17 August 2018
Decades ago, some long-forgotten sales guru quoted the phrase, “The fortune is in the follow-up.” That aphorism stuck and for good reason. It’s true! Effective follow-up is key to converting real estate agent leads, as well as real estate referrals.
In fact, according to many sales experts, better follow-up can potentially double your chances of landing a new client. So, getting better in this area is definitely worth the effort.
The problem is, many agents struggle with follow-up. For some, it’s a mystery. “Do I just call every once in a while and say hello?” “Should I push for the listing a little harder?” “What do I do when I call and the prospect doesn’t reply back? Do I keep trying?”
The good news is, effective follow-up doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are some tips that can make follow-up not only easier, but significantly more successful, too.
- Don’t give up too soon.
Sales experts often point at this as the biggest follow-up mistake agents make. An agent has a listing presentation, makes a follow-up call a few days later, sends an email, and then stops — assuming the prospect isn’t interested.
But the prospect could have simply got sidetracked or delayed a few weeks. If you haven’t been keeping in touch, you may no longer be top-of-mind to them, leaving an opening for another agent to swoop in and get that listing.
- Get more client referrals
Referrals are powerful because they bypass the “stranger” stage. A referred prospect already has a sense they know you because you’ve done business with a friend or neighbour. And because you’re recommended to them, they’re already eager to work with you. The follow-up is easier and more effective.
How do you get more client referrals? Use a real estate marketing system designed for that purpose. Ideally, one that keeps in touch with your past clients, monthly, in a way that builds trust and loyalty.
- Add value in every communication
One of the worst things you can do is constantly call and pitch (or, email and pitch!) How do you feel when that’s done to you? According to an article by sales author, Jill Konrath, “To keep sales momentum alive, you need to provide value on every interaction — even a quick follow-up call.”
For example, say you’re following-up on a long-term prospect. How do you add value when you touch base with them each month?
The simplest way is with a real estate direct mail newsletter designed for lead generation and conversion. One that features original, high-interest content, such as market insights, tips and how-to articles, along with a personal message from you. That way, you’re adding value automatically.
- Be the only agent they’re talking to
Would you rather be chasing down 30 leads who are also talking to a dozen other agents? Or, be working 10 leads who are only talking to you?
The answer is obvious. How do you make that happen?
The most reliable way is to target a good real estate geographic farm and position yourself to those residents as their go-to agent. Once you’re top-to-mind with them, and they like you, you’ll get more sellers calling you before they call anyone else. No competition!
Geo farming leads are almost as high-quality as client referrals. And you get those leads in a similar way. You use a good real estate marketing system for real estate geographic farming. One that adds value each month using great content.
- Systemize your follow-up as much as possible
Sporadic, hit-and-miss style follow-up rarely gets good results. What you don’t want is to be sitting in your car and thinking, “When is the last time I followed-up with the Jones? Two weeks ago? Three? I wonder if I should send them an email?”
Your follow-up will get much better results if it’s organized. As mentioned previously, when targeting a geographic farm, a good real estate lead generation system does much of this for you. In addition, you should also plan out your follow-up calls and emails, so you don’t inadvertently let a lead fall through the cracks.
Use a good real estate CRM for contact management and follow-up planning. The best includes a range of business management features, including calendar and sales pipeline tools that automatically prompt you — right from the dashboard — when it’s time to call or email a prospect.
So, if you agree that the fortune is in the follow-up, then review these strategies this week and implement one or more. Yes, you might be able to double your follow-up success rate, but if you improve your conversions by just 20%, that can result in a significant boost in income.