We often get questions from clients about how to handle leads who tell you that they’re already working with an agent. The instinctive reaction of many clients is to just discard that lead and move on, but we recently heard from some of our clients on the subject, and they had something different to say!
Kris Bowen from Salt Lake City pointed out that it’s important not to assume the lead is already contracted with their other agent. “I always ask if they have signed an agreement with an agent, not just ‘are you working with an agent‘,” he said. “If they haven’t then I continue to work it and send them listings and try to setup an appointment.”
Leads who already have an agent should theoretically have no reason to go looking for a new website or a new realtor. With this in mind, John Duncan – a four-year client in Houston – points out that the agent may not be providing the help the lead is looking for. “A phrase that I like to use is ‘do you have an agent representing your best interests?‘ It seems to make them think and many times we find they’re just ‘talking’ with someone‘. Also I use our state’s agency disclosure to my advantage by sharing it with them and asking if they have seen it before to which almost always they say no. I like to plant seeds of doubt about what they’re getting elsewhere. In short, we’ve converted a number of folks who were ‘working with an agent‘.”
We heard a similar tactic from Bob Norris from Tucson, one of our very first clients, who prefers to keep it brief: “I just ask the simple question “Do you like your agent?“. You will be surprised at the replies you get!”
For more of a service based approach, you can also simply keep providing the lead with the same level of excellent service that you give all your other leads! “My opinion is to never shut them down or stop the listings unless they ask you to,” said Susie Hall, a Tiger client who turned a single license into a huge team of agents in Richmond.
“I just had an agent receive a lead two weeks ago that told her they were working with another agent and even told her who it was. My agent said “I am so glad you have an agent taking care of you, that is great! Please continue to use the site, it’s the best site out there.” The lead told her that she would like to use the site but she wasn’t getting the right listings. My agent asked her a bunch of questions and then made the lead a new search and wished her the best. Two days later the lead called back and told her that she was now receiving the exact listings she wanted and that my agent had done a better job from one phone call than the other agent had done in a few months. She terminated her relationship with the other agent and wrote a $520,000 all cash contract that weekend with my agent and it closes this month. We give the same service to the ones that say they have an agent or aren’t serious about buying and it pays off a lot of the time!!!!”
It’s this kind of positive attitude and dedication to customer service that has helped Susie and her team be so successful!
The key to this is not to write the lead off immediately. Remember that many leads, especially if they’re looking for a realtor online, will speak with multiple realtors before signing an agreement to work with one (the details of which may vary by state or province). As long as they haven’t signed with another agent, you can still convert that lead into a sale by demonstrating how much value you have to offer. While the first contact is crucial to building a relationship with the lead, your chances of closing the sale increase dramatically as you keep following up with the lead (which we’ll be doing a whole separate post about soon), so no matter what, make sure you never give up!
– The Client Services Team