Ask An Ambassador: Not Every Lead Is Worth Chasing

Real Estate Agent with Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

This evening on Facebook I saw a builder's ad for a local condo community.  It's one of my favorite places to do business, it's practically in our own backyard, and offers single family homes, condos and patio homes.

Now a couple of lessons to be learned from this ad.

If you're going to advertise on Facebook, you need to have someone prepared to follow up with the ensuing questions.  Where is the community?  Types of condos offered?  etc. 

So weeks and days later, these questions hadn't been answered.

If I wanted to be a vulture, I probably could swoop in and contact the questioners, and who knows, maybe land them as clients.

And if I were inclined, would those leads be worth chasing?

Would I get a who the bleep are you?  We didn't ask you to contact us?

Would I get a "I already have an agent"?

Would I get contacted by the builder regarding poaching leads from their paid ad?  It's basically the virtual equivalent of standing outside of a builder's model home and trying to intercept people on their way in, right?  Not exactly conducive to building my professional reputation with that builder.

But even if I were inclined to roll the dice and hope I didn't get any of the above, there's still the aspect of screening our potential clients that applies whether we find them on Facebook or from one of our own blog posts.

Is the lead worth chasing?

There can be red flags that a lead isn't an ideal candidate for turning into a client.

Contact information that is intentionally wrong on a website contact form. 

A quick glance at a Facebook profile might tell you quite clearly the person isn't someone you want in your life.  Nothing but angry, disrespectful posts.  Nope, double secret probation for them.

The only Google match for the person asking about a million dollar community is a 17 year old high school student in Philly (yeah, maybe Daddy wants to expand his cheesesteak empire and is sending the kid out to live in style).

The LONG hesitation during a phone call when you ask them if they have an agent.  It's a simple yes/no question and if they're thinking about it, there's a good chance they're picking your brain and 2nd cousin Sally Mae is waiting in the wings to write the offer when its time.

You mention a house for sale in the community they called about and get an "I've already seen it", and you know there hasn't been an open house. 

The buyers that tell you their last agent stopped having time for them when they wanted to see a home.  Go in eyes wide open, it could be legit, or these could be "professional lookers". 

And watch out for the buyer that keeps delaying getting their preapproval letter.

Do you have other red flags to add?

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,

Bill & Liz aka BLiz

Posted by

Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of Transaction Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Comments (21)

Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day! bill

Jul 19, 2022 06:25 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

You're welcome!

Jul 19, 2022 09:22 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

The phone calls that expects you to be a 'pop-up' agent to drop what you are doing to show them something are always someone to avoid

Jul 19, 2022 06:58 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

If it's an established client and the market is short inventory, I'll rearrange.  But my general experience is that every time I make significant alterations to my personal schedule for a new client, it rarely ends in my favor.

Jul 19, 2022 09:23 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten

LOL Ed Silva that's funny!  That's the first one I learned about way back in 1987.  We called those agents Pop Tarts!  Not a chance was I going to be a Pop Tart!

Jul 19, 2022 10:16 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Listen to your gut because given enough information your intuitive sense will be validated.

Jul 19, 2022 07:15 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

And after 18 years of doing this, my gut knows a few things :)

Jul 19, 2022 09:23 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Great post, Bill... one of the hardest things to learn in a commission-based business is how to turn business down that is not right for you.  And I agree with Leanne Smith about listening to one's gut. The few times I chose not to listen I lived to regret it.

Jul 19, 2022 08:31 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've occasionally gotten away with ignoring a warning sign, but most times the signs are right.  I wind up spending time and resources to end up with nothing.

Jul 19, 2022 09:24 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Bill it takes a time and experience as to which 'leads' to follow up on and which ones to wish them well and move on.

Jul 19, 2022 10:15 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten

LOL you're funny!

Jul 19, 2022 03:16 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

No need to make the same mistake twice when there are so many new ones to make :)

Jul 19, 2022 02:51 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Bill (and Liz too) - experience can teach us when we "fetch". "Staying put" may be best among multiple choices.  

Jul 19, 2022 11:25 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Sit Ubu sit! :)

Jul 19, 2022 02:52 PM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 602.710.8161 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Hi Bill and Liz, 

Excellent points and reminders on which leads to follow-up. As J.K. Rowling says, it's our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

Jul 19, 2022 12:47 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Knowing when to say yes or no can make a huge difference in our business.

Jul 19, 2022 02:53 PM
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Alas, I chase a few more than I should for sure! 


Jul 19, 2022 02:29 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

We don't know for sure if we don't try :)

Jul 19, 2022 02:53 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

I think we have all learned through experience about the red flag issues.

Jul 19, 2022 04:27 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

If we don't learn, we got trouble!

Jul 19, 2022 06:35 PM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hello Liz and Bill Spear you are right, not every lead is worth chasing. 

Jul 19, 2022 04:28 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

The majority we get are, but knowing which ones not to pursue saves me a lot of time and stress later.

Jul 19, 2022 06:36 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Liz and Bill Spear - red flags are indicators that a lesson to learn is in the making. My time is too valuable to participate in a wild goose chase. I learned long ago, do not surrender and follow a fruitless lead because in the end, it's just not worth it. 

Jul 20, 2022 03:42 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Almost every time I've had something telling me to beware, there's been a valid reason for the concern.

Jul 20, 2022 06:56 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

It would be quite funny if you messaged the 17-year-old and it turned out to be a legitimate lead, haha.

Jul 20, 2022 04:50 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

She called me about one of the luxury communities.  I set up a search for her since that only took a few minutes.  After I'm checking for the name and found the kid.  Maybe it's legit, but probably not.

Jul 20, 2022 06:57 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

That is a good list of red flags that a lead might not be worth pursuing. I can't think of anything to add at the moment but I'm sure something will pop into my head!

Jul 20, 2022 04:51 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

We've all experienced a few!

Jul 20, 2022 06:58 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
NC Real Estate Transition & Relocation 919-602-848

Bill, Well said. I've definitely become more discerning when deciding which leads to pour time into. Like you, the people who are negative and make angry disrespectful post are a big NO for me.

Jul 20, 2022 05:00 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I checked out the Facebook profile of a potential buyer this week, and it was a quick NOPE after seeing what was there.  I can live with differences in politics and opinions, it's the HOW that difference is expressed that concerns me.

Jul 20, 2022 06:59 AM
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Liz and Bill Spear Great illustration of reality. Watch for also "I am looking for a foreclosure or short sale", and "I expect a large settlement... sometime in the future".

Jul 20, 2022 05:24 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've learned investor types and me are not compatible.  Too many just looking to have a door opened and no loyalty to the agent.

Jul 20, 2022 07:00 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
HomeSmart Stars - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

Red flag: They won't come to the office to meet before going to see the house. You just can't be too careful these days.

Jul 20, 2022 07:02 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

That's a big one for people we don't have a direct connection with (e.g. via a referral from a past client)

Jul 20, 2022 02:36 PM
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

Very true...sometimes it's not worth the pain and frustration for a paycheck. But sometimes hard to know until you're in the middle of it.

Jul 20, 2022 07:52 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've had a few people surprise me over the years and wish that I'd not started with them, but finishing out the transaction made the most sense, even if they'd never make my Christmas card list :)

Jul 20, 2022 02:37 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Sometimes you have to take a chance and it pays off. If time permits then it can be interesting to go a short way down that road before hitting the brakes.

Jul 20, 2022 01:12 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

True, a lot can depend on how full the pipeline is.

Jul 20, 2022 02:37 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


I love the texts and emails from those saying they are interested in buying this home in ____, (with a mysterious link) can you please call me? And there are others where the red flags are wildly waving.  We just need to listen.


Jul 21, 2022 08:12 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Ah yes, the ones that use a link or say they saw it on Facebook, but no specifics at all!  Yep, I'm going to open that text link RIGHT NOW! :)

Jul 22, 2022 06:44 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Your title says it all Bill. I have saved more money not chasing bad leads than I would ever have made if they would have closed 🙂

Jul 23, 2022 07:02 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

No doubt!  A lot of time and money can go down the drain chasing leads that are never going to be fruitful.

Jul 25, 2022 07:57 AM