Window Shopping Real Estate Leads: Here’s How to Handle Them

real estate lead window shopping
real estate lead window shopping

Window Shopping Real Estate Leads: Here's How to Handle Them

As the coronavirus crisis and quarantine drag on and on, people are out of work, they are uncertain about the future, and many of them have a lot of time on their hands. This means that people who were or are thinking about moving in the future might just be doing a lot of looking without much of a clear timeline in mind.

How do you talk to these leads? How do you go about having a productive conversation with them and try to get their business when they are just “window shopping”? Well, believe it or not, there is a right way for real estate agents and ISAs to have these conversations that will give them a chance to convert these types of “higher hanging fruit” leads. And I’ve laid it out for you in this article for you to start putting to use right away.

Real Estate Leads Saying They Are Window Shopping?

Okay, so you call up a lead, they answer, and they give you a chance to start a conversation with them. You have their number because they registered on your website, so you know they were at least casually looking at houses in your market. You begin the conversation, tell them you saw they were looking on your website, and ask them if they are just browsing or if they are looking to buy something soon.

Then they come back with “I’m just looking. I have some time on my hands and am just window shopping for now.”

What should your answer be?

Well, you should actually come back with a question. And the question that I like the most for these situations is, “what neighborhood(s) are you interested in or looking at?” This is a good question because nearly everyone will have an answer for it. You can engage them in the conversation and start learning about their situation and what their needs and wants are.

Don’t Ask about Timeframe

What you don’t want to do when a real estate lead says they are window shopping is ask about their timeframe. That’s because, if they tell you they are window shopping they are essentially telling you that they don’t have a clear or defined timeline in mind yet.

If you respond to “I’m just window shopping” with “Gotcha, well when do you think you’ll want to be moved into your new home by?”, you’re asking a redundant question. The lead will most likely not have an answer for you, and you’re basically proving to them that the conversation isn’t going anywhere, isn’t helpful to them, and that they should probably just get off the phone as quick as they can.

Needless to say, that’s not where you want the conversation to go.

What to Ask Real Estate Leads Next

Okay, so we’ve established that by asking your lead a question they can answer (like what neighborhoods they are looking at) instead of asking them one they can’t answer (like what their timeline is looking like), you are able to start moving the conversation forward. You’re engaging them and learning more about what they need and want. That’s good for you.

What question should you ask next?

I like to follow the neighborhood question with asking the lead if they already live in the area. Again, this helps you learn more about their situation. It also brings you nicely to what your next question should be; why are they moving?

Understanding the “why” of the lead is the most important thing you can do on your call. Because that’s their motivation and the emotional power behind all the decisions they are making or will make. It also opens the door for you to better explain how you may be able to help them. Understand what is driving them to move or to move to a specific area and you will put yourself in a position to better help them get there because you’ll understand more about the unique problem they are solving.

The important thing, however, is to not just come out and ask them with the word “why”. Say something like, “what has you thinking about moving?” or “what’s bringing you to this area?” or “What’s in [insert location]?”

Once you get a bit of their “why”, develop it as much as you can. Keep asking questions that encourage the lead to describe why they are leaving, why they want to move where they are moving, etc. You want to get as much of their story as possible; understand their dream; see the fullest picture of the situation that you can.

Conclusion: Window Shopping in Real Estate

When it comes to leads who are window shopping, especially in a situation like we find ourselves in now with COVID-19, you have to understand that these leads are farther up the stream. If someone is looking to buy right now then they typically direct the conversation; they want to know more, they are asking you questions, they are generally eager to move the process forward.

When it comes to leads who are looking to buy farther out or who don’t have a clear timeline in mind, this is not the case. Real estate agents or ISAs have to work harder to pull the information out of the lead. Avoid the details of timelines and specifics on what type of house they want and focus on learning more about their situation as a whole. This strategy serves to both clarify the lead’s situation in their own head and gives you the ammunition you need to get them to work with you.

4 Proactive Things Real Estate Agents Can Do during COVID-19

real estate agent selling house
real estate agent selling house

4 Proactive Things to Do during COVID-19

Unless you’ve been avoiding the news completely and maybe living under a rock, you have probably heard of this little situation we are dealing with called coronavirus. States across the country have issued shelter in place or stay home orders—essentially barring any travel unless it is to the store, to work if you have been deemed an essential worker, to get medicine, or to take part in outdoor recreation activities.

Needless to say, the inability to leave one’s home except for life-preserving reasons is having a major impact on the real estate industry. Although in many states and communities real estate companies are considered essential businesses, the restrictions that are in place and fear of the virus itself are causing many potential leads to be unable or unwilling to move forward in the home buying process at this time.

People are out of work, are scared of being out of work in the future, have their kids at home, and are generally uncertain about the future. The question becomes, how do real estate agents stay ahead of the situation, have business conversations with their leads, and remain sensitive to the constantly changing of the circumstances we currently find ourselves in?

Real Estate Agents Have a Choice

As restrictions get tighter and we sink further into what seems to be a worsening situation, all agents have a choice. They can choose to stay active and continue to operate as best they can, or they can choose to completely shut down.

Real estate agents can decide to succumb to the fear of losing their business, not being able to sell houses in the months to come, and feeling insecure in their livelihood. On the other hand, those same agents can also choose to throw themselves into their business and their work. Continue to reach out to people, continue to generate leads, continue to improve their skills.

In my opinion, staying active is the most empowering thing you can do right now.

Related to that is the one thing I’ve been hammering home to my clients and agents I work with: when you reach out to people you are not taking anything from them, you are adding to them. You do not need to feel awkward or bad about reaching out to potential clients because you are offering them a solution to a problem they are trying to solve. Or, at the very least, you are attempting to help them find a solution.

4 Proactive Things Real Estate Agents Can Do Right Now

  • Be the bringer of good news. Break the endless slew of negative things your clients and people in your network are reading and hearing. Find one positive piece of good news every day to share with your team and people in your sphere. Share this good news via email, on social media, and through any other channels you have.
  • Know the resources that are available in your community. As regions and markets experience lockdowns and more severe restrictions, there are a lot of resources and services that become available to help us weather this storm. Because people are freaked out right now, you will probably get a lot of resistance if you call up leads and try to discuss real estate. So, what you should do instead is call them and offer to connect them with resources in the community. It’s hard for them to be mad at you when you are offering them helpful and useful information.
  • Find a person who needs to buy or sell now. The longer this situation lasts, the larger the chasm becomes between people who need to buy or sell now and those who are able and want to wait and see how things turn out. In spite of the crisis we are in, there are still people whose circumstances necessitate them acting right now. One of your daily tasks needs to be finding at least one person who has to buy or sell right now.
  • Find 5 people who will buy or sell when restrictions relax. Once you find one person who needs to buy or sell, your next proactive job is to find at least 5 people who want to buy or sell, but who will only do so once the situation settles down and the restrictions relax a bit.

The First Step Agents Can Take

Okay, so we laid out four proactive steps all real estate agents can make a point to start doing each day. Find and share positive news, learn about and share resources and services in the community, contact one lead who needs to buy or sell now, and contact at least five leads who will buy or sell once restrictions relax.

But where do you start and how do you actually have these types of conversations with leads? I go in depth on scripting and strategies you can use to make the most of our current situation in the video below.