New Lead Concierge Service plus Talk Now App Solve Need for Speed
Norfolk, Va. (Nov. 1, 2016) – Working to solve the need for real estate agents to rapidly respond to consumer inquires, Homes.com®, a top consumer real estate resource and leading provider of marketing solutions for real estate professionals, unveiled today its proprietary, Instant Response Technology (IRT), featuring its new Lead Concierge service and a powerful new app, TalkNow.
“Time may be the most precious commodity we have,” says Homes.com President David Mele. “With a real estate market where inventory is tight, responding faster to consumers can be an essential competitive edge for real estate agents, and a definite win for consumer engagement.”
Statistically, studies show slow agent response time is a pervasive industry problem. An insidesales.com Lead Response Study notes that leads contacted within the first five minutes are 100 times more likely to close. Research from the California Association of REALTORS® (CAR) reveals that a majority of home buyers view “responsiveness” as the most important quality in selecting an agent – more important than characteristics including “trustworthiness” and “knowledgeability.” Moreover, a study by WAV Group documents nearly half (48 percent) of buyer inquires to agents were never responded to and the average response time was 917 minutes (or 15.29 hours).
With responsiveness being a leading differentiator for consumers, Mele says real estate professionals must find a way to improve response time, or risk losing more consumers to competitors. To solve the real estate industry’s need for speed, Homes.com is delivering its IRT toolset—comprised of Lead Concierge and TalkNow—to enable real estate professionals to respond faster and close more leads.
Lead Concierge: On-Demand Call Center
Homes.com’s Lead Concierge service empowers brokers and agents to work smarter, not harder, by providing a personalized call center service that takes the first consumer inquiries. When an agent or broker cannot be reached for a qualified lead transfer, Lead Concierge service provides immediate consumer engagement until an agent or broker follows up directly.
“In effect, we’re providing real estate agents and brokers with a personal assistant to help them never miss a call,” says Mele. “No one can always be available: if they’re actively engaged with a client, they can’t stop to answer a call or respond to a text. Homes.com Lead Concierge will perform that service for them, and more importantly, will help qualify and prioritize leads.”
Well-trained Lead Concierge Assistants automatically handle incoming calls and emails on behalf of the agent or broker. The Lead Concierge asks a series of qualifying questions, including, “Are you currently working with an agent?,” “What is the time period for your home purchase?,” “Has a budget been determined?,” and “Have you been pre-qualified for a mortgage?”
Mele explains that leads are considered “disqualified,” for example, if a caller is currently working with another agent, or is looking to rent rather than buy. “Hot leads,” or qualifying leads, are immediately transferred to the agent or broker. Other leads are sent to the agent’s dashboard for follow-up at their convenience.
TalkNow: Connecting in Real Time
Homes.com takes IRT to the next level with its launch of Homes.com’ TalkNow, an app instantly connecting consumers searching for properties online with a real estate professional.
“TalkNow is like Uber for a real estate agent,” says Mele. “Agents let us know when they’re available to take inquiries—they can show consumers ‘I’m available now,’ and TalkNow will connect them to someone who needs help on specific properties instantly. These may be the hottest leads an agent can get.”
When a home buyer is interested in a property on Homes.com, by simply clicking on the TalkNow button on the website, an alert is delivered immediately to a local agent. TalkNow then matches the consumer with an available agent in the coverage area for that listing. If the agent chooses to accept the inquiry, TalkNow delivers to the agent links to text or call the prospect immediately.
Instant Response Solution
To measure how vital response time is to consumers, Homes.com recently polled home buyers about their need for instant response:
- 22 percent expect to receive an immediate response when they submit an online form, and over 50 percent expect a response in less than one hour.
- 52 percent expect response time to be faster during business hours, when agents and brokers are busiest.
- 56 percent report that initial response time is a consideration when selecting an agent to represent them in their next real estate transaction.
Response Technology, both Lead Concierge and TalkNow, helps agents win more deals by providing consumers what they want: “immediate responses,” Mele says. “Millennials are the vast majority of first-time buyers and to them, faster equals better and faster also means now. Agents also know that the first one to respond often gets the listing or the sale, no matter what the age bracket. With both Lead Concierge and TalkNow, Homes.com delivers instant connections to help agents and brokers to the hottest leads,” he adds.
“Homes.com is more than just a portal,” Mele explains. “We’re expanding our digital marketing offerings for agents and brokers to help them remain more competitive.”
Homes.com requires no minimum spend to take advantage of Lead Concierge. Homes.com TalkNow is currently available in Orlando, Nashville and Dallas/Fort Worth with nationwide coverage expected in the next 6 months. For more information on Homes.com Lead Concierge, view here and Homes.com TalkNow, view here or call 866-774-2947.
Homes.com is a top real estate search destination, visited by more than 14 million consumers each month. Homes.com leverages search visibility to connect this in-market audience with real estate professionals in their local areas of interest. Homes.com offers the following real estate marketing and media services: brand advertising, property listing exposure and syndication, search engine marketing and instant response lead generation to help real estate agents and other real estate related partners succeed online. For more information, visit www.Homes.com.