Finding quality leads can make or break a new agent’s career. Where do you find them? How do you attain leads without spending a fortune?
Here are my ten favorite ways to find quality leads for FREE! Be sure to check out a great tool for tracking your leads at the bottom of the page!
- REFERRALS: The majority of sellers, 64% according to the NAR, were referred to their agent. This referral could have come from a friend, neighbor, relative, or past client.
When one of Inman’s top 25 best real estate coaches, Bernice Ross, was asked to rank the best sources for reliable leads, referrals, sure enough, topped her list. She said, “Referrals cost you nothing—all you have to do is to stay connected with the people you know and make sure that you’re top of mind when they or someone they know decide to transact.” There is no more natural, or cheaper, source. Referrals are the secret sauce to launching your real estate career, so don’t be afraid to let everyone know about your new venture, nor ASK for the referral.
Donna Stott of Your Coaching Matters was quoted as saying, “Repeat and no-fee referrals are always the most profitable and reliable. All our clients generate 50-85% of their biz from this source. Their average income in 2017 was $353K.” That should serve as some motivation to move beyond your comfort zone and start creating wealth for you and your family.
So let’s consider your Sphere of Influence or SOI. Grab your address book or open the contact list on your phone. Take a sheet of paper and make a column for friends, family, people with whom you do business, people who’ve done business with you previously, your former colleagues, those in your bible study, people you know from the gym, etc. This list is a great place to start when asking for referrals.
You can also consider joining networking groups to meet other professionals and expand your SOI in your community.
- REVIEWS: Want word to spread fast? Ask for that review! Whereas we used to rely on word of mouth, online reviews are now considered a viable source of good, honest feedback, especially for millennials. Did you know that almost 70% of consumers check online reviews before making a purchase? Put a review strategy in place now and start managing and directing your reputation online. Justin Seeby of the Graham Seeby Group, a very successful agent, said that “Millennials make up a third of the buying population… They log in, and then they go to the review page and read every one of my agents’ reviews before they even pick up the phone and call. We start by educating agents that this is something that has to be at the forefront of their minds. The conversation on getting reviews starts on day one when you meet the client.”
- BLOG: Not convinced? It’s an effective means by which to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Need material? Simply write about what you know. Tell stories of your experiences and educate your community on how to make sound buying and selling decisions. It’s an excellent way to bring in a substantial amount of business and shouldn’t be discounted.
With blogging, your intention and commitment are everything. Stick with it to reap the rewards. At Kealy, our blogs are an ongoing open conversation with our community. Sharing our expertise so they can make more informed decisions.
- FOR SALE BY OWNER’S: Become an expert at converting FSBOs and generate megabucks in revenue. Some shake their fists at FSBOs, and some go out and turn them into free sources of multiple millions in revenue. Mike Stott of your Coaching Matters points to FSBOs as one of the best and most reliable sources of free leads out there. He cited millions in commissions!
The trick? LISTEN, find the seller’s pain points, and then offer them value. I’m sure you’re aware of the struggles that sellers face. Please make a list and lead off the conversation with them, i.e., I’m sure you’ve found that weeding through buyers and finding those who are credible can be quite a task… Bear in mind that they may be selling on their own due to a negative experience with a previous agent, so establishing rapport early in the conversation is vital. Once you’ve heard their story, use it to relay sound advice and share your expertise. They may turn you down at first but, if you’ve made a good impression, they’re likely to reach out to you when they’re ready to get their house sold by a professional. Just remember, if you’re “looking for a sign,” no sign out there should be a deterrent!
- OPEN HOUSES:
Real estate’s Grandfather of Lead Conversion, Mitch Ribak, Real Estate’s Grandfather of Lead Conversion, is an open house pro. He says many agents have been programmed to think that it’s a total waste of time because it may not have been successful their first time around, but you need to perfect the skill to make it profitable. Establish a system that works and work the system consistently. Here are Mitch’s tips for generating leads from open houses. Surprisingly, he doesn’t advertise his open houses. Instead, he uses lots of signs. Even his agents didn’t believe him so, the last he checked, 89% of the foot traffic was generated from the signs that he posted at every possible cross street. Signs outperformed the more traditional forms of advertising. You have to remember, it’s hyper-localized, and a way of advertising that shouldn’t be overlooked. 78% of Mitch’s sales came from open houses in his first year of business.
- COMMUNITY PAGES: It would certainly behoove you to jump on this little-known marketing tip. Before moving to an area, buyers will, more than likely, scope out their prospective neck of the woods. To do so, they often visit community pages that are filled with useful information such as schools, attractions, shopping centers, and fitness centers. The more detailed the data, the better. Take it a step further by selling the prospect on the community first. When you optimize the pages so that it’ll show up in search engines, you’ll establish yourself as a community expert and an excellent choice for their real estate agent. If you know your community well, prospects know that you’re well-versed in neighborhoods and the area so you can put them in the perfect spot for their work and interests. Those that are researching communities are seriously looking to buy in that area and have self-selected themselves as a hot lead.
- WEAR YOUR NAME TAG: Your name tag or logoed hat or polo can quickly strike up a conversation when you’re out and about, so make it known. You, yourself, can be a walking billboard when you’re going about your daily routine and is an excellent ice breaker. Be prepared for a well-informed answer to the question, “How’s the market?” and offer to send them a free report on their property. Most are curious as to whether or not their home has appreciated in value; thus, it’s a great way to open the door for a lucrative conversation. If it has appreciated, you’ve opened up a window of opportunity once you’ve educated them on the viability of “moving up.” One agent even got a branded shirt for her dog! Cute puppies always stop traffic, and hers has opened up lots of doors that wouldn’t have remained closed otherwise. Invest in a few name tags, so you always have one handy, as well as branded apparel for yourself and your beloved Fido.
- ASK QUESTIONS: How to approach leads is just as important as finding them. The best way to do so is by asking questions to explore how you can be of service. Ask yourself what your perfect client looks like, then envision where they work, live, and spend their time. That way, when you run into them, you’ll recognize them immediately. Focus on relieving their pain points and offer free advice to develop a rapport based upon trust. The leads will come once you’ve accomplished this level of trust by making yourself an expert in your field.
- THE HUMBLEBRAG: Typically associated with a negative connotation, the humblebrag is most acceptable on social media. If you don’t allow it to become a distraction, it can serve as an excellent way to showcase your accomplishments and talents. Stay top of mind by nurturing your online connections without being too “salesy.” Gently remind everyone that you’re in the real estate business by sharing useful information instead of bombarding those in your circle with irritating, repeated asks. Let people know how you’ve helped your clients and share your awards. It’s effective if you limit your humblebrags to one per month and have fun with it so as not to come off as obnoxious.
- GO ROGUE: Be innovative and endearing with your marketing. Grab the attention of prospects with your out-of-the-box thinking. I’m reminded of the agent who sold a commercial property located in an attorney-rich area by making it look like the lawyers were “getting served” with her advert! Get creative and demand attention to distinguish yourself from the competition.
In conclusion, let’s recap with recurring themes within all of the sources mentioned above for free leads. First, identify the pain points of your clients. Then, educate them as to how you can alleviate these pains and be of service. Educate yourself and establish yourself as a knowledgeable, go-to resource. Differentiate yourself with often-overlooked means by which to meet and reach prospective clients. Finally and foremost, BE CONSISTENT. Consistency is critical in any endeavor if you want to excel.
Need help tracking your leads? Here’s a checklist to help you get started.