Wouldn’t it be a magical situation if from 100 potential home buyers after a showing you could close all of them basically on the doorsteps of their future home?
Sometimes, it’s nice to dream, and there are those exceptions were you don’t need any follow up after a showing.
But more often so, you probably ask yourself how to follow up with them after a showing to close a sale.
- Use more than one communication channel (omni channels) to follow up, and take into consideration that you will need between 6 and 8 touchpoints.
- The phone is your first follow up channel, ideally as a video call, then switch to texting.
- After having reached your potential home buyer, you can switch to texting and should send more than 3 text messages.
- Do some touch points via email. Use the recipient’s name in the subject line, between 50 and 125 words, and include between 1-3 questions.
There are efficient and not so efficient ways, and if you have an efficient follow up strategy, you can close more and increase your sales.
So, before looking at the right strategies, let’s first look at some hard data, so we have a better basis to make sound decisions.
What Is a Follow Up?
My definition of a follow up is the following:
In the context of (real estate) sales, a follow up is a communication strategy including elements of persuasion with the aim to convince a potential buyer to move forward with a purchase by using one or more channels of communication in a certain time frame.
Depending on the effectiveness of the channels of communication regarding the closing rate, they can also be combined with each other.
How to Follow Up with Potential Home Buyers in the Most Effective Ways
Now, let’s look at some stats regarding the effectiveness of different communication channels and following up in general.
The one metric for effectiveness, in this case, would be the response rate, engagement rate or open rate.
As a real estate professional you usually have these at your disposal:
Follow Up Stats in General
- Almost half of the salespeople (48%) never make a single follow up attempt (source)
- Before saying yes, about 60% of customer say no four times (source)
- You need about 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect (source)
- 44% of salespeople give up after one follow up intent (source)
- Acquiring a new customer via email is 40 times better than Twitter and Facebook
- High growth organizations have an average of 16 touch points per prospect over a period of 2-4 weeks (source)
- By using omni channels (communicating on several different channels in contrast to just using one), the engagement rate is 18.96% compared to 5.4% for using just one (e.g. email follow up, source)
- The purchase frequency is 250% higher via omni channel marketing vs single channels (source)
- Marketers using three or more channels have a 287% higher purchase rate (source)
- 98% of Americans switch between devices on the same day (source)
- Between 6 and 8 touchpoints are necessary to generate a viable sales lead (source)
- Most marketers send out emails (counts as touch point) two to four times per month (source)
Stats Regarding the Phone
- 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting (source)
- 41.2% of salespeople state that their most effective sales tool is the phone (source)
- 55% of companies with high growth of a minimum of 40% over the last three years reported that cold calling is still alive (source)
- Telephone outreach wins against email outreach in terms of conversion at 8.21% vs. 0.03% (source)
- Call duration between 6 and 10 minutes converts better (29%) than calls that take longer than 10 minutes (22%) (source)
- Voice mail response rates are on average 4.8% (source)
- In 80% of the cases, calls go to voicemail and are never returned 90% of the times (source)
Stats About Texting
- If you also text your prospects, the conversion rate is 40% higher (source)
- If you send a text message to a potential customer before making contact on the phone, it decreases your chances of ever contacting that lead by 39% (source) and your average conversion of contacted leads decreases by 4.8%
- Your average conversion increases by 19.6% if you text your prospects before and after making contact on the phone (source)
- Your average conversion increases by a nice 112.6% if you only text after making contact on the phone (source)
- If you send one text message after making contact by phone, you have an 89% higher conversion rate (source)
- If you send two text messages after making contact by phone you have a 74% higher conversion rate (source)
- You will have a 328% higher conversion rate if you send more than three text messages after making contact over the phone (source)
Stats About Email Marketing
- When you use all caps in your email subject line, it will hurt your response rate by 30% (source)
- It’s a good idea to include the recipient’s first name in the subject line, because it increases the opening rates by 29.3% (source)
- If you write the emails on a third-grade reading level, you have a 36% higher chance of getting a reply (source)
- The ideal length of an email is between 50 and 125 words (I was taken by surprise by that low word count) (source)
- If you include 1-3 questions in your emails, you have a 50% higher chance of getting replies than if you didn’t include any (source)
Stats About Video
I couldn’t find reliable direct follow up stats about video, only indirect ones, from which we can conclude what it likely means for sales and following up using video.
- If you include a video message in your email it increases your click through rate by 96% (source)
- 85% of the U.S. internet users watch online video content monthly on any of their devices (source)
- 54% of the consumers would like to see more video content from a brand or business they support (source)
- 87% of the marketing professionals use video as their marketing tool of choice (source)
- 88% of the marketers using video are satisfied with their ROI of their video marketing efforts (source)
- Marketers using video get 66% more qualified leads per year (source)
- After watching a brand’s video, 8 out of 10 people have purchased a piece of software or app (source)
You might know already that face to face meetings are far superior in terms of closing rates than all substitutes mentioned above.
It’s almost common sense and can be assumed by own experiences.
You can read the body language better and apply all your senses better during the communication and thus, trust is built easier.
And the latter is necessary if you want to close a sale.
Some stats do confirm this, too.
So by that we can derive that the closer we can get to a face to face meeting with the help of technology the more effective follow ups get.
The same can also be derived by the video marketing statistics above, particularly if we see that using video increases click through rates, consumers want to see more video from their brands, and 88% of marketers being satisfied with their ROI.
Key Takeaways Based On the Stats
So, what do we make of all the above statistics?
I think now is the moment that we can derive how to follow up with potential home buyers in the most effective ways.
Maybe at some point in the future I will produce my own statistics specifically for the real estate industry.
But we can assume that these statistics vary only slightly between industries.
For now, we will have to use the rather generalized data from above and apply it to the real estate industry and potential home buyers.
This is what we can take away from the stats as a best practice to follow up with them in the most effective ways:
You want to use more than one communication channel to follow up, and take into consideration that you will need between 6 and 8 touchpoints.
Use the phone as the first follow up channel, ideally as a video call, then switch to texting.
Be patient because you might need 8 call attempts to reach your potential home buyer.
After having reached them, you can switch to texting and should send more than 3 text messages.
Before and in between the texting you can do some touch points via email.
Use the recipient’s name in the subject line, between 50 and 125 words, and include 1-3 questions. Ideally, you should also include a video message in the email.
Oh, and don’t forget to manage and track your follow up efforts with a CRM software, which I already covered in this article.