Throw those canned follow-ups into the can!

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Crofton, MD 21114

inboxIf you want to find out whether your canned follow-up programs are effective, register to receive them yourself.   

I recently registered on another agent's website to gain access to listings for my daughter, who is relocating to that area.  Since then, I have been getting canned email follow-ups every few days.

  • They are very impersonal
  • They are very "lecturing" in tone
  • They are ANNOYING!  Say that again, ANNOYING!  (as in, too frequent)

Every time I receive one of these ANNOYING emails from the agent, I instinctively start to look for the unsubscribe link or the delete button on my email.  And I've grown to truly dislike her face, which is plastered at the top of every email.  However, I restrain from unsubscribing because her follow-up is an important reminder to me NOT to send anything like this to my clients.  Honestly, folks, after this experience I highly recommend throwing your canned follow-up programs into the "can".

After about 2 or 3 weeks of these most ANNOYING emails, I went into my Top Producer action plans and completely renovated my own follow-up emails.  I did as Michael Russer suggested and made each contact "all about the recipient", not all about me and my services.  The result:  RESULTS! 

Here are some of the changes I made:

  • Reduced frequency to 7-10 days, not always the same.
  • Provided a truly helpful tidbid and related link in each brief email.
  • Asked for nothing - I didn't even ask for their business or promote myself.
  • Prominently offered an unsubscribe link in every email.
  • Phoned the consumer monthly, just to check in and find out if the information in my emails is helpful and whether there is anything in particular they would like to receive from me in the way of information.

trash(By the way, I asked my husband to register on my website so he would receive my follow-up emails; I knew I could count on him to tell me if he found them annoying, since that's a spouse's job - to protect us from ourselves.) 

So throw away those canned real estate follow-up programs, and develop a sincere and personal follow-up plan.  It will take a small investment of time - maybe an evening or two to set it up - but you'll be glad, if you do.


Remember, when you have a referral for the D.C.-Baltimore-Annapolis triangle, contact Margaret in Maryland at RE/MAX Vision

Posted by

Margaret Woda, Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
Military Residential Specialist (MilRES®)
(410) 451-6245

Margaret Woda


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Information contained in this blog post is reliable on the date of publication, but it is subject to change without notice.


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Comments 16 New Comment

Margaret Woda
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Crofton, MD 21114

Don - You know, I do love my Top Producer, and I love it even more now that I've re-written the entire Buyer Prospect Action Plan!

Cynthia - Sorry about adding to your workload, but maybe it will pay off for you!

Sorry for the delay in responding.

July 25, 2007 08:18 PM
David Fox
Real Estate Technology Specialist
The Real Estate Tech Desk

I've had several clients here in the MD area over the 6 months or so, really start to get away from "canned follow-ups".   So many people are doing them now, as they are included features in alot of websites, and of course, Top Producer!  They are easy to setup, and easy to forget about too....Agents set them up, and NEVER change the content or anything--thats mistake #1,   plus the fact that they, as you said, were impersonal, and auto-generated  make it annoying, plus the fact that clients (and maybe more important, potential clients) start to realize that your not spending any time to give them the know where I am going with that!

 I myself went through the home buying process almost a year ago down in the Raleigh/Durham area.  I signed up for info and searches on several agents websites (3-4)  and I was getting 10+ auto emails a week from these guys,  2 of the agents use the same company for websites--so I was getting the same auto emails from 2 different agents, one of the agents emails dont have a unsubscribe link, and after several requests I am still getting emails--a year later!

None of the websites we build have this feature included, and we dont even offer it as an option for the reasons above!  Personalization is the way to go, and it doesnt take THAT much time!

July 26, 2007 10:48 PM
Amber Williams
Re/Max Classic Homes

I am always worrying if my emails are annoying people! A lot of my leads off LeadStreet are email only leads so I try to send an email that will give helpful information to them, make them want to call me, let them know I WROTE it, and not annoy them where they'll "unsubscribe".

On a different note, I'm considering using Top Producer, would you recommend it to a newer agent such as myself?

July 26, 2007 11:02 PM
Margaret Woda
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Crofton, MD 21114

David - Thanks for your input.  For those of you who don't know, David is my local tech guru who keeps my computer functioning.  He also builds websites and does other things we agents know nothing about.

Amber - Yes, I would recommend Top Producer for contact database management, if nothing else.  I also recommend using the Action Plan function, but (as David just mentioned) they can be very annoying.  If you're going to use the TP Action Plans, you gotta re-write the emails, and probably re-schedule them, too.  I HIGHLY recommend going to the hands-on training if they have it in your area.  We are fortunate to have it available about once a month in the D.C.-Baltimore area, and I go periodically (it's free) just for a refresher and to learn about new features.  They have tutorials and a great support staff, but it's just not the same as live training.

July 27, 2007 12:15 AM
Esko Kiuru


You are so right about the canned email product. They can be awful, and yes, annoying. The changes you made seem excellent. There are two of them that I have been doing lately and the response has been very positive. Namely, ask for nothing, just provide information. And have the unsubscribe feature in a prominent place.

July 27, 2007 12:24 AM

Margaret Woda

Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation
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Additional Information

Real Estate and community information for home buyers and sellers, military transferees, and rookie agents in the greater Crofton area, including Annapolis, Bowie, Davidsonville, Fort Meade, Gambrills, Joint Base Andrews, Millersville, Odenton, and the U.S. Naval Academy.


Margaret Woda