Whether you’re a brand-new realtor with a fresh license or a seasoned professional ready to grow your team, one thing is for sure – you need to incorporate a good real estate lead generation process into your real estate marketing strategy.

Like anything else, the technology behind lead generation is constantly evolving, and it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest ways to keep customers coming through your door.

If you’re wondering how to get real estate leads, you’re in the right place. Below, we’ve put together 12 real estate lead generation sources to grow your business and your bank account. From leveraging the contacts in your database to going after expired listings, these are just some of the lead generation tips we’ll provide to help you succeed.

Why is Lead Generation Important?

Real estate is a revolving door of clients — as soon as you get a new one in the door, another one is settling on their forever home. In order to keep your business flowing, you need to constantly have new clients coming in. That is where a targeted lead generation strategy comes in.

Relics of lead generation past, like cold calling and knocking on doors, are not as successful as they once were. Most people won’t even answer the phone or open their door to someone they don’t know. These methods of generating free leads are tired. Luckily, there are plenty of new and easier ways to generate leads that convert into happy homeowners.

There are several reasons why real estate lead generation is important, including:

  • Building relationships: Proactively searching for new leads is a great way to build relationships with new clients and audiences, allowing you to grow your brand and build trust.
  • Increasing profits: Generating leads allows you to bring more awareness to your business. Once you have leads, you’ll be able to showcase what you have to offer in hopes of converting them into clients. Once a lead becomes a client, you’ll then begin earning more profits from their sales.
  • Growing your business: Lead generation is the act of attracting more prospects to your company. Generating leads is important because it allows you to grow your business, which can create a snowball effect through referrals, word of mouth, and more brand awareness.

These are just some of the reasons why real estate leads are important. Now, let’s take a look at how to generate real estate leads in the sections below.

Lean Into Your Own Style to Develop a Lead Generation Plan

One of the best parts about real estate is that you can build your business to accommodate your strengths. Devising a lead generation strategy is very similar. There are so many ways to generate real estate leads that if one doesn’t appeal to you or isn’t working – you can skip it. Focus on the methods that suit your personality and let your natural skills take over.

Developing a good strategy isn’t rocket science. It just takes some time, research, and hard work.

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Top 12 Real Estate Lead Generation Sources

As I reveal the list, ask yourself if these strategies are something you do or something you’ve avoided. Remove the fixed mindset and bring an open mind to all of these being viable options to help grow your business. With that in mind, let’s explore how to get real estate leads below:

     1) Database

Not surprisingly, working your past clients and center of influence was the top strategy for Elite members to generate new business. With what frequency are you informing homeowners in your database? Do you truly know your customer? Become the knowledge broker for these people, and I guarantee you’ll win.

One of the top strategies on how to generate real estate leads is leveraging your existing database. The great thing about your database is that most of the hard work is already completed. Right in front of you is a rich source of existing clients who can help you find more potential customers. Send an email with a referral program. Write a newsletter explaining how you’re accepting new clients. Encourage your existing connections to share social media content. These are just some of the ways you can reach out to the contacts in your database to generate more real estate leads.

     2) Mega Open House / Event

Who says Open Houses only attract buyers? When you create Mega Open Houses that truly give people a reason to show up, you can meet the neighbors, impress them and position yourself as the listing agent of choice. Provide food, drinks, and fun, invite the neighbors and make the most of your Open Houses. 

For comprehensive step-by-step instructions for creating your own Mega Open House and more, download your Open House Advantage Success Pack now! Also be sure to check out this case study on coaching member James Suarez. Through these resources, you’ll see proven examples that can help you generate more real estate leads by hosting open houses.

     3) Geographic Farming

Identifying a group of homes with sufficient annual turnover to justify a large enough return on investment to offset the costs of your direct mail, marketing efforts, Facebook ads, etc. — and then inundate them with your message until you become that logical choice. Demonstrate proof of activity (Just Listed, Just Sold, Market Updates, etc.) to win over potential sellers and become the listing agent of choice in your marketplace.

This process is known as geographic farming, and is the act of marketing your real estate properties to a specific neighborhood or area. Geographic farming is a great real estate lead generation tactic, as it can brand you as a local expert and connect you with nearby homeowners.

     4) Agent-to-Agent Referrals

You don’t have to go searching for real estate leads alone. Working with other agents is a great way to broaden your horizons and tap into new markets. This one probably rates higher for our coaching members than the average agent due to our amazing ecosystem — a sharing of ideas and referrals that many of our members cherish. But you can still capitalize on referrals by doing your research and forging relationships with agents in strategic locations. Determine the areas that statistically contribute the most people to your community, and then build networking relationships with agents from those communities.

Through networking, you’ll not only attract more leads, but you’ll be able to forge connections with other industry experts to share ideas, learn, and grow. Once a relationship is formed, you’ll be able to refer leads to one another should either of you have a property that’s more suitable for the respective client.

     5) Zillow/Realtor.com/Trulia/Homes.com/Etc.

One of the top tips for attracting new business is going digital. Today’s most savvy agents are over-indexing on online arbitrage and seeing it as a significant listing opportunity. Why? Because those who are shopping for homes online often have to sell their own property before they can buy. 

There are numerous online real estate listing sites you can browse through to generate more real estate leads. What makes sites like Zillow and Trulia so powerful is their convenience. Next time you have time to spare, open up your computer and go through these sites to find homeowners in your area looking to sell. Add them to your database, contact them, and explain how you’re the realtor who can help them get their home sold.

     6 ) Expired Listings

Before you freak out and tell me how much you hate the idea of pursuing Expireds, think about this: A homeowner of an expired listing is just a human being facing a challenge. You’re a confident Rockstar listing agent. Be the knowledge broker and help that person solve their problem. When you do this, it becomes the Ultimate Proof of Success, showing how you achieved what other agents could not. So, reach out — via direct mail, phone calls, doorknocking — any way you want, but don’t allow a fixed mindset to blind you to the huge opportunity in Expireds.

Going after Expireds is another way to generate more real estate leads, as it gives you the opportunity to showcase your skills and go after properties that couldn’t sell. Not only will successfully selling Expireds generate more leads, but doing so can establish you as an industry leader and expert.

     7) Seller-Specific Online Marketing

“Curious about the value of your home?” Seven simple words that can get people to raise their hand and indicate the possibility of selling their home in the future. This isn’t a quick hit solution, but if you’re willing to provide information to these people, get them in your system and nurture them, you can convert over the long run.

Online marketing is an excellent real estate lead generation strategy, as it requires some hard work upfront, but once established, can guide leads straight down the sales funnel. For example, having interactive elements on your website or posting social media ads that get users to think about their home can help direct more potential clients to your services.

     8) Sign Calls

Have as many signs as your local regulations allow! (Another reason to do big Open Houses frequently with lots of signs.) Sign calls are a great way to bring in more real estate leads, as they make your name more visible. Even if a passerby isn’t in the market for a new home, they may know someone who is. If they see your sign, they’ll be more likely to remember your name and refer to your business.

    9) FSBOs

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, FSBOs are the fastest source of business opportunity. The truth of the matter is there’s a small percentage of people who won’t be able to sell their home themselves and will look to hire someone like you to help them achieve their goals. Remember, every home you list means more signs, more exposure, the ability to help more people.

The next time you come across an FSBO, don’t just drive by. Get the courage to park, walk up to the front door, and introduce yourself. While this may be daunting at first, you never know the current situation a homeowner is in, and if you can explain how you can help them sell their home faster and for more money, you’ll have a new lead in no time.

     10) Investors

There is so much money coming into the marketplace right now, and the question becomes are you paying attention to capitalize on the opportunity investors provide? What if you sat down with your title rep and asked for a report on everyone who owns three or more properties in your area. Identify them, work with them, help them sell when they’re ready, bring them meaningful value, and make them customers for life. Investors offer a great opportunity to generate more real estate leads, and if you can show them how successful you are with real data, they can bring more customers to your door.

    11) Builders

Similar to investors, you can capitalize on working with builders by having your title rep identify any properties zoned for R2 but currently only have one unit on it. Find those properties that have been owned for 20+ years and ask the right questions to present the possibilities to the property owner. 

Builders, along with other contractors like plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians, are in and out of homes day in and day out. Connecting with them can put you in contact with potent real estate leads, as they typically know when one of their clients is ready to sell or buy.

     12) Professional Networking / Corporate Relocation / Radio / Seminars / Yelp Reviews

These five strategies all tied for 12th. Through professional networking, you’ll be able to connect with industry experts who can inform you on industry trends and provide tips on how to attract more leads, while corporate relocation allows you to expand into new markets and grow your business.

Another tip on how to get real estate leads is buying radio ads. You can also become a thought leader by hosting monthly or quarterly seminars, which will establish you as a trusted source and someone to do business with, while encouraging Yelp reviews can boost your online presence and reputation.

Wrapping Up

At Tom Ferry, we have some of the best real estate marketing tools that can help you generate more leads and grow your business. Sign up for a free coaching consultation today to see how our real estate coaches can help you get more real estate leads and accomplish your goals.

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