Build Stronger Relationships with Your Internet Leads

Behavior-based tools can provide you with greater insights into your leads, allowing you to take advantage of more opportunities to convert.

March 4, 2014

Real estate practitioners often don’t treat Internet leads with the same seriousness as referrals from family and friends — but that’s a pretty big mistake, says Jimmy Mackin, co-founder of Curaytor.

“You can hit a wall when your model is based on a referral network. You’ll only be able to grow your business so much,” Mackin says.

Internet leads can definitely expand your business, but you have to know how to cultivate them. They may come in the form of a direct question from a person asking about a property or inquiring about his home’s value. You can reach out and give the lead an answer, and then get them to stick with you.

There are two keys to doing that: using technology to make you more responsive and using metrics to gauge leads’ online behavior so you can determine how best to engage them, says Chris Smith, co-founder of Curaytor and founder of Tech Savvy Agent. For example, analytics showing how visitors interact with your website or what your open rates are on your e-mail marketing campaigns can reveal the most engaged customers. That information can help you prioritize the leads in your database and tailor your follow-up messages to have greater impact.

Are You Missing Some Leads?

First, though, you need a capture system for all the leads coming in. A recent study by consulting firm WAV Group and Weichert, REALTORS®,’ Lead Network sought to evaluate the response rate of real estate professionals. Members conducting the study posed as consumers inquiring about listings on broker websites, Zillow,®, and Trulia in an attempt to evaluate 384 brokers across 11 states. The study found that 48 percent of buyer inquiries never got a response; the average number of callback attempts by agents after the initial contact was 1.5; and the average number of e-mail attempts was 2.07. The average agent response time was 917 minutes, or 15.29 hours.

“This is a solvable problem, if you have the correct systems in place and make the right investments,” says Victor Lund, a partner at WAV Group. “This actually [represents] an important opportunity. If brokers and agents take steps to rectify this problem and respond more effectively to consumers, they are opening the door to a great increase in revenue.”