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Have you ever noticed that the more you prospect, the luckier you get, and the more transactions you close, the more income is available to you?

If prospecting is the way to success, then why do so many real estate professionals fail to prospect? They’re too busy, they don’t want to bother people, they’re afraid of rejection, they don’t know who to call…the excuses roll on and on.

So, what’s an agent to do? The answer is simple. Pick up the phone and start calling people and implement a follow-up system.

To implement a proper system, you will need a good CRM (Contact Relationship Manager). There are many CRMs to choose from, but the most important thing is to find one you can figure out how to use…and use it. Don’t spend too much time analyzing different systems. Instead, ask top agents what they recommend.

Next, put the contact data for your prospects into your CRM. Every time you have a meaningful real estate conversation with someone, put them in your CRM. In addition to including notes regarding what you talked about, give them a contact type and set a date to contact them again.

There are many types of prospects out there. Let’s start with your sphere of influence. These are the folks who know and care about you. They can be past clients, vendors, family members and friends. Not only will these prospects be easy to call, but they will be glad to hear from you. When the conversation circles back to real estate, ask if they know anyone who is planning to buy or sell now or in the near future. Put your SOI prospect in your CRM and schedule to call them in three months.

Next come the folks you’re actively working with to either buy or sell a home. Those with the most urgent follow-up need are the folks you already have a scheduled appointment with. Label these your “A” prospects. They should all be in your CRM, notes should be complete, and you should have an appointment set with them.

The second most urgent prospect is the one who wants to buy in the next 30-90 days. These are your “B” prospects. You should be calling your “B” prospects at least twice per month, so when you put them in your CRM, put them on a recurring call for every other week. It’s also important to set these prospects up to receive properties that will interest them until you call again.

The least urgent prospects are those who are 90-plus days out. These are your “C” prospects. Schedule them for a recurring call once per month in addition to sending them properties of interest.

Your goal is to be the first person your prospects think of when they want to buy or sell, or when they know someone who does. If you start prospecting today, use a CRM, follow a system and do the work, just think where you will be a year from now.

Julie Toon Timms, broker/owner of Hilton Head Island Real Estate Brokers and coach with Workman Success Systems, began her real estate career in 1979. In 1985, she opened a real estate franchise and operated that company in a traditional manner until she realized the franchise model wasn’t working for her and disbanded the firm. It was at this time she met her now husband, Bernie Timms, and together, they started an independent brokerage with no agents. In 2008, they invested in an internet lead-generation website. Contact her at

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