How to Build an Effective Real Estate Lead Management Process

December 4, 2023
11 min

There is no shortage of leads in real estate. They circulate abundantly through the various services and products designed to generate potential buyers, sellers, and tenants.

However, what often falls short is effective real estate lead management.

Keeping hundreds of prospective buyers, sellers and tenants organized, ensuring the proper communication balance, personalizing messages, and checking no lead slips through the cracks indeed requires a lot of planning, time, and, of course, automation.

The latter is key to an organized lead management process in real estate.

To make this process effective, you need to:

Having over two decades of experience in the real estate market, I can truly say that leveraging technology for real estate lead management brings you more benefits than you think.

Let’s explore what exactly I’m talking about.

How to Organize Real Estate Leads

  • Capture and Collect Leads from Multiple Sources in a CRM

Real estate leads can come from various channels, including online forms, website inquiries, social media interactions, referrals, and open houses. Implement a centralized CRM system to capture these leads from all sources, ensuring that no potential client is missed.

  • Qualify Leads to Identify High-Potential Clients

Not all leads are created equal. Develop a qualification process to identify leads with a genuine interest in buying or selling properties. Consider factors such as the lead’s property search criteria, budget, timeline, and motivation.

Effective lead qualification techniques include:

  1. Initial screening: Review lead information, such as their submitted details and online behavior, to assess their fit as potential clients.
  2. Qualifying questions: Ask probing questions during initial conversations to understand their specific needs, expectations, and financial capabilities.
  3. Prioritizing leads: Prioritize leads based on their potential value and likelihood of conversion. Classify leads into different tiers, such as hot, lukewarm, or cold, to guide follow-up strategies.
  • Set Up Auto-Assign Within Your Team Based on Specific Criteria

By implementing CRM as a real estate lead management system, you’ll be able to automatically assign leads to the right agents based on internally defined criteria that make sense for your team.

For example, you could distribute leads geographically by geolocation or zip code, lead generation source, send leads from a particular listing to the assigned listing agent and hand over leads with higher deal value to your senior agents.

  • Set Up Tagging System

You can also set up tagging system within your CRM to classify all the leads coming into your system as one of the following:

  1. Buy / Sell NOW (follow-up daily)
  2. Actively Considering Buying / Selling (follow-up 2x weekly)
  3. Passively Considering Buying / Selling (follow-up 2x monthly)
  4. Undecided to Buy / Sell (follow-up 1x monthly)
  5. Cold Lead (follow-up 1x quarterly)
  • Segment Your Database

Create segments within your database. This could be based on demographics, location, property preferences, or any other relevant criteria. Segmentation allows for targeted communication.

  • Use Lead Scoring

Implement lead scoring to objectively assess the quality of each lead. Assign points based on engagement, interactions, and other criteria. This helps identify leads that are most likely to convert.

To sum up, the better you organize the information you gain on the prospect, the more effective you will be at prospecting and following up on real estate leads.

How to Organize Real Estate Leads | Ascendix

How to Organize Real Estate Leads | Ascendix

*Please note that lead management depends on the size of your brokerage and the number of leads. The more you have, the more practices you’ll have to apply to process them effectively.

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Steps Required for Effective Real Estate Lead Management


Step 1. Automate Real Estate Lead Processing Using CRM

In terms of automated real estate lead processing, I’d allocate 2 common misconceptions:

  • Some brokers are still considering Excel as a system for automated lead processing. However, Excel works only for a few weeks and then it becomes too clunky and time consuming to add formulas, apply color-coding system, and keep tables updated.
  • Some think of “automation of lead processing” as simply subscribing to lead generation platforms like Costar or LoopNet and receive notifications when someone adds listing to a favorite via email.

Unfortunately, in both cases, the “lead” data doesn’t get entered into a single storage for proper tracking, nurturing, and following up. At best, it can be rather entered into a spreadsheet or saved in a folder within Outlook or Gmail and would be lost withing the tons of other mails you receive daily.

To ensure that nothing falls through the cracks, you must keep real estate leads data in one place and distribute them among your brokerage team.

Here’s where CRM system comes into a play.

Industry-tailored CRM software can become a trustworthy virtual team member that takes the headaches of lead monitoring, nurturing, converting.

A comprehensive CRM can guide you in determining your next steps, recognizing leads ready for transactions, and identifying clients requiring follow-ups. With a well-maintained database, you can track each client’s lifecycle status and plan what next steps will move them along.

Consolidating all your leads in one place ensures you’ll never have to worry about missing an opportunity again.

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Step 2. Leverage Technology to Keep Persistent in Following Up with Real Estate Leads

Many times, I’ve heard that real estate agents and brokers don’t follow up with real estate leads systematically and don’t persist in this process. Why?

Some don’t know how to start the follow-up activities properly; some don’t have a clear understanding of how to manage the follow-up process in real estate.

If they had a step-by-step follow-up plan and a single place to store the incoming real estate leads, would they keep persistent in following up? Sure!

Here’s where technology comes into play.

How does leveraging a bulletproof real estate CRM system keep brokers persistent in following up?

  • CRM Keeps Your Lead Categorized

By working in a CRM, you can easily categorize real estate leads according to the lead source, type of service they require, property type they’re interested in.

Then you distribute the categorized lists of leads between other team members for further follow-up.

Next step is to flag and log real estate leads in a particular queue.

Steps of Real Estate Lead Categorization

Steps of Real Estate Lead Categorization | Ascendix

Despite the number of opportunities and business obligations you may have during the day, categorization and automation helps you persist over time with those leads.

  • CRM Helps to Send Emails to the Target Audience

Some CRM solutions have integration with mass email vendors. For example, AscendixRE CRM is integrated with Mailchimp. It means that users can create targeted lists of prospects, send collections of Properties to them using predefined documentation templates without leaving a system. They can also engage with warm/hot leads and nurture them consequently.

  • CRM Helps to Set a Proper Cadence in Following-up Real Estate Leads

Leveraging technology like CRM software allows real estate agents to segment incoming real estate leads, in turn facilitating the ability to set up a proper follow up cadence and time sequence.

Once you recognize and flag your leads appropriately, you set up a schedule in the form of following up (e.g., a combination of e-mail, phone, or message sequence in LinkedIn).

A Sales Cadence for Enterprise-Level Client Ascendix

A Follow-Up Cadence for Enterprise-Level Client | Ascendix

Let me describe to you how it works.

You’ve got a brand-new real estate lead. You categorize this lead as a tenant prospect, create a profile in CRM, and put the lease expiration date there. Then, based on the specified expiration date, the system automatically schedules a follow-up cadence that’s appropriate for the lead so that you don’t even have to think about it.

Basically, agents just need to feed the lease expiration date into CRM, and the system takes care of all the scheduling and follow-up.

  • CRM Helps to Automate Multichannel Approach to Your Real Estate Leads

Being a real estate agent in the information age also means applying a multimedia approach to your follow-up strategy.

Reaching out to people with instant messaging using a combination of email + LinkedIn, phone calls + LinkedIn connection requests + voicemail will definitely make you stand out among other real estate agents.

You can also track the results of the multichannel approach and set up reminders for the next follow-ups right inside your CRM.

Using a real estate lead management system, brokers can set up the conditions so that the system will prescriptively tell what channel they need to use for the follow-up: phone calls, LinkedIn, or e-mail text.

The CRM system works in the same way for arranging face-to-face meetings.

Based on the dates you’ve put in your CRM system, you can define the place and time when it is the most appropriate to get in front of a specific real estate lead.



Step 3. Use Dates to Drive Relationships with Leads and Understand When They Are Ready to Buy

Critical dates related to real estate transactions are wonderful triggers for setting reminders and automating outreach so that the right message is delivered at the right time to the right audience without the burden of having to monitor those dates.

For example, you’re a broker on the tenant rep side, you’ve engaged with a decision-making person in an organization, and there is a lease expiration date that they have in 5 years.

Does it mean that for the next 5 years you don’t have to nurture this lead? No, this lead is worthy of continued relationship-building in the same way as the lead that came yesterday.

By nurturing that relationship over time, you need to stay respectful of the fact that their time to buy is not right now. And so, the messaging that you communicate with them would aim to keep a positive balance in the relationship account.

You want to make sure that you’re constantly depositing funds into that relationship account during this period of time between when you first met them and when it's time to buy, so that when it is time to buy, you can make a withdrawal and that withdrawal is essentially earning the right to say: ”I know that it's time for you to start thinking seriously about leveraging services that we provide. I'd like you to listen to what we have to provide in doing that at the right time.

-Wesley D. Snow, Co-Founder & President of Ascendix Technologies

Some brokers may do the same using spreadsheets. However, spreadsheets don’t foster the possibility and opportunity for automating the follow-up process for long-haul leads.

CRM not only stores the contact phone numbers but empowers brokers to work on that data. By having a single real estate management system, you can create a plan to cross the chasm between the first touch with leads and when they are most likely to buy.

In other words, the better you organize the information you gain on the prospect, the more effective you will be at prospecting and following up on real estate leads.

Let’s look at specific use cases that illustrate how dates drive relationships with leads and help brokers to foresee when leads are ready to buy.

The landlord rep broker operates with tons of lease and listing data. Listings don’t go on forever, they have a finite period: a date on which the listing starts and when it expires.

If the landlord rep broker consistently uses CRM for CRE and lead tracking, the system will notify him about not only upcoming lease expiration dates but the listing expiration as well. By knowing these dates, the broker calibrates the communication to the tenants and the owner well in advance of those dates to warm up the relationship and position for the renewal.

Notification about upcoming lease expiration in AscendixRE

Notification about upcoming lease expiration in AscendixRE

Capital markets brokers are also tight with dates.

For instance, there are lenders that have a finite amount of funds to be deployed at a point in time. But before the capital markets broker contacted them to invest in Class A office space upwards of seven million (as an example), lenders had already tied the money up in 2 other deals with an arrangement that will expire in 5 months.

For now, it’s not meaningful for capital markets brokers to have a conversation with these lenders, but in five months, they will be back in the market. And if all the dates concerning this deal are correctly tracked, the CRM system will remind you in 5 months to reach out to these lenders again and offer the deal they will willingly accept.

Open Tasks Related to Specific Records

Open Tasks Related to Specific Records | AscendixRE

So, using dates to build positive relationships with leads should become an integral part of your real estate lead management process flow.



Step 4. Measure the Efficiency of Your Real Estate Lead Management

You won’t accomplish more than you accomplished last year unless you become more goal-oriented.

If you’ve got a goal that starts driving behavior, and if you can put a system that allows you to manage your actions against that goal, then you’re heading in the right direction.

Let me provide an example that illustrates the importance of measuring efficiency.

As a real estate broker, you need to get $5,000,000 in total gross deal value this year. To reach this goal, you must have at least five deals of $1,000,000 each. And to get those 5 deals, you need to have at least 30 deals because your historical conversion ratio has been X.

Then, to get those 30 deals, you need to have X number of meetings. To get that X number of meetings, you need to have X number of leads.

Interface of ActiveCampaign CRM

Interface of ActiveCampaign CRM

If you don’t have a CRM system within your real estate brokerage, it becomes difficult if not impossible to manage and measure the actual activity vs goals.

The burden of the upkeep of all of this data will overwhelm you and lead to a discontinuance of tracking the progress.

Suppose you’re operating off the spreadsheet or, worse, a notebook. In that case, you’re not only inefficiently storing the information but also getting none of that downstream benefit of measuring and automating the real estate lead management process.

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Final Thoughts

The goal of my article was to provide you with a practical knowledge of how to organize real estate leads, effectively track them, and maximize the value of CRM software in real estate lead management.

Having a well-organized CRM system introduces not only great efficiencies to scale your lead management process but also provides robust reports and dashboards to measure this activity along the way.

If you’re looking for a trusty real estate lead management solution, try AscendixRE.

Unlike other fit-for-all-size CRM systems, AscendixRE is a Salesforce-based solution that comes with already in-built features for real estate brokers and agents — you don’t have to pay extra to calibrate it for the real estate needs, so you can start using it from day one!

AscendixRE offers the following functionality for real estate lead management:

  • Contact & Account Management
  • Prospecting Tools
  • Lead Management, Distribution & Segmentation
  • Centralized Data Storage
  • Bulk Emailing & Campaign Management
  • Mass Records Update & Editing
  • And much more!

What also makes AscendixRE CRM stand out from other real estate CRM tools on the market is that it blends our 16-year experience in the real estate space with unlimited customization consulting services for platforms like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

Thanks to this, Ascendix offers a top-notch product that can be scaled to any organization size and grow together with your company, without disrupting the original version and guarantee your data protection with well-known high-security standards of Salesforce and Microsoft platforms.

In addition to product offerings, Ascendix helps brokers that have already invested in CRM to use this tool to the fullest extent. We also offer CRM consulting services for real estate businesses.

Book AscendixRE demo today to explore how it can assist you in building real estate lead management process.


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