Consistent real estate follow-up – a must for success

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Consistent real estate follow-up is one of the keys to success. Without it, there is not much point in bothering with lead generation. And – without it you’ll have little chance of repeat business and referrals from past clients.

What does consistent real estate follow-up mean?

  • How often is often enough?
  • What is the best means to follow up?
  • What should you say when you follow up?

“Consistent” means different things in different situations.

Past clients and your sphere of influence:

When following up with past clients and those in your sphere of influence, monthly is probably often enough. Even quarterly should prevent them from forgetting you entirely. Of course, as long as you’re doing it correctly, weekly would be even better.

What do I mean by correctly?

When sending postal mail or email, your messages should either provide information of value or a bit of entertainment.

Information of value might be a market report or a newsletter with real news about the community. for consistent real estate follow-up, send past clients newsMost people like to know about new developments coming in, new stores or restaurants opening, zoning changes that could affect them, changes in city utility rates, celebrations in the offing, and even non-profit events.  If you live where celebrities live or vacation, the people on your list would likely be interested to hear about one of their houses coming on the market or being sold.

Offer them information they probably haven’t heard elsewhere.

Entertainment might entail regularly sharing a favorite quote or poem, or sharing news like that found in my Event-themed Keeping in touch letters. Go here to learn about them and get a sample letter.

Meanwhile, do NOT send “I need referrals” letters.

"I need" and "I want" are not wise things to say.

When picking up the phone to call…

consistent real estate follow-up ncludesreaching out to past clients to fill your client pipelineCalling now and then is a good idea. People like to know that they’re something more than a name on a list that you mail to automatically. So pick up the phone. Say hi and ask a question about work, family, hobbies, vacations, etc. Let them do the talking. If they ask about business, answer on a positive note.

Tom Hopkins said, in his book on listing and selling real estate, that you should always answer that question with the word “Unbelievable!” He said that covered it, whether times were good or bad, but it always sounded positive.

While you should not suggest that you called to ask for business or a referral, before you hang up, do say something along the lines of “If you need me for anything, just holler. I’m never too busy for you.”

If you don’t have time for long phone calls…

First, many of the people you’ll call don’t have time either, so they’ll welcome knowing you don’t want to settle in for an hour-long chat.

To make sure you keep it short, say something such as “I was just sitting here waiting until it’s time to leave for my next appointment, and I was thinking about you, so decided to call. How have you been?”

Consistent real estate follow-up with new leads is vital.

There is no point in gathering leads unless you’re going to convert them to clients. And yet, many agents don’t respond to buyers who leave their contact information after a web search. They don’t follow up with sellers who use their” What is my home worth?” function.

And if they do, many only send one automated email.

Once someone has shown a glimmer of interest in buying or selling, they are a legitimate lead.

It doesn’t matter whether they have left their information on your website, given you their contact information in person, or called because a friend gave them your number.

Don’t let go of them!

For these leads, the answers to these questions…consistent real estate follow-up via email

  • How often is often enough?
  • What is the best means to follow up?
  • What should you say when you follow up?

…is a little bit different.

Follow up more frequently. Hearing from you every 4 to 7 days should keep you top of mind with them, so they don’t wander off to some other agent.

The best means to follow up is probably email – or text messages if they say they prefer it. However, if they’ve given you a phone number, do call. Try to get a sense of who they are, what they need, and how soon they want to move forward.

Follow-up with good information about buying or selling. If the lead is general, send general information. My Seller Advice Letters and Letters to Those Who Plan to List Soon will keep you in touch without being pushy.

For buyers, give advice about getting ready to buy. Or -choose my Nurturing Internet Buyer Leads Letters or Letters to those who plan to buy soon.

If the lead is niche-specific, such as divorce, probate, or senior relocation, send information that directly relates to their situation. Let your letters demonstrate your expertise while conveying useful information.

When you are prospecting for new leads, consistent real estate follow-up is just as essential.

Too many agents send one card or letter, get no response, and quit. They’d have been better off saving their time and money, because sending just one letter is almost always a waste of time.

While there is some fraction of one percent who will respond to your first attempt, marketing experts say that it takes a minimum of 5 “touches” to get any significant response from a cold list. A touch might be a letter or card in the mail, an email, a phone call, or an in-person visit.

You’ll be better off mailing five times to a list of 200 than one time to a list of 1,000.

When you’re deciding what to say in your letters, remember that divorcing couples have different concerns from estate executors, or seniors who are relocating, or landlords who need to sell a vacant house.

If you don’t want to write your own, you don’t have to. You’ll find a wide variety of niche-specific letters on my prospecting letters page.

What you should NOT send:

“I’m wonderful” letters.
“I need your listing” letters.

Focus on what they need and what you can do to help them get it. That’s what they care about – in fact, it’s the only thing they care about.


News Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
Woman on phone Image courtesy of podpad at
Emailing Image courtesy of fantasista at

This post first appeared at

Comments (15)

Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Working to achieve results from our sphere is not easy and you offer  lot of suggestions to make it prolific.

May 27, 2021 06:00 PM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Ed Silva - I try to share the good ideas I've used and ones I've come across from other people.

May 28, 2021 07:33 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Excellent advice, Marte. This has been my focus this year and it's paying off. Thanks for the great ideas to help me along.

May 27, 2021 08:49 PM
Marte Cliff

You're welcome Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD - I enjoy sharing ideas.


May 28, 2021 07:35 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Amen to that, Marte! I'll be listing an $800+K house this summer... someone who asked for a quick market valuation years ago (at least five). I've stayed in touch by email, snail mail, regular market value reports... and out of the clear blue she called and asked me to come and price her home for sale.

May 28, 2021 04:31 AM
Marte Cliff

Good for you Nina Hollander, Broker - once again, persistence pays off!

May 28, 2021 07:36 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Both current and past Clients need a lot of touches throughout the year . It is a Fun form of Lead Generation .

May 28, 2021 04:36 AM
Marte Cliff

Yes, Michael J. Perry - it is fun. Especially when you like the people!

May 28, 2021 07:37 AM
Steve Schultz
KW Smart Lakeland - Lakeland, FL

Hi Marte, thank you for your post -- this is great information!

-- Steve

May 28, 2021 05:05 AM
Marte Cliff

You're welcome Steve Schultz - and thank YOU for taking time to read it.

May 28, 2021 07:38 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Thank you for the tips. I totally agree about the need for consistency and staying in touch. I was talking to a couple yesterday who moved just a year ago and they couldn't remember the name of their agent. That's someone who hasn't tried to stay top of mind.

May 28, 2021 05:17 AM
Marte Cliff

Kat Palmiotti What a shame for their agent - but good for you! I think far too many agents operate that way.

May 28, 2021 07:39 AM
Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

Love this! Routine and valuable communication is the key to a relationship-based business that will spare us the expense of having to buy leads...! "Invest in those who have already invested in you".  Plus - it's more fun.  :) 

May 28, 2021 05:18 AM
Marte Cliff

Brenda Mayette Maybe not all agents understand that yours IS a relationship-based business. That's their loss.

May 28, 2021 07:40 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Marte, you nailed this!   I once had a seller who THOUGHT they wanted to move years ago, stayed in touch for 2-3 years.  She said I was the only one who stayed in touch, they sold and bought another home.

May 28, 2021 08:20 AM
Marte Cliff

Joan Cox Most agents give up far too soon. I'm glad you're not one of them!

Jun 04, 2021 11:35 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Marte,  Great post as usual.  HOpe all is going well for you

May 28, 2021 08:37 AM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Ginger Harper - Yes, all is well here. I hope you can say the same.

Jun 04, 2021 11:36 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Hey there Marte! What great tips to share and well presented.

May 28, 2021 09:59 AM
Marte Cliff

Thank you Rocky Dickerson - I appreciate your kind words.

Jun 04, 2021 11:37 AM
Miriam Odegard
United Real Estate Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN
Real Estate Broker Serving Greater Indianapolis

Excellent information! Consistent follow up is a growth area for me, and I found your article very informative. Thanks, Marte!

May 28, 2021 02:36 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Marte Cliff ,

As usual you have provided some excellent tips to share. Sometimes we forget the obvious and don't realize how important the basics are.

May 28, 2021 04:06 PM
Marte Cliff

So true, Dorie Dillard Austin TX - and sometimes the basics are just what we need.

Jun 04, 2021 11:37 AM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

As usual, great advice!

May 29, 2021 08:43 AM
Marte Cliff

Thank you Shirley Coomer 

Jun 04, 2021 11:37 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Marte:

There is lots of wisdom in this well-deserving featured post, not to mention lots of great ways to stay in touch and top of mind with prospects and past clients. It's all about the basics, isn't it?!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


May 29, 2021 05:08 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Jeff Dowler, CRS - Staying top of mind is all important. Otherwise the next agent with a good tale to tell will capture your people!

Jun 04, 2021 11:39 AM