FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Successful → Follow Up and Follow Through
Research + action steps on how staying connected and in touch with your prospects will get you more listings
According to Ray White’s CEO of Growth – Mark McLeod – agents who have good communication plans that connect them with property owners earn higher commissions and had greater success rates [than those who didn’t].
Here are 6 ways you can make sure you’re not leaving money on the property listing table in your residential real estate business
Make sure you follow up
Follow up more than once
According to Hubspot research 44% of people give up after one follow up.
Make sure you’re one of the 56% of sales people who continue beyond the first contact.
According to McLeod, Ray White research showed 93% of prospects need to be called at least six times before they’re converted.
How many times do you attempt before you give up?
Get better than average
Average salespeople make only 2 attempts to reach a prospect, whereas 80% of sales require 5 follow up calls and 93% (that’s almost every single prospect!) 6 or more. Six!!!!
Lead from the front
Be the first person to call.
There’s research that shows a whopping 35-50% of sales go to the person who makes contact first. For example, if you follow up a lead within 5 minutes you’re more than 9x (that’s 900%) more likely to convert them. [source: InsideSales]
How can you follow up a lead within five minutes? Follow through on emails ASAP. Likewise texts and phone calls.
Today (sadly) people have short attention spans, demand instant gratification and want to be the centre of everyone’s attention (especially yours!). Make sure you at least respond in some way – even if it’s to send a quick response acknowledge receipt of the email / txt and that you’ll get back to them within the hour (or two or three – whatever works for you).
Have a plan of action to keep your prospects warm and nurtured
Sixty three per cent – 63% – of people requesting information on your company today won’t purchase for at least three months (and 20% will take longer than a year to buy).
What might a request for information look like? As a real estate agent this request for information from you could be in the form of a property appraisal request.
Further, nurtured leads – that is, prospects in your pipeline whom you’re keeping warm and are nurturing – make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. [source: The Annuitas Group]
“Larger purchases” when it comes to real estate can include:
- VPA – vendor paid advertising
- Professional photography
Statistics or Stories?
According to bestselling authors Chip & Dan Heath only one person in twenty (that’s just a mere 5%) will remember the statistics you quoted while 63% will remember the stories you told.
When you need to explain complex stuff do it with pictures, diagrams and stories. Examples of “stories” can be case studies – previous client experiences of similar situations.
Why are your vendors really selling?
Did you know that 70% of people make purchasing decisions to solve a problem while only 30% make decisions to gain something?
When you know why your vendors are really selling you’ll be in a much better position to help them. Some examples of what type of solutions your prospects want can include:
- Better school zone
- Safer neighbourhood
- Upsizing / downsizing
Ask for referrals when your clients are on a high
Research shows that 83% of consumers are comfortable making a referral after a positive experience. [source: Texas Tech University]
Further, customers are more likely to buy when referred by a friend, and that the lifetime value of referred clients is 16% higher than non-referred clients. [source: Journal of Marketing]
According to the New York Times, 65% of a company’s new business is from referrals. If most of your business is from non-referred business you’re leaving serious money on the table.
And talking of referred clients – they’re 18% more loyal and spend 13.2% more than non-referred clients (think: VPA, photography, staging).
Social Media & Technology
Are you “current” with where your clients are and where they’re moving to? I’m not referring to physical street addresses here. Instead, I’m referring to social media and technology.
For example, in 2007 (not that long ago really) it took an average of 3.68 attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8. [source: Telenet & Ovation Sales Group]
You have to at least match the pace of your clients and, preferably, be ahead of them – waiting for them “there” (wherever “there” is).
Did you know that salespeople who use social selling as part of their sales process outperform their sales peers and exceed quota by 23% more often. [source: Aberdeen]
LinkedIn (think: social selling) isn’t just business-to-business. For example, LinkedIn members who join LinkedIn groups are 70% more likely to get an appointment or an unexpected sale.
Top salespeople who use LinkedIn as part of their sales & marketing strategy spend at least 6 hours per week “driving” the platform. [The Sales Management Association]
What a lot of people don’t realise is that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. [source: hubspot]
Admittedly, there is a knack to selling socially, but once you’ve got it sussed it really can be an important and critical aspect of your overall personal branding and marketing campaigns.
“Content” is where it’s at online. Content is about educating your prospects in a subtle way. 82% of buyers viewed at least 5 pieces of content before they purchase. [source: Forrester]
And talking of content – 57% of a buyer’s journey is completed before they talk to a salesperson. This is one of the reasons you need to be online yourself and why the likes of Trade Me and realestate.co.nz play such important roles in a real estate agent’s business. Today, your buyers and vendors check just about everything out online first.
Buyers (generally) are far more educated and information-savvy than they’ve ever been in the past. You might find this article helpful – Real Estate Agent Digital Marketing – the Power of Google + LinkedIn. It explains why you need to be especially cognisant of your professional digital profile and reputation.
So why should you be interested in creating “content”? Well, perhaps the fact that 68% of consumers (that’s your vendors and buyers) feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it. That’s almost 7 out of 10 people. I think that’s a pretty darn good reason to start creating “content”.
How to double your sales & marketing ROI spend
Would you like to double your marketing? If so, ensure that your sales and marketing is aligned.
What does this mean?
It means that you must walk the walk and talk the talk.
Put another way, if you want to target the top 1% of property sales in your area you’ll need to make sure that your “message” aligns to your market.
Be in synch
Do you have a PA? Are you and s/he in synch together? If so, you can expect to experience a 67% better closing rate than agent teams where there is discord and disharmony. [source: Marketo]
Take a note of what works and what doesn’t
I know this sounds pretty obvious but, like Albert Einstein says, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting a different result!
Measure the results you get from your prospecting according to the time of day. Regardless of what type of prospecting you do (cold calling, door knocking, letterbox drops, email marketing) keep a track of when you do it and the results you get.
For example, research from InsideSales.com and the Kellogg School of Business has determined that the best time to cold call is between 4:00-5:00pm. The second best time is 8:00-10:00am and the worst times are 11:00am and 2:00pm.
How do these times fit in with your results?
You may find that the best time to (telephone) call is in the evening (which is what seems to be the best time for most of the agents I coach).
Or maybe you have a better strike rate on some days of the week than others…?
Keep track of your metrics
How many times do you have to pick up the phone to connect with the person you want to connect with?
- What times work best?
- Which days work best?
- What opening lines work best?
Similarly – what times of the day/week are the best for you to get a higher open and click-through rate on your emails?
Open Rate – that means that people actually open your emails.
Click Through Rate – means that they click through from the original email and end up where you want them to end up. This could be on a new property listing. Or they sign up to your email list because you have an amazing report they just absolutely need to get their hands on.
What about your open homes? Are you wasting time holding open homes at times and on days of the week where no one shows up?
If something isn’t working for you adapt it until it does. If adaptation doesn’t produce the results you want then do something completely different. After all, if you keep doing the same thing over and over and it’s not working that’s not insanity, that’s stupidity!
It’s time to quit being stupid!
Why you need to nurture your prospects
According to research from the Ovation Sales Group the average salesperson makes 8 dials per hour and prospects for 6.25 hours to make one appointment.
You can see why it’s important to keep a prospect warm and nurtured, can’t you? Not only has it taken a lot of time and effort to get your foot in the door in the first place but they usually spend 47% more than non-nurtured leads.
It’s hard work in the first place to have prospects in your pipeline. May sure you don’t waste all that effort by failing to keep in touch with them and letting another agent wow them and secure the listing that could have been yours had you but just reached out one more (or more) time.
Your 4 Action Points to Take Away & Implement for Better Results
Develop a regular stay-in-touch campaign
Make sure it’s as automated as it can possibly be. You’re already busy enough without adding more layers of complexity to your business.
Remember KISS: keep it simple stupid.
Set aside regular time in your schedule that is dedicated to keeping in touch
Preferably this is on a daily basis (start the habit strong). Set aside a few days a week that are 100% about reaching out and keeping in touch.
Always make just one more attempt. Always!
As the research shows – almost 100% of prospects require a minimum of 6 contacts. Make sure you continue beyond the fifth.
It’s easy for life to get in the way. It happens to everyone. When it does, it can derail those who don’t know how to get back in the saddle again.
Becoming accountable means you’ll bounce back faster.
It means you’ll also achieve more. Which in turn means you’ll achieve the objectives you set out for yourself. And the dreams you have for your and your family’s life.
Reach out now: send me an email – I promise to respond to your email personally – tell me about just one thing you’d like to achieve and/or your biggest headache / frustration and let’s see how we can make it better.
I promise to respond to you personally. I can’t wait to hear from you!