I was in Seattle a few weeks ago visiting a broker when I encountered the Trulia team in the airport heading over to Market Leader. During the entire flight home my head spun with ideas about how these two companies would blend their talents to serve consumers and the real estate community better. We have clients who leverage these companies to their fullest, and others who don’t. It has never been the providence of a consultant to champion one strategy over another. Helping others execute the strategy that is right for their business to maximize their opportunity is our charge. Pick a plan and make it work.
With that in mind, brokers are challenged with absorbing leads from multiple sources. LeadRouter does the best job, which is great if you are a REALOGY Franchisee, other brokers are left to their own devices. But LeadRouter ends at lead distribution – there are only minimal follow up campaign capabilities. This causes all sorts of data problems related to tracking, distributing, and reporting on leads by lead source, lead quality by lead source, and lead conversion by lead source. Listhub and reDataVault have done a respectable job of helping on the reporting side, but there is more ground to cover to perfect those reports and get a full picture.
Lots of broker solutions providers have engineered lead rounding and lead management tools – but you often need a programmer named MacGyver to get it to work. Leads from publishers are all unique and require unique programing to capture the email lead, scrape the information, add it to the lead management data base, then try to do something with it. It is hard.
Once you do have your leads being routed, you need a solution to manage those leads. Brokers who have end-to-end CRM solutions like LoneWolf’s brokerWOLF, Homes.com’s Homes Connect, CoreLogic’s AgentAchieve, or Real Estate Digital’s rDesk have these capabilities. They are all integrated. This is also true of Market Leader’s broker solution.
Brokers who do not have lead management or drip marketing can also look to Market Leader, leadtrax or Imprev to fill the gap. These solutions all curate leads into customers for life by making it easy for brokers and agents to stay connected to providing information and service to the homebuying or selling consumer. Both Trulia and Market Leader know that lead conversion is the most valuable product they can deliver. They are among the only broker solutions providers who provide lead capture on websites they operate as part of their solution (I guess you can say that Top Producer/Realtor.com do this too). Market Leader may be the only company that packages everything together as a single solution.
Sarah Daniels from Market Leader sent me a note yesterday outlining three enhanced services offered by MarketLeader that will help with lead conversion. It is all part of what they are calling their Smart Lead Technology. In the background I could hear the joy of their franchise customers as these solutions will solve a lot of their pain. Today, brands like Keller Williams and Century 21 (Market Leader customers) have the ability to push leads to agents from listing syndication, but the marketing engine behind that did not internalize leads from all lead sources. Leads were dying. Now that is over. All leads from all lead sources will be supported on the new solution, and the early data indicates that this lead nurturing is increasing income to Keller Williams agents by more than 50% (their data, not ours).
WAV Group was the first research firm to report on the tragedy that more than half of consumer inquiries are never responded to. When leads are responded to, it is typically only once. Only a small percentage of agents are nurturing a lead for the 30-60-90-120 days that it takes for conversion to happen. That means that in the absence of some support to agents to mature a lead, the results of online marketing effectiveness are significantly retarded. Nobody understands this more than Trulia and their counterparts. They know that they generate hundreds of thousands of leads that are sent into oblivion. They also know that they need to fix it to make Trulia and other sites more valuable to both consumers and to brokers. Its easier to configure technology to fix the problem than it is to compel agents to respond. Lead generation happens everywhere, but lead to close solutions are rare. Market Leaders’ integrated system with these three new additions will go a long way toward filling this void and enhancing the effectiveness of agent responsiveness.
Mobile – The entire Market Leader Professional and Business Suite Products have been extended to mobile. That means that agents can respond and manage leads on their mobile device easily. The old way involved getting an email alert then responding from a connected PC.
Lead Processing – as I mentioned earlier, many companies need a programming MacGyver to pull leads from all of the sources of online marketing. Publishers have relegated lead distribution to sending an email. Once the broker gets the email, it needs to be scraped and sorted according to business rules, then distributed. Market Leader is automating lead processing from any source into their solution for lead management and drip marketing. 135,000 agents are going to be able to develop those leads throughout the 30-120 day lead maturation process.
Targeted Mailing Lists – WAV Group has been studying methods for brokers to leverage their data for nearly 2 years now. It is a lot easier to hunt for business than it is to lure business in. Using data, we can find customer profiles suitable for real estate transactions. For example, I can pull a list of consumers who have been in their current home for more than 7 years, have equity, have good credit, and who have filed for divorce. It sounds ungentle, but you can be pretty darn sure that that house is going to hit the market, and they need a great agent.
WAV Group helps brokerages (500 agents or more) and franchises develop strategies that work. We make listing syndication work, lead distribution and management work, online advertising work, forms and document management work, virtual tours work, transaction management work, accounting work, data bases work, websites work, training work, integrate home services, and so much more. All of these technical aspects of operating a brokerage today are mostly under leveraged because they were never planned or integrated properly. WAV Group not only brings the experience of helping out lots of brokers, but we also bring relationships with MLSs and software vendors that help us understand what is coming next so you can stay ahead of the curve. If you are like most brokerages, your financial statement has returned to good health. Its time for you to invest in modernizing your technology platform.
Here is the Market Leader Press Release]
Market Leader Enables Automatic Capture of Leads from Leading Real Estate Sites Including Trulia, Realtor.com and Zillow
Groundbreaking feature adds to the company’s Smart Lead Technology, empowering customers to generate, engage, and manage all of their leads, anytime, on any device
KIRKLAND, WA (June 25, 2013) – Market Leader (NASDAQ: LEDR), a leader in online marketing and technology solutions for real estate professionals, today announced major additions to the company’s Smart Lead Technology, an innovative and powerful set of features that help Market Leader customers engage and convert their leads – from any source and on any device.
In recent weeks, Market Leader has added a series of innovations to its Smart Lead Technology. Today’s enhancement enables real estate professionals to have leads from leading websites – including Trulia, Realtor.com, Zillow, HouseValues.com, RealEstate.com, JustListed.com, a number of major franchise websites, and of course the agents’ own branded websites – automatically appear in their Market Leader solution.
Smart Lead Technology is available to all Market Leader subscribers as part of their lead-to-close software-as-a-service (SaaS) system, including Market Leader Professional, Business Suite, and the company’s franchise partner versions.
“Market Leader is the operating system that is now used by more than 135,000 real estate professionals to grow their business,” said Ian Morris, CEO of Market Leader. “Smart Lead Technology enables our customers to fill their pipeline with leads, engage those consumers, and turn more of them into clients.”
Market Leader is the only real estate marketing company with Smart Lead Technology, and today’s new release is the latest in a series of powerful new tools for real estate professionals. Earlier this month saw the release of Market Leader Mobile, empowering agents to respond on-the-go from their smartphones and mobile devices to engage their contacts with emails, calls, marketing campaigns, and to-dos.
With its Smart Lead Technology, Market Leader provides real estate professionals with powerful benefits and insights for all leads, from any device, anytime, significantly increasing the engagement and conversion rate, including the ability to:
• Work every lead in one place – from all sources and on any device
• Be the first agent to respond to the hottest leads with relevant content
• Attract leads to their website with valuable neighborhood information
• Stand out with targeted campaigns and polished marketing materials
• Promote their brand, setting them apart from the competition
• Transform leads into clients and clients into closings for more income
“I advertise on Trulia as well as other national sites, and having those leads automatically appear in my Market Leader system in real time is great. It saves time and energy, keeps everything I need in one place, and really gives me a tremendous advantage over competitors,” said Susan Jacobsen from Carolina Realty Group. “I then use my Market Leader tools to drive higher engagement and conversion from all my leads. This is just another example of how Market Leader is on the cutting edge not just of technology but of actual usable thoughtful technology!”
For more information about Market Leader’s Smart Lead Technology go to www.marketleader.com/smart.
About Market Leader
Market Leader, founded in 1999, provides innovative online technology and marketing solutions for real estate professionals across the United States and Canada. The company serves more than 135,000 real estate agents, brokerages and franchisors, offering complete end-to-end solutions that enable them to grow and manage their businesses. Market Leader customers earn more than twice the median income of the typical NAR member. Market Leader’s subscription-based real estate marketing software – including websites, contact management, a marketing center, and lead generation services – is powered by Smart Lead Technology, and helps customers generate a steady stream of prospects, plus provides the systems and training they need to convert those prospects into clients. In addition, the company’s national consumer real estate sites give its customers access to millions of future home buyers and sellers, while providing consumers with free access to the information they seek.
For more information on Market Leader visit www.MarketLeader.com.
Heinz Marketing for Market Leader Inc.
Director of Investor Relations
Market Leader, Inc.