For the past few months I’ve been spending a lot of my time on lead management activities. Although I wish I had spent more time earlier in 2009 focused on lead management, I’m realizing it is probably the most important activity for any real estate agent, no matter if they are focused on traditional marketing or Internet marketing.
It really does not matter how you get contacts for your business, there are many easy ways to generate leads both online and offline with a little work, the trick is consistently following up with leads.
I am far from running a perfect system and would love feedback from other people but this is the basic program I have in place.
The majority of my leads come from IDX registration. I force registration when users want to view detailed property registrations and no, I don’t feel at all guilty about this.
After a user registers on my website, if they check that they want to receive property updates, I set up a saved search based on the criteria that they searched for. Right now this process is not fully automated and I’m using a home finder service provided by my Broker instead of the save search function built into my websites because the broker’s solution is more robust than the default on either of my real estate sites.
I have an agent who is currently acting as a lead coordinator who calls the new leads four different times right after registration to qualify the leads. I am also assigning frequent returning users to agents to try and make a stronger connection.
Assigning leads out to other agents is still a new process for me and the majority of the leads are assigned to me until they turn into warmer leads, one goal of mine is to assign more of the leads directly to the agents.
I still have holes in my system. The returning users are not getting enough contact. Eventually I would like to have a salaried person dedicated to just making calls to both the new and returning visitors along with scheduled follow up to larger pool of registered users.
I am also sending a monthly update to the entire database. The last three months the emails have been basic, all had a single message. Starting in January I intend to make them look more like newsletters and create an email template to match the feel of my websites as another reminder to visit my website.
I’m not going to focus on drawing more traffic to either website until I feel my lead management program is on auto pilot. I have spent too long cherry-picking the leads from the site and it is beyond time to really make sure that all the leads that have the potential to be converted turn into clients.
Lou Lynch has a nice blog that focuses on lead management for real estate. He doesn’t post all that often but I recommend that every agent who gets leads on the internet read through his posts.