The Need for effective REALTOR®️ Follow-Up Techniques
A REALTOR®️ and a potential homebuyer interact. The real estate agent, who is also a REALTOR®️, has a good feeling about the possibilities, and yet, somehow, the sale just doesn’t happen. Not only was there an immediate loss of revenue, but now, that individual will never be a satisfied customer that refers other business to the real estate agent.
Sound like a familiar scenario? Sometimes that may just be the breaks of the game, but often it’s the fault of inadequate follow-up techniques.
The Essentials of Effective REALTOR®️ Follow-Up Techniques
First, although it requires a significant time investment, real estate agents must be persistent. Making a few attempts at follow-up and then calling it quits just doesn’t work. Research shows that 80% of non-routine purchases (including buying a house) occur only after at least five follow-ups. Data also indicates that 63% of the people who make contact with a REALTOR®️ on any given day won’t proceed to buy for at least three months—hang in there!
At the same time, it’s highly unlikely that your lead wants to receive a dozen calls, voicemails, or emails from you every single day (who does?). Knowing when to reach back out and when “enough is enough” is the difference between a successful agent and an annoying, spammy one—no agent wants to be the latter.
The tone and content of your communication—from calls to email and anything in between—are also important factors to consider.. You don’t want to look needy or pushy, and your prospect doesn’t want to feel they’re being given a hard sell, guilted, or pressured.
The idea is to keep prospects aware of the REALTORS®️ existence and the services he or she can provide in a way that creates value instead of irritation.
Remember: a good working relationship between a REALTOR®️ and prospect should proceed according to the prospect’s timeline, not the agents. If it takes a year to get from the initial contact to a home sale, then a year is simply what it takes.
Now that we’ve defined the essential framework, let’s consider some specific REALTOR®️ follow-up techniques and tips.
REALTOR®️ Follow-Up Tip #1: Generate a Follow-Up Schedule
We’re human and we forget things—don’t depend on your memory to alert you that it’s time for follow-up.
In fact, for best results, create at least two schedules, one for active leads (responsive individuals who seem ready to buy in the near future) and one for passive leads (qualified leads—but the ones who will probably take longer to buy.) The schedules should run for at least twelve months, although the nature and frequency of contacts may change over time based on the amount of interest the lead displays.
Among their other benefits, follow-up techniques within schedules also provide clear expectations for sales reps.
REALTOR®️ Follow-Up Tip #2: Use a Variety of Contact Formats
In this day and age, we have a variety of means available for communication. A real estate agent can (and should) use them all— calls, texts, social media, email, and old-fashioned paper mail to ensure he or she is reaching a lead.
Of course, it often pays to ask if a particular prospect has a preferred way of communicating. If they do, then that’s the way you reach out.
REALTOR®️ Follow-Up Techniques Tip #3: Leverage Your Email Templates
Put some effort into generating or obtaining email templates that maximize the chances of making a favorable impression and eliciting a favorable response. The goal here isn’t to create a totally canned response that goes out in place of actual communication from the sales rep. Rather, the intent is to create a framework that guides the salesperson in crafting the message. The email template makes sure all the bases are covered while still providing personalized communication.
This actually points to a more general principle of communication. Give some thought to the impression you want to create, but leave some room for spontaneity. You don’t want to come across like a robot or a phony.
REALTOR®️ Follow-Up Tip #4: Track Contact Attempts
A real estate agent can devise the most excellent follow-up system ever created, but it won’t matter if people aren’t doing what the system says they should. Thus the REALTOR®️ needs to monitor usage. We highly recommend a lead management system that keeps track of calls and emails by itself. Passive tracking works because it recognizes key phone numbers and email addresses. It allows for data to be sorted in such a way that a reviewer can see the total picture pertaining to a particular lead.
REALTOR®️ Follow-Up Tip #5: Set Up the Next Step
Assuming the lead hasn’t told you not to contact them anymore (if that’s the case, you should respect his or her wishes), the end of any interaction should always include an agreement on concrete plans for the next. You can, for example, ask permission to reach out after a certain period of time has passed, for making a real estate purchase.
REALTOR®️ Follow-Up Tip #7: Keep a Call Down List
A call-down list is a list of prospects who were interested but not yet ready to buy. Having one facilitates reaching out to all those leads at more or less the same time. It turns what could be a cumbersome task into an easy one. Boom!
REALTOR®️ Follow-Up Tip #8: Track Email Opens and Click-Throughs
When you notice a prospect is reading your emails, that’s the perfect time to call. At that moment, the lead is already thinking about you and the possibility of making a real estate purchase. It is what is known as the optimal lead response opportunity (OLO).
You may think you’d need to be a psychic to do this, but nope! There’s technology available that makes such alerts possible by adding a tracking pixel to your emails. You can also easily review your email open and reply rates with the Happy Grasshopper daily Hot Sheet – know WHO your hot leads are always.
REALTOR®️ Follow-Up Tip #9: Content Is King
We’ve already alluded to this, but it’s so important, it bears repeating. Beyond a certain point, emails that ask, “Are you ready to buy yet?” become annoying. Yet you want to maintain contact with the prospect in the hope that he or she will buy eventually.
The solution is to provide content that’s useful to your lead. Generally speaking, this will be information that’s familiar to a real estate professional but new to a potential homebuyer. This will also impress the prospect with your expertise.
Once again, this points to a more general principle. Speaking in terms of your expert knowledge will impress and reassure homebuyers at every point along the path that leads from initial contact to a closing.
You’ll have to go to a little trouble to generate a steady stream of interesting content, but it’s an investment that pays off in the long run.
REALTOR®️ Follow-Up Tip #10: Use Happy Grasshopper
You might think that following all the advice above could prove overwhelming, but fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Happy Grasshopper is America’s premiere follow-up and automated marketing service for REALTORS®️. We have over 10,000 members who count on us for recruitment, lead conversion, sphere of influence, and generating new business from past clients. Why not call us today and let us handle the tasks that eat up valuable time and see how we can make your profits grow?