A lively, spirited discussion has arisen at GeekEstate Blog over the debut post by Jeff Manson advocating the use of scripts to convert more leads into clients. A little taste:
Hi, ______________ my name is Super Agent with ABC Realty. I am calling to follow-up with you to see if there is anything we can do to help or answer any real estate questions for you.
I understand you are interested in:
• MLS # ____________ Etc…
1. Would you like to schedule an appointment to see it?
2. If not available—Unfortunately the property you inquired about is already in escrow.
3. We are in a steady real estate market and some properties are selling quickly. The good news is we are getting large percentage of our clients offers accepted, even when there are competing offers.
4. Are you already working with a RE agent, or do you need some help? (If yes, go onto #5)…
Things to remember when going through a script or just having a conversation in general:
1. Always repeat the answer back and positively reply with “great, super, good for you, interesting, really, your kidding”. I think you get the point. Let them know you are paying attention and not interrogating them.
While you all pick your jaws off the floor, let me tell you that the replies that ensued were a mixture of web 2.0 purists that were disgusted by the very existence of such scripts (and for that matter, the term “lead”), old-schoolers standing behind systematization and middle-of-the-ways. Before, I tell you where I stand, a little background melody.
I remember the very first prospect like it was yesterday. My wife had been hounding me for weeks to try this new marketing thing she had found – Google Adwords, I believe it was called. After I ran out of procrastination, we went for it: 10 bucks a day at 2 bucks a click max. Left the office to pick up coffee, when the Blackberry buzzed. Is that a … lead?! The following day our name was on a builder’s contract – a shiny example of Mighty Conversion.
For those that don’t know me personally, let me tell you that I wasn’t born with the “gift of pressure”. That is, I’m more laid back than an ironing board – I answer questions, provide information and dish out advice based on what I would do if I were in the clients’ shoes. So in the early days, following up with prospect was a structureless, free form conversation which clients appreciated. It was like information nutrition without the nasty trans fats of salesy pressure. All was well…
Picking up steam
As the number of prospect arose, cracks started to show in the plaster of our un-system. Crucial information not obtained during calls prompted additional calls that frustrated our future clients. Since there was no systemic way of following up with information requests, the incomplete information obtained inevitably lead to incomplete service.
I could never stand for a parroty, ATT Long Distance, leads-are-sheep type of script like the one above. Likewise, I could never stand for haphazard, who-needs-systems pipe dreams that new age marketers preach. The way I see it the process goes a little something like this. When a prospective client requests information/answers/direction and the real estate pro answers the request with follow up call there are three possible outcomes. Either you’ll end up sending them homes that fit their criteria, you’ll answer a question or direct them to a trusted third party (i.e. mortgage preaproval) or they’ll tell you to go to hell/not answer phone etc etc. In order for you to help in each case you’ll have to have some structure in your conversation. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating for scripts. I couldn’t get through one of those without throwing up in my mouth a little bit every time. But in order to help, you have to have some key pieces of information that you must obtain every single time. If you don’t, you’re not helping even if your style is two point oh, all the way.
Photo Credit – Niemster
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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