How Lead Follow-up Translates into Success

Welcome and good morning to Mike Ferry TV … the week of April 13th … Easter Monday, as my wife reminded me today. I have an unusual topic you will probably think for this week and next week. I’m going to talk to you about lead follow-up … and of course, a lot of you will be saying, “Mike, I need more inspiration … more motivation … more good mindset thoughts to keep me on track. Why are we talking about lead follow-up?”

Because … there is a really key point in play today in the Real Estate business … and that is the fact that I’m doing about 18 webinars per week for the different Brokers we work with around the country … and I’ve done that for 3 weeks. So, we’ll probably do 85 to 100 between the middle of March and the end of April. It’s interesting because the common question that I’m hearing all the time is … “Is there actually business being done? Is there business available for us to do?” The answer is, 100% yes. Because, see, if you look at our wonderful, crazy, exciting industry … net bottom line, there’s going to be probably … any place from 4 million to 4.2 … 4.3 million listings sold, Buyer-controlled sales this year. If you take the number of transactions … say 4.2 … and you double it … that’s 8.4 million commission checks will be distributed to agents like ourselves. The question then, of course, is how many of those do you want?

See … transactions are being done every day. If you’re a Coaching client, you’re aware of this. We put on a listing contest for 1 month and it started, I think, around the 15th of March to the 15th of April … and we have a lot of fun prizes we’re going to give out to people that list a lot of property and we have agents that are listing 10 … 12 … 14 … 15 properties during this time. Sales are strong … because, see, if you have a motivated Buyer or a motivated Seller … and with the ability to do things virtually today, which you can do, you can still do transactions all the time.

I want to share something with you. When I started back in 1985 with a program called the 6-Week Action Workshop … and I looked at the agenda from 1985 … week 1 we talked about time management all day. Week 2 we talked about prospecting and lead follow-up … two favorite topics from Mike Ferry. Week 3 we talked about prequalifying and the listing presentation. Week 4 we talked about handling objections, closing … getting a contract signed … today through DocuSign. Week 5 we talked about negotiations … and then building your database for a long-term success. Then, week 6 we talked about working with Buyers.

So, in 1985, I want to read to you from the old Action Workshop … 1985 … how long ago that was …that was about 35 years ago. Here’s what I had … as much as a lot of you may not like this particular point … or you choose to disagree with me … or are turned off by the thought of having to prospect … we both know we have to do it. Next to prospecting, the most important part of our business is strong, effective lead follow-up … and use these points to make that work.

Well, from 1995 through today … and really up to 3 weeks ago … I’d always preached a different thought than that and that was … the most important thing we can do is learn how to present ourselves in a professional manner to the public. That’s going to be in a live listing presentation … showing property … negotiating contracts. Well, now, the live part is temporarily out and virtual is in.

I had somebody say to me recently, “I don’t know why you don’t step up to the plate.”
I said, “What do you mean?”
“Well, why aren’t you doing videos because your competitions have video … video … video … video …”

I’ve been doing these videos for 15 … 16 years. We have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of YouTube videos … some of them I have dark hair and no wrinkles … that’s how long I’ve been doing videos. So, the truth is, yes, we’re changing … and in this environment today … I’m going to say to you lead follow-up is the name of the game because here’s the question …

“Mike … I’m doing some prospecting to my Past Clients … my Centers of Influence. I’m doing some Just Listed/Just Sold calls … and I’m hearing the following quite often … ‘Yes, my wife and I are considering doing something. We want to wait until this thing ends before we make a decision.'” To which, the good agent today is going to smile and say, “I certainly understand. The most important thing for you and your spouse and your family is good health … staying safe. That’s the most important thing. Would you like me to keep you updated over the next several weeks to a month or whenever this ends as to market conditions … neighborhood reports … market stats … keep you informed as to what’s going on?”

In most cases, they will say, “Yes, we would like you to keep us informed.”

So, you’re going to have today … two buckets. Bucket A is those people that have the need to do something now … because there’s a lot of people that have to do something now. The people that have to buy a home or sell their home … our job is to find them.

Second to that, we’re going to have this fear-based society, which has been created with this terrible problem we’re dealing with … and that fear is … “I can’t do anything until this problem is solved.” Bucket B is going to be a lot of people you’re going to talk to that you’re going to want to talk to week after week after week to keep them informed. See, the key to lead follow-up is communication … and that communication has to not revolve around pressing them just to get an appointment today … but to talk to them and to say, “Listen … I want to be your Real Estate resource center … and when this thing ends, if you decide to do something, I’d like to represent you.”

See … let’s say it is 8 weeks from now … and this pandemic is closing down and we’re getting back to a normal life … there’s going to be a lot of pent up people that still want to buy and sell … and the people they’re communicating with, the professionals like yourself … that are in communication with them on a weekly … every 10 day basis … are the ones they’ll respond to when this ends. So, where in the past I would say, “If they don’t want to do something right now … discard them.” Today I’m saying, “Keep them … work with them … understand them … have empathy for them … send them information … keep them updated, etc.” It’s critically important.

I also want to say to you in terms of lead follow-up … and you’ve heard me say this for years … prospecting is a numbers game. That’s what it is … it’s a numbers game. Even among your Past Clients database and Centers of Influence … it’s a numbers game, but lead follow-up is a numbers game. Ron Wexler … a great agent with Keller Williams out of Chicago said something one day on the stage at our Superstar Retreat, which I’ll never forget. He said, “The most important thing in lead follow-up is a big trash can because a lot of the leads we generate are never going to do anything ever … and we’re going to discard them and throw them away.”

So, yes … you might, through your prospecting this week, generate two or three leads that end up being meaningless leads because it is a numbers game. But, if I’m not talking to people and I’m not generating leads, I can’t do what I’m trying to do, which is create some type of appointments and/or put them in Bucket B so the future with that client is going to be there.

In lead follow-up … there’s really one word that is the difference maker between a transaction or a conversation … and that one word is always going to be the motivation of that potential Buyer or that potential Seller. The need to do something is what you and I are looking for. So, we’re going to always have to make sure we prequalify every Buyer … prequalify every Seller … in as much depth as possible … doing it and being respectful of the fact that they are nervous and probably a little bit concerned about what’s going to happen over the next several weeks if they make the decision to buy or sell. So, their motivation becomes the critical part.

So, in the prequalifying … instead of going directly into your prequalifying questions, which you’ve been trained to do by your Brokers, Managers and Mike Ferry … now, we’re going to soften the approach when we start. “Hi Mrs. Smith, it’s Mike. We’ve been talking about doing something to get your home sold. I think the most important thing now … are you and your family healthy? Are you safe? Is everything okay?”

“Yes, we’re okay, but we do need to get it sold.”

“Well, great … I’m excited about the opportunity to help you. May I ask you a few questions?” To which she’s going to say, “Yes,” and then you go through your prequalifying process. Same with the Buyer … because the lenders that are really paying attention today … and most of them are … they’re going to have to get to the point of finding out whether they have been laid off … been furloughed … are now on temporary unemployment because of what’s going on with the economy. Or are they prepared to do something … and then they’re going to turn it over to you and you’re going to ask your prequalifying questions as to motivation, the type of home, price, etc.

So, motivation is always going to be the critical part of this whole process … but I also want to say to you that you have to be a little careful to not just accumulate leads for accumulating leads. See, the only way we can ever really do anything of value to the public … to the client … to a prospect … is to be, in this case, on a virtual presentation versus face-to-face … but offering something of value to those people. So, if we accumulate a lot of names of people that really have no interest of doing anything in the future, then we’re really technically just wasting all of our time and all of theirs.

I made a comment … this is 1985 … keeping poor, unmotivated leads will ruin your attitude … completely diminish your desire to do more lead follow-up … and you’ll probably stop prospecting as a result. Then I said … it also, when you accumulate a lot of leads, the good leads are hard to find if you have too many that don’t have the motivation to do something. So, keep looking at your buckets … A and B. Look at them 3 times a week. Who is in Bucket A that should go in Bucket B? Who’s in Bucket B that could go to Bucket A and you could get an appointment set?

This week I want you to think a lot about what I’ve said. I want you to take action on what I’ve said … and I want you to understand, most importantly, there are transactions being done everywhere, every day, all of North America … and your job, as a professional, is to be the one that gets in the middle of that and does those for the public. Our job is to help you do it. I know we can help you do it. I’m glad that you’re watching … I’m glad that you’re paying attention … and next week, we’re going to spend a little more time and I’m going to take you through seven or eight more points on lead follow-up.

Thank you for being with us today. Here’s the good news … we’re on 30 days of lockdown as of April 1st … it’s the week of April 13th … so we’re getting closer to the end. Be cautious … be safe … and be healthy. Look forward to seeing you next week. Thank you.


Mike Ferry is the global leader in real estate coaching and training. Watch Mike each week as he discusses a variety of topics to help real estate agents and brokers. Grow your real estate business by improving your mindset, developing your skills and creating a plan of action to increase your production!