One of the first questions which pops up in the mind of every new agent is “How to get real estate leads?” The real estate business is very competitive, and getting started as a real estate agent sounds terrifying. How are you supposed to get your first buyer leads and seller leads with zero positive reviews? How are you to beat the competition with no experience?
It is all doable as long as you show determination, perseverance, and some creativity. Following our 22 tips on how to get leads in real estate also helps. These include both traditional ways and more modern approaches based on AI, predictive analytics, and big data.
1. Ask Around Your Network
Have you heard that real estate is a people’s business? But what does that mean? It means that your network and the people you know will be the main factor determining your success or failure as a new real estate agent. Since you don’t have an established real estate network when you start out, you should concentrate your first real estate lead generation efforts on your family, relatives, friends, colleagues, and other acquaintances. Talk to as many people as possible to figure out if any of them are thinking about selling their house or buying a new home. You will be surprised how many leads a realtor can find through his/her network.
2. Build a Strong Real Estate Website
Regardless of your preferences, you can’t ignore the fact that we live in the 21st century, and online searches have become one of the most important ways in which homebuyers and homeowners look for the best real estate agents in their location. Thus, the first step in your digital real estate marketing plan should be to start a website. Hire a professional developer with expertise in SEO to help you get started. Optimize your site for real estate SEO and post various types of content on a regular – preferably daily – basis. In addition to your real estate listings, you can also post news related to the local community, real estate news, your analysis of the local housing market, and positive reviews from past clients once you start getting those.
3. Write a Real Estate Blog
On your website, have a blog section. You can write articles with tips for first-time homebuyers and property sellers, tips on how to find the top real estate agent in the area, and updates on the state of the local real estate market. This will really help you rank among the best real estate agents in your local market when real estate leads search online. Moreover, it will build your credibility as an agent because you will show your experience and understanding of the dynamics of the local housing market.
4. Have a Real Estate Podcast
While some people like reading, others prefer to listen to content, which explains the recent surge in real estate podcasts. Indeed, most of the best real estate sites have a podcast, so yours should not be left behind. Posting a new episode each week will definitely help in your efforts on how to get real estate leads as a beginner agent.
5. Make Real Estate Videos
Speaking of alternatives to written content marketing, one should not underestimate the importance of video real estate marketing. Strategic visual content is the new rule in digital marketing for agents, and you should get on it as soon as possible. There’s plenty of software which can help you advertise your listings as well as yourself through videos. Remember that your first videos don’t have to be perfect, but they still have to show that you are a professional and include all important details such as your market, real estate agency, and contact info.
6. Send Text Messages
While having a dedicated real estate website and automating your email campaigns is a must, you should not forget about text messages. SMSs enjoy a significantly higher open rate than emails, which makes them a great way for generating leads when you are still new and don’t have an established network.
7. Build a Referral System
The majority of qualified leads come through referrals, so establishing a real estate referral system will help you not only with real estate leads generation but also lead qualification. Start building relations with other agents as well as different real estate professionals including attorneys, lenders, home appraisers, and home inspectors. Set up a referral fee as an incentive for them to send you leads. It will be totally worth it as you are trying to establish your name and build your reputation in the real estate industry.
8. Partner Up with Other Agents
Early in your real estate career, you should start building partnerships with other agents. Sometimes real estate agents get qualified leads which they don’t need for various reasons: different market, different niche, being too busy at the moment, etc. You will soon realize that they are more than happy to give those to other agents in a referral exchange. In this way, you can generate real estate leads without paying a referral fee.
9. Choose a Niche
While you can become an expert on anything in your real estate market, you can’t be an expert on everything. Many successful real estate agents figure out that choosing a niche and specializing in it helps them grow their business. Your niche can be luxury real estate, multi family homes, off market properties, teachers’ housing, a specific neighborhood, or anything else – it doesn’t matter as long as you make sure to become the best real estate agent in this niche. In this way, as soon as someone needs to sell or buy a home within your area, he/she will know to come to you.
10. Work with Real Estate Investors
Speaking of real estate niches, one specific segment of property buyers and property sellers you should consider when thinking how to generate real estate leads is investors. New agents benefit from working with real estate investors as they are not particularly picky when it comes to buying an investment property. They don’t care how many bedrooms or bathrooms the house has, what the flooring is, and what amenities there are as long as it promises to generate high cap rate and good cash on cash return. The best thing about working with real estate investors is that they are repeat business. While a regular person buys a home and stays in it for several decades, an average investor can buy multiple properties in the same year. Once you’ve gained his/her trust, he/she will turn into a regular qualified lead for both buying and selling real estate properties.
Not sure how to conduct investment property analysis? No worries, sign up for Mashvisor to gain access to our rental property calculator which helps not only beginner investors but also new agents analyze the potential of rental properties quickly and efficiently.
11. Consider FSBOs
While many homeowners try to sell their property as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) to save on agent’s fees, the vast majority of them realized how hard this is somewhere down the road. As a new agent, it makes perfect sense to look for houses for sale listed by the owners and try to approach them once they’ve become desperate enough. Offering them your professional expertise after they’ve had their home on the market for a few months will look like salvation.
12. Have a Look at Expired Listings
Another way to generate leads in real estate is to actively search for recently expired real estate listings. Take a look at the MLS, drive around looking for old “For Sale” signs, and check out online listings platforms. Such property sellers will be quite welcoming to your expertise as an agent even if you don’t have much experience.
13. Target People Getting a Divorce
While capitalizing on the misery of others doesn’t sound nice, you have to do what you have to do to get leads as a new real estate agent. People going through a divorce are some of the most motivated seller leads you can ever find. So, make sure to talk to divorce attorneys as one way of getting real estate seller leads who are very qualified. Moreover, if you manage to build a relationship with one of the spouses and gain his/her trust, he/she is very likely to get back to you as soon as he/she is ready to buy a new home.
14. “Season Up” Your Real Estate Lead Generation Ideas
What this means is that you have to make the most out of different seasons and holidays. Seasonality is reality in the real estate industry as most real estate transactions tend to happen in the summer, while the fall and the winter are slower. To keep your real estate business going throughout the year, you have to employ holiday real estate marketing. Send out season’s greetings, organize holiday open houses, and host parties on the occasion of major holidays such as Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.
How to get leads in real estate for Halloween? Read 5 Halloween Real Estate Marketing Ideas for Agents.
15. Host a Real Estate Open House
As soon as you get your first listing, organize an open house. Advertise it widely with online real estate ads; distribute flyers around the neighborhood; leave brochures at local businesses. Make sure to prepare different real estate marketing materials prior to the event such as business cards, pamphlets, and others. During the open house, be welcoming without being over-present. Show that you are knowledgeable. Start building relationships with buyer leads. Get their contact info and follow up with them. Even if they don’t buy the house this time, you will benefit from having them in your real estate network in the long term. These could be your real estate clients next time.
16. Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Having a website will not be enough to get all the online traffic that you can possibly generate. Being present on all social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn is crucially important as you struggle to find out how to generate real estate leads as a new agent. While you should publish written and visual content on all social media on a regular basis, you also need to consider Facebook Messenger Ads. These have proven to be particularly beneficial for real estate agents.
Do you need more ideas on how to get real estate leads on Facebook and other social media? Read 22 Real Estate Social Media Marketing Ideas for Agents.
17. Fill in Your Agent Profile on Different Websites
Still wondering how to get real estate leads as a new agent? How about another real estate digital marketing strategy? While we are on this, you should know that many of the best real estate websites have real estate agent profiles for agents from all over the US housing market. The profiles on these realtor websites are a great opportunity to advertise yourself and your business for free. This is one of the best real estate advertising ideas as you can get exposure to thousands if not millions of leads including both buyers and sellers.
For starters, make sure to claim your Mashvisor real estate agent profile today.
18. Follow Up with Potential Leads
As soon as you meet a new potential client, enter his/her information into your CRM system. Divide your contacts into specific segments and follow up with them on a regular basis with relevant content and news. This could be seasonal greetings, simple “How have you been doing?” messages, or new houses for sale in your market.
19. Build Long-Term Relations
As we mentioned before, real estate is a people’s business, so having personal relations with your real estate prospects and leads is crucially important. In addition to sending them regular email campaigns, each once in a while you should just pick up the phone and call your past clients or any other contacts which could turn into real estate leads. For example, you can call them for their birthday or any other holiday just to say “Hi!” and – by the way – check if they might be interested in buying or selling a property.
20. Automate Everything
As a new agent, you might still not realize how busy and complicated the real estate business is. You will have dozens of things to do on a daily basis in order to generate leads, qualify them, get listings, close deals, etc. Thus, it is important to choose a CRM system and stick to it from day one. Automate your real estate marketing campaigns. Establish processes in the way you conduct real estate business, and automate them as well.
21. Buy Real Estate Leads
While many experienced real estate agents hate to even hear about buying leads, this is not such a terrible idea for beginners. There are plenty of paid real estate lead generation programs through different real estate websites. As a new realtor, paying a few hundred dollars per month is a good investment to get you going and generate your first few leads. Once you get those, make sure to do everything that’s required to leave them happy so that they write positive reviews and recommend you to their networks.
22. Use Real Estate Tools
While traditional approaches to how to get real estate leads will still work well in 2020, new agents should also look for real estate software tools based on AI, predictive analytics, big data, and machine learning. For example, you can use our Mashboard for real estate agents to get access to big data on property owners and try to figure out which ones are most likely to sell their house in the near future. Once you’ve done that, you can contact them through the platform.
Unfortunately, there is no easy, bullet-proof answer to the question “How to get real estate leads as a new agent?” You have to be determined and ready to work hard but also be patient and willing to try out different real estate marketing ideas to generate your first few leads in real estate. However, you should keep in mind that lead generation will become easier as you establish your name and build your own processes.
If you need a little extra help in getting started as a realtor, make sure to read our agent blogs on a regular basis. You will find all things real estate there: from how to get leads as a new real estate agent, through the best strategies for real estate lead qualification, to how to close more deals faster.