Follow through is a crucial business skill, especially in a relationship-based industry like real estate. You need to be thorough when interacting with new prospects to demonstrate your professionalism and commitment. You also need to stay in touch with past clients if you want to generate referral business – and who doesn’t want to do that?
Follow up strategies can be simple or elaborate, affordable or expensive. Below we have outlined some very basic follow up guidelines for 6 occasions that can be easily adapted to fit your working methods and target demographic. To get started, try setting aside just half an hour a week to reach out to contacts you’ve left on the backburner.
Brokerage Owners: Do you know if your agents follow up with leads and past clients on a regular basis? Are their practices in line with your vision? If you don’t know, it’s time to find out. You can use this post to start a conversation about your follow up expectations. And don’t forget, it’s always a good idea to lead by example!
Agents: What percentage of leads are you converting into clients? How much of your business is repeat or referral business? Following up at critical times, like the ones listed below, will help you boost your bottom line.
Online Lead Follow Up
When: Instantly (an hour or less, whenever possible)
How: Use whichever method your lead used to initiate contact with you. If he/she texted you about a listing, be sure to text them back asap. If they sent you an email, answer their questions and seize the opportunity to include additional info or listings you think will be relevant to them. If you don’t hear back right away, try reaching out again after 48 hours.
Open House Follow Up
When: The next day
How: Discriminatingly. Calling every number you solicited at an open house might be overkill. After all, some people are just looky loos and others may be hesitant to work with an agent they perceive as “too pushy.” Use your best judgment and follow through with open house visitors as time allows. For example, you may want to call anyone who approached you during the showing to make sure their questions were answered to their satisfaction. Another follow up technique includes sending thank you cards, thanking prospects for attending your open house and extending your contact information for any inquiries.
Listing Presentation Follow Up
When: The next day
How: If you didn’t close the listing, touch base with the home sellers the next day to thank them for their time and ask if they had any questions about your presentation. Be prepared to reiterate key bullet points, like your list price to sell price ratio and online marketing techniques. If you did close the listing, send an email or thank you card to express your appreciation and your confidence in the successful relationship ahead!
Home Tour Follow Up
When: The next day
How: If you didn’t already schedule a meeting after your home tour to evaluate your progress – or even if you did but the waters are still a little murky – follow up with your buyers the next day, when they’ve had time to sleep on it. How you follow up can be a matter of generational differences; you may want to call some buyers and email or text others.
Closing Follow Up
When: The day or week of closing
How: Although this transaction is now over, you should seize this opportunity to secure the new homeowners as your clients for life, with the hope of being referred to their family and friends as well. The method you choose to follow up or celebrate a closing can depend on the nature of your relationship. Many agents give a closing gift, ranging from a welcome mat or first-night survival kit to a gift certificate to a neighborhood restaurant. Even small things, like address labels or a handwritten thank you card, will make an impact.
Anniversary Follow Up
When: One year after closing
How: Remind your past clients that you’re still in real estate and appreciate their business by sending an email, card or gift on the anniversary of their closing date. This is an easy way to increase your odds of getting repeat and referral business.
How do you like to follow up with your clients? What works for you and what doesn’t?