If you cannot keep up with the rapid pace of online marketing, your business will suffer…
According to a joint study by Google and the National Association of Realtors®, 90% of all real estate transactions start with an online search. When a customer contacts you, you must respond as quick as possible, regardless of the time. If a customer doesn’t hear from you right away, they’ll end up doing business with someone who wants their business. It’s the nature of real estate.
Sure you can delegate lead management to an administrative assistant who has perhaps a couple of hours extra they can squeeze out of their day. However, is that really how you want to deal with arguably the most important facet of your business–leads? Lead nurturing is a full time job. So much of the success of your business is contingent on the emphasis, care, quality, and maintenance of the individual or team you entrust this responsibility upon.
It’s recommended that every successful agency team employ an online sales counselor (OSC) to cultivate and manage the plethora of leads that may be coming your way through the digital landscape of online marketing. With an OSC, your team can focus on what they do best– turning those leads into closed sales.
Below are the main points that will help lead to your team’s success with an OSC in place.
Treat your website like the customer concierge that it is
You’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars building a business and brand that instills quality and trust with the customers who are constantly exposed to you. With this, you staff your business with a team of full-time employees who help evoke the same message of quality and trust.
Your website should parallel this idea. If a customer manages to find themself on your site, they should be guided,not left to their own devices to aimlessly wander through the various pages. This is where your OSC holds the baton.
- Respond quickly with a personal touch. Studies indicate that a lead is 21X more likely to convert if it is responded to within the first 5 minutes vs the first 30 minutes.
- Provide the information they are seeking.
- Establish the relationship by asking the right questions.
- Offer suggestions and additional insight to maintain the conversation.
- Update your CRM with detailed notes for each prospect.
- Follow up personally after the initial contact to secure an appointment with a top agent.
A fast reply gives buyers a good idea about how you’ll respond after they decide to work with you. A joint Keller Williams / Baylor University study found the average response time to an inbound phone call is 1hr 45 mins. Since 49% of consumers expect an instant response this is totally unacceptable, which is why consumers will inquire with multiple real estate agents.Think of it this way: If you take a long time to reply to a customer’s initial inquiry, they’ll probably assume you’ll offer no expediency in getting back to them even after the sale closes– a time where they really might have lingering questions.
This can yield a drastically negative effect on the relationship you’re trying to build, not to mention your referral and repeat buyer rates after the sale.
Respond to leads as quickly as possible
Like stated earlier, responding to leads within the first 5 minutes of receipt will yield drastic implications to the success of converting the lead. While this might seem unreasonable to you, think about how technology has changed how we conduct everyday commerce:
- The prevalence of overnight shipping
- The ability to split any cost between friends in real-time.
Buyers expect the same instant response when they’re shopping for a home, and delaying your reply widens the gap between the inquiry and the sale. An OSC knows their job is to respond quickly, monitor the buyer from the moment of their first inquiry, and work with them until they’re ready to meet your on-site salesperson.
With an all-star OSC, you’ll see incremental sales that you didn’t have before. Gone will be the days of scratching your head contemplating how you justify spending so much money on leads only to have them drift into aimless obscurity.
Pick the optimal candidate for the job
Your OSC is the customer’s first interaction with your brand. Their job is selling and prepping the buyer so the on-site sales professionals can carry on the conversion.
Here’s how you might describe the job to an OSC candidate:
“As a part of my digital marketing strategy, I need a real salesperson — someone who can take inbound leads, respond fast, stick to a specific sales process, respond fast, follow up, make calls, respond fast, follow up again, sell the company and themselves via email and phone, respond fast, follow up, send videos, follow up — and do all of these things without actually meeting the customer in person. Did I mention they need to respond fast?”
A great OSC is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, empathetic, responsive, and diligent about achieving goals. They’re likable, well-spoken, genuine, and their skill sets include:
- Customer service experience
- Strong communication — especially over phone and email
- An appreciation for speed
- A dedication targeting prospects with finesse and cultivating leads with patience and tenacity
- Motivation to succeed
- A sales mindset
It’s important to remember that your OSC is not an on-site sales representative. This person never actually meets with the potential customers face-to-face. This person is more like a qualifying dispatcher that scrubs the leads that come in and hands them off to the optimal closer. The two are working harmoniously for the same goal — closing the sale.
Proper implementation of an OSC can have an immediate positive impact on the success and growth of your business. All of that considered, if you are in a spot where you don’t have the means or the resources to bring on a full time employee that is responsible for the aforementioned role, Agentology is here to help. We have the means to implement an optimal lead scrubbing and qualifying strategy that connects to your lead strategy/CRM, that engages every lead within the first 5 minutes on behalf of your team, and once qualified sends you an immediate notification via SMS and email.