How to Follow Up with 'Almost Now' Clients
I want to show you some specific tactics to handle your "Almost Now" clients - some of which may convert them into "Now" clients much sooner than you anticipated.
I'd like to go into more detail on how to follow up with your "Almost Now" clients.
Now clients are the people you're running around helping today. You know who they are and what to do because they're in your face. As you read this, they're waiting for your next email or call because they want to get moving quickly.
Past and Future clients: Past clients are in the past. Future clients you haven't even met yet. Most of your marketing efforts are geared toward future clients - to "attract" them to your business.
Almost Now clients exist in a nebulous world between your "Now" clients and your "Future" clients. You definitely know who they are. You've met with or spoken to them. They have indicated that they are interested in working with you - but not right now. Perhaps in three months. Perhaps in six months. Perhaps in one year.
I want to show you some specific tactics to handle your "Almost Now" clients - some of which may convert them into "Now" clients much sooner than anticipated.
First, I'd like to introduce you to the Potential Income Tracker. This is a form that manages your "Almost Now" clients. It is your one-stop overview of all the people to whom you need to send information.
On it, you enter:
- Name of "Almost Now" client.
- Buyer or seller.
- Area desired.
- Average home price they're willing to accept or offer.
- Potential value.
That last item is key. Potential value represents the amount of money you look to earn from your role as expert agent - or lose if you don't follow up with these people. When you know the value of an "Almost Now" client, you are motivated to do your best for them.
I suggest that every Monday morning, the first thing you do when you get to your office is take out your Potential Income Tracker. Take a long look at it. Ask yourself:
"What kind of follow-up do these people need that will move them closer to buying or selling?"
The great thing about sending information to your "Almost Now" clients - as opposed to your "Future" clients - is the personalization factor. You already know what your "Almost Now" clients want - because they told you! This is a huge advantage.
Your "Future" clients are people you haven't met yet. You don't know what they want so you have to craft information that highlights your expertise - seeking the clients that match your niche. But with "Almost Now" clients you can tailor each mailing to exact specifics.
For example, let's say your "Almost Now" client wants to buy a rambler priced in the $500,000 range in Bellingham within the next year. Send them an email that says:
"Hi, Diana and Tom. Just wanted to let you know that I've been out previewing this week and I found two homes that fit exactly the description you gave me. I know you said you're not ready to move yet, but at least these give you an idea of what's out there for when you're ready. Here they are:
(Add a link to the listing here.)
"If you have any questions about them, feel free to give me a call."
See how simple this is? No hard sell. You're just giving them a piece of information that they otherwise may have never had - based on their specific wants.
Doing this also gives you another bonus: Feedback. They may respond by saying:
"Denise, those are nice but not exactly what we're looking for. We were hoping for a larger yard with a patio."
Now you're armed with even more information about what to find for them. You can now refine your search.
This is so much better than sending just a generic listing with photographs. This approach shows them that you're thinking of them and what they want. Not to mention the fact that you're putting in time to preview properties for them.
Don't stop there, though. Buyers especially want more information on appreciation rates in the neighborhood they'd like to move into. Dig for it. Find the statistics for them. Show them that you really were listening to them.
Trust me, when you send a 5-year appreciation analysis to an "Almost Now" client-based on their criteria - you will impress them. They will remember you. So few agents do this that you will stand out in their minds.
Buyers also want to know about any new changes in the neighborhood. Research zoning laws, new developments, retail expansion plans, school committee meeting updates, and anything else about the community you can think of. Then, send it to them.
For sellers, send updates on any recent sales in their area. Include days-on-market, initial asking price, final selling price, and any special circumstances pertaining to the sale.
Whenever there's a pending sale in their neighborhood, send an email to notify them. They'll love having their own private "news reporter" covering what their neighbors are doing.
The key to it all is to keep your "Almost Now" clients informed. The method to track how you're doing this is the Potential Income Tracker. This is a tool you need in your business starting today.