Lead Classification, Going Beyond Generation

September 15 2010

standoutofthecrowdumbrella200pxGenerating leads is considered to be one of the most important tasks of a real estate sales organization and often appears to be one of the most poorly managed and also presents the most risk for your business. It is not about getting more leads; it is about understanding what types of leads you want and how much you can handle.

Here is what Wikipedia says about lead generation: “Lead generation is a marketing term that refers to the creation or generation of prospective consumer interest or inquiry into a business’ products or services. Leads can be generated for a variety of purposes—list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for winning customers.”

This definition shows you how broad that term is and while we may be focused on winning customer the “lead” provider may think of it as “list building.” When it comes to “leadgeneration we have to dig deeper to know what we are actually looking for. Here is a thought of different terms that would be better used to both organize our “leads” and create powerful marketing strategies that are laser focused when it comes to “leadgeneration.

Ranking your leads is critical.


This list is based on which opportunities are most likely to close. The key is to identify what is the most likely type of “lead” to convert into an active prospect then into a client. You could very well generate as many clients from phone book lists as from direct email inquiry, but you will have to place a lot more calls to get there. There is a really big challenge in balancing the amount of effort and investment it takes to get in front of a true prospect versus a person that should be included into a drip marketing program. You have to pick your battles and invest wisely.

An entire industry has been built around the idea of helping you get more “leads.” Taking the time to classify the “leads” properly will give you great insights. Based on that knowledge you can then identify how much more you will need to invest in time an effort to convert these leads into active prospects and into actual clients. If you don’t track this you may end up being very busy but calling on list that have little more value than a random page from your local phone book. There is nothing wrong with that strategy but you need to have proper expectations.

Here is a quote from a person I spoke with recently; “We are having some issues with our current traffic/emails being read and responded to and until we utilize those leads to the fullest capability, I can’t justify providing additional leads.”

I am quite confident that the issue here is not the willingness of their staff to do the work but many of them don’t see the point. This group receives “leads” from many different places; these “leads” have a low the conversion rate. As a consequence the motivation to do the necessary follow up work is simply not there or hard to maintain. It is human nature if we don’t see results we place less efforts and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Getting into conversation is the common thread of the top tier of my lead classification. In person, by phone or through an online live chat there is no better way to establish a rapport, so focus on generating conversations!