This article first appeared on Inman.
Are you familiar with this chain of events? A real estate prospect shows interest in listing his or her home. You diligently pursue the lead with phone calls, a home evaluation and coffee meetings. You do everything right, but in spite of your best efforts, the conversation stalls and fizzles out. What’s a real estate agent to do?
You don’t want to pester someone who isn’t ready to make a move, but you also don’t want to fall out of touch. This prospect is eventually going to list the home, and you want to be the real estate agent of choice.
Once a conversation has stalled with a prospect, it can be tricky to keep the lines of communication open. You want to come across as helpful without being pushy. Here are some guidelines for how an Agent can circle back to restart stalled conversations with real estate leads.
Offer ongoing value
When a real estate lead says that they aren’t ready to make a move yet, do you simply offer your business card and say goodbye? If so, you’re missing out on an opportunity to nurture the relationship.
Remember, there is never a “no” when it comes to real estate prospects. What they’re saying is: “not yet.” When someone isn’t serious about moving, offer to keep in touch with regular emails filled with valuable homeownership advice.
With your prospects’ permission, add them to a drip email campaign that matches appropriate needs (a two-year prospecting plan, a plan for renters, etc.)
Not only will your regular communication offer valuable knowledge, but it will also keep your name fresh in their mind for when they are ready to make a move.
Reach out to ask for an opinion
Most of us enjoy being asked for our opinions — it’s human nature. So what better way to reopen lines of communication than by asking your real estate contacts for some advice?
Maybe you’re in the process of building a business directory of professionals you can refer to clients, and you remember that one of your contacts had some beautiful landscaping done last summer.
Why not pick up the phone and ask about a landscaper recommendation? In turn, you can recommend the landscaper to others. Not only is it a compliment to be asked for advice, but it’s a natural way to start a conversation between you and your real estate leads.
Refer to your notes before you pick up the phone
I know many agents who suggest just picking up the phone to say hello to a prospect or lead. Although this is a step in the right direction, I would suggest taking it a little further.
Before you pick up the phone, take a look back at any notes you’ve made through past communication with this lead. Did the family recently adopt a rescue puppy? Did the oldest son just go off to college?
If you’re using a real estate CRM that stores notes, glance back to refresh your memory about what your lead has going on in his or her life. Your conversation will be a lot more meaningful if you can ask how Ryan’s first semester at college went or whether Mr. Snuggles (the puppy) is still chewing through shoes.
Re: <your last email>
Depending on how recent your last communication was, it’s usually best to assume your leads won’t remember where you left off. Here’s a trick that I love to use: build your previous interactions into your email subject line.
According to a ContactMonkey study, sales emails with “Re:” in the subject line are opened 92 percent of the time. Perhaps your emails hit a wall several months ago after your lead confessed that he or she isn’t ready to move yet.
Instead of sending a brand new email thread with no context, try replying using the most recent message you sent. The “Re:” will catch your lead’s eye, and he or she might appreciate looking back at what you spoke about before as a refresher before replying again.
Host an event
People remember events. That’s why hosting a community event can be so effective. It makes clients and prospects feel special just to be invited. I recommend inviting past clients along with potential leads, so if the attendees mingle, your name is likely to come up.
Choose an event that suits your personality and the interests of your target demographic. It could be a movie night, barbecue, family bowling tournament, Bingo night or winter hay ride.
Organizing a fun event is memorable and fruitful. It truly gives your leads a reason to remember your name. A single event can lead to many follow-up calls and meetings.
Don’t be too hard on yourself when communications stall with a potential real estate client. Remember that they aren’t saying “no” forever.
Keep the conversation open by offering value, staying in touch by email or hosting an event. Your stalled conversations will be up and running in no time.