Find An Agent

How to Generate Real Estate Leads Without Spending Any Money

For agents, leads are the lifeblood of the real estate industry, and can make or break your success. But how can you ensure constant lead generation without spending an arm and a leg? Give these tactics a try and see how they benefit your business.
For agents, leads are the lifeblood of the real estate industry, and can make or break your success. But how can you ensure constant lead generation without spending an arm and a leg? Give these tactics a try and see how they benefit your business.

As a realtor, having regular access to quality buyer and seller leads makes life so much easier. You’ll market less your service and spend more time and energy focusing on your clients.

It’s important for realtors to maintain a healthy pipeline of leads. When interest rates are low and the weather is nice, you might be flooded with clients. But there’s always a winter lull, or market fluctuation around the bend to halt your flourishing business streak — and your commission checks.

Prepare for the unpredictable nature of real estate with an arsenal of fresh lead-gathering tactics. Here are a few strategies for thinking outside the box to generate real estate business spending no money.

Engage Leads Immediately With Automated Text Messages

Did you know that text messages have a whopping 97% open rate, compared to 20% for emails? It’s true. Some millennials have abandoned email, or at best, check their email once or twice a week.

That means your marketing message will get buried under a pile of unread emails from a million other companies desperate for their attention. Instead of sticking to email to communicate with your online leads, try using text messages, in an effort to reach more millennials looking to become first-time home buyers.

Send a Handwritten Note

A handwritten note goes a long way to express your appreciation. And it keeps you from becoming yet another unread subject line in your clients’ inbox.

Pick up a pen, paper, and an actual stamp, and send a note to past or present clients. Thank them for choosing you as their realtor, and remind them you’re available to answer questions, suggest a reliable moving company, or send important documents for tax season.

And if you’re feeling confident, pick up the phone a few days later, and ask for a referral.

Handwritten notes are also great for continuing communication targeted to people in your network who are going through life changes, such as relationship status changes, children, promotions, career changes, relocation, and so on. These are all reasons to change your living situation, and can open the door to potential new clients.

In the handwritten notes, ask people to get a cup of coffee, or chat on the phone to catch up and chat about their life. Be sure to mention real estate to scope out potential leads.

Build Your Own Website

Your brokerage will probably give you a page on their website, but it’s important to create your own web presence. This allows you to build a personal brand, showcase your specialties, and share reviews from previous satisfied clients. It ensures you have a cohesive presence in the local market, even if you switch brokerages.

Don’t forget to optimize your site. Write blog posts tackling common questions or challenges clients confront during the buying process, create and share helpful how-to videos, and capture email addresses by having a newsletter sign-up.

Develop a Niche

If you specialize in a certain neighborhood, historic homes, or helping clients find their perfect apartment, lean into it. Find your niche and become an expert. This allows you to focus your marketing efforts on a specific group and develop a reputation as the go-to realtor for these buyers and sellers.

And you don't have to be an expert immediately. Decide which niche interests you and immerse yourself in it. If you want to develop a niche in helping seniors find their perfect retirement homes, learn what their needs are, research local senior centers, senior-friendly neighborhoods, and work with financial planners who understand the unique home buying requirements of the seniors in your area. It may take some time and research, but it will pay off.

Generate Leads On LinkedIn

Join LinkedIn groups you know your target audience frequents, whether it’s a group for local real estate investors, or one for first-time home buyers. Find the groups your buyers are spending time in and contribute to the conversation before making a professional pitch.

If you’re posting in a real estate investment group, consider sharing a blog article about up-and-coming neighborhoods in your city. If someone in your first-time home buyers group asks about interest rates, prepare to provide an insightful answer in the comments.

Once you’ve built rapport, follow up with interested prospects, and offer to further discuss their questions on a call.

Target For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Listings

Only 3% of FSBO listings sell within the desired time, and a mere 18% reported receiving the right price. Find these listings on Craigslist or other real estate sites, and offer to help them get the most from their property listing.

Share a blog post, or a few bulleted stats, about why working with an agent is beneficial to the seller, and ask if they’d be interested in learning more.

Reach Out to Expired Listings

Pull lists of expired listings from the MLS. Try to be sensitive to the fact that these sellers are likely frustrated with their current realtor, discouraged they haven’t sold their home, and under a tremendous amount of stress.

Start the conversation off by explaining you understand their frustrations, then share a few ways you’d do things differently to sell their home fast.

Clever can provide a reliable stream of buyers and sellers in the realtor’s area, so you can stay on target for growing your business. And as a plus, Clever is free for agents. With no upfront costs required, Clever Partner Agents only pay when the property is bought or sold.


Ben Mizes

Ben Mizes is the co-founder and CEO of Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top agents to save thousands on commission. He's an active real estate investor with 22 units in St. Louis and a licensed agent in Missouri. Ben enjoys writing about real estate, investing, personal finance, and financial freedom. He's a serial entrepreneur, having run several successful startups before Clever Real Estate. Ben's writing has been featured in Yahoo Finance, Realtor News, CNBC, and BiggerPockets.

See all Ben's Posts

Clever Has Partnered with Top Agents to Find Investment Properties

Learn how you could save thousands when you buy or sell investment properties with Clever!