The buck stops where?

It’s my belief that 50 per cent of our business gets lost at the first call, whether it’s the receptionist or the agent picking up the phone. That’s right, half of the people contacting us, looking to engage us to sell or manage their homes, don’t make it past the first phone call.

Why? Because the person answering that phone doesn’t have the systems in place to quickly build rapport with that potential client, make them feel valued and take them from a suspect to a prospect.

If the clients decide to stick with you, another 50 per cent get lost between getting the call and one of your team making a presentation to them. The message may not get passed on to the relevant agent. If it does, the agent may lose it, forget to call or they may mean to get around to it, but are busy dealing with “actual” clients.

All up, you’ve lost 75 per cent or more of warm leads, people who could become clients. That means out of 10 leads you’ll be lucky to get 2 on the books.

Who’s to blame?

It’s easy to point the finger; the receptionist is no good, the agents are busy and can’t be expected to keep on top of everything. But who hired the receptionist, who gave them their job description (if you have one), who manages the agents and keeps them on track?

The truth is the buck stops with you – the principal, the person running the business.

You can increase your success rate just by addressing this one factor and putting rapport building systems in place to capture those leads.

Start at reception

Make sure you have the right receptionist and that they have the right training and tools available so that they know how to deal with incoming calls – and I don’t mean post-it notes or message books to take down numbers to pass on to agents and property managers.

Do they have a script for dealing with these calls that lets them know what to say? Do they know what to do if an agent or property manager isn’t available? My video blog, Don’t Lose Business at Reception, discusses ways to manage the reception role and includes a script you can download and implement.

Give your team a system

Agents and property managers need similar systems too, ones that helps them deal with incoming enquiries. One of the biggest complaints about agents is that they never answer their phone. But if they’re in the middle of showing a home to prospective buyers or tenants, making a listing/leasing presentation, negotiating a deal or finalising contracts, when are they supposed to take a call?

Do you have a process in place for dealing with these incoming calls? Who should return the call and in what time frame? If the agent or property manager cannot return the call in that timeframe what other process is in place? And it’s not only the receptionist who needs to build rapport, agents and property managers do too. Again, a system can help and I’ve given general examples in my blog, How to Make Easy Conversation.

Reach for the top of the tree

Not all of the people who call you will be ready to do business right now. And you also need a system for capturing these clients.

Unfortunately, agents are looking for low-hanging fruit, those people who are ready sell. If a person is considering selling in three to six months, most agents don’t put a trail against those potential clients, because they’re looking for business now and those people won’t pay the bills now. They should be putting those people into their databases, nurturing them and following them up regularly. They will be ready to sell at some point and you really don’t want them to slip through your fingers and go to the opposition.

If you want the bucks to stop at your business, register for my upcoming FREE half-day Real Estate Brilliance webinar to see how simple systems and processes like capturing calls can significantly boost your success.

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