The Real Estate Lead Metadata Specification prescribes
a way to transport lead information from lead
generating websites (such as real-estate search
portals) to downstream consumers (including but not
limited to CRM systems) by transparently embedding it
within human-readable email using HTML
Version 1.0.0 of this specification focuses on the transmission of "new lead" events.
An increasing number of people search for their home online. At some point, the potential homebuyer will contact a real-estate agent through an online form on a website. This could be a real-estate search portal or the agent's website. (The potential homebuyer is now considered a "lead.")
The website sends an email to a real estate agent with the lead's information (e.g. name, email, phone, property address, a brief message, etc.) The receiving agent generally puts this contact information into a database of leads. Historically, this has been a manual process.
Recently, many real estate software tools have created functionality to "parse" lead emails and automatically extract the lead information. This is a difficult and error-prone process for a variety of reasons:
When a software tool cannot properly parse the lead information, everybody loses. The real estate portal appears to be handing out bad leads, the real estate agent loses a potential client, and the potential homebuyer does not get the service he or she needs.
The Real Estate Lead Metadata Specification describes an industry standard approach for portals to communicate lead information with the goal of having 100% accurate transmission of lead details.
The key concept to this specification is the idea of
transmitting lead information through HTML
meta tags. A quick example serves best to
illustrate this concept. An email that contains lead
information should contain header fields as follows:
<!DOCTYPE html ... > <html xmlns= ... > <head> ... <meta name="lead_information_version" content="1.0" /> <meta name="lead_source" content="Realtor.com" /> <meta name="lead_type" content="Buyer" /> <meta name="lead_name" content="John Smith" /> <meta name="lead_email" content="firstname.lastname@example.org" /> <meta name="lead_phone" content="703-555-1212" /> ... </head> <body> ... </body> </html>
|Field Name||Notes||Required||Example Content|
||Version number of the specification.||✓||"1.0"|
||Primary source of the lead. Can be any value, but a search portal or lead vendor should choose a consistent value. If not provided, it is up to the consuming application to choose a sensible default value.||"Realtor.com" "AgentWebsite.com"|
||The type of the lead. Consumer should assume a value of "Buyer" if not provided. Valid values are "Buyer", "Seller", and "Renter".||"Buyer" "Seller" "Renter"|
||The name of the lead.||"John Smith"|
||The email address of the lead.||"email@example.com"|
||The phone number of the lead.||"703-555-1212"|
||The property address about which the lead is inquiring.||"123 Main Street, Alexandria, VA 22314"|
||The MLS number of the property address.||"A5712345"|
||A message from the lead to the agent.||"Hello, I am interested in... I have the following question..."|
|The specification also allows for up to 100 custom fields as follows:|
A custom field, such as
Below is the recommended approach to consume lead information from emails that conform to the Real Estate Lead Metadata Specification.
Note that in practice, some vendors erroneously put
meta tags in the
rather than the
head tag. While this is
not strictly valid HTML, the consuming application
should still account for this case and search for
meta tags anywhere within the HTML
lead_information_versionis equal to
metatags beginning with
lead_. This is the lead information.
Move, Inc. and other companies' products are rapidly adopting the specification:
The Real Estate Lead Metadata Specification is supported by FiveStreet.com, Move, Inc., Realtor.com, and News Corp. The original specification was drafted by Eric Bashkoff in June 2014, with contributions from Rusty Klophaus.