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How to

Stop, Don’t Throw Me Out

Most homebuyers are in the “looking stage” when they first visit our web-sites. I would guess from my experience that less than 1% are ready right now. Nurturing those people and sticking with them until they are ready is the key to successful lead generation.

This week

Spring is a busy time in my market. We get more showings than in the cold, cold months of weather here. So most of my buyer agents were out showing homes all week.

I rarely pick up the phone and call them, or respond to them as I work mostly with the sellers, but this week I did. Bingo

Two were ready right now. Now it is not that my team members had not tried to make contact with them, they had. But, they were not ready at the time. One person had been on my site for over a year. They had saved a home in their favorites and it was on a gravel road with a new subdivision across the road.

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The Results

Email Sent: Hi Bob, you saved XXX Main Street in your favorites but your phone number is incorrect. If you send me your correct one I would like to call you to discuss what you looking for… a sub or a rural house. The house you saved is a gravel road but there is a new sub across the street and a quick phone call I can help make your search more specific.
•    A quick response back with the correct phone number.
•    I call
•    Phone tag a few times
•    Then he calls and is coming in town
•    Wants to see houses.
•    After we access his needs
•    We get him approved
•    Show houses last week
•    Fiancee’ flies in on Friday
•    Offer written

Lesson Learned: Be specific in helping them, not a vague welcome to my site email. Offer to help, meet their needs,ask the questions specific to there search.

Second email: This person was looking for condos. She said in her comments please don’t call, just contact by email.  So I did as she requested:
Hi Susan, you said not to contact you by phone so am sending a quick email, just let me know if you need help in narrowing you search. I will not call as per your request.
•    A few emails back and forth
•    Answered her questions on the condo communities she had questions on
•    Last night a list of homes she and fiancee’ want to see in May when they come to buy.

Lesson Learned: Acknowledge how they want to communicate, let them know you are here, be helpful, not pushy.

Third Email: This guy was looking for the value on their home and wanted a CMA.

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Email: Hi Gary, I would be happy to send you some listings to help with determining the value of your home can you send me some photos, and information on it with the address?
•    He sent me digital shots
•    Address
•    History of the home

Response: Thank you, Missy, you’ve been most helpful. We’re glad we stuck with our offer of XXX to purchase our home last year. The bank was very hard to deal with and they seemed they didn’t want to sell. Fortunately we should be here a few more years so aren’t pressured to sell. Best wishes to you and your team. You run a 1st class business!

Lesson learned: No, I didn’t really “want” to put a CMA together for an unknown person, I had them send photos, I didn’t go out, but engaged them in the process. Do you think he will call me when he is ready to sell? If we say we are a service industry…serve them.

Babies need nurturing, so do leads or prospects or people….whatever you want to call them. Babies need tender loving care…so do our visitors.

Photo Credit

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Written By

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.



  1. Mark Green

    April 5, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Great article Missy, and great examples of gaining trust through permission tactics. Oftentimes, we want prospects to communicate in a way that is most convenient and comfortable to us. We’re afraid of them ‘taking advantage’ of us. And many of them will do just that. But as you’ve identified here, many of them are real – and will turn into real business. Kudos to you for giving without fail.

    I never like when people contact me and ask me not to call but to just ‘send them information’. They just seem like tire kickers, and we’re all just too busy for tire kickers.

    Maybe so, but even tire kickers have raised their hand and told you that they’re going to be in the market sometime – and they’re undecided on who they’re using.

    Nice work…

  2. Missy Caulk

    April 5, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Mark, for me it is understanding the time frame and that is 99% need some time.

    I think the failure of many is that if those buyers aren’t ready now,they just forget about them. Not wise…

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. Paula Henry

    April 6, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Missy –

    I get the same thing, everyday. Just this weekend – two seperate people who were once “just online visitor” became my clients. Two contracts wriiten and two happy clients.

    Nurturing leads without being obtrusive is key.

  4. Missy Caulk

    April 6, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Paula, I think folks just give up too quickly.

    Congrats on the contracts.

  5. Matthew Hardy

    April 6, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Excellent article. Relationship marketing is about being specific. Now, if you have all the details of these interactions carefully recorded for reference during future communications, the relationships can get deeper and become even more likely to yield referrals.

  6. Brandie Young

    April 9, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    This is great, Missy. A great reminder to follow up and follow through. And, how great of you to share your letters!

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