Real Estate House Leads: Growing Your Client Base

Real Estate Advisor

If you want to be a successful real estate agent, you will have a million and one jobs that need attention on a consistent basis. You’ll have showings, contracts, business lunches, people wanting advice about real estate — and they’ll want it for free. You’ll need to deal with things like taxes, health insurance, and keep your car spot clean for clients. If you’ve got your own office, you’ve got to keep up with premiums and utilities, and have to order printer ink. And you still have to go out and generate leads, even with all that covered.

Lead generation can be hard work, and when that work does not seem to produce results it is discouraging. However, since you know that feeding house leads to your funnel is one of the most important tasks on your to-do list, you will continue to do so. Dirk Zeller, CEO of Real Estate Champions, recommended several ways to generate leads more efficiently in a recent webinar on Secrets of Top Selling Agents. We took those recommendations and expanded them with tips and tricks that relate to you.

11 Proven Lead Sources for Real Estate Professionals

Door knocking

Done wrong, knocking on a door can be a futility practice. However, when you do it right it is a great way to win customers. One way to approach door knocking is to follow a script that will ferret out and possibly even create listings (thousands of great script options are provided by a quick google search). Just make sure you know the script well enough to sound normal and engaging!

Another great approach is to incorporate door-knocking into the geographic farming technique. The first time you knock, announce yourself and put your business card on someone’s table. The next time (approximately a month later), share some neighborhood info: a list of listed neighborhood homes, recently sold properties, or an invitation to an upcoming open house. From there, add them to drip email and direct mail campaigns to progress them slowly into a lead.

Direct mail

There are a few tricks to make direct mail work. The first is a targeted list. Knowing that you are targeting FSBO, expired listings, absentee owners, etc. allows you to design a campaign that is in keeping with the needs of the recipient. Recall also that mailing someone once or twice probably won’t produce great results. Include in each direct post campaign at least five or six different mailings.

Another trick is to make a deal telling the prospect not just what they reap by working with you, but what they risk from not working with you. Have them send your offer to a landing page where they can download a free checklist, eBook, etc. after filling out a quick lead form.

Social media marketing

People are spending incredible amounts of time on social media making it unlike any other lead source. The relentless influx of new social media content generates an unprecedented rate of turnover. For this reason, the continuous posting of new social content is crucial if you are hoping to generate leads. Also keep in mind that while likes and shares are awesome, getting people to your website should be your primary objective if you’re looking for potential niche house leads. Consider investing in some Facebook ads to drive traffic to the lead capture forms on your website.

Expired listings

Homeowners whose property was not selling the first time can be disgruntled, especially after they start receiving the inevitable calls from agents cueing up for their chance to sell the home. Instead of approaching these prospects with all the reasons they should hire you, begin by explaining why their home wasn’t selling around for the first time. Share how the campaign strategy is set up to solve the issue and result in a timely home sale after you have addressed what went wrong (proving the value).

For sale by owner

It will take these DIYers some time to figure out how much work goes into selling a house. Call, text, and email are all acceptable ways to get in touch with the prospect of an FSBO, but knock on their door if possible. If you meet them in person you will stand out and have a better chance of making the human connection.

No matter how you reach out, offer them a free internship or home selling guide to help them keep track of the many things they need to do to sell their home. Provide enough information and value to be helpful, so that they will think of you when they decide to hire an agent.


Referrals are property golden eggs. The only problem is that over the last several years, the number of reference house leads has been on a downward trend. In his recent webinar on “Creating Listings in Low Inventory Markets,” Zeller pointed out that in the last five years alone, referrals have fallen by five percent. This is mainly due to how convenient it is for prospects to go online to discover what they are searching for immediately, instead of waiting for a suggestion on real estate.

Ask for referrals all through the sales process to maximize them. If a prospect is not ready to buy or sell, ask if they know whoever is. Customer impressed with your analysis of the sales? They may have a friend whose growing family would make use of a larger place. Make the most of every chance to seek a referral.

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Past Customers

Repeat business is a great stream of revenue that works very well when setting up planned follow-up systems. The trick for these is allowing the clients to trust you as their real estate agent. They know exactly who they’re going to call when the time comes and they’re ready to sell their home.

Make it easy to get back in touch with your past clients. Try adding an annual reminder to text your customers on their birthday and anniversary of sale/purchase after their sale is complete. Consider even making a packaged closing gift — one the consumers will want to display. Take their picture in front of the “sell” sign for example, and transform it into a magnet. Add your contact info at the bottom, and for years to come you will be proudly shown on their fridge.

Clients of agents who left the firm

New real estate agents have a very high turnover rate, leaving a whole lot of potential recurring business for grabs. Your association with the company of the departed agent gives you the foot in the door where you need to build a relationship with them. From here follow your standard procedure to deal with past customers.

Lender business

For prospective buyers, mortgage lenders are often the first point of contact — potential buyers don’t want to annoy you until they know they can get a loan (wouldn’t it be great if they all did that?). Build mutual relationships with borrowers to add them to your list of recommended lenders if they choose to appoint you as an agent for immovable property.

Sign level strategy

The “For Sale” sign you put in the yard of your listing isn’t meant to be a decoration. When you use it correctly it is a serious hardcore lead generation tool. Your sign should be designed to include the basics — name, phone number, email address, brokerage, etc. for best effect. Also consider adding an option to let viewers text “pics,” “info,” or a similar key word to get more information about the property. If this option is included, build a canned response to send as soon as you receive the message, then follow up directly when you have a chance.

Another way of getting leads from your signs is to include online instructions for accessing the property flyer (equipped with a simple lead capture form requesting the name, number and email address of the individual). You can also use your signs to show sellers how dedicated you are to their listings by adding to the sign a single listing website that will highlight the home’s features and benefits.

Associations of Homeowners

Homeowner associations often have important distribution infrastructure which you and the association can take advantage of to mutual benefit. Approaching prospects through the HOA can often give you access to the entire mailing list of the newsletter and help you brand yourself as an agent of that neighborhood.

Start by promising to write such newsletter guest posts. Cover topics that are relevant to homeowners in general, but add a short call to action at the end of each article letting readers know you are there to help if they are looking to buy or sell.

Hosting free seminars can also help you find potential property house leads. The seminars can take more of a sales approach if you like, and include branded handouts with highlights from the topics covered. Try conducting a series of workshops in order to reach consumers and sellers apart from homeowners who may not need your services now.