We all know that the future of real estate is interwoven with the future of the internet, social media, mobile apps and the wealth of online information because that is where more than 90% of homebuyers are starting their searches.
But, the bigger question is, have real estate professionals, as a whole, stayed in sync and kept up with this quickly expanding trend? Not according to recent research published by the National Association of Realtors and conducted by PCMS Consulting in Atlanta and One Cavo in Denver that concluded that half of online leads go unanswered.
More specifically, the study examined 715 responses to Internet leads by real estate sales associates at 56 brokerages. Half of the leads were specific to a certain sales associate, and half were through IDX sites. About 50 percent of the sales didnt respond to the leads specific to them, and 46 percent of the IDX inquiries also went unanswered. And, about a quarter of the leads that did receive responses, those replies came on average 8 hours after they had initially inquired.
This should throw up a huge red flag for real estate agents everywhere. Why? Because we live in an instant gratification world where consumers are used to having instant access to property photos, information, maps, comparable properties, neighborhood information as well as the contact information for an agent that can help them in their buying process. Because of this, it becomes extremely important that agents complement this trend with quick responses, or the lead will just walk away and find another agent who will respond.
In fact the research even goes as far as to note that consumers have come to expect a response within a little as a couple of minutes. Now, you can definitely argue that crosses into a little bit of an unreasonable expectation, but you cant argue with the fact that in order to provide the best service and win the most clients, real estate agents need to follow consumer/client trends and shift their business in a way that moves with technology advancements and new trends.