New Customers: Quality vs Quantity in Real Estate

Generating leads is a significant but time-consuming activity for all digital agents, but which is the best route: quality or quantity?

Becky Poynton
July 19, 2021
5 min read

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New Customers: Quality vs Quantity

It’s an age-old challenge in the real estate sector, but when it comes to leads, many agents still have to ask: quality or quantity? 

Generating leads is already one of the most significant business goals in any agent’s career, because it’s not just the sheer amount of effort it takes to build up a decent database of leads, but the filtering and identification of leads that will truly matter in the long run. Not only that, agents have a myriad of vastly different experiences that makes it difficult to give an overarching call on which one is more important - quality or quantity? To the agent who may be dealing with some contact names but with incorrect email or phone numbers, yes, the more leads they can get into their system the greater the chance for success. But to the agent who has scoured hundreds of leads only to end up with most, if not all, at a dead end, then surely they can come to the conclusion that they need better leads. But again, different agents adopt different approaches. 

The 80/20 rule 
This idea maintains that 80% of outcomes (outputs) come from 20% of causes. For agents, that would mean since 80% of business only comes from 20% of their leads, they should ideally be focusing their efforts towards identifying and working with those 20% of clients. These agents take the time to really build relationships with the cream of the crop among their customers, giving them exclusive information or deals, and coming alongside them in helping them meet other lifelong goals. It’s about knocking out the competition by showing up as the top-tier agent in their lives by successfully making them feel like top-tier clients. This strategy is definitely pushing quality over quantity by a mile, and loyal clients who come out of this process not only become loyal for life, but are much more likely to give referrals over to their agent. 

The ‘No Dead-End Leads’ Rule 
On the other side of the spectrum, we’ve got agents and brokers who believe that any lead with an email address (or even just an email address) isn’t actually a dead-end, (a.k.a. “A lead is a name and a way to contact them”) and they hold this belief up particularly towards social media platforms. The belief is that even a social media account with the email ‘’ could be valuable later on because social media accounts are almost always connected to a person. These agents may have a lot more sleuthing around to do with the sheer amount of homework they have with a leads list like this, but one important factor to take in is that they realize the power of social media that traditional lead generation methods simply lack. Platforms like Facebook are powerful sources of information when it comes to a person’s account, because it is where they freely (and often, honestly) exhibit their true likes and dislikes, their affiliations, their family and personal statuses, and, crucially, their location. These agents realize that the level of information they can get here would simply take much longer in other ways, but are happy to identify some of these ‘finds’ as a lead that can potentially be marked ‘for later’ or ‘not right now’. Their aim is then to try and keep their brand top-of-mind for many of these potential leads, and help them get further and further down the customer funnel. Quantity is definitely a bit part of their lead generation strategy. 

Above all else, relationship wins. 
The most successful agents make it a point to work on relationship skills in order to take their business goals to the next level, and not be bogged down by the quality vs quantity debate. 

  • Some brokers cultivate huge databases of clients who are in varying stages of the homebuying/homeselling process, but will also maintain a specialized, smaller list of repeat customers and customers who make good referrals from time to time. For them, the quality is in the quantity. 
  • Some agents try to actively hone in on creating as detailed and qualified a leads list as possible, turning them into valuable subscribers with whom they maintain powerful communication channels, and in doing so, try to eliminate the necessity for huge quantities of unassigned leads altogether. 
  • Many agents try to strike a healthy balance: making sure quantity is there so as not to lose out on leads who could become quality leads in the future, and identifying high-intent clients early on in the process.

Thankfully, in the digital arena that we live in now, agents can become increasingly efficient in striking that balance. They are able to equip and educate themselves now with the rise of powerful apps and proptech capabilities geared towards modern real estate challenges; they are increasingly able to make sense of even the most obscure set of mass data, extracting only the most valuable of information amongst heaps of data, so that the issue of quality vs. quantity becomes less and less of a threat, and more of a learning curve in their career. 

For more on how technology can streamline and automate your data, see our recent blog:

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