Lead Conversion Administrators

Posted by: Mitch Ribak on December 14th, 2009

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. lead-conversion-money-calculation

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 woman-shrugging-realtor-decisionas 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.



6 Comments on “Lead Conversion Administrators”

Gainesville Real Estate

Mitch, I really enjoy reading your blog posts. It sounds like we’re pretty much on the same page when it comes to lead capture and follow-up. We are contantly experimenting as well and develop our own software. Looking forward to your next update. – Mike Johnson

Jeffrey Bastress

I have tried using an LCA, and had up to 4 making the calls. I did this for one year. It did not increase my closed business from leads by very much, and I concluded after much time and money that simply by giving buyers what they want listing wise, and waiting for them to contact us was the most cost effective. No matter what I have tried over the years to increase lead conversion, I find that the same amount of leads will contact us to use our services when time to see homes.
I am of the opinion based on this information, that the money is better spent on more leads in the pipeline, and therefore increasing closed transactions by default.
Getting agents to make the calls is frustrating and fruitless. Paying LCA’s to do it is more costly than the return in my opinion, as I found that leads want to speak to someone only when they are ready, and then it should be a realtor not an LCA.
I would love to know the best way, as it sounds you may increase your ROI, and I will be eager to learn that you did and how exactly.
Jeffrey Bastress
Startpoint Realty

Mitch Ribak

Jeff – I too have been trying to figure this out and have spent a small fortune. With regard to an LCA verse Agent, all our LCA’s are licensed experienced Realtors so when they talk to a customer, they can talk the talk. It’s to early to tell how well this is going to do, but so far the indications are pretty strong with the new program. I only checked one of my LCA’s agents calendars and of her 5 agents, 3 have more than 12 people coming for showings in January. The other two have 8 and 9 respectively. It’s pretty encouraging, but I won’t know the real results until after first quarter and I’ll gladly post them here. In my mind of course, since we convert 3-4% of our raw leads now, that we can’t convert at least 5% of the people we talk to on a regular basis.

In the end, it’s all about giving the customer what they want and need. Our software delivers the listings and drips automatically, but it still comes down to good phone call follow up. If an agent does a half way decent job of doing this, they will increase their conversion. I have found the same thing as you though, that most Agents won’t follow up. Hence the LCA job for follow up.

One other aspect that I mention above is figuring out which leads to call. Our system allows me to see who logged into the site the past 24 hours and we can search by Logins. For instance, if I have someone that has been on the site today and has logged in over 50 times, they are a strong candidate to call. That’s how we narrow down our leads. Add in a price range of $150k or above and that narrows down the search even more. I believe, and I may be wrong, that if a person logs into the system 25 or more times, they are most likely going to buy a home at some time. The key to lead conversion is not just making the phone calls, but knowing which leads to call. With my Agents having an average of 1,500-2,000 leads in each of their systems, that seems to be the biggest challenge which is why I have spent so much on developing my software to really drill down into the leads.

I’ll post the follow up to this as soon as I start seeing or don’t see any results in the next few months. I’m optimistic!

Jeffrey Bastress

Mitch-Your Optimism is noted and your sharing is appreciated.
Jeffrey Bastress

Houston homes for sale

Hey Mitch,

Nice to hear that things are going well with the new system you discussed moving to on REW. I cannot remember if you force registration up front to view IDX listings or if you do a force after a few views or whether you offer perks to those that set up an account. I would like to know which of these you do.

As with the way you explained your current system it seems to me like I would want to force registration as soon as possible so that you can get more data on when individuals return to the search. Also do you save all consumer searches and send property updates to them?

Mitch Ribak

So far so good. I have a report coming to me on Monday with regard to how many appointments have been set up for the month of January. I haven’t been in town for two weeks so I don’t know what’s going on in my office with the exception we had a great last week of the month!

I forced registration before they look at listings. I believe that it’s right up front. We send every lead we get a list or properties and a set every lead up in our listings update system. To me this is a huge aspect of lead conversion. After all, the only reason anyone comes to your site in the first place is to look at listings. I just give them more of what they want and overwhelm them with customer service!

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