As a real estate agent, you may occasionally hear that you’re a “consultant.” But don’t fall for it. You’re a salesperson.
And that means you need to be an expert at finding people to sell to. In other words, you need to have an expert-level understanding of real estate prospecting strategies.
The most successful agents have a firm grasp of lead generation fundamentals. But they also know how to think creatively, innovate, and leverage unconventional methods.
So to add some new tools to your toolbox, here’s a list of 13 beyond-normal prospecting ideas that will help you generate more business. Not just tomorrow but year over year.
1. Partner With Flippers
“Flippers” are investors who buy homes for the purpose of rehabbing and reselling (i.e., “flipping” homes). There are many roles a flipper has to juggle. And while they may sometimes be a “jack of all trades,” they often need help from a master of real estate sales. That’s you.
Flippers and real estate agents can develop a partnership that’s both complementary and mutually beneficial.
What’s in it for them? You can provide valuable information about the local market, list and market their properties, negotiate with buyers and sellers, and manage all of the transaction paperwork.
What’s in it for you? In a word: prospects. When you become a flipper’s go-to agent, you’re expanding your network, doubling your reach – and best of all – creating a passive mode of lead generation. Their prospects are your prospects. And their closings become your closings.
2. Assist With Relocation Services
For a variety of reasons, corporations and government agencies sometimes relocate their employees to a different city, state, or province. You can be the real estate agent who helps both the business and their employees with the move.
There are two main ways to start acquiring relocation referrals.
One option is to partner with companies who are in a related field. Reach out to movers, storage facilities, and local relocation service providers.
And a second option is to reach out to the HR teams at large employers in your area and offer to help with their relocation services. If you land that kind of a partnership, you’ll have opened for yourself a reliable stream of leads who are highly motivated and ready to both buy and sell.
3. Get Referrals Through Your CPA
Like real estate agents, certified public accountants (CPAs) often have a large network. Their client profiles are very similar to those of your target market. And chances are, the topic of real estate – buying, selling, or investing – is a regular part of their day-to-day conversations.
The idea here is to make it so that you’re the name that gets dropped whenever those conversations happen. They’re in a prime position to give high-quality referrals.
Start by getting in touch with the best CPA in your area and becoming their client. By doing so, you’ll increase the likelihood that they’ll pass any prospects on to you when the moment is right.
And besides, talking with a CPA offers more than one benefit. Every real estate agent could use some tax help, right?
4. Call Expired Listings
Of course, sellers never want to see their listing expire. It’s demoralizing. And this is where you come in as the hero of second chances. You can turn what feels like a dead end into a win-win.
Start this process by finding recently-expired listings using your MLS dashboard. (You can filter by the “expired” status and entering a date range.) But you don’t have to exclusively focus on recent listings – you can even target those which expired up to a few years ago.
It’s possible that the would-be sellers simply aren’t aware of how they could benefit by relisting. Or maybe the agent they worked with listed their home at an unreasonable asking price. It could be that all they need is an agent like you who can restore their confidence.
In sensitive situations like this, it can be difficult to know what to say at first. Get all the help you need with the best expired listing scripts.
5. Target FSBOs in Your Neighborhood
Pursuing “for sale by owner” (FSBO) listings is one of the best ways to prospect in real estate.
Because FSBOs aren’t just warm leads. They’re among the warmest of all real estate leads.
That may surprise you, but it’s not too bold of a claim. Here’s why. Most likely, they’re dealing with several obstacles and they’ve become all too aware of how difficult it is to sell on their own. They’re ready for help.
But that’s not to say it’ll be easy to convince them to work with you. It often requires some degree of research, negotiation, and persistence.
So how do you turn “for sale by owner” into “for sale by you”?
You can find FSBO listings on sites like ForSaleByOwner.com or Zillow.
First, gather as much information as you can about the lead and the listing’s background.
Then give them a call. Show them that you’re competent, capable, and the obvious person to work with if they decide to list with an agent instead. Here are the seven best FSBO scripts for real estate agents.
6. Become a Thought Leader in Your Community
Go to a neighborhood board or city council meeting. Not just to attend but to speak up on issues that you genuinely care about.
Why did this make it on the list of real estate prospecting ideas? There are at least two good reasons. (Besides the fact that you have an authentic concern for the topic, of course.)
First, it’s a great way to spread the word about your business. Gatherings like these are full of leads and high-quality referral sources.
Word of mouth advertising is still highly effective. And placing yourself on center stage in a large public forum is a great way to get people talking.
And second, it helps you establish credibility in your area. It shows the attendees that you aren’t a one-dimensional sales shark.
For example, championing the creation of a new park or something as simple as the fixing of a notoriously-potholed street shows that you’re a knowledgeable and trustworthy member of the community. And that you have a vested interest in the wellbeing of your neighborhood and city.
7. Talk to Your Neighbors
Is this an “old school” approach to prospecting? Yes.
But is it outdated? Absolutely not. And it never will be.
Sometimes it’s easy for agents to get so absorbed in abstract prospecting strategies that they forget to see who’s right in front of them.
So walk down the street in your own neighborhood. Introduce yourself to every resident. Let them know (formally or casually) that you’re a real estate agent.
Of course not every conversation will lead to you getting a new client right away. But the personal connections you’ll make along the way are invaluable.
David Fletcher, a real estate broker and writer, suggests using this language: “As you can see (on my badge or Realtor pin), I am in real estate and I was wondering if you may know someone who might be wanting to buy or sell a home?”
8. Set up a Face Painting Booth at a Local Fair or Community Event
If face painting isn’t your thing, hire an art student who could do it for you. Or set up a different kind of booth altogether. Don’t miss the point here. It doesn’t matter what kind of booth you have.
The idea is to plant yourself in a lighthearted environment full of people who fit within your target market. And to do it in a way that’s fun and unrelated to real estate.
Use the face-to-face interactions you host at your booth as a chance to open up conversations about who you are, what you do, and how you can help them buy or sell. Be sure to collect contact information and conduct follow-ups the next day.
9. Use a Survey to Generate Leads
You want to know more about your prospects. And you want to generate leads. A well-designed survey can help you do both simultaneously.
Done right, a survey can serve two purposes. It allows you to capture valuable, exclusive data about your prospects, leads, and/or clients (that your competition won’t have access to!). And it functions as a powerful lead generation tool.
Here’s how you can create a survey to function as a prospecting tool.
To go a step farther, create a separate survey that’s specifically designed for cold traffic and prospects who aren’t on your contacts list. And post invitations to that survey on your website.
What kinds of questions to ask:
- Capture basic demographic information. Get to know who your prospects are in terms of their age, location, income, household size, and any other qualities that would provide useful insight for your marketing strategy.
- Ask about their level of interest in buying and selling.
- Ask questions to understand what kind of real estate agent would be most helpful to them.
- Find out where they are in their home-buying and home-selling journey. Are they homeowners? Are they first-time buyers? How many properties do they have?
- Find out if they have a real estate agent (if they’re not already working with you).
- Include close-ended questions that have Likert scale response options.
- Include open-ended questions where respondents can write candidly and say whatever they want to say.
- Learn about their general interests and hobbies.
How to ask your questions:
- Be as neutral and unbiased as possible.
- Be genuinely curious. Today’s respondents are smart enough to sense the difference between a good survey and a bad survey. We’ve all taken a “survey” that we quickly learned was just a gimmicky sales tactic. Or a “quiz” that was really just a name-capture tool.
- Start broad and get more specific as you go.
- Ask one question at a time. Don’t cram two questions into one.
- Make it easy for them to share their honest thoughts and opinions.
10. Teach a Real Estate Course or Workshop
Are all of these true for you?
- You have at least some level of expertise and experience as a real estate agent
- You genuinely want to help people learn about a real estate-related topic
- You enjoy teaching
- You have the ability to carve out some time in your schedule
If so, then teaching a real estate course or workshop doubles as an excellent real estate prospecting strategy.
Choose a subject that 1) you’d feel comfortable teaching and 2) will attract your ideal clientele. Maybe for you that looks like teaching a “Home Buying 101” course for first-time homebuyers, for example. Or teaching the fundamentals of real estate investments or flipping houses. After just a few minutes of thought, you could come up with plenty of other ideas on your own.
Once you’ve settled on your subject, consider the forum that would work best for you. Host a webinar or teach an online course. Or check with your local library or community center for in-person opportunities.
11. Contact Every Warm Lead You Have
No need to overthink this one. Just do it: Contact everyone on your warm leads list. (If you don’t have one, create one.)
Call even “those” contacts, the ones you’ve written off for some reason. Even those you thought were “too small” to call.
The objective here isn’t to close a deal on every call. It’s simply to make contact.
So your pitch doesn’t have to be formal. And you don’t even have to make a pitch! It could be as simple as checking in to see if they’d like to meet you for coffee or lunch.
Be yourself, be genuine, and focus on re-engaging with everyone on your warm leads list. This is real estate prospecting at its finest.
12. Attend Networking Events
Networking is crucial for real estate agents. And even the most connected real estate agents need to widen their sphere of influence from time to time.
Among the quickest ways to build a solid connection base is to attend an event that has networking as its sole purpose. And while you’re there, be a card-taker, not a card-giver. Spend time during the next day following up with everyone you met.
The obvious place to start is by looking for conferences, events, and meetups that connect you with your target market. But you should also look for those that connect you with local business owners, contractors, investors, landscapers, real estate marketing experts, and anyone else who could become part of your team.
The network-building possibilities become even greater when you consider the many events and communities that are available online, such as Facebook Groups, for example.
13. Get Exclusive Online Real Estate Leads
Any list of real estate prospecting strategies would be incomplete without the mention of exclusive online real estate leads.
The key word here is “exclusive.” Some companies allow you to buy shared leads, which means they send the same leads you purchased to multiple agents simultaneously. But the better option is to go for exclusive leads because every lead that’s generated on your behalf is sent to one and only one agent – you!
With Market Leader, one flat monthly rate buys you a minimum number of exclusive buyer and seller leads in your desired areas every month. Guaranteed. Learn more about Market Leader real estate leads!