Every modern real estate agent needs a good sales funnel. A real estate sales funnel describes the process of bringing in leads, turning leads to prospects, and remarketing to previous customers.
But being a real estate agent doesn’t mean that you’re great at digital marketing.
If you’re building a real estate business, you need to learn a lot about real estate marketing — and that includes working with a real estate CRM and social media for lead generation.
What Exactly is a Real Estate Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is the process of converting someone who has never heard of your brand to a client. In real estate, it’s absolutely critical to communicate and connect with as many people as possible.
In a given population (for example, 1,000 people), there aren’t a lot of people buying or selling a home (perhaps just a handful). So, you need to be able to connect with those 1,000 people if you’re going to make the most out of your marketing.
But many real estate professionals aren’t very good at developing their marketing strategies today.
Decades ago, real estate professionals had a very simple real estate funnel. They talked to family and friends until someone was interested in selling or buying a house. And then they just landed a real estate sale.
It’s very different now. When the internet became popular, more people started looking for a real estate agent now. So, real estate agents developed websites.
And that worked great. A real estate lead would come right to you.
And because of that, it’s become even more important to create a sales funnel.
Without a good real estate funnel, you might be able to bring in traffic, but you won’t be able to actually secure those leads.
So, let’s take a look at what a sales funnel looks like, how to build your sales funnel, and how a real estate sales funnel operates.
How Does a Real Estate CRM Work?
A real estate customer relationship management (CRM) suite is a piece of software that’s specifically designed to help you with your sales management and customer relationships.
Salesforce is one of the most popular solutions, both for real estate marketing and general marketing.
If you want to develop a real estate funnel, having a real estate CRM is important. A Realtor has to be able to determine their qualified leads, see where their leads are in the marketing funnel, and track their customer interactions.
The real estate industry is a bit unusual when it comes to marketing.
In the real estate industry, you will find that you interact with a potential customer very frequently before they commit.
And you might talk to 20 people before you find a prospective client.
This makes your sales funnel even more important — and your CRM software can’t do everything. Your CRM tool won’t create your funnel for you.
Awareness: Building Traffic and Gaining Leads
Online, you might have 10,000 visitors before you even get a potential client. Being a Realtor today means collecting as many leads as possible. The real estate market is competitive.
As a Realtor, there are some things you can think about:
You can try to just build your leads. You can focus your marketing efforts on building a huge online following. Or, you can use SEO to corner the real estate sector in your area. And then, you can work on improving your conversion rate.
Alternatively, you can try to build qualified leads specifically. You can focus on sending out personalized emails. You can look for a buyer or a seller who is very likely to commit.
Either way, you will likely spend the same amount of time prospecting. It’s either about generating a large volume of leads or vetting your leads better. It depends on the type of marketing strategy you desire.
Today, Realtors develop their traffic in multiple ways.
If you want website visitors, you focus on content marketing. Content marketing drives brand awareness, bringing people in who are interested in your products and services.
If you want to build your social media, you’ll most frequently interact with people who follow you. Every follower could be a new lead.
It’s always best to do both, in addition to passing out cards, flyers, and mailers in real life. A potential lead can come from anywhere.
Leads: Converting Traffic Into Prospects
Once you have the traffic, you need to convert them into prospects. That means you need to get them to interact with you. In real estate, as in other sectors, the more they interact with you, the more likely they are to commit.
Forms of interaction at this point include joining a mailing list, emailing for more information, following on social media, or calling you.
You need to prompt your leads to engage with you. On every blog post, have a call to action that tells them to connect with you or follow your social media. On every ad, have them linked to your website or landing page.
You’re still at the top of the funnel. Your leads are there, but they haven’t engaged, so you aren’t tracking them in your CRM. Your goal is to get their contact information and find out what they need.
On Facebook, you might have them follow you, like something, or send you a message. On your website, you might have them fill out a contact form. Whether you’re running a paid Facebook ad or optimizing your website, you always want there to be a call to action.
Prospects: Moving Through The Sales Process
Once you’ve connected with people, you need to move them through the sales process. They may have connected with you, but they aren’t your client yet. You want to make sure they move through the sales process.
Think about someone selling a house.
They will first start looking into what renovations they need. They will explore how much their home is selling for. Finally, they might connect with you. But the process could take months.
Now, consider someone buying a house.
They’ll look into credit and finance requirements. They might get prequalified. They’ll start looking for properties on their own. And then eventually they might connect with you.
So, in real estate marketing, the prospecting process is pretty lengthy. You need to spend a lot of time on lead generation and lead conversion. You should be sending out constant emails and messages just in case a prospect is ready to commit.
Customers: Selling, Upselling, and Reselling
At this point, you’ve connected with a buyer or seller lead. What’s next?
In the sales funnel, this part of the process is selling, upselling, or reselling to a prospective buyer or seller.
For a Realtor, you want to make sure your customer commits to working with you. And because you have some fiduciary responsibility, you actually aren’t trying to “upsell” them on a home if they’re trying to buy; you want them to get what they want.
But a Realtor can ethically “upsell” attached services. For sellers, for instance, you might have home staging services or photography or videography services.
You should have a pitch for all of this, as it makes it easier to sell your services reliably.
And it does depend on what type of service you’re selling. If you work primarily with a real estate investor, for instance, the services you provide will be different than if you’re primarily a listing agent. Take the time to think about the services you want to sell and what more you can potentially offer.
Clients: Remarketing to Your Customer Base
As your career progresses, you’re also going to find that your former clients become important.
Most people aren’t going to buy a home every year. But there’s always the odd real estate investor who does want to buy rental properties. If you don’t make it a habit to connect with your past clients, you won’t know.
Send some emails to a past client, and you might find out that they know a home buyer or home seller you should connect with. Maintain those connections, and they’ll connect with you the next time they need to buy or sell.
Remarketing is how you forge meaningful connections and longer-lasting relationships. The more you connect with former clients, the better it is for you.
And it’s less expensive to perform lead retention than it is lead generation. It’s easier to secure leads when you’ve already worked with someone rather than connecting with strangers.
Examining the Real Estate Sales Funnel
Sometimes the easiest way to understand the real estate sales funnel is to walk through it.
Let’s take a look at how a sales funnel usually works.
Through SEO and social media, you get 10,000 visitors every month. These visitors are on your landing page, your blog, and your social media. They have connected with your brand, but they aren’t necessarily ready to commit. They may have followed a Facebook ad or Google ad, or they may just have heard about you from a friend.
Of those 10,000 people, 200 become prospects every month. That means they send you an email, send you a message, or otherwise connect with you directly. They have engaged with you. At this point, they get included in your Salesforce (or other CRM) program. You have, at minimum, an email address, name, or social media account.
Of those 200 prospects, eight of them become customers. They decide to work with you and actively engage. And of those eight customers, you actually manage to sell three houses that month. That’s your performance that month, but some of your customers might find houses next month, some of those prospects might become customers, and some of that traffic might become leads.
Now you can see that these individuals are definitely flowing through a funnel. At the top, you’ve got 10,000 people. At the bottom, you’ve got just three a month. But three a month is more than enough to make a great living as a real estate agent. You do need to understand that you’re not going to secure all those leads and that it’s a matter of numbers.
And every part of that sales funnel is critically important to ensure that your funnel works correctly. If you, for instance, had only gotten 100 prospects out of those 10,000 people, you may have ended up with four customers and may have only sold a single house. All your decisions compound exponentially.
FAQs on Real Estate Sales Funnel
Are there tools to help you with the real estate sales funnel?
A ClickFunnels account and a multitude of Salesforce plugins can be used to help you with your real estate funnel. WordPress also comes with real estate funnel tracking software.
What if your real estate sales funnel isn’t working?
If your sales funnel isn’t capturing leads, you need to work to increase your leads, increase your conversion, or both of them. You may need to build your brand awareness or look at why leads aren’t converting.
What’s the difference between a real estate funnel and a regular funnel?
Real estate requires much higher levels of commitment. Compared to eCommerce, a real estate company is going to need to court leads much more. So, your conversion rates aren’t going to be high, but you don’t need them to be. A single potential buyer or a single listing can make your month.
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