9 Real Estate Lead Follow-Up Tips
You’ve been working hard (and smart) to generate leads… and it’s working. They are flowing in at a swift pace. Great… but you are nowhere near done! Leads are certainly critical, but what you do next impacts your success and bottom line. Are you following up on leads strategically? Are you working just as hard (and smart) to nurture leads as you are to generate them? If not, then you’re ultimately wasting time and money. No one wants to squander those precious resources, so let’s dig into some follow-up tips for real estate agents.
Real Estate Lead Follow-Up: 9 Tips to Nail It
- Be Patient and Don’t Give Up. Remember, you’re playing the long game here. Real estate isn’t like other consumer sectors: people don’t typically impulse buy a house like they will a candy bar or pair of shoes.
Current research suggests that 80% of “non-routine” purchases, such as buying a home, happen after five or more follow-ups. That’s right: making a phone call or sending an email or two is not going to cut it! You need to nurture that lead. Another statistic to keep in mind: well over half (63%) of people who do contact a real estate professional don’t buy for at least three months.
This can seem frustrating, but it's an opportunity. You should have leads at all stages of the journey. While you are actively completing transactions with some, you should be following up with and nurturing others. (In other words, our first real estate lead follow-up tip is to never neglect real estate follow-up!)
- Carve Out the Time. We know your to-do list is a mile and a half long - on a slow day. Ask yourself, though: are you in “putting-out-fires” mode or are you working proactively to build your business? You need to make the time to follow-up on leads. Without this effort, you will not have a consistent pipeline of prospects and clients to ensure continuity.
- Contact Leads on Their Terms. A great way to turn leads off is to be obnoxious and intrusive. Let’s not be obnoxious or intrusive! After you make contact for the first time, ask about their communication preferences. Would they rather get a phone call, text, email, social media ping, etc.? When they control this aspect of the relationship, they feel more comfortable and confident in you. Also enquire about times of day they prefer to communicate (which is more applicable to calls and texts).
- Put Some Meat into Your Messages. Don’t you love it when you get marketing communications from brands that are just full of fluffy platitudes and pretty words that manage to have virtually no meaning whatsoever? No. No, you don’t. And your leads do not either. Put some substance into your messages. You are a real estate expert, so position yourself as such. Use key facts and stats about the local market to bolster follow-up conversations. What are interest rates doing? Is it a buyer’s or seller’s market? How many comparable sales have you closed in the past 6-12 months? What was the timeline? Leads like numbers.
- Put Email Templates to Work for You. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Using high-quality email templates can help you increase interest rates and completed calls to action. Now, while you don’t need to reinvent, you can and should put your own flavor into every communication. The template will give you a great framework and structure on which to build, and be sure to watch your email opens and click-throughs!
Are people opening your messages? Interacting with them? Clicking on links? You cannot afford to guess. For example, when a prospect is opening and reading your emails, it’s a great signal that it’s time for a call. You’re top of mind for them, and you can nurture them along their journey towards a transaction. Use the analytics tools available to you via your email platform or lead management system to track this.
- Document Contact Attempts. Be organized; a haphazard approach to follow-up is doomed to failure. Create a system to track your contacts and attempts, whether it’s a spreadsheet or a lead management system. This will help you follow a schedule of optimal times to follow-up throughout the year.
- Provide Value. In real estate, there’s the old “Location, Location, Location” mantra. In marketing, we have “Content Is King!” (We do love our mantras.) Content allows you to deliver value to your prospects and leads, establish and build your authority and credibility, and position yourself as the solution for which they have been looking.
Share content that you have created that targets their specific stage of the buyer’s journey, so you are grabbing people whether they are testing the waters of putting their house on the market or they’re actively searching for an agent. From “Is Now the Right Time to Buy/Sell” type articles to “Top Ten Tips to Stage Your Home,” your goal is to provide the answers they need, when they need them.
- What’s Next? Tell Them! When you follow-up with a lead, put next steps into action by making a concrete plan. For example, ask if you can reach out in one month to see where they are in their decision making process. Or, for someone further along, set up a meeting or viewing.
- Know When to Fold ‘Em. Persevering is part of any real estate agent’s job! You need to follow-up diligently and often (as mentioned, it takes five or more follow-ups to close the deal). But if someone tells you flat out they’re not interested and to cease and desist, respect their wishes. You will gain nothing by pushing. Instead, let them know you will be there should they change their mind or their circumstances. This will go over much better, and you won’t burn a bridge.
Follow-up is an absolutely critical part of being a real estate professional. Take the first steps to achieving more leads by advertising with Homes & Land. Shine a spotlight on you and your listings, while nurturing solid, trusting relationships with leads as they go through the real estate process.