Real estate agents spend massive amounts of time and money trying to generate leads, but those efforts can be completely derailed in an instant if no one picks up the phone when a potential client calls. And because agents have busy, irregular work schedules that see them ranging far from their offices, the possibility of missing calls is very real.
But now San Diego-based lead vetting startup Agentology believes it has a solution.
On Wednesday, the company announced the launch of CallConnect, a service that provides agents with a single phone number that will ring both them and their teams. More significantly still, if a potential client calls that number and no one answers, the call will automatically redirect to Agentology’s own concierge, where one of the company’s team members will gather relevant information and pass it back to the agent.
“The idea is that when opportunity calls, Agentology answers,” company co-founder and CEO David Tal told Inman.
CallConnect is platform agnostic, meaning that agents can use their assigned phone number on Zillow, Realtor.com or even on yard signs. In other words, it’s meant to work with any venue through which agents might be trying to generate leads.
If calls do eventually go to Agentology’s own concierge, someone is available to answer the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Tal said that CallConnect was developed in response to a shift to a first-come, first-served strategy for lead generation platforms such as Zillow and Realtor.com. In these cases, people who call agent numbers that they find online are redirected from one agent to another until someone finally answers.
Zillow has lately been tweaking its lead generation business, and announced this week that it will launch a new platform based on closed deals, rather than an upfront fee.
Tal also said that Zillow and Realtor.com are the two biggest companies currently using a first-come, first-served lead strategy, though other firms have begun implementing it as well. The problem with that approach, Tal continued, is that agents have busy schedules and can’t always answer the phone — meaning they could be missing out on deals.
“Agents don’t always pick up the phone,” Tal said. “Not because they’re lazy but because it’s not realistic to always answer the phone.”
CallConnect lets agents customize where exactly their incoming calls go. For example, a call can be directed to an entire team, or merely to certain members.
The idea is to give them the leverage to never miss another call again,” Tal added.
CallConnect is available as an add-on to other Agentology services — which start at $395 per month plus a $495 set up fee — for $100 per month. Agents who just want CallConnect can also subscribe to the service alone for $295.
Tal said that, so far, the service has been well-received. The company began a stealth, beta test of CallConnect a month ago that included 50 users. Agents who were a part of the beta test have reported back to Agentology that the service already saved them from missing out on listings, Tal said. An additional 500 people have also signed up for a waitlist to get access to CallConnect, which is widely available as of Wednesday.
The service is just the latest new product for Agentology, which a year ago raised $12 million in venture capital. The company planned to use the money to hire more software engineers and concierge staffers. More recently, Agentology launched Dashboard, a Google Analytics-like information stream for real estate marketing campaigns.
In the case of CallConnect, Tal said the service is the first of its kind in the real estate industry, and should help “close the gap between consumers’ expectations and the agents’ availability.”