Timely, Customized and Professional Proposals are the Key To Success
I ask every customer service representative applicant the same interview question—if you were given an either/or choice between receiving fast service or getting thorough, accurate service, which would you choose? Most say if they can’t have both, they prefer thorough service, even if it takes a little more time.
The same can be said for many of HomeGain’s homebuyers and sellers.
The most important factor that drives our agents’ success with our AgentEvaluator program is the proposal that is sent to the consumer after they profile on the HomeGain website. Without a timely, well-constructed, and customized proposal, the likelihood a consumer will select you as their agent is reduced and perhaps eliminated.
We recently began an in-depth analysis of our most recent consumer data to provide you with information that can help you be successful with AgentEvaluator customers.
The results have been enlightening.
Of consumers who bought or sold a home using a HomeGain agent:
• Nearly 20% selected the agent who submitted the first proposal; while this implies being first is important, it also means that over 80%, or 4 out of 5 consumers, chose an agent who submitted a proposal after the first one.
• Nearly as many rejected the first proposal (19%) as those who selected them. If being first is important, this says it is not the most critical factor which drives a consumer’s decision to select an agent.
• 46% selected one of the first 3 agents who proposed; on average these agents submitted their proposals within 5 hours of the time the consumer created their lead on our website.
• Nearly 75% selected one of the first 7 agents who proposed to them
• 94% selected one of the proposals that was submitted within 21 hours of the consumer creating the lead. Only 6% of the agents who submitted proposals after 21 hours were selected.
What does the data tell us?
The data clearly shows that consumers are primarily interested in proposals that are provided to them within a day after they profile on our website. It also shows that by submitting a proposal within 5 hours, you’ll increase the likelihood that consumers who will ultimately buy or sell a home will select you.
The data also shows that being first doesn’t ensure your success.
In fact, that only works 20% of the time. We think we know one reason why.
Time and again consumers tell us that they selected an agent who heard their needs and mentioned or addressed them in their proposals. One of our consistent homebuyer and seller complaints is that many of the proposals they receive are not customized to their needs. Consumers want the agent to use their name and to incorporate their lead details into their proposals.
One consumer recently sold his $284,000 home with a HomeGain agent who customized his proposal. The consumer later complained to us that other proposals he received “offered too many cookie cutter and canned ads from realtors. I might as well have opened a phone book, closed my eyes and pointed.”
The agent who included specific information about the consumer stood out from those failed to do so, and as a result made almost $6,000 on the deal.
We hear comments like this so often that we are creating a survey that specifically focuses on proposals to determine what proposal factors influence buyers and sellers to select (or not select) one of our HomeGain agents. We’ll publish the results as soon as they are compiled.
Some agents achieve success by customizing their proposals, while others are successful with little or no proposal customization. Both ways can work, but we believe the submission of timely, customized proposals will encourage more consumers to select you as their agent.
Here are a few tips that will increase the likelihood that you’ll be more successful with AgentEvaluator.
• It makes sense to respond quickly to a new consumer lead. Submitting a proposal within 5 hours or so increases the likelihood you’ll match with a consumer who will ultimately buy or sell a home with you.
• Consumers provide us with lead details about their specific situation. As a result, most have an expectation that you’ll address these details in your proposal. If you don’t, they’ll think you’ve provided a canned response which fails to address their concerns, even if you know you can help them on each and every point. Each homebuyer or seller wants to feel special, and customization can let them know you think they are.
• Submitting a proposal a day or more after the consumer creates a lead still gives you a chance to be selected by a consumer, but it significantly decreases the likelihood.
About 1 out of every 5 HomeGain seller leads is eventually listed on an MLS, and in some areas it has approached 1 out of 2.
Unfortunately, HomeGain agents don’t get all of that business because some consumers select an agent elsewhere. When that happens, both you and HomeGain lose because our success is directly dependent upon yours.
Unlike the choice between receiving fast or thorough service, it is possible to provide both, and we believe you’ll be more successful if you do. Being first helps, but providing a customized proposal that shows the customer that you read and can address their concerns will win you even more business.