Qualifying Leads

Not All Real Estate Leads are Made Equal

By / October 06, 2018

How do you decide which leads to focus on and which ones to let go? Learn how to rank your leads and focus your energy on the ones most likely to convert.

It’s 4PM and you just received a new internet real estate buyer lead. You know that getting leads to respond is all about speed to lead and consistently following up over the next 10 days of pain. If you’re jumping right into the sale without qualifying the lead first, you might not be effectively using your time.

All leads seem equally important at first. They all, hopefully, have a name, email, and a phone number. Some even come in with a specific property that they are interested in. But unfortunately, they may not all deserve the same amount of attention from you and your team.

The reality of internet real estate leads is that they are not all made equal. Some leads have a high chance of turning into a commission check within the next 2 to 3 weeks, and some leads might be 3 to 5 years out. Hence, it is crucial to spend time qualifying a lead to figure out how valuable they might be to your business.

Qualifying is different that converting

After all the chasing, blocking, and tackling you have to do to get a lead on the phone with you, it is easy to forget that your goal is not to get them on a call, but to convert them into a client and ultimately collect your commission.

A lot of agents boast a high contact rate, the rate at which they are able to get a new internet real estate lead to respond back to them. Contacting is all about being persistent by following up as much as possible with leads to get them on the phone with you.

Qualifying a lead on the other hand is to collect additional information from the lead about their situation to assess how ready and relevant they are to your business. Your lead qualification rate is the measure of how many qualified leads you receive for every 100 leads you generate. Some qualifying questions you could be asking your buyer leads include:

  • How long have they been looking?
  • What is their budget? Is it realistic for your market?
  • Are they looking at properties below your price range?
  • Have they been educated about the home buying process already?
  • Do they know they have to get pre-approved first?

Conversion only happens AFTER you have successfully qualified a lead. This is the time to put your salesperson hat on and demonstrate your value to the lead in the hopes of turning them into a client.

Three Levels of Qualification

Qualifying leads first before attempting to sell them on your services is important because you can use that time to learn more about the lead’s situation and determine if this lead is a good fit for you. You should then use this information to categorize your leads into three buckets: unqualified, partially qualified, and fully qualified. Your strategy should change based on the type of lead they are.

Unqualified leads

Unqualified leads are not ideal for a multitude of reasons. Their timeline may be 1 to 2 years out, they might have an unrealistic expectation of budget in your area, they might be looking at properties below your budget range, or they might have bad credit and may not easily qualify for a mortgage.

Suggested Strategy: It is generally wise to to just be honest with them on why you might not be the right fit. If the lead can be assisted by someone else, consider referring these leads over to another agent that might be a better fit and collect a referral fee.

Partially Qualified Leads

Partially qualified leads have the potential to turn into a fully qualified lead with some help. They might have a less than ideal credit score, they might not have been pre-approved yet by a lender, or they might need a little education on the home buying process to be qualified to buy a home.

Suggested Strategy: Refer them to a partner like a lender, financial planner, or a credit repair agency so they can be appropriately positioned to buy in a few months. These leads might have potential of turning into a client, but you will need to be patient.

Fully Qualified Leads

Fully qualified leads have the right budget range, are ready to buy ASAP, have already been pre-approved for more than their budget amount, and are very likely to turn into a client if they like you. You should be spending the majority of your time with these types of leads.

Suggested Strategy: Go in for the hard sell! You should take them out on a listing tour, send them your a link to your Zillow reviews, and offer to connect them with your past clients who can speak your praises.


Investing in leads is an excellent way to grow your business, but it’s important to remember that not all leads are made equal. By qualifying your leads first and categorizing them before jumping into the hard sell will save you valuable time and help you focus your energy on closing leads that are most likely to convert into a commission.

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