When we talk about leads in real estate, we often use that term to mean a number of different things. With our technology and product teams focused on consumer-facing products that attract consumers so that we can delivery business and value to our agents – the term “lead” often means the submission of an online contact form. It’s an inquiry. A form submission. But is that single action of filling out some form fields and clicking Submit best defined by the word “lead”? When one person fills out a contact form on five different listings, did we receive five leads? Or was it one lead who happened to submit five inquiries?
I would argue that an inquiry is not a lead. A lead is a person, a consumer, an opportunity. We should stop and think about what it is that we are doing. We are making dreams come true. We are helping people find homes for their families, homes to retire in, investment properties, vacation homes. Homes that will become memories of growing up, a first kiss on the porch, getting ready for prom. Homes that will host family parties, holiday gatherings, and barbeques. Behind these inquiries are people trying to fulfill a dream and when they inquire for more information or to go visit a property, they need our help.
So why does this matter? Do words really matter? Whether you are a real estate brokerage employee trying to capture customers for your agent community, a vendor selling “leads,” a portal capturing the attention of real estate consumers, or a real estate agent receiving these inquiries – it does matter. It matters when we think about what we love about this industry and what value we offer consumers who, at the end of the day, are trying to make their dreams come true. I courage us all to remember this when we ask how many “leads” we’re generating, or receiving, or buying.