Real Estate Marketing

Beat Out the 48% of Investors Who Never Follow Up on Leads With These Tips!

Expertise: Personal Development, Real Estate Investing Basics, Business Management, Mobile Homes, Real Estate News & Commentary, Landlording & Rental Properties, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Marketing
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Most investors do not know the answer to the question, “What price and terms did every past seller you’ve spent time with finally sell their properties for?” While this question may seem daunting at first, a simple change in your business practice may provide you with much more practical sales data for your niche and may lead to closing more seller leads.

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According to Follow Up Success, 80% of sales are made between the fifth and twelfth contact with a seller. Additionally, 48% of sales people will never follow up with a client. This article will discuss just a few of the ideas to consider when calling sellers back. We will also cover how to follow up with sellers you have already made purchase offers to — these sellers have previously said "no" to your purchasing attempts, and thus no win-win purchase offer has yet been reached.

What Can I Learn From a Home That’s Already Been Sold?

First things first, if the home is not technically sold, then there is a chance the potential buyer will bail or be unable to close, thus giving you the continued opportunity to create value with the property seller. However, if the property did sell, then this would be a good time to ask the following.

  • When did the home sell? This will give you additional information about the number of days on the market for this street/area in your market.
  • Did the home sell to another investor or an end-user? Who is working in your general area? Did another investor pay a higher price or give more favorable terms? If yes, is there anything else you could have done or learned to do differently?
  • What was the final sales price? Learn how low the seller was really willing to drop the asking price. In the future, it would be wise to remember this negotiation and the seller’s final price and terms.

Related: 8 Negotiation Techniques That Will Help Every Newbie Land a Better Deal
Remember: Be positive and upbeat when asking these questions. See below for a script outline.


Example of a Call Made to a Seller 30 Days After Our Last Conversation

Me: "Afternoon, Mr. Jenkins. This is John giving you a call back about your 3-bedroom mobile home for sale in Kings Village MHP. We spoke about 4 weeks ago and made you a few offers on your property for sale at the time. I was curious to hear if you have had any more showings or interest from potential buyers since we last spoke."

Seller: “Hi, John. Yes, the home was sold yesterday to a nice young couple.”

Me: “Wonderful! I am really glad to hear that for you. I am curious, what price did you end up selling the home for?”

Seller: “We sold the home for $15,500.”

Me: "Congratulations, Mr. Jenkins! I am very happy for you and your family. The home was worth every bit of that. The buyers got themselves a beautiful home. In the future, if you or anyone your know have any other real estate concerns or mobile homes for sale, please don't hesitate to ever call me anytime. Congratulations again."

Following up with sellers should already be a mandatory part of your real estate investing business. To assume a seller’s previous “no” (in response to your purchase offer) is permanent can be unwise and simply untrue.

Sellers typically become more flexible over time. Continue following up with sellers as long as their homes are showing “for sale” and the sellers are still happy to hear from you. The proximity between phone calls and/or letters may depend on the motivation level of the seller and how close to a win-win deal you are both becoming.

3 Benefits to Following Up With Sellers

1. Referrals

Simply calling sellers back allows them to hear your voice and name again. Additionally, being proactive and genuinely interested in helping each seller is a great way to expand your circle of influence. Sellers often know of other sellers/owners who may/will need to sell eventually.

2. Firsthand Information

Ask these questions to better understand your negotiations and the seller’s true current situation.

  • “Has anything changed since we last spoke?”
  • “Have there been any showings to potential buyers since we last spoke?”
  • “Any new potential buyers since we last spoke?”
  • “Any purchase contracts accepted?”
  • “Is the asking price still the same?”

Always aim to provide clarity and help to every seller you interact with. Besides simply offering a fair price for most properties, we investors should aim to listen to sellers and provide quality advice and options to improve sellers’ situations.


Related: Newbies: Want to Start Closing Deals? Consider Using the 10/4 Rule.

3. Being Remembered

Sellers understand that you are a real estate investor. As real estate investors, we purchase and are knowledgeable in real estate matters. The more time a seller spends with you and remembers your name, face, message and phone number, the further in the front of their minds you may remain. When the time is right and a seller must sell, your name may be the first/only buyer a seller calls.

Start following up with your past sellers. Aim to say hello, reintroduce yourself, and get an update from each seller as to what has changed since you both last spoke. Begin with the past 4 weeks and call the sellers you have made unsuccessful purchase offers to. Do not call with the expectation of making any deals. Simply call for a quick chat or quick voicemail message. If a seller does not remember you or that you buy homes, it is not their fault. Make sure to be following up with sellers regularly. Some sellers will have sold. Some sellers will have decided not to sell. Some sellers will have not changed anything. Still, other sellers will realize their asking price/terms were too high and that your original purchase offers are looking fair and reasonable.

How do you follow up with sellers?

Let me know your process!

Investing since 2002, John started in real estate accidentally with a four-bedroom mobile home inside of a pre-existing mobile home park. Over the next 11 months, John added 10 more mobile homes to...
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    Peter Mckernan Residential Real Estate Agent from Newport Beach, California
    Replied over 3 years ago
    John, Great article hitting the key points on follow up! As you mentioned this is critical for investor and real estate sales success. Thank you for sharing this article that helps people define the questions to ask.
    Cornelius Charles Investor from Oxnard, California
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks for the article John. My wife and I know that follow-up is one of our weak points. It is definitely something we are looking to improve on in 2017.
    Jerry W. Investor from Thermopolis, Wyoming
    Replied over 3 years ago
    John, Great article. I really enjoy your posts. They are often in areas I do not think about. Thanks for taking the time to share it. I got a 4 plex this year that I worked on for about 4 months last year. I met one of the owners while changing the water service at City Hall, and offered to help with what advice I could. At their request I made an offer that was rejected because it was way too low they said. A realtor friend said he could get them about $70K more. I told them they should sell it quickly if they could get that price. Six months later the realtor finally told them he could probably not get anything much higher than what I had offered, and he tried to buy the property himself at that price. They came back to me and I raised my offer by $5K and they actually financed the entire 20% down payment to me at 4% interest only payments, with a 5 year balloon. I was losing $700 a month when I took over, but now am at a positive cash flow of about $70 per month, and hope to move that up to about $300 per month next year. They said I had been so considerate and helpful that they wanted me to own the property.
    Andrew K. Rental Property Investor from San Antonio, TX
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Jerry, Congrats on that 4 plex deal. Very cool story and it’s amazing how somethings just work out like that. As you said, the cash flow will only get better over time. Keep up the success! -Andrew
    Frank Carney Investor
    Replied over 3 years ago
    All good stuff.
    Ashley Wilson Rental Property Investor from Radnor, PA
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great post! Actually an hour before reading this, I contacted my real estate agent about resubmitting an offer. Additionally, I have been tracking all of the houses that we were interested in and what they eventually sell for. It’s a great idea about also tracking the time on the market too, to see if there are certain trends there as well. Thank you for the tip! Happy New Year!
    Sara Huestis from Portsmouth, New Hampshire
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great article on something (as a newbie) that had never crossed my mind. Wondering if BP has a template for tracking this kind of activity/follow up?
    Caleb Friberg Investor from Longview/Kelso, Washington
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Awesome article. I had been contacting the owners of a super distressed fsbo for a few months last year and gained good rapport with them but wasn’t able to seal the deal so I forgot about them. This article is a good reminder to stay persistent with those leads that I may have dropped and make 2017 a good one. Thanks
    Stephen Ellias Investor from Raleigh, North Carolina
    Replied over 3 years ago
    It’s just like they say, “the fortune is in the follow-up”. Another great article many thanks!
    Casey Murray Investor from San Diego, CA
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I like your points about being genuinely interested in the seller. A lot of people unfortunately label investors as being greedy. Being sincere and authentic with the sellers situation will certainly help build rapport and change their preconceived opinion about you. Great article, John.
    Steven Knighton
    Replied over 3 years ago
    The old saying comes true again – Knowledge is power! Perfect illustration of it right here.