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Automating Appointments

Do you sign every listing on the first visit?


Not everyone does.


Often there can be unforeseen circumstances which pop up between when you first book an appointment with someone and when the meeting arrives. Sometimes they just aren’t ready. Sometimes, maybe just sometimes, you just aren’t sure how to convince them to get started right away.


It happens, and it’s okay IF you have a plan.


On our team we had a rule: Either come home with a contract, or book a comeback. Our agents got strong at sensing when something would create a condition which would stop us in our tracks and learned to pivot to a shorter meeting with a comeback in a few days to firm things up.


The time which passes between these meetings is delicate to say the least, and it’s often a phase where we lack organization and structure to maintain good communication.


A team writing out a marketing strategy

In my last post, I shared a series of steps I always carried out between appointments

  • email confirmation

  • physical pre-listing package

  • reminder call 1-2 days before the appointment

  • and finally, showing up right on time.


Doing this did a few things for me - it helped improve my appointment attendance rate with my clients, while the materials I sent also warmed them up to our brand and it showed we were professional. In reality though, I think the most important thing it did was to put a small tweak on the mindset of my clients. This process hammered home how professional I was and it created a standard in their mind that they could trust me when I said things were going to happen.


Going back to the onset where we discussed the fact that maybe, just maybe, it could possibly take more than 1 appointment to close a prospect. I think there is value in zooming out a little to look at the entire pipeline a client goes through in your business.


It probably looks something like this:


LEAD >>> QUALIFIED >>> APPOINTMENT SET >>> APPOINTMENT MET >>> WON OR LOST


  • LEAD = This is anyone in your database who is moving in a longer period of time, typically <1yr.

  • QUALIFIED = Hiring an agent in <90 days, clear motivation, would consider working with you, full contact details

  • APPOINTMENT SET = Prospect has confirmed a meeting with you to discuss hiring you as their agent

  • APPOINTMENT MET = Appointment was attended but not signed (note: sometimes this step gets skipped and you move straight to WON or LOST

  • WON = Representation contract signed and client is ready to get started

  • LOST = Too bad, so sad. Better luck next time.


Clients are valuable at every phase of their experience with you. Repeat and referral clients are likely the most significant long term opportunity in any real estate business… but these moments with your prospects are undoubtedly the high octane interactions. Missteps can be explosive and opportunities to exceed their expectations go a very long way.


Walk into a real estate office and you’ll see all sorts of variations of paperwork trying to help the salespeople keep track of where their prospects are at. Calendars, post it notes, lead sheets, and deal files often litter the desks and walls. But about a decade ago, a company called Trello created an online tool using an organizational technique called a Kanban board and a lightbulb went off: This tool is PERFECT for managing a sales pipeline!


A screen grab of the Pipedrive CRM overviewing a pipeline

Contacts in your database can be added to a “deal” which lands in the first phase of your pipeline. From there you can keep track of your top prospects and drag them from phase to phase so you always have visibility on where your leads are at.


Okay, so I promised you automations in the title of this blog and by now you might be worried it was some sort of click bait. Here is where the fun starts.


You can automate a series of functions inside your CRM to trigger automatically when clients are entered into each phase of your sales pipeline. Imagine the ways you could improve your clients experience and create additional excitement without creating additional work for yourself.


Let’s mastermind this a little. What would a 3-5 step campaign look like at each phase?


I’ll give you a few ideas to get yours started…


LEAD

  1. EMAIL: Did you know what the highest ROI improvements to your home are?

  2. TEXT: Invite to seminar, client event or offer complimentary CMA

  3. EMAIL: Find the best schools - Your next Neighbourhood

  4. TEXT CTA: I’m evaluating a home in your neighbourhood next week - can I pop by and see the property?


QUALIFIED:

  1. EMAIL: Testimonial Video

  2. CALL REMINDER: Update on neighbourhood solds

  3. TEXT: Nearby Just Sold

  4. EMAIL: Testimonial


APPOINTMENT BOOKED:

  1. EMAIL: Appointment confirmation

  2. PHYSICAL: Pre List delivery

  3. CALL: Appointment reminder

  4. EMAIL: Appointment checklist (Keys/Survey etc)

  5. EMAIL: Check out one of our recent custom property websites

  6. TEXT: Testimonial video


APPOINTMENT MET:

  1. EMAIL: Thank you!

  2. CALL: Update on homework you gave yourself in the appointment

  3. EMAIL: Testimonial

  4. TEXT: Reminder of “Comeback” appointment OR Book comeback appointment


WON

  1. TRIGGER CAMPAIGN: Launches prep campaign to launch listing or buyer systems

  2. CALL: Assistant calls to introduce themselves and confirm dates and details

  3. CALL: Agent calls with update


LOST:

  1. EMAIL: Thank you (Not intended to solicit etc)

  2. REMINDER: Check status in 1-2 weeks on MLS for listings



An exhausted koala on a tree branch

I know it takes work to create all of this, but once it’s set you have an incredible machine backing you up and you only need to do it once.


Remember: Creating something like this is only as powerful as the weakest person who yields it. People use systems designed to be plug and play, but they forget the most important step: YOU NEED TO PLUG. If you don’t hit start and maintain current status with your clients, it brings you no value. So make sure you build it, use it and review to maintain and upgrade it regularly.


At the surface it looks like a huge project you might not want to undertake but it doesn’t need to be that way. Choose just one phase of your pipeline and create a few simple automations first. Once the juices are flowing, you can lean into your automations to go deeper into the constant and never-ending cycle of improvement which we aspire towards in our businesses…


What starts out as a chore will grow to be something you are proud of and is a real asset to your business.


I hope you enjoy the journey and as always, thank you for your time.


Sean

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