“The fortune is in the followup”
-Every marketing guru ever
On Part One of this series on the “Three Pillars of Real Estate Marketing,” we discussed how to generate leads for your real estate business with actionable step-by-steps. We talked about the difference between inbound marketing vs. prospecting strategies, and that it pays to do the harder forms of marketing in order to compete strongly in your market. The three pillars are:
Aside from setting up your LLC, getting a website, and other things associated with “starting a business,” you really only need to generate leads in order to truly “setup shop.” However, if you wish to MAKE it a business, you won’t want to stop at lead gen…
On this post, we’ll dissect the elements of the Second Pillar of Real Estate Marketing:
This pillar encompasses all the systems and processes that enable your lead tracking, seller followups, appointments, offers, transactions, and even your marketing metrics. It is everything that happens AFTER the lead comes in.
You spent good money on your marketing campaigns! The practices you’ll learn here are a form of marketing “insurance.”
You put these systems in place so you don’t fumble your leads and lose track of money-making opportunities due to a lack of organization and automation, and it contributes directly to your bottom line goal: signed contracts.
There is a peace of mind knowing that each lead is processed in an efficient and predictable way so you can maximize the return on investment of your hard earned marketing dollars.
The main tool that encapsulates your lead management processes is called a CRM software, short for Customer Relationship Management. InvestorFuse is a CRM built on the Podio.com platform, and lead management is its primary role in your business.
Caveat: Lead Management is NOT Lead Generation. Your CRM WON’T increase your leads, so make sure you refer back to Pillar One: Lead Generation to learn how to get the phone ringing.
It should be clear that CRM’s like InvestorFuse are designed for the purpose of managing your business operations once a lead comes in…so YOU are ultimately responsible for your executing your own lead generation and marketing strategy before that point.
However, there may be some overlap, as you can keep track of lead generation campaigns in your CRM as well, just don’t expect the CRM to physically increase your lead count. The point of lead management, however, is to increase your CLOSING count…
First, let’s talk about the basics. The backdrop of your entire CRM is the concept of lead processing.
If you’re a process freak like the team over at InvestorFuse, there’s a simple and effective way you process any sort of incoming opportunity, whether it’s an email or a lead. You are simply just doing one of the following actions to each lead:
If you can quickly decide which of these situations applies to each lead, you’ll be able to move through your queue very quickly.
The systems that house these incoming leads can do much more to guide you and your team along.
Let’s break down the science of lead management systems into the following distinct elements: Capture, Communication, Followup, and Execution.
*All pictures will be screenshots of the InvestorFuse lead management workspace*
What does it mean for a lead to “come in?” For some it’s an email in their Gmail inbox. For others it’s an answered call to their cell phone, or even a text message from a birddog. No matter how many channels you have in place, the point of a CRM is to capture all inbound opportunities in one unified location.
Whether they are internet form submissions, phone calls, voicemails, or manually entered leads, you need to make sure every instance of an inbound opportunity is automatically captured inside of your CRM.
The leads come in, and you can faithfully check ONE place in your business where every single opportunity ultimately goes. Centralization at its finest:
With the Podio CRM, you can route leads from every source imaginable and program it to appear as a “New” lead on a tab like the “Seller Leads” tab, or “App” as they are called in Podio.
These fresh leads will display specific information such as the name, phone, address, and even the source of your leads, which can be tracked on your system’s “Dashboard” so you can see the results of your marketing in realtime:
This is a relationship business, as you know, so your lead management needs to accommodate communication within your company as well as externally with your leads.
Your internal communication will be with your team. Team members each have a profile within your CRM so if they post a message, you’ll know it’s from them. These messages are displayed on the related lead, and other users can be “@“ tagged so they are notified that another team member has reached out in regards to this specific lead.
In additional to internal communication, you can communicate with your lead contact through your CRM as well. In InvestorFuse, you can text and email right from within the “Comments” section to the right of each lead. You will also receive replies in this area, and are notified through a Task that the seller or buyer has responded.
Since communication is necessary to occur in order to transact any business, proper lead management will ensure that every single “touch point,” or communication instance, is automatically recorded in the system.
The InvestorFuse workspace contains a “Communication Log” which not only displays and timestamps incoming calls and voice messages, but also inbound/outbound texts, calls, and emails:
This prevents you and your team from having to use external tools to communicate with each other and with your leads, centralizing everything under one roof, where each touch point of communication is located exactly where it needs to be.
See how powerful that is!?
“The fortune is in the follow-up!” We’ve heard it time and time again, but how do you actually systemize this and realize this elusive “fortune” in which they speak?? Answer: Automation.
To represent how proper followup SHOULD look in real estate marketing, I like to look at the functionality of an email tool I use called “Boomerang.”
With Boomerang, you can simply take an email in your inbox and “Boomerang” it to leave your inbox and come back to the top of your inbox on a later date. It’s an infinitely useful tool for processing emails, and we’ve applied the same principle to our system.
In lead management for real estate, you need a way to quickly “Boomerang” your leads OUT of your queue so that they pop back into your life at a later date, with all the relevant information you need to call that seller back and get them back on your radar.
It is as easy as selecting how much time you’d like to pass before that lead needs to be followed up with:
We’ll talk about another way you can followup in the following “Execution” section.
In the InvestorFuse “Active Leads” view, you ONLY see the leads that require your immediate attention where you need to physically execute the next action. At a later date, a lead you’ve chosen to followup with will pop back into this view.
When to Use Follow-up Sequences
Most investors only go after the “low hanging fruit,” or the deals where the seller needs to sell RIGHT NOW!! These are great, however…
Selling your house is like selling your car. It only happens once every couple of years. If you think about it, at some point, EVERY person you talk to will EVENTUALLY need to sell their house. You’ll find when talking to sellers that they are simply just curious and truly not in the season of life where they need to sell their house.
In these situations, it’s best to put them on a “Followup Sequencer.”
Essentially, a Followup Sequence is a multi-media-autoresponder, meaning it includes text messages, voice messages, and emails, all sent out over an extended period of time…automatically.
Until now, you needed expensive software integrations to pull of automated communications like this.
With our lead management platform, all you need to do is click on the appropriate Followup Sequencer button on your seller lead to initiate the sequence of communication.
These sequences can be stopped at any point (like if the seller calls you back), and they can be completely customized to include your specific language at your preferred time intervals. Or, you can just use our pre-programmed sequences:
The template for Action 1 looks like this:
Watch this video to see these followup strategies in use:
After the lead comes in, you need a process that your team can follow to monetize your opportunity. The key to successful execution is knowing what step needs to happen next, and making it foolproof for you and your team to know that step no matter what stage your lead is in.
This is accomplished through “Tasks” in the system, or automated notifications that specifies the exact action.
Each task will correlate to a specific role in your company, so it’s imperative to make sure each member on your team has a clearly defined role in the operation of your business, and that these tasks can be assigned to the right person in your lead management system.
Luckily, InvestorFuse does all this for you. Here are a few of these roles and their associated tasks that will show up in the system:
In lead management, you’ll get snapshot of where you are with every single lead so can quickly see the stage and corresponding Next Action of an opportunity:
Or view a macro level view of for ALL of your active leads:
Awesome systems will have “Conditional” tasks, meaning that when you complete a task, the next corresponding task will be created and assigned to the right job role. So all you need to do is just click “Complete” to move the deal along.
This is another way you can automatically remind yourself to followup with a lead.
On the InvestorFuse platform, if you can’t get a hold of someone, you simply click the button below, and the “Next Auto-Action” will automatically populate as the next task to pop up the following day, reminding your seller lead processor to try them again. Easy breezy.
This can be done as many times as needed to get a hold of someone before simply putting them on a “Can’t Reach” followup sequence, which reaches out on your behalf over a long period of time.
Besides just processing new leads, you’ll also need to do operational activities such as sending out offers, setting appointments, and performing due diligence. Check out this video to see how this all works together under one lead management workspace:
With a properly organized and automated lead management workspace, you’ll be able to track all of your macro-level operational data (number of appointments/contracts/pending closings etc…) using a customizable dashboard, which you’ll see in the above video.
The dashboard helps you, the entrepreneur, keep a birds-eye view of the progress of your team this week. You can also use this data to analyze your KPI’s, or Key Performance Indicators, which is how you determine what is working and what’s not in your company.
For more information on KPIs, check out our Essential Four Person Team post and look towards the bottom in the “YOU” section. It’s YOUR job to stay on top of your company’s numbers. The best lead management systems make this easy for you.
Wrapping It Up
Remember to focus on what is most important, which is essentially answering the question “What is the next thing I need to do with this lead?”
You are simply just doing one of the following actions to each lead:
The database you are using to support the management of your leads should help you quickly get through all of your inbound leads so you can focus on doing the essential 80/20, or the 20% of activities that contribute to 80% of your success. In case you need a refresher on what those activities are:
Let your technology systems to free up your time to focus on the right side of your chart, and don’t forget to ALWAYS BE MARKETING!
Once you’ve got a system for lead management like InvestorFuse up and running, you can now scale your marketing up without worrying about getting buried under all of your inbound leads.
Use this guide to familiarize your team with the basics, and on the next post, we will be discussing the science of lead conversion, or how to “sell” your sellers and negotiate deals like a pro.
Until then, go close some deals!