Real estate agent leads are the breath that fuels the industry. As an agent, knowing how to source the best possible leads is vital to your survival. Agents must ensure a steady stream of potential clients to effectively run their business and capitalize on more profitable opportunities.
Without knowing how to source leads, you can be stranded in the industry. However, it’s not solely about the number of leads; it’s equally important to identify the most suitable prospects for real estate agents.
We’ve put together this guide on real estate agent lead sources, expanding on what leads are in general while also giving you the guidance you need to find the ones that will help you grow.
Throughout this blog, you’ll see a clear roadmap for building your reach and reputation as an agent. Whether you’re new to the industry or have been working as an agent for some time, this blog’s practical and actionable insights will make sourcing leads for real estate more straightforward than ever.
Understanding Real Estate Agent Leads
A “lead” in real estate is the term applied to any potential client who might be interested in buying, selling, or otherwise engaging with a property. Real estate leads for agents are the people that agents can work with to broker sales and purchases.
Generally, you can classify real estate agent leads into three primary categories:
1. Seller Leads
Seller leads are homeowners or property owners who are interested in selling their property. There are countless reasons that one might become a seller lead, including downsizing to a smaller home, upgrading to a larger one, relocating for work or family, or wanting to part ways with an inherited property. You’ll also discover plenty of ways that real estate agents can source seller leads, be it through direct mail campaigns, local print advertising, or word-of-mouth referrals, among others.
2. Buyer Leads
Buyer leads are individuals or entities in the market interested in purchasing a property. These leads might be first-time homebuyers looking to enter the property market seriously, individuals seeking a second home, or even investors on the hunt for rental properties (more on them next). These leads can be sourced in person at open houses while also largely sourced online through listing platforms like Zillow and Trulia.
3. Investor Leads
Investor leads are for sure a niche but an equally crucial segment of real estate leads, and sourcing them requires a unique approach. These leads are individuals or business entities who are interested in buying properties for their own business and investment purposes. This can include buying properties to rent out, fixing and flipping foreclosed or dilapidated properties, and investing in commercial real estate properties.
Sourcing leads of this nature is all about networking, whether through local investor meetups, social media connections, or investor-angled platforms such as LoopNet.
By building a solid understanding of these different real estate agents’ leads, you can start to tailor your sourcing strategy properly. The way you operate in the industry will depend on the kind of leads that you’re most interested in working with, allowing you to focus your efforts in the directions that lead to successful transactions.
The Best Lead Source for Real Estate Agents
Social Media Platforms
Social media is more than just a way to see pictures of your classmates’ babies—it can be a goldmine for sourcing real estate agent leads. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are great places to connect with potential clients, offering you a space to share high-quality property images, virtual tours, and more engaging pieces of content about your listings.
You can use social media in a multitude of ways as a platform for marketing, with one of the most effective ways being locally targeted ads. These are paid promotions that are directly focused on advertising your services to people in your target audience and local area.
Beyond paid ads, you can also use social media to build an online presence and reputation. Through creating engaging content, communicating directly with commenters, and sharing details about your business, you can use social media for free to build a following.
Feel free to get creative! Social media platforms are the home of viral content, and if you can create something that catches the eye of the average scroller, you could create a pipeline to your more business-focused output.
Online Real Estate Marketplaces
The internet is home to plenty of real estate marketplaces, with Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia all popular places for people looking to buy and sell properties. On these platforms, you can find and post listings, allowing you to connect directly with clients actively interested in collaborating.
These sites are all good places to source high-quality leads with good potential for conversion, however, it’s worth noting that these platforms are also breeding grounds for competition. When stepping into the arena of these online platforms, make sure to use the best possible images of properties that you’re selling while making your value clear to those you attempt to work with.
Real Estate Networking Events
Networking events can take place online and in the real world, both excellent places to source real estate agent leads. These can be events such as open houses, investor gatherings, local real estate meetups, and their online counterparts. The reason they’re so good for sourcing leads is that the people attending already have an active interest in real estate, meaning amongst them, you’re likely to find plenty of potential buyers, sellers, and investors.
Search online and at local community centers for events of these kinds, as offering to host open houses for fellow agents and brokers is an effective way to get more face time with leads. Websites like Meetup is useful for finding relevant events in the area.
Never underestimate the power of word of mouth. A referral from a friend or former collaborator goes a long way for a lead, which is why it’s important to maintain strong, friendly relationships with past clients and fellow professionals in your network. In getting recommended by a mortgage broker, real estate attorney, or someone you connected with a property, you can get a fast track to your next deal.
While maintaining strong relationships with everyone you meet is the easiest way to gain referrals, you can also put in some work to encourage them. Offer clients gifts or rewards for referring you, ensuring that they’re even more incentivized to point people in your direction.
Direct Mail Campaigns
Even though we live in an increasingly digitized age, direct mail is still a powerful tool for sourcing real estate leads. There’s something about receiving a physical piece of mail that can connect with a potential client more effectively than online mass marketing.
Postcards, flyers, and information packets can all be used to showcase properties while also giving leads a better insight into who you are as a professional.
To ensure efficacy, it’s important to personalize letters whenever you can, helping to foster a sense of exclusivity with your leads. Services like DirectMail and real estate CRM software like REsimpli can be used to help in the design, printing, and distribution of direct mail campaigns.
Real Estate Lead Generation Websites
Your website should act like your digital storefront, designed in a user-friendly manner that encourages leads to become clients. By making a professional, easy-to-use website complete with vibrant imagery, clear information, and lead capture forms, you allow leads to explore your business properly.
Various builders and lead generation website hosts, including BoldLeads, Zurple, and CRM software like REsimpli, are out there. The best lead generation builders and hosts automate things like digital promotion, optimization, and follow-up with leads, helping you to run the business from the ground up.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
From your website to your online content, everything you post on the internet should be optimized for search engines. This means using the right terminology and phrasing to rank higher in search engine results, making it easier for potential leads and clients to find you. This can be through referencing your local market in your content or, more generally, by integrating keywords related to your industry sect. It’s also important that your website and content are optimized for mobile use, so people can learn more about you wherever they are.
Similarly, you can use PPC (pay-per-click) advertising to rank higher on search engines. This is essentially the practice of producing paid ads, which you’re only charged at the rate that they are clicked. You can take things a step further with Google Local Service Ads, which swap PPC for a pay-per-lead system, meaning you only pay for meaningful engagement.
Using content is a great way to market yourself as a real estate professional. Various forms of content work well in the real estate industry, including blogs, videos, and ebooks, each of which can be used to establish your knowledge and authority in the industry. By doing this, you can build a presence online, which in turn can encourage leads to work with you.
Sites like WordPress, YouTube, and Medium all offer effective platforms for sharing your content and building a loyal following.
An email list is a vital part of a good agent’s business plan, giving you a set number of people to regularly communicate with via newsletters, market updates, and more. By automating an email schedule for people on your list, you can stay at the top of your leads’ minds, so they’re more likely to come to you when they’re ready to buy or sell.
It’s also important to use marketing platforms or CRM systems with your email list, as these tools can automate your schedule without becoming too robotic. They can also help you to manage your campaigns in terms of tracking their effectiveness and more.
Local Sponsorships and Community Involvement
Getting involved with your local community as a real estate agent is important. Remember, you’re expecting people to trust you with their homes, so you must give them a reason to do so. Things you can do to build a well-earned reputation in your community include sponsoring local events, supporting charity drives, joining local business organizations, and volunteering for local causes.
Not only will this increase your visibility in the area, but it will also give you plentiful opportunities to connect with people who can offer referrals and new business. Become a local community pillar, and leads will flock to you for the right reasons.
Each source in the list can help you build a solid base of real estate agent leads, growing your client base and increasing your business. It’s important to try as many of these lead-sourcing strategies as possible, tracking each one’s performance as you use it to form the overall strategy that best suits your business needs.
Sourcing leads for real estate agents keeps professionals from becoming irrelevant in this business, connecting them with the potential clients who make their living. Throughout this blog, we’ve expanded upon what leads really are, focusing on the three main forms that they come in while also sharing our top 10 strategies for sourcing them.
Through the knowledge we’ve shared in this blog, you should feel more confident than ever in sourcing leads, knowing that combining various methods is the best way to go about it. Remember, certain strategies will work better for the different forms of leads. In-person interactions go a long way for potential investors, while online marketing can be more effective for buyers and sellers. However, it’s never one size fits all—every lead is different.
The path to success lies in persistence, innovation, and adaptation. That’s why a varied, balanced sourcing strategy goes such a long way. Try your hand at all of these methods, track their success, and alter your strategy as appropriate. For more engaging, useful information on real estate, check out our blog today.