Real estate agents are busy people. Consider all the time you spend prospecting and following up with leads. Then you juggle showings, listing presentations, and closings. On top of all that, you have office meetings and continuing education courses, and let’s not even mention the time you spend driving.
Yet even with so much to do, no agent can afford to neglect their sales pipeline. So how can we make time for everything without making ourselves crazy? That’s simple. We have to work smarter. Today, we’ll explore ways busy real estate agents like you can save time on in building and maintaining their sales pipeline.
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Set Priorities for Your Sales Pipeline
Since you have limited time, you have to prioritize. So how do we decide what tasks are essential tasks to your sales pipeline and what tasks needlessly eat your time? Generally, important tasks contribute to your sales pipeline in one of three ways:
- Create new sales opportunities.
- Keep deals moving towards the closing table.
- Nurture relationships with clients and important partners.
Create Sales Opportunities Through Marketing
A healthy real estate sales pipeline starts with good marketing. You can think of marketing like the pump that pulls customers into your pipeline in the first place. Good marketing builds consumer awareness of your services, communicates your value, and ultimately generates new leads.
As you probably know, this stage of the pipeline can eat up a lot of time. Even the best salesman won’t convert every lead, so you’ll need a large pool of leads to keep the other parts of your pipeline full. Since marketing and prospecting take up so much time, small changes here can free up lots of time.
Keep Deals Moving in the Right Direction
Of course, once you have the lead your work has only just started. At some point, you’ll need to get that lead to commit to buying or selling through you. Then once that contract has been signed you have the walk-throughs, inspections, and all of the other tedious tasks let you get to the closing table.
A snag at this stage can have ripple effects on the rest of your pipeline. After all, you only have so much time in a day. So you need to plan ahead for how you’ll keep deals moving and closing.
Manage and Nurture Relationships
A healthy pipeline also uses past clients and partners to create future opportunities. This requires you to nurture your client relationships through the sale and afterward, too. Satisfied clients can be valuable assets for testimonials and reviews to feed your marketing and build your brand.
As a real estate agent, you need to dedicate time to all three aspects of your sales pipeline to keep leads flowing consistently. You can save significant time right off the bat by learning to say no to activities that do not contribute to your sales pipeline.
Set Up Routines
Once you’ve trimmed the fat from your schedule, you’ll want to make it easy to consistently complete the tasks that build your pipeline. Create regular spaces in your schedule to complete tasks that build up your pipeline. For instance, you might send set aside time each morning to check in with past clients in a quick e-mail to maintain your relationship.
Ideally, you’ll create systems for routines that minimize the time and thought it takes to get started on a task. Going back to our last example, you can make that routine even faster by planning who you’ll e-mail for the next two weeks so that you don’t have to waste time figuring out who to reach out to each day. Perhaps, you have a starter template for your e-mails, so you can worry about making tweaks instead of writing a new e-mail each day.
Software can help you keep track of your routines, too. Most calendar apps allow you to create recurring events that can remind you when it’s time to complete a task. If you need a more robust management system, free tools like Trello and ClickUp allow you to create tasks and enter additional notes and info that you can refer back to later.
As you schedule tasks, also look for groups of similar tasks that can be handled together instead of separately. Experts call this technique “batching.” This trick saves you time by allowing you to put your focus on one thing and reducing the wasted time that comes with starting and stopping tasks.
Responding to comments on Facebook posts offer a perfect opportunity for batching. Instead of responding to individual comments as they come, try responding to all of them at a scheduled time of day. This saves you from having to get your device, log in, and read your notification multiple times during the day.
As a part-time real estate agent, you probably can’t hire a personal assistant, but you can use technology to free up your time. Automation works especially well for time-consuming, low priority tasks such as posting Facebook content. Services like Page Engage save you from having to find and post content on your own by automatically doing it for you.
Contact Junkie can also save you time at the early stages of your pipeline. Since sales conversations often start the same way, you can create premade voicemails, texts, and e-mails with your message, and Contact Junkie automatically will send them to your lead according to the schedule you set until they respond. That way you spend less time on making initial contact.
At the other end of the pipeline, transaction management software like Transactly can streamline the paperwork and scheduling involved in managing offers, contracts, and closings. The free version of Transactly will even generate automated timelines and reminders to keep deals running smoothly.
Delegate Tasks Wisely
Even the best agents have limited time and energy, so you can get more done by sharing the workload. First, you’ll want to outsource tasks that require expertise that you don’t have. Then you should look for ways to delegate time-consuming clerical tasks. That lets you give more personal attention to your clients and the things that set you apart from other agents.
For instance, most agents do not specialize in Facebook ads, but you don’t want to miss the sales opportunities created by Facebook ads either. Even if you take the time to learn Facebook ads, your ads probably won’t perform as well as someone who works with ads daily. So it makes sense to delegate Facebook advertising to pros like TurnKey Suite who will save you time and get better results.
On the other end of the spectrum, calling inspectors and title agencies to keep a deal moving doesn’t require expertise, but it does require lots of time on the phone. Why not hire a Transaction Coordinator to take care of these tedious details? Transactly reports that their Transaction Coordinators save agents 16 hours per transaction which you could spend on other tasks to build up your pipeline.
Create a Plan For How You’ll Save Time
Now that you’ve learned some time-saving strategies for real estate agents, you’ll need to plan how you’ll efficiently build and maintain your sales pipeline. Remember that first and foremost, you should be creating sales opportunities, keeping deals moving, and maintaining relationships with your time. Sure, you’ll still need to attend team meetings and keep up certification, but your pipeline comes first.
Once you decide what needs to be done, you can look for ways to build in efficiency. Small tweaks like batching tasks or delegating responsibilities can save you big time in the long run and improve your quality of life. After all, even though real estate may be your life’s work, you don’t want to spend all of your life working.
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