How do you know if a real estate lead is cold, warm or hot?
Categorizing your real estate leads allows you to properly manage the hot, warm and cold leads. There’s nothing wrong with working cold leads. You definitely should! as the icy leads eventually turn into a lead simply on fire. Understanding early in the lead categorizing process what temperature a contact falls into — allows you to manage a lead appropriately.
Ask open-ended questions. Have a conversation with the contact to better understand where they are in the home buying or selling process, so you can tailor your future communications to better serve them — and turn that contact into a client.
Here are six questions you can ask a real estate lead to help you determine their time frame and likelihood of buying or selling a home (aka the temperature of the water).
1. Are you working with another agent?
No real estate lead should be turned away without thought, if you meet someone who answers this question with, “Yes, I have an agent” you need to understand why they are contacting you? You need to understand any existing agency relationships they might have so you know what your next step should be.
2.Have you spoken with a lender?
Ready and motivated buyers will have started chatting with a lender, and be hungry for more information. Ask “are you pre-approved or pre-qualified?” Being prepared if they do not know or understand the difference will build trust in your expertise, although you may not be a lender, you can help them understand the difference between the two, and why it’s such a vital part of their home search process.
3. When can we meet to discuss your property search/discuss selling your home?
“When” you can meet is a great question for gauging how serious a contact is. If they aren’t willing to meet, then they can’t be all that serious. Again, this doesn’t necessarily mean you discard the lead. It just means that you’ll need to spend more time cultivating the relationship, working to help them and being ready when they are. If you hear, “As soon as possible!” then you have a smoking hot lead and you need to be prepared to act — Right NOW!
4. When do you need to buy (or sell)?
Here is a direct question that can give you a lot of insight about how to classify a contact. Job losses, transfers or retirement, new children, children moving out are strong motivators! Obviously, strongly motivated contacts are likely to be “hotter” than those with less motivation.
Don’t ignore a lead because they are not strongly motivated; they can turn out to be terrific clients down the road if you do your due diligence. Engaging them in a conversation, start to build a relationship, and gather info about what your contact needs and how you can help them 5. Why are you thinking about buying (or selling)?
Understanding what is motivating someone to buy or sell a home is a huge factor in determining two important things: how serious they are and what is motivating the sale. Someone serious about buying or selling, and doing it relatively soon, will be able to answer this question easily.
6. What type of property are you looking for?
Does the contact have a really good idea of what they are looking for? If they are unclear about property requirements, they cannot be all that serious or organized. Do they have realistic expectations about the type of property they want to buy? Are they somewhat close to understanding what is available in the market and how much it will likely cost?
If they are looking for specific property types in which you have no experience or expertise, it’s better to find this out right away, saving you both time and frustration. Keep referrals in mind if someone is looking outside your area of expertise.