Real Estate Lead Management: How to Build an Effective Process

Published March 19, 2024 by Real Estate Leads

Real Estate Lead Management: How to Build an Effective Process As we’ve stressed here countless times, a lead for a potential real estate clients is only a barebones opportunity. Certainly you’re happy to have it and in the early days of a realtor’s career these leads are absolutely invaluable when it comes to starting to see a lot of viability with what is often a new career choice. Earning a living isn’t something that is ‘nice to have’ here, and you will need to have clients who are choosing to buy homes or sell homes through you as their realtor. Even the best leads can go sideways if handled improperly, and this is why real estate lead management is so important.

Lead generation strategies may be more important as they are what have the lead coming to you in the first place, but it’s also fair to say that it’s easier to generate leads than convert them into clients. And many of the realtors who have signed up with our Canada online real estate lead generation system here at Real Estate Leads will concur with that vehemently based on their experience working as a real estate agent in Canada. Whether or not you’re managing your leads well starts with the initial assessment you make for each of them.

What we mean by this is when you evaluate the lead and then categorize it as a hot lead, a warm lead, or a cold lead. We don’t have to explain the difference between them and if you’ve been in real estate for even just a week you’ll know how those distinctions will be indicative of how likely it is the person actually sells or buys a home in the reasonably near future.

But that initial categorizing is just the start of what will go into real estate lead management. There’s a whole lot more, and covering the lion’s share of it is what we’re going to do with this week’s blog entry here.

Lot of Leads

It’s a good thing that leads in real estate are never few and far between. They actually arise and circulate rather regularly through the various services and products designed to generate potential buyers, sellers, and tenants. If they weren’t so regularly abundant the shortcomings of realtors with their ability to manage these leads wouldn’t be as glaring of an issue. But it is a glaring issue, and if you’re a realtor who’s seen the potential of a client conversion go up in smoke based on you dropping the ball then you’ll know it’s not a good feeling at all. Especially considering it may well mean you’ve lost a potential commission.

You can have the best lead generation strategies imaginable, but if you can’t keep numbers of prospective buyers, sellers and tenants organized then you may not be converting as many of them into clients as you could be. Real estate lead management involves proper communication balance, personalizing messages, and ensuring that no lead slips through the cracks.

What this often requires of a realtor is a lot of planning, time, and, in many instances, taking advantage of automation. In fact, nowadays automation is the most valuable of all of them when it comes to organized lead management.

Making this process more effective often requires the realtor to be much more capable with lead management automation and the technologies that make that possible. Realtors will usually need to automate their real lead processing by using a CRM, along with leveraging other technologies to stay on top of trends in real estate lead management.

What is also increasingly common is using dates to drive relationships with leads and understand when they are ready to buy or sell a home with your services. But these are all fairly default answer to what you can do to optimize real estate lead management. The challenge often comes in evaluating your efficiency with it.

Ideal Organization of Real Estate Leads

All realtors should be aiming to have their CRM capturing and collecting leads from multiple sources, especially considering they can come from channels ranging from online forms to website inquiries to social media channel participation. Implementing a centralized CRM system is so good because it captures these leads from all sources, ensuring that no potential client is missed.

And all of this can continue to be done embracing the idea that not all leads are created equally. Done right and with plenty of practice, an agent can develop a qualification process to identify the leads that are deemed to have genuine interest in buying or selling properties. Consider factors such as the lead’s property search criteria, budget, timeline, and motivation.

This reinforces the importance of real estate lead qualifications, and here is a list of what goes into most realtors’ decision-making process in this way as they qualify whether a lead is hot, warm, or cold:

  1. Initial screening – taking into consideration behaviors, cues, and also submitted details to assess their fit as potential clients.
  2. Qualifying questions – Ask probing questions during initial conversations to understand their specific needs, expectations, and financial capabilities.
  3. Prioritizing leads – ones can go into a different ‘box’ based on their potential value and likelihood of conversion. Classify leads into different tiers and you should have different follow-up strategies set for each of the hot, warm, and cold real estate leads.

Always Reassessing Criteria

Implementing a CRM as a real estate lead management system means you can now automatically assign leads based on internally defined criteria that make sense for your and / or the real estate team you work with. Examples might be distributing leads geographically by zip code or geolocation, or it may be a situational determination based on lead generations source. What many realtors who are successful with real estate lead management will do is send leads from a particular listing to the assigned listing agent while handing over leads with higher deal value to senior agents.

A tagging system is a good idea too with lead generation strategies. This makes it easier for you to apply different follow up strategies and you make that determination quite simply based on the way the lead has been tagged. Here’s an example of how this will commonly be done by most agents:

  1. Likely to Buy / Sell NOW (follow-up daily)
  2. Actively Considering Buying / Selling (follow-up 2x weekly)
  3. Passively Considering Buying / Selling (follow-up 2x monthly)
  4. Undecided to Buy / Sell (follow-up 1x monthly)
  5. Cold Lead (follow-up 1x quarterly)

Smart Database Segmentation

Creating segments within your database is also advisable with real estate lead generation. How you segment will be up to you, but there are standard choices that seem to work no matter what city you’re working in or what part of the country. Examples are demographics, location, property preferences, or any other relevant criteria.

The clear benefit of database segmentation is that it is more conducive to targeted communication. And if it can be paired with lead scoring, even better. Lead scoring is when you place scores on the lead to objectively assess the quality of them and how likely they are to be converted into clients in the future. What you do is assign points based on engagement, interactions, and other criteria. This helps identify leads that are most likely to convert.

All of these can be helpful precursor steps that then increase the viability of using a CRM to manage real estate leads. Often these are industry-tailored solutions that straightline the way you interact with your leads from the first touchpoint to deal closing.

Steps for Effective Real Estate Lead Management

Automate Real Estate Lead Processing Using CRM

A modern CRM may cost you some money, but they are so much better than simply having an Excel spreadsheet that you stare at every once in a while. CRMs will make updating easier for you, and that’s just the tip of how it’s a much better approach to managing your leads.

Modern CRMs are built to be equally adept for superior tracking, nurturing, and following up on your part. Provided the database is well maintained you can track each client’s lifecycle status and plan what next steps are most likely to move them closer to becoming your client.

Leverage Technology for Real Estate Leads

Real estate agents and brokers do best when they have a systematic approach to real estate leads and they persist in ‘sticking with’ that approach even when it doesn’t seem to be providing any clarity on the lead and how they may or may not buy / sell a home through you.

Most realtors won’t have a background in business or sales either, so it makes all of this even more challenging for them. But again, the real estate lead CRM can be an instant Rock of Gibraltar and make it so that they can simply go down the line with evaluating where a lead currently is at with their readiness to buy or sell.

By working in a CRM, you can easily categorize real estate leads according to the lead source, type of service they require, property types they’ve had interest in. Some CRM solutions will also offer integration with mass email vendors. Targeted prospect lists served with regular mail schedulings (with relevant and updated communications of course) can promote the best handling of the hotter or warmer leads.

Leveraging technology like CRM software also makes it possible for realtors to segment incoming real estate leads, which is in line with better and more timely follow-ups too. Your lead generation strategies may eventually evolve over time because of the self-discovery that comes with segmenting data for real estate leads.

Use Dates to Drive Relationships with Leads and Identify Buyer / Seller Readiness

It’s also good to use your real estate CRM to have automatic recognition of critical dates related to real estate transactions, and the way you have these reminders and the possibility of setting up automated outreaches so that the right message is delivered at the right time to the right audience is a huge plus in real estate lead management.

It will also over time make a realtor better at nurturing relationships, while at the same time staying respectful of the fact that they are not ready to buy right now. Smarter and more foreseeable messaging is better for the prospective clients and it’s much more likely to be favorably received and eventually responded to.

It’s true that some brokers may do the same thing equally effectively using spreadsheets but they don’t foster the possibility and opportunity for automating the follow-up process for long-haul leads. Plus when brokers consistently uses CRM for CRE and lead tracking, the system will notify them about upcoming lease expiration dates and similar relevant information you can you use to better informed about when to make follow-up contact, and what to say when you do it.

Measure Efficiency of Real Estate Lead Management

Realtors that do well with leads and convert more of them into clients will be the ones who are very critical of how their spending their time and money in this. There is also a real need to be extremely goal-oriented, and your goals should be expanding and being improved upon if you want to see real estate leads contribute to the growth of your PREC in the way you envision them being.

So what goes into measuring efficiency? Here is an example

As a real estate broker, you need to get $5,000,000 in total gross deal value this year. To reach this goal, you must have at least five deals of $1,000,000 each. And to get those 5 deals, you need to have at least 30 deals because your historical conversion ratio has been X. Getting to those 30 deals means having X number of meetings. To realize X number of meetings, previous experience has shown that X number of leads will be required.

That’s a good spot to wrap up it for now, and there’s so much to talk about on this subject that it may warrant a second blog entry sometime in the future. But if there’s one important takeaway you can make from this one it’s that you will benefit immensely from using the right Customer Relationship Management software and spending as much time as needed to become an expert with using it will be time very well spent. You’ll look back on it favorably in the future for sure.