobs and one of them involved me knocking on doors. I also sold ink cartridges for printers, windows, and also called to do surveys for the Nielsen TV ratings. I learned at a young age that talking to a potential client is a sensitive process and it involves two main things. Number 1 is to make sure to ask the “right” questions and number 2 is to shut up and listen after you ask those questions.

When I was a telemarketer I remember reading the computer screen prompting me what to say next and the questions to ask. I had a script in front of me so I wouldn’t forget to ask the important questions. Sometimes I would tweak the words on the screen and I would always use a kind tone to sound more sincere on the phone. When I got into real estate a few years later I brought the same tonality when I went to door knock and when I made all my calls to my leads. More importantly I tracked what questions were more effective with the clients I would meet.

Over the last decade of calling inbound leads I have come up with a set of questions that helps me understand the client better. Here we go…

1. How can I help you

When I get an inbound call or I make a call to inbound online lead I make sure to start with one question I after I introduce myself. That’s, “How can I help you?” Once you open up with that question people usually tell you what they need and if you need to probe a little more be gentle and ask, “What are you looking for a single story?” Make sure when you ask the initial questions that you shut up and listen. The first few seconds and minutes is all about building rapport. People will begin to trust you more when you listen to their wants and needs and ask questions about what they are looking so that it validates their needs, “3 bedrooms, got it, are you also looking for an office or a den?”

2. When do you want to do this by? 

Many times we go through a whole conversation with out asking about the client’s timeline. It’s important to know when a buyer wants to make a move so you know how much effort you need to put in. If they want to do something in 5 years then you know that it’s a nurture leads, but if they want to buy this week you better get on it and pull out all the stops. This is a perfect lead question to the next question, which I feel is the most important question.

3. What’s going to happen then to make you want to purchase/sell?

I ask this question a lot. When I’m calling expireds, FSBO’s, past clients, my sphere etc… Once the client answers the question it gives us a clear picture of what they want to do and why. It gives us their motivation and we can continually visit that motivation through the relationship with that client.

4. Do you need to sell your home in order to buy (or do you need to buy a home in another area after you sell here)?

Sometimes buyers are sellers and sellers are buyers, but you will never know unless you ask this question. This is the question that is often missed when talking to buyers. Agents often forget to ask if a buyer needs to sell before they buy. This is an easy question to ask yet it can double your payday, don’t forget to ask this one.

5. What’s your price range? 

Usually this question has been answered under #1, but not always. If you’ve gotten this far without the client answering this question it’s the perfect time to ask because it’s a set up question to this: “How did you come up with that price range?”  Their response is usually, “I kind of have an idea because of I used an online mortgage calculator” or something like that. This sets up the perfect response by you, “Great. As good as those are, I’m going to have my banker call you so that he can give you all the loan options you have. There are so many programs out there and I just want to make sure you find the right one. He’ll be calling you at 5:30pm is that ok?”

Give these a try then come back and tell us in the Facebook Group how they worked for you.

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