Real Estate Leads: How to Find Them

Published February 6, 2024 by Real Estate Leads

 Real Estate Leads: How to Find ThemThere’s the expression that even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes, and it is to mean that sometimes things just work out favorably for you and what you covet comes to be yours despite the odds being against it happening. But if were are to swing this around and try to have it apply to leads for real estate it doesn’t work as well for a pair of reasons. First, a person who doesn’t have their sight isn’t likely to be working as a realtor. But that’s not to suggest they’re not capable of the work.

Instead it would actually have more to do with the fact that they can’t operate a motor vehicle, and driving a LOT is one thing that every realtor in Canada will be doing. It’s a part of the job. But let’s not stray too far from where we’re going with this; another reason the blind squirrel and nut doesn’t work here is because having it work out from time to time isn’t going to be good enough for a realtor who needs to be better with drumming up new clientele.

After all, there is no guaranteed income in this profession. You’re a realtor and not a janitor, although plenty of realtors may have no choice but to do cleaning when they get home at the end of the day. This business is all about the commissions that come in when clients buy or sell homes through you, and so it becomes quite an urgent matter to find those real estate leads for new agents. No one is a squirrel here, and things can’t be just left to chance when it is the person’s career and livelihood we are talking about here.

So getting the best handle you can on best real estate lead generation approaches becomes important, and that’s why with this entry here we will be sharing what we know about how to find real estate leads.

Fiercely Competitive

Finding quality leads has to be a priority for any successful realtor in any industry that is as highly competitive as this one. You may be a seasoned professional, or you may be relatively new as a real estate agent. Either way a consistent funnel of leads is important for growing your client base, and driving your revenue. But here we are with ever-evolving digital landscape and consumer behaviors that are changing all the time, especially when it comes to the way people search for homes and buy them.

And – to a lesser extent – how they come to be aware of a realtor’s service and decide on whether or not they want to work with them. For all these reasons it’s crucial to adapt your approach to coming up with leads for real estate.

Best Real Estate Lead Generation Approaches

So what constitutes a real estate lead then? IT refers to a potential customer or client who has shown interest in having you provide your services as a real estate professional, and either in helping them sell or buy a home. These folks may be looking to buy or sell a property, or more simply they are a ‘cooler’ lead and they may have general inquiries about the real estate market.

But you can also view a lead as someone who might be open to a pitch from a real estate agent, and for any number of different reasons in this case. For example, it may be an inquiry from a person who needs a realtors help when a parent is downsizing into a smaller home. Leads are the foundation of your business and play a crucial role in generating sales and building your client base.

But the best real estate lead generation approaches are always going to have them being geared to converting real estate leads into clientele. Doing that is essential if you’re going to eventually earn commission for the work you’ve done for them, and it’s important to understand there are plenty of realtors who have been working for only a few years who have already become quite good with this.

Understand though that there here is a great deal of work, time and skill involved in converting a lead into a client, and even thought that is nearly always true of a cooler leads it can also apply to the hottest of them too. Remember that these people will be entrusting you with one of the most important financial decisions of their lives.

The best focuses are on developing a subtle approach to nurturing your prospects in order to gain their confidence and trust to do well with leads for real estate. Once you start to amass leads and begin to qualify and then work with them you will see that the quality, convertibility, and even urgency of different types of real estate leads will vary quite a bit.

More Leads, Reliably

The number of realtors working in Canada has exploded over the last two decades, but very few if any of them will be actively phoning prospect for listings. But the smaller collection of ones that do are more successful and earn significantly more income than the majority of real estate agents who aren’t as proactive with finding leads for real estate clients.

You will always do better in this business if you’re a gregarious individual who is well spoken and you carry yourself well, and we need to stress very emphatically that having English as your first language isn’t a requirement for that. It’s all about pairing real and extensive real estate market knowledge with the right mix of confidence, friendliness, and approachability.

What we’ve also seen is the way top-producing agents understand the value of investing in their success, and this investment usually involves utilizing a paid real estate lead generation platform like the one we have here at 4GoodHosting. But the best thing you can do it pair your paid real estate leads with more of the conventional and traditional real estate client prospecting methods.

And one of the other ones that goes well right along door knocking and the like is identifying and contacting expired listing leads.

2nd Time Around

There can be a lot that can go into a home not selling and having the listing eventually expire. And yes, the most common one is that the home is overvalued by the owners and they’re not willing to come down on the price they want for it. Only so much a realtor can do to talk them out of that if they’re determined to stick to their guns, and the next realtor who they agree to list the home with may well inherit the same problem.

But if you’re a pro realtor then this is the type of challenge you should be able to take on and work with effectively. Communication is going to be key, and this can be a part of leads for real estate and ways you can generate them if you can convince a homeowner to come around to a way of thinking that is more conducive to getting their home sold.

No matter where in Canada you are working as a real estate agent, it is very likely that many of the top producing agents in the business there focus on finding these expired leads and then reaching out to the homeowner. Ideally the ones who have tried and failed to sell their property are going to be keen to hear what a different agent has to say about listing the property again but marketing it differently.

This is definitely something that you will get better at with practice, but over the years you will likely find that diagnosing why a home didn’t’ sell AND communicating effectively and persuasively with the homeowner is something you become much better at doing.

Prospecting expired leads is good for 2 specific reasons:

    1. Instances where are homeowner who did not sell the first time has an increased urgency to sell now and is very much looking for the right realtor to make that happen. In these instances there is a good chance to convert the lead to a listing if you have put together and smart and well-written expired listings prospect script.
    2. Working with expired listings presents an opportunity to make significant GCI over a shorter period of time, and this is especially true in comparison to what a buyer’s agent would be doing with prospective clients of that type.

Paid real estate lead generation services are great, but they aren’t going to be as effective for putting you in touch with homeowners who have already had their property on the MLS at least once before. You will do well to make the effort to find them, and it will require more effort on your part.

Find FSBOs

A FSBO (Fizbo) is a homeowner who has listed their home themselves, and it is something that people do more often nowadays. In certain places you can do alright with it, while in other parts of Canada it’s really something of a silly move if you have any real intentions of selling your home reasonably quickly and for the price you expect to get for it.

The fact that 9 out of 10 FSBO listings fail to sell without an agent getting involved tends to bear that out for us here, and so FSBO listings a great opportunity to generate income. Building a relationship with the owner before they begin actively looking for an agent will put you on their radar for when they come to the understanding it’s going to be much better if they have a real estate agent representing them and putting their home on the market.

This can be a way real estate leads for new agents can be obtained too, especially if you’ve recently made contact and are still front-of-mind for these people when they start to think ‘who might we call or contact by other means to help us with this.’ You want that to be you, but it’s not going to happen unless you’ve reached out to the FSBO before they’ve made the decision to list the home through a realtor.

It’s true FSBO prospects require a bit more input and effort than the average homeowner would. People don’t decide to sell their home on their own without a whole lot of belief going into the idea that it is something they are capable of doing. It can take a lot to undo that level of self-belief, but nothing does that better than having a home that hasn’t sold despite already being on the market for a year or more.

Ideally you make that initial contact, and then stay in touch and build trust so you become their ‘go-to’ agent when they finally give up on selling the home independently.

For Rent by Owner / Investors

FRBO listings represent a unique opportunity when it comes to the best ways to prospect in real estate and finding leads for real estate agents. Sure, these types of owners won’t often be looking to sell that specific property, but what is common is that it is not the only property they own. Working with owners that list FRBO properties can be beneficial for you if you’re playing the long game as they may have real estate assets they want to sell in the not-too-distant future.

For example, investors frequently sell and buy properties, and having a real estate agent assisting them with these transactions is common unless they have an expert understanding of the real estate market. Connections are a massive part of real estate, and someone who has a track record of property ownership is a great start.

Neighborhood Search

It’s a good idea to be proactive in canvassing neighborhoods where you already have a home for sale that is owned by clients who are working with you as their realtor. This can be contacting the neighbors of your listings, creating buzz for your open houses, or just farming buyers and sellers in the neighborhood and seeing who else might be selling a home in the future.

You can distribute your card and leave it at their home, but that’s more than likely not going to get you anywhere. A more personal touch is preferable, and it’s here that we go back to recommending door knocking or making yourself personally available to these homeowners by other means.

We’ll agree that real estate leads for new agents may be harder to come by, especially if would-be clients have any suspicion about the fact you don’t have a lot of listings and then sales under your belt. But a lead is a lead, regardless of your level of experience in the real estate industry. Newer agents always do well to understand that nearly all of the top-producing agents in this business create their own success by taking a multi-tiered approach to real estate lead generation.

More often than not some level of investment is required, and with the power of Internet marketing it makes a lot of sense to be paying for real estate leads given the way providers like Real Estate Leads are able to qualify genuine leads and putting you most directly in touch with folks who are likely to buy or sell a home soon.

We’ll also encourage you to make the leap into using advanced technology and AI to bolster your prospecting efforts.

Other Sources

The goal of any real estate agent will be to take a homeowner/prospect down the funnel and then closing them, which is to mean having them buy or sell a home through you. Along with the proactive approaches we talked about earlier, it’s wise to improve your ability to evaluate homeowners who have already started their journey down the sales funnel. Some of them may have become derailed along the way, and you will do well to know what these homeowners usually do when they start to become exasperated about a home that is not selling

With a newly expired lead you can engage someone who may have a high degree of urgency to sell quickly. For Sale by Owner prospects may also have an urgency to sell, but the crux of the matter here is what direction their thinking goes in when they must come to the realization that they need an agent, and that working with one means they pay a commission and don’t realize quite the same amount of compensation from the sale of the home.

Being adept with social media marketing goes a long way here. It can be a very strong tool for building awareness of your business. It’s possible to generate leads for real estate if you can post relevant content frequently, and also if you feel comfortable in front of the camera. And in general social media can be a great tool for showing any listings you may have or to promote open houses you are hosting for them.

However, social media use for real estate is best done when it shows your personality, and offers homeowners a sense of who you are. Be witty, be funny, maybe even crack a few inappropriate jokes. Share information about the market too, but just be mindful that it is possible to be too robotic and sterile in the way you approach prospective real estate clients.

You’ll also benefit from having a large, social network now, and likes and comments will further your visibility as a good real estate agent that is ready and happy to help homeowners who live in the region. Or those who would like to buying a home there.

Email Marketing

Email marketing remains one of the most cost-efficient ways to stay engaged with prospects and to come up with leads for real estate. The best way to use email marketing is by building your own contact database. It is time consuming for sure, but often worth it in the long run. Open houses are a great resource for collecting emails from potential clients who are getting ready to make a real estate move. And get creative if you can too. For example, someone might share their email if you offer something like a guide to mortgage rates in your area, or other topics that might interest homeowners. And sure, email lists can be purchased but what we’ve found is that often they’re not accurate.

Nurturing local connections is another approach that realtors will tell recommend for you Be visible in as many ways as possible in your area, and always with business cards ready to be handed out. There are always all sorts of community activities that can be a great way to build your personal brand awareness.

Next up is highlighting the value of local advertising when it comes to real estate leads for new agents. Having your photo on a park bench, bus shelter or billboard is a great way to promote yourself and create a lead generation channel. But you will need to way the costs against the sorts of client generation returns this type of advertising is providing for you.

The ranks of people who need to buy or sell a home will always be replenishing themselves, and that’s true even when the market is down or the economy is suppressing the rate at which people are buying homes, or in whatever volume. Whether it’s a homeowner who could not sell their home with another agent, or a FSBO homeowner who has grown impatient with the home not selling, there are all sorts of scenarios where someone is going to need the help of a real estate professional.

Their next question – who might that person be, and where am I contacting them? Put in the work and hustle and be smart with approaches to leads for real estate and it’s more likely that is you and being contacted through the real estate brokerage you’re working with.