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RISMedia, May 27 2011—The real estate industry is generally ignoring or responding too late to capitalize on nearly 75 percent of the web-based leads it invests in generating, according to the results of ongoing secret-shopping study being conducted by PCMS Consulting and One Cavo.

Leading industry consultant, PCMS Consulting, and Internet lead response specialist, One Cavo, have been conducting ongoing secret-shopping since late last year to gauge Internet lead response by large multi-office brokerages. To date, the two firms have anonymously sent 715 web-form fills to 56 different companies, many of which have requested the secret-shopping through the One Cavo website. Depending on the size of the company and the specific request of the brokerage, a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 40 leads were sent to each company. In every case, half the leads were agent specific, the other half IDX. Independent and franchised companies in 19 states have been included in the study.

So far, the results suggest that nearly 75 percent of leads generated were lost. One Cavo founder and President, Bradley Miller explains, “Our informal study mirrors the results of various NAR and industry studies that find approximately 48 percent of agents do not respond to Internet leads—46 percent of our inquiries went unanswered. And, what is perhaps worse, 23 percent of those that received call backs received them, on average, 8 hours after the forms were submitted. Today’s Internet consumer is expecting a response certainly within the hour but, more likely, within 15 or 20 minutes.”

John Reinhardt, President of Fillmore Real Estate, a 14-office brokerage in New York City, and member of RISMedia’s Real Estate Information Network® (RREIN), recently engaged One Cavo and PCMS Consulting to help his firm enhance their Internet lead response. “We have been in business for over 45 years and are very proud of our brand and personal service. In this day and age, new consumers are reaching us through the Internet and they are expecting immediate response. Fillmore has always focused on delivering the best consumer experience and the Internet consumer deserves the same experience. We turned to One Cavo to assist us with responding to internet consumer to insure that they have an exceptional experience with Fillmore as well.”

“There are three pieces to Internet marketing and they have to be strategized as one,” advises Jose Perez, Founder and Chief Visionary for PCMS Consulting. “First you need to drive traffic to your site through social media, blogging, listing syndication, etc. Then, you have to have a great site that engages and entertains consumers so they are inclined to request more information from your firm. Finally, especially if you have spent of thousands of dollars doing the first two, you must respond to those leads immediately since over 70 percent of consumers choose the first company that gets back to them. Unfortunately, too many companies have no real system or accountability and leads fall through the cracks amounting to lost profits that few can risk in this environment,” Perez adds.

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