If you’ve set up automated replies to prospect inquiries online, you may be saving time—but turning off potential customers. Only 14 percent of consumers say they will respond to a message they perceive to be automated, while the rest say they’ll ignore it and move on to another service or professional, according to a new white paper produced by Move Inc.’s Realsuite business solution platform for real estate professionals.
The vast majority of consumers in the study, “Shift Happens: How to Capture, Communicate, and Close in Today’s ‘On Demand’ World,” say they crave personalized communication from an agent as they undergo the real estate process. Three of the top five qualifiers consumers use when selecting an agent cannot be replaced by technology, the study found. Consumers seek greater transparency every step of the way, and three out of four home buyers want an online system to track the offer-to-close process. Buyers say agents’ insider knowledge of upcoming assessments, homeowner association fees, and neighborhood details is just as critical to them as information on pricing trends, recent sales, and days on market.
“This is a critical time for real estate professionals,” says Luke Glass, executive vice president of industry platforms for Move, the operator of realtor.com®. “The emergence of technology and automation has greatly improved the real estate process in some ways, yet these findings reveal that many agents are failing to leverage technology, or to use it properly, at key points along the journey—to the detriment of the agent-client relationship. … Finding the right balance between automation and personalization is critical to an agent’s ability to deliver an exceptional experience, yield more closed business, and bring more repeat and referral business into the pipeline.”
Move unveiled its Realsuite platform in beta mode last fall. Currently, more than 1,100 real estate professionals are testing it.
Source: Move Inc.