Why Online Real Estate Leads Don't Work (1)

Five Reasons Why Online Real Estate Leads Don’t Work (How To Overcome Them)

In recent years, the real estate industry has seen a shift in the effectiveness of online leads. What used to work as a reliable source of potential clients has started to falter, causing frustration among real estate agents looking to grow their businesses. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons behind the declining success of online real estate leads and discuss potential remedies.

Several factors contribute to the reduced effectiveness of online leads, from changes in the digital landscape to flaws in follow-up strategies. As the internet continues to evolve and the competition within the real estate industry increases, it’s essential for agents to adapt their strategies and seek out new opportunities for lead generation to remain successful in the market.

One main reason agents struggle with online leads is the quality of the leads themselves; not all online leads are created equal. Identifying high-quality leads likely to convert into clients while recognizing that some leads may be a waste of time and resources is important.

Real estate professionals can improve their online lead strategies and optimize their efforts for success by understanding and addressing the factors contributing to low conversion rates.

Why Online Real Estate Leads Often Fail

Online real estate leads are not as straightforward as many assume. Whether through paid advertisements or social media campaigns, agents often encounter common issues when working with these leads.

Let’s explore why online real estate leads often fail, focusing on high competition, low quality, and lack of personalization.

High Competition

One of the main reasons online real estate leads fail is due to the high level of competition in the market. Real estate agents are continually striving to generate new leads, and the online space is flooded with professionals trying to capture the attention of potential clients.

As a result, the chances of converting an online lead into a successful transaction can be quite slim, given the number of other agents also reaching out to the same potential clients.

Low Quality

Online leads can be of low quality, contributing to their failure. Many of these leads may come from incomplete or outdated sources, making them less relevant or inaccurate. Moreover, online leads generated through pay-per-click ads or social media can have little to no intent to pursue a real estate transaction. It means agents waste time and resources on leads with little chance of conversion.

  • Outdated sources: Some online leads come from databases that are not updated regularly, resulting in inactive or incorrect contact information.
  • No intent: Online ads often attract curious or casually browsing users but not actively looking to buy or sell a property.

Lack of Personalization

Finally, the lack of personalization is another factor that can lead to the failure of online real estate leads. Online leads often lack the human touch that may be present in traditional leads, such as referrals or word-of-mouth recommendations.

Real estate agents who treat online leads as mere data points may struggle to connect with potential clients meaningfully, making it harder to establish trust and forge long-lasting relationships.

Challenges Faced by Agents

Real estate agents face many challenges when dealing with online leads, and two major factors contributing to this issue are time and resource constraints and ineffective follow-up strategies. In this section, we will dive into these two sub-challenges and discuss their impact on the effectiveness of online real estate leads.

Time and Resource Constraints

One of the biggest challenges real estate agents face when working with online leads is the limited time and resources they have at their disposal. With many tasks to manage, such as property showings, negotiations, and paperwork, agents may struggle to effectively allocate enough time to nurture their online leads. This can result in missed opportunities and create a perception that online leads aren’t worth the effort.

The available resources, including financial and human, also play a crucial part in determining the success of online leads for real estate agents. If an agent lacks the necessary tools or team members to handle the influx of online leads, they may struggle to manage their workload, leading to wasted leads and reduced productivity.

Ineffective Follow-up Strategies

Another challenge real estate agents face with online leads is developing and executing effective follow-up strategies. Failing to capitalize on a lead quickly can result in a potential client moving on to other options, as they are likely to explore multiple properties and agents simultaneously.

Some agents may rely on generic and impersonal follow-up methods, such as automated email campaigns when trying to convert online leads. However, these approaches often fail to engage potential clients and may even deter them from continuing their interaction with the agent.

A personalized follow-up strategy, built on understanding each lead’s specific needs and preferences, is crucial for maximizing conversion rates and ensuring that the time and resources invested in acquiring online leads are not wasted.

Improving Online Lead Conversion

Although online real estate leads may not always work for some agents, several strategies can be implemented to improve lead conversion rates. By utilizing tools and technologies, maintaining effective communication, and executing targeted marketing efforts, agents can increase the success of their online leads.

Tools and Technologies

Adopting the proper tools and technologies can help real estate agents track, manage, and nurture their online leads more effectively. Some key tools to consider include the following:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems – to manage and follow up with leads. (I recommend checking out Chime CRM)
  • Marketing automation tools – for email campaigns and social media management. (I recommend looking into Aweber for email marketing and Coffee & Contracts for social media)
  • Website analytics tools – to evaluate your website’s performance and identify improvement areas. (Google Analytics is free and great for this. Also, some CRM systems, like Chime, have website analytics and lead conversion tracking built-in)

By leveraging these tools, agents can better monitor their marketing efforts and streamline their processes for a greater return on investment.

Effective Communication

Establishing clear and consistent communication is crucial when converting online leads. Agents should aim to:

  • Respond quickly to inquiries – within the first hour if possible. The first five minutes are even better!
  • Provide relevant and useful information in their responses.
  • Personalize messages to demonstrate a genuine interest in the client’s needs. (I like to send BombBomb emails for this where I mention the leads name)
  • Stay in touch with leads regularly – even if they are not ready to purchase. The average online buyer lead is not ready to transact for over eight months!

By building rapport and demonstrating expertise, agents can gain the trust of their leads, which is crucial for conversion success.

Targeted Marketing Efforts

To increase lead conversion rates, real estate agents need to engage in targeted marketing efforts, such as:

  • Running ads on platforms where their target audience is active, such as Facebook or Google Ads.
  • Creating tailored, high-quality content that resonates with their ideal clients’ interests and pain points. (i.e. YouTube videos, blog posts, & short-form content like reels and TikTok videos)
  • Narrowing the focus of their marketing messages to appeal to specific groups rather than a broad audience. Niche WAY down. Your message will go further!

By optimizing marketing strategies, agents can attract better-qualified leads, enhancing the likelihood of successful conversions.


In online real estate leads, many factors can contribute to the overall lack of effectiveness. As we’ve explored throughout this blog post, there are specific pitfalls to avoid and strategies to implement to improve the probability of converting these leads into clients.

One key aspect is ensuring your website is mobile-friendly, as many leads are derived from mobile devices. Additionally, being vigilant with timely and appropriate follow-up actions is crucial, as online leads tend to be impatient.

Recognizing the competition and the vast options available to potential clients is essential. Ensuring that your online presence delivers the necessary information, services, and engagement is critical in setting yourself apart from the competition.

Lastly, it’s crucial to understand the costs of generating online real estate leads and finding the right balance between investment and return. By considering these factors, real estate agents will be better equipped to navigate the complex world of online lead generation and convert these leads into valuable, long-term clients.

Kyle Handy

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I’ve helped hundreds of real estate agents, team leaders, & brokers all over the country increase their sales, online presence, and create scalable systems. I would love the opportunity to work with you. Together, we can make this year your best yet!

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