Two facts, when combined, illustrate the must-do strategies for your agents to convert real estate leads from ANY source. First, according to the recently released National Association of REALTORS Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report 2017, nearly seven in 10 buyers interviewed only one real estate agent during their home search, consistent across all generations. Meaning, if you get there first, you’ve a very good chance of winning that buyer’s business.
The second fact, according to the Lead Response Management Study, an agent’s ability to qualify a lead is four times more likely if responding to the lead within 5 minutes versus 10 minutes. And it’s 21 times more likely if responded to within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes. Simply meaning, the faster you respond, the more likely you’ll qualify that lead. And since 70% of buyers talk to only one REALTOR before committing to work with them, the odds are truly on your side. And, intuitively, this makes sense. When someone takes the time to complete a form online requesting more information, they’ve already self-identified themselves as a potential client. Their satisfaction — and yours, if you had completed the form — would rise if you were responded to very promptly.
So, as a broker, how can you help your agents with this? I think there are two steps: increase conversion and increase lead flow. In today’s blog, I’ll focus on increasing conversion.
HOW TO INCREASE CONVERSION
As the facts above demonstrate, responding quickly is the key to increasing conversion, and a combination of tools and techniques can help.
Convert Real Estate Leads Using Lead Routing
The first conversion tool is lead routing, which is a key component to providing your agents with notification of new leads in a timely manner. Routing is simply the automated process of assigning new leads to your agents, based on rules you can establish. You can create rules that optimize the likelihood of conversion by assigning certain kinds of real estate leads to the best agents who can convert real estate leads. Such rules may dictate that all leads go to these five agents in a simple, round-robin fashion. Round robin simply means the first lead goes to the first agent on the list. The second lead goes to the second agent on the list, and so on. It’s the most basic form of lead routing. Some CRM systems let you get even more granular, and assign leads based on price and narrower geographic terms. For instance, all listings above $500,000 in this school district go to these three agents who work that area. By limiting the agents on the lead route, the broker can increase the likelihood of matching a knowledgeable agent to that lead. Lastly, and taking into account the two key facts from above, you can create any lead routing rule you’d like, and further add the requirement that the agent must accept the lead within “X” minutes (given the above stats, I’d say five minutes), otherwise it will go to the next agent on the lead route list.
Auto-Responding To Leads
Now that you’ve assigned the lead to a qualified agent, what about the lead itself? Auto-responding to the lead is also a quick tool to let them know their request was received and someone will be contacting them shortly. This auto-response can be done via email, text, or both. If your system can do both, you’ll quickly discover your lead’s preferred way to communicate. I’ve had cases when a lead does not respond at all to email, but I’ve gotten instantaneous responses from text.
Lastly, and not surprisingly, the assigned agent should call the lead immediately. It seems so basic, yet so many agents fail at this simple concept. I had a friend who contacted six agents to represent him in a home purchase. I asked him which agent he chose. He replied, “The one that called me back.” Lead routing tools can easily email or text lead contact information to the assigned agent, and often it’s as easy as clicking the link to the lead’s phone number to launch the agent’s mobile device’s phone app and initiate a call. You can be speaking to a lead within one minute of it being assigned.
One more critical additional step is education. As you read this, you likely think these points are obvious, especially in light of the two facts presented above. So make these facts part of your office meetings. Reinforce them quarterly. Relate them to the tools and technologies you provide to enable these quick lead-qualifying tips.
By simply understanding these concepts and making your agents aware of them, you’ll win more buyers from leads generated from any source. Next month we’ll talk about increasing lead volumes now that you understand the key to converting them.