A common debate amongst real estate agents is whether to force require phone numbers on lead capture forms. Although there are many benefits and caveats to both perspectives, at Zurple we recommend one.
We are confident that your phone conversation skills are above exceptional. If you can get a lead on the phone, it is a done deal. But how do you get them on the phone? What if they don't want to be on the phone? The reality of online leads is that most of them will still be conducting online research. In fact, with millennials being the largest population of homebuyers, they are less likely to leave a phone number and more likely to spend much of their time researching before contacting you. They may not be ready to buy a home right now, but that does not mean they will never buy a home.
Below are the pros and cons of requiring a phone number at the time of lead capture:
+ You can obviously call the lead
+ Some agents do define a valid lead as a contact with a phone number, so this would be a valid lead
+ You can send the lead a text message
+ You can win the lead over with your lively personality
+ Phones calls can be a more direct way to communicate
+ You don’t need to ask for the phone number after email correspondence
- Lowers the likelihood that a visitor will fill out the lead form
- Some leads are less likely to give out their phone numbers due to privacy
- Several leads give a fake phone number to bypass the lead form
- Many consumers will send phone calls to voicemail if they do not recognize the number
- Asking for a phone number can seem intrusive
- Home shoppers may just be starting their online research and may not be ready to give out a phone number
Contrary to popular belief, a phone number is not required to generate a valuable real estate lead, at least not with the Zurple platform. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the first step in the home search buying process for 44% of home buyers is to look online at properties for sale. This is before they even decide that they want to speak with an agent. It would be beneficial to your business to not quickly dismiss leads lacking a phone number. In fact, there are no studies or evidence that prove leads that provide phone numbers increase the sales conversion of that lead.
Zurple recommends guiding your real estate leads from the "just looking" phase into the "I am ready to look at homes" phase. Top agents realize this, and make sure to nurture all leads, not just the ones “ready to buy”. These agents will give their leads regular touches with the assistance of email and social media automation tools.
Send leads that have not provided a phone number a few properties that match their search criteria, and check in periodically. The Zurple software is designed to incubate your leads until they are ready to get in a conversation with you. You are an amazing agent, and we have no doubt that you can win them over through a phone conversation. The only issue with that is you need to get them to want to talk to you in the first place. We are here to hold your lead’s hands while they are still curious about homes for sale in your target market. When they start engaging with your website, providing Zurple more detailed information about what they are looking for, is when Zurple hands them off to you to work your magic.
If you are interested in learning how to incubate online leads with Zurple, click the link below to schedule a complimentary demo.