“All my leads have bad phone numbers!” Stop right there! I hear this all too often within my Inside Sales Agent (ISA) training sessions. My immediate response? Don’t throw them in the trash just yet. My goal is to change your perspective—from “bad leads” to massive opportunities!

In this article, I’ll share my highly effective Bad Phone Number Email Campaign. Use it to encourage your “bad leads” to respond with a good phone number and hopefully provide you with an explanation of where they are in their process.

Step 1: Be Quick to Confirm a Bad Phone Number

Fact: 30% of your leads are going to the wrong phone numbers.

Think about it. If ALL agents react by trashing these leads, there is virtually NO competition for them. Are you with me? As a result, these leads are actually highly valuable.

I continue to work multiple sources of leads in the most common customer relationship managers (CRMs) within the real estate industry, and the percentage of bad phone numbers across the board hasn’t changed since I started.

When I train dialing leads, my main focus is on efficiency. Working more leads in less time. Think of every dial being 23 seconds for each lead. That adds up to approximately four rings. If you are not eliminating the bad phone numbers from your call list, how much time are you wasting?

For every 100 dials, 30 will be a bad number. That is approximately 11 minutes of wasted time calling leads that you’ll never reach if you’re not eliminating them from your call lists.

How to Verify Bad Phone Numbers

Your very first dial will be longer than the 23 seconds because you are looking for a few things on that first initial attempt. These are:

  1. Does the dialer disconnect? (Attempt a manual call from a phone)
  2. Does the dialer ring through and NOT go to a voicemail? (Attempt a manual call)
  3. Does a voicemail pick up with the lead’s name as the message?
  4. Is it an automated voice message?
  5. Is it a landline? (i.e., “You have reached the Smith residence.”)

Taking the extra time with the first dial saves you a tremendous amount of time when dialing through the entire database.

Third-party dialers do not detect most bad phone numbers; it will just continue to ring or simply disconnect immediately. When this happens, have your ISA make a manual dial from an actual phone to verify if it is genuinely a bad number.

Action tip: When the voicemail picks up and confirms a lead’s name, make a note in the lead profile—good # name on VM. If it is a different name, make a note of their name from their voicemail. That way, if they do eventually pick up, you can address the lead by the name on their voicemail. If the phone number is a landline, tag it as a landline and remove it from texting.

Step 2: Separate the Bad Phone Leads

Use your CRM tools to remove bad phone leads from your call list. I have compiled a list of ways to do this, depending on your system.

  1. Utilize a tagging system: If you don’t already have a tag, create a “Bad Phone” tag to apply after confirmation and make a note as to why the number is bad.
  2. Mark the number as a wrong number: In some CRMs, when a lead revisits their website, the lead is asked to reconfirm their phone number, increasing your chances of getting a good phone number.
  3. When building your call filters, remove bad phone leads by eliminating all leads tagged or marked as bad: Doing so will ensure a more efficient dialing experience, and you’ll be reaching out to leads who might just answer their phone.
  4. Build an automated bad phone number campaign.

My Highly Effective “Bad Phone Number” Email Campaign

Here it is—the campaign you have been waiting for! Remember, not every lead is going to respond. However, when ONE does, the quality of this lead is valuable because they have agreed to communicate by offering their correct phone number or explaining their situation.

This campaign is only my suggestion—copy it, use it, or tweak it to make it work with your personality. My style is setting my communication apart from other traditional emails. I want to be remembered and stand out for being different.

Pro tip: Use REDX as an affordable source of leads with accurate contact information. REDX provides accurate phone numbers of homeowners with expired listings and FSBOs, connecting agents to qualified sellers. REDX even offers training to help you convert warm leads into listings. Click here to have the $150 setup cost waived.

Notice square brackets in the action areas of the email. Review your CRM’s FAQ section to determine how your database automatically adds these fields to personalize or customize emails for mass action.





DAY 11

Day 16

Have fun with this! This sequence reflects how you may want to set up your email campaign, beginning with the first outreach, and followed by five more emails sent over the course of 16 days.

Step 3: Review the Bad Phone Lead’s Activity

I have to laugh when I hear agents complaining about THAT ONE LEAD who is always looking at properties but who never seems to reply.

It’s OK, really. You are offering a service to help them look at homes on the market. This is nothing more than a restaurant offering their menu online. Do you think restaurant owners get upset when you view their menu and go somewhere else to eat?

Action tip: What home did they last view? Send them an email with the listing included in the email and say:

Step 4: Be Consistent

Like fine wine, it becomes more valuable over time. So do your leads. Being consistent with communication is the key to increasing communication. Simply activating the email campaign and forgetting about your lead is not going to get the job done.

I like to know what is going on in my database. If you rely on campaigns, you aren’t paying close attention to your leads. You should have a filter to log in to your database and quickly access the bad phone leads.

If your CRM allows, sort by most recently active leads. You can see who has been viewing homes most recently—this is the easiest and best way to communicate and have control over responding. So, let’s take it a step further.

Action tip: You now have a list of the most recent active leads. Now sort your list by those who haven’t received an email from you recently. Your filter should consist of: bad phone, most recently active, last recently emailed.

Send a Mass Email

The idea of a quick, easy, single question is to get them to raise their hand. The more often you do this, the more often you are positioning yourself to get lucky. It is all about the timing and catching leads when they are ready. You have no idea of their time frame, and it is a numbers game.

If you never do it, you have zero chance of making contact. It literally takes minutes and costs you nothing. What is the harm in making this a process that you build into your system on a weekly basis?

Over to You

The funny thing is, we often think we have a great lead when we have a good phone number—but in reality, how many “good leads” fail to answer the phone? Pursue the “bad leads” with my email campaign. If you would like help organizing your CRM, setting up basic systems for your own ISAs, and my ISA scripts, you can download it all here.

Have a great tip for working with bad phone leads? Having trouble with bad phone leads? Let me know in the comments or call me for a private coaching session.

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Beverly Ruffner
Beverly Ruffner
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Beverly Ruffner owned a Mega Agent Keller Williams office where she and her team were in the top 5% of their market. Beverly trains agents on improving their lead conversion.

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  1. Julie Rosenthal, Broker-Assoc, Jupiter Lighthouse Rlty Reply

    Thank you for the great suggestions!

  2. Ernest Carter Reply

    Great tips on bad numbers!

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