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I have a question for you!
First of all, here’s my first question for you. Have you heard that if you don’t respond to a lead within the first five minutes that you’ve lost the lead?
We are going to actually dive into that whole idea that if you don’t respond to a lead within the first five minutes that you’ve got like a hundred times less of a chance of actually capturing that lead or converting the lead, etc.
We are going to dive into the truth of that, the actual truth of that.
So today we are going to talk about have you heard that if you don’t respond to a lead within the first five minutes your chances of converting the lead drops by one hundred times?
I’m sure you have been told that it’s a real study, that it’s real data and we need to live by that. But we’re going to dive into the truth, the reality of this whole thing, alright? So while the data on the surface is factual, the reality is very, very, very different.
Alright, so the myth of the “fastest to respond wins the lead,” I need to talk to you about this, okay?
Here’s the thing – first of all, when we put out this expectation, when we keep telling people that if you don’t respond to the lead in the first five minutes your odds of converting it drop by a hundred times.
First of all, we continue to perpetuate this idea that creates unrealistic expectation.
Unrealistic Expectations From The Public
They think we are a human trash can available 24/7. We are not. We are professionals.
At least I hope we are professionals, right? So we know what the ins and outs of the transactions.
We know the pitfalls.
We know the way things are.
We know legality.
We know how to negotiate.
I realize that some of us are much better at this than others but the more transactions that you get into, the more transactions you do, the higher, the more your knowledge is.
So in other words, by being a human trash can, available 24/7, we have created this ridiculous perception from the public right that we are always available, that you are a twenty-four hour Walmart or a twenty-four hour convenience store. No!
Here’s the next thing though. Here’s the biggest unrealistic expectation that we have created by perpetuating this idea that if we don’t respond to the lead within five minutes or less, we don’t get it. We’ve created unrealistic expectations from ourselves.
The reason that most agents don’t follow up with leads after the first five minutes is because they’re told you won’t get it unless you follow up within the first five minutes and so we are torn with this idea of “well, I don’t want to be tied to this guy 24/7 my phone all the time” but then how do I do this?
We are sold by vendors this “well, you should hire an ISA, an inside sales agent.” You should hire people to do that piece of the responding of the lead for you. In other words, you should pay more money, pay more of your commission, hire another service and create an even bigger barrier between you and that lead, which is a “oh, I’m just a lead. I’m not a human being.”
How & When To Respond To A Lead
All of this is creating an issue so what I want to do is share with you exactly how and when you should be responding to your leads and I want to show you how, if you don’t respond in the first five minutes but you do what I am going to be teaching you today you’re going to be guaranteed to convert your leads.
Seriously, that’s what we are going to do today.
So, my big thing is that we’ve been told so many times that “the early bird gets the worm” so we give up. We think “well why bother. I won’t get it anyway.”
But the reality is, the reality is, the agent who creates a trail, a long trail that extends through the customer journey, the customer life journey, they are the ones who win in the end.
Do You Know What Beats Speed?
Do you know what beats speed? Do you know beats that “five minute aspect of answering a lead? Do you know what beats that? Can you comment here? Do you know what beats the “respond in five minutes or less or you lose the lead?”
It is one thing, one thing only. Tell me what beats it if you know.
If you don’t know, guess. Just guess for me because this is a big deal. This is a big deal that we have people saying “you got to respond within five minutes and you got to do this and you got to do that.” And it’s a big deal because it’s a conflict with how we want to run our businesses.
It’s a conflict with, you know, what really is working, what’s really happening. It’s a conflict with the idea, with the concept that we actually need to be building relationships. I’ll tell you right now and I’ll tell you what it is but I want to know if you guys know what beats speed?
What beats the respond in five minutes or less or you lose the lead?
If you know comment here or guess. I just want to see your guesses. Tell me your guesses below.
So there is one thing and one thing that beats speed.
Consistency beats speed.
Consistency trumps creativity.
Consistency beats speed every single time.
Long term relationship building beats speed. If you are consistent, if you contact them, I don’t care if it’s a day later you really should contact them within the first day, however, you should not compromise your family days and the days that you aren’t going to be working. You should not compromise those just to respond to a lead. Absolutely not. And most of you all are solo entrepreneurs, you are solo agents, maybe you have one team member. Most of you are solo agents and so it’s ridiculous to think that you should be available 24/7.
Now, should you hustle? Yes, you are building a business but not the hustle of “let’s throw everything else to the side and just do the business,” alright?
You need to be consistent so consistency beats speed. Long term relationship building beats speed so these two elements are exactly why very, very few agents have a “come list me” business.
Everyone else is always scrambling and yes, even the big guys. They are scrambling. They are trying to figure out how to convert more. They are trying to figure out how to generate more. They are adding more team members. They are spending more money. They’re adding more lead generation. They think that they have to stay top of mind. They think they have to be constantly buying new tools etc., hiring ISA’s, doing all this stuff.
Set Up Your Business To Provide Value
If you set yourself up with a business in a way that provides value that when somebody reaches out to you, now this is just general, there are different levels of leads when I talk about this.
When you’ve got somebody who’s texting you directly or emailing you directly, this is a direct one. That is a hotter lead then all the others and you should respond. You should have something set up to respond to them so that they know so that you can engage with them, right?
Now, I’m talking about all of the leads where they opt-in to your home value ad or they opt-in to your IDX or they pick up a download that you’ve got where they opt-in to your email list.
Those leads are the ones where they’re saying “respond within five minutes, respond within five minutes.” Even a sign call. Sign calls are a little bit different but we’ve even got sign calls where we responded later that day or the next day. The way you do this is you create consistency. Your goal is to build a relationship and you are always thinking from the next step of the journey.
Now, when somebody is opting into your IDX and say they give you their phone number, you do not have to respond to them within the first five minutes.
You don’t. You don’t.
I have proven it. Four thousand transactions I’ve proven it. Not all four thousand transactions had IDX available because IDX was not available at the beginning of our real estate business but several thousand transactions did.
You don’t need to respond within the first five minutes, at least not via the phone. You can set it up so that your email does it for you so you don’t need to buy into that “must respond within the first five minutes”.
Again, if someone is calling you on a sign call, yeah, you probably should respond to them or set that phone number up to something that is going to respond right away.
If they are physically calling you or if they are physically texting you and it’s not a mass opt-in, those are different. You need to respond to those right away because those are typically conversions from other things that you are doing.
So hopefully I have got that clear enough for you. Do you understand the difference? Do you understand the different levels of the leads? These are real people behind that are behind the word “lead.” There are real people behind that content so if somebody actually calls you, if somebody manually texts you, then you need to respond as soon as possible.
Again if Sundays are your day off or if Wednesdays are your day off or whatever, whatever your day off is, if you have that as a day off, keep it.
Honor yourself. Honor your commitment.
Arrange for someone cover for you or if you don’t have anybody to cover you, then arrange for a one hour period to answer those calls. Make sure it’s okay with your family, because that is the priority. You are doing this for your family, okay? And none of this “oh, my family will understand” baloney. They do not understand when you take away the time that you said you would spend with them – they basically see you as a liar and someone who doesn’t keep their word.
If you say I’m going to spend that time with you but then you are on your phone answering it, this is a whole different rant of mine but I’m not going to go there today. But if you tell your family that you are going to spend with them and then you are on your phone, you are not honorable. You are not honoring your word and you are lying to them.
So set this up in away that will work for you. I am specifically talking today about the leads that are not those. I’m talking about all of the other leads we get. The ones that everybody brags about getting five hundred leads a month or a thousand leads a month or whatever and they don’t convert any of them- those. I’m talking about those.
They don’t convert them because they don’t flippin’ call every single one of them within five minutes apparently because that’s the rule, right?
So here’s the thing. When you have those leads, you set yourself up, you set up an automated email for those leads initially and depending on the lead and how it comes in and then you nurture these people.
Call them if they give you a number. Call them the first next day when you do your calls. Email them your first next day you’re on doing emails. Text them your first next day that you are on doing text and then keep doing it.
Keep giving them value.
Don’t just keep texting them and calling them and say “do you want to see a house? Do you want to schedule an appointment?”
Always Think About The Customer Journey
Give them value! Think about where they might be in the customer journey.
The reason that the “big guys,” and everyone else too is struggling…the reason that 87% of agents are out of the business in five years or less is because they haven’t figured out how to build a business that doesn’t compete with other agents, that doesn’t compete with the ZRT’S, Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia’s of the world, that doesn’t compete with the supposed tech disrupter.
Reach Out To Your Community
Do you know the one thing that you have that will absolutely annihilate all of those from being even a smidgen of a competition in your business?
The one thing you have is a relationship.
For example, I’m just going to say this. We are actually thinking about putting our house on the market because it’s appreciated so much over the last year but here’s the thing.
Maybe people who are thinking about that because the market has gone up this is something you can provide to your people.
Here’s the thing. If we do that, we would owe capital gains because we would sell it before our year is up, right, I mean, before two years is up, right?. We would owe capital gains.
Have you reached out, sent out and talked to your email community about if you sell your house in under two years what that means for them? Which capital gains do they pay? Do you know it’s a different capital gains number depending on their annual household income? Do you know how to help them reduce that capital gains number?
These are pieces in the process for people who are wanting to sell quickly, resell quickly.
What are different things that it means? We’ve looked. We’re like could we buy another house? We don’t care. We’re thinking smaller now, see, I told you we wouldn’t stay in this house forever. There is no such thing as a forever home. There’s just not. But we are thinking “okay, if we do this, we want to go smaller.” What does smaller look like? How much do we want to spend?
So we are thing through all these things. That is a thought process that you could be helping people with through your emails.
There are people in different stages so my point to all of this is that if you want a business that does not have any competition, doesn’t have the market as competition, doesn’t have ZRT’s of the world as competition, doesn’t have tech disrupters as competition, doesn’t have other agents as competition, then you need to start revealing you being you and sharing the journey with people and bringing them into a relationship with you so that you get real, actual “hey, come list me” calls where you don’t have to beat that five minute deadline or whatever it is.
Because you know what? We fought with this, well, we didn’t fight with this all the time but I just laughed every time somebody talked about sharing their perfect “expired” system or their awesome “expired” system at all the conferences, etc.that I went too. I would listen to it and watch and I would just go “oh my gosh, I am not going to do that!”
Meaning, we already had a system in place, a super system. We converted a lot of expired listings. We already had a system in place and that system really worked for how we wanted to do business and converted for us.
But then I would go and I would listen to these people go “well you need to like the minute it goes you need to get on the expired list at 8 am every single day,” or 7 am, or whatever the heck it is and then you need to show up at their door or you need to be the first one to make a phone call.
That’s what all the things teach. I’m not going to say the names but that’s what all the things teach, that you got to be there and I’m like “yeah, so they can get fifty thousand phone calls and not even be interested in Realtors and know that we are a whole bunch of used car salesmen.”
Hello! Hello! Cold calling is you chasing people. You want people to chase you.
You want to actually be seen as valuable, not being an annoying pest that they don’t want to talk too. You can’t get, I mean, people who think that if you learn all this scripting stuff, that you are going to be able to build this relationship in thirty seconds or less or an elevator speech, thirty seconds or less.
Why You Need Consistency
It is not speed that you need. It is consistency that you need. You need to be able to consistently give value. You need to be able to consistently be able to help people through their journey and not just the six months of them thinking of buying or selling.
The fact is if I was a part of someone’s real estate email community right now with the market going up, I would definitely, if I was running my own list right now, like I used too, I would definitely be addressing the different thoughts that are going through people’s heads in my emails because some people and I’m not even talking about people who have had a fast appreciation and want to sell right away or maybe want to try “time” the market.
I’m talking about the kind of people who are like
We know we would want to downsize already like one year into this. We already knew we wanted to downsize and I’m like “okay, can we get a house for the price range that I want to do” because we are like “I want to downsize, we want to travel more again.” Chuck is going to be performing outside of the area more so we have different ideas of what we want to do but the general process is – could you answer those questions for people? Should you be? Absolutely.
So when people are opting in to your IDX or to your home-value and “you need to respond to your lead in five minutes or less,” are you actually giving them value or are you just hounding them with the first phone call?
Are You Building Trust?
Because let’s be real too. We give up after the first or second contact. I’ve seen it over and over again. “I’ve sent an email or I sent two emails and they never responded. I’m waiting for them to respond.” What the heck are you waiting for?
Answer a question for them! And you’re like “but they never asked a question!” But you know what questions there are! If you have been in real estate for like three seconds you know the questions that people ask- answer them to say “XYZ had this question. Thought this might be valuable to you too!” Answer! Super easy to do that.
If you are not doing that and you don’t have that consistency of building a relationship- yep, they’re right. You are not going to get the lead.
You are going to lose, You are not going to convert the lead but if you want to build a business that does not compete with the ZRT’s, the agents the tech disrupters….I say the supposed “tech disrupters” or real estate agent industry disrupters because you have realized that for the last twenty-three years.
That’s all I’ve heard. “We are going to change the way real estate is done. We are going to let people just go make an offer direct. We are going to do this or do that or go do that” and yet through it all, all of this “disruption” through everything, it’s still about the same percentage of people who do it themselves and the same percentage of people who don’t, Right?
Because it’s emotional and there’s a lot to know. It is not just selling.
Do you know if you actually need title insurance even though “a lot of people don’t need it” but still, what kind of insurance do they need?
The amount of information that is needed to make sure you get it right most people just want to somebody to take care of it for them. Someone they trust. Have you built that trust? Are you someone they can trust?
Because I guarantee you that a thirty second call, getting them thirty seconds into it, it does not. That is why so many people, so many agents show up and show a property and they are always told “get a buyer’s agreement first.”
So many people show up and show properties and buyer’s use someone else or even when you get a buyer’s agreement, they use someone else. Are you really going to go sue someone? Some people have. Most people don’t.
So how do you even eliminate that? How do you eliminate that issue? You consistently, consistently, consistently build a relationship with them. You help them. You answer questions that they haven’t even voiced or “oh, I didn’t realize that was something I even needed to think about!”
Tell them what to look for, partner with a home inspector. Not a paid partner and ask them “what are some things if you were looking for a home that you would be looking for? That you would avoid like the plague?” You know, different things like that.
Give Value|Build Relationships|Ask Questions
I came out with a video a week or two ago that talked about how to determine if a vendor was legit or not, like someone who is a real estate vendor. Someone who is trying to teach you a class or sell you a class or sell you a course or sell you a membership or sell you a tool. I gave you very clear ideas on how to determine if they were legit or if they don’t know what they are doing and just trying to get a piece of the pie. I did that. Are you doing that? How to know if the house you are buying is right for you and the different things to look for….inspector inside secrets.
Are you giving that value? Are you doing that? See, consistency, consistently giving value, consistently building relationships, consistently asking questions will beat, every single time, someone, people who try to get to the lead fast. Yep. Guaranteed. They do. I have over four thousand transactions to prove it. I have multiple members in Leads and Leverage that have done this and know this to prove it.
In other words, this is contrary to what most people are teaching in the industry but what is being taught in the industry is actually showing 87% of agents are out of the business in five years or less. Huh! I wonder if what we are being taught, what we are listening to and what we are trying to go for is exactly why so few agents make it to the five year mark.
And after the five year mark, do you know how much of that 13% are gone? 80%.
So in other words, these agents, even if they do get some short wins and success, they are not sustainable. They are not building a business. They don’t understand it and they don’t keep going. This is a big deal, big deal so do not fall under the rose colored glasses or whatever that you have to respond to your leads in five minutes or less.
Now again, let me clarify this,.I am not talking about a direct phone call. I’m not talking about a direct text. I am talking about your IDX sign ups maybe with a phone number, your home-value ad signups, maybe even again with a phone number.
Even when you do expired marketing you do not need to be the first on their doorstep. You know what we did? We had a mailing campaign. It had eight pieces of mail, direct mail because back the it was not a lot of email and even as we progressed, I’m not going email to them unless they opt-in but it was a direct mail campaign.
We carried no less than eighty listings at any given time. When we were in a slump, when we were in a slump, that’s what we carried. 90% of them were expired. That’s flat, plain and simple. That’s what our numbers were.
That’s what we did and all we did was a direct mail campaign. I did not call. I did not compete and over the course of that campaign we gave value. We educated, we taught, not like the baloney of “it’s your agent” or not like the baloney of “it’s their marketing.” Like seriously, we taught them, we taught them “here’s what you can do to improve the odds. Here’s what you can do to make sure you get this price. Here’s how you need to price, etc.” We taught them over the course of that mailing.
We educated consistently over time,and because they got to know us over the course of this mailing and then we continued on. Do you know how many expired listings we would get a year later from that campaign because we kept snail mailing them twice a month, every single month over time? And they got to know us?
Yes! That’s how over time you get the lead. That’s how you convert it. That’s how you get a phone call that says “okay, we are ready. We’ve been getting your mailings. We’ve been getting your emails or we’ve been getting whatever and we are ready to sell our house now.” That’s how you do it. It’s not about “speed the lead.” It’s about consistency. Absolutely, hands down that’s what it is.
What Are You Going To Do Next?
What was most useful for you? I want to know what was most useful for you? What are you going to take from today and implement? If you can share that with me, what is the first thing that you are going to do? Are you going to think through something? Are you going to plan something? Are you going to do something?
Tell me in the comments here what that is for you today! I would love that if you would help me know how I can help you. I know, I get comments from you telling me and I’m like “yes, that needs to be another episode!” What can I do to help you today?
So let me know in the comments here and thank you very much.
Have an amazing day!
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