My Pipe Is Clogged and I'm Not Calling a Plumber

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Charlemagne International Properties BRE# 01147470

It required months, no make that years, to fill my pipe, and my team and I will continue to do our best to keep it filled to capacity.  We do not want to see daylight at the opposite end when we check our lead pipeline.  Thanks, but no thanks, Mr. Plumber, we are quite pleased with a steady trickle flowing out the end and into our escrow pool.


It takes a dash of Merlin the Magician, a sprinkle of the Pied Piper and superior service to attract prospective buyers and seller to your pipeline when there are so many pipelines begging to be filled.  Let's face it, it is not difficult to find a real estate agent.  The task is to find an agent offering the caliber of service consumers expect and deserve.  An experience of such high quality they are willing to repeat it over and over.  An experience filled with so many benefits they will re-enter the pipeline time after time.  An experience so valuable they will ask their friends and family to join them in your real estate pipeline.


Pipelines are not filled overnight.  If there's a way to hit a "gusher" and fill it instantaneously please share the secret with me.  There is no "big river" of buyers and sellers.  Instead there are numerous small streams, and the wise agent will fish from many sources.


So what's trickling out the far end of my pipeline recently?  Where did it come from?  When did it enter the pipeline? 

1) Past Client Purchase.  This client was referred to me by a woman who did not list with me (they selected her husband's high school buddy).  I lost the listing, (actually I never had it) but received a fabulous client. We're on transaction number four.  Real Estate Lesson:  Give your best presentation even if you know they are listing with a friend.  People talk and they refer you to friends and family.

2) Move-Up Seller & Buyer:  I met this move-up buyer when he was condo shopping with a family member.  He stayed in my pipeline a very long time (five years).  Over the years I met most of his family and my database now includes a few more names.  Real Estate Lesson:  Consumers will act when they are ready to act, but you can optimize their time in your pipeline.

3)  Past Client Sale:  I met this client years before at my townhouse listing.  She was interviewing agents at open houses.  I went on to list her unit and several years later she popped out of the pipeline when it was time to sell her parent's house.  Real Estate Lesson:  Soon-to-be sellers attend open houses to interview and observe agents.  Yes, you're being watched, so give it your best.

4)  New Addition to the Pipe:  A Colorado resident with dreams of California found my blog and website via a Google search.  He loves his new condo and as soon his computer is up and working he volunteered to post reviews on several sites.  Real Estate Lesson:  Encourage your raving fans to help keep your pipeline full.  It's a big job--welcome help with open arms.

5)  "I read your blog."  How's that for an opening line upon meeting a soon-to-be client? They will soon move into their first home!  Real Estate Lesson:  Business comes from many sources.  The key to keeping your pipeline full is to keep the old, but constantly add new.  The current supply is fluid and must constantly be replenished--people are on the move.  A full pipeline is the goal!

Norma Toering - REMAX Palos VerdesNorma Toering & Team RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
(310) 493-8333 / Office Phone: (310) 831-0800

PalosVerdesLifestyle - Nominated by as one of the top ten Los Angeles area real estate blogs. Chosen by as one of the best Los Angeles realty blogs. Ranked by Technorati in the top 1% of all blogs. As seen in the Daily Breeze newspaper.

South Bay Los Angeles cities I sell real estate, property, houses and homes in: Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Long Beach, Torrance, Lomita, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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Kevin Lynch
Greene Realty - Olympia, WA

nice post - refreshing !

Mar 21, 2011 04:47 AM #1
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Kevin - A full pipeline is nice--tracking how you filled it is very important too.

Mar 21, 2011 04:50 AM #2
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker ABR, GRI

A lot of your post focuses on the past. That's exactly where some of the best business comes from. Too many Realtors that I know of, don't get that!

Mar 21, 2011 04:54 AM #3
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Rob - Most of my business comes from repeat clients.  I "hug" my database/pipeline on a daily basis!  I also blog on a daily basis.

Mar 21, 2011 04:59 AM #4
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Alliance Real Estate - Minot - Minot, ND
Bob Timm, Broker Associate, Alliance Real Estate

Norma, You mention referrals in #1 above from past clients but I'm very happy to say that I'm starting to get a lot of referrals here from AR.

Mar 21, 2011 05:05 AM #5
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Bob -- Me too.  I'm also sending referrals to AR members.  It is another stream of income for sure!

Mar 21, 2011 05:31 AM #6
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


This is a wonderful post, and I love your analogy.  Wishing a stuffed pipeline with a great flow.  Wishccess.ccing you continuous success. A

Mar 21, 2011 09:36 AM #7
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Norma --- love this post --- well presented with lots of great, concise ideas followed by examples.  I think it's a must-read.   It's definitely feature-worthy. 

Mar 21, 2011 07:15 PM #8
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Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.
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