You've put in some long, hard prospecting hours—knocking on doors, calling past clients, hitting up friends for referrals—and suddenly, BOOM, you've struck gold! Someone looking to buy a home has agreed to meet with you two days from now at 10 a.m. at the nearby Starbucks.
You gear up. You have a checklist of questions on your iPad, you're dressed to impress, and you show up 15 minutes early to make sure you beat them there.
10 a.m. comes and goes. The minutes tick by. You check and double check your calendar to confirm that you got the time and place right. At 10:15, you send a friendly text: Here at Starbucks on Rivergate St. I'll be at the table by the window! When there's no reply by 10:30, you call. You get voicemail. You hang up.
You've been stood up.
It happens. It's just part of the real estate gig. Sometimes prospects don't show up, whether it's because they forgot or they just decided to blow you off. But that doesn't mean you can't apply some strategies to prevent as many no-shows as possible! In this post, you'll find 6 tips for getting your prospective clients to show up for your scheduled meetings.
1) Get them to say the time and date out loud.
It sounds a little weird, but hear me out. In one study, a doctor’s office reduced their no-show rate by 3% simply by asking people to repeat back their appointment information after it was provided to them.
Try applying this strategy with your real estate prospects. After you schedule a meeting, and right before you part ways, try asking, “Could you read back to me the day and time we agreed on? I want to make absolute sure I have it written correctly in my calendar.”
2) Schedule the meeting for as soon as possible.
When asking for a meeting, propose a couple of dates and times within the next few days. This lessens the chance of them forgetting. And never schedule anything further than 2 weeks out!
3) Avoid inconvenient times.
Don't try to meet with a prospect on a Monday morning (too frazzled), on a Friday afternoon (too ready for the weekend), or on the days immediately before or after a major holiday (already/still in "vacation mode"). These are times when people are more likely to flake.
4) Have automated reminders in place.
The best way to do this is with a CRM. In Realvolve, for example, you can create a workflow to send automated reminders (via SMS text message and email) a customized number of days before the meeting date. Be sure to ask your prospect how they would prefer to receive the notifications.
5) Optimize your reminders
If you really want to make those automated reminders work for you, take some extra steps to optimize them. Remind them of the value they'll be getting from this meeting: Can't wait to meet with you on Monday 10/15 at 10 a.m. and start the process of finding your dream home!
Also, include the agenda: We'll talk about the first steps you need to take, and then I'll ask you some questions to learn about what you're looking for in your new home.
If you sent a calendar invite, be sure to give it an exciting title (Discussing our dream home with real estate agent Debra Kerns), so when the reminder pops up on their phone or computer, they'll be less likely to overlook it.
6) Make the meeting something they actually want to attend.
One of the best ways to get a prospect to show up to your meeting is to make it sound really appealing!
Let them know how long it will last, so they don't worry that they'll be stuck with you for hours.
Fill them in on the agenda, and let them know what you intend to accomplish during the meeting.
Make it about them—how you'll help them understand the process, how you'll work with them to put together a list of must-have dream home features, and how you'll get them set up with your app so they can start receiving property listings.
Give them a say in where you meet—We could meet at the Starbucks on Rivergate St., but I love checking out new places, so if you have a favorite coffee shop, let's meet there!
Make the meeting something they'll look forward to, and the chances are good that they'll be there.
But sometimes, your potential clients just don't show up...
And when that happens, it's important to follow up. After all, maybe they really did just forget. Or maybe their child was sick and needed to be picked up from school, or they got a flat tire and were stranded for an hour on the side of the road. Stuff happens, and a coffee shop meeting with a real estate agent isn't always the most important thing in a person's day.
We understand this, so we wrote a blog post on what to do when your potential clients don't show up for a meeting, and we included a couple of scripts to help with your follow-up. Read it next!