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The Value of a Swift Response

July 01 2011

Here's another great retro article to celebrate the 4th of July. This one comes to you from Jose Parez.

You finally decided that with prices still low, you are going to upgrade to that bigger house you and your husband have been talking about for years. Things are good with both your jobs and now is the time.

You have heard from several people that XYZ Real Estate has a good reputation and you see a lot of their signs around town so you decide to start your search on their website one night after work. They have a nice site and you are getting excited about the listings they have in the neighborhood you have been wanting to move into.

Saturday morning you decide that you want to spend Sunday looking at a few homes for sale in your dream neighborhood. You get back on XYZ’s site while you are having your morning coffee and put in a request to speak to someone about viewing homes tomorrow. It’s about 9 AM and you give them your cell phone number in case they call while you are out and about.

Soccer, baseball, yard work, laundry, and grocery shopping chores are done by mid-afternoon. You and your husband finally sit down to relax before cooking dinner and wonder why you have not heard anything from XYZ Real Estate. You are both eager to look at homes tomorrow so you check your email to see if someone has gotten back to you. Nothing on email and nobody has bothered to call after several hours. Not impressed with the lack of response, you get back online and start searching for other companies.

Does this happen every day in our industry?

Unfortunately, it happens hundreds of thousands of times every single day!

According to NAR, 48% of Internet leads go unanswered and the remaining 52% get responses a couple of days later. This is simply unacceptable to today’s Internet savvy consumer who has much higher expectations when they request information online.

Your consumer can get real estate information from just about anyone these days so they are not going to wait around for you to respond to them. If you don’t respond quickly (within the hour), they will find someone who will, and since 93% of consumers pick the first agent they speak to, guess who is going to win?

The problem brokerages have is that most do not have enough call volume to justify a rapid response team or full-blown call center. As a result, they leave it to a relocation department, or, in many cases, to agents directly. Unfortunately, without accountability and metrics, most companies fail miserably in this area and end up letting significant commission dollars slip through the cracks month after month.

The solution lies in developing a real Internet lead management process that must include three distinct segments:

  • Lead capture
  • Lead distribution; and
  • Accountability and metrics

In addition, you must be able to respond to consumers when they want a response. That might be in the evenings or early in the morning. Remember, you MUST get back to them in minutes, not hours.

The market is tough enough already. Don’t make it harder by ignoring the obvious…companies that can develop or outsource an Internet lead management system will have a distinct advantage over those that do not.

About the author

Jose Perez is the President of PCMS Consulting, a full-service consulting, sales and management organization which specializes in real estate industry issues. For more information, please visit or e-mail [email protected]. PCMS Consulting is hosting a 5-month coaching series called Camp REinvent. For more information visit