I’ve successfully closed over $95 million in real estate, with a substantial 64% of that volume stemming from online leads

My business would not be what it is today without learning how to maintain a 15% conversion rate for online leads—specifically from Zillow. Over the years, I’ve implemented precise strategies that have consistently fueled my ability to convert these leads at a high level. 

And today, I’m sharing those strategies with you. 

Clear over Cute

Your initial call should always start with setting the appointment first. I start every call with the following script:

“Hi, is this (Name)? This is Lindsey with Real Broker. It looks like you’re interested in a tour of 123 Main Street. When would you like to see it?”

Prioritize “clear” over “cute.” Recognize that their motivation is clear—they clicked the “request tour” button on Zillow. Your primary goal in the initial call is not to establish rapport—it’s to secure the appointment for the property tour.

Ask This Very Important Question

After setting the appointment, it’s crucial to ask, 

“Is this the only property you’re interested in seeing when we meet?” 

Given that buyers often search for homes on multiple platforms, confirm that you’re the one showing them every property they’re interested in at that moment. This helps to prevent agent hopping.

Tell Them What Comes Next

Conclude the call by providing clarity on the next steps. I always say, 

“I will meet you on (X date) at (X time). Give me about five minutes, and I’ll send some additional properties to you via text based on what you’re looking for.” 

This ensures they are aware of the next steps. Don’t leave them guessing.

Book an Additional Property Tour

Secure at least one additional property tour for the initial appointment. The more time spent together during this first meeting, the greater the likelihood of conversion.  Additionally, consider the buyer’s perspective—they prefer not to repeat minute details to another agent. They don’t want to explain the same preferences about the area, the number of bedrooms, or the importance of a garage again. Keep in mind; that the agent who asks the most questions is the agent in control.

No Response? Book it Anyway

Even if the lead doesn’t respond regarding an additional property tour, book the showing anyway. This demonstrates initiative and a proactive approach. During the actual appointment, you can mention, “I went ahead and booked another home tour for us. If you have time, we can take a look at it after this one.”

Send This Text Immediately After Your Initial Call

Following your initial call, send a text to the lead. The text can follow the following format:

“Hi (Name). It was great speaking with you just now. I will meet you at (X Property) at (X time).  Here are two other properties that might interest you. One has the larger master bath you mentioned was important, and the other property has the garage that you said you wanted.” 

Always highlight that these additional properties align with their preferences, circling back to their motivation and demonstrating that you listen.

Do Some Stalking

Before the appointment, look up the lead’s name in the tax records. Familiarize yourself with their current residence and recent home sales in that neighborhood.  During the appointment, casually ask where they’re currently living. Then, respond with a specific fact about their community, such as, 

“I love that neighborhood! It’s seen impressive growth in the last two years, with townhomes now selling in the $700s!” 

This not only establishes you as an authority but also as a local expert.

Don’t Sleep on Trader Joe’s

A personal touch is key! One of my favorite strategies is to bring a Trader Joe’s treat and a handwritten card to the initial appointment.

 In the card, I write:

“Thank you for allowing me to show you 123 Main Street today. I’m excited about the possibility of potentially finding your next home for you and the family.”

Always consider how you can stand out. With buyers searching for homes on multiple search platforms, demonstrating that you care and took the time to do something special sets you apart as an agent who goes the extra mile.

People often ask how I give the buyer their card and Trader Joe’s treat. It depends! Sometimes, I leave the present in my car. As we conclude the last showing, I let them know that I have a little treat in my car for them. They then follow me to my car, and notice my license plate, which reads “REELTA” (yes, a little cringe, I admit, but it helps convert). Almost always, the buyer mentions my license plate.

Almost everyone knows an agent, and there are many part-time agents in our industry. My personalized license plate serves as a unique identifier, signaling to potential clients that I’m dedicated to my career. After all, what kind of psychopath would have a branded license plate that says “Reelta” unless they were serious about selling homes?

Automate to Make Your Life Easier

Streamlining your property searches is key, and I achieve this through RealScout. Think of it as a sexier MLS. RealScout integrates with Zillow, so every lead entering my database is automatically set up on a property alert search based on their Zillow activity. For instance, if I have a buyer searching for properties in Arlington under $500,000, RealScout automatically sets up a search tailored to that area and price point. This automation significantly simplifies the process, saving me time.

Don’t Be a Reactive Agent

Avoid being a reactive agent—proactivity is key. Regularly check what properties your buyers are exploring. If they aren’t actively searching, take the initiative to find something that aligns with their needs and send it to them. If they ghost you, physically visit a property that is similar to the one they originally inquired about and take a video. Send it via text or email, explaining that you thought it could be a good fit based on their needs. This level of dedication demonstrates genuine care for their home search.

Check Their Insights on Zillow

Utilize the insights tab in the Premier Agent app to track what properties your leads are exploring. If you notice they’ve “hearted” a specific property, send it to them, expressing that you were actively searching for additional options for them. Share that you thought this particular property would be a strong contender based on their preferences. This proactive approach reinforces your commitment to finding the best options for them.

Scripts to Use If They Ghost You

Never resort to a generic “Just checking in” text after being ghosted—it comes off as weak and is often dismissed. Instead, ask clear questions that prompt a direct response from the lead. For instance:

“Hi, (Name)! This is Lindsey with Real Broker. Following up as promised. Did you see the property on 123 Main Street that was just listed this morning? It has the garage we’re looking for and a renovated master bath.”

Or, you can deliver value that is not related to a specific property:

“Hi, (Name)! This is Lindsey with Real Broker. Following up as promised. Did you notice that interest rates dropped to ___ this morning? That could potentially reduce our monthly payment to ____.”

Bonus Tip

In your communication, incorporate phrases like “OUR monthly payment” or “the garage that WE’RE looking for.” Using words like “our”’ or “we’re” emphasizes that you’re partners in this home search. This subtly reinforces the idea that you’re a united team.