Thanks to a collaborative survey between BAM and 1000Watt, we now have a better sense of real estate agent sentiment on topics including the current housing market, marketing, leads, and social media.

While you can access the full data-packed report in BAMx, we thought we’d share a few of the key discoveries from the survey—starting with agents’ thoughts on lead generation and lead conversion

First of all, it makes sense to assess what agents are thinking and feeling about their chosen career at a time when it’s gotten more difficult to sell homes. 

From there, it’s a matter of where the leads come from and what you, as the agent, are doing to keep each lead moving through the funnel to the outcome they want.  

Read on to learn what over 1,000 survey respondents had to say. 

How confident are most agents in their ability to convert leads?

Even in a tough market like this one, real estate agents are, on the whole, fairly confident in their ability to nurture a lead from the first conversation all the way to the closing table and beyond. 

Out of all respondents who took the survey, 83% reported confidence in their ability to convert leads, rating their conversion skills a 7 or above on a scale of 1-10. 


Source: BAMx

Solo agent ratings hewed closely to overall sentiment. Agents on a team were least likely to rate their lead conversion confidence at a 10, while team leaders were the most likely to do so.


Source: BAMx

We have our theories as to why. But really, if you’re on a team, you want your leader to have that level of confidence—along with the numbers to back it up. 

One thing that separates leader material from agents who tend not to get repeat business is that the former knows the nurture stage isn’t over once you get a lead to sign the contract. 

Newer agents, on the other hand—as well as some who’ve been at it long enough to know better—may be tempted to shift their energy away from a particular lead they’ve just converted so they can focus more of their attention on nurturing other leads in their funnel. 

Unfortunately, like any human relationship, that approach tends to backfire. 

Lisa Chinatti, co-host of the Knowledge Brokers Podcast and team lead of the #1 team in Massachusetts, had this to say about it in last week’s episode:

One of my pet peeves is when agents sign that contract and then think that they don’t still need to treat that consumer as though they’re in an active stage of nurture… Even though the contract is signed, and the business is protected, your obligation and your responsibility and your job is to continue the relationship with the client throughout the process—with a really great tight set of follow up and touches and continuing to build the relationship and the rapport.

Lisa Chinatti

Where do agents get their leads?

So, where do those leads come from? One of the questions in the survey assessed whether an agent’s broker or team provided leads. The majority of solo agents (64.82%) responded with “No,” while team leaders were most likely (47.21%) to vote “Yes.” More than a third of respondents overall responded in the affirmative. 

The next questions had to do with whether the agent or their broker or team leader pays a third party for those leads—and what company or platform is their primary source. 

We were not surprised to learn that, among those who paid for leads, Zillow was the leading platform from the options provided (Zillow,, Homelight, Ojo, mortgage lender, and other). 

While Zillow does claim a significant share of the agent’s commission for each lead, it also provides leads that are, generally speaking, ready to get the ball rolling. They want to transact. 

So, the agent who reaches out to them and takes the trouble to understand where they’re coming from and what they want stands a good chance at earning their business. 

Popular as Zillow is, only 34.2% of all respondents named it as their primary lead source. A full 43.63% chose “Other” platforms, which included the following—- 

  • Google or Google PPC
  • BoomTown
  • Redfin
  • Market Leader
  • Yelp
  • Dave Ramsey
  • Company-generated leads
  • Other Realtors
  • Opcity

How happy are agents with their lead providers?

Now that we know where the leads come from and how confident agents are in their ability to convert them, let’s look at how well these lead sources measure up to agent expectations. 

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being extremely unhappy and 10 being extremely happy, agents weighed in on how happy they are with their lead providers. The largest share (20.97%) gave a rating of six, with the next highest shares going lower than that. A little under half (46%) are generally unhappy with their lead providers, giving ratings of five or under. 


Source: BAMx

On the whole, agent sentiment provided a sharp contrast with agent confidence in their lead conversion skills. Nearly two out of five respondents (39%) who were unsatisfied with their lead sources said the “lead quality is poor.” 

As for why, the responses generally boiled down to “They weren’t as ready as the lead provider implied they were.” But that just makes us want to dig deeper. 

What makes a lead a “poor quality” one, anyway? Are we talking about leads who are “just testing the waters” — meaning the lead is dipping their toe and trying to get a sense of whether they even should buy or sell within the next few months? 

Maybe they’re not 100% committed to transacting, but they’re open to it if an agent can show them that it would be in their best interest. 

Because if a lead is contacting Zillow and asking to speak to one of their Premier Agents, they’re past the “let’s just poke around the website a little” stage. They want answers. And they want their questions answered by a human being who knows the market inside and out. 

Putting yourself in that agent’s shoes, if you follow the A.L.M. protocol (appointment, location, motivation) for that first conversation with a lead, you have a decent shot at getting an appointment, which gives you a chance to connect, get clear on what the consumer has experienced and what they want, and show them just what you can do for them. 

The “How to Convert Zillow Leads” course on BAMx explains this in more detail. 

Other lead sources may make it easier—and maybe too easy—for a potential buyer or seller to become a “lead” and end up on the phone with you. 

But every lead has value. And it’s up to you, as the agent, to deliver the kind of value you would want to receive if you were in the consumer’s place. 

Read the full report on BAMx to learn more. And while you’re at it, check out our recent livestream, “Breaking Down Lead Sources & Zillow Premier Agent Leads.” Host Byron Lazine breaks down the entire real estate sales funnel to show exactly how you, as an agent, can keep a steady stream of leads flowing into your funnel—and moving through it.