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Not All Leads Are Equal

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By Frederick Herot, VP of Marketing for realtor.com®

real_estate_lead_agent_on_phoneAt realtor.com®, we take great care to focus on the outcome for the brokers and their agents when we provide lead solutions. Leads come in all shapes and sizes; and it is not until you back out the intent of the consumer who submitted the lead, that the quality over quantity issue becomes apparent.

How ready are they? Where is the consumer in their life cycle? While it is good business to follow-up with all inquiries—at this time of year, the demand seems to be for leads where the consumer is past the research phase and already has a house in mind. If your source of leads is funneling in lots of consumers who are just curious about the state of the market, these potential consumers can convert, but this requires that your agents use good customer relationship practices. Instead of a drip marketing campaign that only sends emails without something personal, that will fall flat. We train with Top Producer® to send auto emails, but filter in lots of personal interactions and references to previous conversations which we store for the agent to refer to.

Where is the loyalty? If your leads are being distributed to your agent—and a few others simultaneously, you can argue that this assures that the consumer will get a call. But it can also be uncomfortable for both your agent and the prospective client. We have antidotal evidence that this hurts lead conversion significantly—from what our customers tell us, and studies done independently by PAA research (pleaseactaccordingly.com) will back this one up as well.

Who answers the phone? Phone leads are great—there is no scrambling to get back to the customer and if done well, an appointment or next step can be produced in a single action. But if your agents have not instrumented a system for sending a personal text when they are busy or capturing the lead on their cell phone, the results can be devastating. When we tested what happens when a consumer reaches a voice mail, only 30 percent left a message. In these cases, we would recommend email leads—or upgrading the systems used to manage the leads the way FiveStreet does it. We offer phone leads and email leads so this is something to consider when every closing makes a difference—especially when your desire is to finish the year strong!

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