Allison Bryant

Hot, fresh leads are great. You know exactly how to engage. You call them, get them going with an automatic Action Plan, and follow up accordingly until it’s time to take the next step.

But not every lead is ready to bite, and even the best agents have a list of what can be considered ‘Stale Leads.’ You know, those leads you engaged with once or twice, but then they kind of dropped off the radar.

This is the point where most agents give up. Here’s the thing though: Just because a lead goes quiet, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow up.

We’re going to show you exactly how to identify your passive, or “stale” leads, and follow up with them in under 10 minutes.

Whether you’re carving out a few minutes after lunch or sitting in your car between appointments — you’ll be able to shake some trees and bring past conversations back to life!

Do you have a plan for every lead? Try Follow Up Boss for free today and make sure no lead goes un-nurtured.

How to Quickly Select the Right People to Contact

Follow Up Boss makes it easy to identify the people in your database who haven’t heard from you in a while. With Smart Lists, you can see who hasn’t communicated with you in the past two weeks in just a click!

Of course, you can use any time frame that works with your own definition of a passive or “stale” lead. You can also dive a little deeper to create a custom, continuously updated Smart List that is completely unique to your business and how you close leads best. 

Here’s how to create your own custom list in a matter of clicks:

The Baseline

First, how are we going to find these older leads? The prime candidates for this type of reach out fall into what we call the “Sweet Spot Timeline”:

  • They’re not from a list you acquired from other sources.
  • They opted-in to receive communication from you. (Note: This is different from prospecting.)
  • Their initial inquiry is between 6 - 18 months old, but it’s been a while since they heard from you personally. (Not just via newsletters and Action Plans.)

You Pick Two

Now, let's dive in a bit further. Once you’ve got your “Sweet Spot Timeline,” it’s time to focus in on the leads that are most relevant to your business.

We suggest picking no more than two qualifiers. To identify these, think about the common denominators of the leads you close most often.

For instance, leads over $350k in Cobb County, or leads who have been tagged with a specific category by your team.

Strategy 1: Make Targeted Calls to Your Prime Candidates

Calling new leads is a no-brainer, but carving out a few minutes to make a personal check-in call to the prospects who have been sitting idle in your database can also yield stellar results.

But life as a Realtor is busy, and calling can feel like a big time investment. Your newly created ‘Stale Leads Smart List’ will help you maximize your time by letting you know exactly who to call.

Here are our tips for calling your leads:

Log Your Calls

No, we’re not talking about breaking out a spreadsheet, or even taking out a pen and paper. Follow Up Boss makes it super easy to log your calls while staying fully “in the zone”.

Use the Dialer to power-dial through your list in a matter of minutes. We’ll do the work for you and automatically log your call so you can move seamlessly from one prospect to the next.

On a mobile phone? Dial from the app! It doesn’t change your call experience or caller ID.

Remember, a good call log makes your Smart List even smarter. It shows that you’ve reached out to someone recently and it becomes part of your centralized communication with this lead.

Plus, account owners can see agent call logs in Reporting, making it easy to keep everyone on the team accountable!

Ready for a lead management platform that does it all? Try Follow Up Boss for free today and never lose another real estate lead!

Use Your Lead History to Start the Right Conversation

Let’s be honest. Most of us don’t like talking to salespeople. And that can make reaching out to an older or more passive lead a little (or a lot) intimidating. 

But that’s not enough reason not to do it.

We’ve got a few tips to make starting a conversation simple and painless, both for you and your potential client. 

There are just three things you’ll want to remember: 

  1. Be confident 
  2. Call with purpose
  3. Keep it about conversation (not selling)

So, how do you get that conversation rolling? Look at the lead’s history. More often than not, it’ll be full of useful details to help you figure out just what to talk about. 

For example, you could look at:

How this person initially inquired, plus any additional inquiries. This way you can strike up a conversation such as, “Hey, Tim, are you still interested in 123 Main Street, or has something else caught your eye?”

Notes you’ve made about the lead. For example: Their buying time frame, children’s names, or even their favorite food. 🌮

Their areas of interest on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. With your contact’s social media profiles just one click away, Follow Up Boss makes it easy to see what your prospects have been thinking about lately. (Just be sure to weave this into the conversation lightly and in a way that feels natural!)


Update their info. While you’ve got them on the phone, take a minute to make sure their info is correct — all it takes is one or two quick questions like, “Are you still at 545 Main Street?” or “Do you still live in Midtown?” 

Team leaders like Renee Funk use custom fields in Follow Up Boss to help her agents capture (and remember!) the most important bits of information about their clients. Not only does this help them know what to talk about on the phone, agents on Renee’s team can use that info to keep their Action Plans relevant and always send the right follow up at the right time. 

Remember, the goal here isn’t immediate conversions. Maybe you’ll catch someone who is ready to re-engage, or maybe you’ll be able to confidently put them into a no-contact category, helping you whittle down your list and better identify where to spend your time. 

Either way, it’s a win.

Strategy 2: Send Highly Personalized Emails to Small Batches of Leads

Your drip campaigns and newsletters are for a certain type of communication, namely long-term lead nurture. 

What we’re talking about here is a very specific type of email campaign. In fact, we wouldn’t even call it a campaign at all.

This is you, sending a simple email to another person (or several people simultaneously to save yourself valuable time 😉).

We call it Batch Emailing. But note, batch does not mean ‘generic’.

Here’s an example:

Engage Stale Leads in Specific Pipelines

Did you know you can narrow down your Stale Leads Smart List to be even more specific — for instance, just Buyers?

Narrowing down your list makes the perfect segment of contacts for batch emails. Then, you can send them an email that looks something like this:

“Hey, %contact_first_name%, are you still looking to buy a home this year? Last time we spoke you were interested in %inquiry_address%.

Do you like homes in that area, or have you changed the scope of what you’re looking for?”

If you want to shout out a new accomplishment, generally stay top of mind, or share a bunch of new listings, those types of things are best left to email marketing or Action Plans.

If you want to engage stale leads in a way that feels specific and a bit more personal to them, you’ll want to use Batch Emails.

Strategy 3: Check In with Stale Leads via Text Message

There’s nothing more personal than a good, one-to-one text message. It’s super easy. Click. Select. Send. Done!

(Pro tip! In Follow Up Boss, your thumbs can get a break with our handy text templates feature!)

As with batch emailing, texting older or more passive leads in your database should be done with the same care in terms of targeting and personalization. Think “engage,” rather than “blast.”

Here are some tips for texting your real estate leads:

  • Ask a question. This helps encourage a response!
  • If you send a link, make sure it’s relevant and still requires response/interaction.
  • Have a few text templates on hand to ensure the text is relevant to the contact.

Let’s take a look at some text message templates that follow these guidelines:

  • Hey, %contact_first_name%! It’s %agent_first_name% from FUB Real Estate. How’s the house hunting going? Still looking in Kennesaw?
  • %contact_first_name%, you came to mind when I listed this Craftsman Bungalow in the Highlands. Take a look at this and tell me what you think of the hardwoods: (link)
  • %contact_first_name%, I was just thinking back to the conversation we had a while back. Are you still thinking things over or ready to move forward?

Learn more about texting with Follow Up Boss here.

Strategy 4: Automate Perfectly-Timed, Authentic Follow Up

Reconnecting with stale leads in just ten minutes is great…but zero minutes is even better. And all it takes is the “little bit of magic” known as the Pixel

When added to your website, this little snippet of code allows you to track which campaigns are driving visitors to your site, what types of homes they’re looking at, how often they’re dropping in — and more. Then it connects that information with a lead’s profile in Follow Up Boss. 

So if you’ve ever wished you could be a fly on the wall while leads are browsing through your site, look no further. The Pixel is your key to getting powerful customer insight. Insight that can help you take the right action at the right time with the right people. 

But that’s just the beginning.

Pixel helps you keep tabs on leads so you can take action as soon as they start heating up.

With Automations, you can take it to the next level. 

Automations are a special feature in Follow Up Boss that allow you to create custom triggers for Action Plans, so they kick off automatically when certain conditions are met. 

Let’s say you’re able to get an old lead on the phone. Her name’s Jenny. 

You and Jenny have a great conversation, but she tells you she’s still about six months away from being ready to work with a Realtor. After talking, you reset her status in Follow Up Boss from “Stale” to “Nurture.” 

Fortunately, you’ve already created an Automation that triggers a nurture campaign when you change a lead’s status. So instead of having to manually add Jenny to a campaign, Follow Up Boss automatically does the heavy lifting to keep you top of mind…while you move on to the next person on your list.

But here’s where it starts to get interesting.

Suppose Jenny has a change in circumstance and her six-month timeline suddenly becomes a two-month timeline. Now she’s a hot prospect and ready to find an agent! 

There are a few possible ways this could play out: 

  1. Although a few agents have Jenny’s contact info in their database, you’ve done a superior job nurturing your relationship with her and staying top of mind. When she’s ready for a real estate agent, she knows exactly who she wants to work with. 🙌🏼

OR

  1. You’ve nurtured your relationship with Jenny, but so have a few of your competitors, so she’s not sure who to contact. She starts exploring properties at each of their sites…and gets snatched up as a new lead by another agent. 😩

Obviously #1 is the preferred scenario but unless you’ve got a nurture campaign made of solid gold, you’re still leaving a lot to chance. 

Automations unlock a third option: 

  1. You have the Pixel set up on your website and an Automation ready to go. When Jenny visits your site for the first time in a few months, the Pixel recognizes her activity and the Automation triggers an Action Plan that promptly sends an automated email asking Jenny if she’d like to see any of the properties she favorited.


Our bet? Heck yes she does. 🎉

Always Keep Your Database Up to Date

It’s fair to say that your CRM is only as powerful as the data inside it. So, no matter how your lead follow-ups go, it’s important to take notes, update contact information, fill in gaps, and adjust status as necessary. 

Why does it matter, especially if the lead isn’t ready to act? Well, with better information about your leads, you can stop spinning your wheels and let your lead management system automatically keep you connected with long-term prospects, so you can spend your energy on the people who need it most. 

Of course, if a “stale” lead turns out to be even more passive than you thought, it may be time to let it go. But even then, you don’t have to completely abandon them or let them decay in your database — you can put it up for grabs in a Lead Pond. Who knows? Someone else might have better luck.

When you’re ready to develop an airtight plan for every lead in your database, Follow Up Boss can help. Reach out to our (100% human) team of customer support experts, or try us free for 14 days.

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Hey, have you tried Follow Up Boss?

We help you grow your real estate business with less hassle by putting all your leads and contacts in one simple system. We track your marketing and integrate with your website for lead prioritization. From there we help you manage all your follow up as well as incoming leads, texts and even phone calls so you can set more appointments.  

Try it free for 14 days and fix your follow up. Friendly support available 7 days per week.