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How to Generate Real Estate Leads: 6 Uncommon Methods for Lasting Success

Finding new leads for your real estate business is vital. It’s no wonder the Internet is filled with guides, videos, and blog posts dedicated to the topic. And up until recently, lead generation was a bit of an enigmatic process.

Do you call everyone you can, hoping to find potential buyers? Should you bug all your family and friends until someone admits they’ve been casually browsing Zillow every night? Well, not quite. While these may build up your tolerance for rejection, they aren’t useful means of finding people who actually want to work with you.

There are multiple better methods available today. From nurturing your existing relationships to becoming known as a subject matter expert, you can produce targeted leads easier than you’d think. Continue reading for six uncommon ways to generate real estate leads. 

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How to Get More Leads in Real Estate

Finding new people to talk to is an ever-present challenge in the real estate industry. Whether you’ve been helping customers for decades or recently obtained your license, ensuring a steady stream of leads is challenging.

If you are starting from nothing, though, it’s more difficult. In the beginning you’ll spend more time building a network because you don’t have many referrals to rely on. 

Thankfully, there are several ways you can ethically speed up the process. Let’s look at the first and most important technique, which is prioritizing relationships. 

Put Relationships First

Real estate is fundamentally a business of relationships. It’s not about how many people you know, but rather the relationships you have with the people you know. 

Instead of trying to amass the largest contact list possible, it’s more important to cultivate your existing connections. Listening to people, asking open-ended questions, and discovering what’s important for them are three ways to do this. Each of these approaches takes the pressure off of both people and allows your prospects to open up. 

Human nature is reciprocal, meaning the more authentic and transparent you are with others, the more authentic people will be with you. Realize that people aren’t looking for a salesperson; they’re looking for someone who gets their needs. As a real estate professional, you can both listen and offer a solution when the right time comes. 

Buying or selling a home is a substantial undertaking, and as such, people definitely don’t want to feel pressured into anything. They want to feel like someone understands their needs, which you can accomplish through relationship selling. The more you practice putting clients first, the more natural it will become and the more comfortable people will feel when talking with you. 

Think Big, Start Small

Real estate offers the freedom to create one’s own career. Thousands of real estate agents get started each year with aspirations to change people’s lives as well as make handsome money. 

Such big opportunities means it’s appropriate to dream big. Unfortunately, that’s where most agents get stuck. Around 87% of real estate agents fail or give up within their first five years of working, which is not a pretty statistic. It also reveals the importance of starting small and using the right strategies. 

Rather than reaching out to anyone who will listen, slow down a little bit. Think about who you know and where they are in life. Do you know any young married couples looking for homes? Perhaps a friend moved to the area and is renting, but eventually wants to own? These are the types of connections you want to foster. 

Then, instead of talking to all of your leads in a shallow way, go one at a time. Give each conversation the level of attention you’d want if you were on the other side. You should use this method whether you’re meeting someone for coffee or nearing the end of the closing process.

People will remember how honest and real you were, which fosters trust. By meeting people’s needs one at a time, you’ll be far more influential than if you treat all of your leads the same. This is precisely what it means to start small. 

Ask for Referrals 

Asking for referrals is not only useful, it can grow your network by leaps and bounds. This method is so effective that for every three referrals you request, you can expect two new people to speak with. 

By asking the people you already know to recommend you to their friends and family, you’ll get introduced to way more people. It also creates a more friendly, trusting environment for everyone involved. 

Think about it. When faced with a consequential decision, would you rather consult someone you know nothing about, or talk with someone who was recommended by a friend? Friendships are built on trust, meaning you value your friends’ input. If they recommend someone, you’re more likely to speak with that person. 

This is the basic dynamic of transparent relationships. Rather than trying to force someone to work with you, learn how to build trust with a client. Prospects are more likely to listen to you and you’ll be seen as more familiar. 

Reach Out to Past Buyers

Staying in touch with past buyers is another way to generate real estate leads for free. Your previous buyers have experience buying homes with you and know the results you can provide.

The bigger the decision, the more people want to trust the people helping them. People are much more likely to trust someone with a proven track record, and your past buyers can speak to your reputation openly. 

On average, you’ll need to contact nine previous buyers to net one new lead. You may find a former buyer who’s ready to buy again, or they may know someone who is actively looking. 

The past buyer ratio of 9:1 is much better than calls from ads and signs, which have ratios of 25:1 and 20:1, respectively. It’s also cheaper and faster; no money is required to contact former clients. 

Reach Out to Past Sellers

Similarly to previous buyers, previous sellers are an excellent source of new leads. You once helped them take care of a huge transaction and if it went well, they’d be more than happy to refer people to you. 

It takes about two to three months to sell a home, versus about four and a half months to buy one. When people are interested in selling their home, they usually want to do it quickly. Since your work ethic is top notch, you’ve made it easy for your previous clients to recommend you. 

How to Generate Real Estate Leads For Free (Or Close to It)

Knowing how to generate qualified leads for free is every real estate agent’s dream. In addition to the above methods, there are several other ways you can pull in leads for your business. Take a look below: 

  • Hold an open house. Hosting an open house will introduce you to a dozen or more leads in one day. Only one in three Americans are comfortable with the idea of buying a house they haven’t visited, which means most people still want to see properties in person. Make sure you have a means to collect your guests’ contact information, like with Rechat’s open house management tool. 
  • Create short videos. Videos are essential to being seen as a market leader. 83% of people using video marketing were able to generate more leads with it, and video marketing is 1200% more effective than other types of content. Though it may seem intimidating to make videos, you can produce informative content with just a couple hours per week. Start with two to three topics you’re knowledgeable on, and make one video per topic. Add a simple intro and outro, make a thumbnail graphic, and you’re all set. 
  • Begin blogging and content marketing. Though blogging may seem dated compared to videos, that’s far from the case. There are over 20 billion blog pages read each month by worldwide Internet users, and blogging as an industry is growing by 12% year-over-year (YoY). If you have a little time to spare, you can build a blog following that can become an excellent source of leads. Don’t stress about being the expert right away–simply write a few articles and share them with your network.
  • Send a thank you card. One of the oldest forms of appreciation is still one of the most effective. Given how widespread digital technology is today, this has infused old fashioned communication with fresh value. You don’t need to wait until a deal is struck to send a thank you card–send one out simply for picking up a phone call. Everyone loves to feel appreciated, and you’ll be astounded by the number of people who respond positively! 

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Generate Real Estate Leads

Filling your sales pipeline full of leads is real work. New contacts are your bread and butter, so it’s wise to spend time developing reliable lead sources.

Unfortunately, this is also the hardest part of working in real estate. New relationships aren’t created overnight, and that’s as true in business as it is one’s personal life.

It’s only natural to wonder how you can inexpensively produce real estate leads. We researched the most commonly asked questions about how to generate real estate leads to help you out. Check out our answers now: 

How Do Real Estate Agents Get Leads?

One of the main ways real estate agents find leads is through referrals. A referral is when someone in your social spheres recommends you to their friends or family. Referrals are built on trust and tap into the innate human needs of familiarity and respect. Talking about sales with an unknown person is inherently uncomfortable for most people. 

Accordingly, most people prefer to speak with those they know or at least have a connection to. Provided no one is pushy, referrals can create an unlimited stream of new people to talk with.

It won’t happen overnight, and you still need to put others’ needs before your own. However, this technique alone can get you all the leads you want for your real estate business.

What Are The Types of Leads In Real Estate?

There are six basic types of leads in real estate: referrals, organic, PPC, email, social media, and portal. Let’s look at what each of these are and why they’re important to know. 

Referrals are any friend or contact from someone you’ve already worked with. This lead source is the most powerful, as it’s based on word-of-mouth and has built-in trust. Organic leads are any contacts generated through unpaid means, like content marketing or an open house. These leads are valuable because they’ve seen your knowledge firsthand. 

The third lead source is PPC, or pay per click. This is a type of online advertising where you pay every time someone clicks on your ad. It’s a strong way to drive traffic but doesn’t foster the strongest trust. Email leads are anyone who has signed up for your email list. This should be part of any new agent’s arsenal because of how easy it is to make a personal connection.

Social media leads are the fifth type, and they’re useful when done right. Social allows you to reach thousands of people in seconds, which is good for initial visibility and traction. Finally, portal leads come from any of the large listing sites, like Zillow and Realtor.com. These are warm leads that are actively searching for a house; bear this in mind as you get to know them. 

How Do I Promote Myself As A Real Estate Agent?

If you’re wondering how to promote yourself as a real estate agent, the quick answer is: however it works best for your business. It’s a myth that what works for one agent will work perfectly for you. It takes time, ingenuity, and honesty to uncover the best promotional strategies for your agency.

That being said, there are promotional methods that real estate professionals consider tried-and-true. One such example is the open house. During an open house, dozens of people have the opportunity to learn about your business and listings. It’s an indirect way to demonstrate your expertise, because you’re seen as a helpful resource rather than a forceful salesperson. 

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Prioritizing People Over Profit

There’s no doubt about it–real estate is a tough business. Generating qualified leads in an industry where thousands of new agents are competing for the same inventory is daunting. 

That’s why using both technology and a human touch to become memorable is so important. You have too little time to spend all of it looking for interested leads, but without new people to talk to, you’ll eventually run out of sales opportunities. 

By using the marketing and promotional strategies in this blog post, you’ll be able to gain traction much faster than your competition. Remember that putting people’s needs ahead of profit is the best way to build networks and become successful.