That's when people want answers. And if they don't get them, they're gone. They'll find them somewhere else.
Considering that 85 per cent of the people who contact you want to be contacted back within the hour, what can you do?
The simple answer is: contact them within the hour. But how?
Here are the top 10 tips we collected at the recent Asian Real Estate Association of America conference on luxury properties and technology.
10. Be better.Take comfort in the fact that 24 per cent of real estate agents who are lucky enough to get someone's name, number and email address via online sources don't call them back the same day!
9. Be considerate.When you're meeting with clients or friends, let them know in advance that if someone is trying to contact you, you'd like to take just a moment to send a quick response.
8. Grab a niche.You can't be everything to everybody, so focus on communicating with people you can actually help. Define your niche: neighbourhood, housing style, age of client, whatever. Be an expert on something and concentrate on it. Pack your online outlets with valuable information on it. By the time people contact you, they're serious.
7. Learn your technology.The coming generation of home buyers have been online since they were born. And their grandparents are figuring it out too. So should you. Learn the capabilities of your smartphone and your tablet. If you don't text, start. If you've never shot a video with your phone then shared it on social media, try it out. Find all the apps that can help you in your job. Just don't fall behind.
6. Always be online.Get a mobile hotspot so you're not dependent on finding WiFi. They're much cheaper than they used to be, and they're faster than hooking up via your phone, although your phone can be a WiFi hub in a pinch.
5. Put a live chat feature on your website.When people land on your website, a chat feature pops up inviting them to ask you a question. In an on-demand world, it's even easier than finding your contact information and clicking through.
4. Set up alerts.You can't answer if you don't know someone has contacted you. Have a specific phone number and email address for leads. Set the email to alert you when something comes in. (While we're on the subject, please go to your REW.ca account and make sure the phone number and email address go directly to you and not your office. When people contact you from our site, they're looking at one of your properties or reading your description in the Agent Directory. Don't make hot leads jump through hoops to get to you.)
3. Follow your clients.You'll learn a ton by watching what your clients are doing on social media. Plus, you can set up notifications from Twitter and Facebook for people you're following, so you'll know if they mention, tag or DM you.
2. Ask your clients how they like to communicate.Do they prefer text? Phone? Skype? Face Time? When you know how they like to get their information, you'll know how to stay in touch with them.
1. Respond immediately!If you don't respond immediately, you've lost them. If you do, you're a hero. When busy and won't be able to get back to them for a while, have some template texts and emails so you can easily just add the person's name and shoot out a "Sorry, I'm in a meeting right now but I will get back to you at xx time" message. Make it sound personal, not like an autoresponder.
People understand if you're occupied at the moment, but if you respond to them right away and tell them when they will hear back from you, they know you're paying attention. That's the most important thing.
Over 90% of home buyers work with the first agent they contact. Make sure it's you.