So here are some facts for you. 65% of consumers expect a response to an online request within 4 hours and 65% don’t even get a response within 12 hours and fully 45% never receive a response. This from a Homestore secret shopper survey of a very substantial amount of Realtors. I just don’t get it. I have a story a little closer to home to illustrate the point.
Sometime in 2002 when we were working toward our product launch we had hundreds of local agents and brokers come through our office. We demoed our product and gave the pitch, we listened, we talked, we joked. Each of these sessions usually lasted between an hour and four hours. I remember being so sure that agents NEEDED a website. One particular broker was always very candid and forthcoming with our team. Wayne Zuk on of the Western Canadian Franchise owners for realty executives offered to undertake an experiment. One morning he emailed all fifty of his Realtors in one office telling them that if they returned his email or called him by five that day he would give them $50 bucks. At the end of the experiment I think he was only out $150 bucks.
That has always bothered me. I knew, and still know, that almost without exception all the agents in Wayne’s employ were diligent and there to serve the consumer. Because I use and depend on my email day in and day out I assumed that everyone else would too. That fact of the matter is that it wasn’t the message that caused them not to respond but the medium. Many agents might only check their email once or twice a week and most probably not more then once or twice a day.
I don’t know why it took us so long to come up with the solution. Instead of sending messages to the Realtor by email why not send them over a device that almost 99% have come to know and love, mainly the cell phone.
Well that is just what we are doing with our new SMS stuff. Oh and one more reason to be fast. Here is the results of a NAR study about why consumers choose their Realtor.
Fastest Response: 57%
Most Qualified: 56%
Best Prepared: 49%
Seemed Responsive: 36%
Most Knowledgeable: 23%
Lowest Commission: 10%