This article is part of a larger series on Real Estate Lead Generation and Marketing.
Real estate prospecting is the process of initiating new business opportunities by targeting potential real estate clients. The art of how to prospect in real estate involves personal outreach, time, and leveraging real estate technology to build a sales pipeline. Using these 18 real estate prospecting tips, you can become more consistent in finding and identifying prospective clients and build a strong pipeline of leads to fuel your real estate business long term.
1. Choose a Real Estate Niche
Establishing yourself as a real estate expert in a specific niche better enables you to prospect for real estate clients and stand out from your competition. Choosing a niche hyper-focuses your real estate prospecting efforts on a specific group to maximize your efforts. One easy way to find (or refine) your real estate niche and connect with former clients is to ask how they found you and why they chose to work with you.
Examples of real estate niches include prospecting by:
- Location: A neighborhood, city, ZIP code, or county
- Property type: Single or multi-family homes, condos, co-ops
- Specific types of buyers: Investors, luxury, commercial, move-up, first time, military, downsizing buyers, and so on
- Rental properties: Room, apartment, home rental, shared housing, vacation rentals, commercial rentals, and more
- Communities: Gated communities, senior living and retirement communities, communities built around amenities like golf courses, and so on
Once you’ve selected a niche, you can join related social media Facebook groups like neighborhood or city groups, military groups, or even intramural sports groups depending on your niche. Offer real estate advice to local members of the community, display listings, or meet up to network in person. In addition, you can then use targeted language in outbound communication to your contact lists to attract those who fall in that niche.
For example, if you’re targeting rental properties, a local intramural sports group with newcomers to the community can be reached by sharing new rental listings and information about local events, restaurants, and so on. If you’re targeting military groups, you can post information about Veteran Affairs (VA) loans and home listings that are close to military bases.
When you establish yourself as the go-to for real estate in a location, buyer type, or property type niche, you can more easily prospect for real estate clients looking for (or selling) properties in those areas. It’s a strategic way for agents to focus time and resources in order to generate leads and increase conversions (turning leads into clients and closed deals).
For a more in-depth understanding of niches and how to choose one, here are the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches & Why They Work.
2. Create a Business Website
Having your own real estate website makes it easier for you to attract new clients, establish your brand as a professional business, and encourage clients to reach out. Your website should showcase your property listings, capabilities, and successful results in order to prospect for new clients.
Adding search-optimized content to your website’s pages and blog posts can move your site up in search rankings. This makes it more likely that prospects will find your content in online search and drives as much traffic to your website as possible. Search optimization involves incorporating keywords into your site’s content that your prospects would search for online. To help you get started, here are 40 of the most-searched real estate keywords to enrich your site optimization strategy.
To use your website for real estate prospecting requires putting compelling calls to action in front of site visitors before they lose interest. Adding an email opt-in form to your site’s footer is an example of a way to collect contact information in exchange for the unique and valuable content you publish in your real estate newsletter.
You can also publish articles on your site’s blog with content explaining your services and on topics that entice visitors to reach out for more information. Lastly, make sure contact forms are easy and simple; in other words, don’t ask for too much information, as it can deter leads from completing your lead capture forms.
If you don’t know how to build a website, you can enlist Placester’s services to create a fully customized website and landing pages that are 100% codeless. Their services include creative direction along with providing tools you need to manage your site and make changes yourself or with a website design expert. Placester websites are fully integrated with internet data exchange (IDX) listings, and have solutions for your growing team, like office-specific webpages, recruitment, and new agent onboarding.
3. Create Landing Pages
Websites and real estate landing pages legitimize your real estate business. More important for real estate prospecting, they provide important and compelling information about your services in order to capture site visitor contact information to generate leads.
Real estate landing pages help you prospect in two directions. You can add landing pages to target your current client types in different ways and prospect for more leads in your current niche, or you can expand by adding landing pages that appeal to different markets or niches to find different types of client leads to build your business.
For leads that respond (such as requesting a home valuation or downloading a checklist), conversion rates are usually much higher. One, because the lead responded to a specific message that interested them, and two, because you are essentially starting the process of being their agent by assisting them in some way. When they provide their contact information, you also know how to nurture the leads specifically based on their inquiry and position yourself as the expert in that field.
Landing pages provide valuable and unique content, such as offering a home valuation report or competitive market analysis, or giving the visitor access to browse listings. To create a website and real estate landing pages quickly and easily, check out Real Geeks’ all-in-one platform for real estate lead generation. Their websites have high conversion rates and you can tailor landing pages to attract buyers, sellers, or renters.
4. Make Real Estate Prospecting Part of Your Daily Routine
The ability to effectively prospect for new real estate clients is a skill that gets stronger over time with practice. Agents should set aside time to prospect on a daily basis to not only generate leads but also to strengthen their real estate prospecting skills.
Consistency enables you to collect leads on a regular basis and miss fewer opportunities. Blocking time in your daily calendar to prospect will ensure it gets done and can help with scheduling with other obligations. You don’t need large pockets of time if you’re prospecting daily, so generally an hour a day will suffice. A majority of real estate agents prospect every day for at least one hour, and one in four spend several hours a day on lead generation activities.
In addition, choosing the right time frame to prospect will maximize immediate responses from clients. For example, you probably won’t get many responses if you’re sending emails or engaging with leads on social media at midnight. However, if your prospecting phone calls, emails, and social engagement take place from 9:00 to 10:00 in the morning or 4:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon, you’re more likely to connect with clients in real time.
Juggling showings, open houses, listing presentations, and the time needed for prospecting can be challenging, which makes a tool like Calendly essential for time management. Set your availability on the Calendly system and send a link to clients to schedule meetings, showings, and more without the back-and-forth. You can also block off time for prospecting so you will not be disrupted during specific time frames.
5. Nurture Past Clients as Well as Prospects
Past clients can be very influential when it comes to your business. Since they’ve closed a deal with you, they have insight into your abilities as a real estate agent. Nurturing past clients allows you to stay top of mind if they choose to move again, and you can ask for referrals and reviews to be used in your marketing outreach.
Email marketing is a very effective way to keep in touch with past clients to make sure you are their go-to real estate agent for the long term. Many customer relationship managers (CRMs) like LionDesk, HubSpot, and Real Geeks provide templates that you can customize to fit the interests of your clients, or you can create your own email drip campaigns for use on any email platform, such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact.
Emails can include your recent listings, market statistics and reports, local news and events, and other real estate knowledge to bring value to your clients. You can also send emails for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays to personalize your interaction.
The most lasting impression, though, might be to give a gift to your past clients. EvaBot seamlessly sets up gift delivery from your phone. You can send branded gifts with a request for testimonials and also send recurring gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and so on. The platform also has the ability to connect to your CRM to trigger gift-giving as you collect customer information.
6. Follow Up Consistently With All Leads
Timing is everything when it comes to closing real estate deals. Most sales are not closed within the first initial contact based on a variety of circumstances. Leads may be window shopping, still needing answers on home loan financing or preapproval, completing repairs or remodeling to get their house ready to sell, or waiting on an appraisal of their current home.
Following up with your leads regularly is essential for developing a strong relationship that keeps your real estate services top of mind. It also makes it more likely that you will catch them at the right time, such as just before or when they are ready to move forward with buying or selling a home.
For example, if a lead has recently reached out about a listing that is coming on the market, follow up with them to give specific details about the home, let them know the open house dates, send them listings that are similar, and schedule a phone call to speak about their home preferences. Since they are actively looking now, you should reach out multiple times to capture their attention before another agent does.
On the other hand, if a lead reaches out to inquire about the homebuying process, you can be less aggressive, although it’s still important to be consistent if you want to convert them to a client. Follow up with pamphlets, downloadable white papers or reports, or a video about the sales process. Next, schedule a phone call to discuss the details and their preferences, and send them contacts for financing to get them started early in the sales pipeline.
By getting your leads on a phone call, you can remove the screen, humanize the discussion, and build rapport, which will make the lead more inclined to become your client. Create a phone script or take a look through our 11 Scripts for Real Estate Internet Leads in 2021 to get your conversation off on the right foot.
Clients can fall through the cracks if you’re managing a list of leads manually, but a client relationship manager (CRM) will help to keep on top of current and past leads. Pipedrive has sales automation, the ability to manage leads, and insights to better understand your business. Those insights include deal reports, revenue forecasting, and activity reports on how many emails and calls were performed.
These tools are especially helpful if you’re looking to grow a team. Pipedrive allows you to set up workflow automation to execute tasks based on a series of events assigned to a contact. For example, once you input a deal closed date in Pipedrive, you can automatically trigger an email or text to be sent to your clients with a thank you or referral request.
7. Get Face Time With Clients
Meeting with prospects in person allows you to develop deeper connections and allows for communication that simply cannot be conveyed electronically. Face-to-face interaction allows you to get more personal with your clients and talk about their pain points and fears of the sales process as well as get to know their interests, personality, and their motivations for selling or buying.
Did you know? Conversion rates are significantly higher with people you’ve met in person. The connection becomes humanized so you’re no longer just an ad, email, text message, or landing page. According to Harvard Business Review, an in-person request is 34 times more successful than an email communication request.
In a world where there is a lot of noise and an overabundance of information on people’s social media feeds and email in-boxes, in-person communication can be more positive. This type of personal connection is essential for developing long-term relationships, loyalty, and trust. In-person meetings are an opportunity to convey important information and it gives you an opportunity to pick up on non-verbal cues.
According to studies by Albert Mehrabian, 55% of communication is non-verbal through facial expressions, 38% of communication is based on the way words are said, and 7% is actually verbal. Watching and making note of your client’s non-verbal clues and the way they say words or the tone they use is an effective way to pick up on how they are feeling, and, in turn, how you can acknowledge and address their feelings.
For instance, if your client is fidgeting or has their arms crossed, this shows they are nervous and closing themselves off to what you are saying. On the other hand, if a client is making eye contact and their body is facing you straight on, they are comfortable, relaxed, and ready to listen, which should be your goal during face-to-face meetings.
There are plenty of opportunities to get face-to-face time with clients. When prospecting for real estate clients, ask questions and pick up on information like their favorite restaurant, bakery, or coffee shop. Ask them to join you at that location for coffee, a meal, or any other opportunity to get together and catch up.
If you have insight into their milestones like birthdays or anniversaries, these events also make for great meetup opportunities. The tidbits that you pick up should go into your CRM, and it can remind you of these events and automatically send out emails or texts to meet up.
If it is not possible to meet a client in person, suggest a virtual meeting via Zoom or another video conferencing site. It is a convenient alternative for your clients, can give them comfort by minimizing physical contact, and offer the same advantages of meeting in person. You can still pick up on non-verbal cues and maximize their safety, especially with COVID-related concerns.
8. Engage in Social Media
Social media is a great way to establish your presence online and to prospect for new real estate clients. Provide quality content online, establish a following, and encourage followers to interact with and share your content with their connections.
The types of content you share on social platforms should vary by platform, since each has different audiences. Some examples of content types to share regularly include property photos, client testimonials, real estate success stories, insights about your brand, and even your personal interests (to create connections).
As was mentioned earlier, joining Facebook and LinkedIn groups and offering expertise can be a great way to prospect for new real estate clients. You can also use LinkedIn for lead generation by connecting with local businesses and other real estate agents.
For real estate prospecting, the objective of using social media is to share content (including advertising) that sends traffic to your website or real estate landing pages. This is where you then have an opportunity to generate leads using online forms and convert them with compelling, valuable, and helpful content.
You can attract clients using real estate hashtags with keywords or phrases that identify your business. For example, if your focus is on real estate in Miami, Florida, you could use hashtags like #miamirealestateagent, #miamirealestate, #miamivacationhomes, #yourbrokeragename, #justlistedmiami, and so on to attract clients interested in specific locations, home types, and different stages of the sales funnel.
In conjunction with hashtags, your posts can also geo-target the areas that you are interested in by tagging the corresponding neighborhood, location, or local business’ social profiles using the @ symbol. Both of these methods assist with prospecting because it builds brand awareness for your real estate business that targets your niche audience.
Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn enable you to create real estate ads targeting specific audiences to promote your services. In-depth ad targeting capabilities reach audiences based on location and interests so you can focus your advertising efforts on your niche clientele. Read more about how to use Facebook real estate ads to generate leads.
With so many social platforms on the market, it’s hard to use all of them in a cohesive and effective way. Artur’in uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create and feed curated content to your social networks, email newsletter, and blog. Artur’in can also manage your online reputation and improve your local presence through social media posts and real estate ads. In return, this expands your referral network and prospecting outreach to generate leads for your business.
9. Outsource Your Real Estate Prospect Marketing
To be successful at real estate prospecting, you need a solid marketing strategy with proven tactics, as well as the time and know-how to implement them. Some resources may be provided by your brokerage, such as in-house photography and access to listing databases. However, many agents need to be self-sufficient when it comes to creating their own marketing materials and managing leads.
To strengthen their ability to generate leads and convert clients, real estate agents often outsource prospect marketing to platforms like Market Leader. It’s an all-in-one lead generation platform that has a complete marketing suite to help you create professional-looking, easy-to-customize marketing materials.
Market Leader’s website creation tool has a variety of webpage layouts you can choose from and also provides stock photos, sparing you the additional expense of purchasing images to use on your website and landing pages. Plus, Market Leader has automated marketing services for both email newsletters and print marketing.
Your real estate newsletters should leverage unique, valuable information to position your brand as the go-to resource for local real estate topics. Providing valuable and interesting content increases the chances of your contacts forwarding it to other people they know or sharing it on social media.
Physical print mailers can help you reach demographics you may not have connected with before, and Market Leader’s printing options make the process simple. Order and mail print marketing collateral yourself or upload a list of contacts and Market Leader will take care of your campaign from printing to mailing.
10. Ask for Referrals
Referrals are a cost-effective way to generate leads. It can be as simple as asking for referrals in person, on the phone, or via email. You can also use CRM automation tools to trigger referral requests once a deal has closed. Platforms like HubSpot and Contactually have built-in automation processes to request referrals from your clients.
In addition, ask for referrals from past clients and other contacts within your sphere of influence, such as friends, family, and former colleagues who had a positive experience with you. In your email marketing outreach, make the approach personable so contacts don’t feel like they received a mass email blast.
Naturally, clients who had a great experience with you will want to refer you to their friends and family who are looking for real estate assistance. Once you get your referral business up and running, don’t forget to thank your referrers by sending a handwritten note or small gift. For other ways to generate referrals, read through the tips outlined in 10 Real Estate Referral Lead Generation Ideas.
11. Farm Specific Areas
Real estate farming is a strategic way to establish yourself as the go-to agent in a specific area. Your farming campaign should target an area you know well, such as the location where your real estate business is located, or even the area where you live. The key is to pick an area and use marketing and advertising collateral to establish your expertise, over time, in campaigns that offer value to the homeowners in the real estate farm area in order to connect with prospective leads.
Prospecting clients in your farm area can be through in-person or community events, social media groups, or email marketing. You can also leverage mailers to reach potential homesellers in your farm area. PostcardMania has proven results and makes the mailing process extremely simple. You can use their in-house design services and they’ll even print and mail the postcard for you.
12. Contact FSBO & Expired Leads
Many agents find new clients by prospecting For Sale by Owner (FSBO) or expired real estate listings. Agents can prospect for FSBO and expired leads by providing valuable expertise to help sell their homes and overcoming objections they may have had when originally listing their home for sale.
Homeowners trying to sell a property or home themselves may think they can save money by avoiding agent fees, but they may not have the knowledge to take full advantage of the market and generate interest among buyers. Leverage this shortfall by explaining why working with an agent is a more effective strategy to get their home sold, and how it may help them make more money on the sale in the long run.
Similarly, clients with expired listings may be distrustful of agents because their home originally did not sell with the previous agent they worked with. Prospecting for these leads might take some convincing through expired listing letters or by using scripts for expired listings to boost lead generation efforts.
It’s a daunting task to contact all the homeowners on these lists, but a service like REDX can help generate leads from FSBO and expired listings. The REDX power dialer calls through your list of contact numbers until it gets someone on the phone with you. This saves you time and maximizes your ability to contact leads in a short period of time.
13. Become a Zillow Premier Agent (ZPA)
Purchasing leads is another method of guaranteeing a continuous lead flow. There are a variety of platforms for buying real estate leads, like BoldLeads and Quazzoo, that have affordable and cost-effective options. Some real estate lead generation platforms allow you to pick and choose contacts based on information they provide, while others use predictive analytics and paid ads to drive prospects to your website.
If you’re looking to find homebuyers to represent, one way to do so is by joining Zillow Premier Agent (ZPA). It enables you to directly reach active homebuyers by placing your agent information on active listings, along with the listing agent’s contact information. It gets your name out to prospective homebuyers who are looking for properties and encourages them to choose you to represent them in purchasing that property.
The Zillow Premier Agent platform does not require you to have exclusive listings to participate in the buying process. While you won’t know specifically when and where your contact information will be displayed, it does provide you with a percentage of impressions based on your chosen ZIP code, budget, and housing prices, with leads costing anywhere from $20 to $60 per lead. Start for free today.
14. Host Open Houses
When representing an exclusive listing, holding open houses can be a way to feed your business and gain prospective clients. When hosting an open house, advertise ahead of time and make sure you have proper signage out front and within the neighborhood so people see your contact information. For sale and open house signs are a tried-and-true real estate prospecting tool that turn neighbors and drive-bys into future clients.
Be sure to collect contact information when visitors arrive at your open house event, including that of other real estate agents, and use these lists to prospect for leads and referrals. If someone visits your open house without an agent, make sure you follow up and contact them, offering something of value that can help with their property search.
Spacio by HomeSpotter is designed to be used at open houses. It’s the perfect electronic platform to collect visitor information with capabilities to help market your listings once contact information is collected. It also makes follow-up and remarketing simple so you can not only capture but convert as many leads as possible from your open houses.
15. Attend Networking Events
Typically, networking events are organized around a common interest, so choose the right events to attend. If you’re looking to connect with other real estate professionals, attend an Inman Conference or National Association of Realtors (NAR) event that consists mostly of real estate agents and brokerages. If you’d like to connect with a variety of business professionals, look into events held by your local Chamber of Commerce.
Being prepared prior to these events will also determine your success. Create a 30- to 60-second elevator pitch that summarizes your real estate experience, explains your value-add, and entices others to explore your services. Make sure to align your sales pitch to the type of event you’re attending, and also ensure that you’ve developed and practiced your pitch so it will stand out from that of other attendees.
Always ask for contact information if the event does not share its list of attendees. Once you collect business cards, you should add them to your contact list manually or use a business card scanner mobile app like CamCard or HubSpot. You can scan a business card directly to your phone and upload the contact information to HubSpot’s CRM to organize your contacts easily and effectively follow up with event attendees.
Other networking opportunities can come from local business groups, charity events, alumni associations, and online groups. LinkedIn is a great source for finding networking opportunities. Your professional connections will typically share posts about in-person and virtual events they’re hosting or attending. LinkedIn Sales Navigator can optimize your lead and company searches to target specific audiences. It will also recommend and connect you with prospective leads who share similar insights.
In addition, Meetup is a popular website that exists to provide opportunities to meet others with common personal and professional interests. These events don’t need to be real estate-specific, but if you find topics interesting to you, it will make it a little easier to connect to others.
16. Connection With Local Businesses
Connecting with local businesses can be mutually beneficial when it comes to prospecting. You can drive clients to another business through a special promotion or discount, and in return, they can refer clients to you. This could work for businesses from local coffee shops to companies that strategically align with your business, such as homebuilders, handy services, trade specialists like plumbers, roofers, landscapers, and electricians, title companies, or a local credit union that offers mortgage loans.
If you frequent a local coffee shop, restaurant, bar, or store, ask the owner or manager to leave your business cards on the counter to promote your business to their clients. You can also consider offering an incentive to the business owner. For example, for every client they refer, you will purchase and give a gift card for the referral to use at their establishment. This creates a mutual business relationship that benefits all involved.
17. Become Active on Knowledge-based Forums
Online communities can be an effective way to leverage your expertise when prospecting for real estate leads. Websites like Quora and Reddit have forums where people ask real estate-specific questions. Quora allows you to create a profile including links for location and business, and it has a section for you to list your topics of knowledge.
Online forums are a great tool to use for lead generation because as a user, you can select topics relevant to your expertise and provide your insights. The forum also enables you to have open dialog with other users. Make sure your input is engaging and offers something of value—without being transactional. Plus, you can leverage the topics to provide content for your other marketing platforms.
18. Get Involved in Your Community
Prospecting for real estate clients by being active in projects that matter to your community builds local brand recognition strategically, adding to your potential client base while doing good deeds. Getting involved in your community enables you to organically create connections and develop meaningful relationships with individuals and other professionals in your neighborhood.
Examples of local community involvement opportunities include fundraisers, festivals, parades, charities, cleanup and beautification projects, school events, community centers, and more. Similar to networking, you want to add value and showcase your local real estate expertise so your business is top of mind when these connections are ready to buy, sell, or provide a referral.
You might even find a community event to sponsor and give back locally on an annual or ongoing basis to leave a strong, lasting impression. Local community events can be found on your city’s website or by connecting with organizations like your local Chamber of Commerce, school district, or food bank. You can also search sites like Eventbrite to find locally promoted events that align with your real estate prospecting and branding goals.
Success in prospecting for new leads comes down to your ability to establish and nurture relationships. Leads generated by online lead generation platforms or organically through community events and referrals are all effective strategies to connect and add value. Not everyone will immediately close deals with you, but with time and effort, you will have a strong foundation for sustaining and growing your real estate business.