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By Glenn Houck

RISMEDIA, Jan. 9, 2008-Many companies ask me how lead-to-close conversion rates of Internet leads are holding up in today’s market. At LeadQual, we respond to our clients’ Internet leads within minutes (about two minutes, on average), filter out the unqualified buyers and live transfer the most qualified buyers to an available Realtor via a phone call.

We look at various metrics that measure quality of a company’s Internet leads:

1. Valid phone rate: The percent of a company’s leads that has a valid phone.

2. Contact rate: The percent of a company’s leads where the decision maker is reached.

3. Qualification rate: The percent of a company’s leads that are verified to meet the company’s specific qualification criteria. When you look at a specific company’s leads, by utilizing the same lead form over time, we are able to glean insights into how the market is impacting Internet lead conversion, in terms of these leading indicators.

Over the past 18 months, here’s what we’ve seen:

1. Valid phone rate: There has been no change in the percent of leads that will put in a bogus phone number.

2. Contact rate: Again, no change. It is a huge challenge to connect with Internet leads, especially if you are not calling them within two minutes.

3. Qualification rate: Here, we’ve seen a slight drop of approximately 6%. This is accounted for by the fact that a slightly larger percent of buyers are telling our response experts that they may take some more time to make a decision. Our conclusion to these companies is that the sky is definitely not falling, and we have the data to prove it. Glenn Houck is co-founder of LeadQual, LLC.

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