Building a pipeline to grow your real estate business

One of the most effective ways to grow and maintain your real estate business is by establishing a solid pipeline.

Pretty earth-shattering advice, right? “Build a sales funnel… maintain a sales pipeline… stoke a sales fire…” It may be good advice, but it doesn’t exactly go into detail about how to accomplish the task. Whether you’re a new agent or an established real estate professional, it can be hard to get a real sense of whether you’re doing a good job of creating a pipeline/ funnel/ etc. What exactly does that mean?

It’s no surprise that real estate has some of the longest lead times of any industry. After all, they are generally the biggest transactions people will make in a lifetime. So if you want to generate regular income, you need to have prospects in all stages of the sales process, and you need to regularly touch base to move your leads and prospects to the next step.

That’s where pipeline-building comes in. No matter what you have going on with your current active clients, you have to have a system for reaching out to new prospects and nurturing your existing leads. Real estate postcards are an excellent and easily-automated part of that system, but far from the only option.

One of the most common mistakes made by new real estate professionals is putting all their eggs in one basket. They get a listing agreement signed, or have a client actively looking at houses, and they drop most of their marketing activities in order to focus on the active sale.

That’s a recipe for disaster. For one thing, sales go bad all the time: someone loses their job, financing falls through, the seller accepts a different offer, etc. But more importantly, even if everything goes perfectly, the end result is that the sale closes and you’re done working with that client. So… now what?

If you haven’t been actively working on your pipeline, you’re either starting all over again or trying to rekindle things with hot prospects who’ve now seen you fall off the face of the earth when things get busy. It’s not a great look.

A better bet is to make a plan for real estate marketing that you can do in your sleep (or at least automate so you don’t have to think about it all the time). That might mean a postcard mailing campaign. It might mean scheduling follow-up phone calls with hot prospects on a regular basis. It might mean carrying your real estate business cards with you at all times.

What matters most is not the specifics of how you promote your real estate business – it’s that you do it consistently, day in and day out, without fail.