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Sameer Punja…, Real Estate Pro in Fairfield, CA

How do you pre-screen leads off Trulia?

Asked by Sameer Punjani, Fairfield, CA Sun Sep 11, 2011

I advertise on Trulia, and some leads want to view homes. But as agents, we know nothing about you have them fill out additional paperwork prior to them viewing property? I normally only show people who are pre-approved, but at the same time I don't want to lose the lead.. Any ideas?

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If they contact me by email and don't give a phone number, I email back thanking them for contacting me and ask them to either give me a call or send me a phone number. If they don't provide it - DONE. You are absolutely right that you need to pre-qualify any buyer, whatever the source. If they seem serious and motivated, next step is they must get their financing in order. If they don't have a bank pre-approval letter, they've go to get that before I'll take them out.
5 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 11, 2011
Jenet, my younger mentor from across the continent. Thank you.

It's really the same as any other lead or contact - do you want to meet with me, or not? Do you want to be involved in a real estate transaction or not? I know there are people who can mine the nots and turn them into dos, but I need to see some motivation on their part.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 11, 2011
Jenet - Mack is right about Jenet being right. If a lead won't talk to you, either by phone or in person, there is little chance of them ever becoming a prospect, therefore "client status" ain't gonna happen (excuse me, I attended high school in Kentucky). Best to move on. Y'all.
But I never talk to a prospect about pre-screening with a lender until they've been pre-screened by a financial planner. Unless they are also a CFP, lenders are not qualified to counsel potential buyers as to whether or not they SHOULD get a mortgage, only if they COULD get a mortgage. As professionals with our client's best interest in mind, we should focus on the SHOULD before we look at properties.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 11, 2011
Ask your leads if they have by preapproved by a Lender, If YES, ask for a copy of the preapproval and then call the Lender to ask questions. If NO, ask a few basic questions yourself of the lead. The more questions you ask that they answer openly should help you build a relationship with the Lead that could lead to a good client relationship. My philosophy is people do business with people they know, like + TRUST ...

Contact me if you need more help with the questions to ask and other resources you could use to progress your relationship with Leads.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 11, 2011
I am not an active real estate agent, but if I was I'd call up and during the course of conversation/setting up a time to meet, I'd ask if they were pre-approved, but not connect it to my willingness to show them homes or not. If they say no, I'd still show them 1-3 homes but would definitely require they ride in my car so I can discuss the importance of being pre-approved and make it a point that I am giving them the benefit of the doubt, but before I spend more than that initial time together looking at homes I'll want them to go through the pre-approval process.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 11, 2011
Hi Sameer,

I interview each of my leads not only to better understand what they want but just as importantly if they can AFFORD what they want. My time is money to me so I want to make sure they have been pre-approved before I start burning gas to show them homes. If they haven't, then I give them 3 mortgage broker names and follow-up to make sure they've met with them and are approved.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 18, 2011
Sameer, you're spot on about the pre approval part. I even take it a step further and, as the other RE professionals on this thread have so aptly stated in so many ways, your time is money. I'll give a client a free ride the first time around. Then it's time to fish or cut bait as far as I'm concerned. If they're not willing to sign with me by then.....................................NEXT!! I'm too old to waste my time on lookielou's.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 18, 2011
Thumbs up to all you folks for such direct and astute answers. Once again I'm soooooooo thankful for weekends, a Mac with a seven hour battery and wifi, NFL Sunday and a good bottle of Pinot Gregio poolside whence I just kick back and read to learn. So much knowledge and information on this venue. Like my Dad always used to say "You're not learning when you''re talking only when you're listening" Thank's to you all.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 18, 2011
I always ask questions about what they're looking for, if they're preapproved, and how soon would they like to get together so that we can pinpoint properties to meet their requirements. i tell them it's policy to meet new clients at the office first before showing any property. If they're willing to meet, that's a big plus. If they're not, then it's NEXT!

I did have one of the best leads ever by someone who contacted me via Trulia, asking about a specific property in Piedmont CA. I responded that the property is already in contract, but that there are a few others that have similar properties to that one (I didn't give them the addresses, just descriptions and price ranges). Within minutes, they called me up and asked to meet with me in an hour because they're on their way from San FRancisco and would like to see properties. I asked them to come to my office first so that we can talk and look at properties online. They agreed. And that was the beginning of a wonderful relationship that resulted in a closed escrow -- my biggest sale this year!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 12, 2011
Typically I will ask the buyers to meet me at the office prior to showing them the property so that I can sit face to face with them and learn more about them and what they want in a home. This request really seems to weed out the serious from those not so serious.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 25, 2014
I'd say during the initial phone call, you would want to ask them some specific questions that will help you decide if they are a serious lead. Also them showing up for a meeting with you in the office is a good way to tell if they are a serious lead or not.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 23, 2014
I set up an initial consultation in my office. If they are serious they will take the time to come to the office.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 17, 2014
To become a lead a person simply clicks on a link, that is it. You need to contact everyone and use questions you would with any new consumer who calls to pre-qualify them your self. Some will be tire kickers, some serious and some spam. but if you dont call, you never know if they are for real. .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 17, 2014
You need to make a personal decision. That decision is, 'Who is the captain of the ship?"
"I don't want to lose the lead" suggests there is confusion in several areas.
#1. Is this a lead?
#2. Is the a conversion?
#3. Is this a client?
Which one(s) are you actually doing business with?
If you are not the captain of your ship, you will do business with NONE of them.
This is a business not a hobby. The differece between the two are OBJECTIVES.
One has NONE.
When must you make your real estate purchase?
Where will you make your real estate purchase?
What are you going to buy?
How much are you going to spend?
Who is paying?
Having the answer to these question is the difference between a captain who has plotted a course to a desirable destination and WISHFUL THINKING.
Wishful thinking is the currency of hobbyists.
Who , What, When, Why, Where....that the minimal pre-screen and should take place in the most impressive office to which you have access or can rent.
At this point you know whether you do or do not have the solutions they need. The 'Captain' would declare, I can get you there with the array of resources I have available now, but you need to buy a ticket. Sign here.
By the way, how can you fulfill your over site responsibility, such as sending to the PROPER lending source without this information?

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor University High School distirct
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 17, 2014
Hi Sameer,

If they want to see homes tell them to meet you at the office and make a copy of their ID before showing them homes. Also make sure they are pre-approved. Better safe than sorry.

Best of Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 16, 2014
Just ask them the same qualifying questions you ask anybody else or any other lead. I don't think there's a magic formula to it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 16, 2014
I will speak to a new lead on the phone and set an appointment. Upon meeting at the property, I will conduct the showing and build my rapport. If they are not pre-qualified, I will refer them to my preferred loan officer. This has worked successfully for me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 16, 2014
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