16 Strategies To Convert Real Estate Leads With Bad Phone Numbers

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller, Licensed AgentMay 31, 2022

Close,Up,Of,Women's,Hands,Holding,Cell,Telephone,With,BlankBad phone numbers don’t necessarily have to translate to bad real estate leads. In fact, with these 16 strategic tips, you can transform those no-contact numbers into real connections with prospects. Use this comprehensive guide to convert leads as a real estate agent, complete with email scripts you can cut, paste and personalize to streamline the process.

1. Reach out by email

When you get a bad phone number but have an email address for the prospect, use this simple script to connect:

Dear <Prospect Name>,

I learned you were interested in homes in <target area> priced at <target price range>, and I would love to help you find the perfect property. I tried to reach out to you at <bad phone number>, but I was unable to connect. If you’re still engaged in your real estate search, please feel free to reach out to me at any time.

<email sign-off with your complete contact information>

2. Make an introduction

When you have a lead with a bad phone number, you can also introduce yourself with a cold email. Try your luck with a template that looks something like this:

Greetings <prospect name>,

My name is <your name here>, and I’m hoping I can help you out with your housing needs in <neighborhood> as a real estate agent with <firm>. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to reach you with the phone number I have. Are you available to chat by phone one day this week and narrow down your search? You can reach me at <contact info>. 

3. Just ask (politely)

Happy,Bearded,African,Businessman,Using,Phone,While,Sitting,On,SofaKeep this message in your toolbox of email scripts for an instance when you have some prospect data but either a bad phone number or no number at all. For example, let’s say the person submitted a contact request to your site about selling their home, but the phone number didn’t work. Your message could read:

Dear <name>,

Thank you for reaching out about selling your home in <neighborhood>. I’d love to help you take the next steps by visiting you at <property address> to conduct a fair market value assessment and talk more about your real estate goals. It’s an excellent time to sell in <area>, so please get in touch by phone, text or email at your earliest convenience. You can reach me at:

<full name, credentials, contact info>

I look forward to working with you!

4. Take the short and simple approach

Silhouette,Of,Cropped,Shot,Of,A,Young,Man,Working,FromThis is another easy email template you can use to get a good phone number:

Subject: Sorry – I think I got your number wrong

Dear <name>

We connected <insert contact source>, but I wasn’t able to leave a message at the number I have for you. Is <bad number> correct? If not, I’d love to update it with your best contact number so I can connect you quickly with the right properties. After all, it’s a fast-moving market! Look forward to chatting with you.

<insert full contact name, number, website>

5. Keep your CRM system updated

You can easily remove unusable phone numbers from the lead list in your CRM. While the best process for doing so varies depending on the specific software you use, common methods include adding a “bad number” tag to the person’s record or marking the number as wrong within the record. Either way, you should be able to screen out these bad leads when you create a call filter in the CRM system.

6. Direct prospects to your website

Side,View,Shot,Of,A,Man's,Hands,Using,Smart,PhoneMake sure that you have a high-quality professional website for your real estate business. Include valuable content such as answers to frequently asked questions about buying and selling homes, details about the communities where you work, and other information that positions you as an expert in your field.

If you have an email address, send a version of the sample message above directing prospects to your site for more information. Try adding this basic script:

You can find answers to your real estate questions at <insert website here>. We strive to provide trustworthy inside information about the homebuyers’ market in <neighborhood> while serving as a useful resource you can use to connect with me when you’re ready to partner with a local expert.

7. Search for them on social

While this trick specifically works well on Facebook, you might also get mileage for searching for prospects on other social media sites too. If you have a good email address, plug it into the platform’s search function to see if you can obtain a phone number. If you do get more contact info from the person’s profiles, test it out to make sure it’s good before you update your CRM.

8. Write to a real person

When crafting emails to real estate leads with bad phone numbers, act as if you’re writing to someone you actually know. Think about their needs, their dreams and their challenges in the real estate space. Taking a professional yet personal approach will help build the trustworthy rapport your prospects need to take the next step toward conversion. In fact, sometimes it’s better to avoid fancy email templates for this purpose and go for a simple, basic message as if you’re writing to a friend or colleague.

9. Confirm as you call

Smiling,Young,Adult,African,American,Hipster,Business,Man,Professional,MakingWhen you try to call a new lead for the first time, know how to evaluate whether the number works. Good signs include an answering machine or voice mail message that confirms a match between the lead’s name and contact info.

Don’t automatically discard a disconnect, since that can be an automated response to an autodialer call. Instead, try to reach the lead again manually from your desk or mobile phone. Do the same if the number continually rings and you can’t reach anyone with the autodialer. Even when you get an automated message, don’t rely on your dialer to confirm bad numbers. Always make the manual call.

10. Text the email address

With nearly 114 million iPhone users in the U.S. according to Statista, it’s likely that this little trick will resolve lots of your bad number leads. Simply send a text message to the person’s email from your own iOS device (assuming you have one). If the message bubble turns blue, you’ll be able to access the contact phone number connected to the person’s iCloud device.

11. Search public records

If you have someone’s full name and at least a partial street address, you can conduct a free public records search to try and turn up a phone number. While it won’t always lead you to a working number, it will help you gather additional details in your quest to transform bad leads to good ones.

12. Send a newsletter invite

Cheerful,African,Student,Black,Woman,Sitting,At,Table,Studying,UsingYou can also reach out to the person’s email and invite them to subscribe to your newsletter. At the same time, ask for a contact number update. Here’s a script to try:

Hi <name>!

I know you’re interested in purchasing a property in <community>. I’m not sure where you are in your search, but I’d love to add you to my newsletter about all the amenities in <local area> if you’re in the market. In the meantime, would you mind replying with an updated phone number? I tried to reach out about an open house at <property address> last month, but I wasn’t able to connect with the contact information I have.

Hoping to hear back and potentially partner with you as you search for the ideal home!

13. Offer a tour

The more data you have about prospect real estate leads, the more creative you can be with your email scripts. Here’s a template to try if you notice someone viewed a particular home on your website. Position yourself as a valuable partner by proactively reaching out to schedule a showing of a similar property:

Good afternoon <name>,

Based on your interest in properties in <neighborhood>, I wanted to invite you to schedule a personal tour of <address> or <address>. Please reach out to me at <contact information> so we can calendar your showing if you’re still in the market for a home.


<name, company name, contact info>

14. Aim for an in-person meeting

Businessman,In,Office,Talking,On,PhoneReal estate agents convert leads at a much higher rate when they meet prospects in person. However, you’ll need patience since it takes several touches to get most people to agree to that appointment. In fact, the Rain Group Sales Training Program says you’ll need to connect with real estate leads up to eight times before conversion occurs. When you follow up frequently with your real estate leads, you’re one step ahead of every agent who’s singing the bad number blues with the same potential client.

15. Accelerate your follow-up

Connect with real estate leads quickly after the initial contact, even if you find you have an incorrect number. Data reported by Forbes suggests that more than 70% of leads generated through online contact forms go to waste because the sales agent doesn’t follow up fast enough to help the potential client.

16. Remain in contact

You’ll need to keep your name in the ears of possible real estate leads for successful conversions. Email drip campaigns support this strategy by sending regular emails to your list of leads every few weeks, segmented by each person’s area of interest. In addition, however, keep trying to get that good phone number. Calling the leads on your list every three to five months helps build the connection that will serve you well when they need a real estate agent.

In short, real estate leads with no numbers aren’t necessarily bad. Complete your due diligence with these tips to convert more prospects into satisfied clients, phone number or not. For more smart real estate resources, connect with the team at Agent Advice to find education programs in your area.

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 5/31/2022