Whether it’s your time, money, or effort, you want to make sure you’re spending it in the right place. But investing too much in the wrong part of your funnel can be an expensive and exhausting mistake — even if it yields strong results.
That’s the problem with the top of your real estate funnel. You can spend lots of money pouring cold leads into it, only to burn a lot more time, effort and money trying to warm them up. And while a real go-getter agent can certainly build a successful career on that strategy...
Well, let’s just say there’s a better way.
At the bottom of your funnel, you have a fantastic pool of warm leads and hot opportunities that are just waiting to be scooped up. Where do they come from, you ask? Your SOI and past clients, of course!
By focusing on nurturing the people who have already closed a deal (or are in the process of closing one) with you, you can get better results faster and easier. All you have to do is deliver an exceptional client experience, ask for the referral, and watch those bottom of the funnel leads roll in.
Wanna see how it’s done?
Here’s what we’ll cover:
What are real estate funnels?
Stages of a sales funnel for real estate
Why you should focus on the tail-end of your funnel
3 keys to a healthy real estate funnel
Creating unforgettable home buying and selling experiences is at the heart of Preclose GO! — an all-in-one communication platform that makes transactions intuitive and stress-free for agents, teams, brokers and their clients.
What are real estate funnels?
Whether you call it a real estate marketing funnel or sales funnel, it’s all effectively referring to the same thing. Namely, how you bring people from not even knowing who you are to being a satisfied client that sends you amazing referrals on the regular.
At least, that’s the goal. 🎯
A real estate funnel works by giving you a clear vision of each step a prospective customer will take on their journey with you. For example, a website visitor becomes a lead, who then becomes a prospect that you nurture, who eventually becomes a client, which finally leads to a closed transaction.
Let’s look at these stages in a little more depth.
Stages of a Sales Funnel for Real Estate
Stage 1. Awareness. At this stage of the funnel, you’re getting your name out there and building awareness of your brand. People in this stage know you exist and what you do, but they’re not officially in your database yet.
Stage 2. Interest. In the Interest stage, people are engaging with your brand in some way and they’ve raised their hand to getting more information from you. In other words, they’ve filled out a lead form or signed up for a newsletter, and you’ve captured their information in your CRM.
Stage 3. Consideration. Some prospects will jump straight over this stage and into your arms… but not most. Usually, you’ll need to nurture them until they’re ready to buy or sell their home.
Stage 4. Clients. At this point, the prospect is actively working with you to buy or sell a home. But it’s not a done deal until the deal is done.
Stage 5. Closed Deals. Once you’ve gotten your clients through a transaction, you can finally reap the benefits of your hard work.
Close more deals faster, with better technology. Preclose GO! lets you take the home buying and selling process into your own hands — literally — resulting in more closed deals, happier clients and increased referrals.
Here’s why you should focus on the tail-end of your funnel 🔻
You’ll notice in the image above that a real estate funnel is, well, funnel shaped. It’s much bigger at the top than at the bottom. This is because not every person who looks at a listing on your site will ultimately become a client.
But here’s the thing: the funnel doesn’t end when a transaction is closed.
Stage 6. Referrals and Repeat Business. After the deal is done, your past clients become part of your SOI where they can potentially refer new clients or even become repeat customers themselves.
At this sixth stage, however, your funnel shouldn’t be shrinking. In fact, it can continually grow bigger and bigger as you add more past clients to your circle. That means your ‘funnel’ isn’t really just a funnel… it’s more like an hourglass:
Too many brokers and team leaders spend hours upon hours perfecting their lead gen strategies at the top of the funnel. Building more brand awareness, trying new advertising tactics, identifying their best lead sources.
It’s a strategy that can work… but it’s expensive. And that’s usually not where the best ROI is.
The bottom of the funnel is a different story. Not only are past clients and referrals consistently hotter leads, they are also some of the least expensive leads to acquire.
“Referrals cost you nothing — all you have to do is stay connected with the people you know and make sure that you’re top of mind when they or someone they know decide to transact.”
— Bernice Ross, CEO of BrokerageUP!
Top performing agents get it. Among experienced Realtors, repeat clients account for 37% of their business while referrals bring in another 27%. (That’s almost twice the share of repeat and referral business for a typical agent.)
Those numbers don’t come by chance either: 47% of top performers consistently ask for referrals compared with only 26% of non-top performers.
In other words, they make the bottom of their funnel a top priority.
Running a database-driven business
There’s no doubt about it: Wemert Group Realty are experts at marketing and generating leads. Over the last year, they closed through 34 different lead sources.
But as Jenny Wemert and the team have learned, when it comes to the A-level buyers — the hair-on-fire, we’re gonna be homeless tomorrow if we don’t buy a home type — there’s a limit to how many an agent can successfully handle at once.
“They can really only manage 3-4 [A-level clients] at a time, stay focused, hunt for the properties, negotiate, and provide that expert level of service,” Jenny explains.
So while new agents typically get started using the team’s marketing systems and leads, that’s not usually where their focus stays:
“They slowly fill their pipeline and focus on their database and their past clients. After being with us for three years, they should be at 50% repeat/referral business,” she shares.
By staying focused on client relationships — and not diverting agents’ attention away to chase more leads — Jenny and her team of 72 agents are expecting to close 1,000 transaction sides this year.
3 keys to a healthy realestate funnel 🔑
So what can you do to make sure the bottom of your funnel is strong and productive? It’s all about the customer experience — but there are some smart tactics you can apply too. Using these three strategies will help you keep a stream of happy clients (plus their friends and family) flowing through your funnel.
1. Create an exceptional closing experience
As seasoned real estate professionals, it’s easy to take your foot off the gas once a deal is under contract.
But for buyers and sellers, that’s the moment when things get real. For them, it’s unfamiliar territory, and it can be a bit overwhelming.
“Buying or selling a home ranks up there in the top most stressful things people do in a lifetime. Much of that stress comes during the contract-to-close time period of a transaction. One of our jobs as representatives to a buyer or seller is helping to alleviate that stress.”
— Donna Stott, Co-owner of Your Coaching Matters
During a transaction, you have the opportunity to really WOW your clients by providing value and delivering an outstanding experience. By being transparent and proactive, you can empower them with the information they need to feel supported, encouraged, and confident every step of the way.
Tip: Preclose GO! is designed to help real estate professionals deliver that next-level client experience. With open communication and clear visibility into the transaction process, your clients will feel totally secure in your hands.
2. Ask for referrals at the right time
Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the power of referrals. 73% of buyers and 77% of sellers end up working with the first real estate agent they get in contact with. That means you want to be top of mind, every time.
It also means that you’re better off proactively asking for a referral than waiting around for one to come your way.
But did you also know that when it comes to asking for referrals, you can significantly improve your success by asking at the right time? Believe it or not, it’s better to ask for a referral during the transaction than to wait until after closing — and to ask multiple times.
3. Strengthen your post-closing connection
After closing, your clients become part of your sphere of influence and you should continue to nurture your relationships with them. There are lots of great ways you can strengthen connections with past clients:
Follow up 7 days after closing, and again 30 days after closing
Drop by while they’re moving in — and don’t forget a closing gift!
Connect with them on social media and share valuable content
Remember special dates like birthdays, closing anniversaries, etc.
Reach out around the holidays with a seasonal gift or card
Recommend contractors, vendors, and other service providers
Be open to giving free advice about the real estate market
Host a client appreciation event
“It’s the consistent, personal, thoughtful, and careful connection with your client years after the sale that ultimately shows them that you care about the relationship and are worthy of their referral business.”
— Samantha Hancock, Team Leader/Realtor, The Hancock Group
No matter what, the most important thing about post-closing is that it’s not a one-time thing. Showing up consistently is absolutely crucial.