Is Follow Up a Lost Art? Survey says…

Posted by
Mike Lyon
 October 22, 2009

Is follow-up a lost art? Can you guarantee your agents are responding and following up with your prospects, the ones you paid $1,000’s to get to walk into the door? In this short video I review a study conducted on this topic (details below) You be the judge. If you are wondering what is going on with your internet leads, it’s time to secret shop your agents. Submit a lead from your website and listing services, not once but several times. Track the response time, quality of the message and how many times they follow up. You will be surprised.

Take a look at this at this whitepaper released by Red Tree Resultants and Qgenisys. They conducted actual on-site evaluations acting as motivated prospects to learn if there would be adequate follow up on the visit to try to persuade the prospect to become a purchaser and what builders and developers can do to improve their market share. What they found out:

  • Despite spending millions of dollars to attract them…In only 36% of the visits did an agent bother to follow up with the prospect who visited the community and expressed immediate purchase interest.
  • In only 14% of the cases did agents follow up with personalized information about the community that reflected anything they discussed with the prospect.
  • Builder agents from the higher-priced homes/communities actually followed the prospect more aggressively than did the lower-priced homes/communities.
  • Of all homes visited during our research, unless a prospect followed up with the builder, nearly 60% of all prospective sales would have been lost due to lack of follow up by the builder or the builder’s representative
  • We estimate that up to 75% of builders’ emails, both from sales reps and marketing teams were caught by our researchers’ spam filters.

Their findings clearly show that after spending all those marketing dollars to get potential buyers into their homes, motivated buyers were largely ignored and received almost no relevant follow up from the builder’s site agent. On-site builder agents allowed prospects to walk out the door, but also allowed them to slip through their fingers with little relevant follow up…or in many cases ANY follow up after the visit.

The Conclusion – Builders who implement the changes we have recommended here will be better positioned than those that do not to take advantage of the inevitable turn around that will eventually come in the housing market.

Thanks to Brendan and his team for the timely and powerful info.

Download the White Paper >>

Red Tree Marketing Resultants

  • Unfortunately it is very hard to follow up if you don't pick up your phone/email to begin with! One of the toughest aspects of our industry today is the lack of ” sense of urgency”, let alone follow up! Do people understand how many personal contacts it takes to sell a house? I have sold homes to people 5 & 6 years after the initial contact. You stay on my follow up system until you buy or die! What bothers me more is that followup leads directly to backlog and backlog leads directly to income!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tomzbaren

    Unfortunately this does not surprise me, but it's great to have this study. What's most puzzling is why, especially when site visits are down in most markets, site agents are not motivated to follow-up. I'll read the white paper, but I wonder if this is pretty much the way it's been for years or a trend. I know many builders have had to offer sales agents salaries or guarantees due to slow sales. Could this be contributing to the problem. Bottom line is too many sales people are not fully committed to their profession and management either needs to properly motivate their agents or look at alternatives.

  • Tom and Diane,

    Great comments and I agree. Of course, there is always separation on those who are serious about the business.

  • Mike, a very informative whitepaper. It reinforces what we do simplistically every few months in validating the number and what type of responses (if any) comes from registrering at several new home community 'Contact Us' pages. As you know our entire existence is based on providing builders CRM technology that captures prospect information from the website or sales center, then leveraging the technology to help sales people nurture prospects through the buying cycle. Over the past year there has been great strides in 'lead intelligence' so that marketing & sales teams can be aware in real-time of website visits, pages of primary interest, etc — so that effective topical follow up with the prospect is not only easy, it can be a competitive differentiater. Same types of intelligence is available within email marketing today. As is 'last contact' reporting that helps management 'coach the process for results' rather than just managing the end result.

  • Great point Dave – thanks for the comment!

  • Great point Dave – thanks for the comment!