How to Generate Real Estate Leads: 32 Proven Strategies to Get Leads in 2023

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller, Licensed AgentJanuary 13, 2023

Lead,Generation,Concept,Handwritten,On,WhiteboardDriving new and repeat business is the core of any successful agent’s strategy. Generating real estate leads isn’t easy, and there are several ways to go about it. You can focus on buyers or sellers, cast a wide net to maximize the number of leads or go more tactical to get very high-quality prospects. You have lots of options – but the first to figure out is if you want to buy real estate leads, or drive them yourself.

Being creative and intentional here takes more than just using the right real estate lead generation tools, but deploying them in a customized way that works for your business. It’s crucial for agents to approach lead gen with a toolkit of options instead of a never-changing set of rules to be “copied and pasted” to every context.

(Editor’s note: So that we can save time & cut straight to the high-value tips, we’re going to assume you’ve already got a good handle on the basics of Lead Gen: A solid real estate lead generation website / real estate website builder, and at least a basic real estate CRM)

If you’re looking for inspiration on ideas to drive lead gen for real estate, you’re in the right spot. Our expert guide includes a mix of traditional and modern approaches and ranges from tried and true best practices to innovative new platforms. So, let’s dive right in!

Online,Live,Video,Marketing,,Sign,Made,By,Human,Hands1. The Best Lead Generation for Real Estate Happens Locally

Get involved in the local community. Try to meet with local businesses, contractors, and repairers in the area. Take part in all the popular events in town, and consider setting up a booth if it will help with networking. The goal is to build a referral network of people who can help generate new leads. Find out what the locals love and have it on hand or talk about it during open houses.

2. Work Exclusive Buyer Leads

Looking to increase your chance of getting a client? Work exclusive leads!  Companies like Zurple allow you to be a unique lead buyer.  Unlike other lead vendors who sell a lead to 5 or more agents, Zurple allows you to buy exclusive leads. Because of that, there is less competition to land the client – easy!

Check Lead Availability

3. Try TikTok as a Real Estate Lead Gen Tool

TikTok has quickly turned into one of the most popular and widely used social media networks, so you should take advantage of this trend to generate leads for your real estate business. With over 50 million daily active users in the US alone, TikTok offers exposure that few other outlets do. The assumption that this platform is reserved for teenagers with too much free time on their hands is erroneous.

Daniela Andreevska Mashvisor 200x200Indeed, there are all sorts of people who are regularly active on the platform, and while they might be casually browsing for some fun videos, the truth of the matter is that many of them might be looking to buy a home or sell their current home, or might know someone who is going to buy or sell in the near future.

So if you want to stay on top of new technology and new marketing trends, you should definitely promote your business on TikTok. One of the best things about this platform is that you don’t need professional videos like on YouTube or even Instagram. You can shoot a 30-second video right on your phone when sitting in your office or doing a home viewing.

Before you know it, your videos can start getting thousands of views, followed by an exponential increase in the number of real estate leads you generate each month. (from Daniela Andreevska, 6+ years of experience in the industry)

4. Work Expired Listing Leads

peter lucas headshotExpired listings are a gold mine. The key to getting expired listings is to be the first agent to contact the homeowner after their listing has expired.

The longer you wait, the more likely it is that another agent will get in touch first. When you reach out, emphasize that you’re interested in helping them sell their home and offer to provide a complimentary market analysis. (from Pete Lucas, Licensed agent for 18+ years)

For $59.99/month RedX can help you expand your reach with both new and old expired listings. It allows you to pick up the phone with confidence with numbers that have been scrubbed against relisted homes and the DNC list.

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5. Real Estate on YouTube

YouTube is the second most used social media platform, under Facebook. In fact, YouTube will have over 210 million viewers in 2022. This platform requires a higher level of professionalism than TikTok, but has similar advantages of being free to use for reaching thousands of people.

Successful agents on YouTube make frequent videos, including:

  • Regular updates like a monthly market trend analysis
  • Video walkthroughs
  • Short videos with tips for sellers and buyers
  • Drone footage of the property

6. Learn to Scale Your Lead Generation With a Smart CRM

Most people think getting started is the hardest thing to do in real estate. It’s actually even harder to scale your business. The problem most agents have in the beginning is that there are only so many hours in a day, and the leads at many brokerages need a response ASAP, 24/7. Mere mortals couldn’t keep up, so the best thing you can ever do is set up a CRM to help you communicate and nurture those leads. (from Sal Dimiceli, Sr., 9+ years of experience in the industry)

Real Geeks started like many other real estate lead generation companies at the dawn of the internet lead generation game. They convert on the first conversation and require extensive and ongoing follow-up (over months and years). They started with leads, but ended up building what now become their CRM. This, coupled with the understanding that most agents’ marketing budgets are limited, led them to add organic SEO to the mix, which requires the creation of agent-branded websites to attract traffic. These components continue to live at the core of the product offering. 

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7. Try LinkedIn for Leads

samantha odo headshot

It’s 2022 and people still seem to neglect the boon named LinkedIn especially designed for professional interaction. Agents are more concerned with creating catchy content for Facebook and Instagram where they have to complete heavy content flow instead of making beneficial connections on apps like LinkedIn.

Believe me, your relationship-building techniques will gain a higher pedestal when combined with the unique algorithm of LinkedIn which caters to the needs of potential clients by bridging the gap between your business’s content and interested eyes. (from Samantha Odo, 5+ years of experience in the industry)

8. Try Facebook Ads

Even today, Facebook still has the most extensive user base and potential audience for advertisers of any available platform.

Facebook offers some advertising tools specific to agents. Specifically, the platform provides Real Estate Ads, which use retargeting to provide realty-tailored ad content to prospective clients. Facebook identifies these individuals by downloading a “pixel” on the agent’s website and tracking those website visitors onto Facebook. This retargeting method allows you to focus your ad spend on prospects that have already indicated they are in the market.

harout-keuroghlian-profile_3 The most successful realtors often recommend joining high volume Facebook groups in which you have a genuine interest and setting aside time each and every day to interact with them. It’s also crucial to immerse yourself in your community with the sincere intention of giving back.

It’s beneficial to highlight business owners, restaurant owners, insurance brokers, any business that you feel provides value. You’d be surprised at the leads you receive when you give to your community businesses without expecting anything in return. (from Harout Keuroghlian, Licensed agent for 27+ years)

9. Use PPC Advertising Campaigns

When looking to buy or sell a home, many people start their journey with a Google search. The search engine allows agents to harness this behavior to serve their advertisements to these buyers/sellers.

PPC campaigns can drive consumers searching for home listings on Google, Bing, and other search engines directly to your personally branded IDX website.

Market Leader uses specially placed ads on Google, Bing, and other search engines to push traffic into a home valuation page for possible buyers or a search-enabled landing page for likely buyers.

On these pages, the visitors must input their information, which gets passed directly to you. They never sell the same lead twice, and they offer a more significant number of tips for their price than other sites. Therefore, you will be getting a guaranteed amount of leads per month. Easy, right?

Check Lead Availability

10. Host a Public Event

nick taveras headshotHosting an event is a great way to generate leads, and it can be done in a simple, cost-effective way. This should also be handled separately from an open house. Do this for former clients, and ask them to bring friends and family members. The more, the merrier, right? Just double up on supplies and have tons of business cards handy. It’s best to do this consistently so that your network of people will come to expect a get-together on a regular cadence.

It’s fun and effective to shake things up every once in a while. For that reason I believe social events are a great way to get leads.

A client appreciation event like an ice cream social where clients can bring their families and friends can result in repeat business and referrals. Giving back to your clients even in a very small way, can help keep you top of mind. (from Nicky Taveras, Licensed agent for 15+ years)

11. Buy Leads from Third-Party Platforms

For those with a budget, buying leads can be a simpler and more straightforward tactic. Third-party businesses do the work of identifying individuals in the market to buy or sell real estate. They then sell real estate agents that contact info after some degree of lead qualification.

There are two broad ways to find sources of leads to buy— those that offer a broad range of possible leads and those that target specific demographics.

12. Use Direct Mail for Real Estate Lead Generation

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Mail brochures or postcards to homeowners and tenants in your area. While many people think it’s an outdated tactic, direct mail remains a valuable method of engaging with prospects, especially for those new to the area.

Unlike other industries, direct mail as a real estate lead generation strategy for real estate agents has been resilient. It’s also much easier to find addresses to focus mailing activities based on your geography or zip code.

Doing this will let you cast a wide net across your territory during generic outreach or awareness campaigns. For more rural areas, direct mail remains a great tool to use.

Direct mail can also target prospects who have already engaged with you. This is especially true if the interaction was in person instead of virtually, such as attending an open house. In these cases, thank you cards are one example of how you can follow up an initial interaction. A thank you note also allows real estate agents to personalize the message for each prospect.

13. Draw Clients in With a Professional Website

Example of real estate landing page on realtor website | AgentAdvice.comIf you want to compete, you need a good website. Your site should host your current listings, contact information, and prior client testimonials and reviews.

Developing a unique professional website can provide direct and indirect benefits. If done well, the website adds to the agent’s perceived credibility and professionalism. This can boost your standing among prospects, peers, and current clients while also building better “brand awareness.”

The website should also serve as a direct lead generation platform. The most straightforward way is to add lead gen forms to your site. “Lead gen forms” are online forms that site visitors can fill out with their contact information. These forms could be structured as a portal for contacting the agent or in exchange for an asset or piece of content that the agent is offering. Either way, lead gen forms on your site are a clear source of inbound leads– prospects that opt-in to contact you.

Put the lead gen forms on pages of the site that get the most traffic to maximize their visibility and the likelihood of someone filling them out. Google Analytics, a free tool, can help real estate agents determine which website pages get the most traffic.

14. Build Your Credibility via SEO

Credibility is everything. You need to show prospective sellers that you are the top agent in the area. There are a few ways to do this.

Tomas SatasFirst, create a website and start working on Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword. So when somebody searches phrases or words such as “realtor”, “real estate agent”, “top real estate agents”, etc. you want your website to show up on the first page.

This process is not easy and can take anywhere from 6-12 months. You need to think in the long term though because once you establish yourself on the internet the possibilities are endless. (from Tomas Satas, Licensed Agent in Chicago, Illinois)

15. Utilize Community Referrals

Word,Referrals,On,Notebook,,Office,Desk,With,Electronic,Devices,,ComputerThe community you work and live in can be the best source of leads and serve as a way to get real estate listings. By developing your brand and reputation within the community, you can become a trusted source of information about real estate.

However, this strategy may not show results as quickly as other methods. Community trust does not come by default. It often requires prior investment in developing those community relationships before it pays off. Be aware of this timing factor when determining how well it will work for you.

There are several traditional and creative methods to maximize your community network and generate organic referrals.

If you want to build credibility, keep track of those clients who have been extremely grateful after the buying or selling process, those who are well known in the community, and especially those clients who have been successful and are well known.

To maximize client referrals, simply do the best job possible serving your clients. Personal interactions, saving clients money, and staying in touch with follow-up communications (“How are you settling in? Anything I can help with?”) all go a long way toward making a lasting impression.

Word of mouth and personal validation are potent tools that also work without you having to do anything– the easiest form of lead gen.

kelly deroski headshot

The most successful businesses are built primarily on repeat clients or business. Because of this, you should focus on your existing database. The primary focus is staying visible without being “obnoxious”.

Spend a lot of time farming databases for former customers. Be sure to purposely look for surprising and memorable ways to reach them. For Halloween, put signs in their yards that say “We’ve been booed by our favorite Realtor” and leave a pumpkin bucket filled with treats on their doorstep.

It’s best to work with a lot of families, so on Mother’s Day you can celebrate the moms by hosting a brunch or dropping off a care package of wine and chocolate. Customers love it and will often post about it on social media leaving other people to think “why doesn’t my agent do that?”. These efforts result in a business that is built on more than 80% referrals. (from Kelley Decowski, Licensed agent for 8+ years)

16. Stay Relevant on Community Pages

Community pages are a crucial content source you should provide on your website. Community pages give buyers and sellers up-to-date insights on the area’s population, cost of living, schools, attractions, and other valuable information.

These are also places where you can answer common or frequently asked questions that buyers or sellers have about the area. Answering these questions in a clear and structured way will benefit the website’s authority in a prospect’s mind and improve its ranking on Google.

bill gassett headshot

One of the best ways of generating new business is by creating these pages on your website and then optimizing them for Google.

When done correctly, your goal will be to show up on the first page when someone searches for ‘Realtor city-state’ or ‘real estate agent city-state’. Prospects doing a search like this are looking to hire a real estate agent right away.

One of the significant keys to being successful will be making your community page exceptional and then working to make it visible through search engine optimization. Many will see you as a market expert for the community in the process. (from Bill Gassett, Licensed agent for 35+ years)

17. Start Leveraging Reviews

Like community referrals, online reviews can play a central role in lead generation strategies. There are many real estate websites where clients can review their agents, including Zillow, Yelp, and The bare minimum you can do is monitor your profiles on these sites to know what information prospects may be looking at.

You can also go a step further in actively managing your profiles. You can reach out to happy reviewers for referrals or quotes, address any complaints from unhappy reviewers, or work directly with the website to use the review content. The more active you are on those profiles, the more professional you’ll appear to potential prospects.

18. Reach Out to Real Estate-Adjacent Professionals

Some industry professionals will learn about a homeowner’s intent to sell their property before any agency, brokerage, or search engine. For instance, the owner may be planning to renovate or upgrade their home before putting it on the market to be more competitive/get a higher valuation.

The contractors, renovators, and construction organizations that do this work can help drive leads for you either by passing your info directly to the homeowner or by tipping you off about a job they had that will likely go on the market soon.

19. Take Advantage of FSBOs (For Sale By Owner)

Home:,For,Sale,By,Owner,Sign,In,Front,YardFSBO listings are those managed and run by the homeowner rather than an agent. Homeowners may choose to sell their home on their own because of a prior bad experiences, because they think they have the time and know-how to sell it, or a host of other reasons.

You (and many others) may view FSBOs as hostile territory, and you should certainly proceed with caution. However, there is always the possibility that you can convert an FSBO into a client.

The key is to watch for warning signs that the FSBO strategy is not working for the homeowner. This may be the case if the listing stays available for an unusually long time or eventually expires, or if the asking price drops frequently and substantially. These signs of distress suggest that the homeowner is more open to working with an agent than they initially were. That is a very good time to swoop in and suggest a partnership.

20. Offer Free Home Evaluations to Generate Leads

morshed headshot

One creative idea to bring in more leads is to offer free home evaluations to potential clients. This can be a great way to attract attention from people who are thinking of selling their homes. You can also offer to help buyers find the right home by providing them with a list of properties that match their criteria.
Another idea is to host informational workshops on topics such as “How to Choose the Right Real Estate Agent” or “How to Prepare Your Home for Sale.” These workshops can be a great way to generate leads and establish yourself as an expert in the field.
Just be sure to always have answers ready, that way you look prepared and experienced. Bring along a ton of small gifts and business cards to hand out to the people who attend the workshop. Or, schedule an online workshop and advertise it on social media to get a group of prospects tuning in. (from Morshed Alam, Licensed agent in Minnesota)

21. Strike Up Conversations Everywhere

rogers healy headshotLead generation can be the easiest or the hardest part of the job. It honestly depends on how well established you are within your real estate career. My favorite way to lead generate is to play if I were a buyer, where would I be?

For example, if I am selling a house in a specific neighborhood, I will go sit at popular surrounding spots in hopes of striking up conversation. Also, look at people that are fixing up the outside of their home. Are they painting the shudders? Sprucing up their lawn? If people are outside, always strike up a conversation about the work they are doing, or suggest companies/someone in the area who can help. Then leave them with a business card so that you will be top of mind when they are looking to buy or sell.

Use the same method for sellers, you never know who you could strike up a conversation with. Always see your surroundings as an opportunity and a stepping stone. You never when someone will be looking for a real estate agent. (from Rogers Healy, Licensed broker for 20+ years)

22. Market to Investors

DSC_7617 (1)Repeat business is a lifeline in the real estate industry, something that’s proven to be effective that few agents do is marketing to investors. They often run into sellers who want full retail value, and since they typically only buy discounted properties they refer them out to realtors they trust.

If you look up cash sales by zip code in the MLS or with a software like Propstream, you can figure out who is buying homes for cash in your area and track down their phone number.

You can also join investor Facebook groups and reach out to them there, or look on craigslist for house buying ads. Call these people to see if there’s anything you can do to add value to their business. Most investors have a hard time finding a good agent so if you’re willing to learn their language and do a good job you’ll be set for a long time. Those relationships are extremely helpful in the long run. (from Phil Bryson, Licensed agent in Arizona)

23. Empty Homes are Perfect Lead Generators of Realtors

angel piontek headshotTargeting absentee owners in your local market is a great way to generate seller leads. There may be owners of investment properties looking to sell while inventory is low and demand is high. Take advantage of those moments when they happen!

You can send letters, postcards, or even a market report to your target properties. The more you can send them, the better. The more enticed prospects are – the more likely you are to convert them into a client in the future.

Use predictive analytic tools to determine an owner’s propensity to sell based on key factors like equity and ownership time. (from Angel Pionetek, Licensed agent for 19+ years)

24. Find Unique Solutions

Martin headshot

In a market with prices this high, houses with room for extended families or multiple couples can be a great choice for people who might not otherwise be able to afford homeownership.

These homes also tend to be less in-demand, meaning that if you can find them and market them correctly, you can land a big commission on big homes.

Don’t be afraid to look for unique solutions that will help out clients that might be afraid to buy a traditional family home upfront. Meet them where they are, and they will be more likely to refer you in the future. That’s why contacting renters is a great place to start out. Many people view renting as a waste of money, and would rather put their money into something they own. (from Martin Orefice, Licensed agent in Florida)

25. Maximize Content Creation by Starting a Blog or a Podcast

Creating content targeting prospective clients is an excellent but more time and resource-intensive approach to generating direct and indirect leads. Utilize your expertise in the market and community to serve prospective clients with valuable information when buying or selling. Write articles, or post Tik-Tok videos about what’s happening with real estate in the area.

Content should be a part of any lead gen strategy. However, which content you use, and how you use it, can vary.

Sample (4)A real estate blog, like a YouTube channel, is a terrific method to drive traffic to your website. Original content that is SEO optimized and targeted to rank for a certain keyword can help you rank higher on Google, generate leads to your website, and establish yourself as an industry thought leader.

Podcasts attract leads and establish your reputation in the field. You can quickly convert your YouTube videos into podcast format and then broadcast them using a program like Auphonic to save time. Podcasts are also a great way to plug your websites or other social media platforms that people can then click to if they need a real estate agent. (from John Riedl, Licensed agent in Florida)

26. Emphasize Video MarketingPerson,Is,Taking,Photo,With,A,Smartphone.

Video marketing uses video content to engage prospective clients, frequently on social media or video platforms like YouTube. It is a higher-investment strategy since it requires videography, editing, and potentially acting skills to execute.

You can record footage of the interior and exterior of your listings & create real estate marketing videos. This will give your brand a distinct personality while expanding your online networks and relationships.

This investment can deliver excellent results– nearly ¾ of homeowners are more likely to list with an agent who offers to make a video of their listing. Video marketing allows real estate agents to both serve current clients and catch the eye of prospective clients at the same time.

27. Use High-Quality Drone Photography

Ever since drones came out, they’ve been all the buzz. They’ve now launched themselves into the real estate sector. Homebuyers love listings with drone photography and videos. Aerial videos give an edge over the competition.

Buyers want to see recent pictures of listings. If you have a listing that lasts more than a season, you’ll want to remember to take new pictures. The last thing you want is snow or autumn leaves in pictures viewed by potential leads in the spring and summer. Pictures of the house from a previous season could make the pictures look old and outdated. When listings look old, buyers might not think there is demand or competition for the property.

trey langford headshotYou can also take it one step further. Trey Langford and his team created a database of 360 Degree Aerial Neighborhood Tours about two years ago. It creates a huge wow factor for their website and a unique service they can offer to attract out-of-state buyers.

Additionally, they are ranking in search engines. Included in the 360 tours is a pin that links to a home search. This tends to create high-quality leads as it also establishes a level of credibility and professionalism. It’s always something that gets brought up when meeting with prospects, because it helps sell their services right off the bat.(from Trey Langford, Licensed agent for 17+ years)


28. Take Clients on Exclusive Video Tours

Pictures are great, but videos tell the story. Listings with video walkthroughs attract more interest. A video walk-through can be a real estate lead generator with a difference because it can help a buyer imagine themselves owning the property.

Videos can also save time from the looky-loos who might have had their questions answered ahead of time. With a skilled pilot filming, you can even use a drone for a video walk-through. You can walk, run, or fly through the property with the prospects to help convince them that you are the right agent for them.

29. Use Magazine Marketing for Getting Real Estate Leads

latham-jenkins headshot

If you live in a resort market, or a touristy destination, try prospecting for new leads by marketing in a magazine (Ex: The Outsized Reasons Why You Will Fall in Love with Jackson Hole).

The magazine gives potential buyers and viewers a way to not only see the lifestyle and homes, but envision themselves there. It also allows you to foster a connection because when the buyers request it, they often share their mobile numbers, which gives you the ability to reach out and make that initial contact.

You’ll also have a mailing address for follow-up drip campaigns as you never know their timeline to purchase. It can be a main driver of leads through the years and a great brand builder. (from Latham Jenkins, Licensed agent for 8+ years)

30. Track Prospects who are already in the Market

Real estate can be a long game. Buyers and sellers alike can spend months active in the market before closing a deal on a property. There are constant streams of new prospects entering the market. All these factors make it advantageous to keep an eye out for opportunities with folks who may already be in the buying/listing process. Many lead generation tools provide capabilities to make this process easier.

31. Transform Your Open House

Women,Hand,Open,Door,Knob,Or,Opening,The,Door.With how hot the market has been, many of us haven’t had to worry about realtor lead generation. When the houses are not selling themselves, an open house remains one of the best ways to find new buyers. There is a growing population of young shoppers, with millennials accounting for the largest majority of homebuyers in the market today.

Open houses can be great opportunities to find other prospects already in the market but may not have an agent yet. This includes holding an open house for a selling client or attending open houses with a buying client.

Hosting an open house will provide the best opportunities for lead generation. For instance, you can engage personally with every buyer who visits the open house, any of which may still be early in the buying process and still open to working with you.

Alternatively, the open house can feature a more formal “welcome book” where buyers can sign in or leave their info. This can lead to follow-up contact via email, direct mail, etc.

32. Host Family-Fun Parties in Empty Houses for Sale

Even though open houses are one of the best ways to attract buyers, they’re not always fun. You need to set the open house apart from the rest. Here are a few ways to convert a modern open house into an event:

  • Hire a DJ
  • Shop for local beer or wine
  • Set up a selfie booth
  • Have a BBQ and snack bar

By staging the house as a place to be instead of an object to buy, you can draw in some fresh‌ faces. Younger buyers will brag about their day at an open house with music and craft beer. You can develop your own following of prospective buyers with open houses that are done properly.

lauraPotential sellers often wander into open houses for two reasons.

First, they’re interested in buying a new house, but they need to sell their other house first.

Second, their neighbors are considering selling their home down the street and they’re curious about how other homes in the area are priced and prepared for sale. So keep in mind at an open house that you’re presenting yourself to both buyers and sellers.

Ask questions like “Where do you currently live?” “Will you be selling that before you buy something else?” It might be frustrating to find that there really isn’t any immediate interest for your services from half of the room, but you also have to play the long game. (from Laura Jimenez, Licensed agent in Arizona)

Finding the Strategy that Works for You

While there are myriad available ideas for lead generation for realtors, not all of them are great for all situations. There are some factors to consider when choosing strategies:

  • The market: Who are the potential leads most likely to be? Are there any unique demographic factors? Where are these leads most centralized or easy to reach?
  • The network: Are there preexisting community relationships to build on, or is the agent starting fresh?
  • The budget: How much money is there to work with? Strategies like paid advertising bring heftier price tags than leaning into community referrals.
  • The platform: Where is it easiest to get in front of prospects and leads? Are certain platforms more advantageous than others?

The exact mix and emphasis on various strategies will differ for every agent. Staying flexible with lead gen strategies can help ensure that real estate agents are attracting the most high-quality leads and can help break into markets that would otherwise seem impossible from the outside.

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: 1/13/2023