Texting has become such a part of our daily lives that I often wonder how anyone survived without it. It’s convenient and efficient and accomplishes the goal of quick communication.
What if you could also use texting to increase your website leads and increase your GCI?
Leadferno is a tech company that created a tool that does just that. You add a short piece of code to your website, and then visitors can begin a text conversation with you in minutes from any page on your site. It helped veteran agent Cari McGee – Walkthrough host Matt McGee’s wife – earn an extra $58,000 in GCI in 2022 after adding it to her website.
Recently on The Walkthrough, Leadferno CEO and co-founder Aaron Weiche explained how this tool helps “turn online lurkers into leads.”
“Texting is the easiest way to start a business conversation. And those are fantastic results to hear. I love when we have customers that track that well and share their dollar volume and attribution and things like that, but congrats to her. We’re just a great compliment to a number of other things happening, but it’s a really strong play to help get more conversations,” says Weiche.
Research conducted by Leadferno shows that most people prefer texting over any other type of communication, with the 35 to 55 age group being at the top of that category. There are numerous studies showing that we text more than we email, make calls, or do any other activity on our phones. Why? Because it’s an easy way to communicate. And for real estate agents, the ease with which clients are able to work with you can make or break a client/agent relationship.
“I always boil it down to one of my biggest golden rules: Are you easy to work with? And texting just plays right into that because it makes you easy to communicate with. It’s our number one channel that we wanna communicate in, so we’re very familiar with it. We’re very trusting. It fits into our busy lifestyles and the things we’re doing, and our phone addictions because we look at our phone a million times. So we’re not gonna miss that notification when they text us or answer the question or any of those other elements to it. So yeah, being easy to work with is definitely a big piece. And one survey found that over 89% of consumers wanna be able to two-way message with a brand or a business,” says Weiche.
How it differs from live chat and chatbots
One thing to consider is that unlike chatbots or live chat, Leadferno allows users of the tech tool to communicate with potential online clients wherever they are, and this way, the “know/like trust” that most agents aspire to create begins almost immediately. Weiche sums it up this way: “Live chat is a session. Texting is a connection.”
Although live chat can sometimes be helpful, it can also be frustrating when the chat leads to a dead end, or you’re forced to wait long periods of time for the person on the other end to respond. Weiche refers to this situation as “the prisoner,” deeming it “the worst of all within his folder of “Horrible Chat Experiences.”
“You start the live chat, and now you have to stay in that live chat window. You can’t go anywhere. If you’re on your computer, stay there. You can’t go to a meeting. You can’t go to a showing. You can’t go grab lunch. You can’t go get your kids from somewhere because you have to wait for this live chat to start,” Weiche says. “So, the beauty when you get into text is all of these things are wiped off. You’re gonna get a text back in your most familiar, trusted app. You’re gonna get a notification when that business answers you.”
Another downside to live chat is that it requires training your agents how to reply. Weiche points out that Leadferno is so similar to texting that most users already have a sense of familiarity.
“Texting with an app like ours, everybody knows how to text using our app. The experience [for agents] is very much just like texting.”
Three tips to get the most out of a texting tool
Little to no training is required to use this app, but there are a few things Weiche points out that will help make your life easier when using Leadferno.
First, use auto-reply in order to alert potential clients that you received their message. Weiche says Leadferno offers two types of auto-reply: during-hours reply and after-hours reply.
“The during-hours reply, you know, greet them, establish your brand, and then give them an expectation on when you’re gonna follow up. ‘We generally follow up in 30 minutes, one hour, same business day.’ It really doesn’t matter as long as you give a proper expectation,” Weiche says.
“Now, the after-hours one is really powerful, and we have a lot of customers really rave about this because – if you sent that contact form at 10 p.m., midnight, 2 a.m., and you send it out there, and you really think to yourself, ‘Well, I have no idea if they got this because I am kind of figuring they’re not online right now, they’re not doing anything,’ and that’s kind of the end of it. You’re stuck waiting until the next day. Do they end up replying? So, our goal with auto-reply is let’s make an instant connection. Let them know this conversation was received and has started. Let’s give them a proper expectation.”
Secondly, respond as soon as you are able to, but you don’t need to do it right away – especially if you have a solid auto-reply message set up.
Lastly, be proactive about communicating because there’s no such thing as overcommunication.
“The way I refer to this is anytime you can mention next steps, how you’re reaching out next, what you’re reaching out about, kind of pre-reminders, that’s just really great communication with them. But within that is just always thinking, making them aware. How can I put the next step in front of them so that it’s not a surprise when I reach out with that step?,” says Weiche.
It works as long as you put in the work
No matter what platform or technology you decide to implement, nothing gets results without some effort. Before you can turn “lurkers into leads,” it’s your responsibility to drive potential customers to your site. Leadferno’s job is to convert them into leads before they go somewhere else. And if you don’t have the traffic, Weiche says, the onus is on you.
“If you’re only getting one or two people a day to your website, that’s putting a lot of pressure on us that it’s gonna be somebody worthy of reaching out, interested enough, and going to convert,” says Weiche. “So, definitely, on the lead side of things, you want traffic coming to your website. You want great content. But you benefit so much more when the customer’s not wondering, “How do I take a next step?”
Listen to this episode of The Walkthrough below:
Header Image Source: (Charis Gegelman / Unsplash)