Follow Up Methods to Ensure a Smooth Transaction
I'm going to follow up in a series of articles on the lead follow up process that you create with your Sellers, Buyers or Brokers. First, in the series I talked about how to get leads at the beginning of the process, how to keep the leads flowing during the process, establishing trust, etc. However, I want to get back to basics and discuss the importance of following up with your leads.
The fact that virtually every Agent and Broker that you work with has their own system of follow up, but not everyone follows up. Why do some people disregard the follow up process? Because they don't realize that they need to do so. Of course they don't want to do any follow up, because they can get "no" returns with their leads. BUT, if they were to follow up, they could dramatically increase their close rates, their word-of-mouth, and their referral rate. We have been able to accomplish this by simply following up and, more often than not, boasting about our follow up system. Let me walk you through a simple Follow Up Guide for you to use when following up to send out your leads.
How to Follow Up Your Leads
Here are the steps to follow up with your leads. Feel free to pass this information onto your Sellers, Property Managers, and Brokers, as well.
There is no complicated follow up system. We've made a simple follow up guide that you can print and eye ball to check off all the tasks that you need to do for that lead. Here is our handy follow up guide:
What to Do With A Lead
There are a lot of things to do with a lead once it's been sent out to your database and it seems you have a match for the property. Some people are more inclined into the follow-up process than others. If you happen to have a lead that is being junk or has no information when the Seller sends it in, categorize it and then simply contact them to get some information. If they have information they would be willing to give you at least a phone call, emails them, or call them back once that information is in their hands.
If there is nothing of note, categorize the lead and still send it in. You wouldn't want to waste any time chasing the seller up should the led turn out to be unavailable. If they have any information that may be useful to you, great! Set up a meeting with them to discuss it, and if that information turns out to be of value to the seller, you can give them what they are looking for and make it a win-win situation. If there is not any information of note, revert back to the Seller and ask for a phone call to give them the lead and explain why it wasn't gathered.
When need be, you can even follow up with someone that has sent you a lead, simply done a search in their name, and pulled up the most recent listings. You can follow up with them on those listings in a simple phone call or email; get the address, ask a few questions about the property, and quickly pass it on to the seller if there is information of note.
We do NOT encourage trying to call sellers without having previously met with them or without having had a chance to ask them a bunch of questions. Doing due diligence in the lead follow-up process can very easily backfire in the rejection process if you are not comfortable with someone that you meet with. Think about this: talking to a potential seller without knowing anything about their ability to pay or what their expectations are from you is NOT the best situation to be in.
Document Your Follow Up Tips
The important thing to keep in mind about follow up is that you are not just using it to collect information; you are using it to documenting and transporting work product, if you are not prepared to document the lead, why would you ever collect that information in the first place?
The first step in any lead follow up process is this: you have to have an understanding about what value you can provide the lead. If the lead didn't qualify for your Services or for your pricing information, you don't want to do a follow up on the lead. How frustrating is it to follow up on something that isn't going to move off your desk? Again, that is not what following up is for. A lead doesn't have to necessarily convert to a sale--you simply need to know that it is convertable.
How do you know that it is convertable? You are simply gathering all of the necessary information and then submitting a followsup.
Why do you need to know what the Lead is worth?