You’re trying to grow your career as a real estate agent. But first, you need leads. How can you develop a lead generation process? How can you find the best-qualified leads?
I’ve generated over 10,000 leads in my career from a variety of sources. All these sources have different returns on investment, turnaround time, and processes to convert into clients.
Let’s take a look at how to get real estate leads —the top methods and what works best.
21 Methods On How To Get Real Estate Leads
21. Start With Your Friends and Family Members
It’s an old tactic because it’s a good tactic. Lead generation begins at home.
Once you become a real estate agent, start reaching out to your friends and family. You don’t need to be forceful, but anyone you know could be a potential client.
A lot of people don’t want to work with a real estate agent they don’t know. Make a list of your friends and family members—and don’t just assume that someone isn’t looking.
When generating leads, you’re not just focusing on today. You’re focusing on five or even ten years from now. By letting your friends and family know that you’ve become a real estate agent, you can ensure that they will contact you when they want to enter the real estate market.
20. Get a Big Stack of Business Cards—and Hand Them Out Freely
You’ve just met someone. Could they be a prospective client?
Not until they get your business card, they’re not.
Business cards are a very personal method of real estate lead generation. Once you’ve already met someone and given them your card, you can let them know that you’re in the real estate business.
Maybe only one in a hundred people you meet are actually looking to buy or sell a house. But how many people do you meet in a year?
When creating a business card, make sure everything is on it, including how best to contact you, your social media accounts, and where to email you. The flashier and more attractive your card is, the more likely your leads will remember it.
19. Start a Social Media Account, Such as Facebook or Instagram
A lot of people follow Realtors on social media today. Create an account and start posting your listings. But also post other homes in the area. You’ll quickly become a trusted real estate professional.
As a Realtor, you want to start sharing information a potential real estate seller or potential buyer would need. That includes information on mortgage lending, fixing up a home, and the local real estate market.
On Facebook or Instagram, you can respond to comments and connect directly with potential leads. You can direct message “DM” a potential lead to find out more information, and you can even perform lead qualification online.
18. Create a Website—And Fill It With Content
A website is something called “content marketing,” a type of inbound marketing.
Who finds your website? People who are already looking for a Realtor. That means that every lead is a qualified one because they’re people actively looking for what you do.
Comparatively, cold calling is outbound marketing. It can be less successful (and more stressful) because you don’t know if the person you’re talking to is interested.
The more content you put on your website, the more likely you are to get leads. Put a live chat interface on the website, and you’ll get leads coming directly to you.
17. Reach Out to Those You Work With Professionally
Once you’ve talked to friends and family members, consider those you work with in a professional capacity. If you’re working as a Realtor part-time, you can connect with colleagues to discuss their real estate needs.
Make sure you discuss this with HR or your supervisors first. But for instance, if you have another business or just work with clients frequently, you can always tell them that you have become a real estate agent.
You never know who is about to become a real estate buyer—or who might know one. Even if someone isn’t a lead themselves, they may be able to direct you to someone who could be.
16. Advertise in Local Businesses
Reach out to local businesses and ask if you can put things up on their bulletin board or put a business card out on their display.
You may be surprised to discover how many businesses are willing to let people put real estate marketing up in their windows or at their front desk.
Many small businesses understand the value of referrals and are willing to offer them to you in the hopes that you may refer them in the future. Consider a swap; put their event flyers or business cards in your offices, too.
15. Network With Other Real Estate Professionals
Other real estate professionals are going to provide your most valuable seller and buyer leads. Not only will they already have qualified their leads, but they will intimately know what services you can and can’t provide.
In the real estate industry, it’s always best to work with others as closely as possible. Go to seminars, training events, conferences, and meetup groups. Connect with agents in other areas, such as commercial real estate if you do residential.
These professionals will often be eager to give you referrals because they’ll also get a cut.
14. Get Active Within Your Community
The more people you meet, the more likely you will run into the perfect buyer or seller lead.
Community events are a great way to start networking. The more outreach you can do, the more you’ll meet people and be able to introduce yourself—and introducing yourself is the perfect time to let people know you’re in the real estate industry.
Consider performing volunteer work, going to fairs, and attending art walks. All these places give you another chance to reach out to people who might want real estate in your area.
While digital marketing is powerful, an online lead can be difficult to secure. Even with the right geo-targeting, you’re competing with a lot of the internet. Digital marketing is an important component of any Realtor’s strategy, but an in-person meeting is still the strongest marketing tool and should be the end goal of your strategy.
13. Build Out a Mailing List
Email mailing lists remain one of the most effective lead generation techniques.
You can collect emails from your website, your social media, or even from someone selling them.
From there, you can send out information about new properties on the market, purchasing or selling a home, and other interesting and relevant information your leads would benefit from.
Once someone’s willing to commit to a real estate investment, they will think of you first.
An email mailing list essentially builds up a relationship between you and the people receiving it. It builds your authority and makes them feel confident about working with you.
As long as you can get your target audience right, connecting an email mailing list to a real estate blog or your website can be a fantastic, practically automated lead generation method.
12. Connect with FSBO Listings on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace
Some property owners are selling their houses on their own. This isn’t because they’re against working with a Realtor, but because they’re intimidated by the process. They may not know how to get in touch with a real estate agent or who to trust.
You can counter this by connecting with them. Look for homes for sale FSBO on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace and reach out. You can let them know that you’re interested in helping them list, or you can match them up with buyers you know.
The advantage to this lead generation strategy is that you may end up as both the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. That means double commission for you, or whatever commission you end up negotiating. (You might even cut the seller a deal if they need a little convincing.)
11. Teach Classes Either Online or In-Person
A great way to connect with leads is to teach classes, online or in-person, about real estate information or processes they would need to know about.
To secure a buying lead, you might teach classes about how to buy a home, how to clean up your credit score, how to apply for a mortgage, and other things first-time homebuyers would need to know.
To secure a seller lead, you might teach classes about home repairs and renovations, about staging a home, or about otherwise selling a home.
Teaching classes builds your authority in your industry—and it makes your leads more comfortable talking to you. They get a feel for your personality, start to trust you, and are consequently more likely to engage.
Lead generation often relies upon forging new relationships with people. The more time you spend with them, the more likely they are to think of you—whether it’s tomorrow or next year.
10. Join and Interact with Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups are an amazing way for real estate agents to get in touch with their community.
People today do a lot through Facebook groups. They swap goods, ask for advice, and even sell houses.
If you can become a Top Contributor in an array of Facebook groups, you can get your name out there. “Friend” as many people as possible (and get followed by them), and you’ll be able to expand your reach.
Twitter is a great social media venue, but it’s highly impersonal. Likewise, while LinkedIn is good for networking with other professionals, it’s not great for finding clients. Comparatively, Facebook puts you directly in contact with prospective buyers and sellers—and that’s what you need for real lead generation.
9. Consider Sending Out Mailers to Your Zipcode
There’s a reason why so many real estate agents do this.
You can send mailers out to specific zipcodes you’re interested in. Some people may be interested in selling but may need a little push. Use a tailored landing page so you can see which of your mailers are getting responses—and personalize the experience.
Mailers will get you contact information; anyone interested can log into your website and put their information into a lead capture form. You can even narrow it down and send mailers specifically to distressed properties.
There are a lot of clever things you can do with this. A common real estate lead generation tactic is looking at homes on a list for late property taxes. But you can also reach out to past clients or specific areas that you know are in heavy development.
8. Contribute to Local Magazines and Guest Blogs
Local magazines can increase your circulation. How will your next client hear about you?
By writing in local magazines, you can inspire people to connect with you. For instance, talk about the local real estate market, and people will regard you as an expert. They’ll look up your real estate website, email you, or follow you on social media.
As a real estate professional, it’s your job to figure out every way possible to expand your reach. But it’s also your job to manage your online reputation. When you hand your card to someone, the first thing they’ll do is look you up online.
By putting content out there, you’ll make sure that your reputation is solid. People will look you up and see an article in Forbes or Business Insider, and they’ll be sure that you know what you’re talking about.
7. Create Live Content and Invest in Paid Advertising
Many real estate agents have figured out that live content (such as streaming on Facebook online) is a great way to build interest. Live content is a very personal thing.
Consider hosting a Q&A on your Facebook page, for instance, to answer any questions people have about the current real estate market. That will help you touch base with anyone following you, enforce the relationship, and figure out what’s going on in your user base.
At the same time, don’t scoff at paid advertising. A single Facebook ad can bring you a lot in revenue because it can be specifically tailored to very well-customized demographics. If you want, you can target a Facebook ad to people who are 35 to 45 years old, make over $350,000 a year, and live in your specific zip code.
The more customized your demographics are, the better qualified your leads will be. And if they respond to your ad, you already know that they’re interested in what you’re selling.
6. Put Up Billboards, Benches, and Other Physical Advertising
Physical advertising is tried and true.
Even though we live in a digital era, there are still some ways physical advertising can win.
Real estate is hyper-local. You don’t want to waste time advertising to people who aren’t looking in your area.
While physical advertising is substantially more expensive (and less targeted) than digital advertising, it has a very clear advantage: It advertises directly to your region.
Mix up your digital advertising with billboards and posters, and you’ll be more likely to get in touch with individuals who are interested in your area.
5. Work With and Sponsor Charities and Fundraisers
One of the best ways to start meeting people in your community is to work with and sponsor charities and fundraisers.
Consider the value of hosting a pet adoption. Not only are you connecting with people who own pets (pet owners are more likely to buy property because of unfavorable rental situations). But you are also doing good for your community, all while your name is being seen on the “sponsors” list by everyone who attends the event.
When it comes to real estate, people want to work with someone they can trust. They don’t want an unfamiliar person from a search engine. Instead, they want someone with who they have shaken hands. By being present at volunteer opportunities, charities, and fundraisers, you can show people that you’re someone who cares.
4. Look for Expired Listings
Expired listings are almost free real estate in terms of finding a motivated seller.
Take a look at expired listings—listings that just didn’t sell. Ask yourself why. Was the seller simply asking too much? Was it in a bad area? Or was the timing just not right?
If you can do the marketing for that property better, then you have a great prospective client on your hands.
Connect with expired listings; the seller may be willing to revise their marketing strategy now that the property didn’t sell. They may be willing to lower their listing price or try some unconventional tactics. It may even be that the situation has been resolved (such as previously having problem tenants).
3. Talk to Divorce Lawyers and Estate Liquidators
Who knows that a property is being sold faster than anyone else?
Divorce lawyers and estate liquidators, of course.
Knowing the right people can do wonders for real estate lead generation. Talk to divorce lawyers and estate liquidators to find out more about who is selling in your community.
It’s not a one-way street. You can also send people their way, as it’s very possible you may meet with people who need a lawyer or liquidator but just happened to come to you first.
When it comes to lead generation, you want to secure a way to connect with motivated buyers and sellers before they connect with anyone else. Sometimes that requires a little out-of-the-box thinking.
Who else could be great for lead generation? What other parties are usually involved when people try to sell or buy a home?
2. Pay for Leads through Zillow and Other Similar Companies
There are a lot of lead generation companies entering into the real estate business today. Let’s take Zillow.
Zillow will forward leads to you for a price. It’s the same as other third-party marketplaces. You pay, and then you get the leads sent directly to your inbox.
But if you’re wondering how to get real estate leads, you might wonder if these companies worth the price.
For most real estate agents, it absolutely is. It’s no effort from you, and the cost is a drop in the bucket.
But it’s not true in every area. You can try to pay for leads for a little while and see how effective it is for you. Your mileage may vary with any lead generation tactic.
But be aware: third-party marketplaces such as Zillow and Trulia are getting larger every day. If you don’t understand them and aren’t aware of them, you’re not going to get anywhere in the future.
1. Reach Out to Former Clients
Occasionally reach out to your former clients. A former client may have become a real estate investor and be looking for more properties. They may have decided they aren’t really in their “forever home” and want to move.
While a former client will usually reach out to you, it’s always possible they’ve lost your contact information. So, it behooves you to reach out to them instead.
And if they haven’t thought of your name in a while, they may be able to pass it on to other people.
Consider sending people things like yearly calendars; they will likely look at the calendar frequently and think about you. That also means they’ll be thinking about you when they need to be.
While this suggestion is not new or fancy, it often will provide you with the best free leads you’ll ever receive as a real estate agent.
FAQs On How To Get Real Estate Leads
What’s the fastest, easiest way to get real estate leads?
The fastest, easiest way to get real estate leads is often to pay for paid advertising. Pay for paid advertising on a social media site, and you’ll get a lot of interest—but you’re going to have to pay for every lead you get.
The easy, cheap way to get real estate leads is to slowly build up your social media over time. Social media takes almost no effort on your part; throw in a few minutes every morning, and you’ll slowly build up a following without having to pay for marketing.
How can you start getting real estate referrals?
If you’re wondering how to get real estate leads, you might also wonder about referrals. You get real estate referrals by connecting with other real estate agents.
But there are also third-party marketing networks you can sign up for that are specifically designed to connect referring agents. You could become a specialist in your state—helping people who want to move there.
As you build your career, you’ll continually get more real estate referrals. By providing the best possible service to your clients, you’ll ensure that they want to work with you in the future—and that they refer other people to you.
Is it worth it to pay for real estate leads online?
For the most part, yes. But it does depend.
If you’re working with a known marketplace, like Trulia, the costs are usually low in exchange for a considerable number of real estate leads.
But if you’re working with an unknown company that promises to sell you a lead list, it’s probably not worth it.
Only work with reputable companies when you’re trying to buy leads. You can get yourself a list of people interested in buying or selling houses at any time. And don’t pay a lot of money for it. In general, the more you have to pay, the less likely the leads are to be worthwhile.
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I’ve helped hundreds of real estate agents, team leaders, & brokers all over the country increase their sales, online presence, and create scalable systems. I would love the opportunity to work with you. Together, we can make this year your best yet!