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—Buying & Selling

Connections and Relationships: Why “Leads” Don’t Matter Anymore

Real estate agents can relate to the saturation of competition on leads. Getting to every single lead is not only a common struggle, it often results in sales fatigue where agents run out of steam trying to reach every single prospect before another agent gets to them.  

Speed-to-lead is one of the most widely missed and underutilized strategies in agents’ sales funnel. Boomtown conducted a study where they contacted more than 40,000 agents and the average response time ended up at 90 minutes. Despite the “golden window” of five minutes, agents are still falling short in their ability to connect with the buyer in a timely manner.

More importantly, agents are unable to focus on the most qualified leads, where real connection and relationships are made. This contributes to the all-too-familiar sales fatigue, as much time is wasted filtering through and chasing down every generated lead.

The difference between a lead and a buyer will often come down to how well the consumer’s needs were met. Believe it or not, the real connection is most often created (or squandered) in the conversations leading up to a purchase.

Connection is in the Conversation

The surest way to create a connection with a lead is by catering to the consumer in their shopping process. It’s not necessarily just about chasing down a phone call with the lead, but finding the best method to ensure contact and eventual purchase. As mentioned, speed-to-lead is one of the first opportunities to optimize sales. There are three good reasons why contacting a lead within five minutes maximizes your chance of gaining connection:

  1. Top-of-mind awareness - if the lead just made an inquiry, contacting them within five minutes ensures your brand is still on their radar in that moment.
  2. Presence detection - Having just submitted a form, a lead is most likely to be near their phone or computer. Contacting them right away optimizes the chance of getting a conversation out of them.
  3. “Wow” factor - A consumer is impressed by speed-to-lead as it shows how much of a priority their business is to your company.

Contacting them by phone call might be another obstacle in connecting with your leads. While the norm in real estate used to revolve around phone calls, the majority of the world and its consumers have shifted to the instant gratification of text as their preferred method of communication. When contacting a lead right away, try texting them: “Hey this is Alex with Sundae Homes. I saw you filled out an inquiry on our page. Do you have a few minutes for a phone call or would you prefer to text?”

At this point, you can quickly ask qualifying questions to distinguish if this lead is “home-buying ready” or if the lead may need more nurturing and follow up down the line. This saves an immense amount of time for agents. If a lead is unqualified or just not ready to buy, you wouldn’t want to chase them down for an appointment. Any agent would much rather spend their time on the leads who already have the connection and the intent to purchase. 

Tech + Human = Superhuman

Hiring an inside sales agent (ISA) sounds like the answer to your speed-to-lead and omnichannel approach. But humans have a bandwidth. Will an ISA be available to contact the 3:00 am lead or the one who filled out a form on Thanksgiving? While it might be possible to staff someone 24/7, the cost in salaries may not be capitalizing on your ROI.

Humans alone are inefficient. We are not machines. However, the money you put into your marketing strategies and salaries shouldn’t go to waste either. Verse.io offers an AI conversational software to stand in as an ISA for your agency. This software has an omnichannel communication approach with two-way texting and NLU (Natural Language Understanding) to effectively qualify and convert your leads 24/7. 

The human connection is still important, especially in real estate. The legitimacy of the connection and relationships agents have with their leads is often the difference between a lost lead and a signed contract. That’s why a solution like Verse has human assistants on standby to step in where AI would be unable to relate emotion or personal vernacular. And since they pose as an ISA for your brand, the agency can get all the credit and confidence from consumers for the easy and smooth sales process. 

You can also use this system to do live transfers and even book appointments. As an agent, it is a relief to focus on the connections already made instead of trying to initiate a relationship with every lead. With AI nurturing the stale leads and creating connections with consumers, all dollars put into marketing efforts result in the maximum appointments and closings. 

Lead conversion is the hurdle every team struggles to conquer. Although a human team alone is inefficient and technology alone is inauthentic, the two of them together can make lead conversion look easy.

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Contact Sundae Homes today to find out if we can help your client find their next home.