Lead Follow Up
Whether you have been in real estate for many years or just starting, there are a few key elements needed for continued success.
Read on to find out more or download our Lead Follow Up PDF with all the information.
1. You Need an Audience - People you can help
Where do you find the audience?
- A. Your Database: past clients, circle of influence, friends and family.
- B. Creating a Database: volunteering, church groups, networking, civil groups, etc. (Places where there is an opportunity to network).
- C. Social Media Audience: via different platforms
- D. Purchased Audience: paid advertising.
- F. Local Discovery (Local SEO): show up in local map searches by virtue of your Google Business Profile
All of these lead sources require you to “lead with value” and not with a question like this… “How can I help you?”
2. You Must Connect with Your Audience
To connect with your audience you have to KNOW your audience, and your audience needs to get to know you. No matter who your audience is, you must work to build the KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST. As you communicate with your audience, determine where they are in the funnel.
3. Set Your Expectations
You may connect with someone who is at the bottom of the funnel, but most of the contacts will be at the top of your funnel. Patience is key! This is the time to develop “Like and Trust”. The goal of Email and Texting is only to start a conversation.
4. Do Your Homework
First, you want to be prepared for the conversation. By doing your homework, you will be more confident when you contact the lead.
- Easy wins - Your database/your reviews!
- The contact has: Brand recognition
- Leveraging the database - even if you have never spoken to this contact they have a connection with your brand.
The benefits for you as the agent:
- You already have some information about the lead
- If it is a converted contact, you have an address
- If the lead is not a converted contact you have a name, and either a phone number, email address, or address
Does the email address give you any clues about the prospect?
Example: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or a corporate domain-based email address (check the website).
Use tools like Forewarn to determine a verifiable phone number, property address, and age. Your MLS may provide you with a free subscription. This tool also helps protect and keep you safe by identifying prospects who have criminal records and judgments.
If you don’t have access to a tool like Forewarn, use these free tools:
- Look on tax records for the last address.
- Google search your prospects.
Look on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media outlets to identify any big life events and put those notes in the contacts information.
Look for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, deaths, births, kids going to college, and job changes; these events will give you insight and can provide talking points about if they are in need of a larger home or are linking about downsizing.
Look for connecting points! For example: You see a contact post about having a baby. Now you have the opportunity to congratulate them and ask if the home still meets their needs. “Congrats on your new addition to the family.” Once rapport is built, ask “Is your home still meeting your needs or do you plan on looking for additional space with the growth of your family? “
If you research and don’t have any information, always use the FORD method. The FORD method creates the opportunity to get to know the contact by asking questions about Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams & Aspirations.
The key is to get people to talk about themselves and what they need. For example: Get the conversation started and listen intently to build trust. Taking time to connect with the contact will build trust and will allow you to become their trusted advisor.
Hi, it's “agent name” from “team name/brokerage name”. It’s been a while since we have connected and we wanted to call/text to check to see how you are doing? COVID has had such an impact on our contacts and I just wanted to check in with you.
These questions can lead to:
- There is a lot going on with the current market. I saw an interesting market report, I will send that to you.
- Are you happy with your current housing? Is it meeting your needs?
- Do you know how much equity you have in the home?
This provides you with the opportunity to assess where they may be in the funnel. For buyers who are just starting their home search (top of the funnel), first set up a saved search based on previously viewed homes and their search criteria. Offer sellers an Equity Estimate.
Remember this time is about building a relationship with the contact, so don’t rush the process. Put yourself in their shoes and relate it to marriage. You don’t meet someone and immediately say “let’s get married!” Similarly, you don’t say “let’s schedule an appointment”.
Build trust by providing resources. Once you build the trust, offer to grab a coffee to answer any questions they may have. If they don’t respond, reach back out. 12 touches are the optimal number of times to follow up with a lead. This gives you time to develop a relationship with the lead.
Once you establish contact with the lead determine where they are in the funnel: Contacts Lead Status.
5. Communication is Key!
Text messages goal - You are trying to get a bubble on the other end
How often should you text this lead? - Put yourself in their shoes - with text messages you have up to 3 opportunities to get the bubble on the other side. If it is someone in your address book, you are more likely to answer the text.
Here is a trick to increase engagement: Over half of cell phone users use iPhones. Siri will look at texts and emails to pull in phone data and will suggest a name based on the text or email.
- Send a text message first.
- Reach out “Hey this is (agent name), saw you were on the (site name). How exciting to start your home shopping! Have you been looking for a while?
- Then call - (if it's an iPhone, Siri suggestions will say Maybe: (Agent Name). This increases your chances to get engagement.
Similarly, Siri will read your email signature with a phone number and also use that as a suggestion.
Some other options for text engagement are:
- Did you see that new listing on Main Street? Wow!
- Are you looking for a two-bedroom home?
- Saw you were looking at homes! Did anything catch your eye?
- Suggest a property (even better if it’s your listing): Did you see 123 Elm! Wow!
- Remember first your goal is: You are just trying to get the engagement
- Text and then follow up with: Hey, it’s (agent name), sorry I forgot to mention I am with (company name)!
- Then call: Not sure how long you have been looking, but I can send you a great report on the Market to give you an idea of trends and prices in the area.
Here are some examples of a Third text message:
- Just so you know I am not some random person (crying emoji) here is a link to get to know a little more about me on (website).
- Don’t you love it when random people text you (emoji) - I don’t want to be that person! Here is the link to my information.
- I love talking real estate and enjoy helping people, if you need any help shoot me a text.
- I am dangerously close to coming across as the annoying (emoji face) I just love helping answer people’s real estate questions.
- I don’t want to come across as pushy “I know I know I am long past that line” just love helping people with their real estate needs. Just feel free to shoot me a text if you need help with your home shopping needs.
6. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up
In the first week of follow-up, make sure you’re addressing the customer’s specific concerns and questions in emails, voicemails, and calls. Always - always answer their questions and personalize your response. There's no better time than to start sending out personalized video emails. Buyer confidence is low right now, but personalization can help you connect with the prospect in a deeper, more meaningful way. Provide the guidance they need to help them feel comfortable with you. Build that connection and help them feel they’re getting the attention they deserve.
When you communicate, use personalization tools. Include video links in the email.
- Examples of email video tools would be: Vidyard (FREE!) and Bomb-Bomb (paid subscription). Try Vidyard before you pay for a subscription and never use it. Vidyard (and Bomb-Bomb) will notify you when your prospects view your video.
- Include your face and screen share with your video email responses/text messages.
- Use the “double-tap” method for your follow-ups. If you email your prospect, also text message them to make sure they check their spam folders in case your emails are sent to the spam folder.
- Hope you're having a great day! It’s (first name w/agent/team name) I can’t wait to chat about your home search. I will call at am/pm (call asap when time permits). In the meantime, what is the #1 feature you are looking for in your new home?
- Additional Options: Hi (buyer first name), I’m (first name), w/(agent/team name). I saw you were on the website and viewed 123 Banana Street. That house has an incredible (feature).
7. Remove the Friction
Make the process as frictionless for the lead/contact as possible. This means you are doing all of the work, but by showing them you are a resource, you are building the Know, Like, and Trust. You will become their trusted advisor.