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Real Estate in 2020: It’s all about the follow up

From long buying cycles to complex negotiations, a lot has to happen before you can seal a real estate deal.

Maybe that’s why most real estate agents have trouble keeping up.

In fact, according to MarketingSherpa, 79 per cent of marketing leads don’t convert into sales due to a lack of lead nurturing. This sobering statistic points to one fact—the vast majority of sales pros, including real estate agents, aren’t following up like they should be.

Luckily, there are proven ways to reach out to more prospects, without burning through your time, energy or other resources.

I’d like to reveal some of the most effective follow up strategies out there used by a select handful of real estate rockstars.

The best part? Each one of these real-world strategies is grounded in timeless sales fundamentals so that come rain, snow or disruptive tech, you can put follow up first and stay ahead of the game.

1. Identify and strengthen your digital selling point
Between SEO, social media and tech powerhouses to rival the likes of Zillow, the real estate landscape has been completely remapped.

That doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Case in point: The team at the Graham Seeby Group came up with a super smart combo of “new school” and “old school” real estate sales approaches to scale to an impressive $90 million in transactions, in just four years.

After regularly connecting with all 289 past clients and SOI contacts in their database via mailer, email and phone, they then leveraged PPC and Facebook ads to take their business to the next level.

In 2019 and beyond, social media, and especially video, will continue to be big. But that doesn’t mean you should drop your tried-and-true follow up methods and set your sights on becoming the next YouTube star.

It just means you should start experimenting with some new formats – and you should do it, consistently.

For example, Amy Youngren, one of Inman’s most 100 influential real estate leaders, promotes simple, effective videos where she describes the features of the home and the neighborhood it’s situated in. Easy, right?

Not only is Amy a rising star in real estate, her videos are collecting a fast-compounding number of clicks.

Here’s how you can strengthen your digital footprint:

  • Create a landing page to help increase the ROI on every online lead – be sure to use good visuals and an irresistible, value-driven opt-in offer
  • Experiment with different social media channels by targeting different audiences to see what works in your market, for example:
    – Use Facebook’s smart advertising system to generate leads through local ad campaigns
    – Form relationships with pre-qualified leads seeking info on Quora
    – Or maybe go visual with a rad Instagram campaign.
  • On another note, building and maintaining a blog is a great way to capture high-quality leads, plus provides a steady stream of ace content for future follow ups

2. Automate, but be smart about it.
Automation is one of the best ways to reduce workload and free up your time and energy for high-impact tasks that really move the needle.

And it’s super effective. At least, most of the time.

When done right, smart workflow automation helps agents deliver maximum results by eliminating redundancies and reaching out to more prospects in less time. When done wrong, it can make prospects feel like they’re talking to a robot.

In one epic example of doing it right, Barry Jenkins of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate nearly doubled his transactions by empowering his team with a smart sales CRM.

“Automating lead generation and follow up gave my agents the flexibility to have some kind of rhythm in their life,” says Barry.

But even solo agents can use automation to their advantage.

Top agent Brandon Grass uses a smart lead management system to manage a whopping 15,000 leads. His sales strategy is largely based on cold calling, but with an automated system for logging call notes and reminding Brandon when it’s time for a follow up, he’s already booked 80 listing appointments this year.

Here’s how to start your smart automation journey:

  • Take a good look at your sales process to pinpoint the clunky, complex or time-consuming areas ripe for automation
  • Identify and personalise follow up timelines based on your prospects’ priorities
  • Use a CRM to automate the redundancies and keep you and your team on top of every last lead in your database
  • Use Zapier to integrate any other relevant apps or programs and send relevant automated content to leads

3. Make it personal
Despite the millions of shiny new tech tools at our disposal, human connection is still the holy grail of sales – especially in real estate.

Successful Realtors Monica Diaz and Jay Campbell combined in-person interaction from open houses with personalized online follow up to maximize ROI from their listings (a strategy that helped them close over $300 million in sales).

Similarly, solo agent Dustin Brohm of Search Salt Lake closed a lead that he had generated three years prior – simply by keeping the prospect on his radar and following up once every quarter.

Here are a few ways to leverage tech without losing the personal touch:

  • Employ AI-powered tools like Spacio to capture live leads by uploading lead contact info automatically into your CRM
  • With the increasing reliance on tech, live events will form an integral part of setting you apart from competitors—customers value an in-person experience
  • Maintain contact with leads even if the conversations go on for several months

Whichever method you choose, remember that the ultimate advantage comes from simply sticking with it.

In the words of the aforementioned rainmaker, Barry Jenkins, “What’s going to help you stand out is staying relevant to your leads over six months. I believe long-term follow up is what will make agents successful in the future.”

According to PwC’s emerging real estate trends report: “If people don’t recognise technologies are existing and, moreover, how to integrate them, opportunities are being missed”.

We couldn’t agree more.

There’s no escaping it: Technology has significantly disrupted real estate. And there are no signs of stopping. The upside, is that when used correctly, it also gives agents the upper hand.

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