Cold Calls Suck! And Why Warm Leads are Underrated. 


Let’s keep it real here: cold calls suck! ‘Hot’ leads, on the other hand, are easy lay-ups that we relish as they are oftentimes an easier sale. 


However, the essence of a successful real estate career lies not in the extremes of cold calls and hot leads, but in the nuanced, in-between spectrum of warm leads. This is where the real magic happens, and where the majority of your income is generated. Our willingness to work warm leads, in conjunction with our sales skills and our tenacity, is where big real estate sales careers are born. 


Let’s define these three lead types, and why Warm leads are where the big career growth c=is found. 


Cold Leads


In real estate parlance, a cold lead is a prospective client you have no existing relationship with. They haven’t indicated any interest in buying or selling property, and on top of all that, you’re interrupting their day with your contact. Think of door knocking or calling random numbers from a phone directory. It’s a cold interaction and a cold lead, plain and simple. As real estate professionals, we can agree that these aren’t the most enjoyable or fruitful of interactions. You will make sales, but cold calling requires a thick skin and serious emotional fortitude and stamina! 


Hot Leads


Then there’s the coveted ‘hot lead’. These are the prospective clients who have explicitly shown interest in your real estate services. There’s already a pre-existing relationship, be it directly or indirectly through referrals. They’ve raised their hand and shown a need for your real estate expertise. They want to talk to you about their needs, and are therefore not bothered by your call or visit. But as much as we’d love to, we can’t build an entire career relying solely on hot leads … at least not in our initial years as we build out businesses. 


Warm Leads


Enter the underappreciated ‘warm lead’. A warm lead is an individual who has shown a real estate need but doesn’t have a relationship with you. While your call or visit might interrupt their day, their hand is raised indicating a need for real estate assistance. Picture an internet user who has registered on a real estate website, signaling an interest in transacting in real estate. Yes, your call might be unexpected, and yes, you don’t have a relationship yet, but they’re showing signs of needing your expertise.


Warm leads are where you earn your income as a newer Realtor. (In fact, top producers oftentimes maintain a steady flow of warm leads in conjunction with their hot repeat and referral leads.) Warm leads offer you the chance to leverage your sales skills to quickly build rapport, establish trust, form a relationship, and identify their real estate needs. If you’re the right fit for them, you get to solve their problems. That’s what we, as real estate professionals, get paid for.


While a little over 50% of all consumers used an agent they knew or referred to an agent by someone they trust (these are ‘hot leads’), I’m willing to be that 80% of all leads out there are ‘warm’ leads. Not all of them will transact – in fact, a majority of them probably won’t – but they represent the opportunity to grow your business faster than the organic growth of sphere-driven sales. 


Our job, then, is to approach each warm lead with the right mindset. This is not a cold lead. This is someone that has raised their hand with an interest in transacting in real estate. It’s an opportunity to form a relationship, build trust, and potentially guide someone through their real estate journey. Warm leads are where we find the majority of our growth, and it’s critical to make the most of them.


The next time you’re faced with a potential warm lead, remember this: A lead is a lead. If they’ve raised their hand, they’ve invited you into their journey. So, embrace the spectrum of opportunities presented by warm leads. Reach out, build rapport, earn trust, and seek to help. After all, that’s where the majority of our income and growth will stem from early in our careers.