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How to Manage Your Real Estate Leads

Roundtable Discussion: Lead gen and lead conversion in a shifting real estate market

How to Manage Your Real Estate Leads

Real estate is the business of people. Building personal relationships with clients as they make the biggest purchase of their lives is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. But, in all successful Realtors’ careers, there comes a point when the mom-and-pop-shop business practices of early agenting no longer cut it. These growing real estate professionals are ready to take their team to the next level, and that requires some serious business know-how.

Too often, agents focus on A + B = Paycheck. Call Client + Show Listings = Get Paid. But to successfully scale their business and grow their practice, building strong lead management systems and creating effective lead generation strategies is critical. These can then be replicated across entire teams and brokerages. By managing real estate leads well—and utilizing the right technology—realtors will lay a strong foundation on which their businesses can be built.

What is a Lead in Real Estate?

A real estate lead is an individual or entity interested in buying, selling, or renting property. Leads are generated from real estate websites, email campaigns, social media posts, Zillow listings, client referrals, and even cold calls.

But not all leads are created equal. Some new leads will take up valuable time and energy without ever converting into a sale. Others will close a deal in weeks, maybe even days. Still, others will become life-long clients who refer all their family and friends to you. 

It is the quality leads—those who have taken active steps toward completing a transaction—to take note of. Whether they’ve filled out your contact information form or applied to get pre-approved for a loan, you want to pour your real estate marketing and relationship-building efforts into these potential clients.

But how do you know which leads to nurture? That’s where utilizing effective lead management strategies comes in.

What is Real Estate Lead Management, and Why is it Important?

Think of it this way: You tell your personal trainer you’d like to lose twenty pounds in two months. She might laugh and wish you luck. But then you adjust your goal to losing three pounds every week. Let’s get started, she says.

What made your trainer change her response? The fact that you’ve broken your goal down into bite-sized, attainable action steps. By achieving one goal at a time and linking one week to the next, you are much more likely to achieve your overall outcome. Soon enough, you will have lost twenty pounds in two months.

It is the same with lead management. Your team likely has more potential leads than it knows what to do with, and it’s not a unique problem. Across the real estate industry, agents are weighed down by the number of inquiries they receive. It’s no wonder it takes realtors, on average, over 15 hours to respond to a homeowner’s inquiry. And it’s reported that 70% of online leads slip through the cracks.

Sure, you can keep track of one, five, or even twenty leads. But what will you do with a whole batch of leads? How will your team navigate assigning new leads and keeping everyone up-to-date? 

The goal is to create effective lead management strategies that maximize conversion rates, improve efficiency and increase overall sales success. Effective and centralized lead management ensures every lead is supervised and allows for personalized, timely and consistent communication. It truly is the very foundation of your business success.

6-Step Process for Effective Real Estate Lead Management

Staying organized on the granular level and managing your leads well sets you and your team up to be effective agents with streamlined systems that bolster your business.

Agents are too often stuck in the weeds, bogged down by the daily to-do list. Call this client back; follow up with that unresponsive prospect; reply to this email; send that text. It can feel endless. That’s why it’s critical to take a step back and create a few key benchmarks and systems.

Step 1: Collecting Data – Treating Real Estate Leads as Data Points

It’s counterintuitive for many Realtors, but in order to create efficient systems, it is necessary to think of your leads not just as people but also as data points. With this mindset shift, you can collect, organize, and optimize all information gathered more effectively.

For example, you’ll want to know each buyer client’s LPMAMA: location, price, motivation, if they have an agent, if they are pre-approved for a mortgage and get an appointment set. By using this framework and aggregating the information in a customer relationship management (CRM) like the Sierra Interactive platform, you’ll be able to gauge how qualified a lead is and how and when to pursue it.

 Step 2: Organizing and Sorting Data – Creating Benchmarks

Once you’ve collected all the data, you can start to organize and sort it. Your goal, of course, is to move each lead through your pipeline. But there is no all-in-one solution for how to convert your leads.

Instead, it is essential to create benchmarks for you and your team. Think through each step in the process and each stage in the client lifecycle as you organize your data.

Here are some stages in the client lifecycle that you will want to take note of:

– Prospective, Unqualified Leads

– Quality Leads that Need Nurturing

– Active Client Ready to Work with a Specific Agent on your Team

– Active Client Viewing Listings

– Active Home Buyer Ready to Make an Offer

– Active Homeowner Ready to List their home with you

– Satisfied Customer who has purchased or sold a home with you

– Satisfied Customer who has sent you referrals

– Satisfied Customer who has come back to sell and buy with you again

Breaking down each stage of the lifecycle and segmenting your buyer leads and seller leads accordingly will allow you to provide customer support to each client at just the right time. And with Sierra Interactive’s mobile app, you can carry that information anywhere.

Step 3: Converting Leads Using Effective Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

Many real estate agents organize their leads based on the time it will likely take them to make a purchase: 0-12 months, 0-6 months, 6-12 months, etc. This is a helpful way to think about your own list of active clients. But by creating more finely-tuned systems and CTAs, you’ll be able to more effectively move clients from one stage to the next, which is the goal. 

Take new referrals, for example. How might you tailor your email marketing toward these potential clients in a way that converts them from acquaintances to active client home buyers? What real-time calls to action are needed to establish the relationship, qualify them and gain their business?

Once you’ve created these types of specific, actionable CTAs, you can then turn and teach other agents how to more effectively convert leads. By thinking holistically, you will be able to replicate your systems and processes on a larger scale, teaching others your best practices. Effective CTAs are the very scaffolding with which you will grow your business by converting more leads.

Step 4: Automating the Process – Leveraging CRMs and Automation

Automating the process takes your business to the next level. Don’t worry—it doesn’t remove the need for genuine relationships and personal follow-up. Technology just makes it that much easier. 

A comprehensive CRM that’s set up effectively can help you know exactly what to do next, identify transaction-ready leads or clients who need touchpoints. A properly maintained database will show where each client is in their lifecycle and what next steps will move them along. 

For example, a robust lead management system can help  you identify which clients are interested in buying but have yet to be pre-approved for a loan. You can then automate an email with a list of lender recommendations, nudging them to the next lifecycle and qualification stage. 

What about your clients who are selling their homes? Create follow-up systems that your team can use to make each open house as productive as possible, and automatically send leads active listings that target their price point, location and future home needs. 

You can even set up drip campaigns to wish past and present clients a happy birthday or happy home anniversary, staying connected even after they’ve purchased or sold a home with you. 

A CRM like Sierra Interactive can integrate all messaging channels—from text messages to emails, phone calls to website messaging—streamlining your communication and multiplying the number of clients you and your team are able to reach.

Step 5: Analyzing Results – Continuous Improvement

Once you have organized your data, created benchmarks, and automated much of your communication, it is critical to analyze your results to see what is working and what isn’t. Here are some key benchmarks you’ll want to monitor:

– Response Time: How well have you and your team been able to respond to inquiries promptly? If this is an area for improvement, consider sending an automatic response when new leads fill out your online form. Or add an AI virtual assistant to your CRM to automate instant text responses and qualification conversations with your leads. Improving response times prevents leads from going to your competitor and positions your team to convert more leads into satisfied customers successfully.

– Lead Conversion: Similarly, you want to keep close track of which leads convert to business opportunities. Do you notice that certain lead sources generate higher-quality leads? If so, direct your focus toward these channels.

– Close Rates: Because you are tracking each stage of every client’s lifecycle, you can start to see trends across your business. How long, on average, does it take an initial lead to convert to an active client? In which stages are clients getting stuck, or is the process slowing down? By analyzing the timeline, you can see where your processes bottleneck, which areas need to be improved, and how and where to build in better CTAs.

These are just a few areas you’ll want to analyze as you scale your business. Continue to compare and contrast different results to streamline your process and convert more leads. 

Step 6: Scaling Your Business – Teaching Others and Replicating Processes

As a premier agent in the real estate industry, your goal is always to keep growing. But you want to do so in a manageable and replicable way. By using a real estate CRM to handle the nitty-gritty of collecting and organizing data, you’ll lay a strong foundation upon which to build benchmarks, create effective CTAs and automate your systems. Once you’ve analyzed and refined your systems, you are ready to scale your business.

As the number of your clients increases and your management systems settle in, continue strengthening your team’s workflows and implementing efficient pipelines across the company. Train other agents to effectively manage their real estate leads and replicate your strong communication strategies.

Real Estate Lead Management Software for Improved Efficiency

A comprehensive CRM like the Sierra Interactive platform keeps your database of leads up-to-date, organized, and efficient—which, in turn, allows you to scale your real estate business and grow your bottom line.

Sierra Interactive helps you manage the details with lead routing, comprehensive lead records, action plans and marketing automation so you can do what you do best: care for your people. Plus, with its ability to automatically update pipeline statuses and notify agents, all team members will know exactly what to do next to engage and convert leads..

Spend less time scrambling to stay organized and more time nurturing relationships and closing those deals. Learn more about how Sierra Interactive’s CRM can help you manage your real estate leads and scale your business today.


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