An active, organized pipeline is crucial for your success as an agent. When you master pipeline management, you can see every deal stage, forecast how likely you are to achieve your goals, focus on the deals that need your attention now and more.
How do you master the real estate pipeline? By learning from the best.
We’ve asked several successful agents how they’re managing a pipeline for maximum returns.
In this article, we’ve converted expert real estate business advice into actionable tips to help you outpace the competition and close more deals.
Will Featherstone, founder of Baltimore-based Featherstone & Co., has helped hundreds of homeowners navigate the home-selling process.
Featherstone realized he was losing thousands of dollars in potential business using a manual workflow (spreadsheets and a DIY pipeline board) to follow leads.
Since implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, Featherstone’s team has consistently ranked first or second in the Maryland/DC region for number of closed deals, volume of real estate transactions and total USD value.
Pipedrive’s lead management and reporting features allow Featherstone to keep track of the team’s number of new leads, tasks due, contact percentage and time to action. Knowing the data behind the team’s actions tells them when they need to double-down on lead generation, when a follow up is due with a prospect, who is closing the most deals the fastest and more.
It also helps Featherstone’s real estate sales team send customized drip email campaigns using email templates.
Featherstone explained that the drip email has made a huge difference to his pipeline, keeping his service in front of the right eyes. In response to his regular automated emails, he often gets replies like, “Will, I’m so glad to hear from you. I’m ready to buy now.”
A significant part of managing a sales pipeline in the real estate business is maintaining the relationship you’ve built with prospects and customers. The goal is to stay in contact, so when they’re ready to buy or sell, you’re the agent they think of.
However, other agents are everywhere: at cocktail parties, at school fundraisers, at the local coffee shop.
The right pipeline management tool with email marketing and Automations capabilities can help you be in more places at once.
Many real estate agents are still using a whiteboard, acrylic board or some other real estate board to move leads along a physical pipeline. In today’s digital age, there are far better customizable options with app integrations to digitally manage your real estate deals.
Try Pipedrive free for 14 days to see how it can help you organize and optimize your real estate deals.
Once you’ve added prospects to your pipeline, lead qualification will help you make the most effective use of your time. Qualifying leads into categories like “hot”, “warm” and “cold” will tell you where to focus your energy.
“Hot” real estate leads are at the bottom of the sales funnel. They know what they want (e.g. a 3-bedroom house on Main Street) and they have the means to get it (e.g. their house is already under offer). Knowing which leads are hot will tell you who to contact directly when their conditions are met.
On the other hand, “cold leads” may take some time to warm up. In this case, social media and an email newsletter showcasing your listings and top real estate tips are great ways to keep up your relationship.
Julian Walker is a director of Spot Blue International Property Ltd. His team uses a CRM sales pipeline to close deals with British investors seeking properties in Spain.
Walker said that using spreadsheets is good in the beginning. However, to build a successful sales pipeline involving input from several different people and sources, you have to upgrade to a CRM tool.
In 2021, homes sold at record-fast speed and sellers typically claimed the full asking price. According to the National Association of Realtors, the housing market expects to slow down (closer to pre-pandemic rates), with expected existing property sales at just below 6 million in the US in 2022.
That’s still a lot of people looking to buy and sell a new home.
To move a small percentage of that pool through your own pipeline (and not lose prospects to other realtors), you’ll need to keep on top of your client communication. One of the most personal ways to do this is by arranging a telephone call.
“My biggest lesson learned is simply making my phone interviews every day in the first hour I’m at the office,” says Bob Gordon, a real estate professional who’s produced more than $35 million in his 20-year career.
It’s not enough, however, just to get on the phone every day.
You have to track your phone call and meeting activity. By logging these details with relevant notes, you can keep on top of everything that’s happened with a client to date. Include key details like what they’re looking for, how they felt about a recent showing, if they’ve changed their minds about the single-car garage, etc.
In Pipedrive’s real estate CRM, you can set up notifications when it’s time to contact a lead. With previously logged call notes, you’ll know exactly where you left off in the conversation last time.
Keep prospects moving toward a closing date by keeping all of their preferences in a single location.
It’s easy to focus on the deals nearest to closing, but you’ll want to keep your eyes on the horizon too.
Say you have four deals likely to close this month. If you focus all of your energy on getting those deals across the line, your next month could look much quieter.
Although sales is exciting, it’s important to continuously add new prospects to your sales funnel through prospecting and real estate marketing.
Set aside time to network, write a real estate blog, share tips in a webinar, etc. Organize and track your efforts, so your campaigns are always relevant and consistent.
Don’t neglect prospecting. Once you start collecting names and contact information, qualify your leads and set up meetings to learn about their needs and goals.
Move prospects along your CRM’s new pipeline by engaging them with fast responses to inquiries and focused meetings with homebuyers and sellers.
To keep your pipeline engaged, Ailion suggests tracking the lead in the sales funnel. Meaningful engagement depends on where the prospect is in the sales process.
You’ll please a client far more by bringing bottom-of-funnel leads updates on their favorite house, while top-of-funnel leads may need questions asked with emailed articles or phone interviews.
To know what’s working, keep tracking results. This dataset will tell you where to focus energy and where to take your foot off the pedal in future.
By taking a disciplined, activities-based approach to your sales pipeline, you’ll have a strong 2022. Stay focused, keep the whole picture in mind, upgrade your real estate sales tech stack and stay in the forefront of your clients’ minds.
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