How to manage your deal pipeline better: Five essential tips for real estate agents

15th September 2019
Article from Freshworks

Real estate is like any other business but there’s one key difference: while most businesses thrive on repeat customers, in real estate it is usually a single-deal affair for a given customer. Which is why, as an agent, you need to always be on the look-out for new leads, because repeat business is not easy to come by. Needless to say, this makes things harder for you as a real estate agent. 
So, what is the way out? And what makes it possible for the top-performing real estate agents to hit their pipeline numbers every single month? 

60 mins. 
Do you know that your prospects are 7 times more likely to qualify if you get in touch with them within the first 60 minutes of them contacting you?

If you think that’s tough, read on. If you are one of those who take a day or more to get back to your prospects, you are 60 times less likely to hit your numbers because you are losing out to the competition. The real estate agent who is your competition is gobbling these leads up.

The star performers in the real estate business ace one simple habit: they effectively maintain their pipeline on a DAILY basis.

Take your sales pipeline, for example. We all tend to take a look at pipeline information rarely. Have you ever thought to yourself how responding to calls promptly can impact it?  here are some tips and tricks you can follow to manage your pipeline better and eventually attract more leads and boost your business.

"Do you know that your prospects are 7 times more likely to qualify if you get in touch with them within the first 60 minutes of them contacting you"

1) Qualify your prospects better

Lots of leads flow into your pipeline on a daily basis, and you cannot predict which will convert and which will not. Did you know that 80% of the new prospects that you acquire will never translate into a sale? Yes, that’s true.

So how do you identify the 20% of your potential clients? 
To start off, ask yourself some questions like:

-Is the lead looking at other properties?
-How interested are they in my listings compared to the others?
-Are they just a casual prospect or will they buy a property in the next six to 12 months?

These questions help you identify prospects who are likely to convert and vice-versa. Also, having poor-quality prospects in your pipeline will clog it up, thereby preventing you from focusing on the ones that really matter. So, it helps to have a filtered pipeline consisting of  prospects that you reasonably believe will convert.

For a well-filtered pipeline, you can track the prospects’ engagement with your company via three primary things: their website activity, the emails they exchanged with you or your organisation, and a lead-scoring model.

Good CRM software like freshsales comes with a website tracking tool and a scoring model that assigns a numerical value to your leads. Also, with a scoring model, you can determine how engaged your prospects are with your company through email and website activity. You can assign ranges to these scores and categorise leads into cold, warm, or hot and pursue or discard them accordingly.

2) In-person meetings work better than phone or email

In a world where trust between an individual and organisations or even governments is on the decline, gaining the trust of your prospects or clients is tough. Why should they trust you when they see a trust deficit around them? In this backdrop, how do you bring value, earn credibility and build a long-lasting relationship with them?

One way to establish rapport—and subsequently, trust—is to have in-person meetings with your client whenever possible. Human beings still value seeing someone face-to-face much more than interacting on the phone or via email. Such meetings lay the groundwork for a solid relationship—with the rub-off being that your clients begin to see you as an agent who truly understands them and their needs.

As such, it is crucial that you don’t miss out on in-person meetings with your clients. You can avoid this by adding your scheduled meetings to your Google Calendar so that you get timely reminders. Another way is by syncing your Google Calendar to a CRM—which helps you not only to have all your client information at your fingertips but also to set appointments and even log your meetings.

3) Not every deal is made the same

There can be a lot of deals in your pipeline, but which ones you focus on matters. The best real estate companies concentrate on the best leads—that is, leads that are of high value and are sales-ready. It is very important that you don’t get distracted with stagnant deals that will not contribute to you or your business. To start with —and this is important—you can rank your deals from high value to low value. This sets your priorities right and enables you to pursue the best ones.

Do you feel you end up spending a lot of time on deals that eventually do not convert?  High-performing real estate agents have mastered the art of focusing on deals that have higher chances to convert. Most use a CRM.

Leads are generally not of value for your company when they tell you they are not interested, when they cannot be reached, or if you’ve spoken to them but they’re still not progressing through to the next stage. Here, lead scoring essentially helps you segment the good leads from the rest.

4) Nurture existing clients

Once you make a sale, your work is not done. You need to keep your clients engaged with new listings and make them keep coming back to your website. How do you do this? One word: nurture.
You should create newsletters and emails to send to your clients on a regular basis, and at the same time, ensure they are relevant. You should segment your clients based on their requirements. 

Ask yourself some questions like these:
-Is my client looking for a residential property?
-Is my client a new buyer or a repeat customer?
-What is the price range of the property my client is looking for?

This means being ready to send brochures, flyers, property plans, and more, whenever required. Also, running regular sales campaigns—bulk emails designed and targeted for a specific set of people—using CRM software lets them know that you haven’t forgotten them.

5) If you’re just starting out, the best thing to do is call everyone you know

As a new real estate agent, getting hot new leads does not happen quickly. You need to lay some groundwork before you set out in acquiring leads. There’s no better way to kickstart this than calling everybody you know! Why? Think about it: people you know are the ones you can easily establish a relationship with and this increases your chances of completing a transaction.

You can start with people you know, like friends or family, because they are the ones who will trust you more than, say, a new person. They will trust you as a person, but as a real estate agent, that needs some time and work. So, it is important that you don’t push them in trying to gain quick results; instead, engage with them to understand their needs and gradually win them over. 

Final notes

There are some wonderful tools to make your job much easier. CRM is one such tool. Are you aware that CRM applications increase revenue by 41%, help improve lead conversion rates by 300%, and decrease sales and marketing costs by 23%?

Adopting a CRM solution empowers real estate agents like you to focus on sales above everything else. It helps most agents with tasks such as marketing, customer service, automation of repetitive tasks, and much more. 

Remember, star performance becomes second nature for those who use a CRM solution to its full potential.