15 Reasons Your Leads Aren’t Calling You Back (and How to Fix Those)

Lead Generation / Prospecting | Property Agent Basics / Follow Up

15 Reasons Your Leads Aren’t Calling You Back (and How to Fix Those)1 min read

Is there anything worse than working a new lead, only to have them straight up ignore your calls and emails? After all, you’re getting leads, so your lead gen strategy seems to work just fine. They just don’t seem to want to talk to you. What are you doing wrong?

Well, you’re probably doing a lot wrong … or maybe you’re doing nothing wrong. After all, getting a lead on the phone is hard work. Getting them to return your call is even harder.

That’s why I put together this guide to help you increase your odds of actually getting your calls returned by leads, customers, or even listing agents.

1. You Waited Too Long to Follow Up

Reason Your Leads Aren't Calling You Back

This is the biggest reason your leads aren’t calling you back. You’re waiting too long to reach out to them. In fact, an MIT study found that your odds of reaching a lead decrease more than 100 times after half an hour.

It makes perfect sense when you think about it. If your lead is reaching out to you at 2:00, they probably have at least a few minutes of free time after that to take your call. After that? All bets are off. How many times have you had to screen calls when you’re on a showing? Do you call your leads back with your client right in front of you?

How to Get Them to Call You Back

Get back to your leads as soon as humanly possible. You may even want to tell your buyer clients that you may have to pick up your phone occasionally while you’re on a showing. If you’ve established a rapport, most of them won’t mind at all. In fact, they’ll be rooting for your to get that new client.

Make Sure You Use a CRM That Has Workflows to Schedule Outreach

While it can be tricky to figure out the best time to reach out to your leads, an easy-to-use, relationship-focused customer relationship manager (CRM) like AgentLEADS makes the process much easier. AgentLEADS lets you micro-segment your leads, automate relevant follow-up messages, and build blended workflows that include text messaging, calls, emails, and more to help you build relationships faster.

Visit AgentLEADS

2. You Didn’t Sound Confident Enough

Didn’t Sound Confident Enough GIF

Everybody has off days. Even if you’re a social butterfly who’s a voice coach on the side, chances are you’re not always going to be “on” every time you call a lead. For competitive FSBO or expired listings, you may never recover from that first nervous impression.

How to Get Them to Call You Back

Beyond a really, really, good follow-up email and a prayer, you’re probably out of luck here. Better to try and avoid this in the first place. Here are a few tips to sounding confident on the phone.

1. Call your important leads after warming up first on a few others

You’re going to be rusty for the first few calls, so building up confidence is key. You’ll also remember that rejection won’t kill you.

2. Stand up when you make your calls & pace if you have to

When you’re hunched over, sitting down, your diaphragm is compressed, which makes it very difficult to project your voice. Standing up will trick your brain into feeling more confident.

3. Recite your script out loud a few times in the mirror before calling

Yes, it’s cheesy, but practice makes perfect. It’s the only way to get better!

4. Try a ‘power pose’ before making your calls

You might feel cheesy doing this too, but power poses can help you build confidence. Here’s Amy Cuddy on the psychological power of power posing.

5. Be good at your job

Real confidence only comes from knowing what you’re talking about and having the right answers to the inevitable objections that will come up. So study the market as if your job depended on it. Because it does.

6. Memorize common objection handlers

If you do manage to get someone on the phone, if you don’t have good objection handlers ready to go, your confidence will fade as soon as your lead stumps you with a common question. I put together an excellent article on objection handlers here.

3. You’re Not Getting Through Receptionists or Other Gatekeepers

Reason Your Leads Aren't Calling You Back

While a work phone number is far from ideal, sometimes that’s all you can get. For leads who work in a corporate environment, this can be fatal. After all, any receptionist or administrative assistant worth their salt is trying to save their boss from the dreaded cold caller.

How to Get Them to Call You Back

Experts agree that the absolute best thing you can do to get that coveted sticky note from reception on their monitor is super-easy. Be very, very nice to any receptionist you encounter. Creating a sense of urgency can work as well, but be careful not to overplay your hand here. Experienced receptionists will sniff out your hard sell and you’ll NEVER get through.

If you’re pitching a company for relocation referrals, then you should send over a nice gift as well in order to get in front of a decision-maker for a pitch. Cold calling alone isn’t going to cut it.

“Hi, this is Nick with Keller Williams Realty. Joe inquired about a home for sale and I’d love to chat with him further. It’s a hot property in a desirable town and I don’t want him to miss out if he really wants to get in there and see the home. Can you put me through?”

4. Millennials Don’t Realize That iPhones Can Also Make Phone Calls💬💖📲👀

Reason Your Leads Aren't Calling You Back

Well, not really, but if you’re over say, 40, then working with millennials requires some adjustments. First and foremost, millennials grew up with text messaging. For a lot of them, a phone call is reserved for dire emergencies, and even then they might just send an emoji instead of calling you: 💥 💀

How to Get Them to Call You Back

Hmmm. Not sure how to break this to you, but unless you’re calling them to let them know their car is on fire, you might as well give in. After all, you should be sending a follow-up email (or better yet text) along with your calls anyway.

5. You Didn’t Make a Personal Connection

Reason Your Leads Aren't Calling You Back

The idea that real estate is a relationship business is such a well-worn cliche at this point that it hardly bears repeating. Sadly, many newer agents still don’t get the message. They work hard at “selling” and never try to build an actual relationship built on reciprocity and selfless work.

Of course, there are always people that you’re not going to click with for one reason or another. For example, at a busy open house, the odds of being able to connect in the 15 seconds you have to chat is pretty much zero.

How to Get Them to Call You Back

If your first call or email was detail-heavy, a more personal message might work to get them on the phone. I’ve had luck with follow-up voicemails that acknowledge just how busy they are and offer a specific call-back time.

Something like:

“Hey________, I know you’re really busy, so sorry for that long message yesterday. I just wanted to give you as many options as possible. I’m free today at 3:00 or tomorrow from 2:00 to 7:00 for a call. Which works best for you?”

6. You Didn’t Have a ‘Call to Action’ in Your Voicemail or Follow-up Email

sad female GIF

Here’s one from Enrique A. Huerta, an agent at Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty in Laguna Beach:

“Oftentimes, agents don’t leave a ‘call to action’ in the voicemail that is compelling enough to return a call. If someone signs up on a website to browse properties, and the agents just call to ‘check in,’ what does that mean? The prospect may think that the agent is just doing his job by following up, but since the lead may not be in a hurry to do something, there’s no reason to return the call. Thus, agents should always include a compelling ‘call to action’ in their voicemails.”

How to Get Them to Call You Back

Simple. Always remember to include a call to action in your voicemails, emails, and texts. Your leads have to know both how and when they should reach out to you. Here are a few examples of effective calls to action for voicemails:

Feel free to text me at [Phone Number] with the type of home you’re looking for.

Call me at (Phone Number) as this home will go fast, but I have a few more coming up for sale. If you’re interested, let me know immediately and you’ll be able to have a first look at the upcoming homes.

Regardless of if you’re moving in one month or one year, I’d like to help you get the best deal possible. So, send me a text or give me a call at (Phone Number) to discuss your plans. You can also reach me via email at (Email Address) and I’ll respond accordingly.

7. You Pronounced Their Name Wrong

Skarsgard GIF

As someone who grew up on Long Island with a very French name, I will almost always give someone cold calling the benefit of the doubt before hanging up when they mispronounce my name.

That said, if they’re not even close, my finger is reaching for the end call button.

People with more common names that you still manage to butcher are not as likely to be as forgiving. After all, you can find out how to pronounce most names with a quick Google search. If you can’t find a good pronunciation or are a bit unsure, then skip their name entirely. The point is that you need to make an effort here, so winging it is not an option.

How to Get Them to Call You Back

Well, there’s no easy way to say this, but if you butchered their name on a voicemail, there’s not much you can do here beyond normal follow up. You just have to hope they didn’t take offense or hear from an agent who took the time to learn how to pronounce their name properly.

8. They’re Already Working With Another, Better Agent

man in suit winked GIF

For hot leads, working with another agent is a very likely reason they won’t call you back. If you can get them to admit it, great. Just mention that you’re there to help if they ever need a second opinion.

How to Get Them to Call You back

You could always try telling them something like “I have an important market update for you that could drastically affect the price of your home,” but if they just started their relationship with another agent, coming across as too aggressive might backfire. Of course, you would also need that “important market update”—and it better actually be important!

9. You Told a FSBO That You Had Clients That Wanted to See Their Home

frustrated woman GIF

OK, time to come clean. How many of you have left a voicemail with an FSBO telling them about all the great clients you have for their listing? While it may have seemed like a great idea at the time, most experienced listing agents will tell you this is a surefire way to ensure you NEVER get their business.

After all, you just proved to them that their FSBO strategy is working! All they need to do is list their property on their own, and eager-beaver new agents will call and offer up their buyers. Why on earth would they hire you to represent the listing? Worse, DO YOU have clients for their listing?! If you don’t, you’re starting out your relationship on a lie.

How to Get Them to Call You Back

Well, this is not all that difficult. Don’t leave voicemails telling them about your buyers. Instead, be honest. Take the time to figure out what they’re doing wrong and tell them you have a way to get their home sold faster and for more money.

10. You Didn’t Mention How You Got Their Number

Cold call GIF

Let’s face it. No one likes to get cold called. Even if they really, really need your services. That means not mentioning how you got their number can be a huge red flag.

Even if you didn’t cold call, they might not have remembered who the heck they reached out to on Zillow. A random call from a random real estate agent means instant delete for most people.

How to Get Them to Call You Back

Simple. Make sure to tell them exactly how you got their number right away. For example,

“Hi, this is Jessica from XYZ Realty, just following up on your online inquiry for 1234 Broadway.”

OK, OK. Leads you got from the AgentLEADS or another lead service might not be thrilled to have their information out there. Well, there’s nothing you can really do here, but rest assured that you’re not the only one calling, so you might as well be honest.

That said, “I got your number from the internet” won’t cut it. Instead, try something like “I got your number from a database of people from XXX who might benefit from our services.”

11. You Didn’t Even Leave a Voicemail

George eating popcorn while listening to his answering machine

The odds of your lead dialing a random number that left them a creepy half-second of silence on their voicemail is zero. Since almost literally everyone screens their calls these days, that means no voicemail = no call back. Maybe they’ll get your follow-up email, maybe they won’t. So why not leave a message? What are you afraid of anyway?

How to Get Them to Call You Back

Leave them a friendly, concise voicemail that lets them know who you are, how you got their number, and hint at your value proposition.

Of course, you’re going to want to leave messages for some leads, but not others. Generally speaking, I would avoid leaving messages for FSBO or expired listing leads. They’re going to have a TON of people calling, and unless you have an amazing voicemail script, a call back isn’t likely. Instead, send a follow-up email.

12. You Called Too Late at Night

late evening call GIF

Playing phone tag with your leads is hard enough, but trying to figure out when they’re going to be most receptive to your call is even trickier. A lot of newer agents make the mistake of reaching out in the late evening, with the idea that the lead will have some free time away from work.

While this makes sense on paper, put yourself in their shoes. You just had a 12-hour day of showings, cold calling, and working feverishly on your website. You eat dinner standing up over the counter answering emails, then you collapse on the couch to scroll through Netflix with what’s left of that rosé you opened last night … your phone rings … do you answer it? Of course not.

How to Get Them to Call You Back

While some people might get offended that you would call so late at night, most people won’t. All you really need to do here to get them on the phone is reach out again during a more sociable hour.

Of course, you won’t have to deal with this problem if you address it with your leads on your first contact. Make it a point to talk about the best times for calls, emails, or texts during your first meeting to ensure never reaching out when they’re not receptive to calls.

13. They Didn’t Get Enough Social Proof to Take You Seriously

thumbs down GIF

Anyone who gets a ton of calls, which your leads WILL BE if they’re any good, is going to take a minute or two to Google you before calling back. What are they going to find? Does your personal website or Zillow review page show up under searches for your name? Can they even spell your name?

Don’t have a good personal website? Now is the time to start building one and getting it to rank for your name. Check out our guide on the best real estate website builders here to get started.

How to Get Them to Call You Back

If you don’t have much of a social footprint yet, either tell them exactly where to look on your voicemail or skip leaving messages entirely and focus on emails or texts where you can link out to the social proof you want them to see most.

14. You Gave Away Your Hand in a Voicemail

One Million Dollars GIF

“Hey Jennifer, I just spent a few hours running the numbers and I think I can get you $850,000 for your listing. Call me back so we can discuss. My number is 555 ….”

Meanwhile, smarter agents have already told her that your number is either way too low or maybe way too high in their initial calls. Then they backed it up with a solid comparative market analysis (CMA). They’re going to wait until they get a listing presentation before (trying!) to prove the cold hard evidence to convince them of their listing’s market value.

How to Get Them to Call You Back

Well, there’s really not a whole lot you can do here besides trying again. When you do, maybe try an email that carefully breaks down how you came up with the price that you did. If you’ve got a ton of relevant experience, mention that as well.

You should also do your homework and actually have a CMA ready for hot leads. This way, when you mention you have a CMA for them, you can offer to send it immediately. This proves you’re not just trying to sell to them, but are already working on their behalf.

Don’t have a solid CMA strategy? Check out our guide to writing CMAs here.

Read the Article

15. They’re Dreamers, Tire Kickers, or Time Wasters

Leonardo Dicaprio cheers gif

OK, let’s pour one out for the tire kickers, dreamers, and time-wasters out there. Even though the odds of them pulling the trigger this year are close to zero, they’re great for practicing your pitches. Of course, just because they might never buy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and knock it out of the park.

How to Get Them to Call You Back

Why would you want them to call you back? Instead, put them on a drip campaign, and try to nurture them. The goal here is to get them to stay in reality, but they might have friends who don’t live their lives in the clouds. But at the end of the day, maybe you don’t really need these jokers to call you back.

Over to You

Have a great strategy for resurrecting leads from the grave? Let me know in the comments.

Learn How To Get More Real Estate Leads, Get More Listings, Close More Sales, with Less Resistance AND still have a LIFE!

Get more exclusive real estate agent training here 👉 https://www.yasserkhan.sg/👈



Author, Coach & Trainer

Yasser Khan earned less than $1,000 in his first year as a full time property agent. With no money for the $2 train fare to his Broker's office, he was forced to walk 25 kilometers on foot. Worse, he got evicted at midnight with his wife and baby son by the roadside. Desperate, he bought a $16 Sales book and took massive action. That single investment in himself gave him an OBSCENE ROI of $160,000 in just 11 months. Today, Yasser is on a mission to make the real estate great career again and helps ambitious agents quadruple their commission income within 90 days.

Yasser Khan is a real estate coach at YasserKhan.SG, trainer at PropertyAgentUniversity.com and the author of Property Agent Secrets Book who teaches Realtors how to make more Money, have more Time and enjoy more Freedom without all the B.S. plaguing the industry today.  

Yasser Khan’s approach to coaching is highly personalised, holistic, no B.S., and for “PROS ONLY… amateurs not allowed.” He believes that true success means winning in every single area of your life (like Financial, Family, Social, Physical, Mental, Spiritual and Fun).

When Yasser isn’t coaching, he loves playing GOTY PC Games with top-of-the-line Razer products and being a kid again with his 3 naughty children (actually, boss babies...), traveling to and across scenic Pakistan, enjoying hot & spicy food, taking pictures of the Milky Way with his favourite Canon DSLR and reading up all about Dinosaurs (especially T. Rex)


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