Did you know that 70-75% of all listing appointments are set in a lead follow up call? Which means, you’re potentially leaving a lot of revenue on the table if you don’t have a solid lead follow up plan.

Let’s start with defining a lead. Many agents assume that having any contact in a file constitutes a lead. In one sense, that’s a valid assumption. However, top performers work off a different premise defining a lead. Specifically, a lead, or more accurately, a hot lead, is someone who is ready to buy or sell within 7-10 days!

Ironically, the more aggressive your annual transaction goal, the fewer leads you are likely to hold. Moreover, those leads will have very tight windows for action. Following are general rules of thumb with regard to your lead portfolio, as relates to your transaction goals:

  • 20 transactions per year: Essentially, anybody is a lead, regardless of when they want to act. You could theoretically carry hundreds of leads in your CRM, but not many are hot, or urgent leads.
  • 50 transactions: These are leads who may act within 30-50 days
  • 100 transactions: These are prospects who’ve indicated they will do something within 3 weeks
  • 150+: To succeed at this transaction goal, you’ll have fewer leads who you know are ready to act within 7-10 days.

In other words, to play at a high level, you must focus your energy on homeowners who have a stated sense of urgency. Which means, you need to work the phones relentlessly to get clarity on a prospect’s intentions.

The biggest trap an agent can fall into is repeating this type of self-talk: “I don’t want to appear push, so I’ll back off. No need to bother and possibly them. They can contact me when they’re ready.” But here’s the reality: for someone motivated to sell, your call may be exactly the thing they were looking for at that moment. They might be “ripe for the picking,” possibly using your call as the catalyst to act immediately.

Following are a few tips to help guide you toward a more productive lead follow-up strategy:

  • Focus on your Espresso Agent Expired and FSBO leads. Call frequently because these are motivated sellers. Call daily, especially at first.
  • If someone is waffling, or seriously dragging their heels, move on.
  • Dig as deep as you can by asking “what’s important” questions. For example: “What’s the most important thing as you consider your next home?”
  • As you learn more about the prospect’s desires, be genuinely excited for them. Maybe they’re new empty nesters who have always dreamed of moving to the country. Affirm their dream, the probe a little deeper: “How important is it for you to be in the country within the next few months?”
  • Rank your leads based on your estimate of their probability to act: 90% probability, 70%, etc. Don’t hesitate to throw away those leads at the bottom of the barrel.
  • Many agents deal with call reluctance from time to time. One way to overcome those anxieties is to write down the potential commission on a Post-it note. Keep it close to your phone as motivation to learn as much as you can about the prospect’s intentions.

One final thought: there is a tendency for some agents to avoid digging too deep in their follow-up efforts. Why? Because they fear they will discover that they don’t actually have a true lead. Sometimes it’s just comforting to know that you have a large database of contacts. But staying on top of such a database can be a waste of time, diverting you from working the hot leads that represent your best revenue potential. Don’t waste a lot of time chasing a phantom.