In the following interview, Thomas Brown, founder/owner of The Agency Texas in Austin, Texas, discusses converting leads from online with success.
Region Served: Texas
Years in Real Estate: 20
Number of Offices: 3, with one to open in Dallas in 2019
Number of Agents: 55
What is the first action your team takes when receiving an online lead?
When it comes to online leads, speed to lead is critical, so it’s important that our agents get on top of the lead right away. Whether it’s picking up the phone and making a call, or sending a text or an email, you have to do whatever you can in order to get their attention. More often than not, they want to schedule an appointment to see the home right away, so our agents begin by thanking them for taking the time to reach out. From there, they ask about setting up a showing time at their earliest convenience. When following up with online leads, it’s also a good idea to provide information about properties other than the one they initially inquired about, in order to give them options.
How fast are your agents getting to the lead?
Our agents are receiving texts and emails as soon as the lead comes in, which puts them in the position to be able to call the consumer and provide the information they’re looking for right away. We also have an inside sales team that’s responsible for nothing but scheduling appointments, so they’re calling each and every lead that comes in, as well.
How important is the lead source itself in terms of getting to step one (setting an appointment), and where do you get the leads?
The lead source is extremely important. While we get our leads from the big national sites, we also have a website that produces organic leads. I’ve been working with realtor.com® on and off for the last five years and full-time for the last 1.5-2 years.
What happens if they aren’t motivated to move right away?
Any lead that isn’t ready to move is set up on an exclusive drip campaign through our CRM depending on their specific timeline. While drip campaigns offer the agent a simple way to stay in front of the consumer, the overall success of the campaign and actually working with the lead at some point down the road depends on the agent and how good they are at following up. In addition to reaching out through an automated drip campaign, we’re also constantly touching base through a variety of different avenues.
What kind of conversion can you achieve with this?
We’re realistically in that 4-6 percent conversion ratio and improving. While some of my agents are converting between 9 and 10 percent, I firmly believe in the equation that less equals more. To that end, agents that are getting 30-40 leads a month are closing at a much higher percentage than those that are getting more leads in any given month.
How many leads are you getting, and do you ever find that you have more than your agents can service?
When it comes to the leads we have coming in, we do have more than our agents can service, because I bring the business in before I hire agents. For example, I currently have two new agents joining the company (at press time), and I already have leads coming in to service them. I don’t hire agents and then try to get the business, so we definitely have more leads than we have agents, but this is ultimately by design.
That being said, we do have a surplus of leads that don’t get serviced well enough, which is why our conversion rate is 4-6 percent as a team, rather than 9-10 percent. Our goal is to be in that 9-10 percent range by this time next year, which we’ll achieve by bringing on the right people. I don’t hire any part-time agents; all of my agents are full-time and committed.
For more information, please visit hub.realtor.com/team.