Do you know what the No. 1 listing lead strategy is that works better than Facebook ads, SEO or anything else you can do? Almost everyone uses it, but now you can turn it into an even more effective tool no matter how you prospect.

  • The one thing that is always in demand with homeowners is a home valuation, but agents can go above and beyond by providing an equity checkup to potential clients.

Do you know what the No. 1 listing lead generation strategy is that works better than Facebook ads, SEO or anything else you can do? Almost everyone uses it, but now you can turn it into an even more effective tool no matter how you prospect.

I recently interviewed Christine Lee, the founder and CEO of Prior to starting her company, she ran a very successful real estate team.

Lee ran study after study evaluating which tools had the highest listing lead conversion rate. No matter what she compared — paid leads, Facebook ads, SEO — nothing approached the old standby: Find out what your home is worth.

The challenge is that everyone seems to be making the same offer: Contact me to find out what your home is worth.

Boring, but it works. With a few tweaks, however, you can put this old standby on steroids and dramatically increase your listing lead conversion rate.

The equity checkup

Erica West coined the term “equity checkup” as a marketing device that goes beyond giving sellers a simple CMA with their property value. Here’s what to include in your equity checkup:

  • A cover photo of the owner’s property, an iconic local image (such as the Golden Gate Bridge that is linked to the location), the town square, the tree-lined entrance to a subdivision or any other image that local residents would immediately recognize from their community.
  • Research for the latest market trends and articles that you can share for free with your prospects.
  • Include any major local issues that may impact property values such as an upcoming bond issue for a new police station or plans to upgrade local roads.
  • Visit to obtain a free report on the specific address that includes the following:
    • Crime alert: crime index, criminal and sex offenders.
    • Environmental hazards: Superfund sites, brownfields, radon, airport noise, etc.
    • Natural disaster risks: Flood, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, hail landslide and wildfire.
    • Property/loan information: fire incidents, property/owner details, foreclosure details, loan and equity information, building permits and tax history.
    • Local information: fire stations, police stations, hospitals and libraries.
    • Demographics: Unemployment rates, median cost of living, median income, population, workforce breakdown, education and marital status, housing age and owner occupancy rates.
  • Rather than doing a typical MLS based CMA, make the jump to using one of the tools that employs artificial intelligence. Obtain a beautiful CMA with just the address and a single click. In addition to the property value, they also include all of today’s values for the other comparable sales going back up to 10 years. The two primary sources are (check out this out for a special offer for our readers) and with whom Re/Max has just announced a strategic partnership.
  • If you’re doing a digital version of the equity report, you can also include photos and videos of the area, pictures taken during the holidays or other special events in the area.

Prepare ahead of time

If you have an area where you specialize, it’s smart to prepare the print version of your equity checkups ahead of time. Then, when you’re ready to send out a report, you only need to add the CMA and the report.

It’s also smart to have a digital version that you can send from your phone or iPad. This is especially effective if you meet someone while door-knocking, standing in line at Starbucks or on an open house. Sending them this information in less than 24 hours sends the message that you are both efficient and tech savvy.

Equity checkup: A powerful lead generator

Here are five proven steps for using an equity checkup to convert leads into listing appointments.

1. Past and current clients

West normally sends out an equity report to every one of her past and current clients. An excellent time to do this is right after the first of the year, at the midpoint in the year or a few weeks before property taxes come due.

2. Convert chance meetings into solid leads

If you attend a networking meeting, a sporting event or you’re just taking your dog out for a walk, be sure that you are wearing a shirt, hat or your name badge that shows that you’re in real estate. When someone inevitably asks, “How’s the market?” here’s how to respond:

Agent: Do you own your own home?

Assuming the person says “yes,” follow up by saying: Would you be interested in receiving a free, no obligation equity checkup to determine the value of your property? 

3. Door-knocking or cold calling script (Be sure to conform to the Do Not Call List guidelines)

Agent: Good morning. I’m Sally Agent from ABC Real Estate. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that your house may have increased in value recently. Would you be interested in receiving a free, no obligation equity checkup to determine the value of your property?  

4. For buyer leads

Agents often forget that 50 percent of the buyers have a property to sell. When someone asks about purchasing a property, whether it’s a sign call, website lead or other source, ask the lead if he or she also has a property to sell. If so, you can send out a report on their current home as well as the reports on any homes they may be considering buying.

5. Everywhere else you can offer an equity report

Agents sometimes forget the importance of making an offer of service, whether it’s in their email signature line, a property brochure, an online ad or just about anywhere else. The offer is the same:

Want to know what your home is worth?

Call or text 800-555-1212 for your free equity checkup now.

As Christine Lee observed, marrying old-school approaches like the equity checkup with today’s hottest tech tools is a win-win for your listing business.

Bernice Ross, CEO of, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at

Email Bernice Ross

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