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  • Chelsea Donovan

These 4 Blind Spots Could Be the Reason Your Real Estate Pipeline Is Looking a Little Thin

It’s almost 2021 and the pressure is still real. Between Zillow’s latest news and expert predictions on a K-shaped recovery, real estate brokers and team leaders are still having to come up with new ways to keep their clients happy and their teams fed.

From implementing virtual touring to gamifying the agent onboarding process, if there’s one silver lining to 2020, it’s that we’ve witnessed real estate leaders get more creative than ever in order to make their businesses truly resilient.

But with so many new ideas and “pivots” in the mix, which parts of your business should you prioritize? Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with teams of every size and shape and I’ve noticed a few common mistakes (or blind spots, as I like to call them) that keep pipelines stagnant.

At Preclose, we recently wrote about how most teams still haven’t optimized their contract-to-closing pipeline for ROI, and how to fix that by auditing for CX. In this article, I’ll go a step further to shed some light on the dark spots in your pipeline so you can start capturing more revenue.

#1. Neglecting Your SOI

You knew this one was going to be first on the list, right?

“Work your SOI” is a mantra in this industry. Yet, how many teams are consistently and systematically nurturing their SOIs?

With social media ad costs on the rise and Zillow’s recently stated goal to move “beyond lead generation...toward being a deeper funnel real estate industry partner,” it’s never a bad idea to diversify your paid lead sources.

But be careful. It can be easy to get caught up in the latest lead gen tool or tactic and miss out on profitable, long-game opportunities to transform your current deals under contract into new, low-cost leads in the future. Here are three simple way to capture more referrals and repeat business from your SOI.

  • Do the math and set some clear but measurable goals for SOI referrals and conversions next year.

  • Set up a simple SOI nurture sequence with listing alerts, video emails, and direct mail to trigger on a monthly, quarterly and annual cadence.

  • Don’t assume your SOI won’t refer you.

#2. Forgetting to Ask for Referrals

Think about how many new leads you could generate in a single day, simply by asking everyone in your SOI for one referral.

With referrals, there’s no way to sugarcoat it: If you aren’t asking for the referrals, you are leaving money on the table.

According to NAR’s annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report, 77% of recent sellers contacted only one agent before finding the right agent they worked with to sell their home. Think about what that could mean for the potential conversion rates and the quality of the leads coming in by referral.

Here’s how to run a quick process check on your referral strategy to capture these high ROI leads:

  • Review your referral scripts and run a role-play session with the team so everyone’s 100% comfortable with the pitch.

  • Add (or update) the emails in your post-closing sequence to make sure you’re giving your customers plenty of warning that you are going to ask them for a referral.

  • Use a visual reminder in your office to keep referrals top of mind.

#3. Not Auditing for Customer Experience

If the data is anything to go by, last year home buyers were buying their own homes simply because they wanted to be homeowners. This year, sellers are listing their homes because they want to: move closer to friends and family (15%), their previous home was too small (14%), or they had a change in family situation (12%).

If we’ve learned anything in 2020 is that customer expectations change. You need to be ready to change just as quickly in order to meet their needs.

  • Review and revise your follow up sequences to make sure they’re still timely and relevant.

  • Look for opportunities where you can proactively answer questions, delight the customer with a fun check-in, or otherwise over-deliver on customer experience.

  • Adjust your weekly workflows to include regular checks on your current deals in production (e.g., Every Monday you schedule Home Inspections, every Tuesday you check in on active transactions in progress, etc.).

#4. Lack of Transparency and Accountability

Tracking team performance is tough during the best of times.

There have been mountains of articles written about how real estate team leaders can motivate and hold agents accountable. But how can team leads empower their TCs to perform better?

No matter which way you cut it, your TC’s productivity matters. In the time it takes to close a single transaction file, your agent could have called or connected with 20+ prospects.

Not only that, silos are a time suck you simply can’t afford. Agents shouldn’t have to interrupt their prospecting time to ask your TC to retrieve a file they should already have access to. On the flip side, your TCs don’t want to have to beg agents for information.

  • Add a transaction coordination check-up to your weekly review sessions to find out which files need escalation and which urgent deadlines and milestones are coming up.

  • Ask your TCs to create a simple snapshot report of your files closing and the status of each.

  • Review your plan for collecting reviews, testimonials and referrals.

(If you’re a Preclose user, just ask your TCs to save a Smart Board view that pulls up all the details you need to see in your weekly meetings.)

Get a System that Takes Customer Experience Over the Finish Line (and Back Again)

As we look ahead to 2021, let’s resolve to grow our businesses through better service to both our customers and team members.

If auditing your tech stack is on your list, feel free to check out Preclose GO!. Our easy, chat-like transaction coordination platform integrates with Dotloop to take a flurry of transaction activity right off your agents’ plates. No more “sorry to bother you”. Everyone gets the access they need to get the job done. Check it out for free today!

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