UPDATE: In May 2020, our team reached an all-time high by generating 985 leads in one week using these methods!
Generating an overflow of leads is key to scaling a profitable real estate business.
Our real estate team is consistently ranked as one of the top-producing real estate teams in America according to REAL Trends and The Wall Street Journal. We sold $390 million in real estate volume in 2019 with 662 transactions. Powerful lead generation capabilities were one of the main ingredients in getting to that level.
Below you’ll find a wide variety of real estate lead generation methods, from low-tech traditional to high-tech digital. Choose the methods that work best for your business’s strengths, your markets’ needs, and your business model.
Real estate lead generation, defined
Lead generation (often shortened to “lead gen”) is the term for anything that attracts prospects to your services.
The goals of lead generation are to:
- Attract prospects’ attention
- Convince them that you’re the best option for their needs
- Convert those leads into clients, dealing with any objections they might have
- Serve those clients so well that they generate more leads for you by shouting your name from their rooftops
Traditional Real Estate Lead Generation Methods
Some real estate coaches will tell you that open houses are a waste of time — don’t believe them! They’re just telling you what you want to hear.
Our team embraces digital lead generation methods, but open houses still bring us tons of buyer leads every year.
To be blunt: If your open houses aren’t worth your time, you’re doing open houses wrong.
If you want instant money in your pocket, open houses are a fast way to connect in person with the most motivated buyers and sellers. We set out all of our methods for leveraging open houses in our Open House Mastery course on HyperFast Academy.
There are motivated seller leads… and then there are leads who are motivated by court order to sell.
Forming partnerships with local divorce attorneys, probate attorneys, etc. puts you in touch with leads who urgently need your help to navigate stressful situations.
The BEST lead generation method: referrals from closed clients
Referrals and repeat business from former clients are the best leads you can get in real estate.
The key to generating referrals is to serve clients above and beyond — and then stay in touch with them and continue to build good will after they’ve closed.
Next actions for building referral business:
- Stay Top of Mind in Your SOI in Minutes with a Letter From the Heart
- Learn how to build referral business with client appreciation events (HyperFast Podcast)
- Build referral business with a thoughtful, effective, automated client gifting system (HyperFast Podcast)
Referrals from other agents
“I have a referral for you” is one of the best messages a real estate agent can receive.
Attend conferences and exchange contact information with other agents. Through referral networks you can meet other real estate agents who send you qualified leads.
Knocking on doors in a target neighborhood can be a fast, free, and effective way to introduce yourself to prospective listing clients… if you have good scripts and you’re good at it.
Some agents knock on neighborhood doors as a regular routine when they hold an open house event. Others leave Xeroxed copies of handwritten notes at doors.
For detailed case studies on how Dan went from 0 to $22 million in volume sold in his first year in real estate, see his bestselling book The HyperLocal HyperFast Real Estate Agent, also available in ebook and audiobook formats.
Cold-calling lists of contacts is a classic favorite of many real estate agents.
Here’s another phone prospecting method that has created (and converted!) many leads for our team: On the 1st of every month, we call expired and withdrawn listings.
Sometimes these leads don’t even know their listings have expired until we call them!
One of the best tools for generating more leads with cold-calling is an auto-dialer — a system that calls multiple numbers at once and then connects you to whoever picks up first.
Print materials and print ads
A quick tip about print materials…
Print runs of ads and other materials can be expensive, so some agents cram every bit of text they can onto their print materials.
Our experience has been that clean, focused print materials generate more leads. Make sure your call to action is prominent, and make your contact information impossible to miss.
Less is more when it comes to print ad design.
Traditional direct-response advertising can be costly, but direct mail marketing can still generate leads in some markets.
With that said, our team has experienced better ROI on digital marketing campaigns than print marketing. As with all real estate lead generation methods, the effectiveness of direct mail really depends on your market and your niche.
Design and deploy clear, eye-catching, highly legible signage.
We place signs for open houses, and we decorate them with eye-catching balloons. We also attract walk-in traffic by printing our branding on awnings, office windows, TV displays facing the sidewalk, and sandwich boards outside our office door.
One thing our team does not do is stock our signs with brochures. Rain tends to ruin them; or other agents trash them. Some agents swear by this method, but we haven’t gotten good results from brochures attached to signs.
Billboards, bus ads, etc.
Every day, buses circulate through our market with our real estate team’s branding and Keri’s face on them. This is one area where we’ve had good results combining online ad campaigns with more traditional bus ads — when you’re showing up on people’s phones and on passing buses, people will tell your ISAs they’ve been seeing you everywhere.
TV and radio ads
Our team has invested in TV and radio ads in the past. These can still be reasonably viable for lead generation in some markets, but our team has found that shifting that budget into well-built digital ad campaigns has delivered us dramatically better results.
Which brings us to…
Digital Lead Generation Methods
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, and more
Most people spend hours browsing social media every day. If you really want to be top of mind in your own neighborhood, make sure you’re showing up in peoples’ timelines.
You don’t need to love social media to market yourself on those platforms, either. You can still build an organic, unpaid audience — and run ads on those services that generate real estate leads for the markets and niches you serve.
Facebook ads can be especially effective — but also especially complex to set up and optimize.
- Learn 4 takeaways from our meeting with Gary Vaynerchuk: Gary Vee on 4 Ways to CRUSH Your Real Estate Market
- See our Facebook Advertising Course on HyperFast Academy to learn more about social media marketing.
Video Marketing that Draws In Prospects
If you want your leads to know, like, and trust you, there’s no faster way to connect with leads than video marketing.
Real estate agents tend to be charismatic and personable — which is great, but it can be difficult to scale. You can only shake so many hands at networking events. You can only knock on so many doors in a day.
But the potential reach of a community spotlight video or a paid social media video ad is much higher. The leads generated by videos feel like they’ve met you personally.
Despite the many benefits of video marketing, we’ve seen agents who knock fearlessly on front dozens of front doors a day still freeze when it’s time to press “record” on their phones. If you’re having trouble getting started in video marketing, see our post on Billy Gene’s 4 Tips for Real Estate Videos That Generate Leads FAST.
A Real Estate Website That Brings in Business
Too many real estate agents treat their websites as just a business card. Making your contact information visible is a start, but there’s a lot more that you can do with a website.
A good website can welcome leads in; deal with their specific needs; allow them to browse listings; anticipate objections; provide rich content; and motivate prospects to book appointments. It can also be a rich source of traffic from Google and other search engines, as listed below.
Don’t think you can get away with just “setting and forgetting” your website for years, either. Technology and design standards are constantly changing. Our team’s new website design dramatically improved our site’s traffic, engagement, and appointment-booking rates.
If you want our proven real estate website design, and the advanced lead generation systems that our team uses, see HyperFast Portal.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is a powerful tool for increasing your business’s organic, unpaid reach. Real estate leads moving to your area turn to Google for information every day — whether it’s about local schools, restaurants, attractions, market conditions, or real estate agents.
A “geofence” is a digital boundary that encompasses a real-life geographic area. Businesses use this technology to power location-based apps; send promotions to the cell phones of customers entering stores; and more.
Real estate agents can use geofencing to engage neighborhoods and send notifications to people walking past an open house, for example. It’s a powerful real estate lead generation with many creative uses.
Next action: Click here to get our free geofencing playbook.
Want to turn your spare-time passion into a source of real estate business?
Start a local online interest group based around something you enjoy. Do you like dogs? Start a Facebook group about dogs, local dog parks, and related info. Play golf? Start a golfing group for your town on Facebook.
Next action: Learn Facebook Group lead generation techniques from the Lab Coat Agents live at the HyperFast Agent Sales Summit.
Real Estate Lead Generation = A Business That Gives You Your Time Back
Leads are the lifeblood of your real estate business.
If you want to build and scale a real estate business that gives you freedom of money and time, you need to generate an overflow leads from a variety of sources and zero in on the most efficient sources.