How to convert your real estate listing leads

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting


Unless you’re exclusively a buyer’s agent, you want listings. That means you need to convert your real estate listing leads into actual listings.

Whether you’re buying leads, getting them from your website, or receiving referrals, you know that it’s possible for those prospects to wander off and list with someone else.

If you want to convert your real estate listing leads to actual listings, take these 3 steps:

  1. Respond immediately
  2. Stay in touch regularly
  3. Show your value

Responding immediately:

We all know about people who call or send an email and then go with the first agent to respond.  It’s a terrible way to choose an agent, but some do it.  In fact, research Respond to leads ASAPshows that more than half of all buyers and sellers work with that first agent.

And… considering the number of “Contact me” forms that seem to be delivered off somewhere in the ozone, and the number of phone messages that are never returned, who can blame people if they don’t wait for a response?

I know, it’s not always possible to pick up the phone immediately. It IS possible to send an automated pre-written email message.

Any time someone visits your website and either checks the automated value of their home or opts in for a special report, your welcome message can and should be returned to them immediately.

The same is true for the leads you purchase.

I do recommend sending a personalized email or making a phone call as soon as possible.

As for referrals… As you know, they are the easiest listing leads to convert, but they DO need attention. You should call as soon as you can. In the meantime, you can send off a quick email to let them know they’ll be hearing from you soon. If you have something pre-written, it will take a matter of seconds.

Staying in touch regularly

Your initial response isn’t going to do you much good unless you follow up. That’s a bit like mailing one prospecting letter or postcard – not really worth the time and effort. If you want to convert your real estate listing leads, you’ll have to make a better effort.

After your automated message goes out, follow up the next day. Then, depending upon the lead and whether they’ve indicated their time frame, follow up every 1-4 days. If you don’t have a response within a couple of weeks, drop back to weekly.

If you have a phone number, call the first day, then call again after a few days. Ask if they have questions about any of the information you’ve sent them. You’ll learn something about their plans and begin to build a relationship.

Be persistent.

After a couple of months without a listing agreement you may decide that the lead is persistence is a key to conversionno good – and quit.

But WHY? Unless your CRM charges per email, it costs you nothing to keep a prospect on your list indefinitely, and it could very well pay off.

An Active Rain member mentioned in a comment that she had stayed in touch with one prospect for more than 2 years before the lady finally made the decision to sell. The agent then sold her prospect’s house and helped her purchase a replacement. All because she stayed in touch.

To convert your real estate listing leads into listings: Show your value.

Every time you write to your prospects, tell them something they need to know. It might be something they already know or should know, but that’s OK.

That’s much better than saying what many of your competitors might say: “I’m wonderful. I’m the area/neighborhood expert. Hire me.”

If you’re prospecting to a specific niche – as you might be if they came to you via a capture box on a page devoted to that niche – then give them related information. You can, for instance, use the same divorce prospecting, probate prospecting, or senior relocation letters you would use if you were mailing to them.

If they came via a generic sellers page or if they filled out a “What is my house worth?” form, use more general information, such as my Seller Advice Letters. This set, by the way, works well as a continuation after you’ve used your niche-specific letters.

If you run out of letters and they still haven’t listed…

Don’t stop. Just don’t mail as often. From this point, send your market reports, just listed/under contract/sold notices, and/or your newsletter.

Or – if you want to really stand out from other agents, use something like my Event-themed staying in touch letters.  This is a set that will last two years if you mail monthly. It can also be used to keep you top of mind with past clients and those in your sphere of influence.

Consistency is one of the most important keys to success in real estate marketing.

That’s why it’s wise to automate your correspondence. When things are slow, it’s easy to keep up with people, but when you get busy, it seems almost impossible. And as your lists grow, it becomes even more difficult. I remember – I’ve been there and done that.

One of the reasons real estate agents traditionally have roller coaster incomes is that they stop prospecting and marketing when they get busy. Then suddenly every transaction is closed, and they have to start all over again.

If you automate – either via email and an auto responder or by pre-printing a whole series of letters and labeling them to go out on specific dates – you’ll be sure to remain consistent. While you’re at it, make notes in your day-planner to remind yourself of important staying in touch phone calls.

Here’s a goal to aspire to:

Right now, you probably want every listing you can get, simply because they are few and far between. But one day in the future, that will change.

Someday the market will be flooded with listings. And someday agents who didn’t realize how much work it takes to be a top agent will have dropped out.

There will be plenty of listings to go around.

So here’s the goal: Market so well and build such an impressive reputation now that when that time comes, you’ll feel comfortable in saying “No thank you” to people who are less than pleasant or listings that simply don’t interest you.



Comments (8)

Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I have been rather fortunate this year so far with better than 90% of potential listing led being converted to sales

Jul 20, 2021 06:34 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Ed Silva I'd say that must be because you are doing a few things right! Good for you!

Jul 20, 2021 08:42 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Fantastic advice, Marte... it really is all about the basics at the end of the day. I need to study some of your letters a bit more (when I have a free minute).

Jul 21, 2021 05:02 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

And those things, respond immediately, stay in touch regularly and show your value are not difficult things to do!


Enjoy your day!

Jul 21, 2021 05:40 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Marte,
An awesome summary of how to convert leads. When people make up their mind they want to buy or sell they want to get on with it as soon as possible. 

Jul 22, 2021 08:12 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Marte Cliff,

This is sound advice.  Responding ASAP is a huge benefit.  I can't tell you how many times that I heard that some other agent did not get back to them.

Jul 22, 2021 05:53 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Marte - that is great information.  It is really about the basics that you have laid out.  Showing value combined with many touch points increases your likelihood of getting the listing.

Jul 24, 2021 04:27 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Marte. Excellent advice about consistency and persistence. Enjoy your day.

Jul 24, 2021 04:57 AM