Every week, you get inquiries from potential clients asking you to show them some properties. But how many of those leads actually end up viewing the property and signing up with you? Some of them do, but you still spend many hours working with people who are not ready to sit at the closing table just yet while hot leads are falling through the cracks. This is why it’s important to qualify real estate leads.
The way to qualify real estate leads is easier than you might think. A set of simple questions can help you make an accurate prediction of whether this lead is actually interested in taking action. And knowing their intentions will help you use the right messages when reaching out to different people. But most importantly, it’ll help you free up time to work with these sales-ready leads while they’re still interested. This is especially important during a busy summer season.
Take a look at how some very simple questions can help you qualify real estate leads, accelerate your sales cycle and close more deals this month.
How to qualify real estate leads: 6 questions to ask
1. Why do you want to buy/sell?
It’s hard to deliver great customer service without knowing your potential clients’ incentives. The practice proves that people who can give a clear, straightforward answer to this question are very much interested in moving ahead.
Consider two situations as an easy example.
“– Why do you want to buy?”
” – Well we fancy a change and were thinking that moving to a new place would be a good idea.”
“– Why do you want to buy?”
” – I just got a job I’m so happy about, and I will relocate in two months. So I want a small, quiet place not far from work”.
A person who is about to relocate clearly has a much more powerful incentive to search for a property and act now. So you can definitely understand this is a hot lead who expects a quick response and a personalized service.
People from situation 1 are not that far in their buyer’s journey. They won’t be comfortable if you push them to act now. In other words, these are warm leads. You’d want to add them to your mailing lists and send them your newsletter and email/SMS campaigns to keep them in the loop.
2. What property type are you interested in?
Hot leads can give their agent some pretty detailed information on what they’re looking for in their next home. They will be sure to tell you a lot about amenities, neighborhoods, schools, commutes, etc. More qualified leads are also likely to have some understanding of the local market. Chances are they did their research before contacting agents and will ask you the right questions.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should ignore people who are less specific. As always, add them to your newsletter list and keep them posted on local market opportunities.
3. When do you want to buy/sell?
This one is easy: the more precise your leads are, the more willing they are to act now or in the near future. Hot leads have some timeline and they’ll tell you about it right away. Family matters, job relocation or retirement are good indicators that a person is more likely to act urgently as opposed to wait and look around for a few months.
As always, don’t forget about the leads who do not have such a clear timeline in mind. Who knows, they could become your best customers – they just aren’t ready yet.
4. Do you already have an agent working with you now?
Lots of people work with two agents at any one time. Either they’re not happy with the first agent or for reasons of their own.
For sure, it’s better to find this out right away before you put too much time and dedication working with someone who has another option on the table and can cancel anytime. Based on their answers, you can decide if this lead is qualified or not.
5. Do you have a lender?
In many markets/countries, getting professional help from lenders is an important prerequisite towards buying a property.
If your buyers are pre-qualified/pre-approved, that tells a lot. They’re clearly more inspired and empowered to act now because they know where they stand with their finances. A good sign is also when your clients are not sure about this but are actively seeking your advice and explanation.
With that in mind, these are hot leads.
6. When are you available for a meeting/viewing?
One of the best questions to qualify real estate leads is to ask very directly about a specific time and place to meet to finalize the arrangement. This is sure to show real commitment.
Remember, you don’t want to ask “Can you meet me?” (giving choice) but “When can you meet me?” (prompting to agree). The second option is direct and specific and if the lead says yes let’s meet the soonest, you might want to get your lucky shirt ready asap.
On the other hand, if they say they want to sleep on it, you might want to agree and follow up in a couple of days.
This is not a complete list of questions that can help you qualify real estate leads. Many agents also ask about pricing, how long the clients have been searching and their previous real estate experience. If you have secured a meeting, don’t hesitate to ask them too.