When it comes to your online leads, you likely find yourself feeling like a prospector with your pan sifting through the sands to find that nugget of gold. Bogus, counterfeit, phony or the current over-used word “fake” leads will muddy the waters. Whatever word you use, when it comes to online leads, it’s quite difficult to differentiate between the authentic ‘gold’ leads and those phony ‘sand’ leads.
While there aren’t clear definitive stats on the amount of “fake” online leads, one can’t argue that they are plentiful. Salesforce.com estimated recently that anywhere between 42% and 55% of leads received by most companies from online sources are fake. This is due in large part to Bot programs that are trolling the internet. While others are gathered by disreputable lead companies that charge for quantity of leads, over quality and provide bogus or outdated leads, repackaged as new.
This issue is so pervasive that many online sources now include the tool to identify bots to weed out the phony leads. The recent example of the bust of UK-based online lead company, Total SEO which posted hundreds of fake reviews and provided their clients with thousands of fake leads has further eroded trust in web-generated leads. There are examples of companies like this in nearly every industry.
But this leads into a chicken versus the egg sort of argument. While lead quality is questionable at best, it’s undeniable that response to online leads is also abysmal. As an example, in the real estate industry, the WAV Group posted a study where they proved that 48% of buyer’s inquiries never received a response. The combination of the over reliance of self-generated leads by Realtors and a set-it and forget it mentality to online lead generation has fed this lack of response. Quite simply, companies aren’t handling online leads properly and not responding fast enough.
A few bad leads don’t make for a bad campaign. It’s a mistake to believe that all online leads are qualified. It’s best to think of online leads as similar to cold calls. It’s estimated that for every 10 calls, you will get 1 interested response. I recently visited a real estate office where one of the agent had 50 pennies on the side of his desk. He explained that at the beginning of every day, he makes 50 phone calls and that he can’t leave his desk until all 50 pennies are in his top desk drawer. While not directly applicable to online leads, one should approach online leads with the same frame of mind. Using the real estate response rate as an example; The National Association of Realtors stats say that 92% of home buyers start their process online. This includes casual shoppers, people not yet ready and serious buyers, so calling them all back you will likely get 1 out of every 10 that is ready to buy. The same qualification process should be applied, regardless of cold call or online lead.
The other key to lead conversion tactic is speed. The response you have to the inquiry will greatly increase your chances of conversion. According to a recent study, 42% of people went with the Realtor who called them first. Persistence is key. Over the course of my sales career, I’ve experienced my share of non-responsiveness even from highly interested prospects. Sometimes, they are too busy in their day-to-day life to call back. According to Sugar.com, it takes from 2 to 12 calls before a prospect will call you back. Mark Cuban talked about ‘Go-for-No’ and stated that ‘Every no, brings me closer to a Yes.’
You are very likely getting raw data, especially if you aren’t getting qualified leads. For the sake of this article, we’ll assume that you are getting unfiltered leads and direct inquiries. Which leads us into the most important aspect of online leads. Like we talked about in our last blog, Ready, Aim, Fire! Targeting big data leads for Real Estate Investors utilizing a data partner that can provide you with qualified, highly analyzed and quality leads will drastically reduce the painful ‘cold-call’ aspect of responding to online leads. The wealth of data on the internet is overwhelming and the amount of leads that will continue to come to you from your online sources, whether it’s your website, portals or third-parties, filtering these leads with an experienced data professional will help focus your efforts and maximize your results. In the end, leaving you with less sand and more gold in your prospecting pan.
From predictive modeling and complicated algorithms to deep learning and artificial intelligence, Likely.AI is a new-age lead generation tool which is changing lead quality expectations by identifying consumers’ likely real estate decisions before their decisions have been made. To learn more, you can contact Likely.AI… CLICK HERE.