Master Your Contract-to-Closing Pipeline: 5 Must-Know Tips to Keep the Closings Coming
Any team lead will tell you that regularly reviewing your real estate sales pipeline is crucial to your success. So why do so many team leaders and brokers seem to take a reactive approach when a deal is under contract?
Rather than consistently checking in with the deals under contract, and creating a system to manage them, they become preoccupied with generating new leads and nurturing existing prospects, only to waste precious time and resources putting out fires during the final stages of a transaction.
It’s a big mistake and one that can cost thousands of dollars in missed opportunities and repeat business if a weekly under contract pipeline meeting isn't in place. Here are a few actionable steps to make sure you get more leads out of your existing real estate pipeline, even after a deal goes under contract.
Why It’s Important to Monitor Your Agents’ Closing Pipelines
Success in real estate is all about closing deals, but with so many moving parts in the transaction coordination process, the last thing you want is for your agents or TCs to drop the ball at the eleventh hour.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Without a regular closing pipeline review (also called under contract pipeline meeting), you expose your team to the following risks:
Lost deals - One major mistake is assuming your TC has everything under control when in reality, a deal could be on the verge of falling apart.
Wasted time - Constantly having to step in and problem solve because issues weren’t identified and managed early on.
Low team performance - With no real insights on your agents’ and transaction coordinators’ goals and performance, it’s impossible to coach.
Poor market reputation - There’s a whole lot that goes into generating and nurturing a single buyer lead. If your agents let your customers down after they’ve pitched them for months, this can feel like a bait-and-switch for the home buyer and can put your entire brand at risk.
Whether you're a brand new team lead or an experienced broker with decades in the game, there are some essential tips that can help you get the best out of your closing pipeline review meetings and position your agents and TC team for long-term success.
5 Tips for Running Your Closing Pipeline Meetings Like a Boss
Now that you know what’s at risk, let's take a closer look at how to make the most out of every closing pipeline review.
#1. Give every Transaction Coordinator a voice
Every time you sit down with your team to review the closing pipeline, remember that every individual on the team should have the opportunity to speak, share challenges, receive feedback, and get support.
While it's crucial to allow your TCs to discuss their wins and challenges, watch out for team members who hug the microphone. To make sure everyone gets the answers they need, schedule a weekly recurring meeting, then break it into blocks of time focused on different areas.
To make the most of everyone’s time, ask your TCs to come prepared with a summary of every transaction in the pipeline.
The closing pipeline summary should include:
The list of files closing that week and the status of each (preferably digital)
The list of files closing over the next two weeks and the status of each
Files that need attention or escalation (trust us, you don't want to find out that a client is threatening to pull out of a deal due to a bad home inspection on day 27!)
Any relevant follow up on the action items of the previous review meeting
Specific questions or requests for support
As team leader, be prepared to come to the meeting with your problem-solving hat on. It’s always better to work through challenges proactively, rather than find yourself in a difficult (and costly!) situation later.
Look for technology that allows you to review the closing pipeline summary digitally before you head into the meeting.
#2. Celebrate wins as a team
Your TC is your quarterback, and you should celebrate every touchdown.
Remember, transaction coordination can be a demanding role. But recognizing your TC’s successes is a great way to keep them motivated.
Be ready to give shout outs for:
Any recent files that your TC has closed
An important shift or change in activity or behavior
Any improvements in the number of files closed, daily actions tracked, etc. since the last review meeting
The main aim here is positive reinforcement following a desired behavior, which just makes it that much more likely that the behavior will happen again in the future, turning mundane pipeline meetings into a virtuous cycle that brings you more repeat business and referrals.
#3. Look out for impromptu coaching opportunities
The contract-to-closing pipeline review is also a great opportunity for identifying areas to strengthen your training resources or provide additional support to your TCs.
Some great questions to kickstart this process are:
What can we do to ensure this type of situation doesn’t happen again?
What can we do to make your life easier?
Are you block-and-tackling your time?
TC Pro Tip: Embrace the block-and-tackle. This is a time management process that helps your TCs close more files in less time. Simply break your project into manageable chunks, block off time to work on each piece, then tackle it with single-minded focus — no distractions!
#4. End with exact action items
Just as you want to start each meeting with a clear agenda, it's equally important that each closing pipeline review ends with a concise list of action items for your agents and TCs.
Action items should cover:
The next steps on each file
Any proposed solution to challenges and the individual(s) responsible
Specific timelines for upcoming milestones
Must-dos before the next meeting
#5. Encourage a sense of urgency
Today’s consumers expect responsiveness. Don’t wait for the meeting to end before solving an issue that requires urgent attention – act immediately.
If necessary, the TC involved can be excused temporarily to go do what needs to be done, and return to the closing pipeline review with an update on what they’re doing to ensure a smooth path to a successful closing.
Want to follow a Closing Pipeline Meeting Agenda?
Share this with your team and you'll notice a difference in moral and productivity immediately.
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