A lead comes in. You call. No answer. You email. No response. Crickets. Sound familiar?

In my previous post, I talked about why not all leads are created equal. Another common challenge I hear when talking to Realtors centres around conversion and the frustration of not being able to turn leads into clients.

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Here are five reasons why leads don’t convert:

1. You don’t understand your prospect:

If you haven’t done your homework ahead of time to both identify and understand who your ideal customer is, you may be getting leads that are not the right fit for you. You don’t really “get” them, and they don’t resonate with you. If you don’t understand who your ideal prospect is, the messages and the methods you use to generate leads will likely not attract the right people to you or you may simply not get them at the right time.

A common lead generation tactic is to offer visitors a free home evaluation. While this can generate a lot of leads, there is nothing personal or magical about it. Nothing to make you stand out from every other real estate agent out there. At the same time, this tool does nothing to qualify the prospect. Half the leads may simply be curious about the value of their home, with no intention of selling in the near future resulting in a lot of unanswered calls and emails. Crickets.

By better understanding your ideal prospect, you can create a more targeted approach to your lead generation activities – using their language and addressing their pain points or motivations – so that those completing the form for a free home evaluation, for example, are a better fit for you. This will likely mean fewer leads, but your conversion rate will go up.

2. You don’t follow up right away:

A number of agents I’ve spoken to admit their follow up is less than ideal. Studies have shown that contacting a new lead within the first five minutes significantly improves your chances of conversion. It’s quite simple really:

  • they’ve just reached out, so your chances of connecting with them are greater;
  • you’re contacting them when their mindset is currently on real estate; and
  • you can be sure you’re not the only agent they’ve reached out to, so you want to get to them first.
3. You give up too soon:

If you don’t connect with a lead right away, don’t give up. Continue to reach out by phone or text for a number of days. Some refer to this as the “10 days of pain” rule. In the meantime, you should have them on an email drip campaign to help develop and nurture a relationship. But more on that in a bit.

4. You try to “sell” too early:

No one likes to be sold to. It gets our back up. A real estate purchase or sale is a very personal, significant and stressful process. There are many factors that come into play – both financial and emotional – and jumping too quickly into the transaction opportunity will turn many leads away.

Focus on building a relationship first – start a conversation; get to know them better; really listen to and understand their needs. Build trust. The transaction will follow.

5. You don’t nurture the relationship:

Focus on the long term. Some leads are simply not ready to make a move yet; they’re just exploring options. Don’t give up on these leads. If you’re in this business for the long term, your success will depend on your relationships with people – and relationships are cultivated over time.

Keep in touch with prospects regularly – a monthly email newsletter, an occasional phone call to say hello or a hand-written card on their birthday. Build a relationship over time and when they are ready, your name will be top of mind.


  1. I have been helping listing agents convert leads to faster selling listings for 45 years. Therefore, I can say with a certain degree of authority that if you cannot get one good listing from every two sellers you can get appointments with, you are missing something important.

    Sellers want the most money, the quickest sales, and the fewest problems. When you call them by phone, or contact them by email or text, if they don’t sense that you are any different than any other agent who calls, you probably won’t be granted an appointment. (Hint: go the address and ring the bell. It’s hard to get rid of a body at the front door.)

    If you cannot get a listing when you do get an appointment, or you take an overpriced, discounted commission, or poor showing listing, you are also missing something important.

    Bob Leibold called 130 By-Owners by phone and got 80 appointments. After keeping the first two appointments, he discovered that one of them was not a motivated seller. He began pre-qualifying them at the time he made the appointment and politely turned 20 low motivation sellers down. He kept exactly 60 appointments and got 59 listings … all on the first call.

    The single greatest reason agents cannot convert leads to listings is they are not saying the things that resonate with sellers.

    If you would like a solution to converting more leads to listings, watch this Listing Solution Collection recorded webinar and then call me or email me and I will send you the language that Bob Leibold used to get 80 appointments … and how he pre-qualified so he didn’t waste time going out to see unmotivated sellers.
    Here’s the link:


    Jerry Bresser
    586 749 8617

    • Have you noticed the past few years, some agents have at the bottom of the company web site landing page, a chat button?

      At some business web sites, the chat button takes you to “a service or support person,” who will create a talk file describing your reasons for connecting and promise to have a business rep, ideally a perfect match, contact you personally.

      But then it doesn’t happen. International real estate sites are often the worst. Anyone working with relo clients likely might have experienced this. A relo client is moving – someplace. How are they treated at these chat lines on web sites? Inquiries are often not followed up, and outright ignored. How ridiculous is that?

      I would think that this chat line invitation could be a great lead generator. It seems to capture you and your info automatically when you visit the site. Some sites immediately connect with: “Can I help you?” as a starting point, bringing the invitation live. (Or: there’s no one available to talk with you now. Reconnect during regular business hours – kind of like an auto-responder.

      Does anyone who uses this system contract with a paid service (kind of like an answering service) lead generator/monitor to create appointments? Or is the chat line treated like an agent-on-duty feature, with an in-office rotation allotted time slot?

      If a visitor could connect directly with a particular listing agent, I think that might be a useful marketing tool to use in a listing presentation? Who would know the property best…

      But, having said that you are setting up an opportunity to double-dip. And in some areas that is verboten.

      The chat system could be and maybe is, monitored by the broker or office manager. Are records kept of the chats? And used to stay connected with the public from time to time, building rapport?

      First question should be: “are you already under contract with a brokerage?” Many people don’t know that an agent contract means the contract belongs to the company, not the sales rep. “If so, and you need information on one of our listings, kindly have your agent connect with us. We’ll be happy to assist.”

      This eliminates useless conversation right from the get-go.

      Are the chat systems made use of by agents with a buyer wanting to connect with a listing agent, or to book appointments for agents, or to register offers? Just curious…

      Carolyne L ?


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