Why do you need a pipeline? A pipeline allows you to get an accurate view of your future income potential and permits you to adjust your activities based on your expected results. Effective pipeline management will provide answers to the following questions:
Do I need to increase my prospecting to reach my goals?
Do I need to budget my income now, because of a few slower months coming up?
Do I need to adjust my advertising and marketing budgets?
Where am I in my business plan right now?
With real estate sales, we are always being driven by performance goals. Unfortunately, many agents tend to hoard leads that clutter up their sales pipelines with marginally motivated prospects at the expense of real opportunities for sales. This makes for an ineffective and hard to manage pipeline.
Effective pipeline management consists of 3 main components:
A proactive prospecting plan
Effective lead follow-up procedures
An accurate tracking system
The first thing you need to do is dismiss the temptation to hoard marginal prospects. Move these to a holding area and maybe give them a courtesy call once a month to follow up. This requires a careful and honest evaluation of prospect motivation on a daily basis which will be easier if you have a good tracking system.
Many agents manage between 100-150 prospects at any given time. If you do not have a good pipeline management system in place, it’s nearly impossible to know where you stand with anyone lead. That’s why it’s so important to add notes to every lead concerning what your next action needs to be. What you will do the next time you contact them and how will you do it. If your notes indicate that a lead is not advancing toward a listing in an expected manner, don’t hesitate to pull it out of the pipeline and move it to the hold file.
Build a daily prospecting and lead follow-up rhythm. Start early, review the information on prospects or follow-ups, get your presentation ready, clear your desk, start dialing. Take a break halfway through to review any objections you encountered and how you successfully or unsuccessfully dealt with them. Adjust your strategy as needed and close the day strong.
Building your pipeline of leads is like buying an annuity. If you continue to invest in your prospecting on a daily basis, you will eventually be able to cash this in with interest (sales). The more time and effort you invest in your prospecting account, the greater will be the accumulated value.
Prospecting is a proactive activity with the sole purpose of keeping your pipeline filled with potential leads. Of course, a pipeline full of leads is of no use unless you are follow-up. Lead follow-up is the key to successful sales. Unfortunately, many agents are guilty of not following up. The reason, most agents don’t want to bother their leads. However, leads will quickly forget about you if you do not consistently contact them. So strong lead follow-up procedures are essential to effect pipeline management.