The Contact Conversion Flow Chart
Using information gathered from Zillow Premier Agents who are successful at converting online leads, the flow chart above is a handy reference for anyone that wants to convert more contacts — regardless of their source — into clients and ultimately, into that coveted commission check.
Let’s break it down step-by-step
The first box after the contact is received is “Quick Response: Phone call or email within five minutes.”
Why is this
important crucial? Because in this day and age, consumers expect a swift response. Lacking one, they will simply try someone else until they get a response. See this post, Top Two Tips: Converting Contacts to Clients, for more info on why fast responses are crucial.
You should also immediately move the contact into your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Do it immediately or you might forget. Also, if you do it immediately, you won’t have a pile of them sitting there later, waiting to be entered after you’ve forgotten potentially important details.
Don’t have a CRM? Zillow offers a basic CRM for free though Agent Hub.
The right column of the chart
This is the flow for contacts you receive that have an email address only (no phone number). The first rule of thumb for contacts with no phone number is that you should not try to secure their phone number through some service that provides phone numbers. There are various “reverse lookup” directories out there where you can find a number with a name or email address. Using one of these on a “no-number contact” is a bad idea. The contact chose not to provide their number, probably because they don’t want to be called. It’s OK (smart in fact) to ask them for their number, but to discover it on your own and use it is asking for rejection. Use the contact info they provided — their email address.
It’s recommended to send them an email once a day for three days. The emails should all be different so that they don’t look like automated responses. They don’t have to be long and involved. In fact, shorter emails usually convert better. The reasoning behind sending emails daily over a short time is that people are busy. Many get buried in email. Vary the time that you send the emails and you’ll have better luck making initial contact.
On day 4, emailing a link to a short video introducing yourself works very well for making a connection and putting the “real you” in front of the contact. Keep it under two minutes (60 seconds is even better) and don’t make it all about you, but what you can do for them. Be sure to include your contact info in the video.
The left column of the chart
This is the flow for contacts you receive with a phone number. If a contact provides you with a phone number, especially if they aren’t required to, it is an invitation to call them. So pick up the phone! We recommend calling them up to three times in the same day. If you don’t connect on the first two calls, just hang up. But on the third call, go ahead and leave a quick email message along the lines of, “This is Jay Thompson, I got your contact message from Zillow and you’re welcome to call me any time at [your number] and I’ll be happy to help you out!” No need for a big, long drawn-out message, just a quickie that lets them know you’re available to help.
And keep calling once a week.
When do you stop calling (or emailing)?
When they ask you to stop. If they don’t ask you to stop, then don’t stop trying. Don’t give up. Back in the day when I was a practicing agent/broker, I converted some contacts to clients three years after they initially contacted me, often having had no contact in the interim.
If they ask you to stop contacting them, then by all means, stop. No one wants to be pestered. You’re not going to “get the sale” being aggressive to the point that you disregard the contact’s wishes. Stop means stop.
Don’t forget a drip campaign
Finally, whether your contact is email only, or includes a phone number, consider putting them on a drip campaign to continue making periodic contact. There are many drip systems out there on the market. Right here on Zillow we offer market reports and saved search drip campaigns — for free!
In addition to market info, search results, market trends and more in your drip campaigns, continue to send a personal email once per week. Again, it doesn’t need to be long and involved. The point is to get in front of the prospect — outside of the automated drips — to let them know you are out there and available. Include a call to action (call me, let’s chat, please visit my website, update me on what you are looking for, that sort of thing) every fourth or fifth email for maximum effectiveness.
In summary, have a process for lead conversion and follow it. This flow chart isn’t all-encompassing, and it won’t cover or fit every situation for every prospect or agent. Use it as a guideline to develop your own conversion process. Tweak it to fit your style, and convert more contacts to clients!