Lead Follow Up Best Practices in 2019 / 2020
At the Tom Ferry Summit event, there was a critical session on million dollar follow up strategy that opened up with the following statement:
All the money is in tech-enabled, scheduled, relentless, systematic, follow up.Tom Ferry
The 30 min video below was filmed at Summit and posted to Tom Ferry’s Youtube channel.
Since CallAction.co automates lead follow exactly as Tom describes for thousands of the top agents in the country, I’ll thought I share the key takeaways.
Many of the million dollar listing agents who are part of Tom Ferry coaching are also CallAction.co clients. So our insights on these best practices come first hand.
Real Estate Lead Generation is No Longer a Problem
The availability to buy online real estate leads has allowed real estate teams to quickly scale up businesses.
The cost of real estate leads continues to rise based on demand. So amazing lead follow up becomes critical to achieve positive ROI.
The Truth about Online Real Estate Leads
Online leads are nothing more than another real estate agents abandoned or forgotten SOI.Jessie Beaudoin
Most home buyers and sellers mentioned their intent to buy or sell to family and friends. Often they get referred to an agent.
Eventually, the referred agents fail at lead follow up.
That agent’s consumer then goes online looking for help and answers and becomes someone else’s online lead.
Many times they will make multiple online inquiries with different agents.
67% of Home Buyers Buy between 5 – 52 Weeks
The home search process is often 6-12 months, with a median of 8 weeks. During this time the average agent will forget to follow up.
Real estate lead generation is scalable with the ability to buy online real estate leads. Long term leads follow up is more difficult to scale as you will see shortly.
Speed to Lead
Studies show that “speed to lead” matters.
Homebuyers and sellers expect instant responses to their inquiries. According to CAR.
Tom Ferry on Speed to Lead
Tom has a great video clip on Speed to leads and why it works.
Most agents rely on speed to lead to find the 5% of leads that are bottom of the funnel and ready to buy or sell now.
But things are changing quickly.
The competitive advantage of real estate teams to respond quickly is going away.
There is real estate technology and services that help any agent respond to online leads instantly.
Competition has also increased.
Real estate teams and agents can no longer depend solely on speed to lead to get an ROI on online leads.
Real Estate Portals Move from Selling Leads to Nurturing Leads
The real estate portals are now in the lead nurturing business vs lead generation.
Think of the Zillow PA4 process.
They are going from selling online real estate leads to nurturing leads. They now offer the nurtured leads for a referral fee.
There is now less leads available to buy, so every lead opportunity becomes more valuable.
You must now out-nurture the real estate portals to keep your lead opportunities.
If not, your SOI will become online portal leads that cost you a 35% referral fee.
“The fortune is follow-up” – Jim Rohn
This brings us to Tom Ferry’s million dollar follow-up video. He starts with this quote.
We all want to create consistent repeatable and scalable ways to grow our business and our income and we want to do it better faster and more seamlessly why so we can actually enjoy our allies take vacations and spending quality time with we want with the people that we love.Tom Ferry
According to Tom (and Jim Rohn) the money is in the follow-up.
But how do you do that?
- Hire in-house real estate ISA’s?
- Depend on agents on the team?
- Outsource to lead follow-up services?
Most of those lead follow-up solutions are expensive or not scalable. Managing agents or doing the follow-up yourself will run you ragged and burn you out.
Tom Ferry’s #1 Tip for Lead Follow-Up
The big theme of the million dollar follow-up webinar from Tom Ferry’s Summit session was:
All the money is in tech-enabled, scheduled, relentless, systematic, follow up.Tom Ferry
Let’s go into detail about each of the items in that statement.
These are the keys to lead follow-up and long term nurturing that will allow you to scale up your business.
Why Tech-Enabled Lead Follow-Up?
There are a few reasons why your lead follow-up must be tech-enabled.
- Average Agent Makes 1.4 Follow-Up Attempts
- Only 40% of agents have a real estate CRM
You can’t depend on memory or notepads to remind you when to follow-up with your leads.
This is why consumers become online leads because their agent forgot about them.
Using a CRM with a calendar and task list help but you’ll get overwhelmed quickly.
Manual lead follow-up doesn’t scale.
Most leads need an average of 6-8 attempts to make the first real contact to have a conversation.
So 100 leads become 600 – 800 follow-up tasks on your CRM task list.
If each manual follow-up attempt on the task list takes 1 minute, that is 10 – 13 hours spent on lead follow-up for 100 leads.
That does not include the actual time having the conversations.
If 5% of the leads convert the first month, you then have 95 leads to follow-up and nurture next month.
That creates another 570 follow-up lead nurture tasks of the previous months leads.
You also continue scaling your real estate business, so you generate another 100 new leads the next month.
Are You Grinding Your CRM Task Lists for Follow Up?
So two months into detailed lead follow up and you are already at 1,100 – 1,300 follow-up tasks.
If each only takes 1 min, that is 22 hrs of lead follow-up for 200 leads.
Within 6 months, you are easily at 5,000 follow-up and nurture tasks which is over 2 weeks of 8hrs a day on a manual follow-up of 600 leads.
The task list grind is what burns out salespeople.
Tech-enabled lead follow up gives you the ability scale.
It’s the only efficient way to stay top of mind with all your leads long term.
Here’s a snapshot from one of our clients’ accounts.
How long would it take you to reach out 76,386 times to engage with 60% of your leads?
Best Times to Follow-up with Leads
The second item Tom discussed was that the lead follow up process must be scheduled.
The reason is because there are best times to follow-up with leads.
- 8am – 10am
- 4pm – 6pm
These are times that people are most responsive and easiest to engage with to have a conversation.
Most of your attempts should generally be made at these times according to this study.
Your tech-enabled lead follow up solution must give you the flexibility to schedule your lead follow up at these optimal times.
Many CRM systems let you schedule follow-up tasks but based on the following schedule.
There is a small issue with this.
When scheduling follow-up days into the future, your follow-up attempts are always at the same time each day. That is because the system is using 24hrs from the previously scheduled time.
You need an advanced scheduling system for your follow-up drip campaigns.
You must be able to schedule your follow-ups to fall within the best lead follow-up times regardless of when you received the lead.
CallAction’s drip campaign gives you 10 different ways to schedule your lead follow-up at optimal times.
Best Days for Lead Follow Up
We can schedule messages for optimal times but also optimal days.
Good lead follow-up is about delivering the right message, at the right time.
CallAction intelligent automation let’s you automate lead follow up on for a specific day of the week, regardless when lead initially responded.
How Mobile Phone Usage Impacts Your Follow up Schedule
I want to expand on the best times to reach consumers because that is changing in a mobile-first world.
Most consumers only have a mobile number now. Mobile numbers are typically the phone numbers you get with online leads.
To maximize your lead engagement, you must follow-up with leads at the times they are using their mobile phonesJessie Beaudoin, founder of CallAction.co
You must think about the time’s people are using their mobile phones. Consumers use their phones to check the following:
- Text messages
- Voicemails from missed calls
- Facebook messages
- Social media
They are often doing that in small specific spurts during specific times.
Think how and when you use your phone and follow up during those same times on those same channels.
Advanced Optimal Follow Up Times
Here are a few micro-moment follow up times that you should focus your lead follow-up.
Think of times when consumers are checking their phones.
- Typical moring 15 mins coffee break times (10:00 – 10:30am)
- Lunch time when users checking their phones
- Mid-afternoon break time (typically 3:00 – 3:30pm)
The more control you have to schedule your follow-up messages the higher your response rates will be.
Relentless Lead Follow Up Requires Scale
Continuing with Tom Ferry’s million dollar listing webinar, he talks about being relentless. What he is talking about is never giving up and doing whatever it takes.
It means making the hundreds or thousands of follow-up attempts needed to get the highest lead conversion rates.
This is only possible with scale.
Intelligent automation like CallAction gives you the scale to be relentless. So if you want to earn a million dollars you must invest in technology that will give you that systematic scale.
Systematic Lead Follow Up
Why is it important to have a systematic lead follow up process?
- You must follow-up instantly regardless of the time a lead inquires.
- You need to follow-up often over an extended time.
- You must follow-up using many different communication channels.
- Your lead follow up must appear natural.
This is only possible using automation. The more you can automate the follow-up message scheduling across different communication channels, the higher your conversation rates will be.
Call, Text, Email, Video Follow Up Drip Campaigns
You must automate your follow-up across different communication channels.
This creates a sense of authenticity which increases lead response rates and engagement.
Follow-up text messages have some of the highest response rates because 97% of text messages are read within 3 mins.
Video creates a human connection. Creating simple videos to send via text increases your lead conversion rates dramatically.
Calls are still important but it’s nearly impossible to get someone on the phone. 8 of 10 phone calls go unanswered and to voicemail. This is were ringless voicemail campaigns are useful.
There are real estate software solutions for text, video, and dialers for calling. Multiple systems make management difficult.
The best solution is an integrated solution that can connect to your existing real estate CRM. As Tom says, you must be able to Love your Leads.
Tom Ferry Scripts
Here are some links to get some of Tom Ferry’s scripts to help you create your million dollar follow-up system.
Use the scripts to build out your drip campaign automation.
Get Tom Ferry Million Dollar Checklist
If you are looking for the million dollar checklist to map our your lead follow-up you get now.
Text ‘Scripts‘ to (323) 676-1110 to get the checklist immediately via text.
Ready to Automate Your Real Estate Lead Follow-Up?
If you are not leveraging automation in your real estate business, you won’t be able to execute on Tom Ferry’s million dollar follow-up process.
Tom is a fan of BoomTown and CallAction, which are fully integrated via an API.
Try CallAction free for 14-days. Many of the top real estate teams who are Tom Ferry coaching clients and coaches making more than a million in GCI use CallAction.
$371K in GCI in 18 Months
If you have questions about your current workflow, call (844) 955-0505 today or schedule a demo call now.