Internet Lead Conversion: Do You Have What It Takes and Did You Eat Your Broccoli?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Broadpoint Properties Cal BRE #01324959

Several years ago on the television program 60 Minutes, there was a segment about how to convert a child who is a finicky eater into one who eats all of the vegetables on his or her plate. According to the report, parents must present the food on the plate a minimum of 11 times before they can expect their precious child to eat the vegetables (probably more if it's brussel sprouts). I am fairly certain that the statistics presented here somehow connect to the number of times that one must contact an Internet lead prior to successful conversion.

I also recall seeing a presentation on farming expired and cancelled listings where the speaker claimed that most individuals give up after one or two unsuccessful attempts. So, if we attempt to present our plate of services more than twice (and possibly eleven times), it is possible that we can be successful.

Many will state that it is difficult on the psyche to be turned down over and over again. However, with the beauty of the Internet, whereby much of our communication is not face-to-face, disapproval is not felt so harshly. Those of you who are receiving leads via the Internet and not converting them may need to make a few changes to your techniques and tactics.

First off, all leads should be managed in a database. I prefer Outlook, and I assign categories to my leads. This way I can seamlessly prepare documents and emails with portions of my list. As leads get warmer, I can then move them between categories.

Second, once I capture a lead, I do a little recon work. Is the email that I was given a real email address? How about the name and the phone number? Next . . . if they have been searching for homes on the site, I check to see what they are looking at. What is their price point? What neighborhood do they desire?

All this needs to be done quickly because once they are off your site, they are on somebody else's site looking at more properties. If you cannot follow up FAST, the lead will be gone.

The next part is where strategy is required. Can you email the lead? If so, I do. I then follow up with a phone call to offer my services. The email usually consists of a confirmation of their login for the IDX on our site as well as a few links to blog posts with buying tips. My favorite blog to send is one where I review how to interview a Realtor® to assure that s/he is qualified to help you. (Hhmmm. Guess who can answer all of the interview questions perfectly? ;-)

All this is not rocket science. But, it cannot be done for just one day. Conversion takes time, energy and consistency of action. Just like they said on 60 Minutes, it can take eleven attempts to get Junior to eat his veggies. So, it'll probably take at least that many attempts to convert your lead into a walking, talking buyer or seller who has hired you for representation. (For more information on lead conversion, check out

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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William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX


Are you suggesting; persistence, tenacity and a system?

Sounds very good to me.


Jan 08, 2010 12:38 PM #1
Don Wixom
RE/MAX Advantage Nampa, ID - Nampa, ID
"Looking out for your next move..."tm

Great concepts! Tracking those in-bound e-mail inquiries and following up on them, gets me a little crazy!

Jan 08, 2010 12:44 PM #2
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Melissa, much easier to get a child to eat broccoli I think!  I like your insight, and it does require swift response, a good system, and several contacts to build rapport and convert that lead into a buyer.

Jan 08, 2010 12:48 PM #3
Maria Marriott
Executive Properties - Roseville, CA
Realtor -

Very nice post! I still can't make my kids eat some of the veggies but they do love broccoli. I believe in systems and if we have one we'll be way ahead of our competitions. Most realtors and lenders do have it. Good luck!

Jan 08, 2010 12:51 PM #4
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Interesting connection to broccoli and lead conversion ............ all the best for the new year.

Jan 08, 2010 02:30 PM #5
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I too love the connection to broccoli and lead conversion ............  It will definately remind me to follow up and follow up, every time I sit down to dinner!  All the best for a profitable and joyous new year.

Jan 08, 2010 02:33 PM #6
Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Real Estate Cafe LLC - Bend, OR
Curator of Happy Endings

Melissa ~ I don't remember being served broccoli 11 times as a child, but I do remember my step-father saying that if we didn't eat our vegetables on our dinner plate, we would have to eat them for breakfast the next morning.  I quickly learned to like all vegetables :)

I am curious about your lead database on Outlook.  Is that the only database you use (i.e. Top Producer, etc.)?  Also, what category names do you assign to your leads (example)?  So true, that a timely response is critical to capturing the lead and keeping it.  They say 1.5 hours or less is the expectation for response.

Jan 08, 2010 02:59 PM #7
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Melissa - I love the analogy. Makes lots of sense to me. I happen to love broccoli. So that means...


Jan 08, 2010 04:49 PM #8
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Great post. I like your recon terminology and the brocolli parallel.

Jan 08, 2010 11:09 PM #9
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

Nice post--one of my favorites on the internet lead conversion topic. I, too, like the broccoli parallel.

Jan 09, 2010 05:30 AM #10
Brett Pehrson
Advanced Funding Home Mortgage, NMLS#13287 - Salt Lake City, UT

Great tips, Melissa!  I've finally started obtaining more internet leads, but not having as much luck converting, yet.  I'll take your advice as my lesson for the day! Thanks!

Jan 09, 2010 06:00 AM #11
Matthew Naumann
Exit Realty Charleston Group - Goose Creek, SC
Goose Creek, SC Real Estate Agent


Great Post. Thanks for the tips.

Matt Naumann

Jan 09, 2010 06:19 AM #12
Marcus Barber
Exit IH-10 Realty - San Antonio, TX

Hi Melissa,

The broccoli in the photo looks delicious, seeing it on my plate once would be enough for me to devour it.   I agree with you a system, a database and follow up is the key.  

Jan 09, 2010 02:56 PM #13
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

Hi Melissa - The truth of your blog is that persistence is the key to success.

Jan 10, 2010 12:13 PM #14
Katherine Barnett
Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc.,brokerage - Milton, ON
Milton, Oakville, Burlington & area Real Estate


Good stuff to think about and an excellent reminder to keep at it.


Jan 11, 2010 03:48 AM #15
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Melissa Zavala

Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
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