The ActiveRain Stuff You Won't Find Anywhere Else on the Web

10 Tips for Better Online Contact Conversion

Are you getting the absolute most and best results from your ActiveRain, Zillow, and other Agent memberships and sites?  Are there some things you’re doing or maybe not doing that could increase the results and successes you’re currently experiencing?

Many times we feel confident and believe that we are doing all the right things possible, but sometimes as Gary points out in the video below, there might be a better or more efficient way to get even more and better results.

Take it from someone who is successfully active in both the local real estate community as a REALTOR, and online as a successful Agent.  He’s been doing this for over 30 years, and the past two years have really paid off for him as he has fine-tuned his marketing skills and advertising efforts.

In this video, Gary will explain the “Best Practices” and the importance of the following:

  • Using Market Data, Information, and knowledge To Close More Transactions
  • Understanding How Important Your response time is to every Online Contact
  • What to do when you get calls on homes that aren’t for sale or not your listing
  • Having all the right answers is impossible, it’s all the right questions that count
  • Keeping your eyes and ears open for those subtle signs of opportunity
  • Follow-up can mean many things, but what does it mean to YOUR contacts
  • What is the most critical and important activity that produces results online
  • The perception of your role portrayed online within your community is their reality
  • Using creativity with the featured showcase advertising gets you more contacts
  • Recognize the advantages of using Zillow as a Buyer Sales tool and a Listing tool

Enjoy this short 3-minute video and be sure to contact Gary directly if you have any questions at all. 

I think you’ll be convinced from Gary's 2 years of experience converting online contacts into clients, that his tips and advice could be very useful and powerful additions to your online efforts and marketing strategies in 2012.

*Get More Tips and Tools "By Agents for Agents" Here

About Gary Gold: 
Gary Gold is the Executive Vice President of Hilton & Hyland. He's an active Real Estate Agent representing Celebrity's in the Luxury Housing Markets of Southern California. Gary is a Zillow Top Marketer in the Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Sunset Strip communities. He recently debuted on HGTV's "Selling LA" and has appeared numerous times on local and national television.



"Learn More. Get More. Do More. Be More."

Comment balloon 59 commentsBrad Andersohn • December 07 2011 11:24PM


Will come back to the video to watch it... I need to make more out of all that I am doing!

Posted by Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA, #ChandlerRealEstateAgent (Liz Harris Realty) about 8 years ago

Liz - no worries, here to help anyway I can if you need....   :-)


Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 8 years ago

Very sounds advice and tips in both the post and the video. I will look into the availability and cost of using Zillow the way mentioned in the video.

Posted by Ken Brandon, Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, NC (Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage (Jacksonville, NC)) about 8 years ago

Hi Brad, What Gary is saying makes great sense. I haven't used Zillow yet, but I believe it's time for me to look into it. Knowing the market and making those quick responses to emails and calls seems to be vital to converting that lead online.  I like what he said about Face to Face. They are not your clients until you get them in a Face to Face. 

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, about 8 years ago

These tips can be used for almost any lead that comes your way. Great information. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) about 8 years ago

Ken - if you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out.  I worked here at AR for 3 1/2 years and now at Zillow for the past year.  I'd be happy to part with any tips and ideas I can share that may be helpful or of use.


Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 8 years ago

Jerry - I was fortunate to be there when Gary recorded this video, everything he says and shares he puts into practice himself.  The digital handshake online is just the introduction but the Face to face is what closes deals.

I have a few other videos of Gary that I'll also be sharing down the road ... thanks.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 8 years ago

Debbie - exactly!!!  They're good "Best Practices" for ANY and ALL online contacts.  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 8 years ago

Goodness, it's my zillow anniversary.  :)  And let's see... there was the "daddy buys them a house folks"  zillow phone call, there was the "first house almost a child buyer", oh and the "yes honey, I took her to raise, single female buyer", "mafia guy", & "my dog people".  Not to mention the dozens of leads that I passed along to my agents (and yes some of them were buyers too). 

Timely follow up and asking "are you working with a buyers agent"... I get about 60/40 emails to phone calls, but we always follow up.  Sometimes we get people inquiring who ARE working with an agent. Heck I've even had agents call me because they don't even know how zillow works and think because a house is there and I'm there, it's my listing.  HEE HEE... I never tell them how they can find "how that listings got to zillow"  How mean is that?

Have a Merry Christmas Brad.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 8 years ago

Thanks for the tips!

Posted by Hector Reyes, Southern California (NHNR) about 8 years ago

Zillow has improved a lot compare to few years ago. I did some research, and it appears that many real estate agents receiving and converting quality leads from Zillow into sales.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) about 8 years ago

I am a big fan of asking good questions. Good post Brad.


Posted by Robert Rucker III about 8 years ago

Great tips, Brad. Certainly, the more that we know, the better we can serve our clients.

Posted by John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team) about 8 years ago

Thanks Brad. Another one of your helpful posts. I emailed it to myself so it won't get lost.

Posted by Jon Quist, Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996 (REALTY EXECUTIVES ARIZONA TERRITORY) about 8 years ago

Your points are very well taken. A true professional should know the value of the real estate market as well as well as giving your audience on the internet invaluable information. Exposure and knowledge is truly the key to success. Perception is very important and you only have moments to capture attention. 

Posted by Tony Hammer, Luxury Homes & Condos For Sale (LoKation Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Dear Brad-
Another example of the power of the video format.
Thanks - Gary Gold spoke well and was knowledgeable about Zillow's offerings.
Have a happy day -

Posted by Lynn B. Friedman, Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers (Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ...) about 8 years ago

Brad, I did see Gary on one of the HGTV programs. Thanks for the info.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 8 years ago

Very helpful information. Yes, I agree there are 2 type of customers; those you know and those you don't know and yes, you can only reach the the ones you don't know via the internet. Sometime I need to be reminded of the importance of going after the huge number of people I don't know.

Posted by Anna Niehaus, Anna Niehaus (Keller Williams Realty Wellington) about 8 years ago

Brad~great post and information! Gary's tips are simple and direct but so true. The internet is truly about reaching those you don't know and it's what you do w/the lead once you get it that is most important. I have a colleague who thinks people will wait for her response if they are really interested but then is frustrated when the lead doesn't pan out. To me, timing is everything in this business no matter where the lead came from.

Here's to a great 2012!

Posted by Jamie R. Bell, Your Central CT Realtor (Bell Realty Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NEP) about 8 years ago

Thanks Brad. That is a great video and it is another piece of learning which I have gained being part of the rain. Thanks.


Posted by Cal Yoder, Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744 (Keller Williams Elite) about 8 years ago

Tammy - now you're going to get text messages too~ WOOHOO!  I think they just launched the new feature today.  (Just for your anniversary) Glad to hear that the "Stenno Lady" is experiencing success. Merry Christmas to you too.  :-) 

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 8 years ago

Nice post, thank you, I have watched the video and I learned a few things, now it's time to put it to work.


Posted by Ken's Home Team LLC. | 360.609.0226 | Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA Real Estate Team, - SOLD IS OUR FAVORITE 4 LETTER WORD - (Ken's Home Team LLC.) about 8 years ago

Thanks so much Brad.  You reinforced many of my practices and gave me some new ones to try.  It is amazing that even if we ask 100 questions of a buyer or seller we are always amazed at the one that we never thought to ask.  Sometimes I feel like I am a scene right out of the old tv show "Dragnet" and my clients are under a severe interrogation but there is always some obstacle under the surface that they have failed to disclose.  Great post and much appreciated.

Posted by Marnie Matarese, Showing you the best of Sarasota! (DWELL REAL ESTATE) about 8 years ago

John - it's true.  Meet some of the others....  then let me know how we can help you?

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 8 years ago

A great post and video.  The comments above are my thoughts are well.  We just need to always continue making ourselves better.  Knowledge!!

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) about 8 years ago

Complete detailed information on the local community turf, the individual listings means using a myriad of methods to market. It's not one site on the Internet any more and leaning back, thinking there, all set. The cost involved, time to manage and weed, feed any marketing stream all needs critical, serious study. Before wiring your platforms to a marketing delivery, amplifying enhancement to expand on your reach, frequency. In rural areas, had to explain to, others that you don't need to buy, "own" a zip code that only has 136 folks in the entire township. With USPS cut backs, no doubt fewer zips, larger zips to keep from consideration of buying tons of them. Every real estate market is different, the property in it, your approach to list and sell, twist and shout.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 8 years ago

Thanks for the video tips Brad!  I have not used my Zillow account in a while. However, these tips and suggestions should help me in incorporating it back into my marketing efforts. 

Posted by Lisa Dunham, Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate about 8 years ago

Thanks for sharing the video.  Zillow is a good source of information for buyers and maybe I need to get back on the site as a premier agent.

Posted by Timothy Mattingly, Louisville Homes for Sale (Louisville Homes Team Louisville KY about 8 years ago

It really does take good questions to get to the bottom of a clients needs but it also establishes that 1. you care, 2. you have their best interests at heart, and 3. my favorite.... they have to respond.

Let me explain: 

I had an agent ask me what she should say or what question she should ask when she replies to contacts from Zillow for the first time? (she was having a challenge getting them to respond back to her) So I shared this idea with her:

"I received your contact from Zillow and although I'm pretty sure I know what you're looking for, I want to be absolutely certain... what is the best way to communicate with you... email, phone, text, carrier pigeon, smoke signal, or through social media?"  This is a good first question for new leads contacts.

This type of question will start the process and "needs" analysis and at the same time get you a response nearly 99.9% of the time because it's real, it's important, and it's not too big of a task or commitment from your new prospect and potential future client.  (make sure you respond via their selected method of communication too, and let me know if you need any carrier pigeons)

Try it, it works!  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 8 years ago

Thanks for the post and video, Brad. I'm at my wit's end right now trying to generate business/leads. Will definitely be looking into Zillow.

Posted by Peggy Wester, Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County (Realty Executives Integrity) about 8 years ago

Thanks for the advice, we will watch the video and see how it resonates with our other marketing. 

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) about 8 years ago

Great post, Brad.  I know I'm just "dipping my toes" into much of this online activity.  Looking forward to utilizing it more fully in the very near future.  This video helps.

Posted by Jean Singleton, Specializing in Your Special Needs (Capital Realty Experts) about 8 years ago

Great information! I've found that routine, "real" contact (instead of canned messages) seem to be the key in this area. This is great info to help kick it up a notch. Thanks for sharing! Bookmarked for "full digestion" in the near future.

Posted by Brenda Mayette, Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how! (Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc.) about 8 years ago

Thank you  for the video.  Unfortunately I was a Zillow agent then they raised my fee's from about $150 am month to $800 month.  I cannot afford that advertising budget. Zillow produced but not that well.  I am sad because Zillow was one of my most useful tools.  It also had plenty of problems about not updating their data base and bad zestimates.  YOur tips are good for whatever type of internet lead you are receiving. 

Posted by Debbie Holmes, Gets the job done! (John L. Scott) about 8 years ago

Great post, Brad!  I was just trying to decide if I wanted to pay for a zip code and also if I should use Trulia or Zillow.  I think I'm leaning towards Zillow...

Posted by Kerry Lucasse, Your Urban Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant (eXp Realty - Urban Nest Real Estate Group) about 8 years ago

Aggressive follow up is the key, often buyers are online looking around different websites making multiple information inquiries, the one that is persistent and creative in following up, is the one that receive replies.

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Thanks for this information on Zillow.  I have read this blog and listened to the video as well as the videos referenced in this blog and I will think more about using zillow as another marketing tool.  I must say I only recently realized that the percentage of success for lead conversion is as low as it is, described as anywhere from 1 % to 10 %.  Weichert has said it is about 33 % for leads I receive directly from my company, but I have never experienced such a high percent as 33 %.  So -- thanks for the tips and I will continue to think about Zillow as another way to receive leads.

Posted by Ellen Kippel, Licensed NY and NJ realtor 914-588-2365 (Weichert Realtors) about 8 years ago

Brad, thanks for this information as always.  ou always leave us with valuable tools to keep our engines moving!

Posted by Paula McDonald ~ GRI, Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) about 8 years ago

I wish Zillow would have more accurate homes for sale/rent information. I know people look to Zillow for properties and their value ,because it is so userfriendly and easy to use. However, they (customers) get quickly frustrated because listings haven't been updated or properties arent listed at all.

Posted by Susanna Haynie, Colorado Springs Realtor GRI CNE MCNE ePro MRP (CO-RE Group, LLC -Real estate sales and services) about 8 years ago
Good tips Brad. I really like the carrier pigeon. I've always found interjecting a bit of humor is great at getting leads to start interacting with me.
Posted by Aaron Hofmann, aka Mr. Smyrna Vinings (Atlanta Communities) about 8 years ago

Great tips, Brad! Knowing your area well is especially important in today's marketplace ... whether a Zillow lead or not.

Posted by George Lawson about 8 years ago

I'm speaking today at the Wisconsin Association of Realtors Management Conference, but will be back later to comment.

Thanks.  :-)


Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 8 years ago

Susanna - real quick... in the video, Gary addresses that comment specifically. 

Even though there are 3-4 million homes syndicated and listed for sale on Zillow at any given time, there are still the other 100,000,000+ million homes which also create and generate contact calls from prospects and clients.  Knowing this might change your perspective and help with the way you respond to those calls.

I'd love to share some other ways you can convert those prospects if you're interested.  Just give me a ring.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 8 years ago

I'm always a video tutorial fan.  I like the set of tips, on-line follow up is one of the skills that isn't as simple as it may seem and these types of videos are always helpful.

Posted by Morgan Evans, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Hi Brad...Thanks for Posting Gary's Video, I've seen it before and he hits the nail on the head, be the Mayor of your zip or postal code.

Now lets get Zillow in Canada...Gesh!

Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Brad -- Thanks for the video and info. I very much like your very real non-pushy lead response.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (Kinard Realty Group Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Good video and great tips for getting zillow to work for you. I do wonder how much he spends on zillow per month?

Posted by James Lyon, 916-521-1214 (LyonSF) about 8 years ago

Brad-- I have been on Zillow for about 8 months and did get a deal out of it so it payed for itself. These are helpful tips and I need to spend more time on my Zillow profile so I can take FULL advantage of opportunities!!! Its a GREAT TOOL for those looking to get into Internet marketing. This would be a good starting point for agents.

Posted by Jermaine Butler (ERA Herman Group) about 8 years ago


Ditto about the thanks for the video post. I used to use some of's featured ads and did get some leads but they had a very low conversation rate. I will look a bit more at Z.

Posted by Curtis Van Carter, Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire (Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group) about 8 years ago

nice blog good job

Posted by Andrew Lowell, Consulting Broker for 32 years (Andrew Lowell Broker) about 8 years ago

Gary provides some really good tips for new and tenured agents.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 about 8 years ago

It seems that every agent I speak to around the country regarding tips and secrets for contact conversion, they're all telling me the same thing over and over: timing, follow-up, a good CRM, and market knowledge combined with tenacity are a winning combination.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 8 years ago

Superb information on Contact Conversion, Brad.    Thanks for posting it!


Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Hi Brad,
Thanks for sharing this short, sweet and rich video with useful strategies.
I've bookmarked for future reference.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Posted by Digital Digital, full service about 8 years ago

Brad If I don't get by this way before now and then Arthur and I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) about 8 years ago

Thanks Karen - right back at ya! :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 8 years ago

Love to hear from folks that walk the talk and speak from experience. The only thing that's better are those that share!  I am just discovering on line marketing and blogging and it has put FUN back in the business. 

Thank you so much!

Posted by Sharon Falvey, Oregon Reverse Mortgage Specialist and Home Equity Expert (Security One Lending) about 8 years ago

Thanks Brad, your blogs are so educational and helpful to all!!!  Happy New Year!!!

Posted by Mary Macy, Top Agents Atlanta Metro (Top Agents Atlanta Metro) about 8 years ago

That was a very kind comment Mary, thank you.  Happy Holidays.  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 8 years ago