Make no mistake. As a real estate agent or team leader, you are a business owner.
Your name, your personal brand and your individual success all rely on your ability to act with energy and integrity at every step of a transaction.
And that’s no easy task when you have hundreds, or even thousands, of leads to juggle. You know the money is right there in your database, but some days knowing where to start just feels impossible.
So, you end up doing what most humans do when faced with too many choices, you fall into shiny object syndrome and start blaming the quality of the leads, jumping around between multiple different lead sources, or pointing fingers at your agents for not following up properly.
Or maybe—and this is the absolute worst—you do nothing.
But the rockstar real estate leaders who are consistently raking in the high seven and eight figures never wonder where their next deal is coming from. They focus on building a consistent, bulletproof lead management process, and holding themselves and their fellow agents accountable to it.
And they never let their valuable leads slip through the cracks.
Most marketing and sales experts define lead management as:
"The process of identifying, tracking and organizing prospective customers."
Sounds simple enough, right? That, however, is the old-school approach.
If you really want to stand out among the many other teams, brands and just general noise coming at your prospects, you’ll need to elevate your lead management process, align your marketing and sales efforts and create a cohesive experience for every lead in your database.
Here’s a more modern definition of lead management:
"Lead management is the process of capturing leads, tracking their activities and behavior, and qualifying and nurturing them by offering valuable insights and information until they are ready to convert.”
Today’s real estate customers are better informed than ever before, which means they’re also more skeptical than ever before. If you want to keep pace in the new game of real estate, you’re going to have to adjust your lead management process to get ahead of your prospects questions, doubts and concerns.
The good news is, while selling real estate in the information age is definitely more challenging than in the decades before, it still doesn’t have to be as complicated as most agents think.
Whether you’re a solo agent or team leader, an airtight lead management system will make your entire real estate business feel lighter, not heavier.
Imagine opening up your laptop and knowing exactly where each agent on your team is with every single contact in your database.
How much more productive could you be if both you AND everyone on your team knew exactly what they needed to do every day to bring in more deals?
How many more deals could you close if you and your agents always knew who to call, email or text next, without ever having to stop and think about it?
A rock-solid lead management system puts your sales strategy on autopilot and helps you know the exact steps to take to close more deals.
Because let’s face it, the email or multiple-CRM method just isn’t efficient.
Many agents try to overcompensate for the holes in their lead management process by spending more money to bring in more leads, but that’s like trying to fix a broken leg with a band-aid—it’s not a strategy you can stand on.
“We rolled out Follow Up Boss in October and it’s been a game-changer for us in terms of accountability and having everything synced in through the phone. It makes it easy for us to help our agents monitor how they are following up.” — Debra Beagle, Managing Broker/Owner, RE/MAX Advantage
Ultimately, the only way to know with 100% certainty whether or not your lead management process is effective is to take a good hard look at your conversion rate.
But if you’re here, it’s probably because you’ve got a hunch there’s much more you could be doing.
Here are five core questions to help you assess the current state of your real estate lead management process and identify the gaps and bottlenecks standing between you and your biggest business goals.
Does it instantly capture and organize incoming leads?
You can't follow up with leads you can't catch. If you're hunting down leads from your website, social media and various email accounts, you're setting yourself up to lose. An effective lead management process starts with getting all of your leads flowing into one central command center.
Can you route the right leads to the right agents?
You don’t want to send a high-volume of leads to agents who aren’t keeping up with their current lead flow, or priority leads to the rookies. Your lead management process should automatically route leads to your agents based on internally set criteria that makes sense for your team.
For example, you could route geographically by zip code, send leads from a listing to the listing agent and give your senior agents leads in higher price point neighborhoods.
With the right lead management platform, you can pull in leads from over 200 different sources and automatically get them to the best agent for them.
Does your real estate lead management system keep your lead profiles up-to-date?
You and your agents have better things to do than spend the day entering names and email addresses into an Excel spreadsheet.
If you’re using a CRM to track your real estate leads, make sure it enables you to automatically populate a lead's profile with publicly available information such as job title, company name, and relevant social media profiles.
And of course, you need to be notified immediately any time one of those leads responds to one of your voicemails, emails or text messages.
Can you qualify leads based on profile and behavior?
Ideally, your lead management system should also be able to track and share insights around your leads' behavior on your website—what properties they viewed, links they clicked, resources they downloaded, etc.
Many sales CRMs include overly complex lead scoring features that are supposed to help you and your agents rank the prospects most likely to purchase. But when fancy tech functionality starts to override actual human focus—it will always have a negative impact on your productivity.
If you’re in the market for real estate lead management software, look for a platform that marries lead behavior with agent action.
For example, in Follow Up Boss we use Smart Lists to help users instantly filter and organize over 100,000 leads so you and your agents always know who to call first.
In Follow Up Boss, we use Pixel for detailed tracking minus the headache of complicated lead scoring formulas. With a simple pixel, you always know what campaign a lead came from, which listings they viewed and when they’re ready to make a move.
Does your lead management system empower you to convert more deals (without being sleazy about it)?
Last but certainly not least, not every lead will be sales-ready. Many of your prospects may still be in the research or awareness phase. And that’s ok.
Remember, people buy from other people, not faceless companies or clever chatbots.
Adjust your lead management process to include the right balance of automation and personalization so you can be the one agent in their inbox who consistently shows up ready to build an authentic relationship over time.
Alright, now that you’ve taken a good look at your current lead management system, it’s time to start tightening the screws.
Here’s how to set up a truly efficient—and 100% conversion-focused—lead management process in just six simple steps.
Step 1: Get all your leads flowing into one central place
Before you do anything else, take a step back and look at your current lead sources.
If you’re like most agents running a team, you’ll have leads coming in from many different places. You need to be able to automatically streamline all your new leads into one central location.
In Follow Up Boss, you can easily import your leads from your email account or favorite lead providers such as Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com.
But remember, a lead coming in from your website will probably have very different needs than a lead coming in from an MLS site. So why should they get the same follow up?
Organize your leads via lead source or type, e.g., New leads, Website, Past Clients, Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, Sellers, Buyers, Renters, etc.
Then, set up customized, automated follow up campaigns for each unique source and add important notes, files and details directly to their profile so you and your agents can have instant access to all lead intel from one central location.
In Follow Up Boss, we use simple action plans preloaded with proven (yet fully customizable) high-conversion scripts. Action plans integrate ALL your latest communication with leads—whether via phone, text, or email—so you never send an awkward or out-of-context follow up.
Step 2: Collaborate with your team
Even the sharpest of lead management tools is useless if the people on your team don’t use it.
Before you do anything else, get your team set up on your system.
We divide users into three core types: Admin, Agent and Lenders.
Once you’ve added your team, you can immediately automate your lead distribution and get total visibility into how your team is following up with your leads.
Because even if you’re pretty good at manually forwarding leads to your team, you can bet that more than a few of those leads are falling through the cracks. By creating a central place to connect your agents’ work emails, you make sure no lead gets lost in the shuffle. Plus, you can also see all your agents’ conversations with leads in real-time.
In Follow Up Boss, even if they do nothing else inside the system, you’ll be able to see with crystal clarity how and when your agents are following up with leads and enable them to pass the baton to another team member with a simple click or @mention.
Another way to save yourself and your team a ton of time is to attach important documents (in any format) directly to a lead’s profile.
Instead of digging through your inbox or jumping back and forth from different folders and CRMs, you can keep everything you need right where you need it. You can also add important notes and details directly on the profile to make sure your next follow up is genuinely helpful and relevant.
Instead of crossing your fingers someone picks up their phone, rest easy knowing that your whole team knows about every inbound call and text with a simple, collaborative Team Inbox.
Step 3: Automate your follow ups
While there are a ton of ultra sophisticated ways you can segment your leads, we believe a simple, focused approach always brings the best results.
For example, in Follow Up Boss our portal leads action plans send an instant text to new leads who are viewing a property on a portal site on the agent’s behalf. This text alone will bring in a 50-70% response rate for your agents.
And if the lead doesn’t reply? The system will automatically send email follow ups without the agent ever having to stop and think about it. When a lead responds, the follow up will automatically pause so you never risk sending an embarrassing or irrelevant text or email to your leads.
That’s the magic of human-focused automations.
A great lead management system can help you set up automated responses to make sure everyone on your list—no matter where they came from or what their buying timeline is—thinks of your name first when it’s time to buy or sell.
When someone tells you they're just starting their search and not planning to act for a few months, it’s easy to start a nurture campaign that keeps you top of mind while you focus on active buyers.
Step 4: Make sure no lead ever falls through the cracks
Stellar lead management ensures that you and your team never lose a single lead.
Using smart lists, you and your agents will always know which leads to call, without ever having to waste time on manually updating a spreadsheet.
You can easily set up a smart list to filter for any type of lead in your database, including active leads, new leads and past clients. You can even set up a customized list just for your ISA.
Once an agent calls a lead on the smart list, that lead will automatically disappear from the list until it’s time to follow up again.
To get started, we recommend one simple smart list for your new leads, then slowly building on and customizing your smart lists to cover all stages of the customer journey, including active and past clients, while adjusting them according to the unique goals and rhythm of your team.
We’ve also got a load of other proven suggestions to help you keep your momentum with active leads. You can check those out here.
In Follow Up Boss, dynamic filters let you segment your leads without any effort. Leads visited your site? Saved 3+ properties as favorites? Searched for properties between $500,000 and a million? Put them in a Smart List. Then work through your lists. Done.
Step 5: Get ready for improved tracking and accountability
The same way you need to follow up with your leads to keep them moving forward, you need to follow up with your team.
With our simple, visual, and dare we say fun, team reporting dashboards, you can get the bird’s eye view of your team’s performance in one simple layout.
You’ll get a complete picture of lead count and agent activity on those leads, and can even drill down deeper to figure out who needs a little extra training or coaching.
Instantly keep an eye on your team’s latest speed to lead and average contact attempts for every new lead you provide. You can also use the smart lists to see which leads aren’t receiving follow ups and regularly view your team’s overdue calendar tasks with a simple click.
With a great lead management system, it’s easy for your agents to always know what to do and where to start. And it’s easy for you, as team leader, to know how to help them stay motivated and accountable.
Follow Up Boss is the only real estate lead management platform with a built-in leaderboard. Plus, it’s completely, totally 100% free with any Follow Up Boss plan that includes our calling feature. Set it up in 60 seconds without adding expensive third party tools. ✔
Once you’ve got your new leads on a steady, focused follow up system, it’s time to maximize your past clients.
You can easily import these files straight into Follow Up Boss directly from your current CRM. If you’ve already got your leads grouped into stages, we’ll automatically drop them into the right place within Follow Up Boss.
Of course, all our default stages can be customized to match your team’s unique lingo and lead categorization system. Because ultimately, an effective lead management system is never one that boxes you into a set process someone else designed.
The best lead management process is one that lets you run your business your way, both with your leads and with your team.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or insecure about your current lead management process, we get it. For better or worse, real estate is a people business and a lack of service, responsiveness or support has a direct impact on your personal reputation—not to mention your bottom line.
The good news is, with the right system in place it’s to blow your prospects away with stellar service at every step.
Smart, efficient follow up gives you and your team an easy way to deliver a more relevant, personalized experience to every lead on your list.