How to Create a Real Estate Sales Funnel From Scratch
Real Estate : 9 min read

How to Create a Real Estate Sales Funnel From Scratch

A traditional sales funnel is actually a bit more of a cycle than an actual funnel.

You attract a lead, nurture them into a prospect, convince them to buy, and hopefully put them right back at the top of the funnel to make another purchase.

Unfortunately, this same process doesn’t apply to the real estate world.

When someone buys properly, they’re not likely to turn around and buy more for years. This means real estate agents can’t rely on repeat customers to increase sales.

There is no ladder back to the top of a real estate sales funnel.

Instead, real estate agents need to keep finding new leads while simultaneously keeping their list of properties organized and up-to-date.

It’s an overwhelming process––especially without an established sales funnel in place.

As a real estate agent, it’s important to have a system laid out that helps you transform leads to clients. With the right sales funnel, you’re able to attract more leads, get them interested in your properties, and ultimately even convince them to purchase a home.

Let’s break down exactly how you can create your real estate sales funnel from scratch.

1. Get your online presence in check.

The internet is usually the first place anyone looks when they’re ready to make a purchase––including a home.

While a client certainly isn’t going to buy a house online, they’re probably going to jump to Google, Trulia or Zillow to see what kind of property they can afford in their area. You want your properties to be a part of this initial research.

If you don’t already have an established online presence, you need to create one ASAP.

When someone is ready to buy, they’re not going to want to work with just anyone. Purchasing a home can be an incredibly intimate experience. After all, they’re making a choice about where they’re going to live.

Buyers are going to want to work with an agent they’re familiar and comfortable with.

Having a strong online presence is one way to build some professionalism and familiarity with clients you haven’t even met yet. If potential buyers are able to learn a bit about you before picking up the phone or sending an email, they might feel more comfortable reaching out.

Using Instagram is a great, underused way for realtors to make a personal connection with future clients.

This realtor uses Instagram to build his presence by providing useful advice for homebuyers. (And sellers!)

This includes creating a professional, user-friendly website, getting active on social media, and ensuring your pages are properly optimized for search engines. You’ll also want to create an email newsletter, take advantage of ads, and even invest in content marketing (but we’ll touch more on this later).

Building your online presence should be an ongoing task, not something you create once and let be. Develop a content plan to keep your website, social media, and newsletter properly updated.

2. Post on third-party real estate websites.

The first place a prospective buyer goes to look for a new home probably isn’t a specific real estate website. To take a look at all of their options, they’re usually going to jump on a third-party site like Zillow or Trulia.

These third-party pages allow buyers to see exactly what is in their area in their price range. It not only gives them a feel for what they can afford, but it also familiarizes them with different realtors or real estate companies in the area.

If you’re not present on these sites, you could be missing a serious number of leads.

Listing your properties on third-party real estate websites can create a second lead-generation source for you––without needing to do any extra marketing. You simply upload images, descriptions, and details, and the website takes care of the rest.

These pages also pull other outside information to share with visitors.

For example, they’ll also pull details about schools in the area, facts about the neighborhood sales prices, and a history of the address’s sales so buyers get a better idea of what to expect when buying.

zillow real estate page example
Zillow showcases facts about home prices and values in the neighborhoods buyers are interested in.

This kind of information is great for educating buyers before they come to you. By the time they reach out to look at a home, they’ll better understand how the house they’re looking at compares to the area––meaning less time educating on your end.

When creating a third-party real estate page, you want to be thorough and completely fill out all the details. Include a complete agent profile, including links back to your website, but don’t assume the visitor will click to your page to learn more.

Instead, treat your third-party pages as if they’re the only content a prospective buyer might engage with before connecting. Don’t risk losing a lead to laziness.

3. Create a landing page––not a property page.

When a prospective buyer comes to your website, they’re going to want to see the properties you have available. Most real estate agents showcase this by creating property pages.

Creating a unique page for each location is a great start. However, a simple web page probably isn’t enough to collect leads. If it isn’t easy for an interested buyer to get in touch, they may never reach out.

Instead, turn your property pages into fully optimized landing pages.

A landing page should go beyond just pictures of the property and a description of the home’s features. It should encourage the prospective buyer to take action and connect.

Redfin does it like this:

redfin real estate landing pages
Redfin uses an on-page scheduler to allow visitors to set up a tour right from the property landing page.

One of the easiest things to add is a contact form for more information. Putting the contact form right on the page makes it simple for the visitor to connect. You can also add click-to-call buttons or an option to schedule a showing right from the landing page.

Your landing page is likely the first connection a lead will have with you. It should be professional, but also warm and inviting. Don’t go overboard with overly formal language.

Once your landing pages are established, upload them to your website.

4. Add opt-ins throughout your website.

A landing page is a great way to collect information about a lead interested in a specific property. However, not every visitor to your website will be ready to schedule a showing––but that doesn’t mean they’re not valuable leads.

To collect their contact information, add different opt-ins throughout your website. One of the best ways to do this is through a popup.

A popup opt-in form typically appears on the home screen, a blog post, or another page of your website after a specific amount of time or when the visitor performs a certain task, such as if they click a certain area or scroll to a certain part of the page.

Other types of opt-ins you may choose to use include inline boxes, floating bars, or sidebar forms. Like this one by Coldwell Banker.

coldwell banker real estate pop-up on website
Coldwell Banker uses a floating bar opt-in form to encourage visitors to connect.

However, regardless of what kind of opt-in you choose, you need to provide something in exchange for their information. Even if someone’s interested in buying a home in the near future, they may be protective of their personal info because they don’t want to be bombarded with sales messages or calls.

Offer tips, updates of new listings, or even create a lead magnet––something that entices your visitor to give their contact information––such as an ebook or a checklist for purchasing a home. Get creative about what you choose to offer with your opt-ins to really encourage visitors to become leads.

4. Develop segmented email campaigns.

Each lead you collect is going to be unique. They will be at different stages of the home buyer’s journey, have varying needs and wishlists, and different budgets––especially if you’re operating in more than one city or area.

If you’re sending them all the same messages, you’re going to get crickets from your emails.

To ensure you’re properly connecting with each and every lead, create segmented campaigns that speak to different needs or expectations. These more personalized messages put the right information in front of the right lead, bringing them further down the sales funnel.

There are a few different ways you can divide up your email list.

One of the most obvious is by location. When a lead fills out your opt-in form, they should have the option to add their city or zip code. You can then use this information to send them updates about available homes in their area.

segmenting real estate leads on a sign-up form
Condos.ca is focused on only one city (Toronto) but still asks leads to narrow down their location further into regions. Now that’s segmenting.

You can also segment your list by house size or cost. If a lead asks for more information about a four-bedroom home from one of your landing pages, you can send them a targeted email campaign about other four-bedroom homes you have available.

In addition to segmented lists, you’ll want to maintain an overall list for larger updates, such as newsletters, purchasing tips, or company info.

When using email campaigns, you should always consider automation tools, like MailChimp or Constant Contact. Automating your emails guarantees each individual is getting the content they need without adding an additional task to your to-do list.

But also remember to keep your emails personalized and friendly. Start each email with the lead’s name and use welcoming language. Even if the lead knows you’re not sending a unique email just to them, it should still feel like you are.

5. Use retargeting ads on Facebook and Google.

Purchasing a home––or even choosing to look at a home––is a serious investment. A lead isn’t likely to convert on their first visit to your website.

But that doesn’t mean they’re a lost cause.

You just need to drive them back to your website so they can keep checking out that house they loved.

A retargeting campaign can help you do this.

Retargeting campaigns put your ads in front of people who have visited your website but didn’t convert.

You can retarget website visitors through both Facebook and Google. On either platform, you can choose to show your ads to specific audience members who visited your site but never converted.

example of a facebook retargeting real estate ad
For example, if you were a realtor based in Arlington, you can target people who checked out listings in Arlington on your site but never converted with an ad like this to keep you top of mind.

These reminders, shown while they’re going about their normal online browsing, nudge them toward visiting your site again. You can also create a specific landing page for visitors who have been there before.

A landing page for recurring visitors can create a bit of urgency for the prospect. By removing some calls-to-action and adding some text about a spike in activity, you might be able to push a visitor to reach out who otherwise wouldn’t.

The real estate sales funnel is complex—but it doesn’t have to be.

It can take years for a real estate lead to make their way to the end of the sales funnel. It’s a slow process that oftentimes takes lots of care and nurturing.

However, with the right sales funnel in place, the process is so much easier. Let’s recap the five steps you should follow to create a real estate sales funnel:

  1. Establish (and continuously grow) your online presence.
  2. Focus on landing pages––not properly pages.
  3. Strategically place opt-ins throughout your professional website.
  4. Use segmentation to send more personalized emails.
  5. Reconnect with past visitors through retargeting ads on Facebook and Google.

These steps are just to get you started. To create a real estate sales funnel that attracts homebuyers, pay close attention to your leads and clients and make adjustments according to their needs.