Improving Your AgentEvaluator Proposal Success

Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on February 20th, 2008

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.

HomeGain AgentEvaluator

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.

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Comments

10 Comments on “Improving Your AgentEvaluator Proposal Success”

Monica Besecker

Could you look at my proposals & let me know what you think? I answer back right away & for buyers look up homes & describe them. But I have not heard back from anyone, even when I ask questions.
I have to admit I am very discouraged. I have been working very hard on this and like I said I have heard from noone. Please let me know if you can give me any advice on my proposals.
Thanks,
Monica

Joan

I have the same experience as Monica. Are you sending the leads to more agents than necessary?

Barry James

Monica: I hope the assistance our Training department provided you after your post has met with your approval. We frequently help both new and current HomeGain agents who want to revise their proposals to find ways to attract more online customers. As mentioned in the Improving Your AgentEvaluator Proposal Success blog, consumers want proposals to address their specific needs. With my staff I use a clothing store analogy–when you go there to buy a dress, you don’t buy whatever size, material, or quality the shop wants to sell you. You expect the salesperson to offer you a product that is tailored to your needs, including your size, material you prefer, and a price you can afford. While presenting a sample of the product is good, letting the customer know you listened to them and can address their specific situation is highly desired.

Barry James

Joan’s comment is one we sometimes receive from our agents. In over 9 years of helping agents meet buyers and sellers online, we have found the key to getting contacted is a powerful proposal. Joan already took the first steps by including local market data in her buyer proposals, and our staff is providing additional tips to increase the effectiveness of her proposals and her contact rate.

A powerful proposal incorporates the best of your offline sales presentation skills into an online format that helps you acquire more clients in a shorter time. Consumers tell us repeatedly that they want a customized proposal that incorporates their personal situation with supporting marketing information—they also want to receive it in a timely manner, which usually means within one day. Remember—94% of consumers who close with a HomeGain select an agent who submitted a proposal within 21 hours of their original profile time

Do the number of agents participating in a particular area affect whether or not you receive a contact or if you are selected by a HomeGain consumer? Maybe.

We’ve discussed a variety of options to limit agent participation in a market area, but any solution we choose must meet the goals of everyone involved i.e. our agent customers, our homebuyers and sellers, and our own business goals. Here’s a typical example that illustrates how limiting agent participation has both risks and opportunities.

Let’s say a homebuyer profiles in a market area that has eleven HomeGain agents. Six agents decide to propose, and five do not. Of the three, the last proposal submitted is selected by the consumer and closes. This last proposal was submitted by the newest agent in the market area.

In this case, if we limited the market area to 10 agents, the eleventh one who was selected and closed with the buyer would never have become a HomeGain customer, and never would have had the opportunity to even propose, much less close. If the buyer didn’t want to select one of the other proposals, then they would have gone elsewhere to find an agent. In this example, none of our agents would win, the buyer would have received no value from the experience, and HomeGain would not have met its business goals. It could be argued that the homebuyer would have chosen one of the other proposals, but that is not necessarily true. Even agents who are very successful with us don’t match with every customer.

If we had limited the number of proposals the buyer could receive to 5, then the winning proposal from the eleventh agent might never have been submitted, and could not have been chosen. Again it could be argued that one of the other proposals would have been chosen, but it could just as easily be argued that it might not.

I could list other examples that argue in favor of limitations, either on the number of agent participants or on the number of proposals we allow, but each has its flip side. Limiting competition is simple in concept, but when trying to meet the objectives of everyone involved, it becomes a much more complicated task. We’re still discussing it, and I’d welcome feedback from our blog readers on this issue.

I’m going to submit another blog on this subject in the coming days about competition on AgentEvaluator.

Louis Cammarosano

Remember no consumer fills out our two page form for fun. They fill it out because they want to work with a Realtor.
THese are consumers who deserve your time and attention right from the start.
Remember the cliche-you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.

Cathy Mooney

I had a bad experience where the “buyer” from China was trying to get my trust account wiring instructions. Although I sent him properties specifically chosen for him, his only response was to keep asking for my wiring instructions.

Another buyer contacted me and I sent him houses and we talked, and made plans to look at property, but he never followed through, nor would he give me a telephone number to call him back. I wish these prospects were better screened.

Gloria Pecsek

I would like to see more examples of proposals written by highly successful agents. Thank you.

Peter McCullough

Gloria
Please take a look in the resource center in your agent evaluator account. There you will find a section called winning strategies where you will see examples of winning proposal templates.

todd kohn

I’m not sure I understand how sending more than 10 agent proposals benefits agents or consumers. Although you cited one example where the consumer selected the 11th proposal, I think that is an extremely rare occurence. I doubt many consumers read past the first 3 or 5 maximum responses – I know I wouldn’t. In addition, I would actually be annoyed with receiving too many responses, which would make me think that HomeGain is just sending any agent, rather than thinking HomeGain is doing some sort of screening and sending me the BEST agent. I respond quickly to inquiries, address each by name, and include at least 1 response to their specific request in every response, and have only gotten a handful of replies over several YEARS of trying to use this system. I actually thought there WAS a limit on how many agents you referred, now I have a better idea why HomeGain has not been successful for me.

Louis Cammarosano

Todd

Thanks for the comments.

I have taken a look at the zip codes in which you participate.

Your suspicion that there are too many agents as the reason for not converting any transactions is not true.

While we do not provide specifics on the number of agents per zip code I can tell you that the average number of agents proposing in the zip codes that you are participating is closer to FIVE rather than TEN.

I will have a customer service representative investigate further as well as provide you with some feedback on your proposals.

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