A new whitepaper reveals that failure to respond to leads in a timely manner is a major problem for many real estate professionals. The whitepaper is the result of the collaboration between partners at leading consulting firm WAV Group and Weichert Lead Network, the Internet lead generation arm of Weichert, Realtors. What they uncovered was remarkable and could help real estate professionals achieve new levels of service and prosperity.
In the whitepaper, WAV Group details lead responsiveness results from a sample of 384 different brokers across 11 states. Researchers posed as consumers and inquired about listings on broker websites, Zillow.com, Realtor.com, and Trulia.com. They found that:
- 48% of buyer inquiries were NEVER responded to.
- Average number of call back attempts after the initial contact was 1.5
- Average number of email contact attempts was 2.07
- Average response time was 917 minutes (or 15.29 hours)
Victor Lund, a partner at WAV Group explains, “These numbers reveal a staggering failure of real estate professionals to serve the consumer. But this failure 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.”
As previously mentioned, the research began as an effort to help one company, Weichert Lead Network, understand how they were performing. But in order to understand their effectiveness, they needed a benchmark. Because so few companies are comparable to Weichert in size or lead generated, WAV Group needed to create a sample group from the industry as a whole. They chose listings only in states where Weichert also has a presence. In addition to illuminating the industry’s failings, the results also demonstrated Weichert’s success:
- Number of leads generated by Weichert per month: 60,663
- Percent of buyers responded to 100%
- Average response time: 3 minutes
- Number of follow-up attempts: 5-11
- Number of referrals per year: 301,772
“Even as Weichert Lead Network’s contact center allows us to respond to Internet inquiries within minutes, the study results will be eye-opening for many,” says Michael Montsko, president of Weichert Lead Network. “The industry as a whole does a poor job responding to Internet inquiries and managing Internet leads, but fortunately there is much room for improvement in this area. For example, at Weichert, we have invested in Weichert PRO, our new customer relationship management system that helps our agents incubate their customer relationships. Our ability to filter Internet leads saves Weichert sales associates both time and money and helps eliminate ‘bad lead fatigue.’ This combined with our superior response times and customer service provide a huge competitive advantage.”
The authors of the whitepaper offer recommendations for solving the problem. “This is a solvable problem if you have the correct systems in place and make the right investments. Most lead routing solutions today give you the flexibility to ensure that a hot lead never goes cold. If the listing agent is not immediately available, brokers need to ensure that it is transferred to another appropriate agent, someone familiar with the property type and neighborhood,” says Lund.
“We thank Weichert for their generosity in sharing their data,” says Marilyn Wilson partner at WAV Group. “Our hope is that this report can help other real estate professionals improve their own business and elevate our industry as a whole.”
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About Weichert, Realtors
Since 1969, Weichert, Realtors has grown from a single office into one of the nation’s leading providers of homeownership services by putting its customers first. A family of full-service real estate and financial services companies, Weichert helps customers buy and sell both residential and commercial real estate, and streamlines the delivery of mortgages and home and title insurance. Weichert leverages its customer website, www.weichert.com, one of the most visited real estate websites in the nation, to help families and individuals realize the dream of homeownership through quick and easy access to listing information and the services of its real estate professionals nationwide. For more information, Weichert’s customer service center can be reached at 1-800-USA-SOLD. Weichert franchised offices are independently owned and operated.