Closing Deals is ALL About the Follow-Up

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We could have had a part in the movie The Place Behind the Pines which is in theaters now, but I dropped the ball! This article is about the importance of follow up, and it has a pretty cool story to illustrate a point.

A couple of years ago when we were insanely busy, I received a call from a movie company regarding some of our homes. Well, being busy and thinking it may be a waste of time I did NOT follow up right away! Instead, a few weeks later, I sent the info to our office manager and asked her to follow up for me. Well, the next thing I hear is her yelling in the office, “I’m going to kill you!!!!” Well, I had to see what that was all about. It turns out, Susan, our office manager, is a huge Bradley Cooper fan. The movie “The Place Behind the Pines” was to be filmed in our local town of Schenectady, NY, and they needed some older looking homes to film in, and wanted to use some of ours!! Because I DID NOT FOLLOW UP, they moved on and found other homes to film in.

It was a huge deal here in our town, as we had many stars here for a few months, including Bradley Cooper, Eve Mendaz, Ryan Gosling, Ray Liotta, and more. Many people and places we know were involved and some even had small roles in the movie. Our very own bank was the setting for the first bank robbery scene! The same guy that opened my kids bank accounts was in the movie!! It was very cool, but we missed the boat in regards to them using our homes, because I did not follow up when I should have. Stay tuned to to the end of this article for a shocking surprise ending to this story…

Is follow up important? I can tell you that closing deals is ALL in the follow up. When a seller calls you, they are starting the process to sell. Believe it or not, even though THEY called YOU, they may not be ready to actually sell. Many people are not ready for a while because it is a process. Rookies will make one call, and if the person does not jump at that moment to sell or buy, they move on. In my humble opinion, that is a huge mistake. As an investor we are always ready to buy, but the sellers and buyers have many emotions they go through to make these hard decisions in their lives. It is not about your timeline, it is about theirs. The trick to finding great deals is to consistently follow up with these people.

When the time is right they will make a call, and if you have been in front of them the entire time, guess who they will call? Yup….You! From experience, many times you will be the ONLY one they call, putting you in a great position to make a deal without competition. Another mistake that is made is let’s say someone calls you to sell their home. You educate them them about their options, and you get them teed up for a cash offer, but you fail to follow up. Next thing you know, another investor sends them a letter and guess who they call that day? If you didn’t follow up and build a nice rapport with them … NOT YOU! It is all about who is on their minds when their timing is right.

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Real Life Example of a 9 Month Follow Up

Heidi, who is our top agent/consultant, went to an estate sale last August. She does this to find deals on houses to buy (hint, hint). The seller would not give her a phone number. That did not deter Heidi. She did what she had to do to locate the sellers number. I think she finally found her on Facebook. She stayed in touch with the seller for over 9 months. She offered many ways we could help her including buying her house for cash. The seller was just not ready for one reason or the other. To make a long, confusing story short, after all the dust settled, the seller decided to sell to us. Heidi made a great commission, and we have another house to renovate and sell. If Heidi had not followed up for 9 months, she would have never signed the deal!

Related: The One Word That Can Change Your Future…

Closing Deals Is Just Like Farming

Once you plant a seed, you MUST water it. If you don’t, it will die. It’s the same with a lead or any area in your business. Whether it is for a seller, a buyer, a new private investor, or anyone else you want to work with. Planting the seed is the easy part, watering the seed is the follow up piece and is what separates the rookies from the pro’s. If you water and nurture each lead you will be met with great success.

My suggestion is to have some type of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system set up so you can effectively follow up with all of your leads. Get their email address and set them up to receive regular emails. Again, when they are ready, the one who has stayed in front of them is more than likely the one who will get the call. Follow up allows you to build a relationship with them. People like to do business with people they like, so give them a reason to like you!

Related: Do You Have the Mindset to be on Shark Tank?

Ironic Ending to the Movie Story

We bought a house from a bank last month to renovate. We found a box labeled “Props” in the kitchen, which prompted us to make some inquiries. Guess what we found out? The house we now own, and will be up for sale soon, was the house for Eva Mendez’s character in the movie. At the end of the movie there is a clear shot of our house and the address of 714 on the porch. It should be a great selling feature for the home. How ironic that they called us 2 years ago and I dropped the ball by NOT following up and then we end up owning one of the houses!! Had I followed up, we may have very well been involved in the movie and been able to hang with some of Hollywoods stars. Hey, at least we ended up owning one of the houses!

Be great at following up and you will see your business grow faster than you imagined.

On a personal note, I would like to wish all of you Moms, Step Moms, Grandma’s, Mom figures, and anyone who is being a Mom to a child A Very Happy Mothers Day! Us men would be nothing without the love of you women. Have a great day and I hope you get spoiled and pampered because you deserve it! Happy Mothers Day!

Photo: James Willamor

About Author

Glenn Schworm

Glenn and his wife Amber are the owners of Signature Home Buyers , located in upstate New York. They have bought and sold over 100 houses and counting since beginning in 2008. They are also the proud parents of 3 amazing kids and love to travel the globe, scuba dive, skydive and basically live life to the fullest!


  1. Great article Glenn and I’m surprised no one has commented thus far! Without my CRM (I use the free edition of ZoHo), I would be lost. Every time I interact with a seller that doesn’t result in a sale, I make a follow-up tasks to call them 30 days later to see if they’ve reconsidered. While I haven’t had any luck yet, no doubt one will eventually relent and want to get rid of their headache.

    How often do you continue following up? Do you keep calling once a month or space out your touch points? PS: Have you seen the movie yet? It’s looks like it could be a pretty good one.

  2. Hi Brandon, Thanks for the post. I am not sure why I have only your comment either maybe the article just sucks! 🙂 We follow up as much as possible, I like to call it being pleasantly persistent. It all depends on the situation and how close they are to actually selling. Stay close and keep your finger on the pulse. Become their friend and when the time is right they will call you. Thanks for my only comment!! lol

  3. Jason Grote

    Great story Glenn! In December of last year, while talking to a fellow investor, out of nowhere he tells me ,”Follow up is very important”. I thought to myself, what a random thing to say. I told him that I was bad about it and needed to start calling some of my old leads. I called one lead that had wanted a lot more than we offered. I left him a message. Several days later I get a call from him and I close the deal by only coming up $5k! He came down about $25k. In the time between the initial offer and the follow up call, the property increased in value about $10k!

    Needless to say, I am sold on FOLLOW UP!

  4. I listed a house that had been used in several episodes of Dexter. The studio paid the owners for the use of the home each time–quite a bit as a matter of fact. I couldn’t promise buyers the house would be used again but I know it helped a little in the sale. My broker owned a property used in a movie and they painted it pink, but then they painted it the color of his choice after filming–he got paid for the use of it and a free paint job.

  5. Pretty Cool Shari! I have never watched the series, but ins’t Dexter a serial killer? Not sure how well that would go over to sell a house unless you’re a fan! Imagine the people’s house used in horror movies? May be best never to mention that!! LOL

  6. I am feeling all anxious inside because of the opportunity you missed.
    I don’t even want to think about all the opportunities we’ve missed…..

    Thanks, Glenn, for sharing such a great article. Fascinating read – POWERFUL message!

  7. I VERY much agree with this…follow up is extremely important. As a rather energetic investor trying to reach investors across the nation to wholesale with…I’m very disappointed so far with fellow investors follow up routines! Glenn I’m happy to say is not one of those investors! He contacted me back right away regarding some properties we are working on. So not only do investors need to follow up with clients…but investors contacting investors need to FOLLOW up! I will work my NY properties with Glenn any time. Dawn 🙂

    • Glenn Schworm

      Thanks Dawn! Didn’t know you were from Bigger Pockets, good thing I practice what I preach or I would have been in deep trouble with you! 🙂 We will follow up on those potential deals and be in touch if we can do anything. Thanks again for following and keep up the great work!

  8. Hi Glenn,

    Another great article!

    What program do you prefer for the email auto responder? Like constant contact?

    Did you create a bunch of different emails, or do you use something generic like “Hi, I just wanted to check and see how you were doing. Have you given any more thought to selling your house? If you need anything let me know….”


    • Hi Adam,

      Thank you. Ironically at the moment our follow up system is not a strong one. We have another company we have used for years called response magic, however we are in the process of setting up a total cloud management system with a large company called Salesforce. In it we have built in responders. Yes I make different letters, all designed to get them to reach back out to me. SInce it is free to do so, set up email letters for years or until they opt out. You just never know when timing is right for Them. its always right for us!

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