How fast do you respond to online real estate enquiries?
Think of a normal day in your life as a real estate agent. You open your email inbox and it’s overflowing with customer enquiries. You don’t have enough time to go through each and find prospective clients. So you start focusing on higher-priority tasks while these leads sit in your inbox.
Later when taking a customer on a virtual tour of a house, you suddenly get an email from a client who’s been in the pipeline for months but hasn’t yet made a purchase. They’ve been wanting more information on the property! And a few minutes later you get another notification: a new customer enquiry on Facebook.
The lack of resources to answer customer enquiries as they happen in real estate is a common complaint.
But here’s the good news: You don’t have to be a superhero to promptly respond to enquiries. All you need are these 3 real estate tools to give you your superpowers. ;)
Does ‘speed to reply’ impact sales?
Before we take a look at the real estate marketing tools, let’s see why they matter.
You might have thousands of leads in your pipeline with hundreds of daily enquiries in your inbox. Regardless of the sheer number, your reply is their resource.
Research indicates you should respond to real estate customer enquiries in less than 5 minutes.
That’s it. All you get is five minutes. Once the customer has placed a house-viewing request, booked a virtual tour, or answered an email, you need to make sure their wishes are fulfilled within the next 5 minutes.
Let’s throw in another statistic just to highlight the importance of ‘responding within five minutes’.
If you’re taking more than five minutes to respond to a customer enquiry, chances are they’re already talking with a competitor. This proves that with the high competition and ever-rising costs of advertising you can’t even afford to lose a second.
But let’s be honest, in this competitive market no real estate agent will be able to do so on their own. This is precisely why you need real estate tools to help you respond fast to enquiries. Because, if you’re not first, you’re last.
The first five minutes
A real estate buyer browsing a website property is highly likely to be available for a call within the first five minutes of making any enquiry. That’s the average time span a customer's interest lasts, after all.
Their full attention is attached to the property and they’re willing to learn more – which is why they’re placing the enquiry.
So it’s easiest then for you not only to contact the client but also grab their attention and (potentially) close a deal.
And that’s not all. 7 in 10 customers buy from the first agent who responds to their enquiry.
Most real estate companies are investing millions to actually get customer queries. Realtors worry about finding new leads to keep the pipeline hot but don’t stress enough about contacting them faster.
Think about it: What profit is there in running high-budget ads to capture leads if you’re unable to reply fast enough to the enquiries?
And 43% of home buyers look for properties online. The massive growth of the Internet has allowed real estate buyers to just type in any property details they’re interested in and be able to find something within minutes.
The oversaturated real estate marketplace – packed with top qualified agents – provides the customer with plenty of options to choose from. More than half of your customers will go to competitors if you take six hours or more to respond to them.
To succeed in this field, you must take advantage of real estate tools. But with so many real estate tools for agents, how do you know which ones are right for you?
Don’t worry! We’ve made this guide just for you, so you don’t have to waste even ‘five minutes’ on it. Use that time instead to close some deals. ;)
3 real estate marketing tools you need
Real estate marketing tool #1: Chatbot
A new study in the real estate industry reveals that only 7 in 1000 realtors can respond within 5 minutes. And surprisingly all these 7 realtors had one thing in common.
They all had chatbots installed on their websites!
In addition to providing 24/7 customer service, chatbots are capable of answering 69% of frequent customer enquiries successfully.
Apart from answering customer enquiries and displaying virtual property tours, there are many other features of chatbots that make them one of the best real estate tools.
Dynamic property chatbots and automatic lead routing
Different properties are managed by different real estate agents. But you can’t possibly install hundreds of chatbots for each agent.
You can, however, dynamically capture the property or agent’s information on the webpage and display it inside the chatbot. Dynamically assigning your leads to the right agent drastically improves response rate.
For example, we’ve helped RE/MAX - one of the real estate leaders reduce their workload by 10x because they no longer have to manually sort and assign leads to individual agents. Read here to learn from RE/MAX’s success.
Automatically book a time with a meeting scheduler
When a potential client lands on a property that you’re handling, the chatbot can automatically capture the client’s details. You can further let the client directly book a meeting on the agent’s calendar from inside the chatbot.
One of the most common problems agents facing is having to answer questions again and again on email and phone calls. In fact, emailing back and forth to schedule house tours is something that agents would like to spend less time on.
Not everyone who visits a website is a potential buyer, but you can build on their interest and transform them into prospective clients. Assist your clients in their pursuit of the perfect property by providing them with listings that match their needs.
Real estate marketing tool #2: xRM
Are your leads scattered across your workspace, inbox, and texts?
How do you keep track of it all? And how do you separate different stages of leads versus those closing deals?
Mismanagement of leads often leads to lost leads. You need to ensure all your leads are stored on one platform and categorised according to customer lifecycle stages.
A CRM can help you with that. But conventional CRMs are predominantly built to function as a sales funnel – and they’re rigid with set processes. If you’re going to be responding to client enquiries within five minutes, you need a real estate tool much more powerful than a CRM.
You need a tool that allows you to create dynamic tasks, set reminders, send automatic emails, and seamlessly communicate with other departments involved. With xRM, you’re well-informed about where the customers are in the customer journey.
That’s exactly why you need an xRM. It may sound technical, but it's a simple and easy-to-use real estate marketing tool. The xRM connects all departments and manages workflows of not just sales but also marketing, customer service, finance, contracts, and more!
The ‘x’ in the xRM can be anything you want it to. You can keep track of everything from tasks and assets to clients (including billing!) and leads – all on one platform.
We saw earlier how you could use chatbots to book appointments. But what happens to the clients who book those meetings? You can automatically route leads to your xRM with all the captured customer information.
Does the xRM sound like a real estate tool for agents that’s too flexible to be true? Well, not anymore. Serviceform’s Flex xRM is the world’s first xRM tool. Be one of the first to check it out and become our beta tester!
Real estate marketing tool #3: Omnichannel communication tool
Customers submit enquiries over multiple channels. Having to manage separate accounts to check notifications and reply to customers isn’t an easy task.
Imagine if you've got to respond to both a first-time buyer and a client who has been in the pipeline for a few months.
The first-time buyer could have contacted you via Instagram whereas the customer in the pipeline did so via WhatsApp. Two different channels. Two different tasks.
An omnichannel communication tool like Social inbox (coming soon!) actually helps you reply to both customers in under five minutes – and without having to switch between apps. You can receive all customer enquires, set notifications, send replies, and manage everything all in one place.
As for the Social inbox as a real estate tool, you can also automatically route new client enquiries to any CRM while keeping track of leads.
This helps you respond to customer enquiries at any stage of their customer journey and also track their lifecyle. Wouldn’t you like to have a tool like Social inbox? Check it out and become our beta tester!
A late reply means no sales. And over time can even damage your credibility in the industry.
But at the end of the day, you’re human and won’t always have the space or time to answer queries immediately. With the appropriate real estate tools for agents, you can become an expert and top-rated in the space.
Real estate is about creating a comfortable bubble around your clients so they feel safe in reaching out to you at any time. That’s the trick in helping them to convert, too.
The faster you respond to your client, the further you can send them down your sales funnel and close the deal.
Make sure to check out 10 real estate conversion ideas to strongly close your 2023 and learn more about real estate seller leads and 8 ways to qualify them!