A PropTech operator claims that agents currently pay around £250 per lead, averaging costs of different sources ranging from Google Ads to property listing aggregator sites.
However, the operator insists it could cost an average of just £90 if the industry adopted available technology currently used chiefly in retail and recruitment.
Call360, a call tracking platform, says the ‘wasted’ amounts currently paid by agents adds up to £220m a year.
The firm claims the industry is overly reliant on aggregators but cannot rely on their technology to focus online marketing spend.
“Data from Google shows 71 per cent of online searchers still call estate agents with their initial enquiry. This break in the sales chain means agents don’t always know exactly how their online campaigns are driving results” the service contends.
And chief executive Mark Taylor says: “The agency profession relies heavily on aggregators to generate valuation leads but analysing inbound calls at branch and call-centre level will massively lower the cost per instruction for an agency.
“Advances in Artificial Intelligence and automated analytics have enabled industry-leading companies to close the loop between online clicks and high value sales conversations taking place over the phone.
“The property industry has huge potential to use AI to get control of their marketing spend. Just knowing which are the good sources of valuation leads versus the poorly performing sources could save 20 per cent of the marketing spend - let alone the time savings made from not chasing poor quality leads.”
He continues: “We know…that agents struggle to know which lead sources are their best and worst. AI can generate a much higher level of data insight by closing the loop from online clicks to offline sales. Agents with enhanced conversion data - and there are very few - are optimising their media spend to grow instructions.”
Taylor suggests that removing human error - which he believes “naturally” occurs when people fill in the outcome of a call - means agencies could optimise campaigns, with AI able to categorise 10,000 customer calls in a fifth of a second based on their intent and outcome.
“This is not rocket science and plenty of national retail chains do this already. Now it’s time for agents to catch-up” he insists.
The research also shows that only 76 per cent of phone calls from people wanting a valuation actually got a valuation - as branch staff failed to pick up calls routed to them.