Build Your Pipeline

Pipelines are one of the most underutilized tools to create a consistent predictable business. Back in 2008 through about 2016, we were in a much more buyer skewed market, which meant that it was much easier to get listings. I remember when I could start a week with no listing appointments and by the end of that week have two to three listings signed just by making calls. Today you really can’t do that. The goalpost has been moved, especially with for-sale-by-owners and expired listings, and the only way that I’m seeing people consistently win in the listings game is through their pipeline. 

In this article, I specifically address the listing side of the pipeline, but this content easily translates to the buyer side. To make this process as successful as possible, there are a few things you’re going to need to nail down.

Define a Lead

If we were at Family Reunion, Mega Camp, or wherever large groups of motivated agents congregate, and asked any number of them what a lead is, we’re going to hear multiple different definitions. The one I would encourage you to adopt has three criteria:

  1. They are going to list their home in the next 6 months.
  2. You have asked them the connecting questions on page 95 of Shift.
  3. You have permission to follow up, meaning that they have stated that they are alright with you contacting them, not that they will reach out to you in the future.

Rate Your Lead

Once a lead is generated it needs to be put into the pipeline and properly rated. When you look at the tags most people use, like A, B, and C. The definitions of these tags typically break down as follows…

A-0-30 days (will sign listing or buyer agreement)

B-31-60 (will sign listing or buyer agreement)

C-60+ days (will sign listing or buyer agreement)

The problem with this method is that those tags are always a moving target. What I want you to do is use a more fixed rating system. Here is how a fixed rating system works.

A-This Month

B-Next Month

C-Two-Six Months

When you rate your leads this way you have real Clarity on who you believe will list this month. 

For more information on database tagging, see our previous article which takes a deeper dive.

Pipeline Predictability

In my years of coaching Mega agents, who are highly skilled and experienced, I have found that however many listings-taken you need for a given month, you need twice that many in your pipeline for that month. So if you want to sell 20 homes in March, you’re going to need 20 seller-A’s in your March pipeline. What happens is your listing goal is met and anyone who calls in or is referred to you and ends up listing that month ends up as icing on the cake.

The idea is that you’re establishing a garden instead of having to be a hunter. Many of you act like hunters, waking up in the morning to grab your spear and head out in search of your next meal. While that’s exciting, it’s a hard way to live day-to-day. The upfront work to set up a garden or a farm is also difficult, but it is much more sustainable and easier to live off of than hunting all the time. Once you get your initial leads nailed for 30, 60, and 90 days your business goes from predictability to sustainability. What people love about the reliable pipeline these methods provide is that it often allows you to maintain a 9-5 schedule without limiting your opportunities. It’s simple, not easy, and yet it’s a lot simpler and reliable than getting up every day and having to hunt. I trust that this was helpful and I can’t wait to see how you use it!