Jul 10, 2017 by - Barry jenkins

4 Stages of Successful Lead Follow Up: Annoy, Apologize, Engage & Convert

A main pain point often seen in LabCoat Agent discussions is lead conversion. The solution is pretty clear and not groundbreaking: Follow up fast and often. The challenge is that most agents don’t do any follow up, let alone fast and rhythmic follow up. This is highlighted by the embarrassing report from Zillow stating that nearly half of all Zillow leads go unanswered.

Look, I get it.  I’ve been an agent for 18 years, and now I manage a team of 20 agents.  You’re busy.  Lead follow up is annoying, a lot of work and not always effective. Rejection also sucks. I see comments from LabCoat Agents bemoaning the fact that online leads aren’t that good.  I used to say the same thing.  But, my team currently has 18 ratified buyer contracts and below are part of my lead source stats:

Fifty-seven percent of my converted buyers are currently from the two main lead sources.  They work.  But how do we follow up with leads and have a great quality of life? How does my team overcome the pain of showing homes, enjoy their kid’s sporting event, take a vacation, put the phone down and still achieve success?

Follow this model:  Annoy, Apologize, Engage, Convert. (Disclaimer: This is not a how-to.  This is more of a peek into my team’s approach that is converting.)

Step 1:  Annoy

The main principle here is to overwhelm the lead with attempted contacts via different automated media channels. I know what you’re thinking already, “The lead will be angry!” But hear me out. This works. By utilizing automation and semi-custom scripting, you can engage the lead with little to no effort.

Here is what I do in two minutes or less automatically:

  • I use Riley to send a lead source specific text to engage. Always make sure the text includes the lead source, the property address, and the lead’s name to humanize the intro as much as possible.
  • I use Follow Up Boss to send an email from my agent that is lead source specific. The subject of the email looks like, “Do you still want to see the inside of 123 Smith Street?” FUB tells me 75 percent of leads open this email when it’s sent.
  • I use BombBomb to send a lead source specific video from me talking about our goal and my intentions as the team leader.
  • I use SlyBroadcast to send a lead source specific voicemail.

We convert a HIGH number of leads because we use text, email, phone and video in under two minutes. There are follow up voicemails, texts, emails, and videos we send automatically as well. The goal is to get the lead to respond. Very rarely do we have leads get frustrated with us. This is due to scripting and I’ll get into that next.

Step 2: Apologize

This is an over-arching principle for all the above media touches. “I am sorry if this is annoying. We aren’t sure what way is best to reach you.”  Or on the voicemail I say, “I’m headed to an appointment. My team is texting you now as well or you can call me back.”  This humanizes all the touches and explains we are trying to do our best to contact the lead.

Step 3: Engage

Every aspect of our scripting is designed to do one main thing: Obtain a response from the lead.  Once the lead responds, we are quick, respectful, informative and available.  It is now on you to do your job and do it well!

Step 4: Convert

Staying relevant to the lead after initial discussions is key.  I call this nondescript touches.  Don’t just email the lead a list of houses and say, “When do you want to see the inside?”  Send them a guide to home-buying or a SHORT update on interest rates.  You can automate this too through services like Keeping Current Matters.

I’m certain if the LabCoat Agents were determined to follow up more effectively, they will convert more business by following the Stages of Successful Lead Follow up: Annoy, Apologize Engage & Convert.


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