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2010-08-16 20:54:27

Lead Management - Secrets of the Successful Agent

"Nature gives the nuts, but doesn't crack them." Proverb
Sales leads are a lot like nuts. Shake the tree and nuts fall. But cracking them, well, that's entirely up to you. As they say, some nuts are tougher to crack than others, but my message to you: I say it's worth working on cracking all of them. 
In fact, that’s one of the biggest mistakes Real Estate Agents make: not following up. And don’t just take my word for it; take an organization that knows about leads: The Sales Lead Management Association. It reports that salespeople fail to follow up on between 75-90 percent of all leads.
I believe it, too. A few years back my wife and I were looking to buy a home in Southern California, and we left 13 messages with Realtors over a single weekend. How many followed up? One. And that was two days later. 
Successful agents follow up with leads – all sales leads. That’s lesson number one. Now, here are three more tips to improve how you crack the leads that fall from the trees in your neck of the woods:
1. Have a system. The best agents approach leads systematically. Why? It pays. Some studies have shown that just having a system to manage leads can boost sales by 50 percent in one year. First, examine how you currently manage leads to uncover problems. Then, create solutions for each problem, implement the best solutions to those problems and finally work to automate the process.
And at the core of any system is a database. So make the resources available to get information into the database, such as having a data entry person or an outside service. Plus, set up the database to record the sources of the leads and how they came to you, so you can decide which programs are working.
2. Categorize and nurture your leads. Top producers I know are patient with their leads. Amateurs go after every lead like they’re ready to buy yesterday. But that’s seldom the case. Most leads take time, and during that time you have to nurture them, stay in touch with them regularly with useful information. You can determine the kind of information you share by learning where the leads are in the buying process. Typically, there’s A, B and C leads (A leads are ready to buy a home immediately, B will be ready to buy in 30 to 90 days and C will be ready to buy beyond 90 days). Think of lead management as a courtship. Work to develop a long-term relationship and eventually you’ll make them customers.
3. Be creative. Consumers today are becoming more sensitive to how they’re being sold – be it a new mattress, a car or yes, a home. With all the new technology sweeping the landscape, the public has come to expect something new, something different and something perhaps even entertaining. When it happens, they like it and most importantly they remember it. One way I’ve jumped on the tech bandwagon is through video e-mail. I can, while sitting in front of my desktop computer, record and send a video e-mail within seconds. E-mail me at and ask me about this and I’ll gladly demonstrate. Can you imagine sending a lead a video e-mail of you talking about some new listings you just put on the market? You’ll knock ‘em out their seat!
Let me hear from you. Have you worked on your lead management lately? If so, what did you do that seemed to help? Are you making changes to improve your lead management? What specifically have you done? Please share any comments or questions you have about this article. Send me an e-mail at

Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent’s existing practice.
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