Sometimes even the best real estate agents and brokers need a reminder of the basics when turning real estate leads into clients. Though the basics seem like simple skills on the surface, they are the building blocks of a strong business.Rory Wilfong, co-founder of GetMyHomesValue and real estate trainer often comes across agents who lack these simple building blocks. “I am often surprised how many agents don’t have an effective plan for acquiring real estate leads, following up with their real estate leads and then nurturing their real estate leads to become future clients. Too many agents are simply stumbling over real estate leads and crossing their fingers in hopes that the lead will pick them for representation with their future real estate transactions.”With the dramatic increase of licensed real estate agents in the past few years, it is more important that ever that real estate agents are memorable to their real estate leads. According to the National Association of Realtors, their membership increased from 766,560 in 2000 to 1,265,367 last year. And that is just Realtors. You do not have to register with NAR in order to be a real estate agent, only to get the designation of Realtor. These numbers are enough to prove that if and agent wants to get anywhere with their real estate leads, they better stand out in the crowd. The best way to do this? Effective and creative follow-up! It goes back to learning applying the relatively simple skills involved in sales, marketing and customer service and adding your own creative flair to get your real estate leads to notice you.Let’s get back to the basics and thing about what really defines the term ‘real estate leads.’ According to Wilfong, the definition of a lead is a consumer that is interested in possibly using your services either now or in the future. It’s as simple as that. There are different types of real estate leads of course, buyers, sellers, for sale by owners, refinancing, etc. Real estate leads can come from various sources, direct mailing, contact through your website, from an open house.Another way to think of your real estate leads are as clients. Start your follow up with the mindset that the lead WILL be your client. Real estate leads are clients until they become contractually obligated to another agent or sales person providing the same service as you are.Many agents rate their real estate leads as cold, warm or hot, depending how far into the real estate process they are. It is important to keep in mind that at one point, even a hot lead was kind of cold, even if you didn’t know about it! Cold real estate leads lead to hot real estate leads. Of course, many agents cast off hundreds of real estate leads a year because they consider them “bogus.” As Wilfong states, “Like many agents, in the past I encountered my fair share of Mickey Mouse leads and I often use this as an example of agents. What would you do if you received a lead from Mickey Mouse?”In Wilfong’s experience, many agents say they cast many real estate leads with odd names off as ‘bogus.’. He believes that driving to a home to present your information to Mickey Mouse himself is a GREAT way to break the ice with the people actually living in the house. The lead will remember your humor, more than likely tell his friends about the incident, which of course leads to more real estate leads for an agent! Even a call to Mickey Mouse, if handled humorously, can get a positive response and build instant rapport.If nothing else, real estate leads will almost always give a current address along with the fake name they may leave, simply because that is the property they need information on. You can’t be afraid to do a little detective work and dig a little deeper if you want to be constantly converting your real estate leads into contracted clients.