BoomTown, a major sales and marketing platform for the real estate industry, has bought a company that, it says, attacks a real pain point for real estate agents — following up with leads promptly.
Real Contact is a lead qualification service provider that helps agents and teams respond in a timely manner to leads, engage with them through its text messaging lead response service and nurture the leads over time.
BoomTown, whose services include customer relationship management (CRM) with personalized advertising and lead generation services, has been clear that the industry has to do better on responding to those hard-won online leads or else all that effort has been for nothing.
“Our data shows that only 23 percent of listing inquiries are followed up within the first hour, and less than half of these inquiries come in during business hours,” said Grier Allen, CEO and president of BoomTown, in the company announcement, shared exclusively with Inman on Thursday.
“Agents have busy lives,” Allen told Inman. “They are off showing properties, doing listing presentations, and a lot of leads come in while they are sleeping. These types of [lead qualification] services are incredibly important to the success of online lead generation. That’s why we are so excited.”
Real Contact concierges respond to leads from any source within 90 seconds, 24/7, with the concierge service acting as a branded extension of the real estate agent.
The Irvine-based company with nationwide service also runs follow-up 360-day campaigns, offers ringless voicemail messages and does appointment setting. The Real Contact concierges qualify leads and nurture the unresponsive ones.
“This acquisition gives us the opportunity to extend from the digital space to conversations, to have it be contextual and relevant to where people are and what people doing,” Allen said.
Allen said he wouldn’t disclose the price paid for the lead qualifying business that has an existing team of 20, all of whom will stay on.
What sets Real Contact apart from other lead follow-up companies, Allen told Inman, is the ability for agents to jump into the conversation via the app — once they see a text message from the concierge has been responded to by the consumer, for instance.
“It’s elegant — there’s a convenience and control for the agent, giving them the ability to jump into the conversation,” Allen said. “It’s a killer feature, which sets them apart.” Allen said this was a first acquisition for the company, founded in 2006 in Charleston. It also has offices in Atlanta and San Francisco.
The new acquisition will dovetail well with BoomTown’s current service, Allen told Inman. It’s exciting and definitely a big milestone for our business, he said, and added that the real fun will be in finalizing the integration plan.
Allen said the company has already trialed BoomTown and Real Contact services with mutual clients, and it has had an encouraging response.
Josh Malone, managing broker of the Maven Real Estate team, said in BoomTown’s press statement he had seen the two providers help drive higher conversion rates.
“BoomTown’s platform fuels my team and provides the tools to help them work those opportunities, and Real Contact has added a powerful extra punch, reaching out to new leads and nurturing them over the long term,” Malone said. “It’s a natural next step to leverage Real Contact’s qualification service to continue helping agents focus on clients who are ready to act while ensuring that prospects are being effectively engaged and nurtured.”
Allen sees more opportunities for what Real Contact and BoomTown can do together. “We provide our customers with a digital consumer experience today, a place where they can go and shop for homes online, and we can extract consumer behavior data from those digital interactions,” Allen said.
Allen told Inman there could be more acquisitions in the future, self-funded by the company.