Lead management

NAR Publishes Paper On Lead Management

by Victor Lund on May 29, 2014

The National Association of REALTORS® is not necessarily the first place that REALTORS® would turn to get advise on Internet Lead Management, but they have stepped up to the plate as a resource. Quite nicely I would add. In a paper published this week, Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of the Data Analytics Group at NAR, published a paper titled The Intelligent Internet Lead, Providing Context, Coaching & Confidence to Web Source Leads. Click Here for Download http://crt.blogs.realtor.org/2014/05/27/crt-white-paper-the-intelligent-internet-lead/ WAV Group has performed a lot of research on online marketing, mostly for the purpose of providing MLSs and brokers with good research for setting strategy and policy. Our discovery has led us to the primary issue that faces real estate today – more than ½ of consumer leads are never responded to, and when they are – the follow up efforts to convert the leads are too low to be effective. This paper from NAR attacks this problem. In an effort to Raise the Bar in real estate and support the service levels that consumers get from REALTORS® and REALTOR® websites like realtor.com, NAR has published this paper. Carpenter does a great job of outlining best practices for REALTORS® to follow and provides a plethora of online solutions that will support REALTORS® on their journey to provide better support to the online consumer seeking real estate information. “This is a real issue for professional real estate agents,” says Marilyn Wilson of the WAV Group. “REALTORS® can’t complain about intermediaries between them and the consumer if they are not going to close the gap and service the consumer.” Many agents are brokers are frustrated with third party listing websites providing online services to consumers. Regardless of the frustration, they continue to advertise listings online. Not responding to leads is pure insanity. In other industries before real estate, the failure to provide consumers with an online service level has led to the disintermediation of that professional. Spoiler Alert: If REALTORS® do not engage in the online consumer, they will lose their position as the agent for the consumer to someone or some service that will. If you have not tackled this issue in your business, download this paper and learn about some of the tools that REALTORS® may use to find the path to providing better service to consumers. Carpenter outlines 5 agent CRM solutions that will help with lead management. RE Technology provides […]

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Agents Only Get 12 Leads a Year

by Victor Lund on January 21, 2014

Returning from the Real Estate Connect Conference (aka Inman NYC), you would think that any agent or broker who is not 100% dedicated to cultivating the online customer is doomed. Yet surprisingly, nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, if you read between the lines of a recent press release from Realogy, the global leader in size for a real estate group, your take away might be that online marketing and lead generation is a complete distraction and waste of time and money. Headline: Realogy’s LeadRouter System Delivers Record 3 Million Online Leads to Its Affiliates in 2013, an Increase of 13% from Prior Year About Realogy Holdings Corp.: 244,000 independent sales associates Do some quick math and you will see that each sales associate gets about one lead per month. This is in no way a critique of REALOGY. Their LeadRouter system works just fine, and it manages leads from 20,000 offline and online sources. That is quite a wide swath of marketing. Simply stated, lead capture and lead routing volume is not enough to build a business on. It’s not even close. At Inman, I stood next to Ben Kinney. His “team” sells about 500 homes per year at a production volume of $100 million in a very competitive market. His secret – 50 calls and 50 emails a day. His goal for lead conversion is to close two transactions out of every 100 leads. Most agents are lucky to do one closing from every 100 leads. Some really smart people have figured out that there is no ROI on chasing online leads, but they do it anyway because you cannot have a rational conversation with an agent or a seller about it. So many people live in a fog that makes them believe that the Internet sells homes. Nothing could be further from the truth. Century 21 put out a press release about their website being the number one brand website for real estate traffic. Clearly they get their share of leads that sells some homes. But what it really sells is franchises, helps franchisees recruit and retain agents, and sounds spectacular in a listing presentation. The moral to this story is that nobody should build a business plan around building a successful real estate business based on online leads and lead conversion. Companies should be built around CRM solutions that keep real estate agents […]

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LeadRouter Gets Much Better

by Victor Lund on November 20, 2013

LeadRouter is the solution that is used by the REALOGY firms to manage the hundreds of thousands of leads generated by the franchises and the franchisees across the world. It is arguably the most commonly used lead management solution on the planet. Today, it just got better for the agent and for the consumer. In Thursday’s version release, LeadRouter has taken steps to allow agents to immediately contact the consumer by phone when the lead comes in, and the record of that contact record is automatically published in LeadRouther. It is simple, elegant, better. If you are not a LeadRouter user, you may not appreciate this subtle sounding improvement. But it is big. Before the update, an agent would get a get a lead from LeadRouter. Hang up the phone, make another call to the consumer. Complete the call to the consumer, then log into LeadRouter, accept the lead,  then update the lead status. All of these steps have been reduced to “Pressing 5” on your phone keypad. When an agent gets a lead and “presses 5,” LeadRouter will dial the consumer’s phone. If the call to the consumer spans 30 seconds, then the contact will be automatically applied to the status of the lead in LeadRouter. One step. Press 5! WAV Group lead research has indicated that our industry is paralyzed when it comes to lead management. Half of all internet leads are never answered and when they are, it is typically more than a day later. REALOGY continues to invest in solving this customer service problem in our industry. LeadRouter “searches” for the most available agent according to brokerage business rules. Usually, the lead goes to the listing agent on all company listings. If the listing agent does not respond within some reasonable time frame, the lead moves on to another agent in the brokerage. Agents who have not taken LeadRouter orientation or do not respond to leads will typically have their LeadRouter account frozen until they take an action to pay attention to consumer inquiries. It is a smart system. IDX or co-broker leads go into lead pools that are targeted to the best available agent that can respond. The leads pass from one agent to the next until the consumer request is satisfied. WAV Group works with many of REALOGY’s largest brokerages to tie all lead generation applications into LeadRouter as a single point of servicing […]

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Lead management services have been around in some format for years, of course, and many tech companies have been putting a lot of effort into delivering tools that tie the broker, office manager and team leader.  Agents historically (and still today) are inconsistent at best with responding to online leads (and are usually worse at follow-up). Brokers need to fix this! CRM providers are responding to two trends we see emerging that are changing the landscape of lead management for brokers. The first one is confounding. Agents want syndication and online advertising but only respond to about 1 in 4 leads. When they do, it is normally a “one and done” call or email. The second trend is the need for brokerages to increase their visibility, management and ROI of leads – online and offline. As a broker you need to benchmark and set goals for enterprise lead responsiveness. That means you need to see performance across the company, each office, and each agent in each office. We recently found a top-producing agent getting more than 39 leads a month from the broker who never responded! WAV Group sees four key takeaways. Office Reporting helps brokers better understand leads overall and leads by lead source. This is a fundamental requirement to managing your online lead strategy. WAV Group emphasizes that brokers use these reports to publish the facts about online lead generation. If sites are not delivering any leads to agents, show agents the results, then turn off the data feed. Don’t waste your listing asset on partners who do not perform. Syndication to 200+ websites is an online marketing mistake. Agent Lead Responsiveness helps managers understand what agents do not care about online leads. It helps the office manager open a discussion with the agent to determine a strategy for lead placement. Either the agent needs to commit to following up with the leads with broker support and coaching, or the leads should go to another agent or a relocation desk. Don’t waste them! The lack of responsiveness by an agent will tarnish the brokerage reputation with the consumer. It’s disgusting to think that a consumer would reach out to a broker on a home purchase and be ignored. Brands cannot handle this type of erosion in consumer confidence. Agent Performance is another measure on the dashboard. Not all agents are alike. If some agents are converting more online […]

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