Nearly 90 percent of both buyers and sellers use a real estate agent to help with their purchase or sale.
However, only 12 percent of buyers reported they used the same real estate agent in their next transaction. Why? Because most agents do not stay in touch. According to a realtor.com® report, 72 percent of clients will give a referral if their agents stay in contact with them after their sale. And nearly half of consumers who reach out to a Realtor® with an inquiry do not receive a response at all.
Consumers want a personalized response when they first reach out to an agent, according to 70 percent. And consumers most likely want email (32 percent) or a text (31 percent) as a response. However, most Realtors® tend to call (42 percent) before using email (24 percent). Only 15 percent report using text messages for first contact.
Realtor.com® is launching RealSuite this year. Vice President of Industry Relations Mark Allen described it as “a tool for Realtors® to help manage client relationships from the first introduction until their lifelong real estate needs are finished.”
“It helps Realtors® respond to consumers when first introduced, whether online or not, builds relationship with them, manages them through home search process and the contractual relationship through closing, helps with transaction management, maintains relationship post-closing and builds repeat business,” Allen added.
Noting that Realtors® have “a lot of demands for attention,” Allen said that a prospective client reaching out to an agent may not receive the proper response in a timely fashion.
“Realsuite provides personalized automated responses,” said Allen. “Realtors® are incredibly busy. It allows Realtors® to respond even when they’re busy with another part of their business life.”
Allen said with 40 percent of buyers being first-time, they generally prefer text and email to calling, which can be a generational difference. Most first-time buyers are millennials, while most Realtors® are Generation X or baby boomers.
“Realtors® are constantly on the move,” said Allen. “It’s sometimes easier to pick up phone and call, rather than text or email.”
However, Realsuite, which has so far only been through beta testing, will help agents reply in a timely fashion. Allen said the feedback has been extremely positive. The software will be pay-per-use.
“I was a Realtor® for a time period. If I were a Realtor® now, I’d want a tool like this now that would help me automate my business in a way that would increase my production with new leads and manage my transaction process and to keep me in contact with consumers and past clients on an ongoing basis,” said Allen. “We know that Realtors® that stay in contact with past clients, if they do a good job of that, about 70 percent will repeat or refer.”
“As an agent, I’d want to maximize that potential as much as possible,” added Allen.