Real Estate Internet Leads can be tricky.

Industry Observer with Right Choice Realty

Right Choice Realty


Internet leads can be hazardous to your health and your wealth as I found out the hard way a few short years ago.  Here's a quick recap of my story.  Between January and May 2012 I accumulated 685 internet leads from a push ad campaign targeting buyers from cities around the country that LOVE Lee County, Florida homes.  That was the easy part. 

Now, I assigned these leads to a group of ten agents with high hopes that we would close 1 out of 10 leads and whoopee, the money flows in.  The leads cost me roughly $14,000 in ad expenses over a year and my journey to recoup the initial investment began.  Or so I thought.  Most of my agents had very few positive experiences in performing follow-up on "internet leads".  They were pretty good at sign calls and such, but, internet leads pose several hurdles that many agents fail to recognize and adjust to.


Hurdle #1   -  Internet leads are clicking around faster than buyers in cars can drive around inquiring about homes.  You are likely not the only "lead gatherer" who will be vying for the clients attention.

Rule # 1    -   Get to the potential client FAST, FIRST and Friendly!  Remember these are internet leads and the folks are clicking away on more than just your site.  First come first serve.

Hurdle #2  -   Internet leads typically begin their search earlier in the "home shopping" process and may require a longer "incubation period" than your average yard sign caller who is actually on the buying fast track in comparison.

Rule # 2   -   Don't abandon the lead early.  Early termination of working an internet lead can be costly to the purchaser of the lead and to the expectations of the Realtor assigned the lead.  Patience and diligence is key.  Not everyone is cut out for this type of lead as I certainly found out.

The good news for me?  Internet leads typically begin their search earlier in the "home shopping" process and may require a longer maturation time than your average sign caller who has more immediate goals.  I was actually able to recover and get several more closed.  Also, I have about 45 buyer leads actively participating with one of my agents currently.  This Realtor was originally a part of the initial experience. He is so loving life right now.  As a matter of fact, he closed one this past month that was literally 20 months old.

In closing, I believe setting the proper expectations on time to close with the responsible agent(s) is crucial. Failure in this area may negatively impact your team's ability too convert internet leads or even want to try, period.  Take it from me; "Inernet Leads are Tricky".   


Best of Luck,

Jack Solloway, Mng Mbr

Right Choice Realty, LLC




Fort Myers homes, Internet Leads, Lee County homes, Sanibel homes, Bonita Springs homes, Estero homes, Naples homes, Cape Coral homes, Right Choice Realty, Internet Lead Conversion, Real Estate Leads, Florida homes



Posted by

Jack Solloway, President & Founder

Right Choice Realty, LLC

(239) 333-BEST


Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Dan Rosenberger 08/21/2012 12:08 AM
  2. Nikesh Parekh 08/21/2012 02:10 AM
  3. Marte Cliff 08/21/2012 04:36 AM
  4. The Ivanov Group 201-895-1768 08/27/2012 01:32 AM
  5. Winston Heverly 01/09/2013 02:11 AM
  6. Praful Thakkar 02/28/2016 12:10 AM
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Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Jack,  Great insight into the difference between the two types of buyers andalso the timeline.

Sep 01, 2012 05:45 AM #146
Jack Solloway
Right Choice Realty - Fort Myers, FL
There's Only One Right Choice in Real Estate

thank you neighbor.

Sep 02, 2012 10:13 PM #147
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Jack, great information.  We need to adapt to the changing world.

Sep 03, 2012 10:06 PM #148
Tom Minch
Follow Up Boss - Convert More Leads into Closings - San Francisco, CA

Jack, thanks for sharing your story.

If you are a broker, training your agents to work with internet leads is the key. Internet leads are different from your "old school" leads and require somewhat different approach although many classic rules still apply, so here we go...

The most important thing - get your agents to call the leads as soon as they arrive. You actually need to call them, just emailing is not ok. Calling is important because:
1) agent can qualify the lead, are they serious?
2) find out what they are looking for and send relevant information
3) ignite a relationship, they'll remember the agent they talk to, not someone who just emailed them

For sure, you cannot call a lead if you don't know her phone number (and that's why leads with phones work much better). Sadly, we've seen too many agents not calling the leads even if the correct phone number is on file!

Having a system to have anything organized is important as well. Once you have more than a handful of leads, burring them in your inbox is not an option anymore! Get a proper lead management system and don't let them fall through the cracks.

Sep 20, 2012 10:35 PM #149
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Good post and good comments. You really put your money where your mouth is.

Nov 15, 2012 08:53 AM #150
Jeff Jensen
The Federal Savings Bank/Lending in 50 states - Greenwich, CT

You are quite correct.  To make the leads work one needs to pounce quickly and hang on like a junkyard dog!

Jun 23, 2014 07:47 AM #151
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Great post and helpful comments;  in today's fast paced world, people DO expect us to be available when convenient for them.  I don't need business badly enough to answer the phone at 1 a.m. but someone will and kudos to them.  Internet leads need to be cultivated and responded to, sometimes it does take them a while to make a move, but it does often happen.

Jun 23, 2014 10:11 AM #152
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

You still have to weed out the spammers and all those trying to get into your hardware

Jun 24, 2014 12:01 AM #153
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Definitely not easy leads to convert, really following up and not getting discouraged that a lot of emails and phone calls will not be replied to is good advice.

Jun 24, 2014 12:31 AM #154
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide


This is some great timely advice as I begin to invest big time online.


Jun 24, 2014 02:29 AM #155
Jack Solloway
Right Choice Realty - Fort Myers, FL
There's Only One Right Choice in Real Estate

You are welcome Pete.

Jun 24, 2014 06:45 AM #156
Ron Swiger
Royal Shell Real Estate - Fort Myers, FL
Your Trusted Southwest Florida Realtor®

Great reminder Jack for me not to be discouraged about the lack of response. I need to just keep sending emails and making follow up calls! As competitive as the market place is for realtors to convert the leads before someone else does is the tough part... Inspiring read for me as I grow! Thanks for the post! I hope to not let you down!

Jun 24, 2014 07:34 AM #157
Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale
Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260 - Tahoe City, CA
Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers

Jack - Great internet lead tips to get to them, hold onto them, and convert them!

Jun 24, 2014 05:45 PM #158
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I do a lot of internet lead generation as well and these are points I've always followed, including that I never "give up" on a lead until they stay STOP!

Jun 24, 2014 10:07 PM #159
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

So far, unless they are MY Internet leads, I have not purchased any. To handle such a quantity, you need a team that will actually follow your list of what to do.

Jun 25, 2014 01:11 AM #160
Gib Barker

The challenge is to engage, at least, weekly with a diverse and informative drip campaign I have been told.  Great article

Jul 08, 2014 06:02 AM #161
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

I think part of the key next to patience is to provide information. Once they see you are a great resource, slowly but surely you become their sole resource vs multiple people. Eventually as you have mentioned when they are ready, your goal is to have an established relationship that pays off! 

Jul 09, 2014 02:52 PM #162
Jessica Cates
Jessica Cates Creative - Gilbert, AZ
Real Estate Marketing Expert + Blogger

Jack, great information! Thanks for sharing. On a similar note, you're invited to join Ryan Owen, CEO at Zurple, for an interactive webinar on "How to Get More Deals from Your Online Leads". Register now to reserve your spot:

Let me know if you need anything else!

Apr 23, 2015 03:14 AM #163
Joy Bender
Compass - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Partner - The Private Client Network

Hi Jack Solloway checking in to see if you've come across any best practices, new systems, advice this past year in the ever changing online lead generation space?

Dec 23, 2015 07:32 AM #164
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor e-Pro, CRS, RCS-D, Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

As a good post, an interesting story to read. Per Zillow's own admission, less then One half of 1% of all leads convert. That's because most leads are simple inquiries or forced contact info and sold to multiple Realtors. I love the story of the eight-year-old that was checking Zillows site looking at houses and getting Realtor calls for him.

Jan 30, 2016 12:56 PM #165
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Jack Solloway

There's Only One Right Choice in Real Estate
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