You probably don’t have much of a contact base to begin with as a newly certified agent. It’s difficult to know where to start looking for real estate leads for new agents, and there’s a lot of conflicting advice on the effectiveness of various techniques. Take a look at our list of 20 ideas below for ways to start producing valuable leads.
How to Generate Real Estate Leads
Before we go into lead generation concepts, it’s necessary to find out more about the fundamental procedures or framework for generating and maintaining quality leads.
1. Begin with people you already know.
People with whom you already have a personal relationship will be more willing to collaborate with you than complete strangers. Start by asking folks you know from community events or who you’ve met online whether they know anyone who might benefit from your services. One of the most reliable ways to gain a new client is through a referral from a friend.
2. Now it’s time to move on to people you don’t know.
It’s time to start getting inventive and reaching out to folks you don’t know once you’ve sent out your feelers to those you do know. These folks might be your neighbors, people you meet at networking events, or even those you meet through cold calling. The majority of the solutions listed below will assist you with this phase.
Relationships should be nurtured and grown.
It’s fantastic to compile a list of warm leads, but just because someone is interested in your services doesn’t imply they’ll hire you. People entrust you with crucial life decisions and substantial financial assets in the real estate market, so establishing a personal connection is critical. Maintain and grow your relationships by checking in frequently, giving modest presents, and sending well wishes. You can also show prospective clients how important they are by aggressively negotiating on their behalf during the homebuying or selling process.
4. Create a process that is repeatable.
After a few weeks or months of developing contact relationships, you should see a significant number of people who become clients. It’s critical to review and pinpoint what worked for you at each phase at this point. Was there a particular event that yielded more qualified leads, or did contacts respond particularly well to a particular outreach strategy? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel if you document your processes for repeatability.
Also, go through steps 1–4 again! You’ll probably spend a lot of time reaching out to people you know for referrals, seeking new contacts, nurturing existing relationships, and improving your process. Although it appears to be simple to follow when put out this way, it’s no secret that producing real estate leads for new agents is the most difficult element of the process.
Here are 20 suggestions to assist you with “Step 2” above.
1. Make Contact with Friends and Family
As previously stated, the best place to begin is anyplace you already have a personal relationship or a referral. Reach out to extended family and friends on social media to let them know you’re a newly-licensed agent seeking for clients, if they don’t already know. You can start creating a few contacts from there if a few of your connections have their own connections who may be in need of a real estate agent.
2. Participate in Chamber of Commerce functions
Many chambers of commerce in the area will hold networking and educational events for real estate professionals. You should definitely take advantage of these opportunities to network with more experienced industry people. Though they may be your rivals, you’ll be able to learn a lot from them, and you might even find agents or businesses eager to connect with younger agents to share jobs or contacts.
3. Participate in social media
Staying on top of city-specific trends and learning the ins and outs of the market requires, once again, engaging with other professionals in your field. Join real estate Facebook groups or pages and participate in discussions with other users. Here are a few good locations to start:
- You may need to seek access to Facebook pages if they are private.
- LinkedIn groups – a quick search of your city should yield a slew of possibilities.
- MeetUp groups are used to organize in-person networking events.
- Answering questions on Quora can display your knowledge.
- Slack communities – join broader city-wide tech or business communities on Slack.
4. Look into Instagram hashtags.
When it comes to social media, Instagram might be an underutilized source of leads, particularly among millennials. Instagram allows you to undertake extensive hashtag research in order to locate qualified prospects, despite the lack of specialized pages or groups on other social platforms. The following are some of the top hashtags to use to begin your search:
#apartment \s#newhome \s#househounting \s#apartmentsforrent \s#apartmentliving \s#property \s#broker \s#listing
To help narrow down your search, combine them with city-specific hashtags and location keywords.
5. Make contact with for-sale-by-owners
FSBO (for sale by owner) refers to a residence that is being sold without the assistance of a real estate agent. FSBO homes, on the other hand, generally sell for less than agent-sold homes, and many owners eventually seek the assistance of an agent when they tire of the time-consuming and intricate responsibilities involved in seeking purchasers. Find FSBO listings on the internet or in the newspaper, then contact the owners via email or phone to explain how your services can help them make more money in the long run.
6. Make contact with FRBOs
Contacting FRBOs, or for rent by owner, is comparable to contacting FSBOs. Investigate FRBO listings using internet databases and contact landlords to offer to assist them in finding qualified tenants. Though you may feel like you’re stepping on toes, if you contact them gently and clearly explain how you can help them, there’s a high chance they’ll be relieved to delegate the day-to-day task of finding renters to you. This is particularly true if they want to rent a vacation home in another area of the country, as locating and maintaining tenants from afar can be difficult.
7. Provide a No-Cost Seminar
Volunteer to teach a lesson or deliver a presentation at your local library, community center, career fair, or community college. Choose a topic that is relevant to your career and industry that you are comfortable presenting in depth. These types of events allow you to demonstrate your knowledge, establish your own brand, and network with a larger spectrum of people who could become leads.
8. Organize an Open House
This is a tried-and-true strategy for generating warm leads. When you have a customer who wants to sell or rent their property, have an open house and publicize the hours on your social media platforms, in your email contact list, on street signs, and so on. Make sure that everyone who walks through the door signs in with their name and contact information on your sign-in sheet. They may or may not be interested in the property, but the fact that they turned up indicates that they are looking for a new home. You might follow up with them afterward to express your gratitude for their attendance and learn more about the types of places they’re looking for.
9. Take a Chance on Cold-Calling
It’s no secret that this is one of the least popular strategies for real estate brokers to generate leads. However, it’s no secret that it’s been working for agents for decades prior to the internet’s arrival. Before you rule it out completely, consider incorporating 30 minutes to an hour of cold-calling into your daily schedule to see if it’s a realistic option for you. To begin creating contact lists, start by gathering phone numbers for FSBO and FRBO listings without an email address, as well as any other phone numbers you’ve collected through networking and events. You’ll probably want to have a cold-calling script ready when you initially start out so you don’t get caught off guard.
Contribute to Thought Leadership Pieces (number 10)
Getting your expertise out there can help grow your brand recognition and allow leads to locate you online, as we covered previously with answering Quora queries. Signing up for PR-focused email lists like HARO, SourceBottle, and JournoRequests is one of the simplest methods to achieve this. Every day, journalists looking for expert quotations will send you an email through these sites. It only takes a few minutes to look through and respond to any that you might be able to help with. You can apply to be a guest author on sites like Forbes, Inc., or Entrepreneur and offer your own expert opinions on any business or real estate topic, in addition to submitting quotes.
11. Keep an eye on any marriage or engagement announcements.
This tip may appear to be a little out of date, but with a modern twist, it can still be useful. When a couple announces their engagement or marriage, the assumption is that they will be looking for a new house within the next year or two. Instead of sifting through the newspaper like you used to, go to Instagram and search for relevant hashtags. Here are a few decent ones to start with:
#marriage \s#weddingday \s#bridetobe \s#engaged \s#shesaidyes \s#weddinginspiration
You can combine these with city-specific hashtags like #bridetobe + #LAwedding once more. Once you’ve located a couple in your area, send them an Instagram direct message congratulating them and expressing your interest in assisting them with their home, apartment, or condo hunt.
12. Spend money on social media ads
The beautiful thing about social media ads is that you can run them on a shoestring budget and yet achieve fantastic results. Consider running a few Facebook and Instagram advertisements, each aimed at a different demographic in your audience. The advertising can be configured to direct users to a specific website, your own social profile, or to enhance one of your existing postings, such as an open house or a new listing announcement. Over the course of a month, you can track them to determine if investing more of your budget in one or the other is a better use of your money.
13. Construct Your Website
When it comes to driving traffic to a specific website, it’s worth your time as a new real estate agent to set up a website for your services. Even if you primarily generate leads through in-person connections and manual outreach, prospective prospects must be able to locate you online. Because not all of your prospects are on social media, having a website allows you a single address to mention on all of your marketing materials. You can also put your website’s URL in your social media profiles and write blog posts to promote on social media. Your website doesn’t have to be sophisticated; all you need is a blog area, a contact form, and a gallery to display your work.
14. Invest in Niche Events
Keep an eye out for community events or fundraisers that have a strong connection to a specific demographic. An event for urban history and architecture enthusiasts, for example, would attract those who are already interested in your city’s structures and might want to learn more about available properties in that type. A cuisine festival honoring local companies in a certain neighborhood can entice people to relocate there. Even a fundraiser for an animal shelter could be a wonderful idea, as it would draw in animal-lovers who could be interested in knowing more about your pet-friendly rental options. Consider the unique interests that might be related to your area of expertise and come up with creative solutions to meet them.
15. Distribute Postcards
Sending out postcards advertising your services to neighborhoods or locations where you work is another time-tested strategy that is less time-consuming than cold-calling. The beautiful thing about postcards is that you can order them in large quantities and keep them for future neighborhoods. Because individuals are bombarded with forceful commercials every day, your design should be straightforward and not too salesy. You may get design ideas from the internet and even make your own designs with free programs like Canva.
16. Get in touch with Expired Listings
Another tried-and-true method for acquiring real estate leads for novice agents is to contact homeowners or landlords whose listings have recently expired. Whether the homeowner is a FRBO landlord or a homeowner who used an agent, something went wrong when they failed to sell or lease the property by the listing deadline. Sign up for your state’s MLS (multiple listing service), buy leads from firms like Zillow, or manually search sites like Craigslist to uncover expired listings. When you do contact them by phone or email, keep it brief and to the point, emphasizing your unique benefits, as they’ll likely be inundated with messages from other agents.
17. Collaborate with Divorce Attorneys
Couples who have just divorced or are in the process of divorcing are an untapped market that agents are only now beginning to pay attention to. There is no one else who will have to sell and buy or rent a new house as rapidly as a couple that is divorcing. Keep an eye out for any divorce lawyers you encounter through networking and local business gatherings, as well as any distant relatives or family friends. Take them out to lunch or coffee and explain how you might help their clients, and ask if they’d consider suggesting people to you who are looking to sell or buy a property quickly. It might be as simple as requesting them to put some of your educational materials in their waiting room.
18. Offer little value-added services
Consider including a small gift, personal touch, or value-add the next time you send out a batch of postcards or send an email regarding an expired listing. This helps people remember you and appreciate how much effort you put into making things more special. These can be as simple as a handwritten message wishing them well for the holidays, a $10 gift card for their birthday, pumpkin-spice coffee or hot cider during a fall open house, or any number of other tiny acts of kindness.
19. Enroll in BPOs
Banks and other lenders commonly order broker price opinions (BPOs) when a homeowner falls behind on their mortgage payments. The lender is planning to foreclose or perform a short sale on the property, and they have hired an agent to assess its value. These possibilities can be found by exploring internet BPO listings and databases. Though the fee for performing a BPO isn’t significant, and they’re becoming more competitive, you can take advantage of these possibilities by engaging with homeowners and offering to assist them sell their property and find a new home. The true value of BPOs is in the chance of acquiring a new lead rather than the actual payout.
Invest on Lead Generation Software (number 20).
You should at least test out some of the different lead creation solutions accessible once you’ve established some momentum in terms of leads and revenue. Though they may not be as precise as manually locating real estate leads for new agents, they can save you a lot of time and work, allowing you to focus more on nurturing your current leads. Some of the more popular tools can cost hundreds of dollars each month, so you’ll have to experiment to see which ones are worth your money.