Discover the 4 key elements to building long lasting know, like and trust relationships today!

It’s really kind of eye opening but 99% of real estate agents do not have a follow-up system in place and yes I am talking about and including those big, top producing teams that you see and hear about.

They do not have good, long term follow-up systems in place which is why they are working harder, harder and harder for a smaller and smaller piece of the pie.

Work Smarter Not Harder

Some agents try to make up for it by working harder and harder like I just said but the other 87% of agents fail out of real estate in five years or less.

Here’s the thing- real estate doesn’t have to be stressful but we make it that way when we don’t have a long term follow-up system that actually creates raving fans, otherwise known as building “know-like-trust relationships.”

Today I’m going to talk with you and share with you the perfect follow-up system for your real estate business, for your real estate prospects and they have these main elements, this specific timing and it all includes this exact content.

I’m going to be working with you on this because you’ve asked me “what is a good follow-up system?”

That’s what we are going to talk about today.

The way you do this is that you bring in leads and then follow-up with your leads.

And I’m not talking about “quick, you got sixty seconds to follow-up because some Harvard study says you got sixty seconds to follow-up or otherwise you have lost the lead.”

I’m not talking about that stressful stuff- I’m talking about the 99.9% of leads that come in that are not interested or are not  ready, willing or able buy or sell right now with you.

We do talk about not following up enough. You are right. We don’t but then we go get a vendor or something that sends out canned crap (that’s always what I call it, canned crap, canned emails, canned Facebook posts, canned snail mail) because we think that we need to be of top-mind or touch these people and so we think that any noise will do.

And that is why all of that canned crap gets stuck in spam, trash cans, digital trash cans and that is why it doesn’t work.

So, today I’m going to very specifically talk to you and walk you through a follow-up system that you can use for all of your leads.

Here’s the thing with this- you will want to use it for all of your leads rather than trying to, like, I think we over analyze and say “oh, I have a follow-up system for this kind of lead and for that kind of lead,” and I’m like “dude, put all of your leads in this follow-up system.

Put all of your closed clients into this follow-up system because guess what? Just because they bought or sold today doesn’t mean that they’re not going to be interested again in the future.”

Sometimes, if they are like me, it’s every three or three and a half years. If they are like the rest of the population, it’s usually more like every twelve years.

Leverage Your Time

So you need to have something in place that you can, number one, leverage your time so that it’s not stressful and so that you won’t have to spend your time trying to be creative and to really think “I have to have it this way and I have to have it that way.”

Many agents ask me:

  • What do you do for a buyer drip?
  • What do you do for a seller drip?
  • What do you do for that drip?
  • What do you do for an investor?
  • What about a tenant?”

And I end up just like “oh good Lord, let’s just do one great follow-up system that actually walks them through their entire journey.”

And their journey is, guess what? From the day they turn 18-years-old and are allowed to actually sign a contract until the day that they are no longer living on this earth.

Basically until they are old enough to buy or sell to when they die. That’s kind of a morbid ending there but that’s the point.  You need to be following up with people throughout their entire journey.

And how many times does the average person actually buys or sells a house throughout that entire journey?

Three or less.

That means that over the course of fifty, sixty or seventy years, you are going to have three transactions just from that person, not to mention all the referrals and stuff but most of us are like “yeah, that’s not worth it.”

Well, if you want to keep working harder and keep wanting to stress out and get smaller and smaller profits on your business, then you go right ahead and keep going after the same people that every other agent is also going after.

Which is why 87% of real estate agents fail and is why when we have a depressed market or a recession like we had a decade ago- that is why so many people fail.

That’s also why a few people made it through still successfully and still did way more than the average real estate transactions because guess what?

That was us! We had a follow-up system in place.

You have to go over to Messenger and you have to respond to him because he needs to make sure that you really do want him to send you that template.

What’s The Perfect Follow-up System?

Alright here’s the thing. Your perfect follow-up response for your real estate prospects has to have specific elements. It has to have specific timing and it has to include specific content, so that’s what we are going to go through today.

As people move into deeper relationships with you and they need individual help, you are going to be working more directly with them.

But this follow-up system that we are talking about right now, it leverages the key elements, the key timing and the key content for building know-like-trust relationships with the bulk of your prospects including your clients.

I realized that I had this and don’t laugh at the drawing, because I did hand-draw this but I have this hand-drawn thing and I kind of wanted to show you a little bit about this.

So this is laying out the Facebook funnel but here at the top, you have your audience that you are working with and then you have your list. Your list is what I’m going to be talking about- your list is what you are going to use to do your follow-up.

That’s your list.  That’s your database. That’s your email list, etc.

So your list- when you have your list and you are nurturing your list, then some of them are going to turn into clients. When you have your clients, you need to move them back up here after they have closed.

You need to put them back into “nurture.”

Because guess what? They have friends and they have family. They buy, they sell, they move, they die, they get married, they have kids.

They have all these changes and you need to make sure you are still nurturing them. You are still nurturing them! I don’t care if they just closed on their property thirty days ago. You need to be nurturing them.

Yes, you are going to want something very specific in addition to what I’m going to teach you today. Yeah, you are going to want a very specific immediately after the sale follow-up because, hello, you are going to want to be around for them!

You are going to want to show that you care and that you are interested in helping them.

That’s different.

Like I said, when people get into deeper relationships with you and they are asking specific questions, you know, they want to go see different properties, your follow-up is going to be much more one-on-one.

Right now I’m talking about the bulk where you are going to put everybody; whether you are following up with them one-on-one or whether they bought from you or sold from you or they are somebody who, four years ago, just opted in.

As long as they are still active and you have been sending them stuff all along, then they are going to need to be in this; what I am going to teach you today.

This is what I’m going to be walking you through. I’m going to be walking you through the outline of this- this whole entire outline is the training for The Art of Nurture.

I’m giving you the outline for the entire “Art of Nurture-  Cultivating Clients for Life.” “The Art of Nurture” is available, it’s a class that you go through, a three hour workshop and it will literally put all of these pieces in place for you.

The Four Key Elements

Okay, so, the four key elements. There are four key elements in a leveraged follow-up system. Now when I say “follow-up,” I’m not talking like six or eight times. I’m talking, again, until they die. Like literally, until they die.

But you are not going to be considered relevant or valuable if you’re not giving them relevant or valuable things at whatever stage they are in. And so you’re like “well, then I need to have separate ones.”

No, you don’t. You use the set-up that I have so that they’ll pick and choose. That there will always be something valuable for them specifically coming across.


So the four key elements- the first element is email! You need to be sending email. And you need to be sending it through an email marketing service like  MailerLite or Ontraport.

That’s element number one- and we are going to get into timing and content on these in a minute.

Snail Mail

Number two, snail mail. Yep, you need to be sending them real mail. Yep, yep. It works. Yep, it works. You need to be sending them real mail.

Call Them

Number three- if they give you a phone number, you need to call them. And I’m going to get into timing and exactly what you should say later, actually, just the concept of what to say.


And number four is appreciation. You need to do appreciation events of some sort and I’m going to talk about these next because this one is the timing. The timing of each element is critical.

Send A Minimum Of One Email A Week

For example, under number one, email. You need to be sending a minimum of one email per week. Ideally two but a minimum of one email per week.

This is based on science. This is based on billions and billions and billions of emails. 

Send A Minimum of Snail Mail Once Every Two Weeks

Number two, snail mail. You must send them a minimum of once every two weeks. If you are sending a piece of snail mail once a month, you are really wasting your money. You are wasting your money.

You are also losing momentum- spending money, losing momentum, spending money, losing momentum, you need to be doing it once every two weeks. And we are going to get into content in this next thing.

So email, one per week minimum, snail mail, once every two weeks minimum. Not twice a month. You want them to get something from you every two weeks, twenty-six times a year, in the mail. Alright?

Have A Minimum Of 2-3 Phone Conversations Per Year

Number three- phone. You need to have a phone conversation or phone contact with them a minimum of two times per year.

I’m going to give you some ideas on how to have a phone conversation that is not a “Hey, you got any referrals for me?” And “hey, do you want to buy or sell?” Those are lame. Those are so lame! People are like “dude, I don’t want to answer that phone call.” I have some ideas for you.

Have A Minimum of Two Appreciation Events Per Year

And number four, you need to have appreciation events. You need to have a minimum of two a year. Now, let me just tell you, when you have an appreciation event it does not have to be expensive or overwhelming.

There are all kinds of ways that you can do appreciation.

How we used to do it is like, how most of you already know, we had wine tastings. So friends of ours own a wine shop, and we would do wine tastings with them.

We would actually coordinate with distributors who are wineries and are shops so that we wouldn’t have to pay for the wine. The distributor did, or the winery did, and we would bring in food, or treats, and the place would be closed and it would be very specific for our clients, our lists, etc.

And we did this actually quite often, about once a quarter because it was easy. It was so easy.

We would just invite people, let them invite people.

We didn’t care. We wanted to get to know people on a level that was different. We always got a deal from that, not to mention the whole “this is so cool, you are giving away free stuff.”

So you could do all kinds of other things- someone I know in our market, she’s a very successful agent.

Every single Thanksgiving she goes to Costco and she buys all of the pumpkin pies and the pecan pies and she coordinates it so that she lets all of her past clients, etc, know “Hey, I’ve got pies! Which one do you want? Which flavor do you want? Okay, here’s the day to come pick it up at my office.”

So she has made it so that she doesn’t have to drive around to everybody- they come to her office and pick it up. That is a great way to do that!

There is someone else in our market. They used to rent the roller rink and have a big family day because they have a big family and they would have always have big family events.

Then this past year, they bought a huge property and they had a photographer come out and do family pictures and they had this big event. And they do that once a year. It’s a bigger event, a lot more planning.

So you can do stuff that doesn’t have to be big. You just have to show people that you are interested in them.

And you need to do that minimum of twice a year.

There are businesses in our market that do “Customer Appreciation Days,” and they will do outdoor BBQ’s and all sorts of stuff.

You can do that kind of thing, and it doesn’t have to be on a huge scale. It can be affordable and you don’t have to go broke doing this.

Like the wine thing- literally there were a few where we didn’t pay a penny.

We were just there. There were a few where we brought in some stuff from Costco, some meat and cheese trays, and stuff like that. But for the most part, it was no cost out of our pockets.

It was just fun because we were able to coordinate it that way. There are so many things that you could do- and you need to have minimum of two of those a year.

The Key Timing

Alright, so four key elements- email, snail mail, phone and appreciation events.

The key timing, I walked you through the key timing. Your emails need to be a minimum of one time a week.

Your snail mail needs to be a minimum of once every two weeks.

Your phone needs to be a minimum of two times a year and I didn’t give you an idea for that one but how about if they are clients on the anniversary of when they bought their house you call them and say “Hey, I just did a market analysis on your home and I’m going to send it out to you.

Have you made any improvements on the house? Anything that would change the value that you want me to add to this?” Super easy way to call them on their anniversary or their anniversary month! Super easy, totally.

And then finally, events like I said which I gave you a lot of great ideas.

What Do I Say In My Emails?

Okay, so now, you are like “great, I have the things, I have the ideas.

Now what do I do? What do I say, on my emails, on my snail mail and of course, the phone calls?” I gave you one phone call idea.

Don’t Send Canned Crap

Here’s the thing with the content- if you are doing stuff that is canned crap, and I use that term a lot but if you are using canned crap, the problem with it is that it’s not developing a relationship.

It’s just creating noise and as you know, we don’t want more noise.

Nobody does.

And I’ve said this before….goldfish have an attention span of nine seconds. Humans have an attention span of eight seconds. If it is just noise, if it is not helpful to them, inspiring to them, funny to them, they don’t see it. They don’t remember it.

They don’t see it because you’ve sent it. If it’s “top of mind,” “branding” or “awareness,” it doesn’t work if they don’t have a positive feeling reaction to what you are doing.

It doesn’t work.

If they have a negative feeling reaction, like “geez, another email that is useless,” that’s a negative reaction. That’s reflecting on you. So be very, very aware-  that whatever you are sending out via email or snail mail, that you don’t want to just make noise. That is detrimental, okay, very detrimental.

Your Emails Are About Their Journey

Okay, so you have the content. What you put in your snail mail and your email, it has to be about their journey.

What do I mean?

What is their journey through life as it relates contextually to owning and living in real estate? It could be from their first home to downsizing. It could include investment stuff. It could include all kinds of different things related to condos, or to multi-family, or single-family, or townhouses, or whatever.

So it’s about their journey.

But what’s their journey? The journey is their lifestyle. What lifestyle do they want?

So again, you are like “but, but, but”- again, you need to test this out to kind of see who is on your list overall. Most people are always wanting to improve their lifestyle, whatever that looks like.

You don’t want to necessarily want to go with the “Keeping Up with the Joneses,” but people are always looking for something that is going to be more fun, more enjoyable, more engaging.

So what does that mean? Does that mean upgrading their house? Does that mean downsizing their house? Now, you don’t want to be focusing on the real estate part of it but you want to talk about the pieces of it.

Think about people who might be at a stage of buying a brand new home.

Why are they buying a home?
Why do most people buy a home?

Because most people, when they first buy their home, they are in a relationship, got married or having a baby.

That’s typically why most people buy their first home. It’s almost like we have these unwritten steps of life, right?

So that’s the typical reasons why. Of course there are always outliers and different reasons but in general what are they struggling with?

Are they struggling with coming up with the down payment?
Are they struggling with the idea of the purchase?
Are they struggling with wanting what their parents have, and not being able to afford it?

Things like that.

What’s Their Lifestyle Like?

When you go to a move-up buyer. What are they looking at? Typically, a move-up buyer has teenagers. They’re moving up because they want more space and they have more toys. That’s literally why they are moving up.

Typically, when people go to downsize, why are they downsizing?

Is the home too work much for them?
Do they downsize because in some areas, are they being property taxed-out?
Do they downsize so they can have something simpler so they can travel? Do they downsize because a spouse died and they want a different kind of community?

You have to think through all of this. This is all lifestyle stuff.

Then the years in-between, what’s going on in the years in-between? The best thing that you can do it walk through that process.

When people are buying their first home, are they buying brand new? Some are buying brand new and some are not so you want to appeal to both of those.

So for example, you want to do an email or a snail mail that talks about buying brand new and the things that are involved. This is what you are going to be doing over the next couple of years because they are probably going to be buying window things. They’re going to be adding yard work, buying new furniture and new appliances and probably after they buy a house, they will upgrade and buy a car.

All the different things like that.

What is their lifestyle like?
What’s the neighborhood like?
Are they more walkers or are they more gamers?
Are they more hikers or do they like to go shopping?

So I’m saying this because these are all ideas of things that you can put in your content, in your email, your snail mail, your blogs

All of that is related to lifestyle.

Be Relational

You need to be relational- this is number three on content- you need to reveal you. You need to reveal what your thoughts are, what your dreams are, what your aspirations and hopes are, what you failings are, what you are struggling with, etc.

You need to reveal that. You need to reveal the funny thing that your kid said or the silly thing your cat did. Or what you thought of of an event that you went to.

You need to reveal all of that- especially in email. Snail mail could be a lot shorter and easier but if you are trying to build a relationship, you want to reveal this kind of stuff.

And you can send the same thing to both places- people consume different ways at different times.

For example, I’m a member of several different subscription things and most of them have an app.  You don’t need an app but most of them have an app so they contact me via there, and they contact me via email and some of them, like Stitch Fix, I’m on their Messenger list, so I get it through their app, through email and their Messenger list.

And I still get snail mail from some of them so they’re contacting me in all these ways with value so that I don’t miss anything.

You Want To Be Giving Value

You want to be giving value. You’re not selling a $20 or $30 item, you are selling a service. You are selling you and you are selling your knowledge, you are selling your value. And you want to make sure that you are actually giving them value and not always trying to get them to a sales pitch.

So you want to help them with that.

Give them resources on places to buy, You know, this is going to sound really silly but if they are having; you don’t know this, trouble sleeping, one of the books that I’m reading is called “Sleep Smarter” and it’s a very relational thing for me.“Sleep Smarter” has been so amazing for me, and helping me hack my sleep.

This is true, this is really me. I share this out, and I would share on how to get the book. And I would also say one of the best things I found that works out of all those was either wearing blue bock glasses or being off my devices or putting up black out windows.

Whatever your best thing is you need to give them value for them.

Now how is that related?  It’s related to their lifestyle.

It makes them feel better, happier and you gave them a resource that helped them!  And gosh, golly, you helped them with their house a little because you’re helping them hack their sleep which is basically rearranging their environment to make it work better for them.

So all of these things that’s relational. And it’s still lifestyle focused.

Remember that. We still want to be lifestyle focused.

Build Connections

You also need to focus on building connections with them. So, what are some different things that they are struggling with that you are also struggling with?

That’s why you share that stuff. That’s why you share what you are going through. You don’t have to share every single little detail but you can share little pieces of it.

I’ll share this with you guys a little bit- I’ve been going through a bit of “adrenal-fatigue,” I don’t even know if that’s even real anymore but I have been under a lot of stress from Chuck’s health to rearranging our schedule, etc, so I’ve been under a lot of stress and my cortisol levels were high.

That’s resulted in fatigue, a lot of fatigue. It’s resulted in me trying to sleep more hours at night but not being successful, so in the end, I’ve been taking a lot of little naps several times during the week, which is why hacking my sleep has been a very important focus for me.

So there are other people who would gladly volunteer their resources, what they have found, or “yeah, I’m struggling with that too. I didn’t know what that was.”

You need to share these things. You need to let people know that you are real human and you think beyond the “ Hey I Heart Referrals” thing. You gotta let them see that and know that.

Give Value And Resources

So the next thing, like I said, value and resources. What are resources that they can get?

I can tell you right now one of the hardest resources for us to find locally is somebody who is a “honey-do” guy or a DIY guy. Someone who will come in and do small jobs for two or three hours, a couple of times a month.

It’s really hard because right now the market is amazing and they don’t have to do the small jobs, right? So if you had resources and could put them together, why not put a list of resources together of subscriptions they could do.

For example, our filters that we use here at home comes via a subscription and you can set them to come at different times, You could give them that resource.

We have found it very, very hard, almost impossible to find grass-fed, grass-finished beef in our area. We found bison, we found chicken and we found pork but we cannot find grass fed, grass finished beef because apparently even if they do grass-feed them, they are still corn-finishing them, which we don’t like. So that’s been very hard for us. So we use a subscription service called “Butcher Box,” where we can get the kind of beef we want.

So if you have find something that is making your life easier or your life better, share it with your community, your email community and your snail mail community because it’s amazing.

We have found an amazing resource for bison in our market. We have found an amazing resource for pig. They are very, very good and gosh so I would totally shared that and I do. I freely do. I just don’t send mail out about it only because we no longer target locally.

So, what are those things about lifestyle that is making it better?

What are different things that are helping?

What are thing that affect their house, their market, etc.?

And I’m not just talking about “Oh, the prices are going up and the interest rates are going up.” I’m talking about, like, what about zoning changes that would affect their house?

Like the house we purchased is right across the street from a big, huge horse field. And I know for a fact in the next probably five…..okay I don’t know for a fact but typically in the next 5-7 years that’s probably going to become a housing area. The owner of that land is like, in his nineties so it’s probably not going to stay a horse field that one person owns for horses for very long. So when that starts happening, what’s going to happen?

What do the people along here need to know? The street widening, the neighborhood…what’s going to happen? What do they need to know?

That’s the kind of stuff that you can give, you can help and you can provide people with. Be that resource for them so that they’re not going to have to go find it.

So remember, walk through the stages of their journey.

Walk Through The Stages Of A Person’s Journey

You need to walk through the stages of a person’s journey, from the moment they first become a buyer until they die.

So for a buyer, what happens in year one, year two, year three or year four? Then they become a seller and what happens in year one, year two, year three or year four?

Did they buy again?
Did they move out of the area?

Now some people move out of the area and some people stay in the area.

You can help both on this big list, on this big way to leverage it.

You can set this up. Yes, you have to create the content but it’s much easier than you think and once you have done your first year, 90% of what you did can be replicated the following year.

You just tweak it a little bit and update it a little bit. That’s it but the structure is there. The stuff is all there so it makes it way easier to keep this all going.

The Art Of Nurture

So you have got to make sure that you have this follow-up system in place because this is where the money is. This is where your relationships develop.

This is how you actually build raving fans through your business. This is how you work smarter, not harder. That phrase is so silly but this is actually how you work smarter, not harder.

Q & A

So let me look at some of your questions right now.

Debra Kay says 

"So are you sending a different snail mail per contact?"

No, the same email to all of your email contacts. No you’re not sending a different snail mail per contact.  Same snail mail. Here’s the thing. You’re just like maybe one week make sure you answer a question of a first-time home buyer and what would pertain to a first-time home buyer.

When you are answering lifestyle stuff, most of the stuff it pertains to everyone, whether they are a first time home buyer or a downsizer. Most of them are probably going to be looking at some point in their life for someone who helps them with “honey-do” stuff, if they aren’t handy, or whatever.

A lot of them probably don’t know about the workshops that Home Depot has or Lowe’s has that helps them DIY stuff, a lot of them probably don’t always know about the Home and Garden shows that are going on.

They don’t know about what’s going on in their community as far as zoning changes that would affect them, etc. They don’t know that and they don’t understand why that’s important to them.

Not just “Hey you got to know your property rights but really what’s it really going to and do not be like a conspiracy theorist “Oh my gosh, if we do this, it’s going to become a nightmare and you’ll never be able to leave your home.”

No, be real! Be detailed.“The plan that they are doing with this they propose it will do this. Just want you to know that.” You don’t have to tell them your opinion on it or be crazy reactionary to it. Just share it so people are aware and they can fight the battles they want to fight or they can be knowledgeable.

That’s what you want to do is to keep them knowledgeable.

If they’re like “I don’t know how to store…like some of the neighborhoods around here, the newer neighborhoods, they’re not even allowing you to put your RV behind your fence. Now when we were looking we looked at one neighborhood we loved the builder but we were like “Oh, heck no! We are not going to be in that kind of a HOA!” Not at all.  

Why don’t you give them a HOA comparison chart? Because they are not all created equal! They are all different.

There are some HOA’s…we owned a home in one neighborhood that now, thankfully we do not own in the neighborhood anymore but that neighborhood, literally, they do not allow you to park in the street.

Like, it’s a city street and you can park for twenty-four hours but if you park there at night and leave after 10 am the next day, you get a HOA violation, or something like that. It’s stupid, it’s just ridiculous.

You just need to show the details. You could go out and interview homeowners in those neighborhoods. What do you like about your HOA? What do you not like about your HOA?

Another HOA that we moved too was amazing. It was a waterfront community and the HOA fees were only $140 a year and it was self-managed by the community. It was probably the best HOA we had ever been in. And so now, we aren’t in one and we like that too.

So give them stuff that’s related, that helps all levels of people, buyers and sellers. So think about things that you can use to help them, to help them make their decisions.

If you have any other questions you want me to answer put them in the comments below! Today’s show was inspired by your questions from yesterday. So if you want me to go deeper, I will go deeper. If you want more, I will do more.

I love that you are asking me questions and I love that I can help and point you towards resources and I just plain loving being on here with you.

 Written by Christina Ethridge - the founder of Leads and Leverage, helping overwhelmed business owners eliminate the marketing chaos and get more customers. Simplify your marketing & bring in more sales. 
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