That Time You Closed the #ImpossibleDeal

Lead Conversion
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Real estate is a LONG game.

There will be times you feel frustrated, uninspired, or even hopeless.

And that’s OK. Burnout is a natural part of the business building process — bouncing back from it is what matters most.

That’s why everyone loves a lead comeback story.

Lead comeback stories reignite our fire, restore our faith in the entrepreneurial journey and give us hope that the next big deal is on its way (because it is!).

We asked a group of relentless realtors to tell us about the time they closed the #ImpossibleDeal. Here are a few of the inspiring and hilarious stories they shared.

Know When to Laugh

We got a lead with first name F**k and last name You.

Even though it was a fake name and email they gave a real phone #.

automation kicked in and sent an SMS that said “Hey F**k, I got your info from Facebook. Is now a good time to call you?”

The lead responded with a sense of humor and ended up being a legit buyer!

— Chris Smith, Curaytor


The secret all seasoned agents know when it comes to closing real estate deals is that the process WILL get you there.

While the other guys are off whining about dead leads, rockstar agents have a quick laugh and get right back to it.

Because when you’re down, complaining just makes everything worse — and sets you up for a dangerous long-term pattern. Take it from Chris, it literally pays to have a laugh instead.

The Short Sale with a BIG Problem

One of my most memorable sales was back about 8-9 years ago during the height of the financial crisis. At the time I was doing quite a few short sales. On one particular short sale the seller relocated to another state. His home was vacant during the selling process. It was during the middle of the winter and he “forgot to fill the oil tank”.

While visiting the home I got the surprise of my life. As I approached the front door I could hear a strange noise coming from the inside of the home. I said to myself this can’t be good. Once I opened the door I was in disbelief. The first floor had two feet of water and there was a waterfall coming through the kitchen ceiling. All of the pipes has burst in the home! It was a complete nightmare. What would have been a smooth easy sale, turned into a major headache.

Doing short sales during the crisis was hard but this one in particular stood out. Dealing with insurance, plus the lender made it all the more challenging. It ended up being bought by an investor at a steep discount. They ended up fixing up the home and I re-sold it as a beautiful fix and flip.

The story ended on a positive note but just as easily could have turned out really badly.

— Bill Gassett, RE/MAX Executive Realty


Bill Gassett is a thirty year veteran in the real estate industry, so we knew he’d have a story or two to share.

Bill’s classic lemons-to-lemonade story is a great example of how rolling up your sleeves and dealing with a potentially problematic but solid lead in front of you can pay off in the end. Even when things are literally under water.

The 3-Year Home Buyer Lead

Most agents are way too shortsighted when it comes to converting leads. They get pissed if the lead doesn’t demand to start making offers on homes on Day 1. That’s like going fishing and getting pissed that the fish aren’t jumping into the boat!

working with online leads is a marathon, not a sprint. I recently converted a lead that I received 3 years ago. That’s right. Three full years ago I received a “home value request” lead, and after following up within 5 min, getting the potential seller the CMA they requested, and then doing an impromptu listing presentation, they decided not to sell their home… yet. I kept following up with them from time to time, every 3-4 months or so. Well out of the blue they reached out to me a few months ago and said “we’re ready to sell, and you’re our guy.” They had a great experience, and we became good friends in the process. If I had given up after they didn’t convert within the first week, I would not have been taught this value lesson in persistence and consistency.

— Dustin Brohm, Salt Lake City Realtor®, Founder of Search Salt Lake


Here’s the hard truth: If you’re on the path to success, you ARE doing the same damn things over and over again.

It takes patience — make that aggressive patience — to keep moving when it feels like things just aren’t happening fast enough.

Remember, your most important asset is your focus. When you lose sight of the bigger picture, take a minute to recommit to your belief in the work you’re doing and your customers.

You might even make a friend in the process.

**Note – long term lead nurture strategies are the fundamental difference between less than 1% conversion on home search leads and upwards of 5% conversion rates. Click here to get the full training in the Lead Conversion Masterclass from industry veteran Mitch Ribak

Thicker Than Water?

I had a lead come in that made a note that they wanted info about my listing but they had a realtor.  My drip email went out that educated them on our local market and what we can uniquely offer a home buyer in our market. The lead called me as a result of the email and said her dad was her agent but she was interested in hearing more about this offer. After discussing our program and encouraging her to work with her dad so that he wouldn’t be mad at her at Thanksgiving, we ended the call. A few minutes later, she called back and asked me to represent her!

— Barry Jenkins II, REALTOR®, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate


That must have been one awkward Thanksgiving dinner.

We love this story because it reminds us of two crucial points:

  1. Winning agents always put the prospect first.
  2. Real estate is a meritocracy.

It’s easy to get desperate when you haven’t seen any action in a while. But tread carefully. That anxiety can easily come off as pushy, over eager, or even downright sleazy — and can easily push your prospect away.

If you feel yourself getting a little too jazzed up over a warm lead, lean back and take a breath.

Show your leads you care, and they’ll know you have their best interests at heart (maybe even more than their own parents!).

When trying to close your next real estate deal it would behoove you to remember that [tweetthis]Real estate is a people business, and the best person for the job always wins.[/tweetthis].

Get It Done

I was working with a military family as they were moving to Richmond, VA with their 5 kids. The husband only had ONE day off for closing and moving, due to his position. When we went to the walk through the night before, the 3500 square foot home was nowhere near move out ready. I was assured the sellers would be out the next morning in time for the 10am closing. At 6:30am the next morning I received the text saying there was no way they could be out. My buyers were on their way with the moving truck and were going to be stuck. I threw on my shorts and sneakers and headed to the property where I helped the seller move so my clients could close that day. Closing was pushed from 10am to 4:30pm but we got it done!

— Shannon Milligan, Realtor/Assoc. Broker, RVA Home Team


One of the biggest goal-setting mistakes is letting yourself get caught up in all the little things, to the point that you become stressed out or even paralyzed by the pressure.

The life of an entrepreneur isn’t a straight line. Sometimes you have to get ad hoc with it. So while it’s a great idea to chase perfection, it’s even better to accept the fact that you’ll never actually catch it.

And that’s OK. All that really matters is that you’re ready to do what it takes — lead by lead, and day by day.

Never Take a Lead for Granted

I do a ton of lead generation and feel like a ton of agents take leads for granted at times and don’t do the same follow for each lead.  Since I generate leads for my company and personal team I have to sometimes make sure I am checking on agents because it has become so easy to generate online leads at a low cost that I feel people take them for granted at times and then complain that the leads are not good quality….  They want come list me or come help me submit and offer clients and it just doesn’t work like that…  I have a quick story of a deal I just closed on a lead that I got 13 months ago… I put them into my follow up boss and made sure to have the email and text sequence sent to them regularly and this lead that many would say wasn’t good quality turned into a deal 13 months later because our systems helped us stay top of mind with them and in the process got 2 more referrals that turned into closed deals within those 13 months…  

Systems systems systems and I treat every lead as quality….

— David Albanese, Broker/Owner, Albanese Realty


Instead of spending energy complaining about lead quality, what if you focused on treating each lead like gold?

It’s impossible to feel grateful and overwhelmed at the same time. So instead of worrying about where your next big commission will come from, choose to give your full focus and appreciation to the lead in front of you.

It could be the one that finally comes through, and brings you 2 more referrals in the process.

And at the very least, you’ll earn some great stories to tell along the way.

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