Realtors®: Put That Coffee Down!

Real Estate Marketing

“Put that coffee down! Coffee is for closers.”
“The leads are weak? YOU’RE weak!”

Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross

Yes, put that coffee down and call your leads now!

In my professional and personal experience I have too often seen Realtors leave leads left untouched.

This is a huge mistake.

I’ve heard many of the mostly poor reasons for not contacting leads (see below). Rather than start with the reasons Realtors® don’t contact their leads, here are five reasons why you should always contact your leads:

1. you or your broker may have paid for them;

2. you create a positive impression that you and your brokerage are responsive. Many of your leads may not be ready to transact, but when they are, you at least have not eliminated yourself from future business as being non responsive (think negative online reviews). By contacting your leads you leave the door open to future correspondence or conversations that may eventually lead to a transacting client or referral;

3. it’s good practice. You can’t expect every lead to pan out any more than a baseball player can expect to get a hit every time up. With each call and interaction, however, you should learn something about buyer/seller behavior and the real estate market and about how you interact;

4. you don’t have anything more productive to do. What other productive activities are you involved in? (besides reading this wonderful post?) If what you are doing is not geared towards servicing an existing client or gaining new ones, why not contact your leads?;

5. someone else will!

….But the leads are weak!

I’ve heard this many times. Realtors buy leads and then get discouraged that they don’t get a transaction and start to blame the lead provider.

Aside from the legitimate complaint that there is no valid phone number or email address, some of the complaints I’ve heard about leads:

-this one is not serious – you can tell from the short profile you received or by the phone message?

-this one is not motivated – see above.

-this one has a time frame that is too long – you won’t need the money next year?

-this one is not pre-qualified – isn’t that a good opportunity to start an early relationship with a client before they become pre-qualified and end up as a client of a competing real estate agent?

-this one is from out of town – you don’t handle relos?

-this one has unreasonable price expectations – maybe the client doesn’t know the market and needs YOU to help him understand.

-I didn’t see this one – hard to believe this happens often as many real estate professionals don’t have adequate systems in place to know when they receive a lead!

-the leads are weak-this is the catch all complaint after an agent has reviewed a dozen or so leads with no success and has made some of the above determinations and begins to characterize all the leads as ‘weak’.

We’d all like to get leads where the potential buyer is flush with cash and wants to buy yesterday. Keep in mind those leads don’t sell for $20 a pop.

A bad workman blames his tools

Lead providers often get blamed by Realtors for their lack of success.

Trulia, Zillow,, and other real estate portals can be great marketing tools for Realtors as they provide contact information of potential home buyers.

These tools are only as good as the hands that those leads are in. If you don’t follow up on all your leads, your chances for success are dim.

Would it make sense to invest a lot of money in a Gibson guitar, not practice and then curse the guitar because it doesn’t sound like Jimmy Page?

The guitar is a complement to player, it is not the reason for his success or failure.

Similarly, lead providers can be a great complement to Realtors who are willing to follow up on all leads.

Put that coffee down and contact those leads!

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