Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Internet Lead Conversion is a Science and Not for the Lazy

Internet Lead Conversion is a Science and Not for the Lazy

Internet Leads are not like "Regular" leads from ten years ago.  If you don't know how to work or take the time to understand Internet Leads, your business is going to suffer greatly, as now the large majority of buyers and sellers start their research online.

internet lead conversionI've been working with Internet Leads since 2004 and I've got a very detailed process in place that has helped me close hundreds of transactions. You can read much of what I do along with example emails I send out if you read the new book Make the Move: How to Move Your Real Estate Business Online by Claudia Wicks as all of Chapter 15 is about me and my business.  **I get no royalties whatsoever, but buy it because it's good**

For those who haven't read it yet, I'll give a brief summary.

When you get an Internet Lead, you need to follow up immediately.  Immediately is the most important part.  From a survey conducted, the average response rate for follow up is 57 hours!  That's WAAYYYYY too long to leave these leads out in cyberspace exploring other people's websites.

You need to have systems in place that contact each lead as soon as possible so if you're out on an appointment or if you're in bed because it's the middle of the night, these people get an immediate response.  After that, the first week is crucial.  I have drip campaigns set up and each lead gets about 3-4 drips along with listings or a CMA that first week.  For the next week, follow up is still aggressive, but since I know the averages of Internet Leads, follow up then goes to a 10 or 15 day follow up for months, depending on whether they're a buyer or seller.

Sellers are typically further out in time than buyers and will require a longer drip campaign. A drip campaign is like your very own personal assistant following up for you, but cheaper!

Internet Leads don't like to feel pressured, so calling them five or six times a week is not the way to go.  They're online for a reason, because they like to research at their own leisure, and they don't need someone bugging them.  Most won't respond to anything you send them until they're ready. This gets frustrating for some, as they want an "instant gratification" buyer or seller, but Internet Leads are not instant anything.  And many aren't buyers or sellers at all; they're just leads waiting for you to lead them wherever they need to go.

Since 2004, the majority of the Internet Leads that I have closed have been leads that have sat in my database for over a year.  One day, they just contact me out of the blue like we're old friends.  I pull up their profile in my contact management database to see what kind of communication they've received, and I talk with them like I've known them for years.

I've built the relationship with them even though we've never met, and more than likely, we've never spoken before.  The biggest feedback I get is that from everything I have sent them over the months and years, they feel they know me and feel comfortable working with me.

The biggest responder email I have is one called "I'm feeling ignore".  Every so often, if a lead has been in my database with no communication for several months, I send an email letting them know that I'm feeling ignored and that I can't help them unless they let me help them.  Since I've now made things personal after being in the background for so long, many people feel obligated to respond to this email, in which I find out lots of reasons and excuses for not getting previous responses.  You would be amazed at how many responses are, "I was going to contact you in the next few weeks to start looking..."

It's not rocket science, but there is a science to it.  You have to be prepared for bogus names, but just go with the flow.  If they entered their name as Mickey Mouse, address all their correspondence as Mickey
or Mr. Mouse.  They'll get a kick out of it thinking they've pulled the wool over your eyes.

For other methods of converting internet leads, be sure to check out where you can purchase a limited edition hardcover of Gary Keller's book SHIFT, which comes with a free version of the eBook Soci@l: Attract Friends, Followers and Connections to Your Business, written by Ben Kinney and Jay Papasan (in which Ben shares his 'ten days of pain' lead conversion method) as well as free audio versions of Millionaire Real Estate Agent and Millionaire Real Estate Investor all for $19.99. I get no royalties from this plug either...

**Are You Packed Yet?** 

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

For real time Austin TX listings, click here.

** #1 Agent in my Office for all of 2008 **

Copyright© 2010 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.
* Internet Lead Conversion is a Science and Not for the Lazy * was first published on

Comment balloon 25 commentsDonna Harris • January 15 2010 03:33PM


I agree with you regarding the response rate. It's important to follow up right away.

Posted by Marty Remo, HV Home Team (RE/MAX Benchmark- Marty Remo-CDPE, E-Pro) over 10 years ago
I like that feeling ignored email Donna. Very up front with them, and no beating around the bush.
Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 10 years ago


Thanks for sharing your insight, it's right on target. Internet leads die fast if we're not proactive.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 10 years ago

I ordered the book Donna thanks. Nice post

Posted by Dave Iliff, Real Estate Agent in Hockessin, DE (Patterson Schwartz) over 10 years ago

Donna, Thanks for the pointers.  I especially found it interesting on the conversion time.  Without that knowledge and systems, most realtors would probably give up on the lead.

Posted by Jill Schmidt over 10 years ago


So true and it appears you have got it down properly. staying in touch in a non-confrontational manner is paramount.


Posted by Ty Lacroix (Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc) over 10 years ago

Good stuff Donna. You hit on the key points. You gotta be quick, consistent and patient.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 10 years ago

Donna, it sounds like you have all your ducks in a row. I'll check out the book!

Posted by Betty Knowles, TeamKnowles REALTORS® - Springfield MO Real Estate (Southwest Missouri Realty - over 10 years ago

I tried to buy the book, LuLu said it would take 4 to 6 weeks. It better be good Donna!
Hoping all is well with you!

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC) over 10 years ago

Hi Donna ~ This is superb advice - thanks so much for sharing your stuff. I particularly love the "I'm feeling ignored" letter.


Posted by Elizabeth Bolton, Cambridge MA Realtor (RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA) over 10 years ago

   Donna, very good information. I am always looking for ways to help generate more leads. Will look for the book now.

Posted by Song San, Broker, MBA (Coldwell Banker Dynasty) over 10 years ago

Donna ---- you are a real gem to share all of your information -- I especially like the feeling ignored letter -- you are obviously very good at what you do.

Posted by Liz Loadholt, Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC (Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC) over 10 years ago

Marty, Thanks!

Gary, Nope, it's not cherry-coated!

Lou, You're welcome!

Dave, Let me know what you think of it!

Jill, Most do, and that's more for me!

Ty, I try...

Bryant, And patience is definitely something I have learned over the years since I wasn't born with it!

Knowles, Let me know what you think!

Paul, It is good, and I don't think it'll take that long.

Liz B, Try the letter. Let me know your response!

Song, It's converting the leads, not generating them, where people have issues.

Mama Liz, Try to use the letter and let me know!


Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 10 years ago

Its SO important to work leads properly. If not worked right, its just a waste of money.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 over 10 years ago

Donna, what drip system do you use?

Posted by Elva Branson-Lee, CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent (Solid Source Realty GA) over 10 years ago

Excellent information, of course.  I've actually sent it to the rest of my team!  It might be a nice change of pace for them to hear it from someone else  :)

Posted by Sandi Bauman, Chico CA Realtor (Chico Homes Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Fast response is so important and follow up.  Thanks for all the pointers. I will read the book.

Posted by Ricki Eichler McCallum, Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS (CastNet Realty) over 10 years ago

I like how you said "they are just leads waiting for you to lead them........"  AWESOME line and attitude!

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 10 years ago


The Mickey Mouse idea is too funny!

Thank you,

Ann Hayden in Wildwood, MO

Posted by Ann Hayden 636-399-7544, (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri) over 10 years ago

John, Exactly, and who wants to waste money?

Elva, I have a couple systems.  One from Re/Max and one from my website provider.

Sandi, Sometimes we can hear the same thing from different people and it sound different.

Ricki, You're welcome!

Renee, Thanks!  And you can lead a lead to a house, but it doesn't mean they'll buy!

Ann, Most people don't realize that their real name is right there in their email address, so it's funny when they give a fake name.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 10 years ago



I like the I'm feeling ignored email. I like you have buyer who have been searching on my website for 2 years or more. They almost feel embarrased to be searching that long with no response.

Posted by Mike Russell, Overland Park Kansas Real Estate (Mike Russell & Associates) over 10 years ago

I love that title "I'm feeling ignored."

I have drip compaigns, but my experience has been that they rarely convert unless I somehow grab them right away. Frequently this is by contacting them and surprising them with how quickly I respond. Evidently they are used to waiting for 57 hours...

Posted by Rich Cederberg, eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Michael & Rich, I very rarely pick up a call, and most of my conversions are due only to the drip campaigns. You would be amazed at how many people call me 2-3 years from their initial request and are now ready.  I think drips do work, if you're giving them useful information.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 10 years ago

Thank you Donna for all the tips! I am looking for a good drip campaign...any suggestions?

Posted by Ann Nguyen, Lake Tahoe Truckee Homes For Sale (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Hey Donna, great post, and I have read some of the fluff posts on the contest, but I like that you actually gave some good info and I will be looking at that book you suggested. I am trying to build a lead gen system though I had one before it wasn't formally in place. I appreaciate your help or suggestions.

Posted by Ross Quintana, Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966 (Real E Smarter) over 10 years ago