5 excuses for leads not converting (and how to get back on track)

Lead Conversion
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Converting a database of names into meaningful long-term relationships is a tall order on the best of days. But when agents fall into a funk of inactivity, challenges quickly turn into mental blocks that can hold the whole team back.

As driver of the bus it’s your job to nip negative mindsets in the bud, reignite agent motivation, and provide practical solutions to help your team win.

We’ve rounded up five of the biggest excuses when leads aren’t converting, plus practical steps to help them regain their momentum.

1. “They ghosted me”

If your agents feel like their real estate leads have silently “unmatched” with them and they’re the last to find out, they’re not alone.

Karen Hatcher, past President of Atlanta REALTORS® Association and CEO and Broker of Atlanta’s Sovereign Realty and Management, has heard this one more times than she’d care to remember.

“In my experience, real estate agents often say the buyer went ‘missing in action’ when in truth, time is moving faster than they realize, and they are not making the follow up touches they need in a timely fashion.”

Agents need to double down on timeliness and follow-up

With a focus on speed and consistency, they can drastically increase their odds of sparking new conversations with the hand-raisers in their database

Help your team take charge of their follow up with the following tips:

  • Set clear personal and professional real estate goals
  • Establish a clear plan to increase your follow-up touches
  • Amplify your marketing to fuel relevant touchpoints

Lead follow up is not a single-shot practice. Humans trust consistency, so encourage your agents to position themselves as the go-to real estate partner by sharing their knowledge and expertise on a regular and routine basis.

“Find ways to repurpose content and create evergreen content that is created for social media or your website to also add as touches in an email action campaign or newsletter,” Karen suggests. “This will save time, improve the client experience by setting expectations through answering questions in a blog format and bring you consistency across all of your platforms.”


2. “There aren’t enough houses for sale”

You’ve heard this one before, right? In a challenging real estate market, it’s much easier to rely on excuses instead of action.

But the truth is, agents are finding workarounds every day to put a smile on buyers’ faces. And buyers are relying more than ever on agents who know the market.

As a REALTOR® and Team Lead with Keller Williams Pittsburgh North, Tarasa Hurley encourages her team to apply their insider know-how to rise above market challenges

“We can expand client searches by listening to goals and must-haves versus exactly what leads say they want. Thus, we can find properties that a client would not have initially considered based on simple search criteria.”

“Buyers are typically less attuned to the real estate market and area than agents,” Tarasa explains. For the agents ready to do their homework, the inventory opportunities are there. “I suggest casting a more extensive search and hand-picking properties with notes on why this property could be the right fit,” Tarasa advises.

Here are some steps to encourage your team to dig deeper:

  • Replace autopilot saved searches with concierge searches that go the extra mile
  • Canvas neighborhoods to find relevant properties through "golden letters," door-knocking, or circle prospecting by phone
  • Make connections with local builders to learn about buyer incentives

Help agents stay in the know with all the available inventory solutions in the market. And remember, this is a long game.

“The biggest thing to remember is that real estate is a pipeline. What we do today is setting us up for the coming months."

"So while we can't change the past," Tarasa explains, "We can change what we do going forward to be active for our leads and help fill that pipeline.”

3. “These leads are bad”

How often do you tell your team their real estate database is a treasure trove — they just need to dig deeper?

The truth is, in this business, there are no “bad” leads. Every lead has the potential to transform into a mutually rewarding relationship. But when agents are regularly hitting roadblocks, the “poor quality leads” excuse is the easiest to reach for.

It’s also one that Alisa Morgan, Operations Manager with Live Florida Realty has definitely heard before.

“Typically, when I look further into this claim that ‘leads suck,’ I find that the agents aren't actually providing the value that’s needed to convert a lead,” she explains.

It can take six to 24 months to convert a real estate lead. And, as Alisa is quick to point out, today’s real estate prospects already have all of the info they need right at their fingertips. To rise above the noise, you have to give them something they can't get anywhere else.

“We have to remember to take a step back and meet the client where they are in their real estate journey.”

Coach your agents to:

  • Ask the right questions to help prospects make a decision without overwhelming them
  • Share value-led updates that make it clear you’re worthy of their trust
  • Set up personalized automations and action plans for relevant long-term nurture

“When some of the the only kinds of follow up that an agent is doing consist of a text message that says ‘Did you see anything you like?’ or ‘Are you ready to sell?’ why would the client respond?” asks Alisa.

Every vetted lead has endgame potential. But without the right follow up, agents are never going to get there.

Instead of taking the same approach every other agent is taking, coach agents to get back to the fundamentals of what it takes to be successful in this business — empathy, intentional discovery, and a structured daily workflow.

4. "People don't like talking on the phone"

Today 71% of buyers say they contact agents about properties and other information via text message, but with the right approach, you can elevate the relationship from SMS to phone.

Maureen McDermut at Santa Barbara based Maureen McDermut & Associates believes this is one excuse that has some validity. But that doesn’t mean your hands are tied.

“One of the best ways to get around this somewhat true problem is using SMS tools,” says Maureen. “Text messages have some of the highest response rates among all marketing tools, even better than email.”

Maureen’s team wins talk time with prospects through compelling marketing that connects.

“By focusing on the problems they are facing and showcasing a solution, you start to handle objections from potential clients before they have the chance to use them. This, then, gives them a good reason to pick up the phone."

When prospects feel heard, even before they’ve met an agent, they have a sense of ease and comfort that makes it that much easier to get over their fear of the phone. 

Here are a few ways to get more out of your text follow up:

  • Uplevel your SMS strategy for fast, relevant responses at all the right touchpoints
  • Update your marketing to make sure it answers real questions for prospects
  • Directly address objections in your marketing for relevant conversation starters

Follow Up Boss makes it easy for agents to master the art of real estate text messaging with high-impact texting features, like video and group texting, and easy response rate tracking. 

5. "I don't have enough time to follow up with all of my leads"

Top 1% eXp Realty influencer and Owner of The Mindy Price Group in Bellingham, Washington, Mindy Price knows systems are everything.

With a background in luxury, she believes it’s the right follow up at the right time that really moves the needle on relationship building. Her top tip?

“Consistent follow up is critical to converting leads into clients. Create a system that ensures you follow up with every lead promptly and personally.”

Mindy’s emphasis on speed is critical. According to the latest data, 81% of prospective buyers reported a responsive first impression as highly important. 

But swift lead follow up is just the beginning. “Effective communication is essential to build trust and rapport with your prospects. Ensure you're actively listening, asking questions, and providing value during conversations,” explains Mindy.

Encourage your agents to focus on three key areas for increased momentum with leads:

  • Create a system that ensures you follow up with the right leads at the right time
  • Listen, ask questions, and provide value during every conversation
  • Focus on building relationships, even after a deal is done

When agents can structure their days around the core elements of relationship building, they can go beyond the low-hanging fruit and start paving a path toward consistent commissions. 

“Real estate is a relationship-driven business, so it's important to build long-term relationships with prospects. This means providing value beyond just the transaction and staying in touch even after the deal is done.”

Better systems, no excuses

It’s not easy to get different agents with different goals to pull in the same direction. But with a firm belief in the fundamentals and a focus on quality follow up, you can increase your results at the team level.

Make it a breeze for agents to power through their daily tasks with Follow Up Boss

Personalized automations help agents make meaningful connections with more prospects in less time. With automatic tracking and built-in reporting, you always know who’s performing or where to focus your efforts to motivate your team.


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