In this article:
- The value of sending a follow-up email
- What makes a great follow-up email to clients
- When to send a follow-up email to clients
- Real estate follow-up email checklist
- Real estate follow-up email templates
Follow-up emails are necessary to maintain relationships with clients and potential clients and increase your chances of closing a sale. What’s the best way to contact a client? Email is an increasingly preferred — and nearly always appropriate — communication method, but it works hand-in-hand with live phone calls as well to keep your interactions personal. Text messages are another way to follow up; when sending a follow-up email, be sure to confirm which method the client prefers.
Any real estate agent with a Zillow account can use the Zillow to send clients a quick text when they’re in the thick of buying or selling. But nothing beats email for client communications, whether quick check-in messages or for a detailed conversation.
The value of sending a follow-up email
Sending a follow-up email is a great way to connect with buyers who have a longer time frame, and a drip campaign can make it even easier. Agents use real estate drip campaigns in direct marketing to acquire clients through nurture leads. As a , you may receive additional leads who may not be ready to buy or sell immediately, but nurturing them with email can help move them closer to a transaction.
Buyers prefer email. It doesn’t take long to compose your email, and buyers can read them at their leisure.
Email is excellent for long-term leads. Sending a follow-up email is especially useful for long-term or slow-moving leads. For example, according to Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2019 survey data, buyers spend an average of 4.5 months shopping for a home to buy. Sellers spend six months on average just thinking about listing their home, and those who have owned their home longer take even more time to decide to sell.
It provides an opportunity for personalization. Remember the FORD acronym — family, occupation, recreation and dreams — to recall which priorities the client identified for you. Reference their answers in your follow-up email to build rapport with the client.
Emails drive business. By sending a follow-up email, you can encourage the buyer to connect over the phone, then book an appointment and eventually complete a sale.
What makes a great follow-up email to clients
Follow-up email should be compelling enough for a lead to open, read and take action. Make sure you’re touching upon the following key points in each email.
Write an eye-catching subject line. Give clients a reason to open your email. Your real estate follow-up email should ask a question, address their interest in a neighborhood or property, or present yourself as free to chat. Make sure your subject line is 41 characters or less (this also helps clients see the entire line on a mobile device).
Subject line examples:
- “[Agent name] here with a quick question”
- “Your interest in [neighborhood/city]”
- “[Contact name], let’s chat about selling your home”
Get to the point quickly. Most people skim emails first, so it’s important to keep your follow-up email short by getting directly to the point. A shorter message lets the client know that their response can be just as quick and easy. Again, a brief email helps clients who view your email on a mobile device.
Make your email personable. Greet your client by name and thank them for their time. Make sure you focus on their wants and needs, not just on making the close.
Include the next step in the process. Give clients a reason to connect with you again by letting them know the next time you’re available or how you can be of service to help them move along. Making them aware of what’s still needed to secure their sale or purchase will give them a reason to reach out to you again.
Provide a CTA (call to action). Make it easy for the client to respond. Include a calendar invite with the date, time and location of your planned meeting. Provide your phone number so they can respond by calling or texting you.
Add a closing statement. End your follow-up email by including one last line (after your email content) where you thank the client again for their time and tell them you’re looking forward to their response so that both of you can take the next step.
When to send a follow-up email to clients
During your initial conversation with the client, identify which form of communication they prefer, whether it’s in-person, over the phone, email or text. If you didn’t get that information upfront, send your real estate emails to clients until you identify another method they prefer. Using the app for mobile is an easy way to keep track of your follow-ups.
If an email follow-up is ideal for the client, limit your touch points to the following timeline:
- One follow-up email in the first three days
- Three follow-up emails in the first week
- Six follow-up emails in the first month
- Eight follow-ups in next 3-9 months
Connections — leads who reach out about a Zillow or Trulia listing using the Contact Agent form — are typically ready to speak to an agent and receive an immediate follow-up from Zillow or Trulia, so you don’t need to make follow-up calls or text as frequently.
Information about selected leads — home shoppers who personally selected you from a listing or Agent Finder — is sent directly to your inbox. These clients prefer that you follow up by text first before calling. A speedy reply is key for connection and selected leads.
For nurture leads, an introductory text followed by a drip email approach is likely more effective. Before you apply any real estate drip campaigns, be sure to run them by your broker and check state laws to make sure you’re in compliance.
Real estate follow-up email checklist
Buyers appreciate a responsive agent who can answer all their questions. The Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018 found that most buyers (80%) ranked responsiveness as very or extremely important, and 75% listed being knowledgeable about local market or neighborhood-specific conditions as highly important. Here’s a checklist of guidelines to help you stay professional and approachable:
- Respond immediately when clients reach out.
- Allow clients time to respond as they consider this major investment decision.
- Respect their preferred communication style.
- Be specific with your message.
- Detail the next steps so they understand why you need a response.
- Keep your emails short: Include only three clarifying questions at a time.
- Save some of the details for follow-up emails.
- Remind clients about past communications, but avoid mentioning their lack of response.
- Leave out sensitive information; don’t put it in an email if you don’t want a paper trail.
- Include a CTA (call to action).
- Don’t pressure them by threatening them with a final email.
- Don’t give up on nurturing leads.
Real estate follow-up email templates
Use follow-up email best practices by choosing a real estate email template that aligns with where the client currently is in the home-buying process.
Script for sending a follow-up email after no response from a buyer
You might have already emailed a buyer to introduce yourself and your services but haven’t heard back yet. Pick up where you left off in your next real estate follow-up email. To avoid sounding too aggressive, remind the buyer of the topic you discussed earlier.
Script for sending a follow-up email after no response from a seller
Check in with the seller to see if they’re still interested in selling their home. Sending a follow-up email saying that you’ll be sending over a custom home valuation report for their property shows that you mean business and are ready to act.
Script for sending a real estate follow-up email to clarify a buyer’s needs
There can be a huge difference between what a buyer needs to have versus what they’d like to have. Be specific in your follow-up emails when asking for clarification so that you know what the buyer is looking for and to show that you were paying attention during your previous conversation.
A shorter email with a clear CTA may prompt a client to realize that complex or extensive action isn’t required, and they might act on it sooner. Always let the buyer know you’re asking these questions because you’re trying to better understand their needs.
Scripts for sending a follow-up email requesting action from buyers
This is a good way to see how prepared buyers are to act, and a follow-up email from you gives them time to really think about it. If a buyer isn’t ready to talk about mortgages and how much they can afford to spend, they’re definitely not ready to look at homes.
Offering to connect buyers with lenders also gives you a natural opportunity to send a follow-up email later.
Script for sending a follow-up email requesting action from sellers
Most of the initial conversations you have with sellers will be about the value of their homes and their motivation for moving. Are they selling because they’re relocating, downsizing, upsizing or retiring? You will need to provide sellers with insight into both pricing and motivation. Since you can’t valuate a home before seeing it, sending a follow-up email to clients to set up a time to view the seller’s home is a great opportunity to reach out again.
Use a follow-up email to offer tips on preparing a seller’s house for showing or improving its curb appeal. In this case, using links to direct them to more information is entirely appropriate.
These follow-up scripts can be a great help when following up with leads, but you may want to add a personal touch to differentiate yourself. If you’re looking to connect with more leads, take a look at these real estate scripts.
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