How to Convert More Leads with Great Lead Follow-Up

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Having tens of thousands of leads is useless if you can’t convert leads into qualified appointments. The secret is a great lead follow up plan. Here are the 4 Keys to making it work:

Schedule it. Have a set time every day to follow up on your leads. Block out 30 minutes each day to do this.

Systemize it. Have a simple and fail-proof system: Use a “Seller Sheet” to make notes on leads while prospecting, and then go back to that sheet when following up with leads. Have 2 manilla folders: A HOT LEADS Folder and a WARM LEADS Folder. CRMs are great until a listing lead falls through the cracks.

Script it. Know what to say and how to say it with the YesMasters® LEAD FOLLOW UP SCRIPT section in The Book of YES. “I just wanted to touch base and see what the next step is…”

Stick to it. Have “stick-to-it-iveness”. Be tenacious and consistent in following up with leads, because over 70% of appointments are set during lead follow-up. Be willing to call them over and over again, whether it takes 2 weeks or 2 months…or even longer.

For the complete follow up scripts, get your free copy of The Book of YES: The Ultimate Real Estate Agent Conversation Guide here.


Today I want to talk about how to convert more leads better with great lead follow up.

When I started real estate, I had a problem. And that was that I had to really, really, really ratchet myself up and work up my nerve just to prospect. And when I prospected and I got a lead, then I had to ratchet up my nerves and work up my nerves just to be able to follow up with my new leads. And so it was this vicious, vicious cycle. And realizing that most of your success comes with a combination of both lead generation and lead follow up. Because most of your appointments are not going to come in your first interaction or your first conversation with a prospect or a lead. Most of the time, in fact, over 70% of the time, your listing appointments with sellers are going to come after your initial conversation, which means it’s going to happen during the lead follow up.

So today I want to talk about how to convert more leads better with great lead follow up. So lead follow up, if you don’t do it, makes lead generation, makes prospecting, internet lead generation, almost all of it, useless if you don’t have a good lead follow up plan. So I want to, this is not an advanced training on lead follow up, but it is understanding that most great lead follow up happens not with the advanced stuff but with the fundamentals. Your fundamental approach toward making lead follow up work for you, and converting leads into appointments.

So I want to share with you four keys to making lead follow up work terrifically for you, and it will work and it will work every single time when you master these four keys.

So first is, if you want to master lead follow up, you have to schedule it. Which means you have to have it in your schedule every day, a time every single day, that you are going to follow up on your leads. Now I recommend that you do it in the mornings, right after your prospecting. Okay? And typically as you’re going to be able, probably, to knock out most of your lead follow up in 30 minutes. So you block out 30 minutes every single day, Monday to Friday, or whatever days you’re working, five, six days a week that you’re doing your lead follow up, and it has to exist in your schedule every single day. If it doesn’t, if you don’t have a schedule, you’re going to put it off, you’re going to put it off, because there’s never a convenient time or a perfect time to follow up on a lead. Okay?

The perfect time to follow up on the lead is at the moment they’re ready to make a decision. The problem is, you don’t know when that’s going to be, so what do I have to do? I’ve got to schedule it so I have a consistent time and the magic of effective lead follow up is in the consistency of it and the first thing I’ve got to do to make it consistent is, I have to actually put it in my daily schedule and I have to put that time every day in my calendar, and I have to actually honor it and get on the phones and follow up with my leads during the scheduled time. So that’s number one.

The second key to great lead follow up is that I have to systemize it. Systemize it. Create a system. Now, one of the things that a lot of people do, especially as new agents, is we get going, and we get us a lead, and we’re like, “Oh, I got a lead!” And we have it written down somewhere, and then we lose the thing it was written on. One of the, you know, it’s like the worst possible thing you can do is write it down on a napkin or like, I get a call, or I meet somebody at a coffee stop and they’re interested, and so I’m like, “Okay, cool,” and I write it down somewhere, and then I lose it.

Or, even doing a text message. You can like, text me your number and we exchange information that way or whatever, great, get a business card, but if you don’t have a system, what happens is, is people fall through the cracks. And the worst thing, probably the most painful experience in your business is when you find a card, a business card somebody gave you to give them a call that week, and it was like, that was five weeks ago. You’re like, “Oh my goodness,” and now you’ve got to decide, “Do I bite the bullet and call them today? Or do I just … write it off?” Because if I call them today, there’s potential pain, and so I can just ignore it and throw it away.

Well number one, call them, but two, create a system so that doesn’t ever happen again. All right? So here’s the best system that I’ve ever created. Well, I’ve ever seen, and I’ve, I’m going to tell you something really, really important. Technology can be a great ally. It can also be your worst enemy. And I’ve seen too many real estate agents try to find out the, figure out the perfect lead follow up system with technology, and the technology became so advanced or so tricky that it actually messes them up, for a couple of reasons.

One, let’s just say that I have a, that I create it so that it gives me reminders of who I need to call and so forth. But what happens is, if I miss a day, or if I put the date to follow up with them on a weekend and I’m not working, and it passes, and then they fall through the cracks. I am totally a big fan of technology. So you should all, you should have a good CRM, a customer relationship management software that you use. There’s a ton of them out there, so I don’t really recommend one, because there’s so many of them, but something.

However, with lead follow up, with your lead follow up system, I recommend a much more basic approach. And I have done this, I’ve trained this for years. And what I have discovered is the agents that use this, they never, ever, ever miss a lead. And what is important is not how technologically advanced you are, it is how effective you are. So I’ve seen people say, “Well, you need to use technology, and you need to use a CRM,” and all that kind of stuff. Okay, cool, I love CRMs. However, if it doesn’t work, don’t use it. What works simple.

Here is my system. I use one, was I had my seller sheets. Okay? And I have buyer sheets as well. But just simply, and this is in the Book of Yes, is a seller sheet. So the seller sheet function not only as a pre-qualifying script for once I set an appointment with somebody, but it also was my lead sheet. So as soon as I had a conversation going with a prospect, I started taking notes on a seller sheet. Now, what that meant was, that I carried, I had them with me all the time. So if, at my prospecting station in my office, I had a stack of seller sheets and buyer sheets right under them so that when I started a conversation with somebody, I could immediately grab my pen and I’m taking notes. Okay? And that way when I talk to them the next time and I followed up with them as a lead, I could remember what I had. And I had that with me.

And then I had folders, literally paper manila folders, that were warm leads and hot leads. And a hot lead was somebody I knew that I needed to probably call them back in the next three or four days or less. I looked through my hot lead folder every day. And then my warm lead folder, I went through it every week and those were people that I needed to call in a week or two weeks or three weeks, but I only looked at that once a week. Hot lead folder I looked at every single day.

But every single person, I put them on this. So in my car, i had seller sheets, in my house, in my briefcase. I had seller sheets. So if I got into a conversation I wasn’t going like, “Oh no, what do I write on?” And so forth. And if you do take it, like, okay, I put the information in my phone, make sure that you get it from your phone into your system. And then with the schedule, your system is, how do I know when to call somebody back? All right?

Now I’m going to give you one simple strategy that is really, really important. When you’re talking to a prospect, and they say, “Call me back in a week,” or they say, “Call me back in a month,” or whenever they give you a time to call them back, I want you to always cut that time in half. So if they say, “Call me back in a week,” I’m going to cut it in half and call them back in three or four days just to touch base. We’ll get to the next step in a minute. But the system is, if they say, “Call me back in a month,” I’m going to call them in two weeks. Now this is really important if you’re prospecting for sell by owners and expireds, or what I call turbo leads, which is people that you’ve met that are actually ready to do something in the near future. If you meet somebody at an open house, they come to your open house event, and they say, “Call us in a month,” call them in two weeks.

Now here’s the reason. Number one, because that’s what they’re telling all the other agents, “Call me in a month,” so most agents are going to do what they say, call them in a month, if they’re going to call them at all. I want to be calling them sooner so I can build a relationship with them. Number one. Number two, I don’t want to miss out if they decide to do something earlier. Because people change their mind. They make decisions to do stuff. So in terms of the system, I want to make sure if they say, “Call me back in a week,” I’m probably going to call them in a couple of, two or three or four days, right?

So for example, it’s Tuesday, and I call the for sale by owner. And the for sale by owner says, “Well, we just put it on the market, we’re having an open house this week. If it doesn’t work, whatever, in a couple of weeks, we’ll probably do a couple of weeks of open houses. If it doesn’t work, then we may look at hiring an agent.” Okay, cool. “So call us back in a couple of weeks.” All right. Now. It’s Tuesday, they’re going to have an open house this weekend, and then they’re thinking they’re going to try to get through another week and have another open house, and then they want me to call them in two weeks. What I’m going to do, is I’m going to call them on Friday. In three days. “Well, they said call in two weeks. Are they going to be annoyed?” No, they’re not going to be annoyed, because I’m not dogging them. I’m going to call them and I’m simply going to touch base with them because they’ve got an open house coming up, I want to wish them luck, see if there’s any information they need or anything I can do to help. I’m just going to connect with them, touch base with them, to start building that credibility, to build that connection. To start building that relationship so they remember who I am. Okay?

So I want to have a system. Now the best system that I’ve ever seen is to have your seller sheets and buyer sheets, and then have folders, and I kept those folders in a folder holder, a little stand, on my desk at all times. And I had a hot lead folder, I had a warm lead folder, and I had an appointment folder which was, once I set an appointment with somebody, boom, they were right there. Hot lead, boom, right there. Warm lead, boom, right there. So every single day, because I have it scheduled, because I actually have a scheduled time every single day, I’m looking, okay, here’s my hot lead folder, I’m going to take it out, I’m going to open it up, and I’m going to look through every one of my hot leads and if, I’m going to look at when the date is I’m supposed to call them, on that sheet of paper. And if it says call them today, I’m calling them today. If it says call them tomorrow, then I’ll flip it over and I’ll go on to the next one.

All right? But that system is so simple and yet so powerful. And if technology messes me up, I don’t have to worry about that, because it’s always right there in front of me. If these are truly important leads, it’s important enough to have them in front of me. Now, I also put them into my CRM so they’re on any email campaigns or anything else that I am sending out. They’re there as well. But because they’re a lead and they’re important, I want to have them physically right there in front of me, okay? So technology is great, but again, make sure what you’re doing is working. Systemize it.

Now let me just tell you, in case you’re one of those that argues that technology is better. Look. What matters is effectiveness. Today, I decided, because I wanted you to understand that it’s not about technology, it’s about effectiveness, that I said, you know what, I’m not even going to use technology today, I’m going to use a legal pad. And I’m going to give you the steps right here, because you’re going to remember them, because you see them. Now I could use, we could use fancy titles posted on the video, we could use, I could use a flip chart, I could use a PowerPoint, I could use anything. But this works just as well. And the key is, effectiveness. And so you have a system that is simple and that is fail proof. Because the worst thing, you don’t want to lose ten thousand dollars because some reminder didn’t remind you at the right time.

Alright, you don’t want to lose a listing to that. The third key to great lead follow up is script it. Schedule it, systemize it, and script it. Which means, know what you’re going to say, and how to say it when you actually follow up with a lead. Now, in the Book of Yes, we have the best lead follow up scripts. So you can get a copy of my Book of Yes at and you get that, it is free, all you’ve got to do is cover shipping and handling, you can get a copy of that. And it’s got the seller sheet in it, so it’s got the stuff in the seller sheet, and it’s got the lead follow up script.

Now, just to give you a quick overview of the most powerful way to approach lead follow up. The script of the lead follow up is, I call them, “Hey Bill, it’s Kevin at YesMasters Realty,” or if he doesn’t know, remember who you are, whatever it is on the name, introduce myself, “Hey, it’s Kevin at YesMasters Realty. We spoke last week and you said you were thinking about putting your house on the market in a couple of weeks. So I just wanted to touch base and see what the next step is. I just wanted to touch base and see if you’re still on track with that time frame.”

So the framework of the script is, I call them, I greet them, I remind them of our previous conversation. Which they may or may not remember. Doesn’t matter. And I’m friendly, and then I say, “I just wanted to touch base and see what the next step is. I wanted to see, I wanted to touch base and see if you’re ready to get the ball rolling. I wanted to touch base and see if you’re still on track with that timeframe.” So that the wording is, “I wanted to touch base and see.” Never say, “I wanted to follow up.” Okay? It’s a weird psychology of words, but people don’t like to be followed. Right? Nobody likes to be followed. So, except on Twitter, but other than that, we don’t like to be followed. So never say follow up. Because when you say follow up, it sounds too much like a lawyer, too much like a doctor. Following up. Please don’t follow me. Leave me alone.

But who do we touch base with? We touch base with people we like. “Hey, I’m not following up, I’m just touching base.” So it’s a very simple, powerful way of reaching out to them and saying, “Hey, I just wanted to touch base and see if there was anything I could do to help today.” Okay, I’ve got this sell by owner, they said they were going to try it in a couple of weeks, they said, “Call me in two weeks,” it’s Friday. What am I going to do? I’m going to call them in three days, I talked to them on Tuesday, I’m calling them on Friday, say, “Hey, it’s Kevin. Hi Bill, it’s Kevin Ward at YesMasters Realty. We spoke on Tuesday and I know you’re planning on doing an open house this weekend. I just wanted to call, see how everything was looking. If you had any questions or anything I can do to help.” Real simple. Right? It’s just a real simple conversation. He was like, “No, we’re good, we’re going to do it.”

Okay, cool. Now I can, he can go to the open house, I let him do the open house, and I can literally call again on Monday and say, “Hey Bill, Kevin Ward here at YesMasters Realty.” “Oh yeah Kevin, how’s it going?” See, now he remembers me. “Hey, just wanted to touch base, see how the open house went this weekend.” “It went good, or, it didn’t go good, or we didn’t have that many people,” whatever it is, I’m just going to touch base, and then I’m going to say, “Hey, let me ask you a question. If I could help you get your house sold, and net you the money you need in your pocket to make this move happen, would you consider interviewing me now?” So now I’ve followed up, started building a relationship. And then every time, or every other time, or whatever, depending on what’s appropriate, I can now ask for the appointment. All right?

And so all of the scripts that I’m talking about are in the Book of Yes. You can go to, I’ll put the link down below so you can get a copy of that book. But you want to know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it by scripting it. And then if you want to convert more leads and do that with great lead follow up, here is the ultimate key to doing it.

Number four is, stick to it. You’ve got to stick to what you’re doing. You’ve got to stick to the conversation. You’ve got to stick to, just like, stick to the lead. Call them over and over and over again and not give up, not freak out, not worry. Okay? So I call it, when we were kids, somebody, I just remember a word that, I don’t know if this is a Texas word or not since I grew up on a farm in West Texas, but I used to say, “You need to have sticktoitiveness.” Just that persistence, that relentlessness, that tenacity. Do you have the sticktoitiveness to win? And that’s what I’m talking about.

The way you convert leads with great lead follow up is by sticking to the lead. Being willing to call them over and over and over again. Most real estate agents give up way too soon. You have a conversation, and they’re not, it really doesn’t go well, so you’re like, “I don’t want to annoy them, I don’t want to be pushy,” and so you quit calling them. Or you’re afraid that they’re going to tell you no. You’re afraid that they’re going to have already listed with an agent. So you just chicken out and don’t call them at all. You want to get results, you’ve got to stick to it. And call them over and over again. It is impossible to call too many times. Okay? It really is.

If you’re calling too many times, they’ll let you know it, you can dial back a little bit. But most agents call too little rather than call too much, and here’s the deal. If you call too much, all they’re doing is believing you’re on top of things. You’re letting them know that, “I’m consistent, I am hungry, I make stuff happen and I’m not passive.” So don’t be afraid. And I know, I know it’s scary. For some of you it’s like, “Ah, I’m afraid if I call them too much they’re going to get offended.” No they’re not. Not if you’re friendly. Not if you’re nice. Not if you know what to say and how to say it, and you’re conversational, and you’re helpful. You’re building a relationship. You’re letting them know, “I want to help you. I want to do business with you.” And whether you have to follow up for two weeks or for two months, it does not matter. The key is, don’t give up. You’ve got to have the sticktoitiveness to make it happen.

In fact, I was on a coaching call, one of my coaching calls today, and Patty from Tampa, Florida, just took an expired listing. So I asked her, she said, she’s got a new listing and I’m like, “Where’d you get it?” Well, it was an expired, and they had expired over two months ago. And she had met them door-knocking. So that listing expired, she went and knocked on their door. Awesome. She got a lead. No appointment, the person was not ready, they were going through some health issues, and they just weren’t ready to put the house back on the market. And so she took the lead and, what did she do? She called them. Every single week. For months. Over two months, she called them every single week, talked to them, built a relationship with them, and she said it was over ten conversations that she had with this person, before the seller said, “I’m ready for you to come list my house.”

Now, because she had the sticktoitiveness to stay with it. She had the system to keep it going. This person didn’t fall through the cracks, because she had her on a seller sheet, on a seller sheet in a folder, and she was calling her every single week. And she followed the script and she just touched base with her. And she was just helpful. And she was friendly. And she just stuck to it until the day came when the seller was ready, and now, no other agents have been calling this seller. She’s the only one who stuck with it. And now she’s going out, gets a listing with no competition. That, my friends, is great lead follow up. That, my friends, is how to convert more leads.

And when you follow the system, you schedule it, you systemize it, you script it, and you have the stick to it-tiveness to make it happen, you can always expect yes. Now, if this video was helpful, make sure you give it a thumbs up. If you’ve got questions, comments, or other thoughts on lead follow up, make sure you post them in the comments below. And if this is your first time here, subscribe to the channel so that you’ll get notice of my next training video, which will be coming to you next week.

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