Yesterday I wrote a blog about “sales attitude.” In writing that piece, I suddenly realized the sales leads for real estate actually flow through five different sales pipelines. Also, the sales leads demands and time requirements on us as Realtors vary for each sales pipeline as well.
#1 - In escrow
#2 - Pending offers
#3 - Prequalified and actively looking
#4 - New to search process; just beginning the search (not prequalified)
#5 - Just looking, possibly buying in the future
#1 - In Escrow
As the old saying goes, “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.” In real estate this means, until Close of Escrow and recording of the deed, you truly can’t count your commission dollars.
With this realization, this is why the first pipeline is “In Escrow.” Here you may have to invest extra time to ensure the transaction closes on time. The timeline for this is two (2) weeks for vacant land to 45-60 days for residential property depending upon the loan vehicle and the appraisers’ inspection reports.
Recently I am working with one residential transaction which has had me drive out to the property now seven times. This property is 40 minutes away. Now some may think this is excessive. I would encourage anyone who had this thought to read the Code of Ethics, Article 1 “protect and promote” your clients.
#2 - Pending Offers
Then there are pending offers in the sales pipeline. Here you may have already done some pre-due diligence. For me as mostly a buyer’s agent that means possibly revisiting the property with the buyer; constructing market comparables analysis to ensure the most reasonable offer or listing price; requesting flood plain reports; downloading all attachments in the MLS if any; and reviewing those attachments. This pipeline has a time frame of 24 hours to maybe five days.
#3 - Prequalified and Actively Looking
Next comes prequalified and actively looking for a property. Here again time is invested in keeping an eye for properties that meet the buyer’s buying parameters and preferences; discussing comparables and other issues; educating when necessary especially for first time home buyers as well as those relocating to this area of northwest Arizona. The timeline for this pipeline varies from one to two days to a year or more.
#4 - New to the Search Process and Not Prequalified
Then there are those buyers who are first time or just looking to relocate. They are knew to the process and may require a lot of hand holding along with answering questions. Here the timeline may be short such as a couple of days to several months or longer.
#5 - Just Looking Possibly Buying in the Future
Finally, you have those who are “just looking.” These may be dreamers or long-term planners. Keeping in touch with them is essential. Again, the timeframe for these sales leads is probably six months to a year or more.
Yes, the sales pipeline for those real estate sales leads is somewhat different and does require more time. Therefore, real estate is truly not a part time business. Between each of these pipelines your weekly work hours could range from 25 to 50 or even more.
However, by breaking down your sales pipeline into these five separate entities and consistently tracking the flow of these sales leads will keep you from cofusing motion with sales progress and activity with sales results.
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