You might be wondering what is a property-level lead? When we announced the topic for the podcast we had several others chiming in with uncertainty. We’re here to break it all down and give you insight on why property-level leads convert faster.
A property-level lead is an inquiry specifically about an active home for sale or under contract by way of a call, email, text message, or an app download. Unlike marketing such as direct mail or online ads that focus more on getting your business in front of an audience, not a specific property.
Jeff Sibbach and Phil Sexton discussed this topic in their latest podcast. Catch the replay below and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode!
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Breaking Down the Different Types of Leads
There are several different types of leads. A state-level lead is someone who’s looking to move to another state. They may be tired of the weather, they’re retiring, they have a job transfer, etc. State-level leads are typically 3-5 years out from when they’re going to buy.
Once they decide on the state they want to move to, they then start to decide on the city. This is a city-level lead. These leads are still typically a year or so out from making a buying decision.
With either a state or city-level lead, the odds of them staying with you throughout the entire process is slim. Most agents give up nurturing leads that take 1, 2, or 3+ years before they’re ready to go.
So then what happens after a buyer decides what city they want to be in? They get more focused on an area and neighborhood. You may still get a neighborhood-specific lead, but how you ask questions determines what level the lead really is in.
The best lead we get, that isn’t a referral, is when we get a property-level lead. That’s when they are specific about n address. They’re not debating about moving to Florida or Arizona, they’re not trying to decide between Los Angeles or San Francisco, they want to see 123 Main Street, a specific property. Those leads are the closest to making a decision and writing a contract on a property.
Overall, the goal is to get you to pay more attention to property-level leads and ask different (and better) questions. The way you handle a lead leads to a higher conversion rate. Stop spending time on the creation of non-property-level leads. The majority of individual agents trying to create leads waste too much time on general or self-promotion that doesn’t lead to a high conversion rate.
Whereas open houses are a great source for generating property-level leads. Other sources are sign calls, Zillow property-specific leads (tour requests), or a rDigz lead from a sign. These are all examples of property-level leads. These leads are converting at 5-15% and in some cases even as high as 40%.
If property-level leads are converting at super-high rates, why are agents spending so much time on internet leads that convert at 1%? These are leads from Facebook, Instagram, banner ads, or leads that your CRM creates for you when people are searching in an area.
Yes, it’s important to have an online presence and build a base of followers, but not for client conversion. Having a strong presence on Instagram or Facebook is to stay in front of your audience, but what audience is that? Most of the people looking at your profile are other agents from different cities that want you to refer them (or vice-versa). Again, these are not property-level leads and they’ll convert at less than 1%. A better approach to using social media that has proven successful is to help build referrals and grow your sphere of influence.
What we’re talking about with a property-level lead is “meeting new strangers”. What level of “stranger” do you want to meet? Yes, you should spend money, time, and energy working with people who know, like, and trust you. Second to that is getting new business into your pipeline should be focused on generating more property-level leads.
How Do You Get a Property-Level Lead?
These days, apps have replaced phone calls on properties. Buyers can go to their app and pull up all the details they need about a property. They’re no longer calling because of the convenience they have at their fingertips. The phones are ringing less and less, but when they do ring you have to pick up the call.
In addition to the signs currently used to generate property-level leads, we’ve added the rDigz sign riders. So now, rDigz is the app that we post our listings to. In fact, all of the top producers across the country can post their listings to rDigz, get free sign riders, and have a QR code that when the lead scans the code the details about the property come up on the app and that inquiry goes directly to the listing agent.
We use the rDigz sign riders because if a buyer doesn’t want to call to get property details (giving away their phone number), they scan the QR code and get immediate details from the property to see the price, photos, etc. These leads that come in via the app are unbelievably hot. They are out driving by the house. In fact, 93% of people that are ready to buy are driving by a house. So when those leads come in, you should stop, drop, and roll because they’re HOT and qualified. The sales funnel has been executed. The lead is driving by the property, they’re ready to go. You instantly have a “bottom of funnel” lead.
Open houses are not as high as a Zillow, rDigz, or a sign-call. They’re very non-committal. You have to know the right questions to ask. After asking their name, letting them know what brokerage you’re with, you then usually ask if they live in the neighborhood and then if they found the open house on the internet. You might wonder why you’re asking how they heard about the open house. The reason is that you want to know if they’re a property-level lead.
If they saw it on the internet, you know they had to get in their car and drove to the house. You also know immediately what price they’re looking for, how many rooms, if there’s a pool, etc. It tells you a lot of details that you don’t have to ask them because you can assume that the open house they’re at is what they’re looking for. You can start to build a buyer profile based on the specs of the house and they’ll then think you really understand who they are and what they’re looking for in a property.
What’s Your Pitch?
Elite Agents change their pitch and the questions they ask based on the lead that’s come in. You no longer have to waste time understanding their needs. In an open house, you have about 60-90 seconds with a lead. If you wasted 30 seconds telling them about the property specs, you might lose them. Time is ticking.
Last year what we found that when we got a property level lead and asked them when they’d like to see the house, instead of asking about the price, we went from a 20% appointment rate to 70%. When you get a property-level lead, the first question you should ask is “do you have OTHER properties that I can show you right now?”. Any property-level lead, such as a lead from Zillow, a sign call, or rDigz, you should ask them right away “when would you like to see the property?”, and then stop and let them speak.
A lot of agents start a conversation with a lead with “fluff”… where are you from, what are you looking for? Don’t ask questions that lead to answers that aren’t helpful. Knowing where they’re from has nothing to do with converting a lead. It’s hard to build rapport in the 2 minutes you usually have with someone. Instead, set the appointment where you then get an additional 15-30 minutes at the property to build rapport. First, you service the client, and THEN you build rapport.
Another question you can ask during an open house is “what was it about this house that brought you in (to THIS house) today?” Anything that they tell you about why they came to the open house is helpful in the sales process. Simply asking if they’d like to see another house may result in a no response. But if you ask what brought them into THIS house, you then have a better chance of selling them on the next appointment that you’re trying to meet them at.
Usually, the best open house strategy is to have two people at the property. This way, if someone is interested in viewing another property, you can take them right then and there and not abandon the open house. By doing so, you can increase your conversion by 40-50%.
A New Strategy?
We recently discovered that when we add a listing in the MLS and check the box next to “seller directs property to be excluded from the internet” the property doesn’t get syndicated to the lead generation websites. This option doesn’t exist in the coming soon phase (so the property is NOT syndicated, it’s simply inside the MLS). If that box IS checked, those property-level leads are then going to all the internet marketers because they’ll show up on those websites ahead of your own. YOU are not getting leads from people interested in YOUR property.
Say you have a sign on the property. A buyer pulls up wanting to know the price of the property so they go to their favorite website (such as Realtor.com, Zillow, etc.) to pull up details about the property. They find the price, photos, specs, etc. The buyer has no need to reach out to an agent to get those details. Sellers want to make sure their property is on those sites because that’s where they shop to buy their next house. They know this is valuable during the active phase of their listing.
So why isn’t the world of real estate agents (or buyers/sellers) saying that as soon as the property goes pending or under contract, why do we leave it out there? Why do we leave the photos or the price out there?
Our new strategy is when our listings go under contract, we are going to exclude them from syndication and IDX. This removes the photos from public websites. When you uncheck the syndication options while the listing is still in a pending state, the listing drops off the RETS feed (how the data goes from the MLS to all of the syndicated sites), and the syndicated sites will no longer display the listing.
Agents can still make offers on the pending property as the property is still in the MLS. The key difference is the consumer will no longer be able to go to their favorite platforms, such as Zillow or Realtor.com when they’re in front of the sign and get all the property details. In turn, this creates more sign calls or rDigz downloads.
We don’t NEED to leave all the details publicly on the web after a property goes under contract. Why not restrict those details so that you need a real estate license or a REALTOR® membership in order to get into the MLS to see the details of those properties. This is where we’re losing our leads!