The Complete Guide to Real Estate Prospecting

Real,Estate,Agent,With,House,Model,And,KeysProspecting is necessary for any position that requires sales, and real estate is no exception. It involves identifying potential customers and communicating with them in the hopes of converting them. It is a requirement for any agent interested in buying and selling properties. 

Unfortunately, prospecting is not easy, especially in real estate. After all, it’s not like you are selling a 50-cent pack of gum at a grocery store checkout counter. You must find individuals that are ready to buy or sell. Then you must convince them as to why they should be using your services. 

When you consider the competition and the price of homes, you can see the challenge. 

Nonetheless, several agents have worked from the ground up using prospecting basics to grow a profitable business. So how did they do it? This article will tell you everything you need to know. 

Does Prospecting Work?

Confident,Insurance,Agent,Broker,Man,Holding,Document,And,Present,PointingProspecting is the only way to get your real estate business off the ground. The results will vary depending on your target audience and the marketing methods you are using. Here are some statistics to consider:

  • Marketing automation software can increase leads by 451%
  • 63% of Gen Z consumers appreciate direct mail communication
  • Video content generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined
  • 1.21% of home sellers are looking for real estate agents that will help them price their homes competitively
  • 41% of homebuyers will look for properties online first
  • 74% of homebuyers use tablets or mobile devices to search for homes
  • 53% of sellers will use the same agent to buy and sell their homes
  • 90% of agents use Facebook to promote real estate listings
  • Email marketing is one of the most effective real estate marketing methods generating about $40 ROI for every $1 you spend. The average open rate for real estate emails was 21.7% and the average click-through rate was 3.6% in 2022.
  • Real estate listings with video receive 40% more inquiries than those without video
  • 70% of agents include postcard mailings in their marketing strategy
  • 54% of consumers will pay attention to your mobile ad if they recognize the brand you represent
  • 44% of real estate agents plan to increase AI marketing in 2023

A Quick Story To Give You Hope

Chris Heller HeadshotIf you are just starting in real estate, you are likely frustrated with failed prospecting efforts. You’ve probably had doors closed in your face and been hung up on more times than you like to admit. And when you check your messages and emails, yep, nothing but spam. 

Well, if you are feeling down in the dumps, Chris Heller’s story may cheer you up. 

Chris was in a similar boat you are in. He had been rejected more times than you can imagine. He had considered giving up many times. 

Then, one day, his phone rang. It was an older lady who was looking to downsize. She had heard of Chris thanks to a friend. (To tell you the truth, Chris had given out his card to so many co-workers, colleagues, relatives, and kid’s friend’s parents he couldn’t rightly say who the reference was).

Anyway, the older woman, we’ll call her Ms. Jones, needed an agent to sell her home and get her into a new property. A double whammy. Chris couldn’t believe his luck. He agreed to meet with her right away. 

From there it was all open doors. He helped the woman make a smooth transition from her old home into her new home. 

Well, it just so happened that Mrs. Jones’ daughter was looking for a new place as well. And so were her co-workers. 

After a while, the business just started generating itself based on word of mouth. Chris couldn’t believe there was ever a time he was struggling to find clients when things slowed down, he was able to reawaken those old prospecting skills, but now he had more confidence and more experience to back them up. 

What are Effective Real Estate Marketing Tools? 

Mid,Adult,Real,Estate,Agent,Showing,To,His,Clients,WhereThere are several real estate marking tools a real estate agent may use to attract clients. These include:

  • Websites: Websites are often the first point of contact between a real estate agent and a consumer. It’s vital to build an attractive website that will be effective in converting leads. Several platforms offer website-building services. 
  • Social Media Tools: Real estate agents need to post on social media regularly to remain competitive. Social media marketing tools can be used to automate posts and provide analysis so you can determine what’s working and what’s not.
  • Marketing-Focused CRMs: Customer relationship management (CRM) tools help businesses keep client communications organized. It also uses data to study large amounts of communication. A marketing-based CRM will segment customers based on their activities. It will generate personalized communication and automate marketing tasks. Check out our list of the best real estate CRMs to help grow your business.
  • Community Engagement Tools: Community engagement tools like Parkbench provide real estate agents with the exclusive right to their neighborhood website. They can use the platform to forge beneficial relationships with business owners, agents, residents, and more. 
  • Graphic Design Tools: Graphic design tools can be used to create marketing materials and make them look attractive. 
  • Video Production Tools: Video production tools will help you make professional-looking marketing videos. 
  • SEO Tools: SEO tools will help you optimize your website content. 
  • SMS Marketing Tools: Short Message Services or SMS marketing tools are used to create marketing messages that are sent to a specified list of recipients. 
  • AI Marketing Tools: AI marketing tools can be used in a variety of applications. They can automatically generate content, they can chat with customers when no one is around, can predict when and what customers will order, and more. 

Our Favorite Prospecting Tools

Successful,Entrepreneur,Checking,E-mail,On,Laptop,Computer,,Sitting,In,CoffeeHere are some prospecting tools you may consider adding to your technology suite:

  • Property Base: Property Base is a website designing platform for real estate agents. It allows you to create IDX websites with mapping features and integrated CRM that nurtures leads and drives referrals. If you already have a website, you can use its standalone CRM service. 
  • PorchLyte: PorchLyte was founded by a realtor with over 27 years of experience in the industry. It offers realtors social media posts, video scripts, lead magnets, blog posts, and training. It will help you create a social media presence to be reckoned with. 
  • IXACT Contact: IXACT Contact is a CRM marketing tool that offers extras like social media automation, an attractive agent website, and automated monthly newsletters. Agents can also access their unlimited phone support to ensure they are getting the most out of their services. 

Real Estate Prospecting Strategies

Real,Estate,Agent,And,Sales,Manager,Team,Analysis,Pricing,OfAny real estate strategy can be a good strategy… except for the ones that make your company look bad. In this section, we will review strategies that are good, bad, and foolproof. 

Strategies to Stay Away From

1. Unprofessional Marketing Materials

Most agents will want to get their name out there. But if you use marketing materials that look unprofessional, it can do more harm than good. If you are uncertain of your design skills, it may be best to partner with a professional to ensure you are putting your best foot forward. 

2. Using Misleading Copy in Your Descriptions

If you are selling a home, you always want to make it as enticing as possible. But making up things about the property will make you appear dishonest. And it’s certainly not going to get you any sales. Use flowery language to make the property’s features sound appealing, but don’t include falsehoods. 

3. Venturing into Unknown Territories

It’s important to know what you are doing before trying something new. For example, if you are inexperienced in commercial real estate, you may want to take a class before marketing to commercial clients. And you should never use copy that includes information that may be inaccurate. 

Good Strategies

Talk,Speak,Company,Tablet,Laptop,Computer,Device,Point,Showing,Proposition1. Door Knocking

Just want it sounds like, door knocking involves knocking on doors to find out if homeowners are interested in selling. It’s best to have an angle when you are door-knocking. For example, you may appeal to customers by telling them about a million-dollar home that sold in their area. 

You can offer to run a free valuation on their home to see how much it’s worth. They may become enticed by the idea of making a substantial profit.

You should also be prepared with materials to hand out such as a business card, a flier, and even a gift.  You can leave these items on people’s doorsteps if they are not home. And if they are home, they will have something to remember you by. 

Door knocking is an old-fashioned strategy that forges a personal connection and helps you stand out in the crowd. However, you will need to be prepared to get a lot of doors slammed in your face. Some won’t answer at all. 

2. Postcards

Postcards are another strategy that will help you get noticed. As mentioned earlier, it’s one of the most desired marketing strategies for Gen-Zers. It’s also inexpensive, so if you get even one conversion, it will be worth the investment.

But, with little contact, you have no control over the outcome of your marketing efforts. Be prepared for many of your postcards to end up in the garbage can.

3. Phone Calls

Phone calls will help you forge a personal connection. They can be an effective real estate marketing strategy.

Your campaign may consist of cold calls and warm calls. Cold calling involves randomly calling homeowners to see if they are interested in selling. You can make these calls slightly warmer by calling people in ‘hot’ selling areas.

You may also gain access to a directory of warm prospects who may be doing an FSBO or may be involved in a probate sale. These leads will be easier to convert, but you will still be looking at a lot of hang-ups.

Phone calls don’t require a monetary investment. But they can be quite time-consuming. 

Absolute Bullet Proof Strategies

A,Real,Estate,Agent,With,House,Model,Is,Talking,To1. Email

Email is a strong marketing strategy thanks to its low cost and high return rates. You can use automated systems to send emails out making the process nearly effortless. You can increase the chances that your emails will get opened by:

  • Creating enticing subject lines
  • Including video in your text
  • Personalizing your content

With a 400% potential ROI, this is a strategy you can’t afford to miss out on. 

2. Lead Generation Software

Several companies offer lead generation services to realtors. They will connect you with leads such as FSBO, probate sales, foreclosure sales, and more. They often work on an exclusive basis, so you don’t have to be concerned that your lead was already given to another agent. 

Many lead generation companies offer other valuable services. For example, they may have training and coaching opportunities, or they may offer a CRM. Shop around to find one that’s best suited to your needs. 

3. Events

A real estate agent should stay visible in their local area. You can do this by spearheading or partaking in community events. You will establish yourself as someone who is beneficial to the area, and you will meet tons of people. 

There are several types of events you can participate in such as fundraisers and school activities. You can also host an educational webinar on real estate for homebuyers and sellers. You will be offering something valuable to the community and creating a spirit of reciprocity. People will want to repay the favor by using your services. 


Couple,And,Real,Estate,Agent,Discussing,Together,At,HomeHow many times should you follow up with a prospect?

Experts say you should follow up with a client 8 to 12 times or until they say yes… whichever comes first. It will take a lot of discipline, but it will be worth it. If they don’t say yes after the 12th touchpoint, move on or you will be wasting your time and efforts. 

How often should a real estate agent prospect?

Most agents will prospect every day. Set aside time at the beginning or end of the day to contact and follow up on leads using a method you feel is most effective. You will start seeing conversions soon enough. 

What is the best time to prospect for real estate leads?

Here are some statistics to consider concerning the best time to prospect for a lead:

  • Thursday is the best day to qualify for a lead
  • You will have the best luck qualifying a lead if you call between 8-9 AM or 4-5 PM. 1-2 PM is the worst time a day to qualify a lead. 
  • Once you get a lead, you must jump on them right away. The likelihood of qualifying will decrease by 6 times over the first hour. After 20 hours, every attempt you make to qualify a lead will hurt your ability to yield a conversion. 
  • The odds of qualifying a lead drop 21 times between five minutes and 30 minutes after initial contact is made. 

What qualifies a person as a good real estate prospect?

Handshake,Of,A,Real,Estate,Agent,And,A,VisitorYou will have the best luck qualifying leads if you target people who are:

  • Facing foreclosure
  • Doing FSBO
  • Doing FRBO
  • Living in a neighborhood where homes are selling for a lot of money
  • Going through a probate sale
  • Going through a divorce
  • Are at an age when they may be looking to downsize

What are the five Ps of prospecting?

The five Ps of prospecting are:

  • Purpose: Knowing the aim of your prospecting efforts will give your pitch direction
  • Preparation: Being prepared will make you more confident during your pitch
  • Personalization: No one likes a cookie-cutter approach. Personalize your message to ensure you are presenting marketing materials best suited to the client’s needs. 
  • Perseverance: As stated earlier, a conversion requires 8-12 touchpoints. Prospecting is not for quitters. 
  • Practice: You may not get conversions right away. But the more your practice, the smoother your pitch will be and the better prepared you will be to handle possible rejections. 


Final Thoughts

Real estate prospecting is not easy but it’s a necessary part of doing business. Now that you know more about what’s involved, you can find the strategies that work best for you. Which will you be including in your marketing campaign? 

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: 12/14/2023