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Your Best Leads are Your Oldest Leads




Your best leads are your oldest leads

Yes, you heard me right.  “Your old leads are your best leads.”


Look at it this way, we know that months before someone is ready to buy or thinking about buying or moving to a new location they start to look online.

It is different in every area. But, on the average let’s say 6 months.

A visitor comes to your web-site looks at homes, you contact them in some way, email, a phone call, drip campaign whatever you do.

They may:

  • Ignore you
  • Tell you they are just looking
  • Tell you they have another Realtor
  • Might be moving in the future

New Leads

As new leads come in, you respond to them and the cycle starts over again. As I have posted on Agentgenius before, the issue is NOT the amount of leads it is the follow-up.

When an older lead, and in my area, some of almost 2 years comes back and signs in again, starts looking more aggressively you know they are getting close to buying.


Of course all this assumes you have a way on your site to know who is logging back in. If not and if you have not kept in touch by some other method you have lost them to whoever connects with them when they are READY to buy.

I could give you hundreds of examples of how this has worked for my team and I but you’ll have to trust me…the oldest leads are your best leads.

They are ready to buy or sell.

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

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  1. Brian Block

    July 17, 2009 at 10:23 am


    How very true! As one trainer I once listened to said, just keep e-mailing them until they “buy or die!”

    I’ve had “leads” from years ago that I thought disappeared, reappear to purchase a home. The great thing is that even though you haven’t heard from them forever, they’ve been hearing from you in the form of e-mails for a very long time.

  2. Shane

    July 17, 2009 at 10:51 am

    There are two very important necessities for effective and successful lead conversion:

    1. Lead Management – this includes the ability to see how often the lead is logging into your site. Being able to gather as much information on a lead and their activity is crucial. It amazes me you can build a virtual profile for a lead based on the information you gather from them.

    2. Lead Followup – If you are not contacting the lead regularly, you can be sure someone else is. It may even be Brian Block.

  3. Missy Caulk

    July 17, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Shane, my web master just developed what is called live view.

    I can now log on to my back end and see who is online and what houses they are looking at on a map. It is rockin’ hot.

    Nothing like knowing they are online and picking up the telephone to call.

  4. Missy Caulk

    July 17, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Brian, yes it happens all the time. It is just too many agents drop the ball and never follow up.

  5. Matthew Hardy

    July 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    When you’ve had a lead in your database for years AND can recite to them every interaction and communication you’ve ever had with them, you can be assured that they’ll be impressed. It’s not hard to do and is fantastically useful.

  6. Shane

    July 17, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    @Missy – The upgrade sounds nice. It is very helpful to have that level of detail!! It also helps when you pick the phone to call them, you can provide detailed information on homes they are looking for.

  7. MIssy Caulk

    July 17, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Matthew, I can’t keep up, by my systems do. When they call I have all their logons and homes they have looked at.

    Shane, voice connection has a higher ROI.

  8. Shane

    July 17, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Missy – I would completely agree with you. Getting a lead on the phone is always preferred. However, I get a lot more valid email addresses than I do valid phone numbers.

  9. Chris

    July 18, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    I’ve always believed: Farm the garden you have, it’s easier to cultivate.

    Mind you, it doesn’t keep me from looking for new sprouts …

  10. Paula Henry

    July 19, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Missy – Older leads also call and talk with you like they have known you forever. By the time they are ready to buy – other agents have quit following up.

  11. Gwen Banta

    July 20, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Great post, Missy – I’m dragging out all my Open House books so I can contact the leads I thought were dead. I plan to resuscitate a few this afternoon. Thanks for the excellent motivation.

  12. Joe Loomer

    July 21, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I had a lead sign in to my site and put the following email:

    michael.jackson [at]

  13. Peter Greer

    July 22, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Missy, Your right on. Although I’ve moved on from active sales I will testify that even in the days before internet leads these points were valid. I managed several thousand leads and never eleminated the B,C or D clients. Too many trainers tell agents to only concentrate on the A client but forget that the others will most likely buy or sell at some point. If you are the only one following up in six months or even years later you are the automatic shoe-in. Another point is that if an agent has any desire to sell their “Book of Business” then these older leads are essential.

  14. Atlanta Real Estate

    October 8, 2009 at 11:18 am




  15. Rich Gaasenbeek

    November 21, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I completely agree Missy. A critical tool for keeping track of old leads and staying in touch with them on a regular basis is a good contact management system. Effective contact management is one of the key contributors to long term success in real estate sales.

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aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

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Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

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