Fishing for leads in real estate

Real Estate Agent with The Virtual Real Estate Team 104556

This morning Charlene and I got up early to take our walk by the ocean in Jupiter Florida since humidity was at 90% and 5 mile walks in the sand can be like being in a sweat lodge for two hours. Since recent storms in Florida fishing has been not something you want to do but this morning the ocean was like glass and the number of boats out were many in groups of 7 or more in many areas. As I was letting my mind wonder as I walked I started to see some similarities to real estate marketing and how we go after clients. As someone who has fished a lot in my lifetime it became clearer as I walked.

As a child fishing with my Dad and Brother there was not any electronic fish locators so knowing the areas and understanding the structure that are fish habitats was very important. You had to trust your gut instincts and the possibility could come up zero even with the best of knowledge. As the modern electronic age came into being fishing became more scientific where chance was lessened with a better guarantee of success but of course even with electronic devices fish don't necessarily cooperate with our best work and intentions. 

As I watched a series of boats I knew they were on to an area that has proved to be good in the past and the boats stayed there for at least an hour before they hit another area considered promising. Real estate marketing is like that. How long do we stay with a certain electronic media before we head elsewhere? I have experienced a hour of modern fishing in one place for stripped bass and then have 10 minutes of nonstop action. How long do we stay with something before we give up? Too many new agents are impatient and without instant gratification they move on not knowing they are about to hit a school of fishleads. Recently I hit a dry spell on videos on Youtube so should I move on to Facebook? In the last week I had a podcaster call for an interview, three new actual investors ready to buy, and four more who called after the podcast, all because I stick with video.

What I love about fishing is dropping a line down into water I can't see through and then feeling the tug on the line that tells me I caught one. If is a moment that is hard to describe unless you have done it, and now it is a test of knowing how to bring the fish to the surface. Fishing for leads is just the same, we put our lure into some unknown waters waiting patiently for a tug and then not losing the lead because we yanked too hard or we were distracted and didn't realize what we had. I love good surprises but even more I love knowing how to be patient, staying with something I know has worked and will still work, and how to also cut my loses. I know that there are constant new shiny objects that some real estate "guru" will say will make me a instant millionaire like with QR codes that were the cat's meow and the bee's knees, then properly faded into the background of failed ideas. So what is it for you and will you stick around long enough for a school of fish clients to come to your blog, you videos, your podcasts, your direct mail, or whatever it might be?



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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


As a friend of mine said, you have to be where the fish are biting to be successful. I heard Chris Zaka (venture capitalist) refer to QR codes as the herpes of the internet.  I hated them then, especially after someone asked why they were ants in a square on the ads for her home

Jun 17, 2017 06:29 PM #1
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH


What is it for you and will you stick around long enough for a school of fish clients to come to your blog, you videos, your podcasts, your direct mail, or whatever it might be?

Jun 17, 2017 06:44 PM #2
LLoyd Nichols
Premier Florida Realty of SWFL - Fort Myers, FL
Southwest Florida Homes By The Sea

Pretty cool metaphors. I enjoyed the read and yes being patient is often key. Not always as easy as it sounds.

Jun 17, 2017 07:36 PM #3
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I am an inland fisherman myself.  I like the structure that is found in these waters.

Jun 17, 2017 08:49 PM #4
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I have a bunch of avid fishermen in my family.  I always love cooking and eating anything they are willing to put my way.

Jun 18, 2017 12:58 AM #5
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning Joe.  Back when I was fishing if I found something that worked I stayed with it.  No need to try another spot or go get that new lure.    

Jun 18, 2017 03:40 AM #6
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

What a great analogy, Joe. I've been watching agents for 25 years and have come to the conclusion that it's not a problem that things don't work... the problem is that too many agents don't stick with anything long enough to let it work. "Fishing" for business is a long term strategy. Too many agents try to get a short term solution from long term strategies.

Jun 18, 2017 04:42 AM #7
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you for sharing. Have a good day 

Jun 19, 2017 07:22 AM #8
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Like fishing, we have to be patient and persistent. We also have to know our target and use the appropriate bait. Once we discover the right bait, it's a matter of sticking with it consistently. We'll have good days, bad days, and amazing days. It's the law of averages that bring success.

Jun 22, 2017 04:52 AM #9
Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

It seems like the only fish I ever catch are bluegill. I don't fish as much these days because honestly, I don't like killing the worm or hurting the fish with the hooks. Or myself or someone else, lol. I'm not that good at it. I just enjoy being by the water with hubby when he fishes. 

Jun 22, 2017 05:27 AM #10
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Great point, Joe. Fishing aka prospecting (for me) is not fun but it's a necessary aspect of the job. I prefer it when the fish jump in the boat!

Jun 22, 2017 06:56 AM #11
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Joe Pryor well, that's an easy question for me to answer.... I do it all....everyday....but my favorite and most successful method of fishing is direct mail marketing.... I fish in deep waters for those listings in our seller's market.... and I usually come up with a big one!!

Jun 22, 2017 07:03 AM #12
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Not every new idea works, and when something does work for us we need to WORK it so that we get the most out of it. Clients never really know where they found you. The internet is a large place and one thing leads to another. Sometimes the link they use to make contact comes from a website form, or your profile on your broker site, or Zillow or Realtor, they often don't know where they actually started doing their research on you or found you first. It may very well have been AR or YouTube, it could have been social media. That is why we need to have lots of lines in the water and be ready to respond when there is a tug on the line.

Jun 22, 2017 07:45 AM #13
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Joe,

Great analogy. I would consider the fish caught, when it is cleaned out & ready to process. Have had some revive & make back for the water. I would too, in their situation. For clients, they may misunderstand or assume until we get to know each other better & we come to an agreement.

Jun 22, 2017 07:31 PM #14
Melissa Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

This is a fantastic post. Personally, I love fishing for flounder. Slow and steady stays the course. Instant gratification is unrealistic. (Sharing this flounder I caught)flounder fishing in ocean city, maryland

Jun 22, 2017 07:59 PM #15
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Fishing and marketing both require a bit of patience. But then - oh boy when they start to hit!

Jun 22, 2017 08:33 PM #16
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Joe

This is a great analogy. I don't care much for fishing but I enjoy fishing for leads. It's not always easy nor does it work the way you think or hope.

Congratulations on becoming a millionaire!!


Jun 23, 2017 07:36 AM #17
Dan Jasmer
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Sarasota, FL
Changing the way you look at real estate

Love the analogy Joe!  Consistecy is the key.  In fact, you hooked me and now have a new follower :)

Jun 23, 2017 09:45 AM #18
Monique Ting
INET Realty Honolulu, HI - Honolulu, HI
Your agent under the sun

Joe, patience and persistence are indeed great virtues to guide our real estate business. I love your analogy to fishing. As a gardener, I like to sometimes compare the business to planting seeds, patiently nurturing them, weeding out the bad ones and finally harvesting... Aloha!

Jun 23, 2017 12:00 PM #19
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Having grown up fishing in Kansas, Missouri and Wyoming, I felt an instant connection with your post!  Likewise, I just switched over this past Friday, signing on with a new web provider.  I feel my pages went entirely south with a mass producer who after 2 years drove my site south.  ARGH!  Next!

Jun 25, 2017 09:37 PM #20
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Joe Pryor

REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties
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