10 Tips for Effective Follow-Up with Prospects

Did you know that 95 percent of sales happen after the 5th attempt?

It takes more than a smile and product knowledge to succeed in leasing—you must follow-up, too. Here are a few tips to help you create a follow-up strategy that will help you increase the number of leases you’re getting:

1.   Commit to Timely Follow-Up

Follow-up with everyone who visited that day. Don’t let the follow-up, well… pile up.Follow-up works best when it’s fresh in their (and your!) memory and they remember who you are.

2.   Follow-Up Needs to be Consistent

As with any marketing strategy you choose, if you do not do it on a regular basis and do it haphazardly, then that’s what you’ll get in return – haphazard results. Remember that follow-up is about building a relationship and if people hear from you a couple times and then not for a few months, they’re not going to get a warm, fuzzy feeling about you. Consistently following up shows people that you value them and are reliable.

3.   Organize Your Time and Keep Up Your Momentum

Plan a time each day that you will make your calls, send e-mails or follow up notes. Keep going until you set that appointment. Put your follow-up activity in your day timer or contact management system. I love to use Outlook- I may "snooze" a reminder several times, but my goal is to complete the task before I leave for the day.

4.   Set a Goal
Challenge yourself to set one appointment per day from your follow-up calls and watch the leases start coming in.

5.   Vary Your Delivery Methods

Incorporate email, telephone, mail, and text to provide variety in how you connect with people and grab their attention. Different methods will keep people intrigued.

6.   Use a Contact Management System

The most effective way to manage your follow-up is on the computer— whether it’s in Outlook, ACT, or your company’s property management software. This will allow you to have all your notes in one place and a regular reminder system to keep calling.

7.   Be a Stand Out
I highly recommend shopping other apartment communities to see what they are doing to stand out from the crowd. A community located across the street from the beach sent little bags of sand with a business card attached to all prospects. Another community sends a lottery ticket with a note saying “Thanks a million for dropping by to see our beautiful apartment homes…”  I love to contact communities in other states through For Rent or Apartment Guide to see what kind of email response I get.  I then take the most creative examples and use those as a guide to update the content I’m sending out.

8.   Be Creative!
Do you have a newsletter?  Does your prospect have a dog?  When following up, send a community newsletter to touch base.  If your prospect mentioned their pet, invite them to your next “Yappy Hour”.  Use the information you gleaned from your prospect as a way to continue your follow-up long term without feeling (or looking) like a pest.

9.    Customize and Personalize

In today’s world of high tech, it is so refreshing to get something one of a kind. Make sure you refer to something you talked about or had in common with your prospect in your follow up letter or email. Don’t send a generic, emotionless follow up note. Be sure to include a “PS” at the bottom to warm it up!

10.  Gratitude Wins Every Time

Think about the last time someone expressed gratitude    or appreciation towards you. Was it in person, on the phone, via email, or maybe you received an unexpected thank you card? Think about how this small act of gratitude made you feel. This is the same feeling you create with your prospects when you appreciate them.