Apartment locating leads can be quite difficult to close due to higher numbers of competitors and incentives that are being used to capture their interest. So what can you do that is going to set you apart from the rest? There are a few tips and strategies that you can do that will give you a better chance at converting these leads into a hot lead.
When I say “hot lead”, I am referring to a the time when a lead that you are prospecting turns into a client that is actively using your service. Closing a higher percentage of leads requires a complete evaluation of your process from the day you receive the lead to the day the property pays your commission and on. If you can generate more hot leads then you should also generate more deals.
Have a sales process!
Apartment Locating Sales ProcessEach agent should have a sales process. Think of yourself as an assembly line, and you are providing a service for the client at each stage in the sales process. You should have some preformed emails that can be customized for each client throughout the sales process. A basic sales process begins as a lead, then you begin prospecting them. Once contact is made, then they are either a hot or cold contact, and after they find a place they should be pending verification, or a confirmed lease. Finally, you will have the client move in, and then they move on to invoicing and closed out, or repeat. There are additional levels of the sales process that you can add because everyone has their own process, but these stages should be the benchmark.
Make contact FAST!
Now that you have a sales process how can you get better at each level? As a new lead time is of the essence. Remember, you should assume that each client has registered on at least 3 apartment locating websites. Who do you think gets the lion’s share of the clients attention? The first company that makes contact. You should calling, texting, emailing them the minute you receive the lead. This same strategy should be used while prospecting the lead, contact them early, often, and in different ways (phone, email, text, social media). Within the first week a good rule of thumb is to contact the lead at least 10 times, and then taper off from there. You need to be careful because you can be labeled as a spammer which will hurt your email capabilities, but that doesn’t mean you should stop calling or texting.
Follow up, Follow up, Follow up!
The first strategy is going to give you a higher number of hot leads. Now what are you going to do with them? I have heard it over and over for as long as I have been in the business (since ‘06). The number one complaint of my clients about other locators is that they would not contact them back. Just because you make contact and send a list does not mean that your work is done. In fact, you’re barely halfway there. Follow up with your hot clients at least twice a week. Remind them about the service, the incentive if you provide one, and to ALWAYS remember to list you on the application. Tell the clients when you have them on the phone when you will be calling them again, so they will be expecting you, and then do it. This builds trust and reliability which wins clients over and earns your commission.
Don’t forget about them!
You have helped them find an apartment, and now you all done… NOPE! These are some of your best clients. They know the process and they chose you over the competitors. These clients are primed for when their lease is up if they are going to be moving again, and they are the best referral pool. You should be asking each client for a referral because these referrals are often times already coached and know exactly what to do. Secondarily, if you are providing an incentive then obviously you pay it as advertised. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would want to be treated and then do it. You can’t say enough about an agent where you received top notch service, and that is what you use to set you apart from the rest. The clients that really like you you should be asking for them to review your service online. This will put out the good word about you and your business.
Always be getting better!
These strategies will most assuredly close a higher percentage of the leads that you receive. If you are already doing these, great! Your process, while it my be good, can always be better. Evaluate each email down to the subject line and content. Use a service like mailgun to evaluate your open percentage and see if you can improve it by making tweaks. Consider your leads and where they are coming from and see if there are better sources that you could be using. You should also be considering the number of leads you are taking. Too much and you are not able to provide the level of service that may be adequate, less clients will get more attention and that can be the difference between closing and losing them.
To sum it all up, you should have a sales process which will drive your clients to an apartment. Once you have a process, you should be performing it to the best of your ability. Finally you’re never done evaluating your process. In this digital age, prospective clients are becoming more savvy and so the agents should be adapting their processes in order to stay in front of them. This kind of fine tuning can make a 10% or better improvement on your closing percentage. A tool that makes all of this easier is a good CRM. Here at Spirit Real Estate Group we have built a CRM with this sales process in mind.