As a real estate agent, how do you work with your leads once they’ve entered a sales funnel? You know you have to track the source and follow up to get the most of each touchpoint, but is that enough? Not at all, and to improve your success rate, you need an actionable, simple roadmap that tells you how to set up an effective lead tracking process. Thankfully, with CRM software for real estate, you’re able to do just that. Here’s a quick checklist of how to get started.
It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to coin a well-functioning lead tracking system. 80 percent of leads are either lost, or never followed up! So what’s the point of working so hard to get those people interested in what you have to offer, only to let them drift away afterwards?
To reverse the situation, you can setup some internal lead tracking process. It ‘ll help your team plan their activities much better, both before a lead entered a sales pipeline and after.
In other words, you can get your team ready to provide a quality service at the earliest stages of the lead generation process. The results you can get are well worth time and effort. Here’s a quick stat to inspire you for instant action: companies see 451% increase in qualified leads with lead tracking and marketing automation tools.
Before digging into the basics of an effective lead tracking process, here’s a quick tip. Lead tracking doesn’t have to be complicated and your ultimate goal is to simplify follow ups, not the other way around. The key is to use a CRM for real estate as it automates half of the process and empowers you to work with your leads like no traditional tool does. Let’s see how exactly.
Lead and lead tracking – how do you define them?
You’re probably already familiar with these terms so we’ll only have a quick recap just to be sure we’re speaking the same language.
So a lead is a person who contacted you with a specific enquiry via your site or social media, called, emailed or visited you at your brick-and-mortar location. If a person engaged with your site more deeply and left their contact details without contacting you directly (e.g. downloaded your buyer or seller guide) that makes them a lead too.
P.S. Your blog subscribers aren’t your leads yet. As a rule, these people expect you to just send them your content updates (from your perspective, this process is called lead nurturing). Blog subscribers are very valuable to you – they’re around 60% more likely to convert into leads that first-time visitors.
In turn, lead tracking is the process of following up with people who showed interest in your service. That being said, it’s not enough to only track the lead source but every single interaction (more on mechanics of using a CRM software for real estate for that in #3).
As simple as that – now make sure every agent on your team agrees upon the definitions and when talking about leads, everyone means actual leads. Next, it’s time to move on with the lead tracking process as it is and this is where CRM software for real estate agents goes to work.
5 tips for successful lead tracking with CRM software for real estate
1) Choose a CRM to unify lead tracking activities
The easiest and most effective way to get started with lead tracking is to get a real estate CRM. This will be a central platform for keeping lead and customer documentation, automate follow up, manage contacts, properties, transactions, tasks, email correspondence and much more.
Once you got started with a real estate CRM, all of your leads now flow into one system. This makes it easy to track where they are in the process and stop missing out.
Next, you need to provide your team with access to your CRM and educate them on using it. Once that is done too, you can move on to the next step.
2) Define sales funnel components
Before actually tracking your leads, you need a clear system of identifying their progress within a sales funnel. In other words, you need to instantly see who is who in your contact database.
If you’re not sure how to get started with sales funnel components, don’t worry. There’s already some great marketing terminology that thousands of companies use to track their marketing and sales processes. A good CRM software for real estate will offer you a sales funnel already defined anyway (e.g., AgentDrive’s customers have their sales funnel created for them, yet fully customizable should any changes be needed).
Here’s a quick look at the components of a sales pipeline that usually work perfectly well for agents:
- new contact, or prospect – anyone who showed interest in your service, e.g, blog subscribers, or people who contacted you directly. You don’t yet know if they’re qualified which is why you’ll need to follow them up (or make sure to keep sending them content updates as in the case with subscribers);
- verified contact – leads who gave you correct contact details and showed greater interest in your service. In other words, you have their permission to build a relationship with them over time. They’re still in a decision-making process and chances are great they might drift away so this is a bulk of contacts that you’ll need a smart follow up strategy for;
- invalid contact – likewise, a fraction of the contacts in your database might be random people who are not interested in what you have to offer. Some may provide invalid contact details and so you’re unable to identify who they are exactly. By defining the status of these contacts as ‘invalid’, you’re still keeping them in the loop, should they decide to come back to you, without mixing them up with your qualified leads;
- opportunity – this is where all sales fun begins. A prospective contact is a sales-ready lead that promises you the highest odds of closing the deal. Again, to convert them into customers you’ll need a great follow up strategy. (Here are more insights on the best follow up practices to use: CRM for Real Estate: 6 Perfectly Actionable Follow Up Formulas);
- customer – last but not least, these are people who bought from you. You’d like to keep customer documentation organized and keep communicating with them via your blog or newsletter updates, etc. These people are highly likely to give you real estate referrals so make sure you stay in touch with them.
That’s it – your sales funnel is ready and now you’re able to see which contacts matter most to your business on the spot.
3) Find the source of the lead
An essential part of the lead tracking process is to identify where your leads come from. As you know, the sources usually vary broadly: from portal leads and customer referrals to site visits, open houses and social media.
Tracking the source lets you achieve two goals at a time:
- invest more in tactics that already turned out to work the best for you (e.g., content marketing, portal adverts, social media, etc.);
- discover untapped opportunities for lead generation by analyzing your performance by lead sources.
Ideally, you should know the source for every lead. You’ll then be able to scale down which marketing activities work and which don’t. For example, around 70 percent of real estate sales result from customer referrals. At the same time, 45 percent of people walk through a home found on social media. CRM software for real estate helps you figure out exactly what works in your particular case.
4) Define follow up actions
As obvious as this may sound, you should follow up every contact in your database (remember that 80 percent of leads which are not followed up?). That being said, simply following up all of you leads gets you ahead in the game and promises you a higher odds of more closed deals.
First and foremost, your follow up actions will depend on the lead type (hot or cold) and the lead source.
Hot leads expect direct communication. They are very close to conversion and you’d like to follow them up personally with any updates. Ideally, social media, meetings or calls work well, although email can be great too.
On the contrary, cold leads aren’t fond of direct follow up so you’d want to stay in touch in a subtle, non-intrusive way. Email is an excellent channel in this scenario as long as it provides some valuable info which the person will find relevant, e.g., blog content or market updates. This gives you a good excuse to get in touch periodically without overselling.
Real estate mobile apps is another great communication channel to use when interacting with cold leads (although, they work equally well with hot leads too). Mobile users love apps, especially locally relevant apps, so make sure to consider this opportunity too.
[We have a post with more insights on how exactly real estate apps help your real estate marketing: How a Native Real Estate App Can Generate You Leads].
Generally, a good rule of thumb is to make sure your team understands the difference between following up with hot and cold leads. Chances are big they already are well familiar with it but this is a kind of internal training that all sales and marketing teams find very helpful so you might as well discuss your follow up actions again.
Then, of course, your follow up actions largely depend on the lead source. Obviously, your first follow up interaction will most likely occur via the channel the lead used to contact you. Afterwards, it’s only a question of preference. Either ask for more contact details, or keep using the same channel – as simple as that.
So to recap, deciding on a follow-up strategy with your team before actually following up is a great way to make this process easier and more consistent. You can also easily organize follow up as tasks assigned to the team members via your CRM software for real estate as well as create email templates which your team can easily follow.
5) Keep track of all ongoing interactions
Now this is a strategy that differs the successful lead tracking process. Plenty of salespeople wrongfully assume that tracking the lead source is enough and it’s actually what lead tracking is all about.
When it comes to actual sales, what works is just the opposite. You need to track every interaction and every conversation that occur as the lead is progressing (or not progressing) within the sales funnel. Tracking the lead source is essential like we saw in #3, but make sure you’re not giving all the credit to it. The following interactions are equally important and CRM software for real estate lets you fully capitalize on this.
Here are a few examples of what to track apart from the lead source:
- what resources people are downloading from your site;
- which emails they open;
- which links they click on in those emails;
- when is the highest response rate per each type of follow up action;
- literally anything else you can think of.
Once you managed to compile more data to be able to make some reasonable generalizations, here comes an opportunity to fire up sales a bit. How exactly do you do that? Just by eliminating everything that doesn’t work, dramatically improving your marketing materials, sales scripts, follow up templates, A / B testing and reinforcing your sales with activities that already worked for you.
6) Record feedback from agents
Every time your agent pick up a phone or heads off to a viewing, they learn valuable bits of information that can make or break the deal eventually. A good practice is to carefully store outcomes of each conversation, however insignificant they might seem at the moment. CRM software for real estate is a perfect place to keep all important notes and documentation for future records and easily share them with team members.
Such feedback gives your team a 360-degree view of their contacts so they can make their pitches at the right time and with the right language. Moreover, using that knowledge makes it easier to work with future leads.
These records also really help when the time comes to ask for a real estate referral, or otherwise helps to deal with past clients. CRM software for real estate lets you have complete records of how your leads came to find you which empowers you to plan all of your next moves better.
8) Analyze and learn from past experiences
Although this step is the last one on our list, it doesn’t mean analyzing your marketing and sales, and learning from past experience should come last. In fact, this is something that is more powerful when it is on-going.
You don’t have to wait till the end of the quarter to dig deeper into your performance. Rather, develop a habit of taking a better look at your data whenever your calendar lets you and try to figure out some facts on the spot. This simple approach lets you make quick improvements to any aspect of your marketing, sales and advertising and, oftentimes, saves you your budget.
Even a small change, like a different email subject line or follow up template, brings you great results. But you’re only able to see what needs to be done differently if you use the tools that point you in the right direction and gather accurate feedback for you. This is where CRM software for real estate does its bit of valuable work.
At AgentDrive, we really like the idea of learning from every experience, both positive and negative. Success should inspire and mistakes should encourage to view daily activities from a different perspective.
It also seems that preparing for a bit of trial and error is a great mindset to embrace precisely because it lets you set realistic expectations and not hinder your team’s commitment.
Lead tracking is just invaluable to identify the most important events in the sales cycle as it happens. It connects the dots between your sales and marketing activities into a single picture. This picture then shows you where you’re most effective and what should be improved. Powered by good CRM software for real estate, this lead tracking strategy we’ve just outlined can help you work wonders with turning your leads into lifelong customers.