Real Estate Lead Generation Tips

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller, Licensed AgentMay 31, 2022

Lead,Generation,Business,Funnel,Marketing,ProcessEven in the best of times, lead generation is an important part of the ongoing work of real estate. It takes a lot of work, but if you have the right strategies, you can build a framework that generates leads while you’re sleeping, out to lunch, or on vacation.  Let’s listen to what the experts suggest:

Build Out Your Network

Blayne Pacelli
Realtor at Rodeo Realty
Los Angeles, California

“I belong to a networking group called BNI (business network international) that allows only one professional per category. There are a lot of zoom networking groups you could join. Join hiking groups, painting groups, tennis groups, etc., as a way to meet new people.”

As an agent focused on a hyperlocal market, it can be easy to develop tunnel vision. Diversifying and expanding your network outside of your geographic area can help make you more successful. Remember, every person you meet could be a potential customer or know someone who needs your help.

Build Relationships with Investorshouse for sale

The new year promises to be a year of recovery. You can expect to see a flurry of activity on multiple fronts. The real economic consequences of 2020 will manifest as a tsunami of foreclosures, auctions, and short sales. As the real estate investing market heats up, so does competition, and before you know it, even real estate investors can’t buy for less than retail. Since most real estate investors are “not willing to pay retail price, these leads are easily passed on to any real estate agent within their networks.” Marcel Barwanietz, a real estate investor and Managing Owner of We Buy Houses In Northern Virginia, LLC, goes on, “a super-easy way for real estate agents to generate leads in 2021 is by building relationships with local real estate investors.”

Aaron Norris, VP Market Insights at, agrees that relationships with local real estate investors are important, adding, “Real estate is local, as are development opportunities. An agent that follows city trends, redevelopment, and economic development, often has incredible insights into up-and-coming neighborhoods, upzoning, and potential rehab deals that only local real estate investors and developers could tackle. These opportunities mostly happen off-market and certainly off the MLS.”

“The best part? Real estate investors are always looking for deals. While owner-occupants may only buy every decade, building a partnership with a local investor can keep your pipeline full multiple times per year! Don’t rule out adding a handful of local real estate investors and developers to your team in 2021.”

Don’t Miss Opportunities for Free Lead Generation

Did you know that you can advertise your business for free on Google? That’s right. You can create a business profile containing vital information such as your location, contact info, hours, services, and much more. You can even create a Google My Business website.

Cory Weikel, Real Estate Agent, says, “Too many realtors completely ignore their google my business page, yet this is the best free visibility you can get. Having a complete profile and posting regularly, along with generating and responding to reviews, can organically put you in [search results] when someone searches Google Maps for a local realtor.”

house pictureAnother Way to Leverage Facebook

Love it or hate it, Facebook plays a significant role in many marketing strategies due to its nearly boundless reach. James Marques, Marketing Adviser at Iconic Genius, says, “Facebook plays the biggest role in how I bring in leads for my mortgage brokers and realtors. The key to finding motivated buyers and sellers on Facebook is your email database.”

“Most realtors don’t know this, but you can take your email database and put it into Facebook to create a custom audience, which allows you to retarget and market to your current email database online. Think of it as the 2021 way to do email marketing.”

Instagram Brings Them to You

Instagram is for more than just Instagram boyfriends and cottagecore aesthetics. For Erin McCormick Torres, President and realtor at Hergenrother Realty Group, Instagram has been a serious source of real estate leads. Unlike “Facebook, Instagram is a place where you can find like-minded people with similar interests who aren’t currently in your network.”

That doesn’t mean you have to join a bunch of knitting, monster truck, and bass fishing groups to find customers, however. “Interest in your location is what you have in common. Instagram allows you to become a local expert by posting relevant and inspirational local recommendations.”

“85% of my real estate business year-over-year comes from Instagram. The majority of the clients I get from Instagram are buyers and sellers ready to go.”

Become a Content Creatorhome for sale image

Name recognition is one thing, but establishing yourself as an expert in your field takes more than just putting your name and face on things. Creating content that educates, informs, and engages your audience builds you a reputation as someone with deep knowledge and expertise.

Brett Ari Fischer of The Brett Ari Fischer Team shares his experience.” I see brokers paying for Zillow,, StreetEasy, and other lead generation sites. In my opinion, it’s not the most effective way to spend marketing dollars. We forget about the branding that matters most — the individual real estate agent.”

“Video and website production ROI is significantly higher than any other form of marketing, as long as you are consistent with your approach. I think in this current industry, it’s critical — and extremely underrated — to create video content, be active with social media, and have a solid website. It can take a long time to build a solid following, but you can also get a lot of business from it.”

Investing in high-quality content can pay off for years to come. Brett picked up six new buyers this year from leads generated by informative videos he created years ago.

Reach out to the Neighbors

Ever wondered what your neighbor’s house is like on the inside? You’re not alone.

Lisa Bonhotal, a sales associate at Coldwell Banker Alpine/Closter, has found a way to make this natural curiosity work for her. When she holds an open house, she sends “a mailing to the neighborhood with a “Pick Your Neighbor” flier, giving them a special time to preview the home before the public. I always get people that show up, and then I can add their email address to my database.” These chance encounters can lead to future referrals or other opportunities.

neighborhoodA Cup of Coffee Goes a Long Way 

Coffee is a beloved drink in America, and picking up a cup from a local coffee shop is a morning ritual enjoyed by many. Guy Nizri, CEO of The Local Home Buyers, has found a way to reach fellow coffee enthusiasts. “One lead generation method that produced some results was actually at the drive-in of the Starbucks. After receiving permission, I purchased some $5 gift cards and passed them out along with a business card to people passing through. I was able to show my face, be friendly with people, make small talk, and make their day with a small gift.”

“I received some calls over the next few weeks from potential clients, and it was a great success. I plan on doing it again, and I’m sure it would work in other locations for other realtors!”

For Sale by Owner

Nick Taveras, Owner/President of DNTHome Buyers, says, “One thing hardly anyone seems to think of is For Sale By Owner cases. Often, people opt to go it on their own, only to discover how tough the process can be. Reaching out to struggling FSBO people can be an excellent way to gain a new customer!”

According to Zillow, more than one-third of FSBO sellers eventually list their property with a real estate agent.  In fact, out of all FSBO sellers, on average, only 11% end up selling their property without an agent. Reaching out to FSBO sellers can generate easy leads with clients who are ready to go from day one.

As technology takes us in new directions every single day, new methods for lead generation will emerge. Build relationships with like-minded professionals to stay current with new ways to leverage your exceptional technology and people skills.

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: 5/31/2022