I’m a big believer in hiring people to take on tasks that I do not enjoy or do not excel at these days. Of course, these days I do not sell homes because of my dedication of running my Real Estate Brokerage and belief that in order to grow a company, it wouldn’t be possible if I continued to sell homes…as much as I miss that part of the business.
Of course these days I’m also very busy with The eHomes Realty Network and helping my members. With this said, over the past 2 years we have tried to figure out a program where a person is hired to make all follow up calls for my real estate agents. Before I get into this, let’s take a step back for a moment.
As most of those who know me know I’m addicted to lead conversion.
I find it extremely interesting and for most, very difficult. I have also found that by implementing consistent systems to convert leads to customers for life, we have become stronger and stronger each year. One of the weakest links for most Agents is follow up. Most Agents don’t have a hard time making the first phone call to their leads. The struggle is in making the follow up phone calls and keeping up with them as your database increases. The more leads you have in your system, the harder it is to stay on top of your leads.
My agents are no different. They are great people but have the same flaws as most when it comes to follow up. I decided a couple of years ago that if I am going to take lead conversion to the next level, I will need to start the Lead Conversion Administrator (LCA) position.
We started out by having one LCA and she was making the initial phone calls for 7 Agents.
Along with this, she also learned how to master our 100MPH software so she could be more effective in determining which leads to call. The problem was that in her goal to help all 7 of her Agents, she ended up doing a lot of admin work. After a year and a half of mediocre results, I was at a crossroads. I was going to either end the program, or change it completely.
Our next change was to have the Agents make all the first calls and have the LCA make all the follow up calls.
This became overwhelming for the LCA, but she was getting better results. I decided that it might be time to expand the program even though I was only getting a minimal results. However, when I hired the new LCA, I also made another change. The LCA’s were no longer allowed to do any admin work for the Agents. This I found, was taking up way to much time and as I looked at my numbers, my LCA was only averaging 5 contacts per week per agent.
The next step was to start using a quota system for the LCA’s so they know exactly what is expected of them.
At this point the LCA’s were only to make follow up phone calls and were not allowed to do any admin work. They have a quota of contacting at least 3 leads per day per Agent and they now have only 5 Agents to handle versus the 7 we originally had them working. The results have been simply amazing. We are only into our first month but here is how the numbers are shaping up to be. Most of the Agents in this program are seeing their calendars very full this coming January and February already.
Each LCA handles 5 Agents
Each LCA is required to contact 15 Leads per week (60 per month) for each Agent Our LCA team will then be talking to over 900 of our buyer leads per month.
Their hit rate (contact rate) is at 37% currently and they leave a very short voicemail if they do not make contact.
Therefore, over 900 home buyers are contacted and about 2,000 (I didn’t do the math on this one) are having messages left.
If we only convert 5% of these contacts to sales, our sales will go from 30 per month to 45 per month. The salary cost for three LCA’s in my office is $4,800 per month. Obviously if this increase stands true, this will be a very successful program. There is more to what our LCA’s are doing to ensure they are being as efficient as possible with this program.
One of the most important aspects is deciding which leads to call.
Aside from our normal follow up time frames, we only make calls to leads who are actively using our system and logging into our sites. This insures that these customers are more likely to buy a home in the future verse wasting time contacting every lead in our system on a regular basis.
If you have been thinking of implementing such a program, feel free to contact me and I can give you some tips. I have spent a small ton of money over the past two years figuring this out. In the end, if you are not going to make the phone calls yourself, or if you run a brokerage and are not seeing the return on Internet marketing and lead conversion that you would like, you need to be more proactive in running your business.
As much as I care about my Agents and they are all great Realtors, they aren’t always going to be great marketers. By having an LCA do their follow for them, you are bound to increase your sales. I’ll keep you posted after the first quarter of 2010 on how our programs results.
Mitch Ribak is a Real Estate Broker with Tropical Realty of Suntree, Inc. in Melbourne, Florida.