Real estate, as all sales businesses, is a numbers game. No matter how you are getting leads, the vast majority of people you talk to about real estate will not be ready to buy right now. That means you need a game plan for organizing the leads and following up with them so that you are the agent they remember and call on when they are ready, whether that is two months from now or two years plus.
Thinking about how to organize your database is a great thing to do while you are taking classes or just getting started as this is the time you don’t have actual clients to deal with yet with the phone constantly ringing. Some of this can be changed fairly easily depending on the CRM software you decide to use along the way. It may seem silly to think about this now, but I can’t tell you how often I hear of agents that have created a Facebook ad or sent postcards and are now asking what they should send to people that respond! They should have had that figured out before sending anything! So here are some things to think about.
Types of Clients
What type of marketing do you do or are you planning to do? If you are thinking of working with your sphere of influence, that type of followup will be a lot different than if you want to farm apartment buildings for first time buyers. Write down all of the types of leads you could get, they could be people looking in specific areas, people interested in first time buyer programs, for sale by owners, expired listings, etc. You will want a plan for each type.
There are many theories on how often you should followup with a new lead. Testing how often and what types of followups work best to get responses is imperative, but start with something! Don’t get bogged down in the details. Everyone in real estate will tell you to followup with new leads within 5 minutes and I believe that is a must, but after that it will be up to you to determine what you are comfortable with and what works for your leads. Most agents have a plan to followup multiple times in the first few days if they have not had a response, and then the followups spread out after that. Whatever you do, don’t stop following up unless the lead asks you to. Just because they haven’t responded yet doesn’t mean they never will. I’ve had sales from people after 2+ years of never responding, you just never know where people are in life.
Types of Followup
The top 4 ways to connect with potential clients are of course the phone, email, regular mail, and social media. Texting and phone calls tend to get faster and more responses, but it’s important to include as many forms of communication as possible. As you determine what types of followups you want to do you can narrow down which CRM’s will work with your plans. For instance if you plan to have automatic text messages sent, you need a CRM that will do that. If you want to send video texts introducing yourself, you want to make sure the CRM you choose can do that as well. There are plenty of CRM’s out there now, and most have a free trial period so you can test things out a bit to find the perfect one for you.
Content of the Followups
This is where most agents get hung up. What should your emails say? What type of voicemail should you leave? The list goes one. Most CRM’s come with sample plans setup that you can tweak to your liking or get inspiration from. Sometimes the easiest message is the best, “Hey are you still thinking about buying a home?” Don’t overthink it! Just put a plan in place so something is going out.
Here are just a few of the choices you have in CRM’s, many others are available as complete lead generation and followup systems, but that is a different discussion for another day!