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By Glenn Houck

RISMEDIA, May 14, 2008—Real estate is not alone as an industry, in terms of ignoring Internet-based inquiries. This is a problem that plagues nearly every industry that involves salespeople. Both inside and outside sales forces are guilty of letting good opportunities slip through the cracks, due to lack of proper lead follow-up.

KnowledgeStorm, a business-to-business research company, reports that as much as 80% of all Internet-based inquiries are not responded to in a timely manner. These stats nearly mirror the real estate industry, where 48% of Internet inquiries are not responded to with a phone call, and the average response time of the remaining 52% is still 16 hours from the time of the inquiry.

Although the stats are staggering, only a few large brokers have committed the resources to staff a response center to make sure that each and every Internet lead is responded to, and done so in a timely manner.

Without a centralized lead response, qualification and live transfer system, it’s impossible to get consistent, timely response to your leads.

Huge increases in conversion can be obtained by developing a lead qualification system for your agents. Companies that have implemented an “Instant Response and Live Transfer” system report improving their conversion rates by up to 200%, while also improving their visibility into the lead-conversion rates by lead form, lead type and lead source.

Lead costs as a percent of revenue play a huge role in the bottom lines of brokers and agents. Improving lead conversion directly increases revenue, without adding lead costs, thus improving your bottom line. Take the time to see if improving your lead response process will increase your lead conversion. RE

Glenn Houck is co-founder of LeadQual, LLC.

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