In my previous post
, we talked about how we can help real estate agents understand what Online Sales Specialists do and how we can work together to sell more homes. But we can’t ignore that agents need a little extra TLC in the way that we communicate, set appointments, and follow up. Also, don’t forget, real estate agents are leads too, but they shouldn’t be handled the same way we handle customer leads.
To start, you should understand this is no longer an interaction directly with a customer; agent interactions are B2B (business-to-business) relationships, and we should treat them as such. The language you use matters, and you should speak directly to what they want - with a focus on move-in ready homes, pricing, location, incentives, and availability. Let the agent know that you intend to work together with them to get the deal done and to help make the agent look like a hero in the eyes of the client.
In a recent conversation with some real estate agent friends, it was very clear that they didn’t know what a new home online sales specialist is. So we’ve got to educate them on the following things:
- Why buy a new home?
- Why our builder?
- Why work with me?
- Why do you need an appointment?
- Why register your buyer?
We don’t want to waste anyone’s time, so from the first interaction, don’t be afraid to ask questions and dig a little deeper to make sure you are setting an appropriately qualified appointment.
- Who is the buyer - a Zillow lead, someone they know, a referral, etc.?
- What is the buyer looking for? What’s important to them? What hasn’t worked so far? What are their needs? How many showings have they done or do they plan to do?
- When can you schedule the appointment - with a specific date and time?
- Always ask for the buyer’s first and last name so that you can register them as their client in your CRM. If you get pushback, explain that you need the buyer’s info so that they are protected as their agent.
But you can’t stop there. Let the agent know you’ll be following up with reminders and set expectations regarding the appointment - a designated time for you and your buyers to get all of their questions answered. In fact, it’s good practice to double-confirm any appointments you’ve set with agents, even day-of text reminders from you and onsite sales.
But don’t forget. Realtors shouldn’t be treated the same as a lead directly from a customer. What does this mean?
Don’t put Realtors on your regular follow-up process.
The frequency, the format, and the messaging need to be different from a normal lead. For agent follow-up, you can have fewer touchpoints than a regular lead. However, these contacts should be more strategic and tailored to the agent. The messaging should be personalized to the needs of the agent and feel free to use industry terminology as you are communicating with them. Remember - B2B sales.
The formats you use should also be different. Agents' inboxes are full, many of them don’t check their email, and they are dealing with a full-blown case of digital pollution. An agent follow-up process should be text and call-heavy. For example, you could leave them a very specific voicemail about an inventory home with pricing, location, and availability, and then text right behind it to let them know you’ve left it.
Video email or video texts can be a powerful tool for reaching agents because it’s unique and grabs their attention. Plus, it puts your face in front of them. When they think about new homes, we want them to think of YOU. You can use video as an opportunity to educate agents about how you can help them, how easy it is to sell a Happy Acres home, and the benefits of working with you.
Email Blasts can be effective if it’s a permission-based list you’ve curated from agents who’ve sold homes for your builder or who you’ve worked with in the past, not a list someone at your builder has purchased. This will provide a better open and response rate.
The ultimate goal is to develop a list of ten to fifty real estate agent advocates and foster those connections, these relationships will lead to additional sales for you every year. By showing that you are willing to put in the effort to make their job easier, you can build strong relationships with agents and make sure they keep coming back for more.