This is an unprecedented time and it’s tough to know the appropriate actions to take to continue working your business while also being sensitive to the current situation.
When I say past leads, I’m not referring to people who submitted a lead form on a real estate site two years ago and never replied to your efforts to get in touch. This advice is related more to leads who reached out in the last couple of months and who may have been slow to make a move but who are clearly on the path to buying or selling.
The best tip is to simply reach out and see how they’re doing. In this time of uncertainty, pushing hard to get the sale likely won’t get you very far in building a relationship. People will appreciate a check-in that allows them to express how they’re feeling and tell you their needs without any pressure to take immediate action.
So before you reach out, make sure you know your end goal. Are you simply checking in to say hello? Are you offering help that is not real estate related? Is it to remind them that if they have any questions or concerns at all about the real estate market, they should call you? Set realistic expectations for yourself so that you can effectively follow-up with this person over the next few weeks and months to come.
1. Approach people with compassion and understanding
Now more than ever, we have to listen to one another and offer ways to help. After you check in on how they are doing, don’t jump right into, “How is your home search going?” Try this instead:
“A lot of my clients are so focused on the news that looking at homes isn’t as much of a priority right now. I continue to stay dialed in with what’s happening in the real estate industry, both on the local level here in [enter your community] and nationally. So if there’s any way I can help you stay abreast of the shifts in the market or serve you in any other way that may be needed right now, I’d love to do that for you. Do you have any questions for me? I’m always here as a no-pressure resource.”
Reminding them that you are there to serve as a helpful resource to them in whatever way they need during this difficult time can be an important step in building trust and creating a strong relationship.
2. Set the next step and follow-through
There will always be a next step, so be ready to act on it. This might be to make an appointment for another phone call or check-in in a few days Or to schedule a virtual showing with them via Zoom or Skype. Maybe your lead has put their home shopping on hold, but is interested in keeping up with market trends. Whatever it is, let them know that you are here to help. Be a leader and continue to educate them. For sellers, clearly communicate how you are operating your business and what your protocols are for showings.
And remember, if your contact indicates that they are facing any struggles that may impact their timeline to buy or sell — whether they be related to health, income or other factors that are out of their control, it’s time to put the breaks on the sale. By leading with compassion and empathy, and taking your eye off the closing table, you’ll be more likely to earn their business down the road.
3. Update your contact management system
With less in-person showings and meetings, this can be a really good time to learn and relearn your systems! With every contact you make, add a note to your contact management system. Up-to-date details about each person you speak with will ensure you’re being sensitive to any current situations in ongoing communications and is also crucial to help you stay productive and create success. And by doing this now, while you have some more free time in your day-to-day schedule, you’ll have the muscle memory needed to keep the practice in place once business picks back up.