Prospecting without follow-up is like trying to fill up a bucket that’s full of holes – no matter how hard you try, progress feels impossible. Follow-up is a crucial part of setting listing appointments, but can also be nerve-wracking. When is “too soon” to follow up? What if I sound too pushy? Should I call or text?
To help, we interviewed top industry experts and asked how they find follow-up success in their businesses. Keep reading to discover key follow-up strategies to help convert your leads and contacts into solid listing appointments.
Before You Follow Up…
It’s important to know the difference between Follow-Up & Lead Generation, and understand the different types of follow-up:
Provide Value No Matter What
There are a lot of leads who won’t warm up for business right away. In fact, the follow-up process can stretch on for weeks, months, or even years before certain prospects are ready to buy or sell. So if your long-term follow-up isn’t worth something to the client, why should they want to stay in touch with you?
That’s why follow-up master Chris Salerno packs as much value into each follow-up opportunity as he can. No matter how old or cold his leads are, he sends out monthly emails packed with information on market trends, community updates, and industry insights to keep his audiences informed (and keep his name top of mind). The more value he provides, the more likely his leads are to open his emails and reach out when they need an agent.
And if you’ve got a list of leads who’ve agreed to receive texts, send each of them a short, personalized message with your most relevant updates or connections! The extra touch will provide unique value for your warmest leads and keep you top of mind.
Be the Hero (Even if the Cash Comes Later)
Many homeowners want to sell, but might not be ready to (yet). FRBO master Jason Morris understands that seller timelines vary, so he likes to follow up regardless of whether or not someone is ready to move.
Rather than expecting a sale from everyone he talks to, he believes that helping people with whatever they need will turn into a sale or referral down the road. He adds them to his sphere of influence, consistently offers help, and is the first name that comes to mind when his sphere needs an agent.
In Jason’s own words, “You might not make money by sharing information or chatting about their mortgage, but it’s gonna turn that person into a raving fan. Any time one of their friends is selling a house, they’ll talk about you.” Play the long follow-up game and see your efforts pay off in ways you would never expect.
According to InsideSales.com, 50% of all sales happen after the fifth touch. So if you’re utilizing the long follow-up strategy like Jason Morris, be strategic with how and when you make your touches. If you know a lead is still several months away from moving, text them to check in and provide valuable market updates for a few months, then ramp things up with a phone call or in-person visit as the relationship grows.
Find the Pain & Offer Relief
Many people know exactly why (and when) they want to buy or sell a home. But there are others who would greatly benefit from moving, they just haven’t realized it yet. Follow up with this second group to help uncover their pain points and offer a simple solution to their uncertainty.
When you discover what drives a client’s need for change, you’ll know exactly how to help them. Maybe they have a parent in need of special care. Maybe they’re changing jobs and would like a shorter commute to the office. Or maybe they need more space to accommodate a growing family. Whatever the reason may be, establish where the “pain point” is and get to work.
Setting a goal to find a client’s motivating factor is a great way to find your footing when you follow up. Know your end goal, follow up until you’ve reached it, and close the deal. Greg McDaniel said it best by stating, “Find the pain. What’s the push to get them out? Spend your time following up with people that are actively looking to get out.”
Start Your Follow-Up Now!
Florida agent Alex Haigh knows it’s never too soon to follow up. He begins his follow-up process while potential clients are still at an open house. He lays out contact sheets next to a plate of cookies, lets his clients explore the house, then collects their info and starts his follow-up as soon as they come back for a snack.
Haigh says, “It has to be right away. In order for you to have a good follow-up later, you don’t want to catch them as they’re going out the door.”
Starting the follow-up process while they’re still in the house is a great way to start building a relationship and address any immediate concerns. The conversations you’ll have after they’ve left the home will be easier as well. Break the ice while you’re in the home, and the next follow-up will be a breeze!
When the open house is over, follow up again to build rapport as soon as possible. With an early start, you’ll get plenty of opportunities to boost the relationship as time goes on. Send them a text message and ask for their thoughts on the open house, what they liked (or didn’t like), and what you can do to improve for next time.
Asking for feedback through a casual text message (and without sounding “salesy”) opens a comfortable dialogue with many potential buyers. The more you know someone upfront, the less effort you’ll have to put in to seal the deal when they’re ready.
The “8×8” Follow-Up Schedule
If you’re new to follow-up, this schedule from Zach Zaleski is a great way for you to plant your feet. Zach calls it his “8×8” follow-up schedule. When someone lands on your follow-up list, call or text them no fewer than eight times – once a week over eight consecutive weeks.
This method has landed Zach a lot of listings, largely due to his polite persistence (when other agents have given up). “Other people will give up sooner, and it’s usually on those later contact points where you can strike gold,” says Zaleski. Keep in mind, this contact method works great for someone who is actively looking to buy or sell a home. If someone is a few years, or even a few months away from making a decision, a less frequent schedule may serve you better. Always remember to be considerate!
Follow Up with Past Clients
Just because a transaction is over doesn’t mean you should lose contact with your clients. Most people are happy to refer you to a friend or family member after you’ve “WOW-ed” them with excellent service.
Jason Morris regularly follows up with past clients to see how they’re doing, and it gets him plenty of referrals and repeat customers! One of Jason’s former clients (who he’s sold several properties with) happens to own a local county store. Any time someone they know is looking for an agent, they immediately connect them with Jason.
And with a good relationship already established, texting your past clients is a great way to keep it casual while you stay top of mind. Your follow-up text might look like this:
“Hey [CLIENT NAME], it’s [YOUR NAME]. I was just thinking about you today. If you ever need anything, let me know.”
Short, simple, and straightforward. You don’t even need a response! What’s important is that you’re popping up on their phone and they know you’re there for them.
So find your fans and stay in touch with them. If you fail to follow up after the home closes, you’re missing out on tons of potential sales!
The Power of Video
In our day and age of mobile technology, you can get more creative with your follow-up than ever before. Jay Berube uses the power of a simple video to follow up with his prospects. He spends 1-2 minutes recording a video, then sends it to his lead via text message.
The video can be about the house, your services, or the next steps your client should take. Take into consideration the situation at hand and your relationship with the client. Be friendly, stay relaxed and professional, and make your video worth watching! Always provide value, even in two short minutes.
The video can be scripted or off the cuff, but we recommend sticking to a rough script until you’re comfortable with the process.
Finalize Your Follow-Up
With these seven follow-up strategies in your real estate playbook, it’s time to reach out and reel in more business! Use any (or all) of these strategies to fill your bucket with listing appointments without any added anxiety. Just like Alex Haigh said… “The money is in the follow-up!”
BONUS TIP: Secret Follow-Up Method To Sell Investment Properties
If you’re a regular prospector, you’ve probably come across a few landlords who rent out multiple properties. Jason Morris has a technique for winning these people over and turning them into clients.
When Jason comes across a rental property, he finds out when the current lease is set to end. He marks that date and follows up on an annual basis, usually a few months before the lease ends, to see if the owner would consider selling. But he doesn’t stop there.
On every follow-up, he sends them a full market evaluation with a realistic expectation of what their property could sell for. As property values rise year over year, it becomes more and more tempting for the owner to sell!
This follow-up process is definitely a long game, but it can pay off in a big way! Be sure to note who the landlords are and follow up close to the end of the lease to see if you can’t snag a big win with an easy follow-up plan!
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