by Matt Beall

Smarter leads for smarter business

The current lead gen form provides brokers with very little insight or information about a customer. At best, and if we're lucky, we get a real name, an email address and a simple request depending on what triggered the form such as "find out what your home is worth" or "schedule an appointment." Beyond that, we know nothing of real significance about these individuals that would help them find the home of their dreams and help us connect them with an agent. As brokers, we are supposed to hand these leads off to agents based on very slim criteria defined by who's next on the list to get a lead, etc. If this is the customer's first interaction with a brokerage or the agent, it's not starting on the right foot. Two things are missing:

  1. The inquiring party is defined by their request, not by their needs, desires or who they are
  2. The potential right agent who would be the best choice for these people are not being offered the lead.
We can all do better.

Lead gen forms need to ask better questions of our online visitors - questions they would want to answer. These questions would pertain to their needs and provide them an experience that not only helps them articulate their needs, but also shows them a side of the brokerage they typically don’t experience online. These questions could include things like:

  • What style architecture best defines your lifestyle?
  • How far is the maximum distance you want to commute to work?
  • Describe the dream view you’d like to have from your home?
  • What 3 neighborhoods would be the ideal place for you to live?
  • What sorts of things do you love doing on the weekend?
We all assume people don’t want to fill out forms and we’d be correct based on the sorts of forms we currently provide. But people - specifically, buyers - have a real need to communicate their desires and needs to an agent or brokerage and believe that by doing so, they're being heard. This is merely one half of the solution. As a brokerage, we need to compile better information about our agents - information that coincides with the questions we place on our lead forms. By knowing what neighborhood the agent lives in or has sold the most in, what their weekend hobbies are, etc., we could better match these leads with agents who would share commonalities. The technology would provide the lead an email back thanking them for their inquiry along with a selection of agents that could best help them.  

Smart Lead


  1. Love this, Matt and totally agree!
    I would also add a question about the primary purpose for their move e.g. more space, shorter commute, better schools — to better facilitate the follow up qualification discussion.

  2. Great idea wrought with complications.
    Let’s say every agent adds where they live and sell the most homes…
    I’m from the Bay Area office on Nasa PKWY and live in Pasadena, another agent lives in Baytown and yet another in the Galveston area. If these areas are HOT areas and the leads are only sent to those agents in that area then when do the cluster of 10 agents in the, let’s say, League City area get a Lead? As long as BHGRE doesn’t give leads in far north Tomball to offices located in the bay area I think it’s fine the way it is, besides, it really doesn’t take long, with today’s technology, to learn an area.
    While I understand you’re trying to be as “customer friendly” as possible, let’s face it, there are some agents that when given a list of 20 hobbies to match with a possible lead will check all 20 hobbies to get that lead. So pairing the perfect agent with a lead will still be difficult at best.
    Kiddos for pointing out we need better questions asked of our leads. I get numerous leads that say,
    “I would like to know more information.” You can’t get much broader than that question. What information?? I sent a full page email to a lead from everything about the taxes, what was found in the seller’s disclosure to the community shopping only to get a rude reply back about how I missed the most important information they wanted, “does the home have lead based paint?” Now, in all fairness, the lead should have given this question in the comment box but hey, we’re all supposed to read minds right?
    What I would really like to see happen is a quick verification of the either the phone number or email. I’ve taken 2 leads this month with a bad email AND bad phone number. It doesn’t take many Wheaties to figure that one out.
    Thanks for your thought provoking article Matt, I look forward to your next one.

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