Leads can come from anywhere: your PPC campaigns, your social media page, a referral from a past client—
And your local coffee shop.
David Behr, a mortgage lender with New American Funding in Denver, gets a lot of his leads by simply striking up conversations with strangers.
"I generate a lot of leads at coffee shops, at ball games, at the elevator, in line at a restaurant. I'm pretty good at starting a conversation with people; that's just who I am. But I think a lot of realtors are afraid to step out and have a conversation with somebody."
Talking to strangers comes easily to David, a naturally outgoing guy. But even if you're not usually the type to start chatting up your fellow Starbucks patrons, there are a few strategies you can use to help you get conversations started. David was even kind enough to share with me a script that realtors could use.
"When anyone asks me how I'm doing, I always tell them, 'I'm unbelievable.'" When I say that, it typically starts a conversation, because they'll go, 'Wow, that's great, you're having a good day, what's going on?'"
When you say, "I'm unbelievable," it's much more likely to elicit a response than if you simply reply with an "I'm fine." There's no intrigue in "I'm fine." Fine is expected.
But "unbelievable?" People are going to want to hear more.
A simple script for starting a conversation with strangers
You walk into the coffee shop and step up to the counter to make your order. The barista asks, "How are you?"
You respond, "I'm unbelievable." That gets the conversation started.
Next, find common ground. It could be the hat they're wearing with an out-of-state team's logo, or the necklace that looks like it could have come from a local boutique. Try to find something that can steer you toward a question like, "Where are you from?" or "Have you lived here for a long time? I could use a good jewelry shop recommendation."
Here's how one of David's recent conversations with a barista went:
David: I sense an accent. Where are you from?
Barista: I'm from Michigan.
David: Oh, cool, my wife's from Wisconsin. How long have you been out here in Colorado?
Barista: A couple of months.
Ask the magic question: "Are you a homeowner or a renter in this crazy market?" Real estate is such a hot topic right now, so this won't sound like a totally out-of-the-blue question. And it's a perfectly relevant thing to ask if you just learned that someone is new to the area.
David: So, are you a homeowner or a renter in this crazy market?
Barista: We're actually living in my in-laws' basement and saving up to buy a house.
Offer to help. Let the person know you're happy to be a resource for them.
David: "Oh, I'm a lender. And I'm the kind of lender that will never tell you no, I'll tell you how."
You, of course, are a real estate agent, not a lender. And at this point, it will be tempting to pounce and try to set an appointment. But that would be a mistake, because this person doesn't know you. And they probably know 10 other realtors. And they probably assume they can't afford a home right now, so why would they bother meeting with a random realtor?
"It's better to be a resource than a realtor," David likes to say. So here's what you could say at this point in the conversation:
You: "Oh, I'm a real estate agent, and I know a really great lender, if you're interested. He's the kind of guy who won't tell you no, he'll tell you how."
When you say something like that, you're not being an over-aggressive, dishonest salesperson. You're not applying pressure. You're just saying, "Hey, I want to be of value to you. Let me give you something that will help."
Try the 7-day "Unbelievable" challenge
With David's script, you can start conversations and generate leads anywhere you find yourself—at Starbucks, at the golf course, on the playground, in line at the grocery store. All you have to do is:
Reply with "I'm unbelievable" anytime someone asks how you're doing.
Find common ground that steers the conversation towards the person's living situation.
Ask the magic question: "Are you a homeowner or a renter in this crazy market?"
And offer to help: "I know a great lender, if you're interested."
The more people you talk to, the better you'll get at starting conversations that turn into leads. So for the next 7 days, I challenge you to try this out. Starting today, whenever anyone asks you how you're doing, I want you to say (and put some feeling into it): "I'm unbelievable!"
Click here to download the guide: The Rule of Three
About Sammy Harper
Sammy Harper is a content writer at Firepoint & Realvolve. Her nine years of digital marketing experience include SEO, email marketing, social media, and blogging. Fascinated by the real estate indust...