2024 Playbook: Real Estate Leads for New Agents

Real,Estate,Agent,Handing,The,House,KeyReal estate is a very lucrative industry. But it can be rough when you are starting. You have to get quality leads to start closing deals and making money.

Getting and converting leads is difficult when you’re a new agent. If you don’t have experience, you may make mistakes. You may also have a tough time converting. But with the right strategies, you are sure to be a success.

This article will explain what it takes for new real estate agents to get leads so you can start moving forward with your career.

Why Generating Leads as a New Agent is Different

New agents face many obstacles when generating leads that more experienced agents aren’t as likely to deal with. Here are a few to consider:

You’re Not Sure Which Strategy Will Work: An experienced agent has used every lead generation strategy in the book. They’ll know what works for them and what doesn’t. A new agent will have to deal with trial and error.

Real,Estate,Agent,Talked,About,The,Terms,Of,The,HomeYou Don’t Have the Connections: Experienced agents have connections. If work is slow, they can contact a colleague or an old client to get things in motion. Most newer agents don’t have these connections. They have to start from scratch.

You Don’t Have Confidence: Someone who has worked in real estate for a long time will know how to talk to clients. They’ll be confident in their pitches. And, they’ll be able to handle difficult questions and objections. A newer agent won’t have the same confidence. A lack of confidence could be a deal breaker.

Forgetting to Follow Up: New agents may not have their lead generation plan worked out. They may forget things like follow-ups and calls to action. They have to learn from their mistakes to make sure their bases are covered.

They Don’t Know Their Target Audience: Real estate agents have to know their target audience. They should know the area and demographic they are reaching and how to appeal to them. This is something that is learned over time. It may take a while to work out the best marketing strategies.

Bulletproof Way to Get Your First Lead

Female,Real,Estate,Agent,Offer,Home,Ownership,And,Life,InsuranceA new agent may get overwhelmed by several lead-generation strategies. It’s best to concentrate on one way to get a single lead and go after it. But what should that strategy be?

ASK AROUND.

Asking around is ideal because it puts you in touch with people you know. You can ask friends, co-workers, and colleagues if they know anyone looking to buy or sell a home.

This strategy is effective because it allows you to sell yourself on more than your real estate experience. If someone knows you and trusts you, they’ll be more likely to invest in you than a stranger with more experience.

But asking around isn’t a standalone strategy. There are other elements involved. So let’s take it step by step to determine how to get that first lead under your wing.

1. Create an Online Presence:

Handshake,Of,A,Real,Estate,Agent,And,A,VisitorLet’s say you asked your mom if she knew anyone looking to buy or sell, and it just so happened she had a friend looking to downsize. The friend is interested in hiring you, but she wants to do some research first. She looks you up online and… nothing. Or worse yet, you have a website and social media accounts, but they look unprofessional.

It’s critical to create an online presence before you do anything. Your website doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be clean and attractive with professional-looking pictures.

Or you can use social media instead. A lot of modern agents use social media instead of websites. If you choose this route,  include valuable tidbits of information and professional-looking pictures on your account pages.

2. Start Asking

When you start asking around for leads, leave no stone unturned. Ask colleagues, co-workers, friends, and relatives. Send emails out to people you haven’t spoken to in a while.

You may get some doors slammed in your face, but the more doors you knock on, the more likely one is to open. And once that first door opens, more doors will continue to open.

3. Be Confident

Asking around may help you generate some good leads. But you will need to follow up by converting. And that requires confidence.

If people sense you are not confident, they won’t want to work with you. So do some research to make sure you can handle the tough questions. Work out how to overcome objections so you are in a good position to seal the deal.

19 Other Ways to Get Leads as a New Agent

Businesswoman,Or,Real,Estate,Agent,Looking,Through,Online,Property,Portfolio,Asking around may be the most effective way to get leads as a new agent. But it’s far from the only way. Here are some strategies you can try.

1. Go Door Knocking

Door knocking is an old-fashioned lead-generation strategy that’s still used today. It’ll make you stand out from the crowd. It doesn’t take much of a money investment, but it’s time-consuming.

Create a strategy that you can use while door-knocking. For example, you may tell people about a house that recently sold in their area for a lot of money and offer them a free home evaluation. Or you can just introduce yourself as a new agent.

While door-knocking, take along materials like fliers, gifts, and business cards. You can give these to the people you speak with, or leave them at their door if they’re not home.

You’ll get a lot of doors shut in your face, but you may get some promising leads.

How to do it today: Come up with a farming area you are interested in working, and start going door-to-door. If no one opens the door, leave a business card or a flyer with your contact information. Try having a clear CTA like “FREE home valuation”.

2. Send Postcards

Asia,Real,Estate,Sale,Agent,,Stock,Market,Trader,Woman,WorkPostcards are similar to door knocking in that they are an old-school method that can yield conversions. They should also cater to an angle such as ‘new agent’ or ‘home evaluation’. They are relatively low cost and they won’t take a lot of your time.

Mailings are also a preferred marketing strategy among Gen-Zers as they appreciate craftsmanship and authenticity.

On the downside, with people getting so much junk mail, many of the postcards you send out may end up in the garbage.

How to do it today: Make the messaging as catered as possible. You’ll get a better rate if you send out tons of postcards at once, but you’ll want the message to feel personalized so it doesn’t go straight in the trash.

3. Write Mass Emails

Emailing is one of the most effective marketing strategies. It’s a low-cost tactic that generates $42 for every $1 spent on average. It can be automated making it a low-maintenance solution.

In a sea of emails, you can make yours stand out by:

  • Including an eye-catching subject line
  • Sending out emails with valuable information for your target audience
  • Including video in your emails

Even though emailing is low maintenance and low cost, you still run the risk that yours will go unopened.

How to do it today: Create a list of names and emails addresses that you can quickly upload all at once. It’s best if the list is formatted clearly, so you can quickly send out an email blast without having to add in each contact one by one.

4. Vamp Up Your Social Media Presence 

Couple,And,Real,Estate,Agent,Discussing,Together,At,HomeSocial media is a powerful tool for agents. It’s free to start a social media account, and you can build a following by posting regularly with information that adds value.

You may also choose to do paid advertising through social media. You can create ads that target certain audiences to get the word out about your services and the properties you have available. Social media advertising is relatively low-cost and effective.

Agents need social media accounts to stay competitive. But it’s an inbound marketing strategy. It differs from outbound strategies that allow you to proactively reach customers. It gives you less control over the outcome of your actions.

How to do it today: Sync all of your social media profiles together by using a hub. There are tons of tools that make it easy to update each account all in one place. This will help save time while you are building up your online presence.

5. Start Blogging

Businesswoman,Using,Laptop,,Contact,Us,Connection,ConceptBlogging is a powerful tool for new real estate agents. The idea behind blogging is to provide articles that add value rather than those that simply sell your services.

Writing articles that contain valuable information will establish you as an expert in your field. It will promote loyalty and trust. The fact that you’re giving people good advice will inspire a spirit of reciprocity making them more likely to use your services.

Blogs can be published on your website, but you can increase their reach by sharing their links on social media. You can reuse their content for videos, social media posts, and more.

How to do it today: Research a topic that is important to your target demographic. For example, if you are looking for first-time homebuyers then find a topic that resonates with them and cater the messaging to that group. You can then blast out the link on your social channels, email, etc.

6. Create Informational Videos

Mid,Adult,Real,Estate,Agent,Showing,To,His,Clients,WhereVideos are one of the most effective digital marketing tools. They provide elements of sight and sound to tell the whole story. They’re more memorable, and they get 48% more views on social media as compared to other types of marketing.

When it comes to video content, the sky’s the limit. You can post a video of you giving tips on buying and selling real estate. Post video tours of the homes you have on the market. You can even post footage of an event you are hosting.

Videos can also be used with a wide variety of media. You can post your video on social media, on your website, or include them in emails to increase open rates.

How to do it today: Set up a tripod, or have a trustworthy friend hold the camera for you. You don’t want shaky video that feels unprofessional. Also be sure to use clear wording, and provide step-by-step tips for listeners. Don’t be afraid to repeat your CTA (call this number, email for a free home valuation, hire me to find your dream home, etc.)

7. Look Into Webinars

Double,Exposure,Property,Management,Concept,Or,Homepage,Website,ConceptWebinars are terrific because they forge a personal connection between you and your target audience. They’re interactive, and they provide valuable advice.

There are several webinar topics buyers and sellers may be interested in such as “How to Sell in a Buyer’s Market”, “How to Get Your Home Ready for a Sale” and “What You Need to Know About Buying Your First Home.”

Once you decide on a topic, research it carefully so you are confident and prepared for Q&A. Advertise your webinar in advance to ensure it’s well attended.

How to do it today: Carefully select a webinar format. Many agents start out using Zoom.

Pro tip: Consider adding polls to create a more visually stunning webinar and keep your audience engaged throughout.

8. Host and Participate in Community Events

Real,Estate,Agent,Welcoming,Young,Visitors,Coming,To,Open,HouseHosting and participating in community events will help you become a trusted name in your target neighborhoods. You may consider spearheading a fundraiser for a community cause. Or you may volunteer with your local school board.

Being active in events will help with networking. It will get your name recognized as someone people want to do business with.

Just make sure you’re not overly pushing your business on people, or it can backfire.

How to do it today: Check out your city’s website or Facebook page. They’ll usually have an easily accessible list of upcoming events. Choose something that interests you. If you like sports, then attend a sporting event. If you’re cleaning out your house, then volunteer for the upcoming town garage sale.

9. Invest in the Right Lead Generation Tools

Lead,Generation,Thoughtful,Male,Person,Looking,To,The,Digital,PhoneThere are plenty of lead generation tools available on the internet. They’ll connect you with quality leads such as FSBO and people facing foreclosure. It’ll be up to you to contact these leads and close the deal.

Lead generation tools are not free, and they are not created equal. It’s essential to pick the tool you use wisely.

Go for one that provides exclusive leads to ensure you’re not calling someone who’s previously been approached by several agents. Also, make sure the platform’s information is updated so you’re not calling prospects that already bought or sold.

How to do it today: Read our list of the best real estate lead generation companies, our guide on the best places to buy real estate leads, the best real estate website builders, or the best real estate lead generation websites.

10. Look into Starting a Podcast (or join one as a guest)

Happy,African,American,Real,Estate,Agent,Working,On,Paperwork,WhilePodcasts are becoming more popular every day. People enjoy them because they’re so easy to listen to. They’re typically free, and people can tune in at home, on the go, or even in the office.

Like a blog, your podcast should offer valuable information to your listeners. It can provide advice on the home buying and selling process. You can also bring on guests to add excitement to your platform.

Podcasts are an effective way to reach your audience, but you’ll need special equipment such as microphones, pop filters, headphones, and more to get yours started. You’ll also have to do some marketing to get a listener base.

How to do it today: Ask your sphere what topics they’d like to hear about as buyers and sellers. Then, format your podcast around those topics to become the “real estate expert” in your area.

11. Start Cold Calling

African,American,Mentor,Teaching,Intern,,Pointing,At,Laptop,Screen,,ExecutiveCold calling is a type of marketing that involves randomly calling people that might be interested in your services. It should come as no surprise that this marketing strategy will get you a lot of hang-ups, but it doesn’t cost anything but time. And if you get even one sale out of it, it could be worthwhile!

You can increase your chances of success with cold calling by:

  • Making an effective script that includes tactics for dealing with objections
  • Asking questions to make calls interactive
  • Staying motivated

You can also make your calls warmer by calling people facing foreclosure or divorce or selling their homes through FSBO.

How to do it today: Write your script down on physical pen and paper. Read over it a few times so that you’re familiar with it, without sounding too scripted. Also be sure you’re in front of your computer so that you can pull up any relevant listings, and take notes about what they are looking for. Start with your qualifications, and let them steer the conversation based on their needs to avoid sounding too pushy.

12. Have a Marketing Strategy

Business,Person,Reading,Emails,On,Smartphone,And,Laptop,Computer,ScreenWhen we think of real estate marketing, we often think of digital marketing. But traditional marketing can be effective too.

We’ve already mentioned traditional marketing methods such as cold calling, door knocking, and postcards. But others to consider include billboards, shopping cart ads, park bench ads, business cards, TV and radio advertising, and more.

Traditional marketing will help you stand out from the crowd and it establishes a more personal connection. On the downside, it’s hard to track traditional marketing which makes it difficult to determine your ROI.

How to do it today: Consider investing in a real estate marketing company. They will be able to provide quotes on the basics.

13. Create Great Listings Descriptions

Real,Estate,Agent,And,Sales,Manager,Team,Analysis,Pricing,OfOnce you get your first client, it’s important to follow through with a successful closing. You can increase your chances of success with a great listing.

A good listing will describe the finer points of the home in the best light possible without exaggerating. It must include professional-looking photos that make the property look its best. It should also provide access to Google Maps and Google Earth sites that allow interested buyers to see how the home’s exterior looks.

How to do it today: Create a list of buzz words that are intriguing to buyers (bright, open, airy, spacious, sun-soaked). You can refer to this list every time you need to write a listing.

14. Build Your Google Business Profile

A Google Business profile is ideal for boosting local SEO. The best part is, it’s free. It works like a second homepage for your business allowing people to call or book an appointment, leave reviews, view listings, ask questions, and learn what you’re about.

Optimize your Google Business profile by filling out all the details. Make sure everything is correct to ensure the best response possible.

How to do it today: Have your business name, address, and phone number listed on your main website. Use this same info when filling out the form so that Google links the two together.

15. Partner with Local Businesses

Talk,Speak,Company,Tablet,Laptop,Computer,Device,Point,Showing,PropositionPartner with local businesses to make community connections. Ask neighborhood firms if you can leave fliers or business cards in their lobbies. Or take out an ad to be featured in their catalogs and menus.

Partnering with local businesses will get your name out to your target audience. And if you partner with a reputable company, it’ll improve your reputation.

How to do it today: Approach businesses that are closely related to the real estate industry (painters, landscapers, contractors, etc.) See if they are interested in coming up with a partnership that is mutually beneficial.

For example, if you have home buyers who purchase a home that needs landscaping, you’ll refer them to your business friends. If they come across someone painting their home because they are getting ready to list it, they can refer them to you.

16. Always Follow Up

Businessman,In,Office,Talking,On,PhoneAccording to Sales Statistics, it takes eight touch points to close a sale. New agents often fail to follow up on their marketing efforts. If you don’t follow up, your past strategies will be a waste of time.

The best way to follow up is through email. After the first touchpoint, figure out a way to collect the prospect’s email address. This can be done through online or in-person forms, or you simply ask.

Once you get the contacts in your system, you can automate emails, so they send out without requiring you to lift a finger.

How to do it today: Immediately after meeting with someone in person, or hanging up the phone, take a note about following up. This will make sure that nothing slips through the cracks. You should always be available to your prospects or clients when starting out.

17. Join (multiple) Facebook Groups

Bangkok,,Thailand,-,March,6:,Facebook,Business,Page,Closeup,WithFacebook groups are an effective category of social media marketing. Facebook users often create groups that cater to a specific community,  topic, or industry. So, if you sell real estate in Chicago, you may consider joining a Chicago real estate group.

Once you’ve joined the group, stay active by offering valuable advice and commenting on other people’s posts. This will help you stand out as an industry leader.

You can also make your own Facebook groups ensuring you have a community to communicate with.

How to do it today: Look into local Facebook groups. There are usually buy, sale, trade groups for each city. Join all of the ones in your area and respond to posts when people have questions about real estate.

18. Stay Active on Forums

Like Facebook groups, you can stay active on forums like Quora and Reddit. You can answer real-estate-related questions to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

When you’re on these platforms, it’s important not to get too self-promotional. It can get you kicked off.

How to do it today: Create a list of questions you typically get asked as a realtor. Type quick responses so that you can easily respond when they pop up on forums. If someone is asking how they go about selling their home, reply quickly with a step-by-step checklist for them so that they’ll see you as an expert they can trust.

19. Utilize a CRM

Crm,Business,Customer,Crm,Management,Analysis,Service,Concept,Business,TeamA Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) tool will help you stay on top of your marketing. It provides insight into your customers and target audience so you can improve your marketing skills. It helps you determine what’s working and what isn’t.

It keeps track of your marketing progress so you don’t target the same customers with the same materials. It intelligently stores your lead information so you get more leads and convert faster while improving customer service.

CRMs cost money but are usually affordable (starting at around $12 per month) and well worth the investment. Be aware that not all CRMs are equal. Do some research to ensure you are using the CRM that’s right for you.

How to do it today: Check out our guide on the best real estate CRMs to find the one that best fits your needs.

Starting out as a real estate agent is not easy. But in time, you’ll get your lead-building strategy down so you can build a customer base and earn income. We wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.  

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: 12/29/2023