“Leads or Referrals, Does it Matter to You?”

“Leads or Referrals, Does it Matter to You?”




My blogging efforts generate lots of leads that usually get to me through my website as folks that have some sort of question(s) or interest will want to check me out and the majority of the time will land there.


These inquiries are not referrals, they are leads. Even though I’m very happy to interact with these folks this is a relatively slow process. When I get the inquiry, I thank them for reaching out and ask them what the best way to communicate would be. Most of the time, I get a response and then begin to communicate. My conversion rate is about 50%, but nowhere near the conversion rate of a referral.


Referrals are a completely different situation. These are folks that are pretty much ready to do a mortgage, if not immediately it would be in the near future. My conversion rate is over 90%.


Building a referral based business is a process, a process that never stops and never one that you should ever stop building.


Leads or referrals?


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Joe Petrowsky, NMLS #6869

Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS #2709

110 Main St.

Manchester, Ct. 06042

Office: 860 647-7701 x116

Fax: 860 647-8940

Cell: 860 836-9294

Email: joe@righttracfg.com



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Joe Petrowsky does not guarantee nor is in any way responsible for the accuracy of the information provided herein, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied.

Equal Housing Statement: We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing becuase of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

Comment balloon 31 commentsJoe Petrowsky • November 09 2015 08:09AM


Good morning Joe Petrowsky .  Both - leads are a good source but, as you say, referrals are sometimes ready to move forward - not always.  Often, it is still a process.

Posted by Elyse Berman, PA, Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR (Best Connections Realty, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Excellent points.  Those are great conversion rates either way.  But, a good referral is often better and timeframe certainly matters.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 5 years ago

REFERRALS definitely...A much better CLOSED ratio!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) about 5 years ago

Good morning Joe.  While I enjoy getting leads nothing beats referrals.  They are so much easier to work with.  My conversion rate for leads is lower than yours while my referral rate is about the same.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) about 5 years ago

Good morning Joe Petrowsky,

I'll take a referral every time and find the closing rate is always significantly higher. It's time well spend continuing to build that referral base. Leads are to to be incubated and worked but referrals are always at the top of my priority list!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) about 5 years ago

Joe - I would say that holds true for me.  The web inquiries need lots of warming.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 5 years ago

Hi Joe.  A 50% conversion rate on leads is pretty amazing.  I'm lucky if can get close to 10%.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) about 5 years ago

I think a 50% conversion rate on leads is awesome!


Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) about 5 years ago

Oh Joe, referrals from trusted past clients are the best ones...can never dismiss these as they keep on giving always.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Good morning Joe,

We need both unless we have enough referrals to do the business we want to do.

Either way for you they are great closing ratio's.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 5 years ago

Good Morning Joe:

I prefer referrals. They are more solid. You don't have to sell yourself. Somebody else did that work for you.

Posted by Maria Gilda Racelis, Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen! (Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington) about 5 years ago

I prefer referrals.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 5 years ago

Referral,s, generally speaking are more "fast acting"....leads caan be ...espcially when we have a property listed that is in a partiularly HOT area...people are as anxious as referred customers to buy the eye candy they have seen.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 5 years ago

IMHO both are important.  We never know where our next client/customer will come from.....

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) about 5 years ago

Joe, I get both, leads come through my web site or calls off my listings.   Love those calls with referrals coming into Denver and ready to buy or sell! 

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) about 5 years ago

I want to have both as they both serve a purpose. You have built a wonderful business, Joe.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties, The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730 (Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070) about 5 years ago

Good morning, Joe -- both leads and referrals can be good. As with anything, quality is the most important factor.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 about 5 years ago

Hi Joe,

Both leads and referrals can be fruitful, but I would much rather get a good referral.

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) about 5 years ago

Good morning, Joe... nothing better than a referral in my book. It's what my business is based on! Love the leads and the more the better to up chances of conversion, but they are only leads and cold to start with.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) about 5 years ago

Joe Petrowsky Just keep the pipeline full. It doesn't matter where they come from.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) about 5 years ago

I love to receive those leads, Joe Petrowsky ... as they are affirmation and testimony to the efforts I make through marketing.  But I LOVE referrals even more.  As they are affirmation and testimony to the actual service level and guidance I provided to my past clients and referral partners ... and recognition of such.  I'll take a healthy dose of each please!


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) about 5 years ago

My business is primarily leads, second to referrals, so I like them both and have success with both. I know many agents won't even work with leads, which opens the door of opportunity even wider for those of us who do.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) about 5 years ago

Many real estate agents wish they could have a 50% conversion rate. Thanks for sharing some of your successful business practices.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 5 years ago

Joe I agree.  I do not turn away leads but referrals are much more valuable.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 5 years ago


Either way, referrals are always best, and leads are good too...better than NADA. A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) about 5 years ago

Joe, everyone has to start somewhere sometime.  To me that's what leads do. If I get one and they stay in touch, they will eventually be ready to make their move,  it's just a matter of time.

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) about 5 years ago


Continuous lead generations and referrals is the life line of a successful business.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) about 5 years ago

You have an excellent plan Joe and anyone can learn from you. Referrals are a little stronger and leads take some work.

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) about 5 years ago

Hi, Joe. I convert more referrals, too. You make a good point that these are people that are further along in the home buying process. 

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) about 5 years ago

I'll take a DOUBLE  order of both Joe Petrowsky.   You want fries with that ? 

Posted by DEANNA C. SMITH CERTIFIED MOBILE NOTARY, Highest Ranked Certified Mobile Notary in Virginia (Certified Mobile Notary Signing Agent) about 5 years ago

Hello Joe Petrowsky 

Referrals, referrals, referrals...

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) about 5 years ago