• New lead qualification service aims to connect agents to ready sellers and save agents time by weeding out those unlikely to sell.

In an inventory-starved, raging-hot seller’s market, finding homesellers who are ready to pull the trigger and connecting with them fast can mean the difference between becoming the real estate agent who lists that home and the agent who wishes she had.

Predictive marketing company SmartZip, based in Pleasanton, California (a city that is no stranger to scarce listings), has rolled out a service — SmartZip Outreach — that it hopes will give its agent customers that edge.

The service’s team of inside sales agents (ISAs) uses the company’s SmartTargeting platform to predict which homeowners are most likely to sell at any given time and then proactively verifies those homeowners’ intent to sell, immediately transferring any hot leads to Outreach agent customers.

“For real estate agents, bridging the gap between cold lead and qualified lead can be difficult and time-consuming. Often times, opportunities are lost when agents get busy and are unable to connect with good listing prospects fast enough,” said Rajeev Kalavar, SmartZip’s executive vice president of product, strategy and operations, in a statement.

“SmartZip Outreach ensures that our clients are the first to reach out and connect with a likely homeseller, and is designed to help agents nurture and grow relationships with these prospects for the long-term.”

Another platform that marries predictive analytics lead generation with lead qualification is Offrs, while other products such as Benutech’s ReboGateway, Opcity and Zillow Group’s Premier Agent Concierge provide some mix of lead generation, lead qualification and predictive analytics, but not all three.

SmartZip’s combination of predictive analytics and lead qualification beat industry averages for lead generation, according to the company.

“Historical industry data shows that when such a service prospects a database of traditional, non-targeted homeowners, it generates one lead or nurture contact every 35 conversations on average,” the company said.

“By contrast, in the initial alpha test of SmartZip Outreach based on SmartTargeting’s predicted seller targets, the service has seen an improvement of 2x or more, with the ISAs sourcing a lead every 18 conversations on average.”

Agents can choose whether the ISAs target every contact in their farm or only the top 20 percent of predicted sellers.

“In each call, the ISAs leverage proprietary scripts designed to non-invasively extract the homeowner’s selling intent and timeframe,” the company said.

In cases where homeowners aren’t ready to sell yet but plan to sell in the next few months, SmartZip Outreach will send out phone calls, texts and emails to “nurture” the potential clients and also activate SmartTargeting’s automated nurture campaigns.

For sellers who don’t plan to sell at all, an ISA will try to identify referral opportunities before disqualifying them from an agent’s pipeline, the company said.

“I love the idea of saving time by only speaking to homeowners who are thinking of selling in the near future,” said Outreach alpha tester Scott Newman, broker-owner of Newman Realty in Chicago, in a statement.

“This new feature further saturates my farm with my brand and positions me as the absolute go-to resource for selling homes in the area.”

SmartZip Outreach is available as an add-on with a two-month commitment to SmartTargeting customers. The company did not respond to a request for comment on how much the service costs.

This is SmartZip’s latest approach to leveraging its predictive analytics to boost business for agents. In March, SmartZip acquired Reach150, a company whose referral management system helps agents get referrals through recommendations from past clients, in order to integrate the two products into an expanded platform.

In September, SmartZip took on $12 million in debt financing to enhance its agent and lender products.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.

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