lead follow up out of hours

Your lead follow-up blows outside office hours

(and what you can do about it)

Agents: Want to convert more leads into sales without spending a fortune? There’s a short explanation and a long rambling one of how you can do just that.

? The short version: implement some basic level of automation for responding to enquiries when your office is closed.

? The long rambling version: On average, around half of your leads arrive when your office is closed. This means they are not being dealt with until the next day.

This fact was revealed by a study I carried myself out when I was at Voodoo Marketing which involved looking at when leads were generated. It was a hefty study of more than 10,000 Costa del Sol real estate leads generated via Google Ads over a 12-month period, which showed 46% of all leads are generated between 6 and 9pm.

Even if you have a great lead follow-up process in place, chances are only in place during office hours.

According to InsideSales, half of buyers choose the vendor that responds first.

It’s true that in general terms it depends on the nature of the lead, this applies to those requesting more information about a particular property or development. If someone has simply downloaded a brochure, they are not expecting contact, certainly not before they’ve read the brochure. That’s why request brochure calls to action produce more/cheaper leads, but these are typically harder to convert than the standard “get more info” leads.

Strike while the iron is hot.
The concept of speed-to-lead makes sense if you think about it. If you try to make contact with a buyer at the time THEY are engaged in the subject you are far more likely to be able to connect. If I’m, say, considering buying a DVD box set of the Sopranos on Amazon tonight at home on my tablet, I will much more responsive than, than if the Amazon rep tried to call me the next day while I am working to ask me if I wanted to buy it or not.

Here’s a common scenario: ? Belinda from Holland is thinking of buying a property in Spain for her and her young family. She is at home browsing the web for properties and sees one of your listings that looks very similar to what she’s looking for. She’s super excited and has several questions: Is it near a school? How big is the terrace? Is it a gated community? Is it walking distance to the beach?

As it’s nighttime she doesn’t call, she sees no option to send a text or WhatsApp, so she fills in the enquiry form. The form hasn’t got a “message” field for her to list her questions, so she just submits the form.

Now then, picture this:

Scenario A: She gets a message on her mobile asking her if she’s OK to talk or if she’d prefer the info by email or telephone. She asks for WhatsApp, and she asks her questions.

Scenario B: Nothing happens that night. The following day the lead is handed to a salesperson Steve who is out in viewings all morning. When he gets back in the office he tries calling her, doesn’t get a response so fires off an email to her, and never hears back from Belinda. She’s not a buyer and the lead was rubbish, says Steve.

…what actually happened is that she found another property listed by a different agent, had her questions answered immediately and has booked a viewing for when she arrives on holiday next Tuesday [back in the good old days when one could actually travel to another country].

In most cases scenario B is the norm. It doesn’t make you a bad person, but it does mean you’re missing out on sales.

So what’s the answer?


1. Respond to leads yourself 24-hours a day (no thanks)

2. If you have a big enough team have shifts (unlikely). Maybe one of them loves working Sundays?

3. Turn off all lead gen outside office hours (I’ve know agents do this, and I’ve also know agents make best rates of contacts on weekends because nobody else is working).

4. Employ outside help (there are plenty of chat agents and answering services who can work to a script for inbound enquiries and chat requests)

5. Introduce some form of automation to offer some answers outside of office hours

They’re all valid, albeit #1 is not healthy and #2 is unlikely. #3 is an option if you have a very limited budget, at least the other 56% of leads will get followed up correctly. #4 is a great option & #5 is a must (in my view) & can be cheap as chips.

Not sure what sort of automation is available? Send me a message. If I can’t help you I’m sure I’ll know someone who can.

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