It’s clear that those in our industry who pressed the gas in March and April are the ones winning marketshare. When listings and pendings were down almost 50 percent, they didn’t scale back, but leaned into lead gen, betting on a rebound and pent-up demand. That same mentality will drive a successful close in 2020 and tee up big wins in 2021.
All economic indicators say that the market will be strong for quite some time. Interest rates are at an all-time low, with the lowest rate not expected until 2024. Much of the workforce is now remote, so people aren’t confined to commutes—and, of course, life events that precipitate a move continue marching on regardless of pandemics.
No one could have known what a rapid shift to digital our world would see, and home search is no exception. Year-over-year, we’ve seen a 9 percent increase in overall leads generated online, and a 53 percent increase in high-interest leads. Database engagement is higher, too, with a 38 percent increase in inquiry form completions and a 59 percent jump in showing-request form completions month-over-month.
Traffic is up, timelines are expedited, and interest and action are high. We’re seeing cost-per-lead down 22 percent, and we’re watching it continue to fall at a higher rate than ever. Now is the time to go after the digital consumer and use the right tools to get them to the closing table.
You need to meet your customer where they are, so a website with home search is critical. Your prospects are searching online, so they will either use your website and build a relationship with your brand, or they will search through a portal and request a showing from the highest-bidding agent for that zip code.
You need to continue staying in front of them digitally. When your search experience is integrated with a high-performing CRM, you have the tools to provide value through constant (automatic) communication of relevant and personalized information. Automated listing alerts alone drive 80 percent of repeat traffic back to our clients’ websites with a virtually nonexistent unsubscribe rate.
Your technology should help you track and interpret “digital body language.” These are behavioral insights gleaned from email campaigns, website interactions and activity like zeroing in on a particular listing, sharing it with a spouse, or marking it as a favorite. These insights should be seamlessly tracked and processed into alerts directly sent to you in real time, telling you exactly when to step in and what the right action is.
It’s still a relationship business, but with the massive shift in consumer behavior over the past six months, relationships are being created in the digital space. It’s imperative to adjust to the type of buying or selling experience that consumers demand. It’s critical for agents to tie all the pieces together—from listing presentations to showings and open houses—and arm themselves with the tools to easily understand their prospect’s digital behavior and add value. With the cost to acquire a new lead at a record low, and competition that has scaled back, economics are on the side of those who are ready to hit go.
Grier Allen is president and CEO of BoomTown. For more information, please visit boomtownroi.com.