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Customer Behavior Basics

July 07 2011

WolfNet pawprintWe've been keeping an eye on a series of blog posts from WolfNet. These posts are intended to help users make the most of WolfNet IDX. We think this may be helpful to many of our readers, so we've decided to share this post. For the rest of the series, you can visit the WolfNet blogWolfNet blog. So let's hear what WolfNet has to say . . .

Earlier in this series, we introduced you to Customer BehaviorCustomer Behavior, a new and free feature for WolfNet IDX subscribers that provides tremendous insight into what has motivated a web site visitor to complete one of several online lead forms. If you haven’t enabled Customer Behavior yet, you’ll want to reference the link above for instructions, and enable it today.

Once enabled, when you receive a lead notification email you can now reference the customer behavior that comes with it. Today we will discuss a few key pieces of information that may help you better qualify your leads immediately. Consider the following:

Type of lead – Is it a listing inquiry/showing request, or is it a user registration? The former will reference a specific listing, which may carry greater significance given the additional data in the Customer Behavior report. The latter will enable you to see additional data on that visitor in the Back Office and also make her subject to your Authentication RatesAuthentication Rates. However, if you are forcing a more restrictive Lead Capture SettingLead Capture Setting, the registration itself may not indicate a hot lead. This is when the additional Customer Behavior data becomes more revealing.

Behavior Summary – This is the meat of Customer Behavior, where the rubber meets the road, if you will. Here is where you will get the best insight into how serious or motivated this particular visitor may be. For example, consider the following data:

1. Total Visits – an inquiry on the first visit might be whimsical, whereas a history of multiple visits, especially when coupled with a relatively recent First Access Date and Time may indicate someone with a sense of urgency, or who is doing their due diligence. Reference their Total Searches and Total Listings Viewed; an inquiry after extensive research could mean a very motivated candidate to buy or sell.

2. Average Price – Is this all over the map, or narrowed within a reasonable range? Someone looking at homes in the $2 – $10 million range may be doing just that – looking. Kind of like watching Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous on your web site. But a range like $275,000 – $325,000 may indicate someone who knows exactly what she can afford, perhaps someone who has prequalified for a mortgage. It may also indicate someone looking to put a property on the market.

3. Average Bedrooms/Baths – By themselves, these criteria may only indicate the needs of the specific visitor, such as family size. But taken with other data like cities and price range, you can tell if the homework has been done about whether the search criteria is realistic or not.

4. Registered on: – A listing inquiry from an already registered user may indicate a listing match in that day’s SearchSaver email. Reference the Saved Searches and Favorites in the Back Office to detect a match. You may also want to look at the login history; someone who is getting regular email updates on saved search criteria may be a pretty loyal web site visitor, and an inquiry after sustained visits to your search may indicate a readiness to take action.

Top Listings Viewed – If the lead notification has indicated a listing inquiry, this is a key section to review:

1. First confirm the listing that is the subject of the inquiry is one of the top five.

2. Look at the other top listings and determine if there is a pattern: same community, same price range, similar features, etc.

3. When you respond to the inquiry, knowing what other listings the customer has viewed and why will lend to your ability to showcase your expertise. Reference the listing that is the subject of the inquiry, and consider referring the client to other listings on the list that are similar properties. Likely a productive, intelligent dialogue will ensue.

Top Cities Searched – The relevance here seems pretty obvious – real estate is all about location. A visitor searching a specific city may indicate she knows where she wants to live. But there are more subtle nuances to this information that may reveal even more about a her motivation, and her understanding of the current local real estate market. Here are a couple of things to consider:

1. Are other search criteria in her Customer Behavior summary consistent with these cities? Look at the behavior summary data for price range, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Is it realistic to find a preponderance of listings in these communities that meet these criteria? If yes, you may have a very focused and motivated buyer or seller. If not, she may be dreaming, but that still gives you a potential opportunity to show your own expertise and advise on more appropriate neighborhoods that match her criteria.

2. Not all searches include cities as criteria. MapTracksSM users may not select a specific city, but rather use the map to draw their search area. In such a case, reference the latitude and longitude data in the Most Recent Searches section. For WolfNet clients with the new MapTracksSM version 3.0MapTracksSM version 3.0, searches may include more city data, as the map automatically locates and scales the view based on cities selected from a menu.

Most Recent Searches – Many agents requested this feature long ago; the idea is understanding exactly what the visitor thinking right before she decided to submit an inquiry. This may provide some insight into her motivation, as well as enable you to target future leads by creating custom searchescustom searches based on the search data from past leads.

Ultimately, the purpose of the Customer Behavior data summary is to enable you to better qualify your leads, and facilitate a more educated dialogue with your prospects. This will hopefully better enable you to turn more of these prospects into clients.