Internet Lead Conversion - the TOP TWO ways to succeed !!!!

Real Estate Agent with Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited



Internet Lead Conversion - the TOP TWO ways to succeed !!!!


Internet leads seem to create polar opposite opinions with regards to their value.

Having used and converted many of these leads over the years
, here is just one BritishAgent's opinion as to how to approach Internet Leads for the best chance of success !


To make working with Internet Leads a worthwhile venture, you need the following 3 things:



  1. A Lead Source - A company to supply the leads

  2. A Contact Management System - A database to store, track and communicate with the leads



The Lead Source can make a huge difference in your success rate. Its true !!

                            Not all Internet Lead sources are created equally !          

It's important that you know that and choose wisely, but there is no debate about that statement itself and here's why.

  • Some Internet Lead Providers are set up so you pay monthly for a guaranteed amount of leads to be sent to you per month. Some are set up where you only pay per lead. Some are free through your brokerages !

  • Of these, some are set up where you are NOT the EXCLUSIVE AGENT on them - they may be sent to 3 to 5 other agents (or more !) who could ALL be working the same client hoping they'll choose to work with you. Some you ARE the ONLY AGENT that the lead is sent to.

  • Some are sent to multiple agents, but the fastest agent to accept the lead becomes the exclusive agent. ("First in Wins" theory !") and that agent then receives the full details and contact info for that lead.

  • The prices can vary DRAMATICALLY. For example some are $99/6 leads, $150/12 leads, and some are $50 or more per lead !

So as you can see, there are different types of lead source, and you need to choose one that fits your gameplan and goals !!!


Your Contact Management System (CMS) is your Personal Assistant without a heartbeat !!

Yes, think how valuable "Kitt" was to Knight Rider, and you'll start to understand what I mean. Again, this is important to understand, and your CMS will be a key part of your success, as I will outline below !

Like the Lead Sources, there are a plethora (love that word) of different types of CMS to help your Customer Relationship Management (CRM). A few of the most recognized are below - although there are many more:

  • Top Producer
  • Act! For Real Estate
  • Goldmine
  • MarketLeader
  • and even your trusty old "Outloook" program !

What these programs do is allow you to stay organized and automate a lot of customer processes. These can include documenting phone conversations, emails and customer notes, setting up drip campaigns, scheduling appointments and calendar alerts, and organizing customer information in an easy-to-read, easy-to-access format to make your client management more efficient.

Which one is the best ??  (I love this question and I have heard it for years !)


Answer: WHICHEVER ONE YOU ARE USING !!!!!!!!  ... just use the darn thing efficiently !!!!!!


... I cant take full credit for that line, as I heard it time and time again from the many seminars I have attended on CRMs !!!

Yes some of them have different features and layouts, but they all have essentially the same basic abilities - they allow you to keep on top of the things you are supposed to do to stay in touch with clients, and keep records of your relationships and history with them.


Me ? I tried each one of those I listed above. I'll tell you my personal choice below.



And lastly, COMMITMENT !!!!

Not that this one really needs explanation, BUT !!! it's like the old "New Year's Resolution Syndrome" if you dont make a SERIOUS EMPHATIC COMMITMENT to your goal - more often than not, you will not achieve what you desire.

In this case -


... you must Commit - or you should Quit !!!

(I've been listening to too much Johnny Cochran me thinks !?!?!?!)


"So What Are The TOP TWO Ways To Succeed Of Which You Speak Mr BritishAgent ????"


...I'm getting there

In my first year using Internet Leads I converted and CLOSED 5 deals just from Internet leads ! That may not sound like much in a year, but the majority of people I have spoken to who used Internet Leads for a year closed ZERO from those leads - and all thought the process sucked !

When I talked to them further and asked how they were handling the leads - I then understood why they closed ZERO from those leads.

... they didnt get it !

OK, here are my TOP TWO tips to succeed with Internet Leads !


  2. And second was understanding the old adage that it is a NUMBERS GAME !

First: Speed of Response:

  • Why important ? Because Internet consumers are extremely savvy shoppers who need quick responses and instant service !!!! They expect information at their fingertips, and then to be able to take their time to examine the information and respond when they are ready. There has been in-depth research which shows that consumers are MUCH more likely to work with an agent who responds within no more than 24hrs. SPEEDY RESPONSE SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASES YOUR CHANCES OF CLOSING A TRANSACTION WITH INTERNET CONSUMERS !!!


Second: It's a Numbers Game:

  • We've all heard this over and over, but it is rarely more evident than when working Internet Leads ! You cant expect to 'cherry pick' and hit a home run with each 'cherry' ! Some of the least likely leads close unexpectedly. And some that seem so keen and ready, could eventually amount to nothing ! They key is to be a CONSISTENT MACHINE !!! If you are going to give these leads a try, dont expect to buy 1 or 2 leads per month and convert 10 out of 12 for the year !!!!  Try 10 or 12 leads per month - treat every lead with the same importance - respond quickly to every one, and do it religiously !

If you COMMIT 100% to these 2 principles, AND use the 3 key points I outlined at the top of this blog, you WILL give yourself the best chance to convert Internet Leads.


The CRM that I use is MarketLeader. I swear by this database program. I tried Top Producer, Goldmine, Act! and a number of others, but kept coming back to the user-friendly MarketLeader - I still use it and love it.

When I first started with the program, I also used it's JustListed company for my Lead Source, and MarketLeader tracked my SPEED OF RESPONSE to those leads.


... and I received 122 leads that year.

What a "Zero Hour Response Time" means is that my average time to make a contact with a new lead was LESS THAN ONE HOUR !

... in many cases I was in contact with them in just minutes after their inquiry, as I had the alert texted to me immediately with their info !


Now "Contact" didnt always mean I spoke to them, but if there was a phone number I called it - if there wasnt, they got an email - within minutes.

Virtually ALL the leads I ended up working with over the years said they chose to work with me because I got back to them ! - and QUICKLY !!!!!

... that type of Zero Hour response took a lot of work, but paid off with closings each year when others just thought the leads 'sucked' !


... I even got an article written on my early achievement ...



There are many ways to approach opportunities, but from all the conversations I have had over the years regarding Converting Internet Leads - the TWO KEY TIPS I have highlighted in this blog have served me very well !

Cheers & Good Luck All !!



For other methods of converting internet leads, be sure to check out where you can purchase a limited edition hardcover of Gary Keller's book SHIFT, which comes with a free version of the eBook Soci@l: Attract Friends, Followers and Connections to Your Business, written by Ben Kinney and Jay Papasan (in which Ben shares his 'ten days of pain' lead conversion method) as well as free audio versions of Millionaire Real Estate Agent and Millionaire Real Estate Investor all for $19.99.

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Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Debe ! I love Karma !!!! Good stuff Debe :o)

Andrea ! It's so different with each program and how the leads are delivered and to whom. But it can work if you find the right one for your approach ! Cheers ;o)

Loreeeena ! It's something most people should at least try I think, and see if it fits your personality. Some it wont, but some will make it work :o) Cheers !

Susan - Outlook can be used to work them just fine. It just limits a little as to how much you can AUTOMATE for followup, which is where a lot of these other CMS really have value. Cheers Sunshine !

Paddy ! Excellent ! Call me anytime if you have questions and I'm looking fwd to chatting in person next weeeek !!!!

Brian - 'working them' efficiently is indeed the key ! Cheers !

Bill ! you got it ! Thats how I approach them !

Eileen !!!! LOLOLOL ! no Comment you BBerry addict !!!! (me too ;o)

Steve L - unfortunately for many others, they dont get that concept !! Cheers :o)

Hi Tanya !!! You're right - it can be different impressions for different industries, but buyers and sellers on the internet want info IMMEDIATELY !! :o)

Martin - Totally agree with your comment, and I think the key is finding which version fits your style best. Good stuff my man - keep in touch :o)

Steve and Joel ! Yes indeed - wherever the lead comes from :o)

Cherise - Love it - and most of those features are included in many of the CMS I mentioned - they are SOO helpful to automate your contact and save time ! Cheers Cherise :o)

Jeff ! - I would disintegrate without my BBerry !!!! lol

Michelle F - I have heard that time and time again - "I chose to work with you because you always respond so quickly" !

Elizabeth ! Hello there ! Hope your year is off to a great start ! Yes, how you work those leads is key no matter how much they are worth or where they come from :o)

Carra ! Bingo !

Sharon - I may hire you a my PR Director as well as your Marketing Director title this year ;o)

Nick ! Thank you sir, and I know theres a lot of info in here, but this is all actual experience I have had, not speculation, and I tried many methods to get these assumptions ! Cheers Nick !

Marti ! Fantastic !! Thank you and I wish you well my friend !

Jan 07, 2010 03:03 AM #28
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hey lil bro-I am available and have great honorary bro's rates. Just for you. <SMILE>

Jan 07, 2010 03:59 AM #29
Terkel Sørensen
Real Estate Places - Temecula, CA
Realtor, 951.805.0773 , Bank owned and Short Sales

Good deal Sheldon, it's all in those two details, but so is a lot of things I think.

Jan 07, 2010 04:16 AM #30
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Sharon ! Perfect ! My agent will contact you shortly ! ;o)

Terkel - very true - but isnt it amazing how many dont commit to these two things !! Cheers Terkel !

Jan 07, 2010 04:26 AM #31
Stephen Kappre
KW Hometown - Mantua, NJ
Helping You Home

I used ACT! for like 7 years. I more recently switched over to SalesForce, which is online and extremely powerful and customizable. (So much I probably use 5% of its options). Without that I'd be super duper lost. I haven't done internet leads for years, but grew up on LendingTree, LowerMyBills, GetSmart, and other lead sources. Lending Tree was obscene what they charged to close a loan for one of their leads ... I'm talking 4 figures ...

Jan 07, 2010 04:38 AM #32
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON


Excellent post! It's amazing how many people choose an agent strictly on the fact that they responded to them's not rocket science, yet so many agents fail to get this one principle.


Jan 07, 2010 04:41 AM #33
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Great post Sheldon!  Very well written and very rich in content - as they say - most folks use the first agent that they talk with.  And you're dead on with the advice concerning CMS WHICHEVER ONE YOU ARE USING !!!!!!!! ... just use the darn thing efficiently !!!!!!

Jan 07, 2010 06:11 AM #34
Karen Poss
Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Properties, Florence Alabama - Florence, AL
Realtor - 256-366-6292 - Search Florence Al Homes For Sale

I just wanted to say Thank You , Thank You , Thank You Thank You.  I used to be with Market Leader and LOVED it!  I haven't been able to make a decision as to which company to use now that I am more than ready to pick it back up.  You know how you allow yourself to be swayed by others opinions even when you know the answer already?  Well you just made up my mind for me!  I Loved MarketLeader but was afraid there was something better that I should be using.  WooHoo...I'm calling them right now!

Jan 07, 2010 06:32 AM #35
Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Lexington KY - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty,Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes -

Hi Sheldon! I agree with you about Market Leader. I've been using it for about a year now and love it. I get great leads and I am hoping this year will be good because I know the system so well.

When I was in my first year of real estate, I couldn't wait to get Top Producer after the National convention trade show. I hated the format and paid for it a whole year and despised using it.

Jan 07, 2010 06:33 AM #36
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Sheldon-<BIG SMILE>

Jan 07, 2010 08:14 AM #37
Katherine Barnett
Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc.,brokerage - Milton, ON
Milton, Oakville, Burlington & area Real Estate


Thanks for the info, I have been using market leader since April and have closed only one deal, I am reluctant to call them...maybe I will start.

I also use top producer but I will look at switching and check out their system. I like tp because the info is on my phone when I need it but again I think I can get market leader on the phone with a newer one? Is that the case...can you access all the info if you are on the road...?


Jan 07, 2010 08:57 AM #38
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

OK, Sheldon!  This post proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you don't suck when it comes from Internet leads! 

Jan 07, 2010 09:10 AM #39
Franklin & Brentwood, TN Homes Mike Nastri - Rodney Kennedy
Keller Williams Realty - Franklin, TN
It matters to us as much as it matters to you.

Getting them and converting them, I am still looking for a good contact management system, your post makes excellent points.

Jan 07, 2010 10:19 AM #40
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Steve ! 4 figures !!!!!

Jo-Anne ! I'm wit' ya !!! I guess that just means more clients for us to respond to quicker than them !

Pam ! - Thank you for highlighting that line ! It's one of the most important in the whole post !! Cheers :o)

Hi Karen ! I have used so many, but ML is so user friendly that I have kept coming back, and now I use it exclusively. Good luck ! Keep me posted :o)

Lizette ! We are in the minority I think ! many many people swear by TP, but after trying it twice to see what the fuss was about, I just couldnt get it as smoothly running as my MarketLeader database ! TP was OUT and ML was IN ! Cheers !

Sharon ! ;o)

Hi Katherine ! I have a BlackBerry Curve, and I can access my entire database from my MarketLeader database on my phone !!!! Thats one of the things that made me stay with ML was that I COULD get that info on the road anytime ! Cheers !

Pat ! Well thank you ! :o)

Mike - I tried a bunch before I settled on ML - you may have to see which shoe fits !

Jan 07, 2010 11:53 AM #41
Margaret C. Taylor
Century 21 New Millennium MD - Mechanicsville, MD
St Marys/Calvert/Charles MD Real Estate Agent

As a new agent it's difficult to know where to put my money so thank you for all your comments and advice.  Margaret C.

Jan 07, 2010 01:42 PM #42
Richard Stabile
Re/Max Real Estate Limited - Oradell, NJ
Bergen County New Homes Builder Realtor


Great post, I think your right on.


Jan 07, 2010 01:50 PM #43
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

I have never paid for leads, it's like it's against my religion, but also because I don't know who the best lead providers are.  But I am always impressed with people who actually make them work.  This was a very thorough post, Sheldon, thank you.

Jan 07, 2010 03:37 PM #44
Valerie Osterhoudt
Johnson Real Estate, Inc. - Cromwell, CT
ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889

Sheldon.. I've tried the Internet Lead route recently.  For me it did not work.  I think the reason why is the area I live in.  The populous is not there to have this system work efficiently.

Not one of the roughly 50 leads in 6 months went any where. :(  For me I need to find another avenue.

valerie osterhoudt


Jan 07, 2010 10:01 PM #45
Debi Braulik - Maple Valley, WA
Selling Maple Valley to Fife WA Homes For Sale

I've been trying to use outlook for my contact mgt, and I'm finding it lacking. Thank you for referencing MarketLeader. I hadn't heard of it. I'll look into it now.

Congrats on your zero response time and closing the 5 transactions. That's a great foundation to build on!

Jan 12, 2010 02:58 PM #46
Scott Guay
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services PenFed Realty - Ocean Pines, MD
Associate Broker. Ocean City and Ocean Pines MD

You are correct in the three things that need to be done to convert the leads.  Here are the one I use.

  • A Lead Source -My web presence

  • A Contact Management System - Outlook works for me as that is the one I USE.
  • A PERSONAL COMMITMENT ! Do it every day all day when the the leads come in.
  • Jan 13, 2010 12:59 AM #47
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