20 Ways to Build a Lead List from Absolute Zero if You’re a New Agent

Every agent needs a lead list. They are compilations of prospects you can reach out to when you are trying to drum up business. They may include network referrals, past clients, and even friends and family.

If you’re a new agent, your lead list may be a blank sheet. But everyone has to start from somewhere. This article will provide advice on how you can build a lead list from scratch and get your career rolling.

How to Build a Lead List

Before moving on to tips for generating prospects, let’s discuss how to physically build a lead list.

Your lead list should include the prospect’s:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Company name
  • Job title

You may also include other relevant information such as the prospect’s income bracket, where they are in the sales funnel, their real estate goals, and more. You can also score them according to how likely they are to convert.

Lead lists can be stored in a variety of formats. Most agents prefer to put them in their CRM. But lead templates are also available. You can even type your leads into an Excel sheet.

Tips for Building Your Lead List

1. Know Your Target Audience

Familiarizing yourself with your target audience is not a direct lead-generating strategy. But it will help you hone in on the leads that are best suited to your business. Decide what type of houses you want to sell, your demographic, and your location. Doing so will help you find more qualified leads.

2. Reach Out to Your Contacts

Start by contacting the people you know. Connect with friends, relatives, and colleagues. Let them know you are embarking on a new career. Ask them if they know anyone who might be interested in buying or selling.

Make sure you keep your contact information organized for all clients, prospects, and your sphere of influence. The easiest way to do this is to invest in a quality real estate CRM. You can even set it up to send out updates and reminders on a regular basis. A good CRM will help to keep you top of mind.

3. Attend Events

Events are excellent networking opportunities. Attend as many networking events as you can. Chambers of Commerce events and real estate conferences are great places to connect with leads and professionals who can refer you to clients.

Go to events prepared with business cards that you can hand out to attendees. Collect as many business cards as you can and enter them into your database.

4. Purchase Lead Sheets (But Be Careful!)

Agents may consider purchasing a lead list from a lead generation company. However, it’s essential to research the company you are purchasing from in advance.

Many companies provide unqualified leads. Once you go through them, you will find the leads are old. They may have already completed or moved on from their real estate transaction.

Companies also may not provide exclusive leads. So the prospects you call will have already been approached by other agents. They may have already signed with someone else.

But regardless of the risk you are taking, lead sheets can be a good investment. If you spend $1000 on a lead sheet and get even one sale, your investment will pay for itself. However, you will spend a lot of time finding that needle in the haystack.

Lead sheets can be bought as a one-time purchase, or you can subscribe to a service and receive leads regularly. You should always work with a company that has a good reputation, regardless of which type you choose.

5. Utilize Social Media

Social media marketing is an excellent lead-generation resource. There are a variety of social media platforms available, and it’s essential to learn how to use each to your advantage. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Facebook: Facebook is an excellent platform for creating posts, launching paid ads, and connecting with leads. But the biggest payoff may come by joining city-specific real estate pages. Stay active in these groups by providing valuable advice and interacting with other members.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn has real estate groups that are dedicated to real estate agents. Join to make valuable connections and generate leads.
  • Meet Up: Meet Up will put you in the loop regarding in-person and remote networking events.
  • Quora: Quora’s platform allows you to answer user questions so you can demonstrate your expertise. You can turn the people you communicate with into qualified leads.
  • Slack: Slack allows users to join business and tech communities that provide networking opportunities.
  • Instagram: Instagram is another way for you to increase your online visibility. Show your value so prospects follow up and become leads. Use hashtags to increase your exposure.
6. Offer Free Workshops

People love getting free stuff- even free advice. Use your expertise to host a workshop on a real estate-related topic. The only price attendees will have to pay is their contact information.
Once you have their contact info, you can add them to your lead list.

7. Offer Free Resources

Free resources are similar to free workshops in a strategic sense. Provide consumers with downloadable materials like whitepapers, etc. Or offer them a free online home evaluation.

Require them to enter their contact information in return for access or services. This strategy will help you build up your lead list in no time.

8. Contact FSBOs

FSBO stands for ‘For Sale by Owner.’ Many people choose this strategy to forgo agent fees. They can keep the commissions for themselves.

This house-selling method seems like a good idea. But many people find that it’s not worth the hassle. It can be difficult to find buyers, conduct open houses, and handle the paperwork.

When working with FSBOs, it’s important to call them and tell them what you can do to make the process easier. They may not agree to hire you right away, but you will have planted a seed. Add them to your lead list and stay in contact. After a while, they may call you for help.

9. Reach Out to FRBOs

FRBOs are similar to FSBOs. The only difference is that the owner is looking to rent not sell. Other than that, they are likely to be facing similar issues FSBOs deal with. They may have difficulty finding renters. Ongoing property management will also be challenging.

Contact them to explain how you can help with the renter-finding process. If you offer property management services, you can throw that in too. They may come around in time.

10. Host an Open House

This one is a catch-22. If you don’t have leads, you won’t have clients. And if you don’t have clients, you can’t host an open house.

However, this strategy will be useful for agents with some experience under their belts.

When you host your first open house, create a sign-in sheet for attendees. They may not decide to purchase the home you are showing, but you can show them a similar one that may appeal to them. In any case, you can add their contact information to your lead list.

11. Host Events

Attending events is great for networking. You can network even more effectively when you host events. Build your event around a local cause to stand out as a pillar of your community.

There’s no end to the events you may consider hosting. Fundraise for a local charity. Or celebrate the local businesses in the area. Doing so will establish you as the local real estate go-to.

12. Add Expired Listings

Expired listings typically happen when something goes wrong with a real estate deal. The deal may have fallen through, or the home may have failed to sell by the contract deadline.

In many instances, people with expired listings still want to sell. But they are afraid they will face the same challenges in their next attempt.

Agents should add expired listings to their lead sheets. They should contact them to discuss what went wrong and explain how they can improve the situation. They should inspire them to get back on the market.

13. Partner with Divorce Lawyers

People going through divorce often need to move or sell their homes quickly. A divorce lawyer can put you in touch
with separated couples that need an agent. They can become valuable leads.

14. Partner with a Probate Lawyer

Probate listings occur when a person is deceased and didn’t designate an heir to their property in the will. A real estate agent will be brought in to list and show the home to potential buyers. Partner with a probate lawyer to ensure you are the first agent on the list.

15. Sign Up for BPO Databases

BPOs, or broker price opinions, are ordered by banks and lenders when homeowners are falling short on their payments. They mean the lender plans to foreclose on the property.

Agents can benefit by being privy to BPOs in two ways:

  • The lender will need an agent to determine the home’s value. It’s not a high-paying gig, but it’s becoming more competitive.
  • The agent can approach the homeowner about selling their home at a reasonable price so they can avoid foreclosure. You can also help them find a new home.
    Browse online listings and sign up for BPO databases so you are the first to hear about homes on the verge of foreclosure.
16. Send Out Postcards

Real estate postcards are an effective way to make people aware that you are in business and looking for clients. They are low-cost and can generate considerable returns.

A mailing can result in people contacting you so you can add them to your lead list. In a best-case scenario, they may be ready to buy or sell.

17. Monitor Wedding and Baby Announcements

This tactic may seem far-fetched, but it can be effective.

Use your social media accounts to follow hashtags like #wedding, #newborn, and #engagement. Make sure they are relevant to your area by following city and neighborhood hashtags, especially when they are connected to these keywords.

People expecting a baby or about to get married are likely to look for a home soon. Send them a message to congratulate them and let them know you can find them a house when they are ready. Use any contact information you can find to follow up. You will be on the top of their minds when they are ready to house hunt.

18. Door Knocking

Door knocking is hard work, but it’s an excellent way to generate leads.

Go door to door in neighborhoods where homes have recently sold for a lot of money. Make homeowners aware of the sales and offer to do a home evaluation. They may be surprised to learn how much their home is worth and decide to sell.

Or you can use another approach. For example, you can say you are a new agent introducing yourself to the neighborhood.

Door knocking is difficult considering the number of people who are not home and will slam doors in your face. However, it’s an inexpensive strategy with the potential to generate considerable ROI. It will help you rack up leads that you can add to your list.

19. Cold Calling

Cold calling is another challenging lead-generation tactic that can pay off in a big way. If you are looking for the most phone numbers you can get for free, get an old-school phone book or browse online sites that have contact information of people in your area. You will have more luck with your calls if you have a script that ensures you present your business in the best light.

If you connect with someone that seems interested, add them to your lead list.

For slightly warmer cold-calling strategies, you can use FSBO, FSRO, and expired listings. But to accomplish this task you will need leads first.

20. Contribute to Thought Leadership Pieces

You can grow your lead list by establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field.

The easiest way to do this is to sign up for PR-focused email lists like SourceBottle, JournoRequests, and HARO. These platforms are always looking for expert quotes. It will take you minutes to scan them and see if there are any you can contribute to.

You can also request to guest blog on well-regarded sites like Forbes, BOMA, or Urban Land. Once you get your name out there, you will have no trouble collecting leads.

It can be challenging for new agents to generate leads. The tips in this article will help you create a list that takes your business to the next level. Which will you include in your marketing strategy?

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Got a question? Comment? Suggestion? We’re all ears, so drop us a line!!
If you’re looking to submit an article or partner with us in other ways, please let us know here.