there is nothing more frustrating as a realtor than spending the time and energy showing dozens of homes to your buyers, you thought were ready only to have them drop out of the process!
While it’s great to have potential buyers contact you, increasing your network and client base, all of the leads in the world aren’t going to help you if you can’t convert them from “potential buyers” to actual “buyers.”
Your time is valuable. When you spend time with potential buyers who just aren’t ready, you’re not spending your time with those who are.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
While there’s no silver bullet to find the right buyers or sellers, if you know the proper line of questioning when qualifying the real estate leads you’re getting, you’ll be well ahead of your competitors.
By asking questions of your buyer leads before getting too deep into the process, you’ll be able to weed out the ones who aren’t quite there yet so you can focus on the ones who are.
Questions to Ask for Better Real Estate Lead Qualification
There’s no science to qualifying real estate leads. The easiest and most effective way to accomplish this is asking these questions in the form of a fun quiz funnel or even just a basic application funnel on your website or landing page.
This specific method will qualify your leads before you even take valuable time out of your day to even speak with them. This process also helps you better understand what kind of real estate customers they are.
That’s right; not all leads are created equal. Here’s a quick outline of the typical homebuyer journey from our friends at Market Leader:
- Consideration: People in this stage are just thinking about buying. They could be upwards of 2 years away from closing on a property.
- Research: In this stage, people are still just casually looking. They need guidance but aren’t looking for an agent. This is typically about 11–27 months before closing.
- Active Search: People in this stage are ready to look at homes with an agent. They know what they want and what they can afford to spend on it. This stage happens about 4 months before closing.
- Transaction: This stage usually happens about 1 month before closing. People in this stage are ready to buy a home and are thinking about timelines and logistics.
Many realtors think that all of their leads come to them in the Active Search phase…ding, ding, ding…WRONG! The reality is that 90% of potential buyers start in the consideration and online research phases.
As I’m sure you’ve experienced, trying to show homes and close with potential buyers in these stages just doesn’t work. That doesn’t mean you ignore them. It mean that they go into your “nurture” funnel instead of your “hot leads” list.
HERE ARE 5 QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK POTENTIAL BUYERS TO DETERMINE IF THEY’RE QUALIFIED LEADS.
1. Are you already working with a realtor?
Before you start talking about what type of home they’re looking for or what the buyer’s budget is, you need to find out if they’re working with an agent.
Many buyers don’t understand how to answer this question; they may have talked to a real estate agent several months ago when they weren’t as serious about buying. To help them along, try asking questions like:
- What’s your real estate agent’s name?
- Have you signed any agreements with a real estate agent?
2. What are you looking for in a real estate agent?
If your lead isn’t already working with a real estate agent, it’s time to find out what they’re looking for in an agent.
This will help you serve them better by creating a customized experience. This personal attention will improve your chances of landing them as a client and can even impact future referrals.
Be sure to take notes of what they’re looking for so you can use the information in your interactions with them.
Example: Do they value responsiveness? Be prepared to get back to them quickly.
Are they a seller looking for innovative ways to market their property? This is a great chance to share some of the non-traditional marketing techniques you’ve picked up during your career.
Do they want a real estate agent that seems more like a friend? Be ready to make small talk and ask them about their family.
3. What type of property are you looking for?
Most of your leads are only going to have the basics in mind when they contact you To best serve them, you need a lot more information.
- Do you have any special needs to watch out for?
- What features are you looking for (appliances included, no HOA, etc.)?
- Is there a neighborhood you’re interested in?
- Do you want to be close to certain services or amenities?
4. What’s your budget? Have you already been pre-approved by a lender?
This is crucial when qualifying your real estate leads. You’ll want to know things like:
- How much can you afford or are you willing to spend?
- Do you have money for a down payment? How much?
- What’s your credit like?
- How much debt do you have?
- Will you have to sell your current home before you can close?
- Are you pre-approved by a qualified lender?
5. Do you have a timeline in mind?
The last qualifying question to ask real estate leads is about their timeline. This includes things like how long they’ve been searching and how soon they want to move.
If they just started thinking about buying or selling, it could take quite a long time before they’re ready to close. They may also need additional support like lender and mortgage education.
One of the fastest ways to find out if you’ve got a serious customer on your hand is to ask this simple question:
“If I were to find you the perfect home right now, how willing would you be to buy?”
If they aren’t sure, they might not actually be ready to buy. In that case, you’d want to put them in your “nurture” funnel and try them again at a later time.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, MY MESSAGE TO YOU IS TO ASK QUESTIONS TO STREAMLINE REAL ESTATE LEAD QUALIFICATION.
By asking the qualifying questions we’ve included here, you can get a much better understanding of where your lead is in their journey, so you’re not wasting your time or theirs.
If you’re interested in learning more about this qualification process or how TCG can help you completely automated it, contact us for a free evaluation on your current lead qualification strategy and we’ll see if there’s a better way, that will help save your valuable time, hard-earned money and your more importantly your sanity, while generating high-quality real estate leads!