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  • Use technology to prevent leads from falling through the cracks.
  • Don’t forget the human touch.
  • Have a methodology for handling leads.

SAN FRANCISCO — It’s hard enough to generate good leads, but once you get them, how do you convert them? Use technology to prevent them from falling through the cracks.

That’s according to panelists at Inman Connect today. Brandon Doyle, of the Doyle Real Estate Team at Re/Max Results, uses Contactually to keep track of transactions in real time.

“Everyone is a lead. The majority of our business is from our sphere of influence. We really focus on staying top of mind with that group. Once we meet someone, we make sure to follow up,” Doyle said.

“Once we were able to get the system set up, it reminds us every day what we need to do. ‘You haven’t called John in 30 days, you need to call John.'”

“A lot of it is holding me accountable. ‘Hey, you need to follow up,’” Doyle added.

York Baur, chief information officer at Windermere Real Estate, noted that the most important thing for selling real estate is to have a methodology, a plan to handle leads.

“The problem is — and where the technology comes in is — really sticking to that plan,” Baur said.

Windermere gives its agents a business plan and “spoon feeds” them action steps, he said.

“You guys all have the experience and the expertise, that’s not the issue. It’s not skipping steps,” he said.

But he cautioned that technology cannot replace the human touch of an actual agent.

“Technology is good at keeping track of things. It’s not good at human simulation,” he said.

“Computers can’t have coffee with people, can’t make a phone call, can’t write a handwritten note.”

Doyle agreed. “We were doing a standard drip campaign … [and] converting at a half a percent. We switched to a more human approach like, ‘Hi, how are you doing? Are there any homes you’d like to look at this weekend?’”

His team is now converting leads at around 4 percent, he said.

Wendy Papasan, team leader of Papasan Properties Group at Keller Williams, built a team to deliver great customer service and give everyone on her team a great quality of life, she said.

“When I started my business, my children were 4 and 5. I knew that I wanted to have great customer service and really high touch, but I didn’t want to work 24 hours a day like a lot of real estate agents do,” she said.

She has a three-person admin team, buyer’s agents, a listing manager, and a showing assistant, among others.

“The thing about real estate is we have what’s urgent and we have what’s important. If you’re by yourself, the urgent always takes precedence” and the important stuff never happens, she said.

She uses BoomTown for pay-per-click ads and to keep track of buyer and seller leads. Her agents use social media aggregator CrystalKnows.com to research their clients before going to meetings.

Baur noted that 50 percent of leads don’t ever get a response and the other half are responded to in an average 15.3 hours.

Doyle had one last word of advice, learned when he accidentally left his phone at home and lost out on a buyer lead.

“Try to get to those leads as fast as possible,” he said.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.

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