With Marketing, the Success is in the Follow Up!

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Regardless of your marketing methods –handwritten letters, postcards, brochures, email, or something else entirely — I want to remind you today that the success is found in the follow up!

My latest deal is a case in point.

My husband and I just got a great property under contract that we will be holding as a rental with $20K in equity and cashflowing over $600/month. The seller is a very nice woman who we initially sent a postcard to as part of our absentee owner marketing campaign in August of last year. We keep a detailed file on every person who calls us from our mailings and when I reviewed the file today to write this post, this is what I was reminded of:

  • September 5, 2009: Seller called and left message on our voicemail
  • September 6, 2009: Spoke with seller and completed initial screening questionnaire.  She indicated that she wasn’t exactly ready to sell yet and would call back around September 14. We knew we were interested in at least making an offer on the house based on the information she had given us on the property.
  • September 24, 2009: Called the seller (since she hadn’t called back yet).  She told us that she wants to make an arrangement with the tenant to have us see the property and she would call us back.
  • October 27, 2009: We mailed a follow up letter to her (again, she hadn’t called back yet) indicating that we were still interested in viewing her property and making an offer.
  • December 9, 2009: We mailed a holiday card to her (with a P.S. that we were ready to meet with her to view her property whenever she was ready!)
  • April 7, 2010: She calls us and says “I’m ready!” and we set an appointment to see the home on April 14.
  • April 14, 2010: My husband inspects the home and we email a Letter of Intent outlining 3 offer scenarios for her review.
  • April 21, 2010: We finalize negotiations verbally and send final contract — then she goes on vacation for 2 weeks and tells us she’ll get back to us when she returns on May 8.
  • May 9, 2010: We finalize the deal. Contracts signed.  Prepping for close in a few weeks.

Phew!  There was a lot of follow up involved in this, right? Well, I have one simple question.  Do you think that we were top of mind whenever she had that nagging feeling that she wanted to sell? I bet the answer is yes.

We didn’t rely on her keeping our very first postcard. She could’ve lost it.

We didn’t rely on her putting our phone number in her address book when we called her.  She easily could’ve forgotten to do that.

We sent a total 3 pieces of mail to her and whenever she didn’t call us back, we followed up anyway and you know what? She was always appreciative of the call.  It’s also worth noting that all of the interactions with her cost us very little in time and money considering our return.

Always remember that when it comes to marketing, persistence pays and the success is in the follow up!

(P.S. Check out this previous post on how to make persistence pay in your real estate investing this year.)

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About Author

Shae Bynes is a real estate investor in Sunny South Florida. On her blog, GoodFaithInvesting.com, she provides helpful tips and an inside look at her real estate investing adventures -- obstacles, failures, & successes!

5 Comments

  1. Hi Shae!

    The case study that you outlined is truly awesome.

    Your example should be looked over carefully by experienced investors and novices alike.

    The Experienced Investors…
    I think that the experienced investors reading your case study, can benefit. With this example, you demonstrate the positive result that can occur with consistent follow up, and not giving up.

    Perhaps after the first few times that the seller did not get back to you, an experienced investor might consider discarding the prospect, and move on to other more responsive prospects. You did not however. You stuck with this prospect and were able to successfully close them.

    The Novice Investors…
    Shae, you should teach a course on follow up because there are a tonne of great tips that you can share with investors just starting out! I encourage all new investors to adopt the same note taking style that Shae has. Her details, especially with regards to recording the date that she spoke with the prospect is a very smart idea. This process helps to keep oneself completely organized. Also, if you end up having multiple conversations with the prospect, as Shae did, writing out all her interaction in writing helps to keep things organized.

    Thank for this article Shae.

    Onwards and Upwards!
    Neil 🙂
    .-= Neil Uttamsingh´s last blog ..Where should you buy your first rental property? =-.

  2. Great article, Shae!

    Your call log is awesome – I do the same. I think writing things down and keeping detailed records on leads helps when following up.

    This article rings so true – most of the deals that I’ve done have also resulted in the follow up. There was a statistic in advertising that said it takes about 7 impressions for a consumer to buy a product – this can be applied to real estate. There was an investor who once told me it would take between 2-7 times of exposure to a seller in order to put together a deal. In the end, I think it all boils down to trust and being at the right place at the right time.

    I enjoyed reading the article, thanks for sharing!

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