In real estate, lead generation is the process of attracting and converting prospects who are interested in buying or selling a home. Generating leads is hard work, and many real estate agents encounter common pitfalls throughout their careers that hinder their ability to get leads. We’ve gathered 11 common lead generation mistakes that other realtors make, so that you can avoid them.

Whether you’re new to the industry or a veteran looking to upgrade your strategies, our team at Become a Local Leader® made this list of frequent lead generation mistakes all real estate agents should avoid. For more tips on lead generation, check out our guide on nurturing your leads in real estate.

67 Strategies to Get More Referrals

1. Waiting for Leads To Come to You

One of the biggest real estate lead generation mistakes that agents make is waiting for leads. The reality is that it’s rare that a lead finds you instead of the other way around. To find potential clients, you should take the initiative and create a lead-generation strategy that you routinely execute. Your strategy might include social media marketing, cold calling, or networking. The key is to pursue as many prospects as possible without sacrificing quality of your interactions. The math here is simple: The more potential clients you connect with (and we mean really connect with), the more deals you can close. 

2. Not Following Up With Leads


Even if you get plenty of leads, you can still lose potential clients by not following up with them.  Experienced real estate professionals typically suggest that you follow up with a lead 24 hours after getting their contact information. 

If you fail to maintain communication, they might not remember you when they eventually decide to buy or sell a property. Research shows that people only interview an average of one realtor before choosing someone to represent them. So, if you want your name to be top of mind, you need to make sure to stay in touch. After all, continuing to check in on your community even a year or more down the line helps you maintain that relationship. And that makes it more likely that you’ll catch them at the right time. 

67 Strategies to Get More Referrals

3. Failing To Nurture Leads

Another common real estate lead generation mistake is not nurturing your leads. Many real estate agents follow up with their new contacts or leads. But then they allow that budding relationship to fizzle out. We cannot overstate this enough: You want to be the person that comes to mind first when the time comes to buy or to sell. This is because that’s who is likely to get the deal. So, if you made a connection with a new prospect, you need to invest in that relationship like you would a friendship.

There are many ways to nurture leads. Some agents send gifts. Others create sources like an insightful newsletter that customers can subscribe to. You can get creative here, but the bottom line stays the same: You need to offer something of value to your leads so that every interaction with you leaves a positive impression on them. That way, when the time comes to make a selling or buying decision, you are more likely to be someone who comes to mind. After all, buying and/or selling a home is a big and emotional decision. People want someone they like and trust by their side.

4. Not Qualifying Leads

Generating and nurturing leads takes a lot of time and effort. So you don’t want to expend your energy on prospects that won’t go anywhere. The next mistake that real estate agents make in lead generation is not qualifying their leads. Lead qualification is the process of evaluating the likelihood of a person becoming a client.

One of the most common qualification methods can be summarized by the acronym BANT. This stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline.


In real estate lead generation, budget comes down to one elemental thing. Does the lead have the resources to afford the property. If they would like to be a homeowner, but simply don’t have the means, they may be a dead lead. Lots of people are interested in becoming a homeowner and see real estate as a path to financial freedom. However, there is no hidden secret to financing. If your lead is simply not there yet, they will not be able to become a client. This is why agents often require prospective clients to get a pre-approval first before they take them house hunting.


Authority refers to decision making power. Is your lead someone who has the decision making power in their household or will they have to consult someone before making a big financial decision? In an ideal situation, you want your real estate lead to be someone who has this kind of authority in their home. This will reduce miscommunication issues and unnecessary back-and-forth conversations with a third party who may or may not trust you.


Next up is need. What are the real estate needs of your lead? If you understand what your client prioritizes and values, you will be better situated to help them overcome obstacles. Would they be interested in a rare property with a large in-law suite? Perhaps what is holding them back is their financial records because they are self employed and haven’t put all their affairs in order. In both cases, as a real estate professional with connections, you could advise your prospective client in a way that would offer them personalized solutions if you really understood their needs.


And lastly, we have timing. Finding out about your prospective client’s timeline will help you tailor your service to fit them better. People often plan major life changes such as moving around major life events. Factors like a marriage, the start of a school year, and changes in employment can impact someone’s timeline for buying or selling a property.

Once you have these details, you can create your own lead qualifying matrix and score your leads accordingly. This can be helpful in how you nurture your leads. This is because it will inform how how often to reach out as well as what to say when you do.

5. Using an Outdated Lead Generation Strategy

A common lead generation mistake is using an outdated strategy. Door knocking was extremely effective once upon a time. Then it wasn’t. No matter your level of experience, it’s important you stay on top of real estate lead generation trends. That way you can better adjust to market changes and keep ahead of your competition. You can discover real estate tips and guides with resources like the Local Leader® blog, online courses, and fellow agents. Using the best and latest lead-generation techniques will help you stand out in your community and continue to grow.

6. Being Inconsistent With Lead Generation

Consistency is a must when finding and nurturing leads. Once you develop a strategy, you should stick with it, carrying out each step that brings you closer to gaining a client. When you obtain contact information from someone, you need to follow up with them promptly, continue to provide information, and include them in your marketing campaigns.

This is another common real estate lead generation mistake that we hear about time and time again. Real estate brokerages and coaches all tell us about how they see agents give up too soon. Agents will start to implement a strategy, wait a short period of time, then get frustrated. However, in this industry, you don’t see returns in the order of weeks. Sometimes it takes many months or even years to fully flesh out a winning strategy. You need to be consistent and in it for the long haul if you want to succeed.

7. Setting Unrealistic Goals

One of the most common reasons people fail to reach their goals is because they give up when things don’t work out as expected. However, your expectations are set by you. And setting unrealistic goals can actually be a real estate lead generation mistake. You should know that most leads don’t go anywhere, but it doesn’t mean you should stop looking. Try aiming for a realistic closing rate, and keep pursuing leads without being discouraged by dead ends.

8. Using Only One Marketing Strategy

a professional using a touch screen to explore different marketing strategies for lead generation

Marketing campaigns are more successful when you spread your resources across multiple channels. A solid marketing strategy should combine several approaches, including email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media content. To become one of your community’s top real estate agents, you’ll need marketing strategies that effectively raise your brand awareness. 

9. Doing Everything Without Technology

Keeping track of leads, including their specific needs and when to follow up with them, is incredibly challenging without the help of customer relationship management (CRM) software. These client communication systems can provide tools for following up with leads and tracking lead-generation campaigns, saving you tons of time in your busy schedule.

10. Not Making Your Offer Clear

Your advertising materials need to clearly convey what services you offer, ensuring that potential clients know that you can help them with their real estate needs.  Along the same lines, you should quickly get to the point when conversing with prospects, especially when cold-calling. Succinct offers make it easier for prospective clients to determine if they wish to work with you. 

11. Forgetting the Call To Action

Whether you’re posting on social media or advertising in the community, you must have a call to action. Include your name, phone number, and other contact info in your ads and instruct your audience to do a specific action using imperative statements. Examples include “Call now to schedule an appointment” or “Visit our office.” 

Your online posts should include the appropriate link for the call to action. This makes it easier for viewers to follow through and bringing them one step closer to becoming a lead.

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