Do you regularly follow up with potential clients? How about former clients?
Real estate agents who don’t follow up with prospects might as well just be leaving money on the floor. Even the best marketing strategy in the world won’t help you if you don’t follow up on the leads that marketing brings in. Arguably even more important is following up on the prospects that you already have, such as your past clients. Following up with satisfied customers can lead to referrals and repeat business, drastically increasing your client base and ensuring you prosperity for years to come.
If you’re new to the real estate business, until you get the hang of it you might feel uncomfortable about this. You might feel like you’re hounding your prospects with constant follow ups, or spamming their email with newsletters or personal messages, but you need to escape from this mindset. You aren’t harassing them, you’re offering them your services! You just need to use the correct techniques and methods to connect with your prospects and increase the chances that you’ll work with them in the future.
Find the Right Balance
Certainly no one wants to be that annoying salesperson, constantly “checking in” to see if the potential lead is ready to make a deal. A great way to avoid this is to use a variety of different follow up methods. If you’re constantly calling your prospects then yes, it may eventually feel like you’re spamming them.
…But what about sending them a newsletter once a month? This is a very non-invasive and effective approach. In the worst case scenario, they delete it or unsubscribe. No big deal.
…And how about a personal email? Again, they might delete it or not response, but it’s really there’s no harm done, and it can often be very effective. Also see about adding them your prospects on Twitter and LinkedIn, or inviting them to “like” your Facebook page. There are great low-pressure ways to connect and follow up.
If you want to get away from the digital world, you could send them a business postcard through regular mail, which is another way to separate yourself from the agents who are using digital-only methods. Using personalized stationery and envelopes can give this method an extra layer of profession shine.
Have a Goal in Mind
When you call someone, you should always have a reason to do so. You don’t just want to call a lead and say, “Hi, what’s up?” You need something solid to day, a goal; a solid reason to be calling. Essentially, you need a call to action.
Before you start your connection, think about what outcome you want to achieve. If you want an appointment booked, that’s where you’ll want to steer the conversation. Suggest an opportunity to meet in person and hammer out the details, like where you’re going to meet, the date, what you’ll discuss, etc. Having a specific goal in mind will give you something to head towards and will prevent meandering conversations that show no returns or opportunities for the future.
Make it a Habit
Block off time in your calendar to put towards follow ups. Making it part of your daily, weekly, and monthly routine will ensure that this important task doesn’t fall by the wayside. It should be a priority, and the more that it’s part of your regular routine, the easier it will get, the more clients you’ll bring in, and the more successful you’ll become.
Give a Closing Gift
This suggestion is obviously only applicable if you’ve already been working with a client. At the end of a deal, you remember that you always want to leave your client with the best impression possible. A closing gift can be a great way to say, “Thank you for your business”, while also giving them something practical that will help them to get their life in their new home started.
The timing of a closing gift can be very important. Don’t send it the day the deal closes because they’ll already have enough on their minds. You also don’t want to send it while they’re in the middle of moving in, as this can be an incredibly stressful time and your gesture will get lost in the shuffle. We recommend sending a small gift about three weeks to a month after you close a sale. However, it’s up to you to use your own judgement based on the particular situation.
As for the gift, try to personalize it. For example, if they mentioned that they’re looking forward to having a big backyard for BBQs, consider a BBQ gift basket. That kind of a present shows that, not only do you value them as clients, you also value them as people and that you were listening to them throughout the entire process.
Client events give you an opportunity to get face to face time with prospects, both old and new. A client event can be almost anything, from a BBQ during the summer to a holiday party in the winter. What matters is that you have a draw (free food almost always works) and that you invite as many of your current and past clients as possible. Not all of them will show up, but the ones who do will be prime people to follow up with. Make sure that you have enough real estate business cards ready to hand out to all of your guests at the event.
The invitation process also gives you another point of contact with your prospects. Here, you definitely have a clear-cut goal: asking them to your event! You could send out “Save the Date” postcards in the mail, create a Facebook event, and also give them a call a few days before the event to personally invite them to attend.
Following up with prospects is something that many agents just don’t do. That’s unfortunate for them, but a huge plus for you! Follow ups are an incredibly simple way to make an impression and get your name into your prospects’ heads. As long as you have the right equipment, like business cards, envelopes, personalized stationery, etc.–all items that SureFactor can help you with–following ups with prospective clients can be a snap and well worth the time and effort.