Time is money — and that’s especially true for real estate agents. So why, then, do so many agents spend countless hours calling up leads, only to be met with voicemail boxes and silence?
Put simply, they’re calling too early.
Now, I don’t mean too early in the “I’ve only known you for five days” sense of the word. I mean too early in the lead nurturing process — before the agent really knows the lead or is even sure they need their services in the first place.
Phone calls should be reserved for sales-qualified leads only. And the key to finding those leads? That’s something called BANTAR.
Use Text Messaging To Qualify Leads First
Despite the onslaught of industry tech in recent years, real estate is still a highly personal game. Agents succeed by making real, tangible connections with people — often in person or over the phone.
But people are busy. And most leads aren’t ready for a lengthy phone call or in-person meeting right off the bat. Agents don’t have time for it either. It’s inefficient to spend time calling up leads you aren’t 100% sure are viable, and it’s a waste of an agent’s valuable time and effort.
Fortunately, text messaging exists as a nice buffer between the initial lead-capture phase and the phone call or in-person meeting. Use it to get to know your leads, nurture them and better qualify them in a low-pressure, low-cost and convenient way.
Texting can speed up the qualifying process, too. According to our firm’s research, it takes the average person just 90 seconds to respond to a text message versus 90 minutes to respond to an email. (Let’s not even talk about how long it takes people to respond to voicemails — if they ever do at all.)
Never Call Before Knowing BANTAR
Your ultimate goal in these texting efforts should be to qualify your leads and verify they’re viable potential clients before ever picking up the phone or scheduling a listing appointment.
That’s where BANTAR comes in. BANTAR is a little acronym that helps you gather the right information from your leads before ever devoting any additional energy or effort to them.
It stands for:
• Budget: What price range are they shopping in? How much can they afford? Make sure they align with your expertise, niche, etc.
• Authority: Are they the decision-maker in the transaction? Are they an influencer? If they’re an influencer, get contact info for the decision-maker before moving forward.
• Need: What are they looking for in a home? What are their preferences and expectations? This will help you kick off their search ASAP once they’re qualified.
• Timeline: When are they looking to buy or sell? How quickly do they need to move? If they’re still eight months out, focus your efforts on more immediate leads instead.
• Area: What location are they looking in? What neighborhoods or communities are they considering? Make sure you service their desired area before going any further.
• Relationship: Do they have an agent yet? Have they committed to a mortgage lender? Be sure there’s even room for you in the transaction.
These are all small, simple details — but they’re vital in determining if a lead is actually worth your time.
Best of all? They can all be gathered quickly and conveniently via text message with little effort, especially if you have the right tools.
The Bottom Line
Phone calls and in-person meetings still have a very important place in a real estate agent’s work — but they’re also very time-intensive (and therefore expensive). Put processes in place to make sure you’re only devoting effort to the best, most qualified leads possible, and your bottom line will thank you for it.