FB Live: Step Up Your Follow Up Game

The average shopper begins looking for a new home six weeks in advance and is going to look at four to six communities before they narrow down their search. If you're going to stand out, you must follow up.

But here is the sad reality:

More than 50 percent of prospects never received one form of follow-up. So just by following up, you increase the odds of getting that new lease. We think that’s a huge reason.

If you missed the FB Live, here’s what we talked about:

  1. How to lay the groundwork for follow up on your tour

  2. How to create a follow up timeline

  3. A few automated follow up processes

  4. Our favorite follow up methods

Watch the video below for the full run-down or if you’re the reading type - we’ve got the full transcript for you below!

We also shared a coupon code on the live if you want to become a Sprout Member.

Sign up at watchyourbusinesssprout.com/join.

Coupon Code: FollowUpLIVE for $15 off Membership by 3/31


Let's talk “follow up.” What I promise is we're going to keep it brief, but we're going to really pack a punch today. We’re going to talk about four things with follow-up: How do you lay the groundwork while you're on tour? Right? So we don’t have to do double work. This is all about efficiency. Second up is, How do you create those follow up touch points? How many? What's important? Third, Creating a Timeline of how to do this. And last Automate.

I’ve got my notes. I came fully prepared to deliver today and this is a compilation of our best ideas and so I’m ready if you guys are ready. Let’s all have some little notes because I think that when we write things down, and don’t just write down what I’m saying, write down exactly what you’re going to put into practice right? Whatever you think that’s, “Man I want to try that.”

So here is the deal. Over 50% of prospects never get a follow up. Which is crazy to me, right? But the idea is that, if we just start to follow up, then we're right away increasing your odds of getting that lease. And the crazy thing is from a sales perspective, we do so much try to get that phone to ring. We’re putting ads up. We're trying to go Outreach marketing. To do all this marketing, so that when people actually come in, and tour. And they leave and they don’t immediately sign up. And we don’t do anything. What we are basically doing is, giving sales to the competition. One average, someone has to be followed up with 5 to 12 times. I know that sounds crazy. And I think the real reason that we don’t like to follow up is because it's kind of like we don't want to be annoying.

If you've ever felt that way, like you don't want to follow up because you don't want to be annoying, drop it in the comments because I know that when I was leasing agent I would do at least one follow up. But literally let's talk about doing five follow-ups! I don't know that I ever, ever went that far above and beyond. It felt awkward and it felt uncomfortable.

Here is the deal this is becoming more and more important because we are living in an age of distraction. This morning Lauren and I were talking and I was sharing these statistics on follow ups with her and she said, “No! I’m living proof of that. Where people have to follow up with me over and over again. Not because I'm ignoring them. Not because it's not valuable. It's because at that minute, I'm not ready to take action, because something else is more pressing.

And I love it, thanks Leslie for being on here. I know your team agrees, you guys are awesome. But we don't want to be annoying. In this age of distraction when we’re all feeling like we're getting messages. We’re just constantly filtering. Our mind is saying, I mean if you look at my inbox I leave unread things that I have to. And then after somebody comes in and persistently follows up. Then I make sure, and say, ok, now it’s got my attention. It’s not because it’s not important, it's just because it's not important at that time. That's why those additional touchpoint, and guys as life gets busier it's only going to get more important that we follow up and that we figure out how to do it, so here’s step one.

First of all we have to be consistent. So if just say, “Come up with a super creative plan.” That's phase two. Phase one is just be consistent with your follow-up. Phase two is then, we're going to start to step up the game. After that right we will start to step up the game and I'll start to bring in this creativity.

The first thing I'm going to talk about is setting the groundwork. And the best time to do that is while you're on the tour. So I know as managers and leasing professionals, we’re talking, we’re touring, we're doing a lot at one time. but they're does come a point in our career when, especially when we’ve been in a community for a while, that we can talk about our community almost without having to think through it. We’re not as awkward anymore. We feel really comfortable. And when that happens, that's gold right! Because now we can focus on building that relationship. So the very first thing that we want to do while we're on this tour, is take a personal interest. And what I'm asking is, not just to listen for what people are saying, but also listen for what they're not saying. What they're conversing about with each other, if there's more than one person there. Maybe something they say in passing. It's the little nuances about people that are going to be really critical to this kind of follow-up them talking about.

One thing I want you to think about is having a few questions in your back pocket that you get really comfortable using. For example: when it comes to your new place, what is your non-negotiable? A lot of times people can do a variation of this, but they speak to the heart. Absolutely I have to have X and once you know that they usually give you a little bit more. I have to this because my daughter loves this. I have to have this because my husband leaves for work at this time in the morning and he works over here at the fire department and it's really important to me that X. It's the nuances and what's behind there, that's going to tell you a lot. And then you need to have some back pocket questions that are just conversational, but that feed you a lot of really good information. The more seasoned you get, the better this is. Now you will have those prospects that are super closed off. They don’t want to share much. But once you find whatever they’re interested in, all of a sudden, the floodgates open and they share so much. Even talking to them, where it’s appropriate. In the kitchen, what's your favorite kind of food? What do you like to do? See here’s where happens. Let’s say for example they say, “Well I love to cook. And actually I have to cook a ton because I have a gluten allergy.” Boom. Bingo. That’s my little hot button. I’m going to save that. Store it away for later, and I’m going to show you how to use it in our touch points.  

Or, “How do you like to spend your weekends? Are you the kind that’s like at the gym Sunday mornings or do you like to go for brunch? What do you like to do?” And I like to say find out what people like to do Sunday morning and Monday morning, because you know what they do for work when they have to be somewhere, or what they're doing with their kids. And then Sunday morning tells you what they do when they have their free time. Those are key points. Set the groundwork by gathering information, but not just generics right? Nuanced things are a little bit unique about the person. Then share your nuances. Make yourself memorable. When I was still in the leasing game I was always trying to talk to people. Trying to connect. Maybe I might share something about my dog. I’ve got a 120 lb doberman that is my baby. Literally makes me feel like, when I'm coming home like you know the best person in the world. If they have a pet. We connect. Or I might share something totally different, like for example I might say, “Hey I'm Barbara.” And as we’re talking I'm like, “Oh my goodness yeah I know how crazy life is. My husband and I have been building this container home. It’s crazy. We’ve got like three shipping containers and it's been this experience. And I've been living in this fifth-wheel in the middle of the country. All of a sudden, it’s like,”What?” and you’ve got these talking memory points that you can use in your marketing. So those are the kinds of things that you are going to do while you’re on the tour. And you’re going to take notes. Remember if you're the kind of person that absolutely needs to have a notepad. I recommend it. Most of us do.

But I also have to say, I heard this on a podcast recently, we remember what we want to remember. If this person is important to us remember their name, and remember what is important to them. So if it’s Marcy and she just had a baby (that’s my sister) think about that. And say ok, “Remember Marcy, and remember she had a baby. Remember Marcy / Mom. Marcy / Baby.” And you start to remember. If this person is important to you. They are going to feel it and this follow up is going to so much more personal. Next point. The only reason this follow up is annoying is because if the only reason we follow up is just to ask if they are leasing the apartment. Follow-up with something that is based in adding value, solving a pain point, or “surprises and delights.” Those are the three things. Someone will never complain if you are doing one of those three things. So if your follow up adds value, if it fixes a problem, or if it's just surprising and it's a fun thing that they've got. They're going to be excited to get it. So what are some of those things that we can do?

In our industry we do Nurture Series. We use MailChimp and we have a nurturer that basically says we know that when somebody is cold with no interest. They’re probably not going to buy from us. So over time we nurture them right? And we do that by adding value. If we just say, “Hey we’re Sprout buy from us! Hey haven't heard from you this week are you going to buy from us?” After a while that’s annoying, and I would definitely not open that email right? But if we are adding value through our nurture, then people look forward to getting our emails. And after they do, then they start to trust us. And I guarantee you, a lot of leasing professionals are not doing that. So what can we do? When we think in terms of nurture for our apartment industry or for Real Estate professionals think in terms of adding value, solving pain points, “surprising and delighting” by remembering the nuances. You might start with something like, they mentioned that their gluten free. That they have this food allergy and they cook at home a lot. So imagine that in your first follow up you said, “Hey so-and-so, It was so good to meet you. You know after you left I was thinking about how you mentioned that you are living a gluten-free lifestyle and I wanted to tell you that there's actually this great restaurant just two minutes down the road. And they have amazing gluten free food. One of our co-workers eats there often.” It's personal and it will make an impact. Imagine if somebody said, “you mentioned that you loved to bike and I told you about our trail. But just in case you wanted to check it out, even before you move here. Here’s where it is. Here’s where it’s located. They are having these events coming up this week.” Super personal. Let's say somebody else mentions that they have children in school district. “Hey you know what, I know that you mentioned that your young one is in elementary. I wanted to share some information about this school specifically. A couple of years ago they won this award. Or they’re doing this program.” Again very personal and makes an impact. Or adding value. “I know moving can be incredible stressful. We found this checklist to help. We found this moving company to be incredible. Even if you don't decide to move here I wanted to share their information because literally we’ve never had any issue with them.” So there you are adding value, you’re solving a pain point, and you’re surprising and delighting.

Your touch points can be a phone call, it can be an email, even if it's a phone call to just say, “Hey I wanted to double check, I sent you an email with some of the attachments we talked about. Those floor plans and things you can show your husband. I just wanted to make sure you got it.”

Years ago I shared this website, and it’s still in existence, slydial.com. You can thank us later, that one is awesome because it sends you straight to voicemail. Say they just leave, you know you don't want to like right away call and harass them, you want to just leave a voice message. Slydial and put their phone number and boom you are straight to their voicemail. So I love that.

Now when you're thinking about emails, here’s a few tips on how you can do this. And I’ll show you some tools because we are talking about automating and making this simple. For example, “We know buying a home or we know choosing your home can be a really important and really stressful decision and there's a lot of like things that go into it. Instead of hearing it for me, I want to do you to hear from one of our long-term residents and hear what they love about living here.” You share a testimonial of someone who has lived at your community 3, 5, 10 or 15 years. If you can get this on video even better. Super cool idea, but it can be part of an automated email series. Another one, “Hey I know we got to meet. I wanted to make sure that you meet our property manager. She's just going to send a message to you via video click here on the link.”

You don't have to create it every single time. Just create it once. If I was a manager, “Hi I'm Barbara. I'm so excited that you're thinking about making Park Place your new apartment home. I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet you. I’ve been at our community 3 years as the community manager and I love being here.” Right? It's personal. It can be 30 seconds or less, and it's super easy to do. Again part of automating, do a lot of these videos and follow ups in advance.

Another one from maintenance. Maintenance is one of the biggest decisions of why people don't renew. If you got a long-term maintenance person or they're very knowledgeable or they're funny. A quick video of the maintenance person or supervisor introducing themselves. Or let’s say you have a lot of FAQ’s or you want to show them how to fill out an application online. Two of the resources I like, Loom is a free resource that lets you screen and audio record. Our partner to helps us with our facebook ads, that’s how we communicate. He sends me loom videos all the time. Alan, thank you I love it. And you can do that. You can say, “Hey just jumping on, I know sometimes it gets a little confusing about how to do X. Let me show you how to do it real quick.” And you can send it video, screen grabs or just audio. So it makes any email just a little bit more personal. And Wistia is another version that we use. There is a free version and there is a paid. And what’s cool about those videos is you can add a call to action. You can say, “Hey so and so, it was so good to talk to you. I wanted to show you some pictures from our latest community event. Click Here.” And you can add that call to action. Or you can say, “Hey just in case you didn’t have that application handy. Here's a link to it. And if you have any FAQ questions here's a video click here.” Those kinds of things make it interactive.

What I want you guys to remember is think of these touch points as a Nurture Series so when you're a B2B business. There's my husband is calling me during my live. When you’re a B2B business and you’re trying to do an automated series. You might have one that lasts for months and months and in the apartment industry, maybe in real estate, we don’t have that much time. You might need to have these touch points back to back. In order for them not to be annoying they need to add value, fix a pain point, surprise and delight or a mix. You want it to be personal but you also can do some automated ones that feel personal. These videos that you create in advance, you're talking to one person you don't have to you make it cold. Because it's automated, doesn't mean that it doesn't have to be that personal. Something that we do automated for the Sprout members, and I want to share that with our members right now, is that we do a mad libs. Which means we've created a bunch of different follow-up templates that you can make your own and I wanted to share for those of you on. I’m going to copy and paste this one right here on Facebook. And then for those of you on Instagram I know you can't see it right now but what I'm going to do is you guys will you can look on Facebook later, or I'll make sure that you guys get the information there. Alright so there is like a little mad libs for the sprout members you’ve got tons of those plus graphics that match. You can make your email headers look really awesome. You can add fun graphics about what you’re talking about. But we also do a lot for those of you that don’t love to write. Because writing can be hard, especially if you are in the mindset of operations. So when you go in the membership, search “follow up,” you’ll find tons of templates that you can copy and paste and make your own. But where you see, “Insert” that's where you make it your own, mad libs style. Now if you are not a member saying, “Why do I not have this in my life,” Camila will drop a link line. Show them where they can get a demo. You know you're going to love it because again it makes it super easy to then create these touch points.

So part of the automation process that we’re talking about is doing things like these Mad Libs, doing these pre-recorded videos, but then laying out a timeline. Step one might be, right after they leave, immediately sending them an email and maybe a little bit later I'm going to use Slydial and they get a voicemail double-checking that they got my email. Then a couple of days later maybe I'm going to send them a value add right so I'm going to send them an email from my manager, my maintenance team, or a testimonial. Stagger those a day or two in between each other. (I think I’m going to do a MailChimp training so that you can see how we create our nurtures. I'll do that for you. I think you will like that it'll just make everything easier). So then you might say okay I’ve got their number, I’m going to send them a text with a link to something but they might want to check out. Maybe the restaurant I talked about. If I have their social I might message them so it doesn’t feel intrusive. You’ve got to figure it out. Snail mail. Nowadays people literally do not get really fun things in the mail so anything that you can send that is fun or different. I've got on here, let’s see where did I put my notes. A couple of things when you think about snail mail. Anything that is 13 oz or less you can drop in the mail. We’ve done some crazy stuff like flip flops, all sorts of random things, like Chopsticks, but what I love is on Amazon. You can get these tiny little envelopes. Do un-traditionally sizes, so either really big envelopes or really small ones, that way when they're getting all their mail it stands out as either super tiny or super big. Surprise and Delight. You guys I love hearing everyone’s ideas, and the laughs and the giggles. Because this is what marketing is about. It’s about being fun.

And then I do want to share beyond that there is a really fun app called pixie, now which I just started using, and it sent some really cool follow up. And then my girlfriend Leasing Leah, that's on here she has shared with me before Punkpost, where they do these beautiful handwritten letters that you type in the message or whatever. How awesome is that! She sent me one and the imagery, the way they wrote it, super beautiful. And guys if you are a Sprout member, you guys don’t have to go anywhere. Just search “follow up” download them. We even give you ideas of what to put in there because we want to make it super, super easy.

Automat it by coming up with these things, build your timeline that your team knows about, then set up a consistent day to follow up. Guys follow up takes time. But why are we doing all these this if we are not following up with the leads we have. Why are we spending all this time if we don’t do it. Fo all you managers, it’s really up to you to set the pace and allow the space for the team to do it. This is your follow up time,  this is when you’re working on it.

Ok then make those generic videos in advance. Save your follow up templates in a google doc. Again if you got a really great writer on your team, make it special. Make it awesome. Do not be afraid to follow up. You guys, follow up with such a critical piece. Again I heard this stat this morning on the awesome podcast, that the average person has to be followed up over 5 times for them to say yes! In the comments, I've heard you guys say we are so busy so don't feel like your a pain, that's exactly what we're supposed to be doing.

A part of what we talked about today, lay the groundwork. The biggest thing I can say, show a personal interest in people and then put that in your email. Make it personal. What is it about that person that special. What is special to them? We know we've heard it said many times. “The what's in it for me?” People want to know that you remember their name. They want to know that you remember their feelings and what's going on, incorporate that in your follow-up.

Have those multiple touch points. Set them in advance for your team. Next Monday as a part of your meeting, layout what are the 5 to 6 touch points were once going to have. One is going to be this email, here’s the templates we’re going to use. We’re going to get on Sprout. We’re going to download the graphics. Two is going to be a phone call. Say, “Hey what do you say on the phone call so it won’t be so awkward?” Work as a team. Three: We’re going to send out a testimonial. “We know you’re going to love our community as much as this resident did. Hear it from them. Four: is going to be a video from our manager. Five: a video from our maintenance Team. Six: we're going to call them to action all throughout. And don’t forget your P.S. That is always a little space that we always look for in an email and Amy Porterfield did an entire episode on how critical that PS is. Make that count. Make that your call to action. By the way we're ready to have you live here. Show some excitement. Transfer that energy. They're going to want to know why should I pick you. And you're going to tell them, you're going to pick me because I’ve gone through all this effort to show a personal interest in you. And then automate what you can because guys you are the busiest people that I know.

So I have officially gone over my promised 15 minutes, but come on, who thought that I was going to do this in 15 minutes? There was just too much stuff to share. I hope you guys have enjoyed it. I would like to again remind you. Don't forget, if you want to demo Sprout, there’s a link for that. Then check out our journey guidebook. Camila’s going to add that. That’s an opt-in that lets you focus on those touch points. That one specifically. Make follow-up the one that you do. Download. It’s a seven page packet. Print one of those. Work on follow up. And then next week let me know how it goes. Guys, we’re here every Wednesday. Next week we're talking renewals, we’ll keep it to something very specific on renewals. How we have those touch points throughout the lifecycle.

And we have so much good stuff coming up so if you like it, let us know that you're liking these. Message us on what kind of topics you want, and then afterward, sharing with your friends, tag them in the comments. If there's somebody that you're like, “my regional needs to see, or my sister community,” tag them. Because that’s how the momentum is building. Thank you for being on today. Thank you. Have a great rest of the week. And we will see you guys next Wednesday here on Instagram and on Facebook. See y’all later bye guys!


Sprout Marketing