Mastering Real Estate Sales Growth

I have dedicated the majority of my career to optimizing marketing and sales processes for my companies, from one-person startups to those in growth and post-M&A phases.

When I ventured into the real estate industry, what stood out to me the most was this undeniable truth: real estate sales are stuck in the past.

In this three-part guide, I’m going to provide you with a tried-and-tested framework for evaluating, optimizing, and automating your real estate sales process.

We developed this guide after speaking with dozens of world-class real estate sales leaders, founders, and revenue operations professionals, and by analyzing Zorba’s proprietary data to identify the most effective strategies and tactics for title companies, lenders, Proptechs, construction companies, and anyone targeting real estate owners or other vendors in the space.

We’ll explore how to build a repeatable, scalable, and effective real estate outbound sales program focused on these core principles—using the right data to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time—so your team can focus on what they do best, building relationships and solving problems, and so you as a leader can consistently hit your revenue goals.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to establish a solid targeting framework
  • How to craft messaging that resonates with your ideal customer at the perfect time
  • How to A/B test your way to achieving over 25% reply rates and more than 10% meeting rates

Ready to engage with your most valuable real estate prospects? Let’s get started.

Introduction – A New Perspective

Many people I talk to are still relying solely on referrals and conferences to find new potential customers. While these methods are excellent for building meaningful connections—and trust me, there’s nothing I enjoy more than meeting my peers at the IMN twice a year—it’s challenging to scale this way and meet ambitious revenue targets, especially in the current market environment. To achieve consistent and predictable growth, mastering outbound real estate sales is essential.

Even if you’ve already implemented some level of outbound strategy, what I’ve learned throughout my career is that nothing remains constant. What used to work eventually stops being effective. Without a consistent, rigorous framework for evaluating and optimizing your outbound process, performance declines, open rates drop, and reply rates fall. Trying to compensate for this by increasing volume—making more calls, sending more emails—often exacerbates the problem.

The buying process has evolved significantly in the past two years. Today’s buyers expect highly personalized and relevant ads tailored to their specific needs and interests.

My wife and I are expecting a baby, and her Instagram feed is now filled with newborn-related products. Rather than finding this creepy, we appreciate the relevance and usefulness of these targeted ads. This is the modern expectation, both in personal and professional buying contexts.

However, outbound real estate sales have lagged behind, stuck in the old mentality that ‘sales is a numbers game.’ There’s a new way of thinking that prioritizes data to deliver the perfect message to the perfect person at the perfect time. And in real estate context, time is everything. Sales isn’t merely a numbers game—it’s a strategic equation. By optimizing both who you target and when you engage, you’ll achieve exceptional results.

And I’m here to show you how to do exactly that.

The Targeting Framework

Building the Foundation for Success

85% of your success in real estate sales hinges on who you’re reaching out to and when. In this section, we’ll discuss how to create a robust targeting framework to ensure you’re focusing on the most promising prospects.

You’ll learn:

  • The three questions to ask when building out your targeting framework
  • The three most important personas you should be targeting
  • How to find the prospects most likely to buy
  • How to leverage data to determine when to reach out
  • And more!

The first thing I examine when evaluating any outbound program is the targeting framework.

Many sales leaders overlook this step, which is a critical error. While optimizing call scripts or email subject lines and copy is important, 85% of your success is entirely dependent on who you’re reaching out to and when. If you’re targeting the wrong companies or individuals, no matter how good your scripts or emails are, they won’t yield results.

A targeting framework is essentially a clearly defined list of all the companies and people you or your team will be reaching out to, ranked by importance and broken down by factors indicating their likelihood to buy what you’re selling. For example, if you’re a lender targeting borrowers, you want to know their likelihood of borrowing money for their next project right now. If you’re a title company targeting institutional investors, you’d want to understand their likelihood of acquiring or selling properties.

Although this step might not seem exciting, it is incredibly effective for keeping your program on track. Over time, sales environments can become chaotic, and without a clear roadmap, you can easily lose direction.

Surprisingly, most companies don’t have a proper targeting framework. Taking this step will provide immediate clarity for you and your team on what to do next.

By following this process, companies have turned around failing outbound programs and increased their meetings booked by 25-35%.

Set Up Your Targeting Framework:

Whether you are a title agency selling to institutional owners, lender selling to borrowers, or builder looking for end buyers, you all need to start from this exact same sales framework.

Step 1: Identify Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Start by looking at your CRM and auditing every closed-won deal from the past two quarters. Identify these three key personas:

  1. Champions: Who else was involved in the email threads or meetings and will advocate for you internally?
  2. Economic Buyers: Who signed the deal and wrote the check?
  3. End Users: Who will ultimately use your service or product?

Document key indicators for each persona, such as their title, and company size.

So if we think about it, the number one thing you can do to improve your performance is to only reach out to that ten percent of people—the people who are actively looking for what you have right now.

Step 2: Determine When Each Persona is Likely to Buy

This is where I’d say most companies fall short. They might know who the right people are, but they haven’t really figured out when to reach out to them. This is a huge opportunity for improvement. The reality is, only about 10% of your total addressable market (TAM) is actively considering buying what you’re selling at any given time.

So if we think about it, the number one thing you can do to improve your performance is to only reach out to that ten percent of people—the people who are actively looking for what you have right now.

For example, let’s say you determined from your deal review that the Champion is the Head of Acquisitions at a 100-500 person institutional investment company. The best indicator that they need your product is if they’ve just expanded into a new market. This is what you would add to your targeting framework.

Now, you know not only WHO the buyer is but WHEN they’re likely to buy. There’s a ton of data available to consider: Did they recently update their buy box? Have they increased their acquisition volume? Are they pausing their activities? Are they working on a new large portfolio deal? Did they just transact with a competitor? And so on. All of this information is accessible in tools like Zorba, which you can utilize when building your targeting framework.

Step 3: Identifying The Total Addressable Market

Now we need to move on to identifying your total addressable market (TAM), which simply means the total number of people in the industry whom you can actually reach (meaning you have their phone number, email address, physical address, or all three).

Traditionally, you might have hired a research firm or entered into a consulting agreement to do this, but that’s almost entirely unnecessary now. It’s actually quite simple. Using a tool like Zorba, apply the criteria you established in your targeting framework for WHO each of your three personas are and WHEN to reach out to them, and see how many results you get. That’s your total addressable market.

Of course, this number will change over time as companies ramp up their acquisitions/dispositions, go on pause, expand into new markets, and so on—making it critical to continuously update your TAM calculations, which you can do automatically with software like Zorba.

With this comprehensive targeting framework rooted in real data, you’ll have a solid foundation for your ideal customer profile, broken down into two dimensions: who they are and when to reach out to them.

Now, with your newly established targeting framework, you’re ready to move on to the next critical step in our framework: the messaging framework.

The Messaging Framework

Even those who have meticulously crafted a targeting framework often rely on a few generic email/phone call templates when it’s time to reach out. This means that even with precise, time-based targeting, the messaging isn’t tailored to fit.

Remember our three pillars: Right person, right message, right time.

We’ve addressed the right person and the right time with our targeting framework. Now, we need to ensure our messaging framework aligns perfectly with the targeting framework.

Let’s consider a new example. If our Economic Buyer is a COO at a 300-person asset management company who has recently closed on a new fund, we must clearly define the appropriate message for them.

Similarly, if your Champion is a disposition manager in their first six months on the job, we need to define the appropriate message for them as well.

This process often reveals areas for optimization where you may realize the message your team is sending doesn’t align perfectly with the person you’re trying to reach.

To be honest, this is how most outbound teams operate. sales reps are given leads or accounts to work with and are left to figure out what to say. While they will eventually learn what works, this is an expensive and time-consuming process. By taking this step, you can dramatically reduce the ramp time for a new sales rep and make your existing team much more effective.

I do want to point out that I’m not diving into the specifics of mastering email copywriting right now, however we do plan to release more content on Mastering Cold Emails and cold calling scripts so stay tuned.

Messaging is different from copywriting—it’s the high-level view of ‘what are we selling’. So, in this chapter, we’re going to focus on WHAT to include in your message, not HOW to word it.

With that said, our message consists of four main parts:

  1. What does our product or service do for the person we’re reaching out to?
  2. What’s the benefit to that person?
  3. What’s unique about us?
  4. Why does it matter right now?

This step is all about articulating these four points as clearly and plainly as possible for each of the personas in our targeting framework.

Let’s run through an example. We’ll continue with our persona from earlier—an Economic Buyer who’s a COO of asset management at a midsized company who has recently closed on a new fund. Let’s assume we work at a Proptech company that offers a software for tenants management.

Our messaging framework for this persona might look like this:

  • What it does for them: Streamlines tenant screening processes.
  • Benefit for them: Can save their company tens of millions of dollars.
  • Unique about us: Guarantee 100% successful implementation in 90 days.
  • Why it matters right now: You just raised a fund and it’s time to optimize processes to maximize ROI and tenant satisfaction rate.

By breaking this down plainly, we’re making it easy for ourselves and our team to know exactly what to communicate when they get a particular lead. It’s important to do this for every persona you’ve created in your targeting framework.

If you audit your team’s emails and find that the same message is being sent to every persona, you’ll immediately see an opportunity for improvement. This exercise will also help you collaborate better with your peers in marketing, product, and customer success. If you ask, “what’s unique about us” and the answer is nothing… it’s time to come up with something together.

By now, if you’ve been following along, you should have a detailed targeting framework for each persona in your ideal customer profile, and you’ve articulated the message that will resonate with each of those personas.

By doing all of this prep work, you’re setting yourself up for success when it comes time to actually add leads to your sequences and start booking meetings.

If you don’t do this upfront or take the time to do this periodically, things can get out of hand. There’s a natural progression towards chaos, so by periodically reviewing your targeting and messaging frameworks, you’ll ensure your team is always in the best position to succeed.

And as a sales leader? That’s really all you can do.

Next step is A/B testing, which I will cover in the next chapter coming up soon.

Ready to put knowledge into action? Schedule a 30 min demo with Zorba.

Until then, if you have any questions please drop them in the comments and I’ll be happy to respond.