Nick Ron, CEO of House Buyers of America, is a tech-savvy industry veteran with over 20 years of experience as a real estate investor.
Building a culture of innovation and collaboration has never been more critical within real estate organizations. Thanks to the pandemic and historically low interest rates, this industry underwent the largest digital transformation it has ever experienced — all while serving consumers in one of the hottest markets. Many traditional real estate tasks were moved to the cloud and became automated to ensure safety, increase productivity and maximize efficiency. One of the most essential tasks to be automated was lead management. If you are considering this transition for your team, here are some things to consider.
Your leads are most likely coming from several locations due to marketing campaigns on multiple platforms. These leads are valuable; you worked hard for them. Dedicate that same attentiveness to your leads as they move through your sales funnel. The only way to do this is by managing your leads on a cloud-based platform through an automated lead management system. Automation provides tracking codes, streamlines the routing process and captures useful data to measure return on investment, including keywords, the time of day and which type of ad brought in the lead. If you have multiple marketing campaigns running on Google, social media outlets, TV or direct mail, having this specific information is very important. You can determine the campaigns that are producing results and generating the most revenue. It’s critical to be aware of all of this information to track your cost per lead.
Considerations to keep in mind for tracking leads in 2021 include integrating your software and online platforms. Consumers today search and view properties online more than ever. Your lead management system should easily integrate with the platforms you are using to generate leads. The software should also be customizable. As your business grows, which it will, you will need to add new functions and capture more data. Tracking your leads in this new way eliminates risk and human error that can happen at any point of the sales process.
Now that your leads are captured, automate the routing process to maximize your organization’s productivity. Once the lead comes in, it should immediately enter your customer relationship management (CRM) system. This can be done automatically through the lead management system, or it can be done manually by a sales agent. If you choose the latter route, your sales agent should be trained on using your system. The questions they ask should capture essential information to route the lead to the right sales agent. In real estate, there is a great deal of competition. Whether you are an agent or an investor, you are one of many. Therefore, your rapid response is imperative, or that lead will go to your competition. Automating the routing process will allow agents to respond faster. There are three ways leads can be divided among your sales agents.
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1. Performance-Based: The sales agents who are performing the best are rewarded with more leads. These terms should be fully disclosed to your team. The agents who respond faster and show a higher close ratio will secure more leads. This performance-based method provides an opportunity for everyone to grow based on their drive.
2. General Bucket: In this method, the leads are all placed in a general bucket and whoever gets to the lead first secures the lead. Often this method fails because an agent who is not closing leads could be receiving all the good leads. On the other hand, all the leads could be going to the top agents, and then the rest of your team is not provided with an opportunity to grow. This can also make your top sales agents too comfortable because they are not working hard for leads.
3. Round Robin: This involves equally distributing the leads among your sales team. If you have a big sales team, you must make sure the way you assign and route leads is even across the board. If you connect quickly to the potential customer and leave a good impression, you have given them a reason to stay with you instead of shopping elsewhere.
Having an automatic routing system track follow-up time and close ratios will allow you to see which agents are overloaded and what leads are not being followed. Your routing system should be customized with these rules to assess the stats and route the leads correctly. You never want a potential customer to be ignored for a long period of time because your sales agent is overloaded.
Automated reports are the final piece of the system that will provide extremely detailed key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success. KPIs give sales managers data to quantify the performance of each sales agent, based strictly on numbers. This real-time data also enables the agents to evaluate their success at any given period of time. Without an automated lead management system, you have no way to check status reports and make real-time decisions to adjust what is not working.
In conclusion, 2021 is the year to automate your lead management system due to the evolving nature of consumer habits. More buyers and sellers are using online platforms to view and purchase homes. When you choose your system, be sure it is cloud-based and connects with social media platforms. From there, you can choose to encompass machine learning, or you can customize the system based on logic by working with engineers. The system should be reputable, widely used and highly rated. The future of real estate lies in automation. Professionals who embrace innovation will lead the industry in 2021.