Don’t let Leads Go Cold Part 2 – Have a Follow Up Process

Lead Follow-up

In Part 1 of this series about keeping leads warm we discussed the new definition of “responsive” and the importance of being that first conversation with a lead. In the second part of the series our focus moves beyond responsiveness and answers the question: “How do we nurture and leverage all the contacts we make even when they aren’t ready to engage?”

Facts About Lead Follow Up

A study by the Harvard Business Review found that most businesses fall into a pattern of neglect when it comes to leads. They waste about 71 percent of leads by not following up or stopping contact too soon. Then consider that lead-to-close rates in real estate sales run between 1% and 5% in most studies and you begin to see why every contact is precious. For every 100 contacts an agent gets, they will do a deal with 1 to 5 people. If an agent is not engaging every contact and their close rate is at the lower end of that scale, they are doing themselves a disservice and limiting their income potential.

The message here is clear for brokers and their agents: Even if the vast majority of leads do not immediately turn into transactions, each new lead should be treated with a sense of urgency and pursued as if it is coming from a ready, willing, and able home buyer or seller. Most experienced real estate professionals we talk to understand this intuitively, yet many of those same individuals struggle with both the timeliness and the consistency of this follow up for all but the most promising opportunities.

Contacts are Investments

Timely response to leads makes the prospect feel appreciated and makes the impression that you are a highly responsive professional. But how do you nurture contacts who are not ready to move forward?  Here are a few ideas from the team at Weichert Real Estate Affiliates.

  1. The contact information of the person can be added to your CRM system for periodic email contact and promotion. The more information you can record about the individual in your initial conversation, the better. This includes address, profession, reason for the contact, family members, ages, even birthday’s or anniversary’s if possible.
  2. They can be encouraged to like your office or business Facebook and Instagram Pages, increasing the reach of social media marketing efforts.
  3. Things like birthdays can be put into your CRM system so best wishes can be sent as a reminder that you are there for them.
  4. Send them a hand written card in 6 months reminding them of your conversation in some way. They’ll be impressed that you haven’t forgotten them and the personal touch will be appreciated.
  5. A newsletter can be mailed or emailed to them periodically to stay front of mind.
  6. They can be personally invited to open houses, improving the pool of potential homebuyers for all such activities inside your brokerage.
  7. Host a home buying/selling seminar and invite them to attend.

All this nurturing is done by the most successful associates and creates the kind of relationship that can lead to an active lead, when the prospect is finally ready to move forward.

Nurturing Contacts Efficiently

As Brokers, we need to focus on helping our agents close sales and often the time required for good follow up on everyone else is hard to come by.  Nurturing leads tends to slip as a priority when faced with clients active in the home search or the offer stage. That’s why having both a regular process and tools for lead nurturing can be so valuable to brokers and agents. An obvious aide to efficient lead nurturing is a good Real Estate CRM.  As an example, Weichert offers its proprietary system to all affiliates called Weichert®PRO. This system is tied directly into our national lead generation technology, enabling both brokers and agents to effectively manage more leads and clients. Things like planning, promotion and follow up from an open house are facilitated within the tool, leveraging software designed specifically for that. Email campaigns can be configured to regularly stay in contact with everyone on your contact list. Even personalized ones can be easily generated for birthdays and anniversaries etc.

But perhaps most important is the use of a specific process for lead follow up that is timely, efficient, and personal. For instance, at Weichert we have developed a system for nurturing that is actually supported by our CRM tool. The tool perfectly aides this process, and your team can define highly effective nurturing campaigns, while spending less than ½ hour a week to keep those leads from going cold.

Follow Up Makes a Big Difference

Whether it is a phone call after an initial meeting or a handwritten note expressing gratitude for the opportunity to earn their business, small gestures do mean a great deal. It’s definitely the Weichert Way. When you make a personal connection with leads early, it increases the effectiveness of all future communications and lays the groundwork for a successful long term relationship.

If you would like information on how your brokerage can benefit from the training and lead nurturing tools provided by Weichert, Contact our team at  today.