Agent

Lessons on responsiveness from the team that contacted 15,028 leads

BoomTown wanted to understand the habits, tactics and routines that the industry’s most successful agents practice to achieve success.

So we turned to our clients — many of whom are among the nation’s top teams and agents ranked in Real Trends’ latest “The Thousand” report. After countless phone interviews, face-to-face meetings and emails, we noticed a trend. They had incredibly fast response times to new leads.

We developed a hypothesis we could test from this insight: What impact does agent responsiveness have on new lead opportunities?

We all know the new-lead trends and industry best practices, especially us Inman readers. Call new leads within five minutes. The agents and offices we interviewed all strived for that goal.

This led us to ask several follow-up questions: Was responding faster the only factor in new-lead success? Or did other variables impact their success, such as marketing campaigns, lead or market type and follow-up process?

BoomTown decided to put responsiveness to the test. We took a handful of clients from different markets with different business models and used an in-house team to engage new lead opportunities for them.

Over the course of six months, this BoomTown lead-development team contacted 15,028 leads, conducted 47,057 phone calls and sent 37,602 texts. Here’s what we learned.

Faster response times matter

One of the clear takeaways was an obvious one: the quicker a lead is responded to the better. Something many of us already knew. Quicker the contact, the more likely you are to get a response. The reasons for this, too, are clear.

Many real estate agents hunt for a limited number of homebuyers and sellers in every market. Naturally, this creates competition, and overlap.

A homebuyer might enter his or her contact info on a real estate website one night. The next day, he or she might resume a search on Zillow and ask to contact an agent listed next to a property there. Lead opportunities are clearly tied to timing.

Many times, the first agent who reaches out wins. Is the homebuyer looking at homes during the night before going to bed? The agent who responds at that time may have a higher chance of getting his or her attention.

Success is about focusing on opportunities, not leads

The real estate offices we helped in our six-month test improved their new-lead engagement rates. They didn’t change their marketing plan, they didn’t revamp their follow-up process. The only variable that changed was lead-response time, which our team helped improve. On average, the BoomTown lead-development team responded to their new leads within 15 minutes.

Based on this faster lead-response time, these offices saw upticks in opportunities. Their sales pipelines grew. All it took was surfacing interested leads and categorizing them into nurture campaigns — some were interested now while others were still six to eight months out from becoming serious.

Leads and money go to waste when an agent’s sales team can’t contact all of them in a timely way.

Real estate team leaders Brian Gubernick and Brett Tanner addressed this at our annual conference BoomTown Unite in late March. They told audience members that real estate teams should cap the number of leads each agent receives at 100.

By reducing per-agent lead volumes, they saw sales numbers go up. With a glut of leads, agents struggle to form the meaningful relationships that lead to sales, they said.

Empowering agents in the field is critical

Analyzing the data behind response times and their impact on lead opportunities helped BoomTown realize the need for empowering agents in the field.

We know inquiries and new leads come any time of the day, even when agents are out supporting other clients, whether it be holding open houses or shepherding buyers to listings.

Since launching the BoomTown mobile app, we’ve seen a 17 percent increase in conversations as a result of calls and a 27 percent increase in text responses.

It turns out when it comes to lead engagements, simple is better.

If you want to see how easy it is to respond to leads using BoomTown NOW, take it for a test drive here.