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

In most real estate markets, now seems to be a prime time for window shoppers. 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.

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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.

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