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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Estate agents to benefit from free new type of valuation lead

The ValPal Network, which consists of over 800 agency brands with more than 4,000 offices, has launched a new product which provides its members with a new type of lead for free.

The new opportunities will be generated when consumers start an online valuation request but don't end up completing the process.

Despite not filling out their personal contact details, these prospects will have provided their address, which will be passed to Network members as a fresh prospect to target.

Research by The ValPal Network, which is owned by Angels Media, the publisher of Estate Agent Today, found that between April and December 2018, almost half a million consumers visited an agent's website and started to fill out a valuation request, before abandoning the process.

In the past, this data - which belongs to the agent - has been lost. It will now be provided free of charge as a new type of lead for agents to contact.

"We know these consumers have been on the agent's website, which means they had some initial motivation to request a valuation of their home," says Craig Vile, Director of The ValPal Network.

"We have their address, which provides proactive agents with the opportunity to make contact and generate new instructions."

The Network - which is best known for its leading online valuation tool - acknowledges that these new leads are not as highly qualified as traditional instant online valuation leads.

"We're not trying to dilute the quality of ValPal leads, far from it," says Vile.

"These opportunities should be seen as completely different from those where the prospective seller or landlord has completed the whole online valuation process."

He describes them as 'top of sales funnel' leads, which can be targeted on top of all the marketing and prospecting agents are already doing.

"We know these consumers have a propensity to move, which means this data can be far more effective than other systems which use algorithms to predict when people might be looking to move," Vile adds.

He explains that ValPal's instant online valuation process is split across two forms for the consumer to fill out and that there is now a solution to turn all abandoned requests from the first page into potential leads.

"Our research shows that having the online valuation split across two forms reduces the bounce rate as many people don’t want to fill in a long application," says Vile.

"Having one form means the consumer's address cannot be obtained if they abandon the process, this leads to a huge amount of potential opportunities lost."

"By sharing the data obtained in our first valuation form, we're now providing agents with added value and successfully avoiding the all or nothing approach of having just one valuation form," he says.

Agents are being advised to target these new leads using a three-step process. The first is to cross-reference the address with their own database, the second is to send canvassing material to the address and the third is to knock on the door to speak directly with the prospect.

"The first two steps we advise are more hands-off, while the third - knocking on the door - is more upfront and old-fashioned but may provide the best results," Vile says.

The ValPal Network will also be supporting the service with 'before you go' sliders to encourage people to complete the process as well as automated canvassing letters in the future.

The Network says this approach to targeting consumers takes inspiration from the highly effective e-commerce sector.

"By contacting consumers who have started but not completed their online valuation process, agents can interact with new clients in a similar way to retailers such as Amazon, which targets consumers that 'abandon' their online shopping carts," explains Vile.

"Tech-savvy agents should also be retargeting the prospective vendors and landlords via Facebook to create another touch point with the consumer."

"This is just the latest way in which The ValPal Network is leading through data innovation - we're always striving to provide agents with even more opportunities to generate more leads and ultimately more instructions," Vile concludes.

You can find out further information here.

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    I saw someone looking in an agent's window who then walked off, should I have gone over and grabbed their details as they're clearly in the market.

  • Paul Barrett

    Just because people abandon the valuation process doesn't mean they are interested.
    If they were they would have continued.
    So these are hardly leads.
    Completed valuation requests are proper leads.
    Incomplete ones are NOT any form of lead.
    Completing an online valuation request is very easy.
    In fact it is probably the easiest method.
    Being pestered by agents picking up on incomplete valuation requests is guaranteed to cause people not to use those agents.
    Leave potential vendors alone; they will contact EA in their own sweet time.

  • Nat Daniels

    I guess this is about how aggressive you want to be. Let's face it Amazon have made a few quid out of 'cart abandonment'. Maybe it’s not for everyone but I would definitely be following up on this lead and turn it to my advantage, rather than waiting for someone to come to me. I really don’t see why not in these tougher times. Your call though.

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