Real Estate Lead Generation – The Basics

The secret to real estate sales is lead generation. There, I said it, no need to read on unless you want solid advice on what to do in order to gain more leads. Real estate lead generation is the constant, important, and paramount duty of every licensed real estate salesperson if they intend to succeed and thrive in the real estate business. In this post, we are going to begin the discussion on how to generate leads and begin to build the sales database of your dreams.

What Real Estate Agents Struggle With the Most – Especially New Ones

Real Estate Lead Generation - The Basics 1

In a recent survey of real estate brokers by Inman News, lead generation was cited by 47% of brokers polled as the most important priority when training new agents. However, the training that many focus on is on other items of interest such as completing a proper CMA or how to fill out a contract. To me, it has always seemed backwards, and the more research I do on the subject the more it seems that this is exactly the case.

For instance, if you rush out of real estate school and the first thing you want to learn is “how to fill out a purchase agreement” then I have a question for you – who are you filling out that purchase agreement for exactly? If you don’t have any clients, understanding functional issues like the purchase contract don’t really matter! And, if for some reason you get to that point and don’t know what to do, surely you can find a way to figure that part out. However, if you are not focused on real estate lead generation as your primary goal then it very well may be a struggle for you in this business. In all sales, from knives to real estate, the most successful salespeople are able to generate leads and then convert those leads. The other stuff just adds to the toolkit, it does not make up the toolkit.

To Make it In Real Estate You Need Clients – and You Need to Learn How to Land New Clients

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Let’s take an example from outside of real estate for a moment. Pretend you are a doctor. You are fresh out of your residency and find yourself with a nice loan pre-approval where you might be able to buy a nice steady primary care practice from a local M.D. who is retiring. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? I want you to think for a moment about what it is you are really buying when you buy that existing medical practice. Is it the equipment? Is it the building? Is it the name? The most valuable thing you would be purchasing is that existing practice’s list of customers. You are buying business, from an existing practice, plain and simple. There’s nothing like walking in the door and having that existing book of business in order to get started. That is very valuable.

Therefore, in real estate you need to constantly remind yourself that it is a client list that makes you money. It is a database of as many people as you can possibly collect that you can sell to over a career. So in essence, if you really wanted to make it in real estate you would just buy the database from an agent who is retiring. DONE! However, since most of us will not get that chance then it becomes important to learn how to build that database and turn those possible customers into clients –  and then into sales over time. Make no mistake, it is not easy, and it will take effort. However, if you are willing to put in the kind of effort that no one else will to do this on a consistent basis – you win.

Real Estate Lead Generation – The Basics

In our real estate training program we call Superstars 2.0, the first two sessions primarily focus on business planning and the skills behind lead generation. The first issue for many who are new to the real estate business is to understand exactly that – this is a business. Therefore, you need to act like a business and treat your daily activities just like a business professional. In fact, I like new agents to take the attitude of a “startup” and think like a brand new business just getting off the ground.

What do you need most? Goals. A plan. Execution.

The first and most important part of your plan is to start building a database, generating leads, and start talking to as many people as you possibly can about real estate. So here are some basic categories that every real estate agent should start in order to tap in and generate some darn leads:

  • family
  • friends
  • spheres of influence (SOI)
  • for sale by owners (FSBO)
  • expired listings
  • social media
  • farming
  • broker leads
  • phone time/floor time
  • paid leads

Do you see what I just did there? 10, (10!) possible areas where you can begin generating leads right away. Everyone comes into the real estate business with a family (big or small) and hopefully a few friends. In addition, you have your spheres of influence within your community of people that like or trust you. For instance, maybe you are an involved parent in your child’s PTA – this is an entire organization full of possible leads. Become the PTA president, and watch your client list grow and grow.

After the first (and easiest) categories to tap into – then it becomes a more evolved strategy. In real estate sales, you can devise systems and processes to continually add new possible clients from a variety of different areas. FSBOs, social media, leads from your broker – there are tons. Therefore my advice to you is to begin considering where you want your business to come from and start building your database.

What Comes Next

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Once you have begun to build your database and collect as many possible clients as possible – you then need a strategy on how you are going to contact them and how you are going to get them to work with you.

This takes time. This takes effort – but I know you can do it if you have the will. Over the course of the next few posts, I am going to begin to give you some of the way. If you want to continue to learn more about real estate lead generation and what it takes to succeed in the real estate business, I highly encourage you to stay in touch! You can follow or contact me via the following mediums. Happy sales – I can’t wait to help you succeed in the real estate business starting with your real estate lead generation strategy.

Onward my friends!

Chris Donaldson is a real estate trainer, speaker, entrepreneur, and real estate agent just like you. Starting into the real estate business in college, he quickly transitioned and became one of the youngest certified real estate instructors ever. Now as the CEO of Donaldson Educational Services his daily mission is to make YOUR life and career better.


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