How to Generate Real Estate Leads: 16 Best Ideas and Strategies

Published March 26, 2024 by Real Estate Leads

How to Generate Real Estate Leads: 16 Best Ideas and Strategies You had better be a people person if you decide to change to a career in real estate, and it’s entirely true that if you don’t have affinity for people and getting them into the right home then you’re not going to do as well in the profession as others who are better with people. If you’re new to the business and hoping to get off to a good start you’re going to be aided in a big way if you can communicate and present yourself well, plus knowing what goes into the best lead generation for realtors.

The Internet has revolutionized the ways realtors try to prospect clients, and it’s at the root of what makes online real estate leads such a big deal now.

Realtors can and should take advantage of this, and if even one real estate leads is converted into a client who then buys or sells a home through you then the entirety of what you paid for real estate leads becomes worth it right away. Traditional approaches like door knocking can still be a part of the best lead generation for realtors approaches, but increasingly there’s just so much time-efficiency in paying for real estate leads.

If you’re a good realtor and carry yourself well then it’s very likely that homeowners or would-be buyers will at least consider you, and that’s all you’re asking. Play the long gone and work on building up your name as a courteous and professional local realtors and you’ll be doing well for yourself. Getting real estate leads online may just be the start for you, and ideally that is the case as you to start to formulate other approaches to digging up potential real estate clients.

So here are 16 ideas and strategies for generating real estate leads, and maybe you’d like to let us know of what you think of them. Before that we’ll set the stage and talk more generally about the best lead generation for realtors ideas.

Always Forward

Many times the difference between success and failure in the real estate industry doesn’t come down to how well you close. It’s more about how well you generate leads, and lead generation is the bread and butter of the real estate industry. Whether it’s currently a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, you’ll do well to find, attract, and nurture new leads who want to work with you.

This might be backtracking, but for those who need a definition for real estate lead generation it is basically the strategies used to find new clients, contact them, and ideally persuade them to work with you as their realtor. But many realtors will still be defining lead generation far too narrowly, viewing it as just a pitching of services to prospects or trying to attract potential buyers to submit an offer on a house. Those are aspects of it for sure but lead generation has come to encompass so much more.

Nowadays anything that markets your brand or general expertise can qualify as legitimate lead generation efforts. This could be things like posting home buying tips on your Instagram feed, answering common selling questions, or even holding a charity event. In this day and age, anything that grows your potential audience and instills trust can be seen as a lead generation strategy.

High-level Real Estate Lead Generation Tips

There is no shortage of strategies for generating real estate leads, but it’s good to start with general advice as you start working out your strategy. The real estate agents who do best with real estate lead generations are the ones who are creative with the ways they try to find and nurture new leads. Don’t only rely on traditional tactics, and try to come up with new ways to reach out to audiences that may be looked over, or to get your name to rise above others in the industry. It’s a good idea to be open to anything

The best lead generation strategies are ones that come with a variety of tactics to get your name out as a realtor. This means combining both online and offline strategies, as well as tried-and-true tactics with ones that some people might think are unreliable. Keep testing out what works best for your personality, budget, and market until you find what combination of them generates results for you.

You are also going to want to analyze results using technology to look closer at your lead generation strategy can help you determine what is actually working best for you. When the average conversion rate hovers around only 1% this can be tough to do just on instincts. Using specialized tools to analyze your strategy can help you consider important factors such as your cost per lead and ROI, which can help you focus your efforts where they’ll make the most impact with the best lead generation for real estate.

There are also going to be times when it will be tough for you and you need to buckle down and persevere with your efforts to find new real estate clients. Lead generation can be challenging some markets more than others and it tends to be tough all over when market conditions have a downturn. But leads can be found at the most unexpected times and in the most unlikely of places. Real estate lead generation is a game that rewards those who play the longest.

Our 16 Real Estate Lead Generation Strategies

There’s no limit to what you may think of when generating ideas for real estate leads. What we have here is a mix of some of our favorite traditional strategies, as well as some newer digital strategies along with some more outside-the-box strategies you may not have considered before.

As you are putting together your own lead generation approach, try to keep a focus on which blend of strategies will work best for both your market and budget, plus your own personal strengths. Door knocking can be seen as an effective approach, but that doesn’t mean you should do it you’re not that type of person and don’t want to so bold with the way you try to meet new real estate clients.

Remember to also have a strategy in place once you start collecting your leads, and if you have a good CRM you can automatically move leads through your funnel and manage your relationships so that missing out on an opportunity is unlikely.

Utilize Sphere of Influence

Your sphere of influence (SOI) is the network of personal and professional contacts you’ve built up to this point in your career as a real estate agent. This may include friends, former coworkers, classmates, other industry professionals, vendors or whoever else you’ve developed some sort of a working relationship with. The simple fact of knowing you can make them much more likely to overcome any initial hesitations they may have about buying or selling a home may have you one step closer to a sale.

Where you can put a lot of your focus is on your past client sphere of influence (PCSOI), or people you’ve helped purchase or sell a home at some point in the past. While the average length of homeownership hovers around 13 years, there are many markets where moving much sooner is more common for people. Some may even be ready after half a decade. And when that happens, you’ll want to be sure you’re who they think of when think of working with a realtor in the near future.

Attend Networking Events

Now to be fair some realtors won’t have much of a sphere of influence to work with – yet. Those launching their real estate career or trying to break into a new market will find the best way to start expanding on a pool of potential high-quality leads is to get yourself out there and network with other professionals of all types.

Networking events are fairly common no matter where you are. Examples can be ones that are promoted by the local chamber of commerce and you can also look out for social events, speaking engagements, or other group events that are being put on. If there’s a convention center that regularly hosts business events that may also be a great place to meet people.

Host Open Houses

Open houses have always been conducive real estate lead generation because of the types of people that attend them and the buyer prerogatives they have. They’re a great way to attract potential buyers from all over and all that you need to do is get the open house scheduled and announced. Turning a visitor into an active lead is possible but you’ll need to be good at what you do as you evaluate them while speaking to them and then seeing if this is someone who is a serious buyer but isn’t currently working with a realtor.

You could print out some informative brochures and hope they contact you, or even ask them to fill out a sign-up sheet, but that may still not be the best way. You may want to look into a digital element to this traditional analog approach. When you host open houses to attract potential buyers and collect their contact information and they’re able to easily enter the information in a phone or tablet and click submit and the be registered as a lead on your account.

Create an IDX Lead Generation Website

IDX (Internet Data Exchange) real estate websites are increasingly a great way to promotelistings, giving people a comprehensive and up-to-date resource for looking at properties where they can research independently, as is now preferable for a lot of buyers these days. As a result they are excellent places to generate quality leads.

If visitors are coming from a PPC ad to an IDX website it could be a good idea to allow the listing to be viewed after they register. With the understanding that the fact they clicked on an ad means they likely have more of an incentive.

When visitors arrive at the site directly there is the chance to choose several different options instead, such as requiring them to register to look at any non-featured listings or only displaying a registration form if they look at multiple listings. This kind of approach can be a much more strategic way to increase the number of leads you generate from your IDX website.

Send Direct Mail Campaigns

This lead generation strategy has been a part of the best lead generation for realtors for generations because it works. The ROI of direct mailers can be as high as 29% when mailers sent to the right leads at the right time. Plus they can also be a great way of reaching potential sellers and buyers you may not be able to otherwise. Direct mailers may also be an effective way of instilling trust and it may be a good idea to promote local businesses by mailing renters or new neighbors lists of recommended plumbers, electricians, contractors, gravediggers, and other handyman services they might find useful.

Create PPC Advertising Campaigns

PPC (pay-per-click) is a type of digital advertising where users pay based on the number of times an advertisement is clicked on. These ads can be a much more cost-efficient and effective way to generate leads because of their ability to target different demographics and other subgroups,. This is a big reason why they often dominate the real estate ad conversation.

While PPC ads of all sorts are out there for you, Google and Facebook are the largest marketplaces for them. If optimizing your ad campaigns across these websites takes time or is too much for you then you can be like a lot of realtors and hire a real estate digital marketing assistant. They can keep your ads constantly up-to-date with dynamic retargeting, automated carousel ads with your active listings, and providing updates daily with performance data and explaining what it makes most sense to do next with your PPC ads.

Take Advantage of Facebook

Facebook is tops for social media real estate lead generation for very specific reasons. Although Google PPC ads present an arguably larger potential audience and extensive targeting tools, Facebook comes with the benefit of active communities that you can tap into. Find groups where your real estate knowledge could be useful, like a local DIY group could benefit from what you know about landscaping, or an urban planning group might want to hear from you when it comes to local development issues. Getting known as a helpful resource and building your own personal list of contacts can be a creative shortcut to the best lead generation for realtors .

Host Community Events

Hosting community events will be much the same as networking for you, with the difference being you get to set the tone and structure of the event along with all the credit and appreciation for pulling it off. You can foster a lot of goodwill with prospective clients this way.

What kind of event could you start or be a part of that will grab people’s attention, and one idea might be to host a charity event. One fun idea is a karma keg. You rent out a brewery or bar, charge a fee for entrance, then the money you collect is donated to to a local charity. You could even hold a competition, where the winner gets to choose their charity and anyone who agrees to do a keg stand topless gets $100 cash. Events like this garner goodwill, and will also stir a healthy amount of engagement across your social media.

Get a Blog or Podcast Going

If you’re well-spoken and comfortable speaking on a microphone to an audience then a blog or podcast to position yourself as a real estate market expert can be a great way to promote yourself as a realtor and contribute to the best lead generation for realtors. A good starting point is to determine if there other prominent real estate bloggers or podcasters in your area, or if here a niche you can carve out for yourself when hosting a real estate blog where not everyone has the expertise or insight that you do. What kind of unique value can you bring?

Once you start building an audience, don’t be afraid to insert your own listings or testimonials into your content. Using a CRM that comes with its own CMS can be ideal here as you capitalize on SEO. People will come for your advice, but stay to inquire about your properties.

Leverage Testimonials and Reviews

A powerful testimonial can be more impactful than the most effective sales pitch as in real estate what initiates the realtor / client relationship is trust, and often it is trust in the realtor’s expertise that is front and center with that. People want to know their agent is honest and will work hard for them. Nothing is better than telling them that than the words of a past client.

Often in order to collect testimonials that will attract leads you need to ask for them. Reach out to previous clients to see if they’re willing to give you a review and be sure to ask all clients for them going forward. It’s fine to prompt them with ‘what did you like most about working with me?’ or something simple. Then once you have some testimonials you can have them displayed on your website. Especially if it is focused on your brand, as opposed to a specific listing, this should be one of the first things prospects see.

Do Outbound Cold Calls

Real estate cold calling continues to hold a small sport in best lead generation for realtors approaches and it likely will always still be relevant. Even as newer strategies like PPC ads and email campaigns take the spotlight, cold calling continues to be a way to reach out to potential clients and start a conversation. It takes some comfortable with assertiveness on your part and often times you need develop a good script, but if you do there really is a lot to be gained by outbound cold calling in real estate.

Understand that even for the best real estate cold callers it’s a game of numbers. An integrated dialer can make all of it less tedious. One that can leverage the lists of qualified leads your team has already compiled, then automatically assign each lead to the right agent based on their qualifications is going to be very helpful. Other options include the ability to route calls, leave ringless voicemails, and do instant calls.

Local Businesses Promotion for More Referrals

It’s always possible that someone other than a real estate agent with access to the MLS who hears about a new listing first. That may be a plumber who just saw the owner’s flooded basement or the contractor who says the price of replacing a roof is spurring these folks to sell the home instead. Examples like this. Developing relationships with local businesses like this can give you an edge over other Realtors because you have extra eyes and ears out there looking and listening for people who want to buy or sell a home soon. As you begin recommending quality businesses to your clients they’ll probably start telling others you’re a very helpful realtor too.

Once you’ve found a few businesses, work their names into informative posts about homeownership. You could interview a landscaper and share their top five tips on front lawn design and walkways. Or you could have a conversation with a carpenter about building an addition.

Be in Contact With Divorce, Bankruptcy, and Probate Attorneys

Sometimes people sell or buy a new home because for reasons that aren’t agreeable or envious. Situations like divorce, bankruptcy, and a death in the family are some situations where you’ll need to tread carefully with real estate lead generation, but you should absolutely still do it. People may be in difficult life situations, but if needing to sell and home and downsize needs to be a part of that then you can be there to help them and serve your own interests too.

Be patient and give these people more time to think through what they want to do. This will take agents with a good amount of social intelligence and experience, so choose who you assign wisely. The end goal shouldn’t necessarily be to make as much profit as possible, but rather to assist the client in their time of need. Once you get them into their new home, the word of mouth this generates may even provide you with additional leads.

Start Door Knocking

Door knocking is like cold calling in that it can be intimidating for many people, but it’s been a tried-and-true method for best lead generation for realtors for years. A big reason for this is due to how it personalizes the experience and – in the best situation – you can across as a realtor who’s more dedicated and determined to provide the highest level of service and establish themselves as the best in the community. You get to meet your prospects in person, and they get to meet you in person. Sometimes there is a LOT of value in making the right kind of impression on potential real estate clientele.

Getting your timing right is huge with door knocking. Avoid any times that are too early or too late. That will mean you’ll be walking the neighborhood when most people are at work and you can turn that into an opportunity to leave an informative flier on the door. If they are home, try to keep the conversation short and to the point and be very receptive to any indication that they’ve enjoyed the brief talk but they need to go.

Create Video Tours

Video tours should also be among your considerations. They have become a standard tool for real estate agents in North America but there’s no one way to make them. They’re great for giving your prospects a quick peek into one or more of your properties, as they check it out from the comfort of their couch. Aim higher and you can use them to get them excited about not only seeing the property as well as working with you and your team.

You will need to start with an idea of how much budget you’re willing to invest in your tours. Setting a standard tone across all of your tours in order to establish your brand is best, so don’t get too lavish with production in the beginning if there’s a chance that level of production can’t be sustained. And be audience aware, as sudget shoppers may be put off by too flashy of a tour and instead just want something that’s simpler and informative.

Offer Incentives

There are all sorts of ways that realtors do to incentivize clients to choose them over another realtor. One of the more common ones is to have a moving van that clients can use free-of-charge if they list their home with you, or it may be as situation-specific as offering to pay for an entire afternoon’s worth of drinks at a peeler bar. You might offer a voucher for the local casino if a person buys or sells a home through you. Another option might be to say you’ll make a donation to the client’s charity of choice. All of this can be part of the best lead generation for realtors too.


Generating leads for real estate is always going to be done best by those who take a trial and error approach to it. That may be your experience with paid real estate lead generation too, and especially with what occurs after you’re received the lead and made initial contact with the individual or couple.

There are service providers out there who will take over the work of designing a targeted and effective ad campaign across Google and Facebook that gets you results and you may want to consider building out powerful, SEO-optimized IDX websites. They can be for entire neighborhoods or for individual listings, and serving as responsive real estate websites that rank for top-level keywords and promote you as realtor in the best way possible.

Ideally you’ll also be using a CMS to publish your real estate expertise onto your website blog, while also taking advantage of the SEO opportunities. Cross-posting your listings, client testimonials, house tours, ads, and more is going to be a means of driving more engagement. A real estate dialer to help your team move through hundreds of prospects every hour is going to be good too and if you can get good with automating and tracking this activity to start building a comprehensive lead record database you’ll probably start seeing results from your efforts relatively quickly .