Improved HTML Lead Handling

We recently added some updates that improve the way we are able to parse incoming HMTL leads. This means Lead Assign is able to distinguish between lead content versus code that is used to display leads. This strengthens our ability to pull out certain details, like price, location, etc. from HTML formatted emails, and reduced the amount of extraneous text associated with lead details allowing your agents to get right to the point.

Seek and Ye Shall Find, Real Estate Technology Is Abound

Presumably, the real estate business has been around as long as people have been required to pay for the place in which they live. Not the oldest profession in the world….but close.  As technology has grown exponentially throughout the last few decades, so too has the creative ways to buy, sell and market your home. I remember finding my first home in a real estate magazine, there it was, in all of its glory, printed in black and white. The responsibilities and role of the real estate agent has certainly expanded along with the times as well. Sticking a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn is certainly still a required step however by no means does the role of the Agent of the new millenium end there. The tools and applications that are available to an agent in 2016 are almost endless. There are tools for 3D virtual tours, E-Signature applications, tools telling your brokerage where you are, citing agent safety, virtual staging tools and hundreds more. Add to this list the many tools designed specifically for Owner/Brokers who demand more control when it comes to marketing and lead generation. Of course I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t also mention my own employer Lead Assign, makers of amazing lead consolidation and distribution software (seriously).

There’s no slow down to the pace in which new technology is becoming available to agents and brokers alike. Of course this creates great opportunity however, it also poses a problem. How exactly does a busy agent or broker/owner stay on top of whats available to them and what applications can be utilized to help grow their businesses. Most of us tend to unintentionally limit our exposure to new technology by lazily gathering and absorbing what we see via tech news websites or perhaps by joining a relevant LinkedIn group or two.

To really dig deep and discover what is shaking up the world of Real Estate tech, you need seek it out and go see it. Almost every major city or commercial centre in the United States and Canada routinely has tech events and conferences catering to its local businesses and marketplace. I would encourage everyone to make the effort and get out to see what’s happening in your own backyard as its both convenient and affordable.

For those who strive for even more, those that want to be on the bleeding edge of technology, you have to go big and sometimes far. Lead Assign is a very small start-up with great aspirations. We here at Lead Assign knew early on that word of mouth was going to be good but, we also knew it wouldn’t be enough. We needed to get our product in front of as many Broker/Owners as quickly as possible, and in a cost efficient manner.  Wanting to make a splash, in 2015 we committed to participating in INMAN CONNECT in New York city. INMAN CONNECT was an ideal platform to launch Lead Assign as they provided a relatively inexpensive venue for start-ups like us to participate in “Start-Up Alley”, while allowing us to get our product in front of thousands of qualified prospective Brokers and Agents.

Our first INMAN CONNECT experience was a learning one as we had little more than a MacBook running a beta version of what we were building, yet we were warmly received and encouraged by onlookers and attendees. We were featured in an article on the INMAN site which lead to further interest from Brokers and Owners.  Of course this all began the trickle of new customers wanting to take advantage of what we were selling and being a new product it helped us to get better at growing and assessing our customers needs as well.  In February of 2016 we once again committed to INMAN CONNECT 2016. Same location but with a more refined approach. This time around we had a fully developed and reliable product. We had hired a sales guy who was up for the task at hand (me)! and we were once again back in start up alley. It was a pleasant surprise to be remembered by the INMAN organizers and even more surprising was the frequency that we were approached by previous conference attendees who had remembered us from the year before!

Even though INMAN CONNECT wrapped up 3 months ago, I am still working numerous leads that reside within my CRM pipeline. Landing one or two large clients from a show like INMAN can quickly cover the costs of attending such an event. Personally I managed to secure 159 individual well qualified leads from the conference alone, additionally, many of the companies I’ve managed to engage are successfully winding their way through my sales funnel and well on their way to being full blown on-boarded active customers. I’ve experienced some great dialogue with prospects who didn’t end up as customers but graciously saw value in my product and felt compelled enough to refer me to their network of people whom they felt were a good fit for our application.

The goal of all of this is to simply illustrate the need to seek out the solutions that you desire. Believe me, I’d love to call every prospect on the planet to tell them about all of the benefits of Lead Assign but it’s simply not practical. You can however discover answers to the problems that you didn’t realize you had all on your own. From and agent or owners perspective it’s a great opportunity for you to increase your network and talk to others in marketplaces that differ from your own. You will most certainly find Lead Assign attending INMAN CONNECT 2016 in San Fransisco this August 2-5, as there is no better place for us to showcase our Lead Assign application than the high tech capital of the planet. Please come visit us in Start-up Alley, we hope to see you there.

Joe Steeves, Director of Sales and Marketing, www.leadassign.com

Improved zip code and zip range detection

We have improved the parsing engine to better distinguish between zip codes and some countries formats of telephone numbers. But the big news is now you are able to zip range tags to your agents.

Here’s how it works:

Format the zip range as a tag as follows:

  • ZIP: 90210-90230

If you add this tag to an agent, when a lead comes in for “90220” the lead would score agents that agent. This is an addition to bring Zip Code range detection inline with our existing Postal Code range detection.

Postal Code range works by just adding the first 3 characters as a tag, for example:

  • N0H

Setting up tags

Lead Assign Tags

We make it easy to distribute leads to your agents, based on the type of incoming lead, using tags. Our patent pending technology parses the incoming lead and looks for tags that you have determined. Tags can be anything from zip/postal codes, price ranges, names, products, departments, you name it!

One way to determine what tags to use is to look at your current incoming leads and see what words or phrases are included. You can then add these as tags under the “Tags” section of your lead assign account. Once you have added tags go to the “Agents” section and associate some of these tags with certain agents.

Example

Lets say you have two agents, Bill and Jane. Bill deals mainly with residential, Jane deals mainly with commercial. In the “Tags” section you could add the following tags:

  1. residential
  2. commercial
  3. home
  4. office

Then under “Agents” you would associate the tags “Commercial” and “Office” with Jane, and “Residential” and “Home” with Bill.

If a lead comes in that says “I am interested in purchasing a home near the beach” Lead Assign will parse the lead, pick up on the word “home” and send the lead to Bill.

 

You can get quite creative with your tags. Literally any word or phrase can be used to route leads.

Location Tags

Many sales agents are distinguished by the sales territories that they are responsible for. You should enter tags like zip or postal codes, for instance: ‘586’ would refer to zip codes in Dickinson, North Dakota, while N0H would refer to Thornbury, Canada. It may be that your agents don’t have postal code regions, but rather locations like ‘Fargo’ or ‘Jamestown’. You need to enter tags that match the leads that will be coming in, so you may need to add both kinds of location tags.

Custom Tag Structure

We also offer a number of custom tags that you can use to route leads. These are as follows:

Zip Range

We also support Zip ranges, for example: Zip:90200-90299
Which will match zip codes between 90200 and 90299 (inclusive).

Price Range

Agents can be responsible for certain price ranges. For instance houses in the $200,000 – $500,000 range.

To use the price range tag format a tag like this:

Range:$200000-$500000 ($, €, £, ¥ currency symbols are supported)

Range:200000-500000 is also supported and makes other currencies easier to handle.

Add a price range tag in this format only: (i.e. include the word ‘Range:’ at the start)

Send leads by agent seniority, or “pecking order”

To set a pecking order simply add the tag PK_# (where “#” is a number associated with each agent). We suggest adding PK tags in increments of 100. The higher the number, the closer to first refusal the agent will be.

For example: 

John: PK_100
Bob: PK_200
Phil: PK_300

When a lead comes in it will go to Phil. If he refuses or does not accept in time it will be offered to Bob, then John.

You can use the PK tag in conjunction with regular tags. You can even give a number of agents the same PK score which is useful if you are looking to do a hybrid of seniority and context distribution.

For more information on the pecking order tag visit this post.