What Works for One May Not Work for Others

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cam Realty and Property Management

What Works for One May Not Work for Others


Opinions matter or we wouldn’t be asking questions.

I’ve been thinking a lot about questions on “lead generation”. Should we buy leads, should we farm, should we do pop-bys or are handwritten cards better?


We can ask the same question to a hundred people and get different answers. If you are a new agent or someone who’s been in the business for a while and looking to increase your production, you want to know what worked for others so you can repeat or what didn’t work so you can stay away. I caution you though, first, ask yourself if you are one hundred percent positive you’re receiving honest answers. Some are very honest and open and will tell you how they’re generating leads, others, not so much.


I’ve compiled a list of questions that are asked often and would like to share my opinion.


-Paid Leads- This could be Z, T, R.com, HomeGain and many others. There are also companies that sell you a list of phone numbers and emails of those who live in specific neighborhoods(very costly).
I personally know a successful agent who uses Z. In the past, this method resulted in 1-2 listings every three months but Z is not the same as it once was. While she continues to pay, the results are not the same.

Me on the other hand, I never bought leads, I don’t want to and choose not to contribute to their bottom line.

But, here’s the deal. You can take two different agents and give them each the same amount of leads and the outcome of those leads might look different for each one. Leads don’t walk to the closing table on their own, they need nurturing. You must follow up with them until they buy or tell you to stay away. Most agents will try once, maybe twice and of course, their success rate will be low. So, if your heart and mind are set on paying for leads, ignore what I’m telling you, listen to someone who’s currently doing exactly that and having much success.


-Cold Calls- this is something I will not do no matter what I hear from others. I wouldn’t even entertain the idea. I hang up on those who call me so why would I want to do it to someone else. However, if this matches your personality and market, do it..all..day..long. Just do yourself and those you are calling a favor and know what you will say to them. Have a script, your very own, not someone else’s words.
I’m sick and tired of spam calls myself. If I don’t know the number and they’re calling to either solicit or just extort money, I classify the call as spam. The owner of the phone number doesn’t know you and you are calling to solicit.

Door knocking- I’ve done this myself a very long time ago as a new agent and it worked. That was seventeen years ago. I know many still do it today and it works for them but not for me.


-Pop-bys- many do it and have a huge success rate. Just plan it correctly and know for sure it works in your area. If you were the recipient of the gift, what would you do with it?

-Facebook Ads- should you hire a company to do them for you? Yes..No..I don’t know..Facebook Ads work, they don’t work. I know they work if done right. Another channel to think about, I have also done Facebook ads but stopped a couple of months ago.

-Mailouts- If you choose to mail out to a certain subdivision/area, consistency is the key. Choose your postcards/letters wisely so your message is read by the recipients.

-Building relationships-it’s not easy to receive referrals if you are a new agent, especially if you’re new to the area. It takes time. You have to start somewhere. You can join local clubs, the chamber, become an ActiveRain Rainmaker and start commenting.

Bottom line is, any of these would work if you know how to work them. It takes water, the perfect location, the right pot and lots of love to grow a plant and it takes time. They don’t grow tall overnight, well prospecting is no different. You may not see the results immediately but if you're consistent, it will come.

We’re only in June so start something new today, pick anything and give your best for one whole year. 

What Works for One May Not Work for Others



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Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Great point, Beth. At the end of the day what works for one might not work for someone else, but by the same token many things will work when one is committed to consistency in doing it.

Jun 25, 2019 09:49 AM #24
Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

Really great honest advice.
Mine would be quite similar.
I have paid z. Will never again.
They plan my demise, why help that?

Jun 25, 2019 08:52 PM #26
Gordon Crawford
Gordon Crawford Home Selling Team - Morristown, NJ
Your Morris County Specialist!

Great information Beth, What works for one may not work for another, but consistency is the key.  Doing something once is never going to work, but doing something over and over will pay off long term

Jun 25, 2019 10:31 PM #27
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Beth there is a lot of wisdom in this post and I agree with virtually every point you mentioned. My take when something is New it works once everyone gets on the bandwagon it stops working....

Jun 26, 2019 12:00 AM #28
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Beth, this is a much needed post.

I see so many agents who pay $$$$ for a system to make them rich. I seldom see them stay with that system more than a few months.

We need to find out Who we are. What makes us tick. What is our personality. What are our strengths.

I am not a great phone person, I can not see myself calling expireds all day.

I do like to door knock.

But, it is not about what I do that I would pass on to others. 

What ever you do you must WORK.

Jun 26, 2019 04:22 AM #30
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Beth, your post and advice are spot on. We're all different and have to find what works for us and is genuine. I spent a lot of money on things that didn't work for me when I first got into the business but, they taught me what does work and it's rare I stray from that path. Consistency pays off. 

Jun 26, 2019 05:17 AM #31
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

We aren't all clones, which is why a variety of methods work. I've never tried door knocking or cold calling for the very reasons you list. I have done mailings and Facebook ads. Not sure whether the ads work but at least my name is getting seen by somebody. Not a fan of buying leads, either, although I have used a service that only gets paid when I get paid. Your post certainly makes us reconsider our methods! Thanks.

Jun 26, 2019 08:01 AM #32
Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Individual Proprietor - Westminster, CO
Denver Realtor / Author / Advocate/Short Sale

Thanks for the topic, Beth Atalay !  This will always capture an audience with many opinions as you have so well stated in TRY ALL lead generating concepts.  As others have stated, must use consitency and persitance.

Jun 26, 2019 08:04 AM #33
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
Veteran Friendly Realtor®

6 years ago, this month, we switched to online hyperlocal marketing, using a vanity URL containing the name of the farm.  Today, 100% of our business comes from the website.  What works for us, will work well for others too.

Jun 26, 2019 08:32 AM #34
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Every bit of what you said is true.  And it has always been our mantra, no one size fits all.  One of our commercial real estate colleagues used to cold call from 2PM to 4PM every day of the work week.  It worked for him, and he did really well because of it.  One of our luxury focused clients here in Santa Barbara door knocks 3 times a week the area he serves, gated estates, etc.  Everyone lets him in and he is a well known face in the community.  And for me that is the beauty of humanity, we all are different.  A

Jun 26, 2019 09:15 AM #35
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Markets vary a big bunch....and so does what works in them !

Jun 26, 2019 11:00 AM #36
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Here is the key to life...whatever path you choose to get on...BE CONSISTENT. If you stop after a short time you will fail. Every year (pick a date) evaluate the ROI. If it worked, keep doing it.

Jun 26, 2019 11:09 AM #37
Keith McMullin
Port Aransas Realty - Port Aransas, TX
Port Aransas Real Estate

Exactly...every market is different.  Fortunately, the diversity in our markets and industry help prevent a one-size fits all national brand from radically transforming the RE industry...so far.

Jun 26, 2019 05:22 PM #38
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Beth Atalay - Great post and right on point.  I also think that when you are a new agent, branding is important and you might try advertising to get your name out there.  I used a local paper when I was new. I actually got a luxury listing that paid for two years of weekly ads with a lot left over. I quit while I was ahead but everyone knew who I was. My strategy for name recognition worked. 

Jun 27, 2019 10:12 AM #39
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Good post, very thoughtful and appreciate your opinion. Like you I would never do cold calls... such a turnoff.  Have to feel comfortable in the way you go after business.

Jun 27, 2019 12:19 PM #40
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Very true & good post. What works for one, does not work for another. I guess you have to 'feel' what would work best for you & follow thru with determination.

Jun 27, 2019 04:36 PM #41
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Beth Atalay - Congratulations on your FEATURE! Everything you write on your blog is tasteful and informative. I am proud to know you. 

Jun 28, 2019 07:18 PM #42
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

It is amazing just how many different responses you can get (with great authority) when you ask a question. We are members of an RV group on facebook and it's maddening sometimes how some people will say one thing and others the opposite and they all claim to be RIGHT.

Jun 29, 2019 10:04 AM #43
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Beth:

Glad to see this excellent advice featured! It really does depend on the individual, what's comfortable for you and your personality, the local market, and other factors.


Jul 02, 2019 11:12 AM #44
Robin Wells
RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections - Penetanguishene, ON
Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time

Thanks for post.  True what works for one may not work for another.  Why?  Many reasons of course but it could be target market, location, effort applied, etc.  Just because something failed on surface may not always be technique but how exactly it was used.

Jul 07, 2019 02:18 PM #45
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Beth Atalay

Cam Realty of Clermont FL
Sell or Buy Homes in Clermont FL
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