Do you need help nurturing online real estate leads?
Brandi Pratt teaches some great strategies when dealing with online leads and views them as her next listing. She considers the long-term game plan and shares a lot of great tips on how to nurture them along the way.
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Brandi Pratt 0:00
Brandi Pratt, and I’m with the Pratt Group. Obviously, it’s my last name. I’m out here in the Coachella Valley, CA. I actually asked Nazar and Kristina not to speak today. And then I found out hey, I’m speaking. So then I asked his or yesterday, Hey, what should I actually talk about? So, I am rushing right here from a photoshoot. We had a photo shoot out in Palm Springs. But what I’m going to talk about today is the unpopular online leads, and how that has actually made my career. The reason I say unpopular is because I always hear agents say that they don’t want to be a buyer’s agent. And I always tell people, you should look at an online lead. Like that is going to be a listing as well. I want to dive in a little bit about myself first, and then we will kind of jump into that. So I’m a single mom of three. I’ve owned my own business since I was 18. I became a professional cosmetologist and makeup artists at 18 and open my own hair salon. By 19, I became a mom. And by 20, I was a single mom, I got married again, I bought my first home when I was 25. Actually my first commercial property when I was 25. So one day, I was driving home, and I called my twin and I said hey, I actually hate my life. I hate my job, I hate everything about it, I’m going to quit my job. And the reason I jumped into this a little bit is actually I’m not from the Coachella Valley. I’m not I didn’t know anyone here, we moved out here just to start a new life, give the kids more opportunity as well. So when I was telling somebody, Hey, I’m actually going to become a real estate agent. He said, Oh, great. Everyone’s a real estate agent, you’re going to fit right in, you’re not going to make it long with my twin sister that said that as well. She goes, What are you doing? This is the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard in my life, you should quit right there.
So I walked in, I started, you know, going to school for real estate, got my real estate license in three months, and thought, Okay, I’m gonna get into this, but then how are you going to get into when you don’t know anyone from the Coachella Valley. So immediately, I joined a team. And when I joined this team, the team said, Hey, by the way, you’re going to buy your own leads. So I remembered when I was buying my house, the way I found my agent was realtor.com. So I immediately called realtor.com. And said, Hey, I need to buy some leads, I actually don’t have that much money. I’m quitting my six figure job, I’m going to become a real estate agent. So I need some leads quick. So I started by realtor.com. They called. So my first lead comes in, and I look at the lead. And remember with realtor.com leads, you’re competing with three different agents that firstly came in, I panicked immediately. So I looked at the phone, I said, Oh my gosh, what am I going to do? I shouldn’t call this lane. So I gotta go. Secondly comes in, I look at it again. And I think I can’t there’s no way I can call this lead. Finally, the third lead comes in, I said, What am I so afraid of? Why am I not calling this lead? So I immediately picked up the phone and I answered, got a hold of this lead. And then that is when my career took off. Then I immediately in the first four months sold, I think it was six properties. And so then I had quit by hairdressing job full time and go head over heels into this. So I kind of get off topic a little bit. It was New Year’s Day at 4am. I get a lead. And then immediately it’s a million dollar lead. I’m sitting there I’m drinking coffee, and I’m thinking what is this million dollar lead is coming in at 4am. I shouldn’t call this lead. Everyone. Why wouldn’t we call lead if it’s coming in at 4am? Or because it’s 4am. But if these people were inquiring about it, that is why we should be calling them Do you think a car salesman doesn’t call you the second that you inquire about a car. So first thing they do. So I called this lead at 4am on New Year’s Day, and said, Hey, this is Brandi Pratt. And then I immediately hung up.
And then I was like, Oh, crap, I just hung up on this million dollar lead. So I was like, oh my god, I’m missing out on this opportunity. I have to call this lead back. So I called the lead back and said, Sorry, people are walking in. I immediately called the lead back and said, Hey, this is Brittany Pratt with the Pratt Group. I’m so sorry. We lost connection. I would love to help you find a home and he goes, Oh, I’m busy right now. I can’t talk to you. I said, Okay, what time should I call you back? So I immediately called him back at the time that he said and then I found out not only am I dealing with this million dollar lead, I know no one in the desert. I don’t know anything about it. I don’t know anything about country clubs. And I’m handling this guy and then I find out that I’m dealing with the top three agents in the Coachella Valley. So, long story short, this lead actually has converted over $10 million since the second that I have spoke to him. And then also referring clients as well, probably about another 10 million from him as well.
My biggest thing with online leads is calling them within the first five minutes of that lead coming in. If you’re not calling them or texting them, within five minutes, you are losing an opportunity 78% of customers actually buy from the first person that responds. So from that, I have learned, like I said that, that you’re not going to be a buyer’s agent from that one lead, you’re going to convert it from a buyer to a list to a buyer to a list to other friends, so calling them within the first five minutes. So what I do with an online lead is I call them immediately like I tell my team, you have to call them in the first five minutes. If you’re not calling them in the first five minutes, please text them in the first five minutes. If you don’t have time to respond to them in the first five minutes, then turn off your lead flow, because that is your first opportunity is to contact them immediately.
On the second day, if they didn’t answer that first day, the second day, I call them again, I text them and then I email them. On the third day I pick up the phone if they haven’t responded, I send them a video text. Hey, this is brand new with the Pratt Group. Just calling to introduce myself. I wanted to see what time you had available to look at that property. If they don’t answer on the fourth day, I again I call text email and then I send another video text as well. It’s takes it usually about 10 touches if it’s a cold lead, but on realtor.com is a warmer lead on Zillow Flex. It’s a warmer lead, Zillow, Premier, it’s warmer lead. So it all depends on which lead you’re digging into. Now we’re dealing with Boomtown leads. So that’s why we have a 10 day follow up plan beyond that 10 Day follow up plan, we go into 30 days, we go into six months, and then we go into year as well. I think the main thing about online leads is you have to think about the long term game with them. And that’s the most important is thinking like I said before the buyer and the left side of the property.
Kristina Kendig 7:32
I have a question for you, Brandy. When I know as a team lead, what are your requirements for? You’d mentioned in Boomtown that you have the longer term follow up? What are your requirements for your agents as far as how many touches they have to do with those online leads? And is there anything specific that you’re doing in those text messages? Or in those emails? Or those calls that you’re sending out? Or is there any sort of like SOP that you do the lead came in, and then we’re going to do X, Y and Z?
Brandi Pratt 8:01
Yeah. So lately, I actually have changed the roles here in the office. And so every, every Friday, they have to text me their calls, text emails, and then also I’m tracking how many calls on the back end texts, emails, and how quickly they’re doing that as well. Because Boomtown tells me a lot more about the vitals rather than realtor.com. Zillow is going to be completely different too, because Zillow, you can listen to the conversation and see if they answered it. So for Boomtown if they don’t call text or email, and if they don’t send me their numbers on Friday, then I immediately turn off those leads we generate anywhere from 100 to 130. leads, and like Nazar said, we have five agents on the team. So that’s how many leads we’re generating just from Boomtown and then other resources as well. But I’m really big on the online leads, because I think it’s a while Boomtown is a little bit of a colder lead, although we have close to $9 million lead on Boomtown and a $5 million lead. But if they don’t call text or email in the first day, then they immediately get turned off. And then also, they have to have a smart drip plan set up for them for the long term game on Boomtown.
Kristina Kendig 9:11
And tell us more about that smart, that smart drip, like what does that entail? Is it just sending out there on a property search? Or is it requiring them like every two weeks that they’re reaching out with a phone call or a text message? Like, what is that follow up?
Brandi Pratt 9:27
Yeah, so I would definitely say that on this merger plan, they need to be like I said, we need to 10 touches in the first 10 days. And then we need to skip to two weeks in the first three months. And then beyond the three months then we’re skipping to a month and keeping track so either an email call or text, and that’s telling us in the today’s what to do as well.
Nazar Kalayji 9:48
I’m gonna jump in real quick. I just I just had Jesse Rodriguez or Jesse Bowdoin from collection at our office, and we chatted for a couple hours and and he’s told me this before but like resinated again with me when it comes to online leads. He says, imagine if you go inside of a grocery store or any store for that matter. And the person immediately approaches you and says, Oh, Hi Anna, how can I help you? Our knee jerk reaction in those instances is to say what? Say, No, thanks. I’m good, right? Because we want to be bothered. And that’s not true. Like, if you walk in any store, you have some level of intention of doing something, right. And sometimes you have an exact intention, right? You want to buy a specific thing. But as soon as you want that store, and that person approaches you, you automatically be like, No, not yet not ready for you? Does that make me a bad lead? Does that make me not a client? Absolutely not, I just not ready to transact or interact with you just yet. Right. And so with when we get these online leads, especially when they are top of funnel leads, they come in, and we do the war call, we do the drips, and the emails and the text messages and the phone calls. And you might get no response to any of that. Right. And then most agents, what they do, they say, Well, this is a garbage lead, and then they either trash it, or they completely forget about it. And here’s the thing, that’s where I think automation comes into play. Like if you guys aren’t using call action, you need to be certain to use call action, because it has a way for them to be able to revive those buyers, right revive those sellers that are coming through because, again, you need to be able to be there when they’re ready, but not bug them until they’re ready to actually want something from you. And that’s what’s really cool about Zillow. And the FLEX program is that they’ve actually raised their hand saying, hey, I really want information right now, I want to see this house right now. But a percentage of Zillow leads or percentage of online leads are not ready to have any face to face, or even a phone call conversation with any realtor because they just want information, right? They just want to know if the house is available. They just want to know, you know, whatever it is, right, what’s a school zone that this is in or some information that they themselves can’t find online. And for us as agents when we’re connecting with them, like don’t be like this commission breath type of person were like, hey, I can help you with his house, he wants his house.
Now that again, that’s gonna work for some certain leads. But the higher level leads or the upper funnel leads, like the the boom towns and why Lobos and Facebook leads and those types of leads. Like very quickly, you’ll decide because you want to reach out to him quickly, just like Brandi was saying within five minutes. Past was five minutes if they don’t respond to you. Like your message needs to be so much different than Hey, do you want to see this house? Because the answer is clearly no, I don’t want to yet because I’m not ready. When we’re buying a property. We are thinking sometimes up to a couple of years in advance, right? Like I know this person that says hey, Nazar, I want to sell my house. But only when my mom dies. And she’s, you know, I’m her caregiver, she lives in my little Casita, and when she passes away, we’re gonna sell her home.
Right? Is that a bad lead? It’s not? Yeah, we’ve identified a lot with them. Nothing. I’ve done a shitty job of following what that lead. And I got the lead a year ago, and that person still hasn’t passed away yet. Right? But like, what can I do, I can deliver messages to them, I can still drip on them with a message that’s tailored to them to be able to help them, nurture them be top of mine until they are ready to transact. And in that case, it’s basically a conditional reason, right? They’re waiting for something to happen. They’re waiting to see if they get that job. They’re waiting to see if, you know, if they’re gonna get a divorce or not. They’re waiting to see, you know, when their kids like, in some instances, you know, oh, well, my kid has two more years of school left and as she graduates high school, and I’ll be an empty nester, and that’s when I’m going to make the move, right. So we get loads leads way in advance, because let’s say someone says, Hey, this is my kids are done, I’m moving out of state, well, they start looking in the state in which they want to buy and they go to Zillow, they go to realtor.com, they go to these websites, or just do a Google search for homes for sale and yada, yada. And you get that lead. Who years in advance?
What are you gonna do in the meantime? Because if you call them and say, Hey, you wanna buy a house, I’m gonna buy a house, I’m gonna buy a house here. They’d be like, No, shut up, like you’re bugging me. But if you say, Hey, here’s what you can find in this area for this price range, or, Hey, let me see, you know, I know that you’re two years out, but what exactly what are you looking for? And let me set you up a search that’s more specific to deliver value. And stay top of mind, you know, put a drip and say, okay, and three months follow up with an individual to see if their plans have changed, or maybe they’ve escalated. And then you can connect with him that way. So brandy for you like, I would imagine that people are moving out to the Coachella Valley. They’re looking to retire there. But you know, potentially, we’re, you know, I mean, I don’t know who the demographics are, who’s buying there to talk to me more about like, how are you playing the long game because I think there’s a lot of money that’s missed an opportunity that way?
Brandi Pratt 14:49
Yeah, most definitely. I think that if you’re ever going to start the online leads, you have to have a CRM place. Just like you said, the older leads are actually better leads like right now we’re out showing a two year old lead $2 million properties. So and then another thing that you had mentioned is that when you call and they say no thanks, that is gold to my ear. So we have actually have a pond leads in our CRM system where everyone can log in. And I tell everyone, do not move that lead until you physically meet with that person. So if you call, you know, say, Hey, Sally, this is Brandi Pratt with the Pratt Group. And she’s holding the kids. And I’ll tell you right now, if I’m hauling my three kids, I’m like, probably screaming at one once you know, wanting the dog. So I caught her at the bad time, right? So I tell my team, the next day, follow up with Sally, you may have caught Sally at a bad time. So it’s really important to keep calling these people. Because you may catch people at a bad time. They may say no thanks. But tomorrow may be a better day and they’re going to answer that question for you. So I highly recommend having a CRM system never think an old lead or a lead that unsubscribes is a bad lead. The second they unsubscribe, I actually move on to follow up boss and MailChimp. People tell me I actually saw them like a bad ex husband. So I literally do, you have to never look at a lead like it’s a bad lead. If they don’t ever move it to trash, move it to some other CRM system that’s going to follow them as well or send them value. So and the reason I’m going to send them to MailChimp, is MailChimp, we’re going to send events out for the Coachella Valley. And then also we’re going to be sending out market updates. So that’s going to be that and then on follow up boss, it’s going to be a completely different script than Boomtown was. So obviously in Boomtown, we were touching on too much. And that’s why they got mad unsubscribe, so then I’m going to move them out, and I’m going to move them somewhere else. If we have a good email, don’t do that. I’ll never forget about six months ago, I had a listing, I’m standing there, the lady comes in and says, I want to buy the house. I said, Okay, great. I don’t even know you. She goes, I know you. I said, Okay, wonderful. She goes, You have actually been sending me emails for two years, but you didn’t respond to my email. So this is my agent, and I’m going to buy the house.
So knowing the fact that that lady is in my CRM system, and I just lost out on an opportunity of her buying my listing even hurt more, but now I’m looking at it like, Okay, I screwed up, that was my fault. So now I’m gonna move that to a seller lead, I’m gonna look at as an opportunity in a year to two years to relist that home, so I’m going to move them to MailChimp. And I’m going to send them market updates, and I’m going to be back in her face, and then follow up with that phone call. So never look at a lead like it’s a bad lead. We’ve closed old leads old leads are actually sometimes better than brand new leads, because sometimes they inquire and they’re like we didn’t inquire, you absolutely did. But if you catch them six months down the road, then that’s your opportunity. So it’s really important. Never look at a lead like it’s a bad lead. Unless obviously, it’s a horrible phone number horrible email, then trash it, but never trash the lead until they tell you to stop. And then when they tell you to stop moving to another CRM system.
Nazar Kalayji 18:13
I have a couple just quick spares I want to tell one is I’m in the market to buy a Bronco, right? I like the new Broncos, I want to I want to buy one. And I’m looking for one and I don’t want to pay or MSRP. And so I’m looking for dealerships that have that. And it’s remarkable when I go in and make an inquiry It pisses me off because like they’ll say, here’s the Bronco that we have. And like what’s the price we’re like? Well click on this button to get an instant price on the vehicle. It click a button pulls down your What did they want you information, I put my information and I think I’m gonna get the instant price. I don’t I get a freaking phone call. I’m like, I don’t want your damn phone call. I just want the freaking price of the vehicle. And then I’ll freakin call you if I want it, right? But that person knows that I want to buy a damn car. And they reach out to me a couple of times, and I don’t answer and then that’s it, like communication lost a sale lost opportunity wise. And so and then another story that I have. It’s really sad. It’s It’s still painful because it’s happening as we speak.
I have a past client of mine that lives very, like a couple blocks away. And another home in my community popped up in his list of $4.5 million. And this friend friend of mine who’s worth easily 80 to $100 million dollars. I see him and he goes hey, these are what do you think about that house that’s on yada yada St. And I was like, oh, and then I virtually vomited to him all the things I thought about the home. Oh, it’s this instant. It’s got all these things here. Yeah. And he goes, Okay, cool. And that’s all he said. And then that I said and that was it. A month later he approaches me again, it says, Hey, there’s no word. You know, remember that? How sick would you think about the home? I said, Oh, well, it’s one from $4.5 million to $3.8 million is you know, given all these rental facts like oh, like I’m really smart know what I’m talking about?out. And he goes, Yeah, you know, like, that’s cool. And we will keep on talking about this. And he proceeds to tell me because that’s the you know, I’ve actually ever been inside the home since it’s been finished. But, and he goes, Oh, I’ve already been sent home. I’m like, you have he goes, Yeah, actually been in it twice. I said, Okay, really, he goes, Well, actually have an offer on it right now. I said, What? With who? He goes, Well, the listing agent, as you went to the listing agent, he goes, Yeah, like, I wanted to get a better deal. And we’ve been talking and so and now he’s in escrow on this freaking $4.5 million house. And like, I’m so freaking pissed, like, and I have to, like, have this guy be my neighbor now. So pisses me off even more. But here’s the lesson I learned. It is not my clients responsibility to follow up with me.
It is not, they have no obligation to work with me. They don’t. And so I can be pissed off all the way to the bank. But guess what? It’s not their duty. It’s mine. Right? I knew this little mofo that was worth a kajillion. Dollars wanted to buy a home in my neighborhood. I knew that. And I knew that that property hit the market. But what did I say? Hey, so and so this home, just hit the market. Let’s go take a look at it. It’s my bad, right? Or you could have also said, Hey, I’m gonna buy this house when this happens. When I was very new to the industry, the Internet was new. I’m just kidding. The internet was there. But like, there’s no such thing as CRM systems. And so we’d go door knocking and get a prospective lead, like this one person said, oh, yeah, I’m going to sell my house in six months follow up with me, then, as it also, I got myself a little post it note, I wrote on their their name, like, Oh, this guy’s gonna be moving in six months. So it’s a basically a, you know, posted their listing limitate. And then I put this on my desk, and it sat there for five months, and then six months. And then six months, in a day later, I go on the MLS, and I see the houses on the market. And my Dino knows my listing. Well guess what? I effed up, I didn’t follow up with him. I completely forgot. But now you guys, we have follow up boss, we have online systems to be able to track leads and to set reminders for us. So we don’t forget, don’t be like me and mess up on millions of dollars of opportunity. Because you failed to follow up. And that’s literally, that’s the king, right? Online lead comes in, we get super, super excited about the shiny new penny. But we fail. All those opportunities that are there just nurturing and waiting for us to build it I’m ready to buy. So I really did have a question for brandy. So you have a team of five years, you mentioned that you get over 100 leads a month and you guys close over 100 deals a year? How do you limit how many leads each agent gets on your team? Or do you have like, you can only have 2030 leads in your CRM, and that’s what you’re managing? Or how do you do that? I actually don’t limit we’re on a rotator dialer. So everything as it comes in goes out. So I don’t actually even if it’s like a $500,000 home or a $5 million home, I don’t dictate that we just rotate dialer. If the lead is getting super cold, I asked them to move everything into the pond is what I’m asking them to do. So that pond leads is for everyone. If they told me they have nothing to do, here’s, you know, 5000 leads jump in there and start calling upon leads.
Peter Abdelmesseh 23:17
And you have an ISA managing that pawn lead or like following up with those clients and setting them up in MailChimp and all that or what do you what’s your plan there?
Brandi Pratt 23:24
We do now, we didn’t and because of the last few years, it was just so crazy busy, or I’m gonna tell you a lot of our systems kind of went by the wayside. But now we do have an ISA that’s helping us out. And then also we are just any of the agents that are jumping in there doing the leads, we’re moving them sending it to the assist or assistance and getting them uploaded into there. So I always ask them to move it over to both of my assistants, and then have them uploaded into the MailChimp and follow up boss.
Peter Abdelmesseh 23:56
And then on MailChimp. What exactly are you sending them and I mentioned market updates event invites all that stuff. But how many touch points I guess, are you giving out a month per lead to at least two and MailChimp?
Brandi Pratt 24:07
So we’re doing the events around the Coachella Valley letting them know what’s up and coming. What’s gonna be happening. We get a lot of response from that because we’re such a second home destination that we are getting people that are only coming in for the weekend. They’re like Hey, thank you so much. I actually didn’t know what was going on in the Coachella Valley. So this is this is great information. Now we know what to do over the weekend. And then like I said the market update is going to be two weeks after that so we’re making sure to touch them every two weeks.
Peter Abdelmesseh 24:37
Kristina Kendig 24:41
Tessa wanted to know how you stay in touch with those past clients are using MailChimp as well loading them into MailChimp and pretty much sending the same information?
Brandi Pratt 25:00
Yeah MailChimp sending the same information and then obviously like you know at the beginning of or not the beginning of the year or Yeah, beginning of the year sending them their close statements, closing statements to the ones of the year prior. And then another one just because really good at this on my team is she’ll have a to do and Boomtown and be sending them home anniversary cookies, or flowers, whatever it may be. So that’s a that’s a great touch as well.
So past clients, we’re starting up I’m recently have become the exclusive arena partner for the aperture arena, the Firebirds out here in the Coachella Valley. So we’re going to be doing hockey events, where I’m renting out the ice rink and we’re going to be taking past clients over there giving them tours of the arena, and then also being able to ice skate too. So that’s going to be one of our touch points, too. Very cool. That’s awesome. You guys. Any other questions? We’ll let brandy jump off. I know she’s got a super hectic crazy week this week. Yeah. Hasn’t hasn’t been fun.
Kristina Kendig 26:02
Yeah, amazing. I appreciate the plug because I am like the CRM person, use your CRM, there are no bad leads, follow up, make sure you have a procedure for that follow up and check your ponds. So you don’t have somebody show up to your open house to buy the house that you never responded to their email.
Brandi Pratt 26:28
Yeah, the pond leads are the biggest thing that that is really good because like I said, not everyone is going to like you. So they may like someone else. Hand it off. Don’t be afraid to hand it off. Because again, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, trust me.
Kristina Kendig 26:44
Awesome. Well, thank you. You’re our cup of tea. Brandy. We appreciate it so much, you guys, everybody. Next week we have well, I’m just gonna leave it as a surprise. You’ll see in your emails a little bit later today, who we have for next week. Have a fabulous week. If you guys need anything from us, please reach out and we’ll see you all later. Thanks Brandi!