Real estate success hinges on strong follow-up, and we’ve got the tips to help.
As a real estate agent, you have so much on your plate. You need strong knowledge of your local housing market, an entrepreneurial spirit, self-motivation, strong attention to detail, and readiness to hustle! You are meeting new people every day – and you’re under pressure to strike a good first impression with everyone you meet.
So how do you stay on top of it all? How do you follow up with all those wonderful folks that you met that may or may not need your real estate expertise? Here are a few tips:
Develop a Tracking System
Find a method of contact tracking that will work for you. You need a place to record new lead information, their preferences, etc. For some, a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system that tracks everything is ideal. For others, a spreadsheet that allows you to record basic information on the people you meet and your contact attempts is enough.
The key to successful follow-up is tracking your efforts. You cannot remember everything – so find somewhere to record important information on your leads.
Decide Who Needs Follow-Up
Some people are eager to speak about real estate, but not everyone is ready to buy or sell a property. Pay attention to the needs and motivations of the people you interact with. Understanding someone’s needs will help you to determine what follow-up strategy is appropriate.
For example, you may meet a delightful couple looking to move in six months. This couple surely does not want you calling them every day for the next six months – but you definitely want them to know you are available to help when their need arises. Make a note in your tracking document and follow-up when the time is right.
You will also want to pay special attention to your VIP contacts – those that frequently request your services, refer you business regularly, or introduce you to new people expanding your network.
Identify Communication Preferences
Not everyone communicates the same. It’s a best practice to find out what form of communication is preferable to your contact – phone, email, in-person, text message, etc. This is another bit of information you should record in your tracking document.
Develop a Follow-Up Schedule for Your Contacts
Of course you’ll want to stay connected with leads, but you also need to stay in touch with your past customers too. Remember how we said that you need to understand the needs and motivations of your leads? A different approach may be needed for the couple looking to move in six months than the woman that needs to move immediately due to job transfer.
On average, people move about 12 times in their lives. A good follow-up schedule helps you stay top of mind with all your contacts – even if they are not currently in the market for your services. Staying top of mind with your past customers will also help you generate referrals.
The Fun Stuff
Not sure where to begin? Here are a couple of follow-up ideas to help you get started:
- Birthday greetings – If you know your contact’s birthday, it is a simple thing to drop a card in the mail, send a quick text, tag them in a birthday wish on Facebook, or make a quick phone call.
- Anniversary messages – Keep track of your contact’s closing date. Who else should congratulate them on their first anniversary in their home than the person who helped them get it?
- Quirky gifts – From time to time, send a funny little gift and a cute card. There are so many fun ideas out there.
- Annual check-ins – This is a must! An annual check-in takes a bit more time, but it’s a great opportunity to ask your past customers what’s going on in their life? Perhaps they are considering a vacation property purchase? Maybe they are thinking about downsizing. An annual check-in is always a great opportunity to ask for a referral – let your past customer know that the heart of your business is referrals!