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Introduction

In the industry of real estate lead generation, gone are the times when Cold Calling and Door knocking were the two most effective ways of reaching out to people.

Along with the developing era and evolving technologies, ways of reaching out to people have changed and evolved as well. Something similar has happened in the real estate industry.

Lead generation in the real estate industry is very important to the new agents. Since cold-calling and door knocking are outdated, word of mouth is the only way that attracts new potential customers. 

As a new agent, you don’t have much experience, goodwill, a community following, or a strong network of strategic partners. 

These factors make it important to find the right way of generating leads in the real estate industry. 

It has become increasingly hard to make marketing work in the real estate world as many of the agents follow ways of lead generation which are hard to compete with. 

But you need not to be sad about it just yet, we are here with an ultimate guide to Real Estate Lead Generation

We believe that at the end of this guide you will find numerous effective ways that will definitely help you gather new leads and effective ways of conversion as well. 

What is Lead Generation for Real Estate?

Lead Generation in the marketing world is defined as a process that involves converting a prospect customer into someone who would be interested in your products or services by using various means of marketing. And in a Real Estate Business, this Lead would be someone who is looking to rent, buy, or sell their property. 

This way lead generation becomes the first step into their customer journey. For example, the digital campaigns we market to our potential customers is called lead generation. Likewise, a business card or a pamphlet we hand out for our ‘Property on Sale, contact us on …’ is another form of lead generation in real estate business. 

However, generating real estate leads have been all about cold calling and door knocking for years which have proven as the tried and true methods. 

These methods are outdated now as people no more wish to receive unsolicited calls for products or services. 

With technologies and ways of marketing being evolved, there also evolve many new ways of marketing and lead generation in real estate business. In this era of digital marketing, one can always trust using engaging media posts and advertising strategies to attract customers. 

An effective marketing helps in lead generation which is followed by lead nurturing to systematically them via the sales funnel. 

Understanding the real estate sales funnel



In order to understand a real estate sales funnel, it is first important to understand what a sales funnel is. 

Sales funnel is that imaginary journey that potential customers are supposed to go through on the way to purchase any product or service. 

There are different levels in this supposed sales funnel, as it takes time for a customer to reach the decision part from the minute they enter into your sales funnel. 

Let’s understand how the sales funnel works.

Once the prospect has entered into your sales funnel process, there should be systemised  levels to retain the leads till the execution of sales. 

It is in the hands of real estate professionals to make the most out of each level to retain, impress, and convert these prospects into clients. 

There are four phases of a real estate funnel

Awareness

When you run a business, it is important to market your products and services in a way that creates a visible place in the mind of the viewer. 

Your products and services will not be marketable if the audience isn’t well aware of its existence and benefits. 

Marketing is one way to create awareness of your products and services. You can use various forms of marketing like advertising on hoardings and pamphlets, digital marketing, SEO and content marketing, word of mouth, and so much more. 

It is important to showcase to your clients, as to what a great deal you are offering to them which is more beneficial than what other agents or companies offer. 

If the prospect sees that you are offering them something of value, it will be easier for you to capture their contact, and hence the conversion.

One of the best ways to capture a prospect's attention is by giving them a free ebook. People love free stuff, and if they see something of value offered for free then they would definitely inquire about it. Thus, generating awareness. 

Interest

You know a lead is interested if he/she has given you their contact information. After this, it is your responsibility to guide them to the next step of this sales funnel i.e. Interest. 

Keeping the interest of your lead alive is another task that should be performed well. 

It is very important to keep holding the potential with inputting them with more benefits and use cases of your properties or services. 

This is the stage where your lead wants to learn about you and your business. This leads you to the step where you should direct them towards your website or any other digital appearance. 

Captivating people’s interest is one of the reasons why digital marketing has become so important and also the need of the hour for every business, may it be large or small. Therefore, it is important to identify what your audience may be interested in and then you can serve them exactly what they want. 

Decision

If your potential customers are genuinely interested and captivated by the products and services your company offers then they would move towards putting a thought in buying it. This is where the next level is introduced to your leads, the Decision. 

Making a decision on account of what is presented to the leads by the company has to be one of the major steps in the sales funnel. If they like what they see, then they might end up buying it. 

Please note that word of mouth and reviews about your company or products and services also play a huge role in influencing people’s decision about the purchase. 

People also take decisions based on:

  • What does your company stand for?
  • What are the visions and missions of your company?
  • What are the accomplishments of your company?
  • Is this company addressing the same values that it is providing?

And the list is never ending.  

Not just real estate, but in every industry — Customer is God. So it is not important what you think you are offering is valuable, but it is important what the customer thinks is valuable. 

Action

This is the last step into the sales funnel of the real estate business. This action determines how effectively you have moved your lead all through the stages of the sales funnel to the last stage of taking action to actually purchase that product & services. 

At the end of the day, only action or the purchase is what matters for any business. 

Key Pillars of a Real Estate Lead Generation System

There are two pillars that support the foundation of a good real estate business, they are:

1. Inbound Marketing

It is the modern way of attracting people to have a look at your business, properties, and services. It majorly involves digital marketing, email marketing, SEO, content marketing, and digital advertisement. 

In this type of marketing, you have to create and promote content that showcases the value and other benefits that you offer as a company.

2. Outbound Marketing

It is the traditional way of marketing and attracting leads for your real estate business. It starts with some basic knowledge of your target audience. 

Typical outbound marketing activities involve telemarketing, event marketing, direct mail, and so much more. It has gradually decreased from the past. 

However, a successful lead generation process involves both types of marketing. 

A real estate business will have to tailor its process according to the environment and other requirements to get a productive outcome of the marketing. 

Steps for Earning Real Estate Leads

1. Understand where the best leads come from

It is important to note and understand where the best leads come from for a real estate business. There are various ways that can attract leads for your real estate business, like word of mouth, marketing strategies, advertising strategies (digital and hoarding). 

When you identify the best and most fruitful ways that generate leads for your business, it can give you more clarity on which ways to focus on more for more leads.

Before anything else, it is important to understand that the very best leads come from word of mouth. It is important to establish and maintain good relations with current and former customers, as the best reviews come from word of mouth and not the paid website leads. 

Having a meaningful relation with your customers will develop repeat and referral business for you. 

2. Start with people you already know

Always know that your friends and family are your biggest supporters. So Initially, you must reach out to people who you already know. Make them understand what new projects and plans you are coming up with.

Even though these people are your friends and family, it may take some time for them to trust you as a real estate professional. 

3. Meet new people.

Networking is one of the most important elements of a business, one must keep meeting new people to educate them a little about their real estate business. 

One must definitely get off the screens and get out in the real world to network their business to find new prospects. 

Who can you approach?

  • Volunteer
  • Approach strangers
  • Join meetup groups
  • Talk to neighbors
  • Former co-workers

Above we have listed a few ways you can do marketing for your real estate business. 

4. Create a strategy to strengthen your bonds with the audience

Stay on top of people’s minds by creating engaging stories, highlights, posts, guides, and more to keep your audience interested.

In addition to phone-calls and occasional face-to-face chat, you can nurture your audience by providing them quality content marketing. 

Providing your audience with what they are looking for answers all their questions and makes them more keen on your brand. You can have FAQs, Blogs, Interactive Posts on social media, and so much more that you can do for your brand. 

21 ways to get free and paid real estate leads

Now that you have an adequate knowledge of what lead generation is and everything that is related to lead generation for your real estate business, let’s move on to learn all the ways you can follow to get free and paid real estate leads. 

1. Referrals

Referrals are one of the best sources of free lead generation. Like we mentioned before, word of mouth plays an important role in any business. 

Keeping a healthy work relationship with your customers and former customers gets you amazing reviews. It is obvious that your services need to be top-tier to retain customers in the first place. 

2. Local SEO

Hope you are aware of what SEO means and if not, it means Search Engine Optimization. It is a process of optimizing your website so that your website comes on the top search results on search engines like Google and Bing. 

Therefore, your SEO should be very strong to be visible to people who search for terms like ‘Best real estate business near me’ or ‘realtors near me’ on the first page of the search engine. 

For this, our suggestion is you focus on your SEO keywords related to real estate like, real estate agents, realtors in my area, and other things that connect you to the right audience. 

3. Build Partnerships

Building partnerships with other brands and industries will not only help you get the lead but also your partner.

When you reach out to your customers with products produced by your partnerships firm, presented to customers as a gift then you and your partner both aear leads. 

4. Throw a housewarming party

As a real estate professional, you can throw a housewarming party right after 30 days your buyer closes on a deal with you. 

You can organize a housewarming party and tell the buyer that you are going to invite all the neighbours and cater the food & drinks as a part of their welcome. To cover the bills, you can partner with your landlord and attorney to dutch the bill. 

In the era of social media, it will surprise the people to see that their realtor is throwing a party because someone bought a house from them. And hence, getting more leads. 

5. Become a restaurant regular

As a growing realtor you’ll have to go out your way to try out multi-cuisine restaurants even if you don’t like, to fetch new leads. You can stack your meetings with current clients at the restaurants, this way someone else will overhear you talking about real estate. 

This can be considered as indirect marketing for your real estate business. Unknown people interested in property purchasing will be effortlessly drawn to be enquiring about your real estate business. 

6. Send a handwritten note

You can write down a thank-you note to your referral or your former customers every time you get referred by them. We mean, what better than something that is customized than something that is expensive as a gratitude gift. 

Your customers would love to see some effort that makes them smile. We assure you it will work like magic. 

7. Leverage the internet to advertise

Image Source: Zillow

The internet is all about what is trending. May it be news or memes, people run behind trends. 

Being a good marketer you can leverage these trends in making use of them to market and advertise what you offer. 

Running campaigns showcasing your abilities as a realtor and other benefits for your potential and existing customers like Sale and more, also work as good advertising strategies on the internet. 

8. Advertise through more traditional media

Image Source: Fit Small Business

It may be traditional but television ads, radio ads, newspaper and pamphlet ads still work like a charm for the audience that are not big on internet and social media platforms. Advertising platforms like billboards and pamphlets can turn out to be very excellent resources, since we all are aware that old-school works better any day. The visuals of a billboard stay on top of the audience's mind. 
So when your prospect is looking for the next real estate agent, your name pops up in their mind. 

9. Build your own website

You can have a personal identity and stand out presenting what you stand for, something that intrigues most of the people. 

It is important to have a personal web presence for your brand in order to be discovered by someone who you haven’t targeted yet. It also helps you to showcase your benefits, offers, specialities, testimonials, from former clients, and more. 

10. Use landing pages + Drip email sequences

To clear out all the air, a landing page is that stand alone web page which is disconnected from the main navigation page. This is built to get the visitors to take specific actions like download a brochure, chat, call, sign up, login, etc.

You can always add CTA to your landing pages, they turn out to be very helpful. 

On the other hand, drip email sequence refers to a series of automated emails that are created to warm up and remind the newsletter subscribers. Leads, and prospects by providing relevant information about their real estate business. 

This email drip could be about new offers, sales, follow up, and so much more. The goal is to help in making the buyer and the seller the right decision about a sale or purchase. 

Please note that the series of drip emails is designed solely to inform and not to sell. 

11. Cold Calling

Cold calling refers to anonymously calling consumers to educate them about our products and services with the intent of selling them to potential customers. This is one of the oldest forms of lead generation in the real estate industry. 

There are 5 types of cold calling namely, Expired Leads, Geographic Farming, FSBOs, FRBOs, and Pre-Foreclosures. 

The main question is, does real estate cold calling still work in 2021? In a very short answer, yes it still works in 2021! However, it is important to note that it may be difficult and tiresome in the era of digital marketing to follow this process. 

12. Develop a Niche.

Do you specialize in any kind of niche? If yes, it’s time you own it. Yes. If you have a specialization in any field or properties you must definitely take a toll over it. 

If you have a specialization in neighborhood, student rentals, historic homes, or just helping people find the right piece of land then you should identify the niche you may be interested in and then expertise it. 

Here is a list of few niches that you can go through to find the one you would be most keen in: 

  • Mid century modern homes
  • School homes
  • Historic Homes
  • Luxury Homes
  • Contemporary Homes
  • Student rentals
  • First-time homebuyers
  • Different City or Town Residents
  • Commercial Real estate
  • Vacation Homes
  • Land
  • Industry Lands
  • Property Rights
  • Distressed Homes
  • For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) properties

Know that you don't have to become an expert immediately. Initially, find a niche for your expertise and interests and start working behind it. This way your expertise will generate leads automatically for you. 

13. Using ‘coming soon’ signs

This works as one of the best strategies to attract organic leads. When you are coming up with a new project you can have boards that display what you have in store to offer the people. 

For example, “4 & 5 BHKs coming soon in XYZ area” “Corporate House Coming Soon” and so much more. 

‘Coming Soon’ is a tried and tested way of lead generation in the real estate industry. A ‘Coming Soon’ sign builds a curiosity in the minds of the audience before it is even out in the market. 

This also helps in creating queries about this upcoming project. 

14. Head to an open house


Guess you are missing out on a lot if you are not hitting an open house to gather leads. There are many buyers and soon-to-be-buyers who would drop in the open houses without an agent. These types of people are the perfect kind of leads that can be convertible as they come with an aim to search for new properties for them. 

This is the perfect opportunity to offer them for help and guide them through the market. 

15. Generate Leads on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the best platforms to find the right kind of leads, may it be for any industry. 

You can join LinkedIn groups that are frequent with real estate updates and which your target audience may visit mostly like ‘Reltors in Texas’ ‘Luxury Properties’ ‘Vacation Homes’ and more. 

When posting up on LinkedIn, don’t forget to put out knowledgeable posts as sources like Blogs from your website, other helpful Blog articles, FAQs and so much more. 

16. Organize Educational Events

You can host small educational events in your neighborhood and community. You can use these events to educate the consumers about buying their first property. 

You can talk about how the market is in real estate right now, what kind of house would be suitable for this number of people in the family, and so much more. 

This way you can also create an awareness about your existence as an agent in the real estate industry and what all you offer as a realtor. 

17. Don’t neglect Leads

Did you show your property to 3 leads and there’s no response from them yet? What you can do here is keep taking follow ups from them. 

Call them and email them saying that you would love helping them out for a house hunt. Try leaving postcards to them about the real estate market and its development. 

Don’t let your potential customers run away from you just like that. Always try different and new ways to close the potential customers. 

18. Target ‘For Sale by Owner’ listings.

Many times in a real estate business, it happens that a property is sold by the owner without any representative or a real estate agent, this is called an FSBO. 

And when you are searching for clients without any external source of help it may end up becoming a little difficult for you. Also not that when you are targeting For Sale by Owner’s Listings you are looking for a specific type of clientele. 

Below are a few ways that you can follow to prospect an FSBO:

  • Do your research. 
  • Create a pre-listing marketing package.
  • Reach out to the owner. 
  • Demonstrate the benefits of hiring an agent. 
  • Follow up after the meeting. 

To read more about the above point, click here

19. Reach out to expired listings

There are many Multi Listing Services that can help you find the list of expired listings that you can reach out to. 

You can reach out to these expired listings considering the fact that these are current expired listers who are frustrated and fed up of trying to sell their properties. 

What you can do is to offer different ways that you can help them sell their properties.

20. Rely on satisfied customers to generate referrals

Can you think of a better marketing source than a satisfied customer? Because we can’t. No one talks higher of your services and products than a satisfied customer who gets value for the money spent. 

A satisfied client is one of the assets for your real estate business. Therefore, it is advised to stay in touch with your loyal and satisfied customers as nothing spreads faster than word of mouth in real estate business. 

People will usually approach you as a realtor if they may have heard good things about your business from their trusted relatives, friends, acquaintances and more. 

21. Work on Divorce Leads

What better than working with clients who have court orders to sell their house? Divorce leads may need some impressive skills and compassion to deal with. 

It is because these kinds of leads aren’t too excited to be in this kind of situation. But if you can find divorce leads and appeal to them then you can set up extremely motivated clients for yourself. 

There’s also one designation you can set yourself up for, it's called the RSC-D (Real Estate Collaboration Specialist - Divorce.)

How to maximize your real estate leads?

1. Access more channels

In order to maximize your real estate leads it is important to make sure that you are making use of the most relevant channels. 

Accessing more channels can make you more visible and approachable to the audience looking for the right real estate properties. 

How can you access more channels for real estate? By signing up for more and popular lead providers like Market Leader, Zillow, Realtor.com, and Boldleads.

2. Centralize all leads in an omnichannel management system

With so many ways and ideas for generation of leads for your real estate business it can become a little unorganized to manage so many contacts and leads. 

In order to avoid this confusion and mismanagement, we recommend you to use a few Contact Management Systems as an omnichannel in your organization. 

Below are a few options:

This is a comprehensive platform that helps you organize and manage your leads’ contacts in the organization. In real estate business, you can track the contacts of your leads, engaged customers, unengaged customers, sales department, and more. 

This contact management system helps you save and share grouped contacts to other people in the organization. Not only this, but it also helps you attach documents, notes, reminders, labels and so much more to the contact itself. 

For example: You can attach notes to remember to your Leads’ Contacts. You can add documents to other real estate agents’ contacts, and so much more. 

It also offers great integrations that will impart an easy experience of import and export of contacts from one device to another. To know more, click here

3. Set smart reminders to stay connected with the leads

Did you spend time reaching out to people and generating leads? But it can all go to vain if you don't follow up. 

The best way to keep the engine warm is by setting smart reminders to your contact information of leads. This way you will never miss out on a lead. 

But is that possible? With ContactBook it is more than just possible and easy. 

One of the best systems you can find to set reminders is ContactBook so that you can get an update whenever it is time to connect with them. 

4. Be available and responsive

Not just in the real estate industry, but in any industry or business if you communicate poorly with your clients the outcome is going to be poor for your company as well.

In various surveys and studies, it is identified that clients usually work with the first agent that they meet. So according to this math, you just have to end up approaching new clients. 

Clients or people in general love when you attend to their personal problems, as if you have been appointed solely for them. This can serve as a huge plus for you if you are available and responsive to them. 

However, we suggest you have filters. To fulfill that you can have an assistant that can take your calls and forward only the strong potentials’ enquiries to you. We believe your great skills will be useful for converting leads into clients. 

Qualify your real estate leads

Acquiring leads is one of the first steps into the lead generation and converting them into customers’ process. 

Second step in this process is to bifurcate which leads are supposed to be nurtured and which are to be quickly converted. You can segregate the leads that are to be fast tracked and the ones that need more nurturing. 

For instance, you may score leads from the demographic that are from the local area who wish to move to larger properties in the same locality or town. 

Initially, you may need to experiment with different types of score leads to identify your specialization. But once you have succeeded in identifying it, you will reach the destination of customer acquisition from the stage of lead generation. 

Be consistent

Before wrapping it up, we would like you to remember that you can not use all the methods of lead generation at once. You can always try a certain set of suggested ways to experiment and find out the best method that works out well for your business. 
What is most important here is to be consistent and stick to the method that brings out the best result for you. 
And of course, choosing the right source of storing your leads’ information and communication like ContactBook is one of the other most important things you should consider in your real estate business.

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