Are You Getting Accurate Leads?
One of the biggest complaints sales associates and brokers have about online lead service providers is that many of the leads just don’t pan out. Some consumers offer bogus information, others just want to know how much their house is worth. Still others are already working with a real estate professional. So, just what are these companies doing to ensure their data is accurate and useful? Closings Do Happen
“With one in four leads resulting in a closed property transaction within a 12-month period [according to an independent study by Real IQ on behalf of RealEstate.com
], we have firsthand knowledge of how successful online leads can be for agents who are serious about growing their online business,” says Andrew Taylor, general manager of Realestate.com.
RealEstate.com’s agent network [owned and operated by LendingTree Inc.], uses a process called “Smart Touch Filtering” to eliminate invalid names (like John or Jane Doe) and invalid addresses. Filters and Phone Validation
“Our filtering process attempts to identify that the consumer filling out an online qualification form is who he or she indicates [he or she] is,” says Taylor. “In addition, we run the leads through multiple systems to cross-check names, home addresses and phone numbers.” Those systems are fully automated.
Reply! also uses a proprietary, automated system to validate all names and phone numbers of leads for its AgentConnect service, according to Tonya Hayes, senior director of public relations. “If we can’t match the name and phone number through this proprietary automated system for some reason, our Quality Assurance Department—live personnel—will place a call to the number provided to validate the lead,” she says. “If the lead a [sales associate] has purchased is ‘invalid’ after our diligent efforts to validate that lead, we will provide instant credit.” Verifyiing E-mail
On the listing side, HomeGain collects full information from the homeowner about the property and selling time frame, says Tim Fagan, CEO of HomeGain’s/Classified Ventures’ real estate division. “We require an e-mail validation step, sending only leads that are validated by an active e-mail address, before they’re sent along to our agents.”
For HomeGain’s Agent Evaluator service, consumers must complete a detailed profile about the house they want to sell or buy, the price points they want, specific desired locations and other information,” says Fagan. “If we do our jobs right, agents will experience a high conversion from these leads, which turn into transactions.”