At 8:58 pm last night, I received a call from a Kitchen remodeling company who wanted to follow up on the estimate they had provided me; in June of 2005! It took this company (I’ll save them the embarrassment of being named) 4 years to execute a basic follow up which has to set some type of record. There had been no contacts, no drips, no anything and then a call out of the blue. Even though four years is quite the exception than the rule, it did get me thinking about responding to Real Estate leads.
For four years, HomeGain has told its agents that to win business, you need to get back to your leads quickly. We would preach that response to buyer that registers on a website should happen within the first day or not all. If a phone call can’t be made; a personalized follow up email is just as good as long as the effort is made. More times than not, a customer would interject and dictate that the reality of lead response depends on the individual and not overall best practice. Some agents only take calls during particular hours; others are often busy with showings while many more claim they are just too busy to make the calls until their schedule allows.
Was our advice about quick response wrong? Should reality replace best practice as the key to acquiring and converting online buyers and sellers into leads? I was beginning to think so until I stumbled upon a fascinating survey conducted by Dr. James Oldroyd at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and later MIT.
Dr. Oldroyd surveyed over 500 companies across all aspects business to see how they generated and converted leads on their websites. The organizations from different industries, country of origin, yearly revenue and size all reported the same theme; not responding as quick as you can to online leads severely diminishes your opportunity to convert and close the leads. In fact, if you wait long enough to call you’re actually causing more harm than good the longer you wait!
Let’s look at some of the findings: Continue reading this post