I had to laugh at Teke Wiggin’s recent article 7 Tips for Converting More Online Real Estate Leads.

If I left you my email address and phone number and you followed his advice, you can be sure that I wouldn’t work with you.  I’d think you were a pushy, self-serving salesperson who cared more about your commission than about me.

Real Estate is a people business. If you want to convert people who make online inquiries into clients who like and trust you and want to work with you, you are going to need to connect with them at a human level quickly.

Human connection is complicated and at the same time, essential and foundational to successful business relationships. “We are hard wired such that our well-being depends on our connection with others” writes Gareth Cook in this Scientific American article.  He goes on to say that connection is a necessity and not a luxury and that we can earn a human connection by learning to understand the thoughts and feelings of the people we interact with.   You can’t do that with a script that you have role played or by being doggedly persistent as the Inman article would have you do. In order to build enough trust for people to share with you what they think and feel, you will need to approach your conversations in an authentic, curious, open-minded and non-judgmental way.  Learning the skills to communicate at this level in an email, a text or a brief sales conversation is the art of ethical sales and a fast track to converting more online leads into people who will want to work with you.

To be fair, there are a couple of valid points in the Inman article.  Responding quickly matters, but most people won’t choose the first real estate agent they hear from but rather the first real estate agent that they connect with. You are better to respond authentically than to respond immediately.  I also like the idea of a video text message, but be sure that it showcases you as someone who cares about them and not just a cheesy personal promotion.

Real Estate is changing. Finding people online that want to buy or sell real estate is a significant part of our business, but just because technology introduces us to these people doesn’t mean that technology will earn us the trust that is essential to a successful client relationship.