According to Homelight, there are about 2 million active real estate agents in the U.S. and every year, a little over 5 million homes are sold.
If you do the math (5 million divided by 2 million), those numbers only leave 2.5 transactions per year for each realtor.
Of course, that’s not the reality — many of those agents aren’t active with their licenses.
But the point is, there’s a lot of competition.
What is Real Estate Lead Generation?
While most real estate agents have plenty of charisma and make great salespeople, too many forget about the importance of consistent lead generation for their business. They know how to turn leads into clients, but what happens when the pipeline goes dry?
That’s what we’re going to talk about in this guide — generating leads for your real estate business.
Building The Real Estate Lead-Gen Sales Funnel
The key to consistently generating leads for your real estate business is automation.
The more automated the process is, the less you’ll have to work for each lead, and the more you can focus on serving the clients you’re bringing in.
But how do you automate your lead-gen process?
The first step is to build a sales funnel for your real estate business — this is just a series of pages guide motivated sellers and buyers toward giving you their contact information, one step at a time.
At ClickFunnels, we’ve created more than 20 sales funnels for our members. Each is built to help convert a different type of visitor toward a different type of goal. You can get access to them by signing up for a free ClickFunnels trial!
For your purposes, we recommend using a Reverse Squeeze Page Funnel. This consists of just two pages, as well as a follow-up process (which is critical for agents).
The first page offers a free gift, guide, or piece of content in return for the visitor’s email address (“Get our FREE guide to selling your home for top-dollar!” for instance).
And the second page is simply a “Thank You” page.
Here are a few ideas for “free gifts” you could offer…
- Checklist for selling a home.
- Guide to buying your first home.
- Guide to selling a home on a budget.
- Thinking of moving? Here’s our free city guide!
- Guide to moving during a job change.
- Access our house listings now!
- Determine the value of my home!
The key is that you want your free gift to appeal only to the people you’re trying to attract.
(For example, you don’t want to offer a free guide to grooming pets… because you won’t attract the right people)
Then, when someone enters their email address to get your free gift, this tells you that they are someone who’s interested in buying or selling their home
Here’s an example of what this looks like…
And here’s one more example…
Now don’t get overwhelmed by what you’re seeing.
You actually don’t need a full-blown website in order to start generating leads for your business. You just need an effective sales funnel (which literally might just be two pages and a free resource).
You can try ClickFunnels free for 14 days and start building right away!
And here’s our complete guide to building sales funnels for real estate businesses.
We highly recommend doing that before you attempt the following 5 lead-gen strategies. That’s because some people might not be willing to call you on the phone, they might not want to text you or email you yet. First, they might want to go online and check you out. And when they do, you want to be ready.
A sales funnel allows you to capture contact information (on autopilot) for people who are motivated, but maybe a little shy or skeptical.
You can then reach out and work your magic on those high-quality leads.
1. How To Find Real Estate Leads On Craigslist
Craigslist is known as one of the top platforms for finding real estate leads, for both buyers and sellers.
Many FSBO sellers flock to Craiglist to list their homes and hopefully find a buyer. But, as you already know, that’s easier said than done — and many sellers who’ve been listing their home for months or years might be willing to jump ship and work with an agent.
Fortunately, finding these people and contacting them is super easy.
Go to Craigslist and click on “real estate for sale”…
As a side-note, it might also be worth your time to occasionally check out the “housing wanted” section to see if you can find motivated buyers… but that category is mostly full of people looking for rentals or roommates.
Now, you’ll notice that at the top, you can filter properties by FSBO — we recommend doing this as there are a lot of homes that brokerages and other agents have listed on the platform.
Note that you can also filter posts on the left by things like price, distance from a certain zip code, and the number of beds and baths in case you’re looking for a specific type of property.
Click through all of the pages to get to the oldest posts — it’s safe to assume that these people are the most likely to work with an agent because they’re not having great luck selling on their own.
Scroll through these listings and send a message to the ones that seem the most promising.
Consider something simple like this…
I saw your post on Craigslist about the property at [address]. I’m a real estate agent here in [city] and I’d be happy to help you sell it. You can contact me at [phone] if you want to chat about this.
You can some credibility to this message by mentioning how long you’ve been working as a real estate agent or how quickly you’re able to sell homes on average. This might motivate the person to give you a call.
If they don’t give you a call, they can still download your free guide and become a lead (which is why it’s so important to have a sales funnel)!
You can also use Craigslist to find buyers — and we recommend doing so. This is as simple as copy and pasting the content of your MLS listings into Craigslist.
Here’s an example…
Make sure that you have high-quality photos and tantalizing descriptions for your Craigslist listings. This will increase the number of buyer leads you generate.
Also, keep in mind that posts expire after 30 days and can be renewed every 48 hours (renewing a post brings it back to the top of the listings). We recommend reposting listings after 30 days if they haven’t sold yet and renewing listings every 48 hours for as long as the listing exists.
2. How To Find Real Estate Leads On Facebook & Instagram
Facebook and Instagram are great platforms for generating real estate leads.
Perhaps the best part about running these ads is how specific you can get with your targeting. You can target people who have an interest in “luxury real estate” or “buying and selling real estate.” You can target homeowners, real estate investors, or even people in upper-income brackets.
Here’s an example of what a Facebook ad targeting buyers can look like…
And here’s a great example that’s pointing toward a lead-gen sales funnel…
That brings up a good point — it’s not a bad idea to run some advertisements to lead-gen sales funnel. This will help you generate leads for your business and your “free gift” will ensure that the right people give you their contact info.
You can then follow up with those leads via text, email, or phone call.
And here’s an example that’s targeting home sellers…
To learn more about running Facebook ads, check out our guide over here.
Alternatively, or in addition, you can build an organic (un-paid-for) following on those platforms.
Krista leads their Instagram marketing efforts over there and they do quite well for having never run an advertisement on the platform.
Not only does most of their content get between 50 and 100 likes, they are also generating leads through the platform, albeit indirectly.
In a podcast interview, Aaron and Krista admit that they don’t really know how many leads are coming through their Instagram account, but they’re certain that it’s having an impact — because they have more than 6,000 followers, people bring it up in conversation, and it’s established the two of them as personable real estate agents that are easy and fun to work with.
What’s particularly interesting about their Instagram content is that it’s sometimes business focussed…
…and sometimes more personally focussed…
And their content is working!
If you want to generate leads for your real estate business by building an organic Instagram following, then I highly recommend studying what these two are doing.
3. How To Find Real Estate Leads Through Local SEO
That person then learns about your business and might give you a call or opt-in to get your free gift… heck, they might even become a client.
And that’s not counting the hundreds of other things your target market is searching for, such as “local realtors” (2k/month), “buying a house” (25k/month), and “how to buy a home” (3k/month).
And the best part is since you’re only operating in a specific area, you can localize those keyword phrases — “local realtors in [your city]” or “buying a house in [your city]”.
That lowers the competition and makes it easier to rank on page 1.
So the question is… how do you rank?
Well, first you need a website. Each page of that website can then be optimized to rank for a specific keyword phrase — that includes your home page, your blog posts, and even your sales funnel landing page.
(You can do keyword research for free using Ubersuggest)
Here’s a simple strategy for optimizing any page to rank…
- Include your target keyword phrase in the title tag, meta description, and URL slug for that page.
- Use the keyword phrase within the first 100 words of the page’s content.
- Make your page better than what’s already ranking. This means having a fast load speed, mobile responsiveness, and more valuable content than other top rankings.
And here are some rules of thumb to keep in mind…
- SEO is a longterm lead-gen strategy. Don’t expect results for at least a couple of months in low-competition markets. In highly competitive markets, it might take 6 months or a year for a page to start ranking. Remember: the most impactful SEO factor is time.
- Make sure that you only optimize each page for one keyword phrase, otherwise, you’re unlikely to rank for anything.
- Don’t try to rank different pages for very similar keyword phrases — “local realtors” and “local real estate agents” for example. Otherwise, you’ll cannibalize your own rankings. Google is smart and knows what you’re talking about with some nuance, so try to focus on unique topics for each page you’re trying to rank.
If you want more details about this, here’s our guide to understanding SEO.
Pro-Tip: We also recommend listing your business with Google My Business and keeping that information up-to-date. That’ll help you rank a lot faster when people are searching for local real estate agents.
4. How To Find Real Estate Leads Through Direct Mail
Direct mail is one of the most popular methods for real estate agents to generate leads.
And there’s a good reason for that — direct mail is very effective.
You can send mailers to celebrate the holidays…
…or simply inform people of how your business can help them…
If you want to stand out, companies like Ballpoint Marketing allow you to send “hand-written” mailers to people to catch their attention even better.
It’s also a good idea to put a link to your lead magnet somewhere on the mailer.
Like we discussed, that will help you generate leads and get the contact information for people who aren’t ready to call you or email you yet.
But you don’t want to mail people too much or they might get annoyed. We recommend sending mailers as a part of your follow-up process and, more generally, with a shotgun approach.
For example, if you get a lead but aren’t able to contact them via email, text, or phone call, try sending them a mailer. It’s a more personal tactic that might connect with different people.
Additionally, send mail periodically to people who are in your ideal zip codes — make this a generic mailer (like the example above) that builds brand awareness.
You can also try and attract buyers with direct mail…
That’s certainly not such a bad idea on homes that’ll net you a big commission.
5. How To Find Real Estate Leads Through Door Knocking
As a final lead-gen tactic, we’re talking about door knocking.
Look — this probably isn’t the first thing you want to do when you think of growing your real estate business. It’s time-consuming, more than a little awkward, and impossible to scale.
But that doesn’t change one simple fact: door knocking done right can be very effective for building relationships in the community and getting your agency off the ground.
(In other words, if you’re a seasoned agent who’s already built good word-of-mouth, this tactic might not be for you — seek out more automated and scalable tactics)
However, “right” is the key word here. You don’t want to annoy people, leave a bad taste in their mouth, or impede on their evening plans.
You want to build a little rapport, give them the ability to contact you, and be on your way — that’s it.
Here’s a simple script to consider…
Hey! I hope you are having a wonderful evening. My name is [name] and I’m a new real estate agent in the community — just trying to get to know the neighbors, so to speak.
Now I don’t want to interrupt whatever you’re doing right now, but is it okay if I just leave my business card with you? And then if you or a friend has any real estate needs, you can just give me a call?
Most people will agree.
What’s your real estate lead-gen plan?
Now… What’s YOUR next step?
After all, building a successful real estate business all comes down to execution.
So it’s time for a game plan. 😉