Realtors need leads, and lots of them, to run a successful Real Estate Business. Working leads takes time though, and many Realtors struggle once they start getting a high volume of calls or inquiries. Do you harness the power of technology to capture these leads? Or does that one phone call get lost in the shuffle? Do you have a database that keeps all of these leads organized and automatically contacts them on a regular basis, without you having to do anything? No problem, we’ve found the answer!
Lead generation and prospect capture are two tools that every Realtor should be utilizing. To that end, we would like to offer up the following synopsis of some tools, as well as our thoughts on the systems. We looked at three services: ProQuest, by RealtyStar; DriveBuy Technologies; and Michael Anderson’s Automated Prospecting software. We compared them according to the service they offer, cost (both initial and ongoing), tech “savviness,” type of data captured, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) compatibility (i.e.: Top Producer or Microsoft Outlook), and added our own two cents’ worth. We’ve posted this information in a summary format, but if you are interested in learning more about any of these systems and how they can help grow your business please contact us to discuss it.
After you’ve reviewed these tools and their capability for lead generation and capture, we would love to help you implement one to turn your business around. The surest way to get more closings – more leads!
Proquest, by RealtyStar, available at www.realtystar.com/proquest.htm, offers a recorded information line for listings with a unique 800 number for each listing. There is a one time fee of $297, with ongoing fees as follows: $29.95/Month and $0.189/Min up to 1500, $0.149/Min after 1500. There is no consumer website associated with the product. Data is captured via ANI (kind of like a sophisticated caller ID) which captures 100% of numbers, even unlisted or those who used *67 before dialing. Information is delivered to the agent via text, email, fax or web display. It is not noted on the site whether a long term contract is required. The pros of this service are that it is a tried and true approach, the offer a 6-month money-back guarantee, and the ongoing monthly fees are affordable. The biggest con is that it is moderately expensive at initial outlay.
Drive Buy Technologies, available at www.drivebuytech.com, offers a unique code provided for each listing that buyers can text to request additional information. Within 10 seconds, a text message is returned containing information about the listing and including Smart Links to a website with additional information and pictures. There is no initial set up fee and ongoing monthly fees are $8/Month per code and $9 per sign/rider. Web information is presented to the consumer via Smart Links in text message. The consumer’s cell number is captured, and while I’m unsure of how it is stored, I did receive a phone call within several minutes of texting for the demo. The system is compatible with both Top Producer and Outlook. There is no long term contract, you pay month to month and only for active codes. I did the demo text on the website and received a text back immediately with Smart Links. I was also texted by the salesperson within a few minutes, and called within an hour. I was impressed by the quick response and knowledgeable suggestions. I was also provided with references, both on the web and with numbers to call to verify how the service works. The pros of this service are that it is very affordable, it is tech savvy for today’s mobile users, codes are reusable (switch from listing to listing like a lockbox) and can be branded, i.e.: HOME123, PAM789, etc. Cons are that the only data captured is cell number, not name or email. Standard text messaging rates apply for the consumer using the service.
Automated Prospecting Services, available at www.automatedprospecting.com, offers a software package which enables users to build their own website with unlimited pages. A sophisticated system of auto-responders is then designed to allow the user to stay in “hands-off” contact with the lead. The initial cost is $997 (although the website is currently offering $500 discount for first 100 orders. There are no monthly fees, but if you want the software update subscription it is $99/year. The website is completely controlled by the user, so consumers see exactly what you want them to see. Data capture forms are also designed by you and therefore any data you wish to have is attainable. APS offers a CRM system inherent in the software. The biggest pro of this service is that it offers a complete package, including web site, data capture, automatic responders, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Cons include the fact that it requires an expensive initial outlay and it does not appear to be tailored specifically to Real Estate.
DriveBuy Technologies and ProQuest by RealtyStar are both very user friendly and won’t break your budget. DriveBuy Technologies, with its instant gratification in the form of text messaging and Smart Phone compatibility meets the needs and desires of today’s buyers, but limits the data capture for you, the agent. This is where your personal touch comes in, follow up and get that additional info – it gives you a reason to call! You need to then introduce them to your automatic MLS property search tool that will automatically email properties that meet their needs. The recorded 800 number information line by ProQuest provides excellent data capture opportunities, but is less likely to leave trace information behind on the consumer’s side; they have to rely on their memories after listening to the message. But again, golden opportunity for the Realtor: you can leave a message about your automated property finder service on the recording to peak their interest in signing up for property email alerts.
Automated Prospecting Systems by Michael Anderson is a much bulkier package, and a bigger financial outlay, but provides a highly sophisticated system for someone wanting an “all-in-one” package deal. We encourage you to visit their web site or contact us for additional information if you are ready for a sophisticated package.
A Virtual Genie has experience in building successful Real Estate Systems designed to enhance your business in prospecting, staying in touch with current clients during transactions and listings, and post-closing follow up. Visit our web site to learn more about our team and remember: Your Wish is Our Command!