Responding to Real Estate Leads Instantly is Now a Requirement
Review the California Association of Realtors research on consumers expectations on agent response and data on smartphone shipments both starting in 2007.
There is a direct correlation in smartphones usage and the expectations of an instant response to inquiries.
Today, the mobile phone is the primary means of internet access for consumers. The majority of consumers now use mobile or tablets for most internet access while desktop usage typically reserved for work.
This move to mobile also changes search behavior. Let’s compare how the difference in search behavior varies based on the device used.
Dramatically Improve Lead Conversion by Responding in 5 Mins 2 Mins or Less
Responding instantly to inquiries can increase lead conversion rates by up to 391% as indicated by a recent Zillow study and the original 2007 MIT study on lead response.
At the last Zillow Premier Agent forum, Zillow shared this insightful chart. As you can see there is nearly a 400% difference in lead response rates by responding to inquiries within the first 2 mins.
As indicated by Zillow, systems play a critical rule to allow agents and teams to respond quickly.
Yet, recent studies from both CAR and Keller Williams indicate that average agent response times and consumer expectations do not align.
This misalignment is the opportunity for an agent, real estate team or brokerage to uses systems to respond and create a competitive advantage.
Gap In Expectations and Actual Response Times is Massive Opportunity
CAR report on response time shows that over 94% of consumers expect an answer in 1 hour of less yet the same report indicates that only about 36% of agents actually respond within 1 hour. By simply having a system to respond within 1 hour an agent can outperform 64% of their peers.
A joint Keller Williams / Baylor University study found that agents average response times 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.
Data also shows that many agents are wasting lead opportunities. Review the KW slide above and notice the following:
49% of Email leads NEVER receive a response. When they did it took an avg. of 5hrs 35mins.
51% of Text inquiries NEVER responded to.
29% of Phone call inquiries NEVER get a callback. Calls were returned in avg. of 1hr 45mins after the initial call.
In competitive markets, agents will often need to invest over $100 for each lead inquiry. The above data highlights the wasted opportunities and dollars while reinforcing the importance of having systems to respond to leads.