Real estate seller leads are individuals who may hire you to list their home. Motivated seller leads help agents fill their sales funnels and close deals, but they can be challenging to generate if you’re not experienced. To get you started, we compiled a list of 12 top ways to generate seller leads in 2020.
Here are 12 ways to generate real estate seller leads in 2020:
1. Follow Up With Expired Listings
An expired listing is a property that does not sell before the listing agreement’s expiration date and that isn’t subsequently renewed by the homeowner. Expired listings are an especially reliable source of leads because homeowners are typically frustrated and ready for a new agent by the time their listing expires.
Generate more seller leads from expired listings searching your local multiple listing service (MLS) for listings that are set to expire within the next four weeks. Then, reach out to each of the sellers to see if they’d like to relist their property with a new agent. When searching for expired listings, you can also ask other real estate agents in your network, search public records for local listing records, and buy expired listing leads from a platform like REDX.
“When it comes to expired listings, many times the owner has dealt with quite a few agents already. You can use this to your advantage by pinpointing where things went wrong in the past, and offer a new tactic. For sale by owners (FSBOs) are typically eager to sell, and by providing them with data and numbers that only a real estate agent can provide, you raise your chances of making them your client. Remind them that there are many things that can go wrong with the selling process and that they would be wise to have a professional on their side.”
— Desare Kohn-Laski, Real Estate Broker, Skye Louis Realty
2. Work With Local House Flippers
Generate seller leads from house flippers by following local flippers on social media and building relationships with potential leads. You can also network with local construction companies and contractors who might be hired for fix-and-flip projects. If you prefer a more traditional approach, target local homeowners with recent purchases of properties that are distressed and ripe for flipping. Then, develop a marketing strategy designed around selling similar properties.
As successful house flipping means rehabbing a property and selling it for a healthy profit, reselling a property quickly is usually a high priority for house flippers. If you can demonstrate an ability to sell similar listings at or above asking price, you will earn their trust, making them more likely to contact you when it’s time to list their newly renovated home. Plus, house flippers treat real estate as a business and are more likely to become repeat customers.
3. Choose an Experienced & Well-respected Team
One of the first and most important steps toward generating high-quality, motivated seller leads is joining a well-respected and well-connected real estate brokerage. For new agents, in particular, the decision to join an established local brokerage can help you develop a body of clients and seller leads who will trust you and your colleagues.
When choosing a real estate agency to help your real estate lead generation, consider factors like how long it has been in business locally, whether it offers training and mentorship opportunities, and how much internal competition there will be for leads. Then, take time to meet with agents at your favorite brokerages to learn more about what kind of lead generation resources team members have access to.
4. Write Listing Descriptions That Sell
Before hiring you as their listing agent, most homeowners will look into your experience and success selling homes in their area. As part of this process, potential seller leads will likely also see your current listings on sites like Zillow and Realtor.com. Impress and attract motivated seller leads by writing listing descriptions that are concise while providing important information and enticing potential buyers to schedule a showing or attend an open house.
When crafting a real estate listing description, it’s important to include basic information like bedroom and bathroom counts, acreage, and square footage. However, a description should also focus on real estate words that highlight standout features, high-quality design elements, and upscale amenities—without sharing too much information. Remember: The goal of a listing description is to pique the interest of a potential buyer or seller lead so they contact you directly.
5. Become Your Community’s Go-to Real Estate Expert
Most, if not all, homeowners want to work with a real estate agent they can trust. Just as important is that agent’s knowledge of the local real estate market and surrounding community. To generate real estate leads in your farm area, network with local business owners, get involved in community initiatives, and share your real estate expertise through free local workshops and other events.
If you’re ready to become your neighborhood real estate expert, Parkbench is a great way to build your expertise and gain the trust of your community. The relationship-based real estate marketing platform provides agents with a website that features news, offers, and other hyper-local content, which agents can then share with their network in interviews and blog posts, helping build their brand.
6. Hold a Memorable Open House
Open houses are a great opportunity to network with homeowners who are scoping out the local competition before listing their own home on the market. Not only are these leads more motivated to sell, but they may also be in the process of choosing an agent. Hosting professional and memorable open houses is a great way to impress potential clients while marketing your current listings.
To make the most of your open houses, market the event in advance, engage with visitors, and use a digital sign-in app like Spacio to capture leads. Depending on the property, a themed open house may also be a good opportunity to highlight unique features while helping the home stand out from other nearby listings. Some real estate agents also recommend attending other local open houses to network with prospective buyers or sellers who don’t already have an agent.
“Open houses provide an opportunity to show you’ll go the extra mile. They are an underutilized marketing tool in an agent’s arsenal to get listings. A home is a sacred space. Make sure you bring flowers, fruits, and plants that smile and are welcoming. In the winter months, serve hot cocoa with cookies.”
— Melanie Siben, Real Estate Salesperson, Rutenberg
7. Reach Out to FSBO Leads
For sale by owner (FSBO) listings are properties listed for sale by their owners directly. Often, FSBO sellers are motivated to sell, but may find themselves overwhelmed by the realities of listing their home without a professional. FSBO leads are also easier to convert than other leads because they are already motivated to sell their home and may have already been exposed to the challenges of staging, coordinating showings, and negotiating offers.
To generate local FSBO leads, start by conducting research on websites like Craigslist, Zillow, and Forsalebyowner.com. You can also narrow your search using local newspaper websites and more localized FSBO websites like Brownstoner, which is only available in New York City. Alternatively, opt for an FSBO lead service like REDX that sends agents fresh FSBO leads every day for $39.99 per month. While REDX does have a setup fee, it’s offering Fit Small Business readers $149 off the set up price, automatically deducted when you click over to their site from ours. Click here to get started.
8. Maximize Your Sphere of Influence
Sometimes the best way to get real estate listings is by searching for leads from your own customer relationship management (CRM) tool. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 64% of home sellers in 2017 worked with their previous agent or found their agent through a referral. If you’re looking for high-quality, motivated seller leads, take some time to review your CRM for previous clients who may be ready to upgrade, downsize, or even move school districts.
To make the most of your existing contacts, dedicate time each week to attending local community events or reaching out to past clients. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to one-on-one calls, create an automated email marketing campaign to send out annual reminders of your services and expertise.
9. Work With Home Stagers
Home stagers can add tremendous value to a home listing because of their understanding of local buyer preferences and their ability to arrange furniture and decor in a way that optimizes space. For this reason, staging professionals are also a great way to connect with seller leads who have worked with home stagers in the past—perhaps as part of an FSBO listing—or who have simply heard about the benefits of staging.
To generate motivated seller leads, consider networking with local staging professionals to learn about homeowners currently listing their homes without an agent, as they can be a great source for referrals. In addition, considering teaming up with a home stager to host a giveaway for a free home staging consultation. This will incentivize leads to provide their contact information while demonstrating that you’re plugged into the local market.
“Find a home stager and collaborate with them to give away free home staging consultations via a virtual or real event raffle. It’s a win-win-win (you, the stager, and the seller). This should result in really good quality leads, since the giveaway has a direct connection with selling a home.”
— Susanna Haynie, Broker/Owner, Co-RE Group, Colorado Real Estate
10. Research Local Foreclosures to Find Motivated Seller Leads
Foreclosures and preforeclosures can be an excellent source of seller leads because the property owners are extremely motivated sellers. Though beneficial, getting foreclosure listings often requires a real estate agent to do some extra research, including working directly with banks or networking with asset management companies. Securing foreclosure listings may also require you to obtain more specialized knowledge than is required for traditional seller listings.
If you’d rather not work with a bank or management company, focus on preforeclosure leads. These are leads where the owner is usually 60 to 120 days late on their mortgage payment but foreclosure proceedings have not yet officially started. This strategy lets you deal directly with homeowners while eliminating some of the procedures and carrying costs. To identify these leads, check out online directories like Zillow, public records, local newspapers, and attorneys.
11. Follow Up With Existing Rental Leads
Rental property owners can be a great source of motivated leads and, depending on your current book of business, may already be in your client list. Often, owners of investment properties find themselves overwhelmed by the realities of short- or long-term rentals and are hoping to make a quick profit. Likewise, property investors are more likely to buy and sell real estate based on market conditions and may prefer to continue working with you instead of finding a different agent.
Clients who are currently using you as a leasing agent are a great way to generate seller leads because you are already familiar with the property and because they already know and trust you. What’s more, as the leasing agent, you may already have a few potential buyers for their property.
12. Optimize Your Social Media Presence
Just like having a branded community website, creating an entertaining, informative, and cohesive social media presence can help you build your brand and generate motivated seller leads. If you already have a Facebook business page, build out your About section to highlight your strengths as a listing agent. Likewise, if you have an advertising budget, Facebook ads are a great opportunity to target highly specific user groups based on factors like age and location.
Once you have established a Facebook presence, consider joining Instagram to share eye-catching listing photos, live stream from open houses, and brag about recent sales. Instagram is an increasingly popular platform for real estate agents and is a great way to impress potential seller leads. You can also use Pinterest to share pins that promise a free home valuation; then, simply link the pin to your landing page.
“My best tip for getting seller leads is putting out consistent content on social media, especially video. I try to add value by giving tips, tricks, and advice to anyone looking to sell their home. Nearly every time I post a video, I get a phone call.”
— Rachel Tipton, Realtor, Beach Realty Group
Bottom Line – Real Estate Seller Leads
Using some of the popular real estate lead generation methods above, you can build out your CRM and make the most of your existing client list. Start by working with your current network and optimizing your social media presence. Then, increase your motivated seller leads by following up with FSBO sellers, checking public records for foreclosures, and following up with expired listings.
Alternatively, you can automate some of the lead generation process by using a paid service like BoldLeads. BoldLeads is software designed for real estate agents and brokers that reduces the need for high-pressure sales calls and competition from other agents chasing after the same lead. Plus, it includes a built-in CRM to help you manage your follow-up efforts with handy task reminders and engagement indicators. Learn more by visiting BoldLeads.