What if I'm bugging them?
What if they're doing something important right now?
What if they don't even remember who I am?
What if they think I'm being too pushy?
So many doubts can flood your mind when you're facing the task of calling up your past clients. But here's the reality of the situation:
- You're not bugging them if you're calling to offer something of value.
- If they can't answer the phone when you call, they'll just send you to voicemail. No biggie.
- Don't expect them to remember you, especially if it's been a while. Start the call by reintroducing yourself and apologizing for not being in touch sooner.
- If you don't push anything, they won't think you're being pushy.
You're not a telemarketer and this isn't a sales call. It's a call to reconnect with people who, in the past, trusted you with one of the biggest purchases of their lives. As long as that transaction ended on a high note, they're probably pretty fond of you.
Another way to look at this, if you need to pump yourself up, is that making these phone calls is an important step in your repeat and referral strategy. This is how you grow your business and ensure that you're still selling homes ten years down the road. If you want to succeed as a real estate agent, making these phone calls is part of the job.
Now that you're feeling better about picking up the phone, here are 5 scripts that will take all of the awkwardness out of your follow-up calls!
Reason To Call #1: Requesting nominees for your "Best of [City]" local business directory
Script: "Hi, Robin! It's Bruce Wayne with Gotham Real Estate—how are you doing? [Insert quick small talk.] I'm calling to let you know I'm putting together a 'Best of Gotham City' list of local businesses, and I'm asking everyone I know for nominees. Are there any local businesses you'd like to nominate for the list? It can be restaurants, shops, dry cleaners, plumbers—anyone you've had a really great experience with. And once the list is complete and published online, I'll be sure to send you a link!"
Timing: You can publish your "Best Of" list any time of year, but you'll probably want to contain the entire campaign (phone calls to acquire nominees, voting/selection process, design and publishing of list, distribution to your clients and the public) to just 6-8 weeks.
Why it works: You're providing something of value. And you're not trying to push a sale at all—in fact, you're asking them to "sell" their favorite businesses to you!
Similar ideas: If you don't want to create a "Best Of" local business list, consider other valuable community resources you could create and share with past clients. Think seasonally: something like "Top 10 Summer Activities for Kids in [City]" or "The Ultimate List of [City] Fall Festivals." You can call your past clients to ask for ideas, or simply let them know that you've put together a resource that you'll be sending over via email.
Reason To Call #2: Happy Home Anniversary!
Script: "Hi Harry, this is Hermione Granger with Hogwarts Realty. I wanted to call you on this very special day and wish you a happy home-buying anniversary! How have you and your family been doing this past year?" "Tell me about what you've done with the house to make it feel like home!" "Do you need any recommendations for a contractor, handyman, or decorator?"
Timing: On their home anniversary. If you miss the exact date, just call sometime that month and say, "I know your one-year home anniversary was on July 31, so I just wanted to say happy home-iversary! I hope you did something nice for your home to celebrate it!"
Why it works: Remembering the date shows the client how much you care. It also shows them that you've got your act together—you're so well-organized that you're able to reach out individually to each of your hundreds of clients.
Reason To Call #3: Offering a home valuation + home improvement advice
Script: "Hi David, this is Ray Butani with Real Deal Real Estate. How are you doing today? It's been a few years since you and Patrick bought your home—I was wondering if you'd like me to perform a complimentary valuation so you can see how the value of your home has changed since you first purchased it. I'd also be happy to offer suggestions on ways you could increase the value of your home. Even if you have no plans to sell, it's always interesting to see how your home value has grown."
Timing: Anytime. Depending on how many clients you want to reach out to in a year, you could set a goal of arranging 2-5 valuations per month.
Why it works: While this strategy has a little more of a "salesy" feel to it, it's still a scenario where you're offering something of value at no cost to your client. And who knows, once they see how much their house is worth, they might start to consider selling!
Reason To Call #4: Confirming contact info
Script: "Hi Will, this is Carlton Banks calling with Bel Air Realty. How have you been? I wanted to quickly confirm that I still have the right contact info for you—are you still living on Prince Drive? And are you still using the email WPhil2BelAir@freshmail.com? Would it be okay if I continue to send you my monthly newsletter and the occasional helpful resource? Thanks so much!"
Why it works: It's quick, it demonstrates your professionalism ("I like to keep my database of contact info accurate and up-to-date"), it reminds them that you are sending valuable resources to them on a regular basis, and it's an excuse to reconnect. You might even learn something new about your client, like the arrival of a grandchild...or the desire to move soon.
Reason To Call #5: Invitation to an event you're hosting
Script: "Hi Jerry, this is Elaine Benes with the J. Peterman Team. I'm calling to invite you to our Trunk-or-Treat next month! It's a really fun, free event that we do every year. It will be on Saturday, October 8. I'll send you an event invite after we hang up. I hope you can make it, and be sure to stop by my car where I'll be giving out Jujyfruits!"
Timing: About a month before your event.
Why it works: This one takes a little extra effort, because you first have to plan an event. But even if they don't come to your event, you still had a reason to give them a call and touch base. It's just one more way to stay top of mind.
So what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and start calling your people!