Polly Wanna CARROT?

Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Polly Wanna CARROT?

For years, I have listened to agents complain about the unresponsiveness of their potential clients or online leads. When I question them about what they think is going on, they usually respond with, "they never return my emails or calls."

The truth of the matter is that people are busy and may not have time to respond every time you reach out. If you expect a response, you must provide them with a compelling reason to WANT to respond to you.  The key is to figure out what you could send (something visual) or something you could say (something compelling) that might pique their interest.

Let's look at an example in which your potential client is aptly named "Polly." Polly is someone you met a year ago at an open house. She said she wanted to sell her home but wasn't quite ready at that time and probably wouldn't be for at least a year. Because her timeline was over a year out she was added to your database as well as your Potential Income Tracker. For follow-up she was on a simple program of being sent general information about the market. In terms of additional follow-up, there wasn't much else done because she was at least a year out.

But today, your lack of current clients happily coincides with Polly's year deadline and you decide it is time to get in touch with her. You decide to send her an email or leave her a voicemail.

There are two directions you could go here. Here is what that communication might typically sound like:

Hi Polly, this is Denise Lones. I wanted to check in with you and see how you are and if you are getting closer to being ready to sell. I would really like to talk with you further about that so please let me know when a good time would be to meet or speak on the phone.

YUCK! Although the reach-out is okay, this is really not meaty enough to get Polly to call back. It will come across as self-serving because it doesn't have enough service built-in and may basically imply to Polly that your goal in reaching out is to set up your client list for the coming month.

A much stronger message would include something compelling to get Polly excited about wanting to call you back. In fact, you need a great big CARROT to dangle in front of her so she will WANT to respond back to you. How about this instead?

Hi Polly this is Denise Lones. We met last April (be specific about when you met) at an open house and discussed your plans to move this coming year. As I promised when we met, I haven't followed up with you with specific information because your timing wasn't right. I wanted to reach out today because there has been an incredible positive shift in sales in your neighborhood. This shift has actually made you quite a bit of resale funds in the last year. I just emailed you a complete analysis of what has happened in your area with a specific list of reasons why and how that could greatly benefit you right now. I have also included a Supply and Demand Report that shows you that there is a big opportunity for you right now to sell if the timing could possibly work for you. I would really like to discuss this further and am available to talk when you are, as this is very time-sensitive I will make sure to clear my schedule for that call either on the phone or in-person. I really look forward to hearing back from you.

I have highlighted the CARROTS in orange so you can see how important it is in your discussions to include something that the client will find of value. And if you don't get a response the first time, chances are they didn't like the CARROT you offered. You have to keep dangling those CARROTS until you figure out the preferences of your clients.

If you are calling a potential buyer you might need to dangle a VIDEO CARROT showing areas of interest to the client, or possibly a neighborhood review, or analysis of home price appreciation. The number of CARROTS that you can come up with are only limited by your imagination, but the one thing I know for sure is that the agent who communicates using CARROTS and not just self-serving dialog is an agent that will turn CARROTS from orange to GOLD.

Start putting together a tool kit of CARROTS that your potential buyers and sellers will respond to and STOP making self-serving sales calls or sending emails and text messages that have no value to your potential clients.


By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.

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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Denise. I think you are right about how you motivate a particular contact to become a client. I like your thinking but wouldn't provide as much information as you would without a conversation.

Apr 13, 2019 04:44 AM #1
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

Hi Denise.  I appreciate the post! I am about to send out a mailing to some leads and will incorporate some of these suggestions.  Thanks!

Apr 13, 2019 05:09 AM #2
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

Munch munch. I'm liking your carrots!

Apr 13, 2019 06:27 AM #3
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Denise- you make an excellent point. If we want someone to get back with us, we have to give them a compelling reason to. 

Apr 13, 2019 05:39 PM #4
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


                                             Thank you, Denise. 

Apr 13, 2019 06:56 PM #5
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Denise Lones it's all about the client and the client's needs.... think as the client thinks...

Apr 14, 2019 04:39 AM #6
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Denise Lones ,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-Ha" moments for the week. Excellent post with some great advice on saying something compelling to get the buyer or seller we want to work with to call us back.

Apr 14, 2019 05:35 AM #7
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

This is a terrific example of something concrete we could put to further use. Thanks very much.

Apr 14, 2019 07:56 AM #8
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Denise Lones - This is really good stuff you have shared. I like the use of the word "carrot". Great post!

Apr 14, 2019 08:06 AM #9
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Since I often find myself in this situation, I appreciated the analogy and the highlighted carrots!    Cute metaphor, changing the cracker to a carrot.

Apr 14, 2019 09:10 AM #10
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Coming from contribution or dangling carrots, is the key to getting clients to reach back out to you as an agent.  It needs to be all about what you can do to make their lives easier or solve their problem.  Thank you for sharing.

Apr 14, 2019 02:24 PM #11
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I can see why Kathy chose to highlight your post this week!  Great job!

Apr 15, 2019 06:29 AM #12
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

These are good tips - we need to make people want to contact us!

Apr 15, 2019 07:06 AM #13
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Great post. Your illustrations are essential to creating a CTA from your future client. Although you indicated you would immediately take her call  regardless, I would have added to simply reply if her circumstances had changed and preferred to opt out of any future contact.  Best to know if your future client IMO is a future client or not. 

Apr 15, 2019 10:20 AM #14
Dave Rosenmarkle
Highland Realty - Arlington, VA
32 years of providing fully satisfying service!

Denise - great ideas/reminders. I agree that follow-up can certainly be easier if the prospect has been on your mailing list during the past year. Even better if you have had a successful transaction nearby that can be parlayed with a general letter of recommendation from that nearby client.

Apr 21, 2019 06:41 AM #15
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