Circle prospecting is a lead-generation strategy focusing on outreach to homeowners in a designated area. The most common questions from Realtors are how to do circle prospecting and does circle prospecting work.

While it sounds easy, circle prospecting actually requires planning, strategy, and a bit of marketing savvy, so we’re sharing this deep dive into circle prospecting strategies. We’ll share seven tips and scripts you can start using today to generate leads using circle prospecting, along with a case study on how one Tampa Realtor generated 200 leads in one day.

What Is Circle Prospecting?

Circle prospecting is a real estate lead generation strategy where real estate agents contact all homeowners surrounding a specific listing. The goal of circle prospecting is to generate leads by showing social proof with the listing. Think of it as building a mini-farm area with a direct interest in the transaction you will close in their neighborhood.

Video: Circle Prospecting Real Estate Strategy for the 21st Century

Truly innovative real estate lead generation strategies are rare. Innovation isn’t easy. That’s why we were so excited to watch Tampa Realtor Christina Griffin’s presentation at Tom Ferry’s Success Summit. With inspiration and guidance from Tom, Christina came up with an exciting AND new (well, new to us, at least) circle prospecting strategy.

Christina’s strategy combines cutting-edge technology with circle prospecting, mixing an old strategy with a new methodology. Check out Christina’s presentation on her strategy below.

Before You Circle Prospect: Don’t Let ‘Cold’ Leads Slip Through the Cracks in Your CRM

REALqualified logo with circle headshot of andrew hendry and silas poole

While circle prospecting is a great way to generate leads, any top-producing agent will tell you the same thing: The real money is in the follow-up. How many “cold” leads who might transact soon are sitting in your customer relationship manager (CRM) right now? If only you had the time to follow up…

Enter REALQualified. REALQualified’s team of highly trained inside sales agents (ISAs) will follow up with your leads on your schedule. That means instead of getting hung up on 20x a day, you get real appointments with real qualified leads.

Visit REALQualified

7 Circle Prospecting Tips & Scripts for 2022

Top View shot of Houses

If you’re an agent who doesn’t like the idea of using Slybroadcast but still wants to get better at circle prospecting, here are seven circle prospecting tips for 2022 from our real estate coaches Chris Linsell and Sean Moudry:

1. Don’t Make Your Circle Too Large

A common mistake that new agents make when circle prospecting is making their circle too large. They think if reaching 50 homes is good, then reaching 200 homes will be better. In reality, this strategy will be more costly, more time-consuming, and will likely get lackluster results.

The reason why is simple. The further you go from the target listing, the less relevant that transaction will be to the homeowners you reach. Stick to 20 to 30 (no more than 50 total) homes in the immediate vicinity of your listing to get the best results. You know you’ll be reaching homeowners who have a similar home and a vested interest in your listing.

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2. Don’t Overthink It

Another mistake many agents make when circle prospecting for the first time is overthinking their scripts. It’s a natural mistake to make because most agents want to do a good job and they study those scripts like their lives depend on it.

In reality, a script should be like an outline for a story. You should use it as a general guide to start and maintain a conversation, but never forget that this is a conversation. Yes, you want your lead to set up a listing appointment, join your email list, or whatever. But if you overcomplicate your script, you won’t sound authentic.

Keep it simple: “This is [your name] with [your brokerage]. We just listed a home in your neighborhood [community name]. If you know anyone looking to move, give us a call.”

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3. Get Over Your Fear of Door Knocking ← This One’s Important!

lion design Door Knocker

Most new agents are scared of having a lead hang up on them during a cold call, but the fear of door-knocking verges on phobia. If you don’t believe me, find a new agent and ask them to come knocking on doors with you next week.

The reality is most people are not jerks, and you will be surprised at how many appreciate the courage it takes to knock on their door. A great way to combat the rejection is to use a multichannel approach to your circle prospecting. Start out by sending postcards or hanging door hangers so you’ll seem more familiar when you begin the scary task of actually knocking on those doors.

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Door Knocking for Real Estate: Does It Still Work? (+ Tips & Scripts)

4. Why Circle Prospecting? It’s Not Just About Getting Leads

Another mistake new agents frequently make with circle prospecting is giving up if they don’t get leads right away. The truth is circle prospecting is just as much about marketing as it is about generating leads. The goal is to get in front of more homeowners and become familiar in the neighborhood.

The best way to think of circle prospecting is planting seeds. You may not see any growth immediately, but if you continue to nurture those seeds, you’ll start to see them sprout. Start conversations and practice great follow-up.

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5. Use Multiple Outreach Methods to Increase Your Response Rate

To maximize your response rate, blend in other marketing materials like postcards, texts, phone calls, and door-knocking over the next few months. Continuously put yourself in front of your target audience to create familiarity. You’ll be surprised how many homeowners will start to act like they know you after they’ve seen your face and heard your name multiple times.

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6. Practice This Circle Prospecting Phone Script

Here’s a quick and easy script that can work for Slydial or when you call directly.

7. Offer to Include Them in Your Monthly Market Report

Since most of the people you contact when circle prospecting won’t be moving any time soon, you need to offer them something of value to stay top of mind. Offering free access to a monthly market report email is the perfect way to do it.

Visit REALQualified

Deep Dive: Christina’s Circle Prospecting Strategy That Got All Those Leads

Business woman sitting in a table holding a black mug with 80/20 text design

Like most great ideas, Christina started with something that has worked historically and tweaked it with new technology. Here’s what she did.

Starting with a new listing, she leveraged the age-old technique of circle prospecting—reaching out to homeowners in a circle around her recently listed, or recently sold, property with a targeted message.

However, instead of sending postcards or using door hangers, Christina brought circle prospecting into the 21st century.

She started by gathering the cell phone numbers of people who lived near her listing from a company called Cole Realty Resource. She then checked the Do Not Call (DNC) list, and using software called Slybroadcast, she left a message on their voicemail. This is a crucial part of the strategy. Slybroadcast does not ring their phones—instead, the message goes straight to voicemail.

Here’s the script she wrote with Tom’s help:

Simple, right? And there lies the secret. The more complicated your message, the higher the likelihood it will be ignored. This is true for almost all marketing and lead generation.

When it comes to effective marketing, simple is best. Focus on one simple idea and direct your audience to take one action at a time.

The Results

Her results were truly astonishing:

She sent out a total of 1,200 messages to cell phones in a two-mile circle around her listing. From those messages, she got over 200 returned calls—so many that her call coordinator from MyOutDesk couldn’t keep up with the volume.

From those 200 calls, Christina and her team managed to get two new listings and four closed buyer deals. All from a simple, high-tech circle prospecting strategy that didn’t require cold calling, door knocking, or Facebook advertising. Not bad, right?

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The Follow-up: Using Technology to Grow Genuine Relationships

As many of you already know, the money is in the follow-up. Anyone with deep enough pockets or a clever idea can get their phone to ring. Turning those calls into closed deals takes practice and a good lead-nurturing strategy. Luckily, Christina’s team has both.

They took the returned calls from their circle prospecting and put them into their CRM (BoomTown!) and labeled them appropriately.

They also smartly used a Google phone number to track the calls, and used SMS-based lead nurturing to engage with the leads they didn’t speak to personally.

Christina’s circle prospecting strategy is smart. She leverages modern technology to boost her results quickly. She was able to grow her team fast and create success by thinking outside the box. 

You can utilize the strength of circle prospecting to generate leads and grow your business, even if you don’t have a sphere of influence to work with. So, get out there and start working those neighborhoods.

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Over to You

Know a great real estate agent, broker, or team leader who leverages new (or old) technology in a creative way to generate listings and leads? Have a great circle prospecting story? Let us know in the comments. We love to hear your exciting stories from the field. 

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