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  • IVR (interactive voice response) lets you capture better contact information for the leads you’re already generating.
  • The odds of making contact with a new lead are extremely high if you call within the first five minutes of submission.
  • A rep is 100 times less likely to make contact if the first call is made 30 minutes after submission.

You need more leads, right? It just makes sense — the more leads you have, the higher your probability of making a sale.

But there’s more to it than just getting more leads. Most agents don’t have a problem with lead generation — they have a problem with lead follow-up.

This is where interactive voice response (IVR) technology comes in: by letting you capture better contact information for the leads you’re already generating and helping you follow up with them immediately.

What do we mean by immediately? Back in 2007, Dave Elkington and Ken Krogue from conducted an in-depth study on lead response time.

What they found was stunning: “The study revealed that the odds of making contact with a new lead are extremely high if you call within the first five minutes of submission,” Elkington said.

“The odds drop off dramatically by the first 30 minutes. Specifically, a rep is 100 times less likely to make contact if the first call is made 30 minutes after submission. The odds of making contact drop by 3,000 times if the first call is made five hours after lead submission.”

Interactive voice response technology solves the problem of lead capture and immediate follow-up by providing a personal, toll-free 1-800 number for prospects to call.

You put the number on the yard signs for each of your listings, and when a potential buyer dials the number they receive information about the listing, and you receive their contact info (and the listing they called about) for follow-up.

Because caller ID can’t be blocked on toll-free numbers, you’re guaranteed to have accurate contact information for every prospect who calls on your listings — even if they don’t leave a message.

Which service is the best? There are several available, but we like 1800HomeHotline. It offers many features that help capture and convert leads you might otherwise miss.

For instance, by selecting a particular option in the voice menu, you can have pictures of the home’s interior or a link to an online listing texted to the person calling about the listing.

This technology boosts your lead capture abilities substantially — in many situations, it even beats using brochures.

Wait, better than a brochure? It might sound like sacrilege, but it’s true. During peak selling season, brochure boxes often run empty. Also, even when brochures are available, prospects often feel nervous about getting out of their car to take one.

Of course, even when they do take a flier, it goes in a stack with a hundred other brochures they’ve collected that day, which means that it’s a crapshoot whether you’ll ever hear from them about the home.

In contrast, with IVR technology, you are in control — the prospect’s natural impulse to learn more about a home always gives you timely contact information for immediate follow-up.

Sound exciting? We recently did a series of shows about how to best implement IVR technology in your own business. Listen to them below in our three-part series on lead generation and prequalification on Real Estate Coaching Radio:

Proven Prequalification Script and Strategies


Proven Prequalification Script and Strategies (Part 2)


Proven Prequalification Script and Strategies (Part 3)


1. Return all IVR lead calls within 60 seconds or less.

People will tell you how impressed they are that you called them back so quickly.

If the caller is a potential seller, your fast response is telling them that you are a proactive, aggressive agent — exactly the kind of agent sellers are looking for in today’s market.

2. Always give callers the option of pressing 0 to transfer to an agent.

This is called HotLead. The HotLead leads are usually the most motivated, best-quality leads. When someone is taking the time to “Press 0 to speak to a live agent,” they are always intent and motivated.

3. 1800HH exclusive: Instant Home Brochure (IHB).

Always give the callers the option of having the brochure on the house texted to them, including photos.

4. Be available for lead calls daily between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Most of the best leads will come in after 5 p.m. As people are coming home from work, they will see the new listings and call for a price.

When you get a neighbor calling for a price, assume it’s because they are going to be listing their home soon.

5. Expect an increase in calls from Thursday through Sunday.

That’s when most people are in house-selling or buying mode.

6. Promote your 1800HomeHotline number everywhere.

Put it on signs, brochures, business cards, ads,, your website, etc.

7. 30 percent-plus.

Always remember, 30 percent or more of all the buyer calls you get into your 1800HomeHotline system will also have homes to sell. Use the scripts we provide to convert those sellers.

8. Be prepared when calling people back or when receiving HotLead calls.

Those leads want to know they are dealing with a professional. Know the market. Know what is for sale, what is selling and the average days on the market.

9. Integrate your unique selling propositions (USPs) into all of your recordings.

Follow the scripts exactly. (Guaranteed sale, easy exit listing, flexible fee.)

10. Repeat and affirm everything they say.

It might feel odd at first, but you will soon realize that people appreciate the fact that you are listening and that you care.

People won’t care about you until you show them that you care about them. Use the potential client’s name when speaking with them.

Hearing someone else say your name is like magic to one’s ears. Combining great question-asking, excellent listening and using their names when speaking to them will always get you superb results.

 Are you already employing these strategies or others you have found successful? Please share in the comments section below.

Tim and Julie Harris have over 20 years’ experience in real estate. Learn more about their real estate coaching and training programs at, or tune in to Real Estate Coaching Radio every weekday at

Email Tim Harris.

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