How to Assign Leads to Agents in Your Real Estate CRM Software
By Matthew Bushery
About Agent Basics
Only one-third of real estate agents say their brokerage does a good job at supplying them leads. That’s a stat that should not only concern brokers, but spark them into action to improve their lead assignment strategies using their real estate customer relationships management system (CRM) software and to make their agents’ lead nurturing activities far more effective.
So, ask yourself: Are you doing enough to assign not just lots of leads, but the right leads to your agents? If not, it’s time to step it up and learn the core lead assignment best practices — from understanding who your agents are to providing them the most relevant leads they can prospect in their CRMs. Below, we’ll cover how you can do that.
Ensure your real estate CRM offers lead assignment (and other core features).
Not every real estate lead management system comes with features that make it simple to assign seller and buyer leads to various members of broker teams, so it’s vital to research, evaluate (through a consultation), and, ultimately, purchase a CRM for your firm that allows for manual and automated lead assignment. Of course, lead assignment is just one indispensable element of a lead management platform you need to effectively organize and distribute leads and monitor your agents’ nurturing and sales activities.
Real Estate Lead Integration
If you’re like most brokers, you and your team get a hefty portion of your leads from more than just your websites. Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and Homes.com are some of the big portals (and players in general) in the real estate lead generation space.
While you can certainly keep tabs on leads generated via these channels (and even the dozens of smaller yet similar ones just like them), your best move is to move them over to one, central CRM database — one that automates this lead integration process so you don’t have to manually import CSV files each week (an assuredly boring and tedious task you want no part of).
Here’s a preview of how you can see lead source reports in the Placester CRM platform.
At-a-Glance Leads Dashboard
On occasion, your agents will need to take a step back to examine every lead in their database and determine if some reprioritization of each prospect is necessary (e.g. when once-cold leads show signs of life and interest in your agents’ online content). More often than not, they won’t see any big changes that necessitate and reordering of whom to prospect and nurture the most, but every now and then, older leads’ statuses will change for the better, meaning they can’t be ignored any longer and need to be added to the funnel marketing mix once again.
Lead Profile Editing Capabilities
Ideally, when profiles are automatically created for leads in your CRM right after they import (like after they fill out forms on your agents’ sites), most of their critical info is included: name, phone number, email address, and buyer or seller designation.
Even with this information, though, these profiles need to be modified and tinkered with over time, as new info emerges about their housing needs and other lead nurturing activities are conducted for them, like listing presentations, open house visits, and content downloads. That means your CRM needs to allow to modify individual lead profiles so you can add in greater detail about their needs, timelines, and general housing preferences, such as where they’re looking to purchase specifically within your market or the ideal initial listing price for their home.
Lead Notifications and Reminders
Any smartphone and tablet today offers a seemingly endless number of built-in and downloadable apps that make scheduling lead nurturing activities and setting general reminders for said activities quick and easy. Still, having these notifications set up in your real estate agent CRM will make life much simpler for your staff. The primary reason is because you’ll get to see website activity as it happens in real-time, meaning you and your agents don’t have to wait around for an email 30 minutes after a visitor becomes a lead or takes action on your site. Instead, you can quickly discern what action they took and just as quickly add them to one of your drip marketing campaigns.
Here’s an example of lead notifications in the Placester CRM.
Lead History and Engagement Info
From when a lead became a lead to the specific ways in which they interact with your agents’ online presence, there are myriad points during your associates’ relationships with their leads they ought to keep track of — which means your CRM needs to be able to display this history of touch points from both sides.
In essence, your real estate lead notifications should also populate in your agents’ lead profiles automatically so they don’t have to waste their time manually entering in all of the touch points.
Segment your real estate agents into different buckets based on work criteria.
Once the best real estate CRM is in place for you and your agents and you’ve collected your leads from across the web into your platform, begin the process of segmenting each of the leads you generate into different categories. This is essential when it comes time to dispense leads to each agent at your brokerage. No two leads are exactly alike, but there are some general criteria you can use to set them apart and into at least a handful of categories for both home buyer leads and home seller leads.
For instance, if you work in an urban market in which most of the clients your agents work with sell and purchase units in large apartment buildings and century-old townhouses, you already have four lead buckets: apartment buyer leads, apartment seller leads, townhouse buyer leads, and townhouse seller leads. You can get even more granular and transform these four buckets by factoring in demographic data (their age, income, buying/selling experience) and general housing needs and preferences for your prospective clients (e.g. picky buyers who’ve gone through a few other agents, sellers who need to offload their properties).
Of course, this is just one example. Here are several other specific ways you can segment your buyer and seller leads to make it as straightforward and simple as possible to share them with the most appropriate and applicable agents on your staff:
The more experienced you get with moving leads through the funnel and helping your agents do the same, the more specific lead segments you can develop. For instance, you can compare and contrast the characteristics of the typical first-time buyers you work with and determine what differentiates them from one another. The common traits you learn about can help you slice and dice these segments accordingly, making it even easier for you to know which agents should get which leads.
Set aside time daily to analyze agents’ progress and allocate new leads.
Segmenting your real estate leads requires much more than attention to detail. It also mandates consistency, particularly as it pertains to your schedule. Essentially all brokers like to have a daily routine to accomplish their real estate marketing, sales, and general business activities and aid their agents with their own, so it’s a good idea to allocate a specific time each day to survey the newest leads in your real estate CRM and figure out where they can be sent within your team.
Earmark some time each day — perhaps first thing in the morning, during your first cup of coffee — to see what new leads entered your system via your site, your agents’ sites, and other means (like office administrators who upload lead lists from other external sources into your CRM database). Then, begin your bucketing process. Again, it’s up to your discretion and based on your own personal criteria which agents get allotted which leads. Just remember all of the factors that go into lead assignment.
The Number of Clients Each Agent Can Handle
Don’t underestimate the importance of bandwidth. If your agents don’t have the time to take on more business, don’t inundate them with a flood of new leads. Instead, gradually assign them to your team over time. There will invariably be some down periods across the board with your agents in terms of the number of clients they work, so assign only the “hot” leads (the ones with the highest likelihood of yielding a big return for the brokerage) when they come into your real estate broker CRM, and save the “warm” leads (not as likely to turn into revenue opportunities right away) for the slower times.
Your Agents’ Sales History and Career Growth
The significant time and effort agents put in (and the more commission and glowing real estate reviews they generate) should eventually warrant them the top-tier leads: That’s the general wisdom for many brokers and a methodology for your lead assignment that can teach your team members they need to earn the premier leads, not expect those leads to simply be handed over.
Take note of how each agent at your firm performs daily (with their lead nurturing, prospecting, and everyday marketing activities) and monthly (how many deals they close, the time to close, and other core sales metrics) in your CRM to determine who deserves the right to take on the prime leads you generate.
Over time, assign rules in your CRM to automate (and enhance) lead assignment.
As mentioned, automation plays a pivotal role in making the most of your CRM — and not just for your drip marketing campaigns. Lead assignment should, at some point, be automated nearly entirely, so you don’t have to micro-manage the entire process of providing leads for specific agents and, instead, have automated emails and notifications go out to your team on a daily basis that features the latest leads they should know about, including all of their key information (e.g. first touch point, how they became a lead, listings they favorited, phone number and/or email address, etc.).
Sure, there will always be certain cases in which a particular lead will need to be assigned to one of your team members manually (e.g. referral leads who need to be dealt with carefully; a lead who wants to work with a particular agent). For the most part, though, the rules you set up in your CRM for your lead assignment should allow you to eventually take a step back and let the work be completed for you.
Take the above screenshot of our real estate lead management system as an example. Five agents are on the broker-in-question’s roster, and each is assigned a certain percentage of leads. The lower-percentage agents may be ones who are new to the firm, while the higher-percentage ones could be the more experienced team members. Whatever the reasoning regarding how you distribute leads, it’s this type of lead assignment system that can free up 30–60 minutes of your time each day, in theory — time that can be spent on the numerous branding, networking opportunities, and other duties that are on your plate daily.
Once the leads are automatically sent to your roster, you can (and should) track their progress in terms of adding each lead to the appropriate drip email marketing campaigns to ensure each agent is working the leads.
After getting to know their CRM, real estate agents and brokers need to learn the numerous best practices for their lead management systems. Discover how to make the most of your real estate agent CRM with help from our exhaustive Academy guide.
Have you adjusted to the more modern means of lead assignment and begun using your CRM to simplify your team’s prospecting? How has the transition gone? Tell us all about your lead assignment strategy below!
Published on April 7, 2016
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.