6 Ways to Make Follow-Up a Priority & Tools to Make It Easier
Lead generation is the key to any successful real estate business. And follow-up is the key to lead generation. Here's advice on how to make following up with potential customers easier and more effective.
1. Make it a priority.
Nobody said prospecting was easy. Write follow-up time on your calendar and treat it like any other appointment.
2. See the profit potential in every lead.
If you have a lead, that individual has already expressed interest in your services. If you don’t value it enough to reach out, someone else will.
3. Communicate the way prospects do.
Some people prefer text while others would rather communicate via email. Ask prospects which method they prefer and act accordingly.
4. Genuinely build rapport.
Prospects know the difference between agents who merely want a listing and those who sincerely have their best interests at heart. Take time to learn about their wants and needs.
5. Don’t ignore warm leads.
Few leads are “hot” and ready to buy on first contact. If a lead isn’t interested in buying or selling right now, keep them on the “warm” list and follow up seasonally. When they’re ready to buy, they’ll be more inclined to use you.
6. Consider an automated system.
If you feel you’re too busy to adequately follow up, opt for a system that automatically does it for you.
Nicki Conway prides herself on being accessible, but when things get busy, the sales associate with Fine Properties in Sarasota can’t always drop everything to follow up on every new lead.
So, when the co-founder of ShoutBoss told her about his innovative platform that uses automation to help agents immediately follow up on leads, she decided to give it a try.
“I used to call every lead but when you’re getting 20 to 30 daily, it’s impossible,” Conway says. Now, when leads come through her website or her CINC (Commissions Inc.) lead generation platform, ShoutBoss automatically replies on her behalf via voice mail, text and email campaigns.
“I have a 57% response rate with ShoutBoss, which is huge,” she says, adding that she has closed several transactions and is in continuous contact with prospects who plan to buy in the near future.
“One lead, who called to apologize that he couldn’t take my call, said he’d be in town the following week and asked if I could show him a few homes. I ended up selling him a multimillion-dollar property. Another lead called and said, ‘Hey Nicki, we’re looking for a condo on Lido Beach.’ I sold them a condo within three weeks.”
Here’s how she uses ShoutBoss:
- Instantly engage prospects. ShoutBoss sends calls directly to the prospect’s voice mail; they never hear the phone ring. “They get a message from me, introducing myself, welcoming them to the website and telling them I’m here to help, and they can call me any time,” she says. “It works. Countless people call to say, ‘Thank you for contacting me,’ or ‘I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you called.’ It’s a straight-to-voice-mail platform. If you’re with a client and the lead comes in, ShoutBoss will take care of it.”
- Show persistence. After Conway’s initial voice mail, ShoutBoss sends a text followed by an email. “In the afternoon, they get another voice mail and text message,” she says. “ShoutBoss will hit them up three times a day, for up to 15 days, until they respond. Once you get a response, it stops automatically. Then, it’s up to you to set an appointment.” Quite a few prospects have told Conway they chose to work with her due to her persistence. “ShoutBoss keeps track of your response rate and which campaigns are working better than others. You can also view your total number of prospects, the number of people who responded and the conversation history.”
- Nuture the right leads. Conway’s farm areas are downtown Sarasota and the barrier islands of Lido Key, Longboat Key, Bird Key, Siesta Key, Casey Key and Manasota Key, and she works with a lot of out-of-state buyers and investors. “Internet leads generally aren’t ready to buy for months or sometimes years, so they involve constant calling and nurturing,” she says. “My biggest return on investment is that ShoutBoss helps me weed through the lookie-loos. Sometimes people purposely put in a bad phone number or email. If so, I usually get a text back saying it’s not the person I was looking for. This helps me concentrate on the real buyers.” Conway spends $149 per month on ShoutBoss. “It works on credits. You start with about 1,500, and each touch with a lead who responds costs one credit. You can buy 500 additional credits for $50. An inside sales agent would cost me thousands of dollars each month, but ShoutBoss has me covered with the phone call, email and text. It’s a great tool that I cannot live without.”
Other automated systems to consider:
Leslie C. Stone is a Vero Beach-based freelance writer.