A real estate sales funnel is the path a buyer takes from when they first encounter your brand to when they convert into a sale. To set up a sales funnel that converts prospects into buyers—ultimately raising profits—agents need to define their audience, track leads with a CRM, and launch targeted marketing and advertising campaigns.
1. Define Your Target Market Audience
Knowing your market audience is key to creating a custom real estate sales funnel that converts the greatest number of potential buyers to leads. To do so, determine a target location, create a customer profile, and define your specialty.
Here are the ways to define your target market audience:
Decide on a Target Location
A target location is important to funnel creation because real estate sales are dependent on an agent being familiar with the buyers and characteristics of a specific area. You should be aware, as you set up your real estate sales funnel, that you may have multiple target locations by ZIP, city, or neighborhood. Pick the ones with which you are most familiar to help ensure higher conversions.
Create Your Customer Profile
A customer profile should include primary demographic information about potential buyers, including age, income, marital status, interests, habits, purchase behavior, and other factors. Your primary buyer might be young married couples with small children on a restricted budget, and your secondary buyer might be an older couple seeking a vacation home. Knowing these factors helps you determine what you incorporate into your funnel.
A Google search or chat with your local Chamber of Commerce representative should help you get insight into your buyers’ markets. You can also learn about the best ways to create a customer profile on our website.
Focus on Your Niche
Your sales funnel should represent your niche. Your niche is the type of property, demographic, or subset of real estate you want to handle for buyers. If you handle commercial or investment properties, for example, then your real estate sales funnel should be customized to address this type of buyer. Choose the one that best fits your experience, credentials, and interest.
2. Pick a Real Estate Sales Funnel CRM
A CRM is a customer relationship manager that helps you track and engage clients with automated emails or text marketing messages from the moment of initial contact through the final sale. The right CRM can take some of the heavy communications lifting off your hands with automation tools that nurture leads through the sales funnel, saving you time and money. Pick one that fits within your budget while also providing the functionality you need.
Here are five real estate CRMs to get you started in your search:
Real Geeks is a full-service CRM and lead generation system that allows real estate agents to set up a website and automated marketing and communications tools to keep leads engaged in the buying process for $199 per month. Real Geeks will also handle Facebook and Google AdWords for agents who are too busy to manage their marketing efforts manually.
BoldLeads only allows one agent per ZIP code, so their lead generation advertising efforts through Facebook ads and Google AdWords are focused around making one agent the online star for a local area for $289 per month. BoldLeads sends interested traffic to your landing pages via ads that offer free tools and resources (known as lead magnets).
Zillow Premier Agent (ZPA)
ZPA gives the agent a free agent profile, CRM, and IDX website. This option is best for agents who want to advertise through Zillow.com to get leads and manage their website and profile in the same location. Zillow leads can cost between $20 and $60 per lead depending on agent competition and location.
Placester is for agents and brokers seeking an affordable CRM with integrated IDX website and blog. Placester offers a NAR discount for members and costs $99 per month. Brokers can upgrade their package to $199 per month to include lead distribution, a team dashboard, and shared reporting features.
LionDesk is for the agent or team that is interested in using advanced technology like video emails and video texts to amp up buyer engagement in their real estate sales funnel. With an app-accessible CRM designed for the on-the-go agent, LionDesk is ready with auto-responders, email drip marketing campaigns, and text-to-sell options to help enhance and track leads throughout the funnel.
While all CRMs include features that help you organize contacts and keep track of deals in progress, some CRMs are better for specific sales funnel strategies than others. Take our quiz to determine which highly-rated CRM’s functionality is best for achieving your real estate goals.
Which Real Estate Lead Generation Software Is Right For You?
3. Design Lead Capture Magnets
Lead capture magnets are free offers, tools, or resources that draw buyers into a funnel via ads. In exchange for receiving these free offers, they share their contact information, which is then entered into a CRM for lead nurturing. Lead capture magnets are typically placed on landing pages, but can be added throughout the funnel to continue engagement. Popular real estate lead magnets include sales reports, buying guides, and property valuation tools.
Prepare your lead capture magnet early because a buyer or seller will not wait days while you get your offer ready to send; as soon as a buyer clicks on an ad and submits their contact information, they should receive their lead magnet. Once you get your lead magnet right, remember to check it over every few weeks to update the information. Lead capture magnets are not evergreen, so you have to make sure that the data stays current.
Here are three common types of lead magnets real estate agents use for sales funnels:
- Market report: A market report might include a discussion about local businesses or schools, recent property purchase prices, or the most important features in homes for the area. Sometimes, these reports compare national averages against local averages to give a better picture of the buyer’s market or include a comprehensive competitive market analysis.
- Foreclosed and investment properties: Many agents and teams focus on setting up their real estate sales funnel for people searching for foreclosures or investment properties, so this type of lead magnet needs to be about local property deals with a possible slant toward fixer-uppers.
- Buyer’s guide: This type of lead magnet focuses on helping first-time buyers through the real estate process with a checklist and helpful hints. As first-time buyers are often confused about the roles and steps of buying a home, this is a good way to build trust.
4. Create Landing Pages From Templates
A landing page is a single web page that your traffic is sent to from a dedicated link (most often from an ad). Your landing pages are the welcome mat for your real estate company. Their job is to invite website visitors to leave their contact details via lead capture forms in exchange for lead magnets. Build out your landing pages, being sure to include appropriate design, branding, messaging, and whatever information the buyer needs.
Most landing pages begin as easy-to-edit templates that give agents the power to customize their branding, logo, images, content, and features without knowledge of coding or extensive time trying to “figure it out.” The best real estate CRMs, like LeadPages, include drag-and-drop or click-to-edit boxes that make it quick to customize your landing pages. Learn more landing page builders.
5. Set Up Automated Marketing Tools
Automated marketing tools are designed to save you time interacting with and nurturing leads by creating auto-responders, emails, and text messages triggered automatically by specific actions on your website—as well as periodic newsletters and video messages. It is critical to think about what you want to happen as the result of this engagement and give the recipient clear instructions that move them through the funnel.
Engage Leads With Auto-responder (AR) Emails
Auto-responders are triggered by a certain buyer action in the real estate sales funnel. If a website visitor fills out a lead capture form on a landing page to request a lead magnet or creates a search agent, then the CRM should respond with the message set up by the agent to establish contact—while also providing them with the requested lead magnet.
These are the most common auto-responders that you should set up:
- Welcome and introduction: A welcome or introductory auto-responder is the first time that your lead sees a message from you once they enter into your real estate sales funnel. Be warm and think about ways you can move them to the next step in your funnel, such as inviting them to reach out with questions or browse your website for properties that fit their needs.
- Response to contact: If a lead asks a question or wants to set up an appointment, your AR should be ready to give them a direct phone number or online calendar link.
- Preference and search criteria: When leads change or add a search criterion, an auto-responder might send them a listing of other properties that meet those criteria or offer an appointment to view a property.
- Lead magnet delivery: Lead magnets are a wonderful way to get people into the real estate sales funnel, and an auto-responder (AR) can instantly deliver a requested report or guide directly to their inbox with recommendations and contact information for follow-up.
- Follow-up request: When a lead returns to the website after a few days or weeks, an AR is a good way to welcome them back and remind them of your contact information.
- After sale: The opportunity to interact with a buyer does not end when the keys are handed over. Creating an after-sale AR with links to social media and review sites can help boost your online footprint and generate referral leads.
Capture Attention With Drip Email Marketing Campaigns
Drip email marketing campaigns focus on keeping the leads involved in the buying process by delivering new information they would be interested in. These are not triggered by user action, but are instead scheduled at regular intervals to keep engagement high. Set these up to send weekly (at a minimum), and include content like property listings, information about community events, or educational information about the buying process.
Establish Buyer Expectations With SMS Texts
The ability to send and receive automated SMS texts establishes a communication channel with a potential buyer and answers questions quickly without increasing time commitments for the agent. Simple text responses can set up meetings, mention availability, or send a welcome introductory message to a buyer. Check your CRM to see if you can set up SMS campaigns, and target these to mobile-friendly buyers.
Stay Engaged With Newsletters
Create a newsletter—email or print—to send to potential buyers and sellers. A newsletter delivered to your leads once a month will keep them engaged with your brand until they make a decision. A newsletter can include seasonal information, market data, industry intel, or fun facts to keep people interacting with you. Find out how to create a real estate newsletter in 10 steps and see some examples of successful real estate newsletters.
Move Leads Through the Pipeline With Video
Video is the next big frontier for online marketing. Although a real estate video is great for social media posts, there are so many more ways you can take full advantage of the medium. Videos can showcase your testimonials, feature your properties, and welcome new buyers—all of which can be used in your emails, texts, and auto-responders to make your message unforgettable with a program like BombBomb.
If you are interested in learning about the different types of videos that work for marketing campaigns, then check out our article about the four types of real estate videos every agent should master. You can learn from the pros how to make the perfect real estate video.
6. Update Social Media Channels
Your social media channels are a large part of your online presence, marketing, and lead generation for your real estate sales funnel. You should start to review your social media channels now and create regular posts to give visitors a reason and a way to engage.
Here are four of the most commonly used social media channels to update:
- Facebook: Facebook is the place where most people go to engage and ask for recommendations. A real estate Facebook page that represents your brand should include a recent headshot or logo, a welcoming cover photo, and relevant “about us” information, including phone number, website, awards, and a description about you as an agent or your agency.
- Google My Business (GMB): A thriving Google My Business listing will give you an online presence with good search engine rankings for local results. Update-to-date information should include your website URL, company description, phone number, hours, and responses to any reviews left by past clients.
- LinkedIn: Many real estate agents are found on LinkedIn, either through their personal profile or their company listing. Because LinkedIn is a professional version of Facebook, your profile should include any awards, recognition, or specializations. It’s also possible to secure recommendations on LinkedIn, so be sure to ask happy buyers for endorsements.
- Yelp: Building your online existence on Yelp for Business can help buyers find you and past clients review you. With some recent photos of you and your properties, as well as basic location information like your address or phone number, your Yelp profile will be ready to go.
7. Start Generating Leads With Advertising
Now that your real estate sales funnel is ready to convert your leads with automated engagement and marketing tools, all you need to do is start filling the funnel with prospects. Set up advertising to send traffic to your landing pages to convert to leads; it’s recommended you start with Facebook and Google Ads, then supplement with direct mail.
These are some of the most popular ways to fill real estate sales funnel with advertising:
- Facebook Ads: Facebook Ads are the perfect opportunity to target your audience and reach a local market with targeted ads to drive traffic to a website. If you need help, consider Real Geeks, which offers a Facebook marketing tool and ad management services so agents can pick the option that works best for their skills, time, and budget.
- Google Ads: Google Ads appear in search engine results and are best used to convert buyers who are ready to move to the next stage in the sales funnel. If you find Google AdWords too complicated or time-consuming, BoldLeads can manage your advertising for you.
- Print ads, flyers, and postcards: Print ads might range from placards in shopping carts to property listings in local newspapers. Making sure that your print ads drive traffic to your website is important, and tracking is critical to justifying an expenditure. Check out these real estate postcard templates and examples to get you started.
8. Set Up In-person Meetings
No matter how good your sales funnel and lead generation ideas are at filling the pipeline, you have to be ready to step in and take advantage of new opportunities. This is your time to shine because your CRM has set you up for success with the automated marketing tools you put in place earlier. To make the most of your new leads, set up in-person meetings to show personality, commitment, and investment in potential clients.
Here are some ways guide leads directly through the sales funnel with in-person meetings:
- Appointments: Meeting with potential clients to find out more about their preferences and goals is a vital part of nurturing your leads through the sales funnel.
- Open houses: An open house is an ideal opportunity to move groups of contacts through the pipeline because you are exposed to many leads at once.
- Showing properties: The opportunity to get a buyer on the property increases the chances of making a sale.
- Follow-up communications: You might have to interact through phone calls, emails, or texts to field questions about a property or local area. When possible, encourage in-person meetings as you can easily show potential clients reports while talking about them about their interests and needs.
9. Close the Sale & Refill the Funnel
If you effectively move leads through the sales funnel, you will enjoy several closings. Closing the sale means getting paid, but refilling the funnel translates to consistent paydays. Every month, you should review the results of your advertising campaigns and look for places to improve your lead generation and funnel.
For example, perhaps one of your lead magnets needs to be updated or a landing page needs to be tweaked to increase traffic. Fresh materials can make all of difference in refilling the funnel, even for leads that know your brand already.
10. Request Reviews After Close
One of the last steps to completing the process of your real estate sales funnel is requesting reviews from happy clients. Online reputation management platforms like Yext can give you a high-level view of what people are saying on review sites and an easy way to monitor social media for chatter about you. However, it’s recommended that you reach out to clients personally and request reviews and testimonials; this social proof is invaluable when generating new leads.
4 Pro Tips for Real Estate Sales Funnels
It can be hard to set up and manage a successful real estate sales funnel. With this in mind, we tapped real estate professionals to find out their best tips and tricks for making the most out of your real estate sales funnel.
Here are the top four pro tips about successful sales funnels:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why are real estate sales funnels important?
Real estate sales funnels help agents to attract qualified buyers and nurture those leads over time with automated marketing tools; ultimately, this results in sales. However, it’s critical that every stage of the sales funnel is carefully crafted to fit with an agent’s target market, niche, and location.
How does a real estate funnel increase buyer sales?
A real estate sales funnel keeps buyers engaged in the sales process through regular, automated communications that deliver valuable information and resources. These resources—otherwise known as lead magnets—generate interest until, eventually, the buyer chooses to purchase a home. Without these valuable “freebies,” buyers are less likely to move from interest in a property to an actual purchase.
How often do you need to review your sales funnel?
You should make sure to review the conversion rate and materials in your real estate sales funnel at least once a month. You might need to update materials that are not evergreen or tweak things that are not converting well. Reviews help you optimize your content and stay connected to buyers with material they want to see.
Bottom Line: Real Estate Funnel
An effective real estate sales funnel utilizes ads, landing pages, lead magnets, automated marketing, and lead nurturing to convert potential buyers. Agents must define their target audience, find the right CRM for leads, carefully design their landing pages, create their lead capture magnets, and set up their marketing tools before starting their social media and advertising efforts.