In the digital age, more and more homebuyers are beginning their searches online. This makes it increasingly important to promptly follow up with and manage incoming leads in order to close transactions.
Beginning July 22, realtor.com is testing out a new way for brokerage companies to potentially enhance the number of leads converted and to assist homebuyers in finding their ideal agent based on their needs.
Seven participating brokerages, the names of which have not been released, will offer an enhanced contact form on their listings that showcases the specific listing agent for each home — plus three additional agents within that particular brokerage. (Realtor.com said it is not releasing pricing or cost information about the new form at this time.)
Because data show that it often takes a long time for a consumer to get a response from an agent — or, in some cases, there is no response at all — allowing for the selection of more than one agent is expected to increase the probability of a specific brokerage company capturing and closing a lead.
“A brokerage and their agents get little value out of an online lead that is not responded to, and we get little value out of that as well,” said Russ Cofano, Move Inc.’s senior vice president of industry relations. (Move Inc. owns realtor.com.)
“When a consumer goes to realtor.com and clicks on a lead form to get more information and they don’t hear back from anybody, they feel like they didn’t get the best experience on realtor.com. At the same time, that brokerage firm and their agent really loses out on the ability to capture someone’s information who wants to buy a house.”
The listing agent will be on every multiple-agent lead form, accompanied by other agents whom the brokerage specifically picks for that listing.
The goal is for brokerages to list other agents who have specific knowledge about the house, neighborhood and community, and who also have a good track record of similar home sales. Every agent on the lead form must have worked on at least one transaction in that same ZIP code.
The consumer will have the ability to choose up to four agents on the lead form. The lead will then be sent out to the selected agents, who will have an opportunity to respond. Consumers also have the ability to click on the agent’s photo, which brings them to a profile page so they can learn a bit more about each individual’s area of expertise.
Cofano is excited for the test run of this product offering, which is expected to be tested for about three months.
“It’s basically a win-win-win. A win for the brokerage companies, a win for the agents and a win for realtor.com,” he said.
Inman Connect San Francisco is right around the corner — register now and save $200!