Negotiation, professionalism, tech savviness, marketing - these are just a few of the skills you as an agent possess. However, are they the skills that will ultimately help you land more deals and turn your current clients into raving fans?
A study published in REALTOR Magazine by NAR says not necessarily.
In fact, the #1 trait that buyers rate they're looking for in an agent is simple, it's "responsiveness".
47% of buyers surveyed say that simply by responding to them in a timely manner is more important to them than "professionalism", "local expertise" and "experience".
So why is this? Why in today's connected world, a world where we constantly have our phones on us, ready and willing to be able to send a text, call, email, tweet, Facebook Message, WhatsApp, SnapChat or any message channel under the sun, do consumers rate their experience with an agent by their willingness to just respond to them?
We're all overwhelmed by the on-demand economy
So long are the days of being able to get a new lead and wait around until you have the time to respond to them 15 hours later.
Consumers today demand an instant response. If you've not provided with that, you can count them as good as gone. In fact, the Harvard Business Review says that you're 21x as unlikely to convert a lead after 5 minutes of not responding to them.
So why is this so challenging to do?
Well, as an agent, team leader or broker - you've got plenty on your plate as it is. From coordinating showing/listing appointments, coordinating transactions, writing up offers, counter-offers, helping move leads through the mortgage loan process and so much more, that simply responding to a new lead takes the back seat.
But in today's world, responding to leads has to be your #1 priority, as the facts stand, it's the #1 trait your consumers look for.
The rise of the Inside Sales Agent
With new lead sources sprouting up every day, from Zillow to Realtor.com to Facebook to Live Chat - there's no shortage of filling your funnel with leads. Moving them down the funnel is a different story.
This takes a series of processes to engage that new lead in under 5 minutes, qualify them based on their timeframe to move, financing status, prior agent status and set the appointment.
Then there's those leads that don't respond. Although with products such as Aisa Holmes by Structurely, we see new leads engage with us initially nearly 60% of the time, that leaves 40% of your leads each month to require consistent follow-up.
According to Lead Simple, 80% of agents stop following-up with leads after the 3rd attempt. Even though studies show it typically takes deals 2 to 12 attempts to convert.
Enter the Inside Sales Agent (ISA) who handles these entire processes in-house. From instantly engaging new leads, qualifying them and setting the appointment, to nurturing unresponsive leads for months.
An ISA is the piece of your real estate business process that drives the pipeline for you and your agents to continue to spend more time closing deals and less time qualifying leads.
What makes an effective ISA?
As the #1 trait that buyers look for in an agent is "responsiveness", an ISA has to have stellar communication skills.
Being able to quickly engage a new lead, understand their context such as what website they came from, what property they were looking at, and if they're a buyer lead, seller lead or both is simply table stakes for an ISA to convert leads.
More importantly though, is the ISAs ability to empathize, respect and build trust with that lead. As many movers are going through a death, divorce or disease which has triggered their move there are also positive life events such as a new job, new child or otherwise that are great indicators your ISA should use to drive home more leads.
As we all know, not every lead is ready to move tomorrow, nor do they likely want to talk to a salesperson about it. Which means your ISA has to have objection handlers ready to go on a moments notice. Anything from "Oh I was just looking for a friend" to "I'll only go with your team if you reduce your commission" needs a quick, intuitive and respectful response.
The most common problems with ISAs today
It's clear to see the value an ISA can bring to your real estate business. However, there's a lot that can go wrong, but that can be avoided.
Most issues with ISAs stem from a simple lack of consistency and accountability. As humans make mistakes and aren't perfect beings, no matter how much training you may give to an ISA they still make mistakes in conversation. They may not have used the proper objection handler, asked the right qualifier or completely omitted an important step in the lead follow-up process.
Secondly, an ISA may not properly hand off a qualified or disqualified lead to the appropriate team member and the right time. It's important that any ISA has familiarity with the same tools and technology that your team uses today to make sure your licensed salespeople are getting the leads your ISA has converted for them in the format their accustomed to.
Lastly, ISA turnover is extremely high. Kyle Whissel on club wealth “i've not been able to keep an ISA for more than 6 months. they're production just drops off a cliff”
Overcoming common human ISA pitfalls with an Artificial Intelligence ISA
Imagine instead, an ISA that never gets tired, never burns out and is always available, day and night - 24/7/365.
This is the premise of an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) ISA. An A.I. ISA messages leads in under 2 minutes and follows-up with leads over the course of a long period to try and re-engage them.
It's trained on millions of messages, and can empathize with leads going through a divorce, a new job and more. It's been built to handle objections like, "can you cut your commission" and "I was just looking".
An A.I. ISA is simply more consistent than it's human counterpart. Don't believe us? Take it from top producing team leader and broker at RE/MAX Edge, Edric Williams who says, "I think one of the biggest reasons a human ISA doesn't work is oversight."
Edric has increased his team's lead conversion by 233%, doubled his lead volume, and added 3 more agents because of his brokerage's new A.I. ISA.
The numbers of an A.I. ISA speak for themselves as well. It's simply too costly these days with razor thin margins at your brokerage to bring in an in-house ISA team for your agents.
Cost of hiring a Human ISA team vs. Structurely A.I. ISA
Benefits of using an A.I. ISA with your modern messaging tools
- 455% more available
- 96% cheaper
- 0 hours spent recruiting an ISA
- 0 hours spent training an ISA
- 0 turnover
It's time to give your consumers what they deserve, and what they've been asking for.
With the help of an A.I. ISA you deliver outstanding customer support, close more deals and give your agents the ability to spend more time in the field with their clients - all at a fraction of the cost of a human.
Want to give your agents the gift of responsiveness? Hire Aisa Holmes today.