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.

Besides lead management I’ve also focused on improving the navigation on my Davis site and I’ve slowly continued building content to my Sacramento site like this page on Natomas.

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.


8 Comments

  1. Posted October 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Hi Carolyn,

    I’m working to do a better job with our leads as well. We do an ok job in the beginning; saved search, phone call and drip email campaign right away unless we get them on the phone. The saved search emails help as do the drip emails, but these are passive approaches. Until we have all of our new and returning visitors called everyday and then follow up to older visitors as well, we aren’t going to get the most out of the system. It’s progress, not perfection…

  2. Posted January 3, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Carolyn,

    This is really a great post! I’ve slowly been getting more leads from my website. I only wish I would have been started more internet marketing sooner.

  3. Posted December 28, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Carolyn,

    I love the article. Having a great system that you can utilize smoothly contributes such great success to being an online agent. I have seen many people fall by the way side because they just assume that they can build a webpage and start selling. It is encouraging to read you thoughts and a bit about your process. Thank you

  4. Posted December 22, 2009 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Creating a system to be more productive internet agent allows you to be more effective and efficient in delivering solutions to your clients. Effective communication is always the key to success.

  5. Posted December 13, 2009 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting article, it seems that you have a decent system and you are willing to work on improving your system. Like you said, your system may not be perfect but if you can generate leads effectively that’s all that matters.

  6. Posted December 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I give all my leads to my new agent I just brought on, and she has a schedule of 2 hours a day to work on them. I keep track of her work, but she is always working them, and it’s paying off. I am new to the web game, about 11 months in, but we already have 3 closings, 2 listings, and a few in the pipeline for my work. I have also found that the key to my success has instant contact. As soon as someone signs up on my sites, I contact them immediately either by phone or email no matter what time or day it is.

  7. Posted December 7, 2009 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I’ve obtained all non-referral leads from Internet sources for the last 5 years. Best budget decision a broker can make.

    The last words of your post- “auto-pilot” goes to the heart of the issue. You are dealing with people, human beings on the other side of the PC, and you can’t have an auto-pilot. You can be efficient with things, but you need to be effective with people. Seven Covey’s 7 Habit of Highly Effective People. You need a system to make it easier to engage with your leads, then the leads qualify themselves, stand up and be counted, then you needs Agents hands on attention to convert.
    No, I manage the leads day to day, I manage the contacts, and do much of the web work. RELO companies get 35% from us for basically the same thing, 1/3 the commission.
    You trade advertising dollars for your time- or a key salespersons time- but they need to be commission based, or they won’t attract and convert the people.
    Thanks for the post. Terry McDonald

  8. Posted December 6, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Hey Carolyn, thanks for the mention.

    It sounds like you are doing everything right to me. I would try to get a better handle on those returning leads though. Based on the stats that I have seen, those returning leads have a higher likelihood of converting as they are further along in the sales cycle.

    In either case, I am sure you are doing more than most when it comes to lead management, keep up the good work.

    BTW: I will try to be less of a slacker and post more often. :)

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