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On Converting Leads and Building Relationships

Mar 21, 2018 12:07:48 PM

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Early last year I met with an agent who told me that she had tried every single lead-generating scheme that she could possibly try. They never yielded any tangible results for her. She wanted to know what she was doing wrong, especially since her own money was involved in acquiring said leads.

We went through an analysis: she wanted to know if she was calling them fast enough because, according to some statistics, you should be calling a lead within 3 minutes or less. We looked at her follow-up program. It was specific and well-organized. We looked at the different drip campaigns she had set up. Again, no fault there. Everything was set up appropriately, with no real deficiency that I could see. Her system was flawless. She received leads from her company and followed up with them, doing everything absolutely right. The system was solid and the quality of leads she received was great. So what was missing?

What are your goals?

As we were still going through her follow-up plans and other metrics, I stopped and asked her a simple question:  

“Tell me what your goal is with all of this. What is it that you’re looking to do?" 

“I just want to convert these leads, close them and move onto the next ones.”

This agent, like many of us, was driven, ready to conquer, and an absolute winner when it came to process-driven tasks. She was prospecting for conversion and business opportunity. Once the deal closed, it was on to the next one as quickly as possible.

Prospecting for relationships

I have my own issues with using the term “lead” when describing people, but that’s not the point. When you prospect for leads, you're really prospecting for metrics, conversion statistics, ROI and all these fancy business terms that we love to use often. Instead, have you ever wondered what is is like to prospect for relationships?  

I am not talking about superfluous relationships or connections that are based on attaining something, but actually having a strong desire to connect with people in a way that yields trust in your services, in your business, in your product; that yields trust in you.  

Do you get up every day and look at your “leads” as potential relationships, or a set of business opportunities? Better yet - how do you think your “leads” are looking at you? As someone solely interested in how much money you can make off of them?  

Some people have absolutely no qualms with developing relationships solely based on profit maximization - i.e. “you make money, I make money and we’re both happy.” However, I am willing to bet that most people are more attracted to businesses or service providers who they truly feel have their absolute best interests at heart. They're attracted to relationships that are not purely transactional, and where far deeper connections are made. In transactions like these, clients feel a sense of loyalty toward their service providers instead of feeling like a number.  

What does this have to do with getting leads and converting them?

Thinking long-term

Leads are a short-term play in a vastly larger venture. You can measure and convert at your heart’s content, but in the end, you’ll just be left chasing measurements, ratios and plenty of other metrics. Prospect for relationships instead.  

Take a true interest - one beyond monetary - in getting to know and serving the people you are so eager to connect with. Some of the connections will turn into opportunities for further growth in business and beyond. Those are the opportunities worth prospecting for, which in turn, means trading a short business cycle for a long, prosperous one.

The Redwood way

That’s essentially what we call doing business the Redwood way. We help our agents think beyond short-term opportunities. At Redwood, we believe that pursuing lead conversions should never come at the expense of honing your skills as an agent or servicing your customers.

As my friend Sean Carpenter says, "real estate is about building relationships, solving problems and having fun."  As an industry, we’re pretty good at solving problems and having fun. We also need to remember what building relationships is about and turn our focus there. When we do, the numbers will follow.

Billy Ekofo

Written by Billy Ekofo

Born in the United States, but of Congolese origins, Billy’s life continues to be marked by his relentless pursuit of excellence and a deep passion for community and social impact. Billy is a trained communication and business professional with over 10 years of combined academic and professional experience from living, studying and working in Central Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Billy completed his MBA at the College of William and Mary with an emphasis on Real Estate and Entrepreneurship in May 2013, and joined Century 21 in January 2014 as an agent focusing on the Northern Virginia/DC Metro market.

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