If you’re like many, making follow-up calls to leads may be one of those things you drag your feet about. But, in real estate, where time is of the essence, and competition is fierce, you can’t afford to avoid making those calls and depending only on emails and other impersonal means of electronic communication. A simple phone call allows you to read a potential client’s response in their voice, and if you’re good, you can modify your approach to match their concerns.
Follow-up calls are just as challenging as cold calls.
In cold calling, it’s pretty much a numbers game – the more you make, the better the odds of success. With follow-up calls, you have the opportunity to actually establish a relationship and gather substantive information. Take notes. Don’t blow the opportunity by saying you’re just checking in. The goal is to schedule a meeting.
It doesn’t hurt to have a script, as long as you don’t sound like a recording.
Rehearse your opening line. You’re first inclination is likely to be, “Hi. This is so-and-so. I’m just calling to follow up.” Ditch that line. They’ve heard it before.
It’s obviously good to identify yourself, but then you want to specifically refer to your most recent contact. Maybe it was a cold call that was receptive. Refer to your notes. Remind them what you talked about and that you may have some recommendations for them. Maybe you sent a Corefact mailing to their neighborhood. Offer to discuss home values in their area, including their own, even if they’re not thinking of selling right now.
Take the relationship to the next step by adding value to your call.
If you sent out Corefact mailings about recent home sales in their neighborhood, have facts about the sales at hand so you can discuss them intelligently. You want them to have confidence in your knowledge of the market. Keep in mind that the purpose of the call is to schedule a meeting.
If you don’t already have their email address, ask for it so you can send them an interesting article that addresses their concerns, whether it’s increasing curb appeal or how much to invest in improvements to make a home more appealing. You should already have a file of articles to choose from, and if you don’t, start now to develop one. Even if they don’t read the article, they’ll feel like you’ve taken a personal interest in their concerns.
Follow-up on your follow-up.
Sending a follow-up email with information that they can use, even if they didn’t ask for it, allows you to remind them of your expertise and knowledge. It will also be an opportunity to determine the next steps, should they decide to move forward with the sale of their home. And of course, you can offer to help them find their next one.
Say thank you.
In this time of electronic communication, a hand-written thank you note won’t get lost in a potential client’s spam folder. It will be in their mail box. It’s a tactile reminder of your conversation, will probably put a smile on their face, and hopefully be a piece they will hold onto and refer to when they need a real estate professional.