Prepping Your Website for the Busy Season, Part 4: Managing Your New Leads
[This article is the fourth – and final – post of our series on how to prep your website for the busy season. Feel free to check out our other posts from the series: “Market Research on the Summer Traffic,” “How to Capture the Traffic,” and “Connecting on Social Media.”] We’ve shown you how to capture the summer traffic and connect with leads on social media, but the race isn’t finished yet. You need a lead management strategy to push your leads over the finish line into sales territory. Lead management might feel like just another marketing buzzword (see: “inbound marketing,” “SEO,” and “content marketing”), but managing your new leads is an essential strategy for any successful real estate company.
The facts about lead management
Forrester Research estimates that only 5% of marketers use a full-featured marketing automation solution to manage their leads. Lead management might be the neglected stepchild of marketing, but it provides a unique advantage to real estate agents. Consider the following statistics:
- 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. (via InsideSale.com)
- Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost. (via Forrester Research)
- Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (via The Annuitas Group)
- Nurtured lead produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. (via DemandGen Report)
So… what do all of these numbers mean? Well, that brings me to my next point…
Find a stellar CRM – and use it.
A CRM is an intuitive system that lets you organize your business, take action based on real-time data, and excel in the real estate world by efficiently managing your leads. A CRM gives you access to advanced metrics that predict your clients’ buying behaviors and efficiently assigns incoming leads to your agents. Once your clients are in the system, you can nurture your leads through personalized marketing strategies that transform your efforts into successful sales. Every CRM worth its salt will walk you through three essential steps to enhance your workflow:
- Implement a strategic process for lead management.
- Integrate your marketing and follow-up strategies into a single system.
- Use valuable data to make smart decisions about leads and business methods.
A CRM connects all the important dots – from capturing site traffic to generating qualified leads to effective follow up – and creates the momentum for a closed loop strategy that engages clients from start to finish. Happy customers make a happy business (but you knew that already). Don’t know how to manage your new real estate leads with a CRM platform? Here’s our two cents:
Lead routing: Your CRM should have the power to assign leads around constraints that are customized to your business. Maybe you have an agent that specializes in land transaction; assign all incoming land leads to her. An advanced CRM allows you to design an automated lead flow based on when your team is working and physically in the office. This functionality translates to faster response times and quicker conversions.
Task management is also key to a successfully implemented CRM. To keep your leads organized, find a CRM that allows you to assign various tasks related to your leads. These tasks should be organized into lists that remind you of your next steps while nurturing your leads.
Your CRM should give you the power to analyze a lead’s search history and recommend specific properties to them based on their search behavior. (Bonus points if the system automatically generates local listings based on the lead’s search criteria.)
Find a CRM that allows you to organize leads based on real estate categories. You wouldn’t approach a buyer the same way you would approach a seller; you should be able to organize your leads into manageable chunks that let you formulate targeted plans of actions.
Follow up: A good CRM ensures that every incoming lead is a team effort. The system should keep your business organized by documenting each time your company contacted a lead or what actions still need to be carried out. Look for a CRM that assigns specific tasks to each agent and keeps them accountable throughout the process of nurturing a lead. If your agents are in the office at different times, your CRM should take this into account and assign incoming leads based on your office’s schedules. This way, leads are continually nurtured from start to finish.