Predictive Analytics vs. Human Touch – Which is Best for Building Your Business

The best way to generate leads has always been a hot topic in real estate – real estate after all is purely a sales industry which relies on consumer reach. Lately, though, there has been a large shift in focus on utilizing technology to identify and target the “perfect” consumer, someone who is likely to buy or sell within the next 90 days. The tools which promise to provide this information can be costly and time consuming, and so raises the question “Are predictive analytic tools a better source of leads?”

You may be wondering, “What is predictive analytics anyway?” Deborah Kearns of RISMedia Housecall defines “predictive analytics is a way to forecast future trends and results by analyzing historical data with statistical algorithms and machine learning methodologies.” To put this more simply, some tech savvy person comes up with a formula which can interpret a vast amount of data to tell you about likely scenarios.  Real estate agents are drawn to this type of tool because it not only helps them demonstrate their market knowledge, but also helps to target people who are the most interested to know more.

Now let’s contrast this new, targeted method with classic face-to-face farming. Brokers consistently coach new agents to reach out to their sphere of influence to build their pipeline, but it’s a part of the business that seasoned agents often neglect. Chrystal Caruthers of Realtor.com tells us that “Agents who work their sphere do not suffer the peaks and valleys of under-performing agents because they are constantly filling their pipeline with people who might one day become clients.” Personal relationships also provide the highest return on investment as far as lead generation activities go.

“It takes 7-8x more time, energy, and money to get new clients, than it does to get more business or referrals from your current clients. 82% of all customers say they would work with their agent again, but only 12% actually do,” explains Trey Willard, contributor to TomFerry.com Blog.

We are all victims of staring at a screen in one form or another for hours a day, yet many of us will agree that our most meaningful interactions come from our personal (live) connections. Why wouldn’t this feeling also apply to sales?

The value of talking to prospects in person or over the phone has become blurred in the modern age of technology. The resounding theme that is presenting itself seems to be:  though technology is filling some holes in the real estate industry, technology can never replace the touch of a salesperson.

Christina Ethridge, founder of LeadsAndLeverage.com puts it simply,

“You spent time, energy and money generating the lead, now nurture it. The thing is, when you are nurturing leads, you are also, in a top secret way, lead generating. Think about it. You are nurturing a lead. They aren’t ready. Their friends are. They recommend you.”

Mastering technology and tools that support an agent’s business, while important, should not be the sole focus of one looking to dominate in real estate. There should be a balance between lead generation techniques, using both predictive tools to help target the right leads and personal interactions to help nurture those relationships. Then, while generation is a starting point, one must devote ample time to relationship building too.

To ensure you’re making the most out of your lead generating & nurturing efforts, make an appointment with your Sales Representative from Western Resources Title. Our Reps can show you a variety of tools which are helping clients target those “perfect” leads as well as nurture the relationship.

We’re open for business!