What is a lead? In Estate Agency leads are considered pretty much any enquiry that comes into the office. The majority of these come in from portal enquiries about properties that you've advertised from people that would like to see them. Some occasionally come in as valuation leads from the portals and you may even be getting instant valuation leads that come into your office but here's the thing - actually none of these initially count as Leads!
The reason they don't count as leads is because they have not yet been qualified. The enquiries that have come in from the portals may well not be in any sort of position to move forward, or they may not be able to get a mortgage. They may have a house to sell that's not even on the market or have CCJ's or they may just be browsing.
Even a valuation lead from the portals generally goes to three or four different estate agents and just becomes a fight over who will offer the cheapest fee and the highest valuation. They have no real association with your company or brand and have no reason to want to use you which is why they just fired off that random email from a portal. They are not even close to being considered a lead yet, unlike someone who makes an inquiry from your website or one of your boards or specifically to your brand in some way.
Even tools like instant valuations that claim to bring agents hundreds of leads are not really bringing in leads but instead they're bringing in useful data, for the agent to then nurture over time and with patience, allowing them to communicate with many more people digitally in their area so that they can spend less wasted time and effort sending out pieces of paper in the post but they are not a lead, they are simply an enquiry.
The effort that it takes to go through all of your enquiries and find out which ones are leads takes up a huge amount of time in Estate Agency, when really your software should be doing this for you. There are even some tools available to agents that claim to qualify their leads for them but when you dig a little deeper into these tools, they're really just autoresponders that go out to every enquiry so if I make 4 inquiries from a portal, I receive back the same email asking me for the same information 4 times! Which is a pretty poor customer experience and continues to make people feel like our industry is a bit of a joke.
So how does Lifesycle help with any of this?
Modern businesses are using intelligent eco systems like Lifesycle that brings all of their marketing, data, valuations, transactions, enquiries and everything else into one place. Building data over the years for you using automations and tracking, while you just continue to do the day to day running of your business. So if somebody is already inside that system when they make an enquiry, whether that's an instant valuation, an enquiry from any of the major portals, or an enquiry from your website the system already knows that contact exists and therefore doesn't ask them to fill out questions that they've previously answered but what it does do is ask them if their circumstances are still the same and allow them to update their details keeping your system constantly up to date.
Having an ecosystem that automatically replies to enquiries intelligently removes a huge amount of administration work from inside an estate agency and allows you to use it as your CRM system, database, Estate Agency Software and marketing platform all in one place, whilst the system is keeping itself constantly clean and making sure the right marketing and messages are going to the right people at the right time. Allowing your staff to just concentrate on the serious leads and not spend all of their time just speaking to enquiries.