In fact, according to MarketingSherpa, 79% of marketing leads don’t convert into sales due to a lack of lead nurturing. This sobering statistic points to one fact—the vast majority of sales pros, including Realtors, aren't following up as they should be.
Luckily, there are proven ways to reach out to more prospects, without burning through your time, energy, or other resources.
We're revealing some of the most effective follow-up strategies out there used by a select handful of real estate rockstars.
The best part? Each one of these real-world strategies is grounded in timeless sales fundamentals so that come rain, snow or disruptive tech, you can put follow up first and stay ahead of the game.
#1: Identify and strengthen your digital selling point
Between SEO, social media, and tech powerhouses to rival the likes of Zillow, the real estate landscape has been completely remapped.
That doesn't have to be a bad thing.
Case in point: The team at the Graham Seeby Group came up with a super-smart combo of "new school," and "old school" real estate sales approach to scale to an impressive $90 million in transactions, in just four years.
After regularly connecting with all 289 past clients and SOI contacts in their database via mailer, email, and phone, they then leveraged PPC and Facebook ads to take their business to the next level.
In 2020 and beyond, social media, and especially video, will continue to be big. But that doesn't mean you should drop your tried-and-true follow up methods and set your sights on becoming the next YouTube star.
It just means you should start experimenting with some new format—and you should do it, consistently.
For example, Amy Youngren, one of Inman's most 100 influential real estate leaders, promotes simple, effective videos where she describes the features of the home and the neighborhood it’s situated in. Easy, right?
And effective. Not only is Amy a rising star in real estate, but her videos are also collecting a fast-compounding number of clicks.
Here's how you can strengthen your digital footprint:
Improve your real estate website by making it more memorable and loaded with consumer-friendly info.
Create a landing page to help increase the ROI on every online lead—be sure to use good visuals and an irresistible, value-driven opt-in offer
Experiment with different social media channels by targeting different audiences to see what works in your market, for example:
Use Facebook’s smart advertising system to generate leads through local ad campaigns
Form relationships with pre-qualified leads seeking info on Quora
Or maybe go visual with a rad Instagram campaign.
On another note, building and maintaining a blog is a great way to capture high-quality leads, plus provides a steady stream of ace content for future follow-ups
Darren Robertson of Northern Virginia Home Pro recommends looking into strategic digital partnerships: “Think about where your potential clients may be on the internet. Are they reading local online magazines, buying insurance, or looking into local schools? Partnering with local websites, and getting your business in front of a new audience is a great way to drive traffic to your website, get in front of a new audience, and strengthen your digital footprint”.
Conduct virtual customer research. Due to the recent news and COVID-19 pandemic, more and more businesses have to learn how to do lots of things online. And customer research is not an exception. Here’s the useful toolkit for transitioning to virtual customer research.
Improve your real estate branding - don't let people forget who you are.
#2: Automate, but be smart about it.
Automation is one of the best ways to reduce workload and free up your time and energy for high-impact tasks that really move the needle.
And it's super effective. At least, most of the time.
When done right, smart workflow automation helps Realtors deliver maximum results by eliminating redundancies and reaching out to more prospects in less time. When done wrong, it can make prospects feel like they're talking to a robot.
In one epic example of doing it right, Barry Jenkins of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate nearly doubled his transactions by empowering his team with a smart sales CRM.
“Automating lead generation and follow up gave my agents the flexibility to have some kind of rhythm in their life,” says Barry.
But even solo agents can use automation to their advantage.
Top Realtor Brandon Grass uses a smart lead management system to manage a whopping 15,000 leads. His sales strategy is largely based on cold calling, but with an automated system for logging call notes and reminding Brandon when it's time for a follow-up, he's already booked 80 listing appointments this year.
Here’s how to start your smart automation journey:
Take a good look at your sales process to pinpoint the clunky, complex or time-consuming areas ripe for automation
Identify and personalize follow up timelines based on your prospects' priorities
Use a CRM to automate the redundancies and keep you and your team on top of every last lead in your database
Use Zapier to integrate any other relevant apps or programs and send relevant automated content to leads
#3: Make it personal
Despite the millions of shiny new tech tools at our disposal, human connection is still the holy grail of sales—, especially in real estate.
Successful Realtors Monica Diaz and Jay Campbell combined in-person interaction from open houses with personalized online follow up to maximize ROI from their listings (a strategy that helped them close over $300 million in sales).
Similarly, solo agent Dustin Brohm of Search Salt Lake closed a lead that he had generated three years prior—simply by keeping the prospect on his radar and following up once every quarter.
Here are a few ways to leverage tech without losing the personal touch:
Employ AI-powered tools like Spacio to capture live leads by uploading lead contact info automatically into your CRM
With the increasing reliance on tech, live events will form an integral part of setting you apart from competitors—customers value an in-person experience
Maintain contact with leads even if the conversations go on for several months
Whichever method you choose, remember that the ultimate advantage comes from simply sticking with it.
In the words of the aforementioned rainmaker, Barry Jenkins, "What's going to help you stand out is staying relevant to your leads over six months. I believe long-term follow up is what will make agents successful in the future."
Real estate sales are complicated, but following up doesn't have to be.
According to PwC’s emerging real estate trends report, "If people don’t recognize technologies are existing and how to integrate them, opportunities are being missed.”
We couldn’t agree more.
There's no escaping it: Technology has significantly disrupted real estate. And there are no signs of stopping. The upside is that when used correctly, it also gives Realtors the upper hand.
About the author: The above article on the importance of follow up in real estate was written by Dave Lawrence. Dave is the Head of Growth at Follow Up Boss, a CRM for real estate teams. In his role he spends his time ‘under the hood’ of many of the top-performing real estate sales teams in North America, helping them leverage technology and process to become more effective at delivering value and service to their clients.