Lead Generation: A Beginner’s Guide to Generating Real Estate Leads

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller, Licensed AgentJune 28, 2022

Business,Woman,Drawing,Global,Structure,Networking,And,Data,Exchanges,CustomerThe real estate industry is known for being a real money maker. Agents can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year selling homes. But they have to start somewhere. And starting out isn’t easy.

An agent’s job is primarily commission based. No sales mean no commissions and no commissions mean no money. So how do you get those customers knocking on the door? Leads.

This article will provide you with everything you need to know about lead generation so you can get off on the right foot when you start selling real estate.

 

Networking is Key

Delegates,Networking,At,Conference,Drinks,ReceptionWhen it comes to generating leads, it’s all about who you know. And the more people you know, the better.

You never know when someone might come up to a friend or acquaintance and ask them if they can recommend a good real estate agent.  If you’ve made a good impression on them, they may just mention your name. And there you go, another client.

Networking can be done in a variety of ways. Here are a few to consider.

Conferences

One way to network is to attend professional events with likeminded people. While attending, it’s important to be outgoing, even if it’s outside of your comfort zone. If you don’t shake hands and get social, you’ll be missing out on valuable connections.

But just shaking hands isn’t enough. You want to be memorable. And one way to do that is to exchange contact information and follow up.

Have business cards on hand and collect business cards from those around you. After the event is over, follow up with valuable contacts by sending a simple email stating how nice it was to meet them. After that, send out emails regularly to wish them a happy holiday or happy birthday.

Keeping in touch means staying visible and staying visible means you will be the first one they call when they, or someone they know, is looking for an agent.

Social Media

Young,Woman,Using,Smart,Phone,social,Media,Concept.Social media is another good way to network. Having your own personal and professional pages and posting regularly is a no-brainer. But where you can really make connections is through Facebook groups.

Facebook groups are online groups made for likeminded people. Find ones about real estate and real estate related topics like interior design or those that are focused on the neighborhoods you sell in. Then make yourself visible in those groups by liking, commenting and asking and answering questions.

When you give advice, it makes you stand out as a thought leader. This will make you an attractive choice for an agent if someone in the group needs one. And if one of the members asks for an agent recommendation, you can always recommend yourself.

LinkedIn is also great for lead generation. The fact that you can browse members by career means you can make connections with people who may be able to open doors for you.

Hilversum,,Netherlands,-,Februari,06,,2017:,Social,Media,Are,TrendingOnce you find these people, reach out with a friendly hello. Comment on their posts or share content you think they might be interested in. Your efforts may pay off big time.

LinkedIn also provides a tool called Lead Gen Forms. These pre-filled forms accompany paid ads. Those who see the ad can use the form to sign up and keep in touch with your business.

Lead Gen forms will increase the ROI of your campaign. They can also be downloaded from Campaign Manager or integrated with a preferred marketing or CRM tool.

Most social media platforms also give you the option of running paid ads. You can use these to advertise your business or an open house. You can customize the ad to reach a targeted audience. You will be provided with analytics to determine how well your ad did so you can determine what’s working and what’s not.

 

Buyer’s List

Businessman,Using,A,Computer,For,Property,Sales,Listings,,Realtor,AgencyA buyer’s list is a list of past and potential clients, buyers, sellers, flippers and wholesalers that are leads or that can help you get leads. There are a few steps you should take in building your buyer’s list. These include the following:

Contact Family and Friends: Once you are established, reach out to family and friends letting them know you’re open for business. Ask them if they would like to get on your mailing list to be notified about new listings. If so, gather information regarding what type of properties they are interested in and send out emails and newsletters to keep them in the loop.

Browse the Classifieds:  Classified and Craigslist ads will have listings for properties being sold or rented in the area. The person who is listing may be a landlord or owner looking for real estate to buy. You can reach out to them directly and add them to your buyer’s list for further communications.

Property Management Companies: A property management company may be looking for a property or they may know someone looking for a property. It’s always a good idea to make your presence known with these companies. Add them to your buyer sheet to ensure they are kept in the loop.

Investment and Networking Groups: Earlier in the article we talked about how important networking is. The people you meet at your networking events should be added to your buyer sheet as well.

Your Broker: if you work for a brokerage firm, they may be able to provide you with potential clients to add to your buyer sheet based on who they have worked with in the past.

 

Business Web Site

Let's,Get,Started,Thoughtful,Male,Person,Looking,To,The,DigitalAs a realtor, it’s important to put your best virtual foot forward with a good business website. You may have your own website, or you may have your own page on your brokerage’s website. But either way, it will help you get noticed by potential clients.

If you have your own website, there are a few steps you can take to make it more visible and professional looking. Your site should be well formatted, attractive and easy to navigate. The pages should load quickly, and it should have plenty of SEO rich content.

If you follow the prescribed SEO criteria, it will make your site appear on the top of search engine pages. So, when people are looking for an agent in your area, your name will come up first.

It’s also advisable to have a fillable form on your website’s landing pages. That way, visitors who are interested in your services can leave their contact information and get notified about new listings in their area.

 

Content Marketing

Close-up,Of,Businessman's,Hand,Checking,House,On,LaptopContent can come in many forms. It can be a blog article that is published on your website or blog site. It can be a post on social media or a video on YouTube.

Your content can be about just about anything real estate related. It can be about fun things to do in your area. It can include home décor tips. Or it can provide real estate advice such as ‘what to look for in a home’ or ‘how to qualify for a loan’.

The point of the content is to provide useful advice to your target audience. This helps establish trust and it makes you stand out as an authority in your industry. People who read and enjoy your content will be likely to call you when they need an agent.

There are many rules to follow when writing and publishing content. For example, your articles should be engaging. You should use language that will be easy for the reader to understand (i.e. no complex real estate jargon). You should also include images and keywords to boost SEO.

It’s advisable to include a call to action in your content so people understand the purpose of the article or post and feel obligated to act.

 

Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing may seem old fashioned, but it stands up as one of the most effective ways to generate leads.

Keep in mind that mailing costs can add up and you may have to resend mail several times before you get a response. Therefore, you will want to work out your target audience and budget ahead of time. But if you plan carefully, you will have a measurable system worked out that produces a high ROI.

 

Be Patient

Unhappy,Young,Caucasian,Woman,Looking,At,Computer,Screen,,Feeling,StressedBear in mind that most leads won’t convert overnight. Think about it, when you reach out to a customer, what’s the chance that they are ready to buy a property just then? It’s not exactly like buying underwear.

In fact, according to RIIS Media, 50% of customers will take 12 to 24 months to convert. And with 90% of people preferring to do their own research before their decision to buy, you really must be patient.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be persistent.

Keep lines of communication open. Stay visible. After a while, you’ll start to get a buzz and all those people you have been courting for so long will suddenly need your services. You better be ready when the phone starts ringing off the hook!

Starting out in real estate is not easy. But if you do the right amount of lead generation and stay persistent, the clients will come reeling in. What real estate sales tips do you have to share?

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 6/28/2022