In today’s Ask the Expert column, we spoke with Randall Standard, CEO of Voicepad, a leading source for lead-generating mobile and Telecom technology, and inventor of TeamPhone, who shares his insights into the best way for an agent team to increase production.
Randall Standard: If you look at the most successful teams in America, the one thing they all have in common is they have systems. Just like a brokerage, to maximize profitability, teams need systems that are centralized, automated and always available.
One area that offers a great opportunity for increased production, especially for teams, is to focus on handling calls that originate from the curb.
Some of the highest quality leads in the industry originate from the front yard of a listing. These people are ready to buy a home, and when they call, they want their call answered.
Yet we’ve found that 42 percent of all calls originating from the curb today terminate in an agent’s voicemail.
It’s not the agent’s fault. No one can be available 100 percent of the time. But if a team has the right technology, they can identify which of these calls are a real priority and not just another caller ID from out of town.
When buyers call from the curb, they’re standing in front of a home they either want to see or have questions about.
Teams need technology that takes advantage of information derived from phone calls. Unlike Web leads, phone calls tell an agent who the buyers are (often by name), their cellphone numbers, and, with the right technology, the listings that have captured their interest.
Unfortunately, 90 percent of yard signs today give buyers just two options: Call the broker/team phone number or an agent’s phone number. There’s a high likelihood that neither of these phone numbers will be answered when called (evenings and weekends), and the buyer simply moves on down the block, calling another yard sign until somebody actually answers the phone. This happens millions of times a year.
The real estate industry has aspired to respond quickly to missed opportunities for years. But that’s the point. It’s much harder to follow up on a missed opportunity than it is to actually handle an inquiry when it arrives. Technology such as simultaneous ring and speech-enabled listing data are now available on the phone numbers that teams are using, and they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to implement. It’s a lot cheaper than having a human available to handle calls 24/7.
Imagine how your team’s production would increase if you provided every buyer who called your yard signs with updated audio-based property info (in multiple languages), including an automated text link to property information that can be tracked by phone number and name.
Remember, almost all sign inquiries originate from a mobile phone. The great opportunity for the real estate industry—which remains very call-centric—is to leverage the information gained from phone and text inquiries and convert them into actionable leads (i.e., phone number and name, versus an email address).
Agent follow-up attempts are much more successful with a potential homebuyer’s phone number (to call or text) than a Gmail address. If you doubt this, just ask any agent.
For more information, visit www.voicepad.com.