Managing multiple clients at different stages of the sales process has its challenges for even the best salespeople. With traditional B2B sales, marketers tend to focus on the first three phases of the funnel—awareness, interest, and evaluation. But for REALTORS® who work directly with the consumer or client, marketing continues throughout the sales process (and even after) in order to capture much-needed referrals.
Building a marketing plan based on your sales funnel can help you see what’s most effective and identify any gaps.
The 7 Phases of the Sales Funnel
Awareness Phase – The prospect decides they are ready to buy a new home or make a move. Are you posting your listing on just your website and realtor.com? If you are you are missing out on opportunities—and eyeballs. Post to both Trulia and Zillow, as well as any local publications and websites. Make sure you are posting on all of your social media accounts. Email links to prospects in your database.
Interest Phase – The prospect begins researching properties and real estate agents. Do your listings stand out? Are the property descriptions both accurate and enticing? Are your photos professional and detailed? Are you using video and/or virtual tours? Marketing your properties (and yourself ) to best advantage means your lawn sign is clearly visible from the street and your contact info and professional headshot are prominent in all communications.
Evaluation Phase – The prospect interviews multiple candidates. Here’s where marketing your expertise and experience is critical. Your knowledge of the community, ability to negotiate, and history of success should come across in the interview and be presented in a marketing “take-away.” You want to build rapport and be professional—while always remembering it’s not about you. This means being personable, asking the right questions, and listening closely.
Decision Phase – The prospect chooses a REALTOR® and the search for a home begins. Success in this phase is about communication and accessibility. What is the client’s preference for being contacted? How and when can they reach you? Are you noting what they like and don’t like to assist them in narrowing their search?
Purchase Phase – The prospect makes an offer on a home through the real estate agent. The offer is accepted and a closing date is set. Clients can be particularly needy during this phase—they’re taking a big step. Be available for appraisals and inspections of the property. Your negotiating skills should be on display. Clients will make concessions if they understand the reasoning and are comfortable that you’re looking out for their best interests.
Reevaluation Phase – Unlike B2B sales—which involve contracts that need to be renewed—the homebuyer and the REALTOR® part ways after the sale. This is the point for capturing customer feedback and soliciting referrals. It’s also the best time to establish a link going forward. Do you have a blog, newsletter, or post-close email campaign? Be sure to follow-up with a note (maybe a small housewarming gift) once they’re settled, and be sure to recognize the first anniversary of their closing.
Repurchase Phase – While B2B sales involve re-upping a contract, most homeowners tend to move every 7 – 10 years. That doesn’t mean you won’t get repeat business. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, 73% of buyers would use the same agent again.
Be the agent buyers come back to by providing exceptional service at all stages in the sales funnel. Take the time to consider what you offer throughout the process—and what you could be offering to improve the entire home buying experience.