10 tips to get the most from your Sites Pipeline

11th March 2020

Used right, the Sites Pipeline is one of the more powerful features in LandInsight. It lets you track more sites, more efficiently than ever.

And it’s just about to get a little bit more powerful.

The sites pipeline

Introducing Ownership Alerts

Now LandInsight Unlimited users will get an Ownership Alerts email each month detailing which of their saved sites have changed ownership according to the Land Registry.

What does this mean for you? Well, now you’ll have a clearer idea than ever what is happening with your saved sites. Changes might mean an opportunity. Or they might mean a threat. But either way – it’s something you should know about.

No changes? No email. Simple as that.

There’s just one important thing to remember: The alerts are only for sites saved in your pipeline.

Not saving enough sites (or not saving the right kinds of sites)? Then you’re missing out. And I don’t want that. 

So to help, I’ve put together a list of my top ten tips to get the most from your Sites Pipeline. 

Get set up now, and you’ll be getting the most from your ownership alerts too.

My Top Ten Tip for your Sites Pipeline

 

  • 1. Use the Sites Pipeline to record, manage, and track opportunities

The Sites Pipeline is an incredibly powerful feature. But only if you’re using it.

Step one is simply to get used to saving sites there. It’s an efficient way to track sites in a private, secure way (after all, we’re the only UK site-saving platform with ISO security certification).

If it’s not something you’re already using, start building that habit now.

 

  • 2. Create your own stages (but try to stick to a max of around 15)

Site stages are there to make your life easier. Add more, and use them.

You can create as many as you like, but in my experience 15 or fewer is best for efficiency and consistency. 

Any more and it usually gets a bit too cluttered and super specific.

A completed sites pipeline

  • 3. Colour code your site stages for easy reference

It seems like a small thing, but you’d be surprised how much of a difference colour coding the stages will make. Everything looks clearer, and easier to use (which means you’re more likely to understand it and actually use it).

There are a few different ways this can be done –  per stage of due diligence, per user, on a red-amber-green system etc. – it’s your call. But it makes a big difference in the long run.

 

  • 4. Use site labels to make life easier

All saved sites can be easily labelled to make them easier to find.

You can use any labels you like – some common ones people find useful are:

  • Date saved –  to see most-active periods 
  • Local Authority – to get quick identification of most fruitful areas
  • Site potential – to spot most fruitful/frequent projects
  • Project type – to find most profitable projects and location distribution
  • Origin of the site (if different from owner/user) – to track the agent/source of the site

These labels help you to review everything you’re doing. And THAT helps you to boost the effectiveness of your whole site sourcing and assessment endeavours.

 

  • 5. Try to stick to around six labels

Technically, you can set up as many labels as you want. But, just like with sites stages, more isn’t always better. 

You want to be able to spot overall trends in your labels, and creating too many labels makes that harder.

Six usually gives the right number to sort your sites without becoming cumbersome.

 

  • 6. Move sites straight after that initial review

Once you have your initial review of a saved site, it should be moved to the appropriate stage straight away. 

Of course, which stage depends on what you set up back in step two up there☝️. It’ll probably be something like:

  • ‘Opportunity’ – if it looks good
  • ‘Archived’ – if it is to be considered later
  • ‘Discarded’ – if not in consideration

Bonus tip: If you’re using the LandInsight GO app (and why wouldn’t you be?) then all sites saved will go into the ‘Mobile’ stage. Make sure you clear that stage too so you don’t miss those great opportunities you’ve found while out and about.

If you haven’t already got it – check out the app on iOS and Android.

 

  • 7. ‘Archive’ means it’s on hold – not abandoned entirely

Some people use ‘Archive’ for those sites that may be good after future review (e.g. if there’s a change in circumstances like removal from Green Belt).

Make sure you’re using it in the right way, rather than as a place where sites with no future prospects go.

 

  • 8. Be consistent in when you move sites through the Pipeline stages 

For best results, you’ll move sites into the correct stage as soon as a change happens, so it’s always up to date.

But some people find it’s easier to save up changes and do them in batches, maybe first thing each morning, and that’s fine too.

And remember – if you create any temporary site stages, clear them by the end of the week so you’re back to your fixed stages.

A saved site

  • 9. You can delete sites… but you probably shouldn’t

Deleting unsuitable sites might seem smart, but it prevents a retrospective review of the process (which is what we always recommend).

In short, you’ll miss out on understanding if there’s a common source of unsuitable sites, the kind of common issues that cause unsuitability etc. Knowing all of that helps you to constantly tighten up your processes, and get better results. 

For that reason, we recommend that you only delete sites when you have zero need for them now or potentially in the future.

 

  • 10. Track your competitors too

A ‘competitor’ sites stage is just what it sounds like – a stage dedicated to keeping an eye on what the competition are up to. 

You can benefit from seeing them on the map, and even get proactive updates like planning alerts (or those shiny new ownership alerts) to know what’s happening with them, and to keep tabs on your rivals.

If you haven’t already got a stage set up now’s the perfect time – those ownership alerts will mean you’ll get an email letting you know when competitors have sold sites (and you might be able to deduce a lot from when and where they’re selling…).

 

Getting ready for ownership alerts

Start implementing those tips now, and your Sites Pipeline will be in a much stronger position when ownership alert emails start landing next week.

Based on the data we’ve looked at, on average you’ll get one alert per 100 sites saved. But like I said, if you don’t get an email it doesn’t mean you did anything wrong – only that none of your sites changed hands according to the most recent Land Registry data.

Still, knowing nothing’s changed can sometimes be just as valuable too…

Want to know the nuts-and-bolts on how Ownership Alerts will work? Check out the help centre article here.

If you're not already a LandInsight User (and if not, well played for staying with this post until the end) – there's never been a better time to claim your free trial.

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Chris is one of the Customer Success Managers for LandInsight. He’s spent years helping developers get the most from the platform (you might recognise him from the tutorial videos). He has a fondness for drinking tea from a litre stein, and much prefers jumpers to shirts (both of which you may also recognise from the tutorial videos).