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The simple secret to keep your real estate lead pipeline full

One top team leader's guiding principle for success

There are some power-packed business strategies that can make all the difference in the success of your real estate business, especially when running a productive and profitable real estate team. Here’s one that can be an immediate game changer for keeping your real estate pipeline full!

Whenever the opportunity arises, I ask our industry’s best agents to share a success principle that’s made all the difference when it comes to the productivity of their team. 

One of the best I’ve heard came from Team Leader Greg Chaplain of The Real Estate Home Team at The Real Estate Group LLC in Virginia. His response came with lightning speed. “That’s easy, we’re never in the quarter we’re in. We stay focused on being physically in this quarter and mentally in the next!”

I’ve never forgotten this succinct and simple path to success. It’s a business principle that alludes many agents. Because it does, their stage is set for the crisis mode of managing their business.

Folklore says it was Einstein who quoted, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough.” I think that sums it up for Greg. He has a tried-and-true formula for success and knows how to replicate it, creating a team culture that delivers major levels of production year after year.

Greg continued sharing his wisdom by formulating the image of a surfer physically positioned on the top of one wave, while mentally locked on the approaching wave. I could see the picture in my own mind. Here sits the surfer in full physical control of the wave below while sizing up the incoming opportunity, perfectly positioned and prepared for it when it arrives, partnering with the force of the wave to ride it for all it’s worth at exactly the right time. 

I’ve boiled it down to this — manage to the momentum  

In your present moment, you must ensure that your working clients experience the best we can deliver. But our ultimate goal is not to be wiped out by today’s ground swell while being disconnected from the future that’s incoming. There is a way to plan for both and keep your real estate pipeline full.

This business strategy requires a presence of mind and focus that is impossible to accomplish in the auto-pilot position. 

Your first goal?

Be intensely present and develop a mindful form of competence that cares for the business at hand while doing all that’s necessary to position yourself for future opportunities. And be assured, the opportunities continue to roll in for those prepared as markets across the country continue to perform at record levels. 

Yes, there are some markets that may feel more like a six-foot wave than a 10-foot wave at the moment, but really?  Decide now to size up whatever’s incoming and mentally engage, or risk missing it all together. 

No agent wants to see their competitor shoot past them on the crest of the incoming market and riding the ground swell they just missed! Even worse, that same wave you encountered unprepared can knock you off center and create chaos in your present reality. 

From theory to practical application

How do we turn this theory into practical application, a strategy that should be a non-negotiable business planning strategy in any team or agent’s business plan? I encourage each team leader to maintain a Hot Leads List, regardless of which sophisticated lead management system they may be using. 

This list projects the 30-, 60- and 90 -day time frames for any ready and willing buyer or seller to enter escrow or pending status. If the lead management system you’re using allows you to apply this criteria or create a search parameter, do it today. 

A fine point — existing listings should always be on the hot leads list as no one earns any income until the listing sells. And, in today’s fast-moving markets, listing inventory that need more than 30-60-90 days to enter escrow can turn into a substantial distraction and an emotional drain rather than a major opportunity. 

It also may indicate a weakness in the agent’s pricing competence or ability to control the seller’s expectations. Experienced listing agents know that overpricing a listing is possible in a fast-moving market if the seller and/or agent becomes too confident in the market’s capacity to sell at any price or any condition.

If you’re the team leader or manager, requiring each individual team member to assess their business leads gives the team leader a quick litmus test for measuring just how healthy each team associate’s and the team’s collective wave of business is that is approaching. This will keep the momentum going and keep the real estate pipeline full.

It’s easy for a team to get lost in a sea of leads and develop a false sense of security that a quantity of leads indicates the quality and momentum of approaching business.  

Track everything

If you lack a formal tracking product, a simple shared Google document between the team leader and each team associate can do the trick. Make sure your first column allows for the date of entry. 

As a team leader, wouldn’t you like to see when the last date was that a team associate created a quality lead? Isn’t that a much better metric for measuring  and projecting their success than to develop a false send of confidence in how many leads you pushed their way or how many they chose to cherry pick or reject?  

This also serves as a strategy for separating the team associates who can and will convert from the impostors. If every team member is provided the same opportunities and benefits from the same lead sources, wouldn’t it become obvious that one agent tends to work and convert leads much quicker than the rest? 

Use your best to set the standard for the rest

One of my favorite management mentors always told me, “Fire one to save two.” At the very least, use your best to set the standard for the rest. Determining whether you let numbers and lead pools OR productivity define your team culture depends on you, and this shift in thinking can help you choose the right measure. 

Turn off the auto-pilot button and become mindfully present of the next surge of business coming your way. Be physically in this quarter and mentally in the next, then replicate the process over and over as each new quarter heads your way. 

This will also answer the debate over the best time to begin business planning for any upcoming year. If you physically enter into the last quarter of any year, but are supposed to be mentally prepared for the first quarter of the upcoming year, how can you do that with no defined goals or plan in place? 

This practice makes it impossible to wait until January to create your goals, strategies and business plan for that year, making it appropriate to finish you 2022 business by no later than mid-November.    

Pamela Ermen is president of Real Estate Guidance Inc., and vice president of Team Dynamics Division for Corcoran Global Living.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of RealTrends’ editorial department and its owners.

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Pamela Ermen at

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