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!
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!
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