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9 min read

"No Follow-up" vs. "Aggressive Follow-up"

Apr 30, 2018 1:37:10 PM

There are rare occasions when you immediately connect with your leads. However, statistically, you will have to interact with the majority of your leads more than once before you can convince them to list with you.

According to research, it takes about five ongoing follow-up efforts after the first sales contact with a lead before they say yes.

Yes, FIVE.

Sounds like a daunting task, doesn’t it?

Here are a few statistics: 

  • 44% of agents give up after one “no”
  • 22% give up after 2 “no’s”
  • 14% give up after three “no’s”
  • 12% give up after four “no’s”

What this means is that 92% of agents give up after hearing ‘no,’ and therefore, 8% of agents are making 80% of the sales!

So how do you make sure you’re not stuck in the 92%, but rather shining with the stars with the 8%?

The answer: An aggressive follow-up plan.

Sometimes, you might get so busy that you forget to follow-up with a lead or two. You simply don’t have the time to do it.

One of our Smart Agents lost several listings because he didn’t have time to follow-up.  

He had met a seller who was interested in listing her house with him. She wanted to wait 30 days to get some final things done before putting it on the market.

However, he got so busy over the next 30 days that he never followed up with her.

About 45 days later, he realized his mistake and checked the MLS to find she had listed her house with someone else just a day before. Bummer!

She was completely sold on what the agent could do for her, but he lost that listing because he didn’t call her when she was ready to sell.

This is a common scenario. Busy is definitely good. But you certainly don’t want to keep losing assured listings.

To stay busy and still get listings, you could hire a virtual assistant to handle follow-ups as you concentrate on closing other deals. 

Not sure how to go about hiring a virtual assistant? Get your copy of the virtual assistant training manual.

Now that we’ve established that a follow-up plan is more fruitful than no follow-up plan, let’s see how to follow up aggressively without being overbearing.

Have a Follow-Up Schedule

Don’t leave follow-up to chance — otherwise, it won’t work. Begin the process by categorizing your leads into two categories:

  • Active Leads: These are leads that are responsive to you and are ready to work with you in the short term.
  • Passive Leads: These are leads that aren’t so committed to hiring you and need ongoing engagement.

Next, create a schedule that guides you on when to call and email which lead. By doing so, your leads will stop slipping through your fingers.  

Give Them Your Books

The best way to start building a relationship is to send your active leads a copy of your book. Books have the power to cement your authority in the real estate industry.

If a lead that you’ve been chasing isn’t convinced that they should list with you, give them your book and let them see how well you actually know your stuff.

Books aren’t the only thing that will get you the listing, but they are a powerful way to make that happen.

Don’t have books yet? Check out more information about our MyBooks membership and get yourself some books today!

Calling vs. Emailing

The method you use to reach out to prospects is totally dependent on you. You can choose to either call or email them.

Either method will work, especially now that your prospects have your book and are familiar with who you are.

Sending them an email or calling them a few days after giving them your book will put you at the top of their mind so that whenever they are ready to work with a real estate agent, your name will be the first they think of.

There are pros and cons to both approaches. Let's take a look at each:

Sending an Email

The advantage of email is that it’s visual and gives a lead the chance to actually think through what you’re telling them.

They can also bookmark it and come back to it when they’re ready to reach out to you.

However, emails can be overwhelming. Think about the number of emails that you receive in a day. Do you read all of them? How many times have you seen an email and thought to yourself, “I’ll read that one later” — but never really do?

That’s the disadvantage of email. Chances are, prospects will overlook or even ignore your emails, especially if you haven’t built a relationship with them.


A call has the guarantee of the prospect receiving your message, if they pick up your call that is.

A phone call, unlike an email, allows for a two way conversation to take place. You get an immediate response when you call someone. The prospect gets to ask you questions on the spot and you get the chance to sell yourself.

There will be times when they won’t pick up your calls so always be ready to leave them a voicemail.

If you’re shy about calling your prospects or simply don’t know what to tell them when they pick up your call, we have some follow-up scripts that you can use to practice and make the process easy for you:

How About Texting?

Another often overlooked follow-up method is texting. Texting is a great way to keep in touch with prospects without being overbearing.

Prospects are more likely to read and reply a text message than picking up a call or responding to a voicemail especially when they suspect it’s a sales call.

Texts are easy to send and come with a world of benefits. If you need help figuring out how to text your clients, check out this blog post: How To Text Clients And Get Listings.  

No matter the method you choose to use, make sure that your message is always concise and will grab your prospect’s attention.

Your messages should always offer them value and not leave them feeling that you’ve wasted their time.  

With that said, it’s best to mix up all three follow-up methods so they can increase your chances of getting the customer.

Remember, do not overwhelm them, otherwise they will send you to the blocked list!

Be Persistent

If you don’t get a response after the first follow-up, wait a few days (2 to 3) and then reach out again.

The second time you reach out, try to offer your value in a slightly different way from the first follow-up.

Begin by reminding them that you reached out before and offered them something — probably free professional photos. Let them know that you’d still like to take free photos for them and help them market those photos to the public.

End the conversation with another invitation to connect in person.

Still no response? You’re probably now on the verge of giving up, right?

But it’s not time to give up yet.

Wait another couple of days and then reach out a third time. This time, reiterate your offer and explain in detail why your offer is important to the prospect. Why are professional pictures important for them?

Share some statistics and case studies if you have them. End your message by letting them know that you're available to speak about their needs and that you have expertise in specific areas that matter to them.

Know When It's Time to Walk Away

After the fifth follow-up with no response, you know it’s time to let the prospect go. Send them one last message letting them know that you’ve been trying to get in touch with them but perhaps it’s not a good time for them to work with you.

Remind them that should they, in the future, be ready to work with an agent, they should feel free to contact you.

Following up on leads that you’ve already made an initial connection with could be the one thing that gets you the listing.

So don’t put it off any longer. 

Become a MyBooks member and get the license to use 14 real estate books as your own (with your name and picture on the cover!), among many other benefits that will help you join the 8% of elite agents! Subscribe today.


avatar_joeJoe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here

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