You just got a new lead.
Your first Facebook or Instagram ad has just started running, and the results are finally coming in!
WELL, pour yourself a glass, call your friends, and make a toast.
You did it!
But wait, hold the champagne. Your job isn’t quite over yet...
Leads are great, and don’t get us wrong, they are important. But, we’re here to tell you the hard truth: getting hundreds of leads is not enough to make you a successful real estate agent.
Yes, you heard us right. You can generate two leads, or 200 leads, but you won’t get any closer to closing a deal if you’re not following up properly. Your follow up process is what will make or break your career in real estate.
As Scottsdale real estate agent, Jeff Fisher, puts it, “If you’re not going to take every lead seriously and work it to death, then there’s no sense in getting any leads at all.”
You’ve probably already heard this multiple times. In fact, the majority of real estate agents do know that follow up is important, but very few actually have a solid strategy that they execute for every lead they get.
Well, that’s exactly why we decided to write this post. Read on for our tried and true follow up strategy for lead conversion.
Always start with a phone call. Getting someone on the phone is the best way to convert a lead. It allows you to have a full conversation: introduce yourself, explain how you can help, and answer any questions your lead may have then and there. When it comes to calling your leads, there are a few rules to follow in order to boost your conversions.
Make sure that you call all of your leads within the first 5 minutes of them contacting you, as this is when you have the highest chance of reaching them.
According to HubSpot, companies who reached out to leads within an hour were nearly seven times more likely to have meaningful conversations than those who waited even 60 minutes.
If you’re following up with leads from your PropertySimple Facebook and Instagram lead ads, you should give your lead a call as soon as you receive the email or text message notification that you have a new lead from your ad.
One of our favorite tricks for getting leads on the phone is double dialing. People are usually hesitant to answer a phone call from an unknown number. But think about it - if you receive a call from that same number two times in a row, your curiosity is sparked. This person must have a reason that they’re calling you.
It's possible that you still won't catch your lead on the second call. If this is the case, your third step is to leave a voicemail. Before you call, always be prepared with what you’ll say if the call goes to voicemail. There’s nothing worse than being caught off guard, and stammering through your opportunity to make a connection with your lead.
Write down some notes of what you want to say, or even better, have a few templates on hand that you can turn to. At the end of your voicemail, it’s always good to remind them that you’ll be following up via email with some properties that might interest them.
So, in your follow-up strategy, add these first three actions to your checklist:
If your lead didn’t answer after you called twice and left a voicemail, don’t despair. Just because they didn’t pick up the phone does not mean that your lead is not interested. Remember the golden rule of follow up - don’t assume someone isn’t interested until they give you a straight up NO.
Your next step is to send them a text message. Text messages are effective because people receive a notification on their phone, and it’s quick and easy for them to respond. In fact, response rates to SMS marketing are 7.5x higher than email.
When sending a follow-up text message to a lead, there are various strategies that you can try. One that we love is sending a text message with the simple question: “Is this [first name]?”
Why it works: with follow up, the goal should always be to start a conversation. If you overload them with information all at once, they have no reason to respond. You’ve already given them all the details they need. However, if you spark their curiosity without giving them too much information, they are much more likely to respond to your text.
If the conversation continues from there, awesome! Provide information and answer their questions via text message, but always maintain the goal of eventually getting them on the phone.
If they don’t respond right away, don’t give up. Remember, they are still a potential client until they respond with a solid NO.
Follow-up strategy checklist:
The best place to connect with a lead is the source that they originally came from. So if your lead came from Facebook, you MUST include this platform in your follow up.
First, find them on Facebook and add them as a friend. You can send them a message without being friends, but the message will show as a “message request” instead of a normal message to their Facebook Messenger inbox. It’s much more likely that a lead will see and reply to a Facebook message if you’re friends first.
The other benefit of adding them as a friend on Facebook is that it makes it easy to stay in touch. Maybe they’re not ready to buy a home now, but if you stay in touch on Facebook and consistently remind them that you’re a real estate agent, you’ll be the one they contact 6 months down the line when they are ready.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find people on Facebook. In a search for a common name, chances are, you’ll get over 100 results. An easy trick to narrow your search is filtering by location.
To do this, just go to the left side of your Facebook search, and under “filter results” go to “City”. Here you can select the city that your lead is from to narrow your results. Hit enter, and you’ll see your search results go from 100 or more, to one or two people.
Don’t know the location of your lead? If you have their phone number, you can easily do a quick Google search of the area code to determine the city that they're from. If you don’t have their phone number, it’s always safe to assume that they’re probably from the city of your listing, or somewhere nearby.
Once you’ve found them on Facebook, send them a friend request. You’ll get a notification when they’ve accepted your friend request, which means it’s time to follow up with a message and start the conversation.
Follow-up strategy checklist:
Email may no longer be the king of sales follow up. However, it still should play an important role in your follow up strategy. In your email, mention that you tried to reach them by phone, and sent them a text message following up.
It’s important to keep your email short and to the point. Studies have shown that emails with 200 words or less have the best open and click-through rates.
The second rule for email follow up? Provide value. Make sure that you focus on THEM, and not YOU. One of the best ways to provide value in a follow-up email (and bring your lead back to you), is to send them a Collection that you’ve created with properties that you’ve hand-picked to meet their needs.
Pro tip: Give your lead a reason to continue the conversation by asking questions. Emails that contain one to three questions are 50% more likely to get replies than emails without any questions. A great way to incorporate a question into your email is to make your selection of properties for your client fairly broad, and to ask if the properties you’ve chosen meet their needs.
Follow-up strategy checklist:
No response is not a no. It could even be a yes. But you’ll never know if you don’t follow up. Not following up with a lead because they didn’t respond could mean losing a potential buyer or seller.
This checklist covers the basics of just your first point of contact with a lead. However, a successful follow-up strategy should have at least six calls over the period of one month, as well as 6-7 follow up emails and multiple text messages (if you need inspiration, you can use our free follow up email templates). If added your lead on Facebook, they are also now part of your social media network, where you should be posting consistently to remind your network that you are a real estate agent.
So, before you pop the champagne, make sure you finish all the steps in this checklist, for Every. Single. Lead. We can promise you that if you follow this process for every lead new get, your real estate business will skyrocket. Then, it’s really time to celebrate.