For over a decade, online lead generation for real estate has revolved around the listing aggregation site model. Prospects search and you get a flood of prospects requesting more information. But the problem with those prospects is that they’re not qualified. They could be just “looking.” Or they’re interested but by the time you find out, the lead is cold.
You’d think technology could be better used to enhance the lead generation process instead of leaving it to the agent to spend (waste) their time calling everyone and anyone who sends a request from a website. That’s why I’m really excited about Digsy.
Digsy uses both technology and real people to qualify prospects before they’re handed off to an agent. CEO Andrew Bermudez has been tweaking the model for months to determine where the demand is and how the process should work to ensure both prospects and agents experience a smooth transaction and get a good deal.
Think of Digsy as a concierge service. A tenant or buyer wants space but they don’t know an agent and/or don’t have the time to find it on their own. At GetDigsy.com, they answer a series of questions. Depending on their answers, they may be notified that Digsy isn’t their best choice at this time. Perhaps they’re already using an agent, the first question Digsy’s “mechanical turk” asks, for example.
Once a prospect gets through the first step, what happens next could be a follow-up call or an alert sent to agents specializing in their market requirements. And that alert – it’s a text message – not some automated email that gets stuck in your spam filter or buried in your inbox. First responder gets the assignment. From this point, the agent works directly with the client and provides status updates via Digsy’s transaction system.
Speaking of agents, they’re pre-qualified, too. Digsy vets every applicant. Plus, they must meet certain performance standards once they accept an assignment. Internal rating systems, partially based on user reviews, separate the solid performers from the not so hot to assure that users are getting the best service.
Agents also need to agree to pay a referral fee to Digsy. Now, there are two types of agents in the CRE world. Those who would rather lose a commission than share it and those who believe in a quick turnover and that a percentage of something is better than a percentage of nothing. Don’t want to share? Don’t think Digsy’s qualifying process saves you any time? Then don’t bother to apply.
Digsy has been operating in selected markets in California for a few months now. The results are very promising. No surprise since this pre-qualified lead model has been used to great success in other industries for years. It’s about time someone adapted it for commercial real estate.
H/T to Allen Buchanan