Best Practices: Configuring Insightly for Real Estate

Overview

It doesn't matter if you are residential or commercial, fostering strong relationships with customers is vital in the Real Estate industry.

In this guide, you will find the steps needed to configure Insightly for tracking and converting new leads to opportunities, using opportunities to track your sales process, and managing and linking listing contracts to opportunities.

Configuration

1. Customize Leads to manage inbound inquiries

All real estate operations involve selling, and the sales process starts with Leads. If you are new to Insightly, a Lead is a cold prospect that has either reached out to you for more information, or someone you have identified as a potential client.

Either way, you still need to make contact with them and find out if they (and you) are a good fit to do business together before you convert them to an opportunity.

First things first - where are your leads coming from? Update your lead sources so you can track the inbound interest from your various marketing channels like purchased marketing lists, online advertising, social media marketing, telemarketing, or even simple referral.

Use the lead status to track where leads are in your sales process. You can add as many Open or Closed statuses as you’d like. Some examples we've seen for Closed are 'Send to Marketing' and 'Future Potential'.

Set up Lead assignment rules if you want to automate the process of assigning leads as they are added to Insightly. This will make it easier on sales managers and teams to distribute leads evenly or according to specific criteria.

Add custom fields to capture the data that's important to your business. Out of the box, Insightly will track general contact information, but if you need to know their budget, timeline, and desired market, you will want to create custom fields.

And lastly, create a Web to Lead form so people can share their information with you from your website and be added as a lead to Insightly automatically.

 

2. Customize Contacts for managing your clients and business contacts

Being able to segment your Contacts by type (buyer, seller, agent, property manager, etc) is as simple as creating a multi-select dropdown field.

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Deciding what other custom fields to add to your Contacts starts with defining what details you need to know at a glance, what information you want to segment and filter by, and what reports you want to pull in the future.

Here's a list of other fields to consider: 

  • Source (Dropdown of your marketing channels)
  • Referred by/to (Lookup Relationship to Contact or text field)
  • Agent (Lookup Relationship to Contact) 
  • Buyer profile (Multi-line text or dropdown for predefined options)
  • Contact method: Best Method (Dropdown) & Best Time (Dropdown)
  • Status: Status (Dropdown for active, passive, etc), Timing (Dropdown with timeframes), Motivation (Dropdown with predefined options)

Are there any fields from leads that you want to map to contacts when a lead is converted? Instead of recreating those fields in contacts, clone them from Leads to Contacts and set up Lead Conversion Mapping.

Don't forget to customize your page layout and remove any fields you do not need. The simpler the record, the better!

 

3. Configure Opportunities for managing sales

The Opportunity record should track what a buyer is looking for and links to the listings they are interested in.

We have configured our Opportunity page layout to include fields relating to clients ideal home or rental, their timeline, and budget. That way, we can do a simple search between all open opportunities and bulk link to any matching listings.

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4. Create a Custom Object for your Listing Contracts 

We created a custom object for the listing contracts we receive that contains listing contract details, property specs, and sale information. 

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Under Record Name Field options, we selected a TEXT type so our field label could double as the street address field. Meaning, we will be tracking our listings based on the Street information ('123 Front St. Unit 41'). 

As for the custom fields, we want to track for our Listing Contracts. Here's a list of a few ideas:

  • List Price (Numerical field)
  • List Price Low
  • Street, City, State, Zip, Unit #, County
  • Property Type (Dropdown field for single-family, condo, townhouse, cabin, timeshare, loft, studio, duplex, ranch, etc)
  • Year Built (Text)
  • Beds (Text)
  • Baths (Text)
  • Living Area SqFt (Numeric)
  • Lot Size SqFt (Numeric)
  • HOA (Checkbox y/n)
  • Levels (Dropdown for Multi/Split, One, Two, Three+)
  • Interior Features (Multi-Select Dropdown)
  • Exterior Features (Multi-Select Dropdown)
  • Any other information you currently track for listings

This is what one of our Listing Contract records looks like. We kept the custom fields simple for the sake of example.

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5. Create the custom object that will link Listing Contracts to Opportunities

To link multiple listings to each opportunity, you will need to create a connector between the two records.

It's simple, and easy to use - differing only slightly from the other objects we previously discussed.

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A few things to note about this custom object: 

  • We selected an Auto Number for the Record Name because we want the system to create it for us, rather than requiring our team to enter a value in that field.
  • We unchecked 'Show in Sidebar' because we do not need to see a separate view of these records.

The custom fields for this object are simply capturing the offer information your buyer is making on this listing. We kept ours very simple for the sake of example.

  • Buyer is a Lookup Relationship that links to the Opportunity
  • Listing is a Lookup Relationship that links to the Listing Contract
  • Offer is a Numeric field
  • Terms is a Multi-Line Text

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6. Customizing Events to schedule Tours

By logging an event to your Opportunity, you can schedule a tour that will appear on the Insightly calendar for your whole team to view. 

Add a custom field to the Event so you can link it to the related listing as well.

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Scheduling a tour is simple from the Opportunity's Activity tab.

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6. Create a Custom Object for Properties (if you need it!)

For Properties, you'll want to add fields for the following information as a start:

  • Street, City, State, Zip
  • Property Type (Dropdown for residential, commercial, apartment, single-family home, condo, etc.)
  • Total Units (Numerical field)
  • Building details like Year Built (Text), Total Units (Numerical)
  • Property Manager, Maintenance Manager, or Agent (Lookup field to Contacts)
  • Any other information you currently track for Properties 

  

7. Get organized with custom list views

Now that we've customized our objects to track contact profiles, listing details, and open opportunities, we can import our existing data into the system or just start adding manually. 

Tip

To create an easy import template, simply export from each object and you'll receive via email an excel spreadsheet you can populate and import back in.

Once the data is in the system, create custom lists to sort and segment contacts, opportunities, and listings. 

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