The follow-up game
You met a buyer at an open house and got their email address and phone number. Now what? Similar to dating, it is on you to initiate the first form of post-meet communication with your potential client. Even if you gave them your business card, they will probably not reach out to you because they are talking to 15 other agents who are doing the same thing as you.
Think of your client as the hot girl at the bar and every other agent as the douchebag in a flannel shirt who is also hitting on her. The key is to separate yourself from everyone else. Find something in common with your client, make them laugh and then follow up with an email the in next couple of days with an inside joke that leads to business.
Just like your first text message to a girl, the first email you send is crucial to your relationship. You must send something that requires a response but also pushes yourself in the general direction of seeing them again. But, instead of asking them to meet you for drinks, you are trying to get them to see a house.
For example, you can actually use your dating text as a template for your buyer follow-up email:
Hey, (insert name), it was really nice to meet you at (insert either bar or open house), I would love to (get drinks or show you some homes) this weekend if you are free. Let me know if this works for you!
A slight difference between texting a girl and emailing a client will be your use of punctuation. As real estate agents, we must seem slightly overeager to show our clients that we are both polite and enthusiastic. I do not recommend using this strategy when talking to a female. If you hit her with a multitude of exclamation marks and double questions, you will most likely creep her out and never see her again.
Is your buyer real or fake?
A real estate agent must determine if his leads are real or not by analyzing his client’s response by a formula: content over response time (content/response time). This formula can also be used to gauge the interest of the opposite sex. However, one must also recognize that the appropriate response time of an email differs from that of a text.
If a girl takes a day to respond to you with an unpunctuated, short response, she is not interested. If a client takes a week to respond with little to no information of what they are looking for — they are not real. Separate your real leads from your fake leads. Once you get your response, you must analyze the content and then decide how quickly you should respond back.
This is where dating and client follow-up have the greatest difference. If a girl texts you back in an hour, you should double your response time and respond in two hours, acting like you were too busy to respond immediately. You do not want to seem overeager like she is the only girl in your phone book.
You also do not want to seem overeager with your clients, but they will expect a quick response, so you can be more liberal with your follow-up. The key is to differentiate yourself from everyone else. If you can get the hot girl at the bar, you can master your buyer follow-up.
What tricks have you learned in the art of follow-up? Please share in the comments section below.
Wes Pinkston has been in real estate sales for several years and has witnessed firsthand the complexities of a deal and all the factors that remain out of our control. He created The Broke Agent to provide comedic relief in an industry that is both stressful and unpredictable. Always remember, no matter how rough of a day you are having, his day is worse. May the force be with us all.