How Listening to the Wrong “Experts” Almost Ruined My Real Estate Career

Posted by: Heather Lawson on March 27th, 2009

Bad advice number 1

“Dont pay for leads.” “You are crazy if you pay for leads.” “The leads you receive are worthless.” “You can generate your own leads if you are worth your salt in real estate.” 

I listened to this one for awhile. It did make sense, at first. I was working day and night to try to generate my own leads and I got plain burned out. So, I decided to give HomeGain a try. Technically, yes, I am paying for leads. Oh it is so nice to have leads come to me instead of spinning my wheels. Now I have time for other things like, meeting people!

Bad advice number 2

This one is very controversial. “Don’t pay for enhanced listings on”

I listened to this one from some very well respected folks in the industry. Well, I got a really nice listing and I gave in and got the enhanced listing package. I grew very tired of trying to explain to sellers why their listings aren’t showing multiple pictures. “Suzy Seller down the street has an enhanced listing.” Sellers don’t care about the politics of They just want to ooh and aah over the listing on They will go there to check on it. Even if you give them a hundred other websites to look at, they WILL check And I do get leads from Good ones.

Bad advice number 3

“Blogging is a waste of time.” “You are a Realtor not a blogger.”

Ok, I admit I am not a blogger. I try to blog. I am a real estate broker who happens to blog. I blog my listings and real estate news. Maybe a few jokes and community news now and again. It is very eclectic. It is MY blog. I can do whatever I want, darn it. Now I am even blogging on multiple sites. And the sweet majic is…..SEO! Can you say number one on Google?

Bad advice number 4

“Don’t get a template website.” “You must build your own site if it is any good.” Huh? When did I sign up to be a website builder? I have no clue how to do this. And I really don’t care to learn. I really just want to sell real estate and help my clients. I spend enough time in front of the computer already.

Bad advice number 5

“Don’t syndicate your listings.” “You are giving your listings away.”

Well, this kind of falls in line with If I don’t then the Realtor at the other office is. I like people to see my listings on a bajillion websites. It makes me feel like I am doing a good job. And it helps them to sell faster which is really the most important thing. We are hired to sell real estate. I am going to do everything I can to make it happen.

The bottom line is everyone is different. Every market is different. Every neighborhood is different. What works for so and so may not work for you. You may do something that works wonders and everyone else wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

Take advise with a grain of salt. Some of it will be great and some of it may be given for the wrong reasons. I just recently stopped reading a blog that I have been faithfully reading for a long time. I realized the advice given wasn’t really my cup of tea. I think it is ok to be different, to be unique. I am strong enough to take the criticism. 

Heather Lawson is a Real Estate Broker with Century 21 Watson.



12 Comments on “How Listening to the Wrong “Experts” Almost Ruined My Real Estate Career”

Mitch Ribak

Hi Heather!

Great post. When I first got in the business I was told by the best in my office not to do floor time. I sold 28 homes from floor time my first year. I was told not to waste my time on internet leads. My company had 282 total transactions last year…242 from the Internet.

I have been telling people exactly what you say above. The first thing I ask people when they call me trying to sell me stuff is, “how many homes have you sold doing this”. You know the answer.

Most of the people I have met who are claiming to be the best at what they do have not really done much. I talked to one on short sales the other day. She was telling me that her team and her are short sale experts. Her team turned out to be the title company and she had a total of 3 short sale sales in the past 6 months. Very impressive!

Anyway, great post! I hope people listen to you. If you ever need any help in converting your leads to sales let me know. I would love to give you some great advice!

Tony Sena

“Don’t pay for leads.”

I cannot agree more! Stop paying for leads, start generating your own leads!

“Don’t get a template website.”

Now I can’t agree with you on this one. You can easily throw up a nice looking WordPress site for less than $500.

Louis Cammarosano

I think you missed the point of Heather’s post! She says that the experts tell you not to buy leads and she does and does quite well doing so.
Indeed many homegain agents do far better using homegain than trying to generate their own leads with a Word press blog!

Wayne Long

It seems to me that if you can generate an adequate amount of leads without paying for them – great. The fact is that most of us can’t….so finding a cost effective way to generate leads is an excellent alternative.

The key is a cost effective alternative which HG has in my opinion – and yes I have tested it. :)

Mitch Ribak

I forgot to mention on my post above that almost all our 242 Internet sales came by using the BuyerLink program. Great stuff!

los angeles lofts

Paying for leads is not the solutionto success inteh real estate industry, making contacts by establishing a great reputation and generating referrals is how to build a successful brand name for yourself.


Great advice Heather!


RE: Post by los angeles lofts

What you do with the lead is more important than how you obtain it. Whether you buy a lead or generate it, you can still build your brand and generate referrals if you do a good job for your clients.

Jennifer Fisher

I’m not a Realtor but found your blog while doing a Google search.

As far as Leads – to buy or not to buy – it may depend on the industry. In Network Marketing Home Businesses, it’s a waste and a massive rip-off.

As far as your being a Realtor not a blogger, obviously you do both well. Kudos.

Website development? YUK, been there, done that… WordPress works wonders and WELL within the budget.

I love this blog and you are correct, listening to the wrong “Expert” or “GURU” can cripple your business.

Kudos, kudos…

Atlanta Real Estate

Taht’s a great list! I too have broken all of them.

Heather Lawson

I love, love, love all of these comments. Thank you.

-Jennifer, I am especially happy that you took the time to comment. The perspective from a different industry is very valuable.

Real Estate Taxi

I agree with #3, mainly because anyone with knowledge of an industry should share with those who could benefit.

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