Top 6 Free Real Estate Lead Generation Sites with No Upfront Cost


If you want to grow your real estate business, and increase your revenue, you’re going to need leads. There’s no way around it.

Whether you’re a budding broker trying to generate more leads for your agents or an aspiring agent yourself, growing and managing a base of workable leads will be a large factor in creating a more successful business for you. 

Editor’s Note: If your goal is simply getting a handful of clients, you should really consider investing in real estate leads – it’s a lot cheaper than you’d expect! If your heart is set on leads with no upfront cost, you’re likely looking for a real estate referral network – more on that here.

Regardless of which route you want to take on how you get leads, it’s important to reiterate – leads need to be your top priority! Without them, you can’t grow which will translate into less revenue. And, let’s face it, no one wants that.

What are leads and lead generation?

Put simply, leads refer to any individual that has exhibited buying behavior.

Leads might include:

Lead generation is where you identify these individuals in order to funnel them into conversions.  

This is crucial in real estate. You’ll likely enjoy some repeat buyers but for the most part will close on “one-and-done” transactions. After all, you’ve already helped them close on their dream home (way to go!). That theoretically means they’re not planning to move in the next 30 years.

If you don’t consistently work on new ways to generate real estate ideas, you’ll only enjoy a relatively small percentage of the market, and honestly that’s probably not enough to stay afloat.

Top Free Real Estate Lead Generation Sites

Using dedicated sites to identify and engage free real estate leads will be integral for you and any other brokerage to operate. The best ones give great results with no upfront cost, so you don’t break the bank before you make a buck. 

That said, you’ll be on the hook for a referral fee once you seal the deal. Remember, the sites receive nothing if the leads don’t convert, so a referral fee is incentive for them to provide high quality leads with legitimate results for you and your brokerage.

Here are our picks for the top 6 free real estate lead generation sites with no upfront cost.

1. Real Estate Referrals (New Facebook Referral Group) facebook logo

Based on feedback from realtors who visit our site, we’ve created a brand new referral network group on Facebook.

It’s a private community of real estate professionals from around the country that support each other’s businesses through referring each other clients. If you have a client who’s moving to an area you’re not licensed in, use the group to find a realtor in their area who can help. The best part? You get a referral fee. 

On the flip side – it’s also a great way to find new clients who are getting referred by other agents.

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A nice little bonus is, it’s not just about referrals. It’s also a great place to learn about real estate lead generation. The members are very active and share their expertise on various topics, including:

  • Marketing strategies
  • Social media
  • Networking
  • And more 

You’ll find valuable resources, tips, and advice that you can apply to your own business.

When you join, don’t be shy! Get the ball rolling by introducing yourself and/or sharing a question or strategy you’re using to grow your business.

2. Zillow Flexzillow-flex-logo

In terms of site traffic, Zillow is the undisputed heavyweight champ of real estate sites. For the buyer, it’s an incredible site and powerful tool for navigating the real estate marketplace. 

The numbers speak volumes. In 2021 they had 68 million monthly visitors resulting in over 70,000 sales.

For agents and brokers, it can also be leveraged to produce similarly incredible results. Zillow offers a program called Zillow Flex, which uses an intelligent algorithm to match agents to buyers based on a number of factors.

Fun Fact: Zillow Flex takes no payment unless a deal is closed. That keeps them incentivized to provide free high quality real estate leads that are more likely to lead to conversion. 

A little caveat to keep in mind is that once the deal closes, Zillow will also help themselves to a 35% referral fee. 

Another thing to note is that not every agent is immediately eligible to participate in the program. To be eligible to receive leads from Zillow Flex you have to be one of the following:

  • Zillow Premier Agents 
  • Broker clients
  • Top-performing agents (this is based on them having an  impressive track record determined by a number of performance metrics)

For those who are eligible to use Zillow Flex, the lead generation should be quite fruitful.

3. Redfinredfin logo

Another household name in the space is Redfin, and, like Zillow, they offer a referral program with quality leads for top-performing agents to the tune of a 30% fee after the deal closes. 

A nice little perk to Redfin’s criteria is that they are more lenient in deciding who is eligible to partake in their program. According to their site, Redfin requires:

  • An active real estate license in good standing
  • Your fair share of closed client transactions
  • Proven excellence based on our client surveys

On paper, that sounds stringent, but the parameters are ambiguous and newer agents should be eligible to participate with minimal sales under their belt.

4. UpNestupnest logo

UpNest may not be as well known as some, but they are growing rapidly in the marketplace thanks to their ability to match transaction-ready clients to top-performing agents in the area. They’ve got over 30,000 real estate agents using them regularly to receive prescanned leads that are ready to close. 

UpNest, of course, charges no upfront fees, but like others they get paid through the 30% referral fee once the transaction concludes. 

Once again there are some stipulations to be able to join their referral program. You must have the following:

  • A minimum of 3 years of real estate experience
  • A real estate license in good standing
  • 6 transactions in the past 12 months
  • Positive online reviews
  • Good online presence 

Here’s the part I like the most. Not only does UpNest provide referrals to great agents, the site itself acts as a registered brokerage in all 50 states.

5. realtor.comrealtor-logo

Real estate giant,, supercharged its lead generating powers a few years back when it acquired OpCity, an Austin based lead generation platform that had been successful in its own right prior to the acquisition.

Now, uses a product called “ReadyConnect Concierge”. It provides real estate agents with prescreened, viable leads that are ready to be engaged. 

Just like the others, there’s no upfront costs attached.

Here’s how it works–

  1. contacts leads via phone and screens them to determine important information like their price point, buyer intent, and location, among other things.
  2. then identifies the best-qualified agents based on a variety of metrics to match leads with agents.
  3. The agent and client connect over the phone.

This service is effective, but what I really like is that it’s also startlingly quick. Top-rated agents get rapid access to leads in their area, and the best is they are all geared to increase conversions.

There’s clearly plenty of upside, however, one point that may make you a little hesitant to take the leap is that does not disclose what the referral fee is until the sale is complete. It’s also been noted that these fees can vary based on a variety of factors. 

6. Agent Prontoagent pronto logo

This lead generation site is for clients and agents that want results pronto! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. But, seriously they’re quick.  

Just like many other platforms for generating leads with no upfront cost, Agent Pronto focuses on matching the right client with the agent that’s best qualified to seal the deal and close.

Again, this is what secures that ever-essential referral fee for their company. No upfront cost doesn’t mean 100% free, but it sure beats paying without any guarantee. 

Agent Pronto shares some key client data with you to ensure outreach goes smoothly. You’ll get things like: 

  • Client’s first name
  • City or area of interest
  • Estimated budget 

From there, it’s up to you to decide if you want to engage or try your luck on another lead later on.

Agent Pronto is a powerful lead generation platform, and asks for between 25% and 35% referral fee on all completed transactions. This is pretty par for the course with platforms like these.

Pros & Cons of Free Leads


There are several pros and cons to consider when working with a “free” lead generation company. Here are some to consider. 


  • You Don’t Pay Up Front: The fact that you don’t pay upfront means you don’t have to pay for leads that don’t work out.
  • Targeted Leads: Companies that provide ‘free leads’ are incentivized because they realize they won’t make any money unless you close a deal. Therefore, they are likely to send you quality leads.
  • Timesaving: Like any lead generation company, free leads save you time. They eliminate the need for you to make cold calls, knock on doors, send out emails, and post on social media. Phew.
  • More Flexibility: Agents have more flexibility in that they can choose the leads they want to pursue. Prepaid leads also allow you to pick and choose, but not pursuing a lead means losing money. 


  • Expensive: “Free lead” generation companies are anything but free. Many of them will charge you 25-50% at closing making them more expensive than some prepaid services.
  • Difficult to Budget: When you accept a lead, you don’t have an accurate idea of how much you will make and how much the company will take. This makes it difficult for you to create a budget.
  • Follow-Up Commissions: Many’ pay-at-close’ lead generation companies have a policy that states that they ‘own’ the leads they get you. This means that they’ll continue to take a commission from you for every repeat purchase or sale you close with the client. They may also take a commission off every referral you get from that client.
  • Not Good for Agents Starting: You may think that ‘free leads’ are ideal for new agents because they help them generate income and get their careers started without any money down. However, most of these companies will only work with agents that have a proven track record for generating sales. 

Can You Even Generate Leads for Free? 


Yes and no. Companies that advertise ‘free leads’ to agents will typically charge a fee at closing. So, when you think of it this way, no you can’t generate leads for free. 

However, there are lead-generation strategies that help you grow your business for little to no money. Here are some to consider: 

Cold Calling

Cold calling is an effective strategy that doesn’t cost any money. However, it’s very time-consuming. You have to generate a script, so you know which direction to take it in. And, you need to be prepared to deal with rejections. 

This strategy will be a lot more effective if you target people that are going through any of the following. 

  • Divorce 
  • Probate
  • Doing an FSBO 
  • Looking at foreclosure

You can look at public records to determine the best people to target. Lead generation companies can also help out with this.

Door Knocking

Door-knocking is relatively inexpensive. The only thing you will have to pay for are the materials to hand out and gas. Which, depending on the economy, could get costly. 

Like cold calling, get prepared so you know what angle to take when speaking to prospects. Bring along fliers and business cards to hand out and leave on the doors of people that aren’t home. And again, be ready for some rejection. 

Social,Media,And,Marketing,Virtual,Icons,Screen,Concept.close,Up,OfSocial Media

Any agent that wants to stay competitive has to be active on social media. It’s a great way to raise brand awareness by sharing informational posts, videos, posting links to the homes you have on the market, and more. 

You can also do paid advertising on social media which will get you more targeted results.But, it will increase the cost of getting the leads.  

One effective social media tactic is to join real estate-related groups. You can join groups of other realtors, interior design groups, or groups that represent the community you work in. 

Keep in mind you want to stay active to stay relevant. So, share your opinion and comment on other posts regularly. This way you can establish yourself as a leader in your field.

Videos and Vlogs

Video is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies. It’s also incredibly low-cost. You can start a vlog on YouTube for free. Bonus, if your vlog takes off, you may even make money. 

If you aren’t camera shy, this could be a really great way to promote yourself and bring in clients. 

The videos you post can contain a variety of useful information. You can offer things like design tips, information on how to buy and sell homes and so much more. Another easy one would be to post video tours of the homes you have on the market. 

Be aware that you may incur some equipment expenses if you want professional-looking videos. But that’s something you can invest in once your vlog starts making money. 



Emails are another highly effective digital marketing tool considering ROI. Marketers can expect to make $36 for every dollar they spend. Not too shabby. 

Of course, you can send emails out for free. But most agents will set up an automated system that they’ll need to pay for. The high returns make it worthwhile.


Networking is a powerful way to generate real estate leads, and you can do it without a significant time and money investment. Contact everyone you know, family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, etc. 

Networking often makes people think about mixers and in person events, but that isn’t the case. You can send out emails, make phone calls, and post on your social media pages and still effectively network

Let people know you’re in business and looking for clients. Plus, you can also use this method to advertise the properties you have available.

Is Free the Best Way to Do It? 

Chris Heller Headshot

Our advice is diversification. Agents should use different lead generation strategies to determine what works best for them. They may choose to use some lead generation companies, including those that you pay at closing along with ones you pay upfront, to get leads from various sources. 

It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Some agents will also use other prospecting methods. 

Lead agents like Chris Heller have weighed in on the conversation stating 

“I like to mix things up. I use various lead generation companies as well as my own tactics of mailing, door knocking, emails, etc. which helps me budget accordingly. 

If one method isn’t working for me, I eliminate it from my sales strategy. I dedicate my time and money to what’s bringing in clients and ditch what’s not effective. I recommend that all agents try different strategies to determine what brings in results.” 

Now that you know the various strategies available, you can determine which works best for you. Question is – will you be including “free lead generation” in your arsenal?

Final Takeaway

Without a steady influx of fresh leads, your real estate business is sure to stagnate and revenue will fall flat. To ensure your bottom line stays healthy, consider using the best real estate lead generation companies with no upfront costs to maximize conversions and maximize results now.