Leads leads leads....tracking them is a full time job! Especially in this market, buyers are taking their time waiting for that bottom to fall out. Sellers may want to sell but have no money or equity to do so, so you need a LOT of sellers in your pipeline!
In order to succeed in this market, you MUST know who is on your A list so you can put a lot of energy and attention toward them. When someone moves to an 'A' client spot, you must contact them immediately. You probably have a system like this in place, but do you use it? Do you enjoy using it? Does it serve its purpose?
Below is a summary of CRM/Lead Generator systems that have proven themselves in the industry and have been around a while to support the Realtor community. Fly by night companies are common when it comes to supporting Realtors - you've got to be careful when making a large purchase, especially if the company requires a 12 month contract. When I try to 'google' these types of programs, it's impossibe to tell who has been around a while and who exists simply to process credit card numbers. So I've taken the time to list the companies that have been in the trenches a while, but I also found some new ones that show promise and accountability.
Keep in mind: Lead and Database Management is not a 'one size fits all' category for Realtors; the methods and systems will vary from agent to agent. If you don't have enough leads to manage, then you need a lead generating system as well, and some of these sites listed below provide the service as an 'add on'.
**None of these reviews are meant as an endorsement; they are simply informational to give you a glimpse of what is out there. You should evaulate your needs with an assistant who is familiar with a diverse group of systems to find out which one will work best for you. If you already have a system that you love, please comment and share with the rest of us! Don't be fooled by popularity, often the most popular have the best marketing plans to gain business.**
Top Producer is by far one of the most sophisticated systems available. If you are a 'Type A' and want everything 'Just So', then this may be the software program for you. The learning curve is extensive to understand all the bells and whistles, but once you get in the groove it's easy to understand. Each agent uses it differently, lead management is one of the '5 star' features. Some of the features that will help you improve your conversion rates:
- Mobility Feature. How many times have you skipped your designated phone calls for the day because you didn't have time to open up your computer and 'get down to business'. Top Producer has a special program to work on your phone, and it's better than plain 'web access' from your phone.
- Integrated Marketing. Wouldn't it be awesome to take your leads, and with a click of button, have them on an automated postcard campaign that requires you to DO NOTHING? Their Market Builder progam is a unique feature of Top Producer, you won't find anything like it.
- Cutting edge technology. No other program upgrades and adapts to the changing market place more than Top Producer. They stay a few steps ahead of the average Realtor to enhance your positioning above the competition.
Top Producer is ideal for the agent who has tried other systems and are frustrated at their lack of sophistication or ability to organize leads. Many databases are better suited for transaction management, or lead management, or referral marketing, but Top Producer provides it ALL and more. If you have the funds to employ a Virtual Assistant who is experienced so you can hit the ground running, it would be worth the investment and save you time.
Drawback? I find Top Producer runs too slow. But that is from the perspective of someone who is online ALL day, managing a to-do list as long as Santa's list on Christmas Eve! As a Realtor who only has your business to manage, you may find its speed just fine.
Will this software produce leads? Yes, not by itself, Top Producer sells other products that complement it and automatically download leads into the system.
Pipeline-i® -- Intelligent Technology -- is a lead generator/management system for a large team or brokerage who wants to dominate their local market with Internet traffic. When comparing it to Top Producer, it's apples and oranges; and at first glance the pricing may seem much higher, but it's not. If you were to take Top Producer and add on all the bells and whistles of lead generators and lead capture, you have very similar pricing. If you have a Brokerage that spans several geographical areas, this system could bring them all together and enable your Realtors to have an online virtual office, and eliminate the back and forth emails of transaction and task management. The ability to sync with mobile devices is effortless. Many programs out there make the promise to get your office up and running with both leads and tracking, but this one truly does it for you.
Unique features of Pipeline-i Virtual Office technology:
- The most sophisticated and user-friendly Client Manager system.
- Allows Team Leaders or Brokers In Charge to delegate leads and monitor progress.
- Easy learning curve. You won't need weeks of classes or certifications.
- No Syncing necessary, it's web based technology will keep it up to date when you access the system from your mobile device.
- The most advanced Lead capture feature. How many times have you heard of 'Call Capture' or 'Text Capture' technology, but never really embraced them because they seem like an extra step? Pipeline-i has maximized this type of technology to sync with your web site and all of your advertising AUTOMATICALLY. Click Here to learn more.
Drawback? Pricing is not designed for individual agent who is not a mega-producer.
Will this software produce leads? YES.
More Solds is a newer product, but the simplicity of the technology is refreshing. A Virtual Genie has not had the opportunity to work exclusively with this software since it's conversion from Beta, but we're hopeful the kinks have been worked out and it's ready to roll. It did have some cumbersome qualities when utilizing it on behalf of a team, but it seemed perfect and budget friendly to help the novice agent get started. Ideal for agents who are new to gathering leads or don't have a large database yet.
Drawback? At time of usage, limited functionality for teams.
Will this software produce leads? No.
Wise Agent's is a great option for agents on a budget, and their customer service is STELLAR. Wise Agent makes training is easy to attend and the learning curve is small. Wise Agent also seems to have a component for everything, from lead management, to transaction management, to marketing, etc. I suggest signing on and learning one component at a time, rather than trying to implement everything and getting overwhelmed. If nothing else, Wise Agent will help you remember leads from that open house 6 months ago who were 'just browsing', and the affordability factor is high. Click Here to visit Wise Agent.
Drawback? Cluttered interface. Touchy transaction management system.
Will this software produce leads? No. But it is super easy to do mass emails and mailings via Wise Agent.
Realty Juggler is for the Realtor who is easily frustrated by Top Producer or the Wise Agent, and craves simplicity while remaining organized. Realty Juggler also offers the best trial period - 90 days! Realty Juggler does offer the option to grow from database management to transaction managment, and it syncs with most major calendars and offers document storage. Realty Juggler is the most budget friendly program available, and the Instruction Manual is loaded with You Tube videos that give you the information you need in minutes.
Drawback? Simplistic interface. But at this price, is that really a drawback?
Will this software produce leads? No. But again, what more can you ask for at this price with a 90 day trial period?
Highrise is the perfect program for the Realtor who comes from another type of sales background. There isn't anywhere to go with transaction management, and sometimes this is the PERFECT answer for a Realtor. I personally see many Realtors get overwhelmed by the software they have chosen, only to abandon the entire plan half way through out of frustration. This won't happen with Highrise. You will be up and running and following up on leads left and right - quickly! Bonus: Affordable! Visit the 37Signals software line today.
Drawback: Non-real estate software, you will have to customize it to make it relevant to your business.
Will this software produce leads? No.
Pipeline Deals is another program for the Realtor who comes from a Sales Background and enjoys that 'system' approach. This software will also let you see your progress. Lead management can get stale and boring, but not if you are visually driven! Pipeline deals is also high up on the affordability scale. Again, it's simple 'CRM' without further bells and whistles of programs designed specifically for Real Estate.
Drawback: We are not familiar enough with Pipeline to list a drawback, on the surface, it looks flawless. I'm sure if we were to dig in, we could find just one...
Will this software produce leads? No.
Househunt is a tool for agents who need leads in addition to a management system. There are MANY programs like this available, but Househunt got a plug here because a) it's not a complete budget buster and b) you can use the backend even if you have additional lead generators working for you. This is a program for an individual agent or small team who needs leads NOW. Househunt limits the number of agents in any given area, and you have to sign onto a waiting list if your area is not availabe. Click Here to learn more about Househunt.
Drawback: Limited availability if another agent has your territory.
Will this software produce leads? Yes.
Conclusion: Many Realtors choose a system based on emotions from a sales pitch or from a 'crisis' mode - they have too many leads coming in and need something FAST. Take your time when choosing a system, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel 6 months from now. A Virtual Genie offers free consultations to help you sort out what your needs vs. wants are so you are sure to find the perfect match! We have experience in helping agents find products and services that are useful and productive, rather than following the hype that often comes with utilizing technology to be successful.