How To Maximize Your Lead To Sales Conversion Rate

Posted by: Mitch Ribak on November 3rd, 2009

If you don’t follow up on your leads, don’t complain you are not converting leads.follow_up_lead_conversion

Those who know me know that my only goal in life these days (ok, I have some non work related) is to have the highest conversion rate amongst Real Estate brokerages in the country.   The better we become with our lead conversion (leads to sales) the more excited I get and the more detailed I get in teaching my Agents how to get the most out of their leads.  It’s always a challenge.

Right now my biggest challenge is getting the right Agents who have the work ethic to become successful.

I’ll give you an example.  I have a new Agent, I think this is her 8th week with me so far.  She has her second closing tomorrow and she wrote 3 contracts this past month.  That gives her basically 5 transactions by the time she finishes her first three months with me (she has 120 leads in her system).  Pretty amazing.

I have another Agent, who started with me 5 months ago.  He has closed 3 sales, has 4 contracts on the short sale board and wrote 4 more contracts in October.  Both these Agents have just started their Real Estate career.  They are brand new Agents!

Now let’s look at my 5 bottom Agents.  All had at least 4 years experience  in Real Estate when they started working for me.  All these Agents have now been cut off from leads and will be forever.  None of these Agents has more than 5 sales this year and two of them have 2 sales this year.  Amazing.  My top 15 Agents never sold a home prior to coming to work for me, my bottom 12 had 4 years experience before coming to work for me.

Hence my quest for only new agents.  I will hire other Agents, but they will not be on my lead system.

So the question is how can I and you, maximize your lead conversion?

We know that if you follow a strict follow up system, like our 100MPH Marketing System we use, you will have success.  The only difference between my two groups is work ethic…that’s it.  To me, it comes down to this.  If you are not good at following up leads, then it’s important, actually vital, for you to hire a person to make your calls.

We know that the average lead is taking 180.5 days to buy a home.  If you are not in control of the follow up, how many of those leads will remember you 6 months from now.  Even my two rookies are going to come to a time where they will be to busy to do great follow up on their leads.

My Solution

I was a little hesitant when I started our LCA (lead conversion administrator) program.  I was adding a salary plus commission job that I had no idea how to make work.  Luckily I had a great person who started this with me and she has helped me tremendously to figure out what is and isn’t working.  For the first year of the program I gave her the Agents with the lowest production.  I figured that if she is making their calls, then they would be more successful.

Unfortunately it didn’t work.

They were just as bad and I wasted a lot of money.  (The reason it didn’t work is our LCA would give the Agents things to do, like answer questions for their leads, and they failed miserably at doing so.)  After her first year with me, last December, we changed her group of 5 Agents to Agents with medium success.  All her Agents, with the exception of one, did better, but not much.  In June of this year, we decided to change the way she did business completely.  She was making all the first calls for the Agents up until this point.  We believed that the first call was the most important call.  Then we left it up to the Agents to make the follow up calls.  They didn’t.

Our switch in June is showing great results.  Our Agents now make the first phone calls.  Our LCA’s make all the follow up calls.  This change showed immediate results with our first month of doing new format, we saved 8 sales that we could track.  Pretty amazing.  I immediately added another LCA and took more of my Agents with some success to add to the program.  So far it’s hard to tell the impact for those Agents since our new LCA is only 2 months into her calling.

One might wonder how many contacts the LCA’s are making for each Agent to see such a great response.  Believe it or not, it’s only 3 actual contacts per day with 10 calls per Agent per day.

So let’s look a little bit at your own business.  If our LCA can increase the business of our Agents by just talking to 3 different buyers per day.  What would happen if they talked to 5 or 10 buyers per day?  What would that do for our business?  What would it do for your business if you talked to 5 to 10 buyers per day?  If it resulted in 1 extra sale per month, 2 extra sales per month, would that change your life?

I know it would change most of my Agents lives if we can increase their sales from an average of 1.5 per month to 3 per month.

Ok, so I did a lot of rambling trying to get one point across to you.

If you are going to be spending money on Internet marketing and lead generation, you need to have a great system of follow up to convert those leads.

If you are not converting at least, and I do mean at least 1 out of 50 leads to a sale, you need to become stronger.

If you are not making phone calls daily to your older leads, you are missing the boat.  The easiest way to measure this is simple.  How many emails have you received that say, “thanks your help, we bought a home”.  To me that’s the worst email you can get in this business.  It means you didn’t do your job.

My goal in 2010 is to get less of these letters.  Will we eliminate them?  I doubt it.  With most of my Agents approaching 2,000 leads in their system, the chances are slim we will retain all those who are going to buy.  Our goal is to get as many as we can!

It all goes back to the only training I received my first day as a Realtor.  Follow up, follow up, follow up.



18 Comments on “How To Maximize Your Lead To Sales Conversion Rate”

Tony Sena

I have many of your same problems. I had a lead coordinator in place but I can’t say I had an increase in closings because of this position. It’s definitely a trial and error process.

MItch Ribak

Tony – It’s really about not only follow up, but being able to isolate the best leads to follow up. The more leads you have the more difficult it is. By having a lead coordinator I don’t have to spend time working on all my agents, just a couple of lead conversion administrators.

Josh M

How are you able to provide 120 leads to an agent who has only been with you for 8 weeks? That is remarkable.

Mitch Ribak

Josh – We use BuyerLink pretty much exclusively to generate traffic to our site. Once there we do a great job of converting that traffic to leads at about 15%-16%. Our Agents will get on a low end 30 leads per month and a high end 120 leads per month. It just depends on the traffic count. If you need help with your stuff feel free to contact me. That’s what we do at eHomes Realty Network!


I get several leads from my website run through Marketleader. I know I am not handling my leads well. The system sends an email welcoming them to the site. Some have given phone numbers, Yet I don’t call them. I feel like they should have time to look through the listings and notify if they are interested. Please advise how to properly handle my leads. Should I be calling each lead that gives me a #? I feel like I am invading their privacy or something. Please help!

MItch Ribak

Karen – Yikes! :) Yes, you need to be calling your leads if they give you phone numbers. It’s one of the most important aspects of lead conversion. There is much more, but the first thing you need to start doing, today, is contacting your leads by phone. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like some help.

Gainesville FL Real Estate

Mitch – I really enjoyed this post. We found the same thing happen, newer agents with less experience end up producing far more than seasoned agents.

I think it has a lot to do with the technology curve and younger people wanting everything ‘now’. We train new agents to be very aggressive and have custom CRM software to assist. More experienced agents are turned off by our tactics and feel like they’re nagging clients.

However, aggressive lead followup is key to making money in this business. When buyers print listings off our website for their agent or thank us for finding them a house (when we didnt) we lost.

MItch Ribak

You hit the nail on the head, “aggressive lead follow up is key”. I don’t find it as much as an Age issue, I think it’s more of a work ethic issue. Old school Realtors are used to getting referrals through friends and relatives. Internet lead generation and conversion is more of a systems and marketing program. Very few Agents actually do any marketing and even less have any systems in place.

I spend most of my hours working on perfecting our lead conversion. My goal is 10%. If the market was somewhat normal, we would be hitting that goal. But it’s not!


Thank you for your quick responce! I will begin calling prospects asap. Any other help or suggestions would be great! I sure could use your help. Thank you!


Please advised about the 100mph marketing system used for follow up! How do you know the difference between a good vs bad lead? In your opinion should leads have a proof of funds ,and have a 1st time meeting of the minds, before taking them out to show the first property?

Mitch Ribak

Karen – So many questions and so little time! :)

Our 100MPH Marketing system is available to our members of The eHomes Realty Network. We also have our software system available in beta mode right now but it should be available fully in the next two months.

When you have the right tools, you can figure out which leads the best to call. For instance, we know that we only work with the leads that are actively logging into our system. We have over 32,000 leads in our system. On any given day we have 1,000 – 2,000 people logging into our site. Then we can narrow those leads down to price ranges they are searching. We have a few other things to do too, but figuring out who is active on the site and the price ranges they are searching allows us to narrow down who we call.


Thanks for taking your time to answer my questions, Have a GREAT week!

dona cardenas

Ok, hi. I’m a seasoned agent as you call it and gearing back up after having 2 little boys. I am eager to get back in to it and have been calling my database and getting yep, you guessed it, a lot of “hey, good to hear from you. We didn’t know if you were still selling. We bought (2 years ago, 6mths ago, 3 years ago…)UGH!! I keep calling though. At least I’ll have an active database when finished.
My question is, you mentioned two things in your blog. First you mentioned your 100MPH Marketing System then you mentioned, Buyerlink. what is the difference between the two?
I would like to get these leads coming in so I can call them.

MItch Ribak

Karen – My pleasure…I’m always available if you need help.

Dona – The 100MPH Marketing System is the system I follow to convert our Internet leads to sales. BuyerLink is where I buy all my traffic that I convert to leads. It’s all about capturing leads and then doing your best to convert them to customers for life!

Marc Rasmussen

Great post Mitch. I am in the process of reworking how I handle the internet leads. My site gets plenty of them and would take the “laydowns” and refer everything else out. While I am having a pretty good year I could be having a much better year. Last weekend I emailed old leads and received 3 responses of “thanks, we already bought a house.” Thanks for the post.

Mitch Ribak

Marc – I think my Agents would prefer to take the laydowns too. However, they know how much money I invest monthly to help them succeed in their business so I use a little bit of “Jewish guilt” that my mother taught me! The reality is, even though we are really good at lead conversion, we probably lose 200 sales a year or more from lack of follow up. In 2008 I did a study up until October. I counted 176 emails stating “thanks for your help but we bought a house”. After my initial bout of illness, I stopped counting and realized that I’m much better off concentrating on our wins and not our losses…I’m smiling more now! Hopefully with some of our new changes in our software and our LCA program, we will be able to have more wins than losses.


This is a great post Mitch. I like the idea of the leads coordinator to follow-up on leads for the agents. I totally agree that new agents work better on Internet leads. I have been discussing this with another broker in Florida who does something very similar to you (and what I am about to start).

I can generate about 200 leads per agent per month, but getting the agents to follow-up will be the challenge. I also have a system similar to yours that will be for sale nation wide in 2011.

Thanks for posting

Mitch Ribak

Vince – Getting Agents to follow up is the key. However, the more I’m involved in this business model the more I’m realizing that even a newer agent, after becoming somewhat successful, falls off the follow up wagon. I just met with my LCA’s (lead conversion administrators)and we are going to probably go down from having each LCA work 5 agents to only 3 agents. The LCA program is great, if the Agents do their part. Unfortunately, even though wedo so much better than most, I can’t get them to step it up to the next level.

My choice is to take more of the follow up out of their hands and only have them show property. That’s where I’m leaning.

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