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How to Identify Lookers vs. Buyers as a Real Estate Agent

Having a large lead list is awesome...or is it?

Sure, having a lot of clients could result in more business but are you really managing your time efficiently? The reality is you probably have clients in your database who aren't serious buyers wasting 20-30hrs of your time. It's crazy to say but you can actually make more money with less clients. The key is being able to identify the serious buyers and separating them from the lookers. These two types of buyers are very different and should be managed accordingly. By prioritizing your clients you'll save time and grow your bottom line. 

So how do you properly identity the lookers vs. buyer? Let's take a look at some tell tale signs so you can better identify these clients. 

Lookers 👀


Lookers are like window shoppers. They act interested but leave without buying anything. Never a good feeling, especially if you're dumping lots of time and energy into a client during a long home search.

On the surface lookers can seem like serious buyers because they're engaging in conversation, showing up to open houses and showing a general interest level in a property so it's important to ask the right questions and know the signs.

Signs of a looker 
  1. they're not pre-approved from a lender
  2. they drag their feet to submit an offer
  3. make a lowball offer
  4. they're a neighbor (nosey neighbor)
  5. they provide little to no detail about their interests/needs
  6. they rush through an open house
  7. they're unwilling to have an initial office meeting (This one can vary. If they're showing other signs of good action, some ready to go buyers are less inclined to an office meeting but are still high intent.)
  8. longterm/nonexistent timeline to purchase 
  9. overly critical
  10. aren't working with an agent

Lookers are known to waste agent's time, but that doesn't mean they should be completely written off. It doesn't hurt to maintain some sort of relationship with lookers even if it's just a monthly check-in.

At some point they could move from lookers to buyers and when that time comes you will already have a rapport with them. Plus, they may have friends/family who are ready to buy that they can refer to you in the mean time. Maintaining a cordial relationship with all clients, lookers included, will benefit your business.

Buyers 💰


A serious buyer has purchase intent–they're ready to make a deal. These clients typically act fast but also expect a higher level of attention. Since they're ready to buy, they want an agent who is ready to win the deal with them. 

Signs of a buyer
  1. pre-approved from a lender
  2. ask about hidden costs
  3. inquire about the neighborhood/school system
  4. spend a reasonable amount of time at open houses
  5. visit properties with family members
  6. visualize interior decor
  7. they've already listed their current place
  8. follow up after an open house
  9. they're working with a realtor
  10. submit a fair offer close to the asking price
  11. they're sending you potential properties
  12. they're asking for your time to discuss deal terms

These signs are just a few ways to better segment your client database but knowing the difference between a looker and a buyer isn't always enough.

A lot of the time agents are meeting clients online through text or email. Conversations could easily be misinterpreted because you're not hearing the tone of voice or seeing the client's body language. That's where communication platforms like Zenlist come in.

Once you have a client set up on Zenlist you can track their search history to better determine their interest level. If they say that their interested but only spend one day a week looking at listings then chances are they are not that motivated.

Screen Shot 2022-08-26 at 1.10.14 PM

Once you're in the Client Activity screen (shown above), you'll be able to view your client's daily activity, upcoming tours, review previous tour history, see their most viewed properties, and more. In the example above, our client, Rachel Green, is very active with almost 300 property views, 45 saved properties, 19 tour requests and 6 tours. She is definitely a motivated buyer that is worth investing time into. Her price range is a bit all over the place but that's a conversation for a different day 😅.

However, if Rachel's statistics showed only a handful of viewed properties and didn't request any tours, then that's a pretty good indicator that she's not a serious buyer. Of course, you should check in with your clients when you first set them up on Zenlist to make sure that they feel comfortable using the app before deprioritizing them.

Try Zenlist free for 30 days and ensure your time is allocated most effectively.