Consistently generating real estate buyer leads is what sets successful agents apart. If you want to climb the real estate ladder, especially early in your career, you’ve got to deploy strategies that will create a steady stream of house-hunting clients. We’ve got 12 easy ways to help you keep your funnel full in busy and lean times.
Why I’m the Right Person to Help You Find Real Estate Buyer Leads
As a veteran agent and real estate coach, I talk to agents every day who want to boost their buyer lead generation game. Also, I’ve been in your shoes, working hard to drum up business. Take it from me: Buyers are fun to work with, and drumming up buyer leads is easier than you might think. The good news is that you already have the tools you need to be successful—and you can start today!
Do Buyer’s Agents Have All the Fun?
1. Host Open Houses
Of course, you should always consider hosting an open house when you have a listing to market—it’s a tried-and-true way of promoting and selling a property. But it’s also the perfect opportunity to capture real estate buyer leads. Who comes to an open house (other than nosy neighbors)? Buyers!
Think of these events as opportunities to not only put your listing in the best light, but also your brand. Introduce yourself to every potential buyer, collect contact information, and always! always! always! follow! up! You’d be surprised at how often “just looking” becomes “ready to buy.”
Don’t have any listings at the moment? Offer to host open houses for fellow agents at your brokerage. You’ll be their hero for freeing up their weekend and you’ll be in the perfect place to capture valuable buyer leads.
2. Be the Community Expert
Want to connect with more local homebuyers? Become the community expert. Use your website and social media to showcase all of the goings-on in your community. I have a friend who sends out a monthly newsletter to all of her contacts with a list of local events, from high school football games to oyster roasts. It’s so comprehensive and thorough that the whole community relies on it and calls it “Debbie’s list.”
But, I’ll be honest: This is a time-consuming strategy that doesn’t bring in leads immediately. So if you want results faster, consider a community website from Parkbench. With a Parkbench website, you can become the source of information for all the exciting events in your area more quickly, and almost all of it is populated for you automatically.
Parkbench works best for community-focused agents who prefer to nurture relationships rather than purchase leads. Check the Parkbench website for availability in your market (they only allow one real estate agent per area). It’s a great way to build relationships with the most influential people in your community.
3. Convert Your Renter Clients Into Buyer Leads
Consider this: 44.1 million people rented last year and a majority of people lease or rent before they own, especially if they are new to town. Tapping into that massive base of potential buyers is an excellent strategy for sourcing real estate buyer leads.
Not only can you market to this demographic efficiently (via strategies like sending branded flyers to apartment communities), you can work with renters to establish a long-term relationship. If you’re an agent who demonstrates professionalism and trustworthiness during the renting process, you’ll be their first call when they’re ready to buy a home.
Want to learn more? Check out this video detailing our comprehensive strategy for targeting renters as future buyers.
4. Partner With a Company That Offers Exclusive Real Estate Buyer Leads
I’m often asked if buying leads is worth it. One of my favorite things to say to my real estate coaching clients is, “There’s no such thing as a free lead.” You might pay with your time, your effort, your checkbook, or you can pay with a combination of all three. One way or another, you’re going to pay for the leads you get.
If you are considering purchasing leads, take a look at Top Producer Social Connect. It’s like hiring your own team of experts to craft your social media ads to generate leads, which are automatically sent to your customer relationship manager (CRM).
5. Look for Any Excuse to Throw a Party
According to the National Association of Realtors, more than a third of all buyers used either an agent they knew or an agent who was referred by someone in their personal sphere last year.
While there are plenty of ways to stay top of mind with your sphere of influence (SOI), one of the single best ways to connect with your contacts—and meet friends of your contacts—is a party.
There are plenty of excuses to have parties for your sphere of influence—anything from a Kentucky Derby viewing party to a celebration at a brewery after some community service work. Think of all of the creative ways you can get your collection of contacts together. One of my favorites: Throw a housewarming party for your recent buyer clients!
6. Interact With Buyers on Social Media
So often, real estate agents look at social media like any other marketing outlet. Write your copy, post your pictures, buy ads, then sit back and wait for the buyer leads. So what does social media engagement actually mean?
Real estate buyers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even TikTok are looking for more than just static posts—they’re looking for interaction. That means you need to engage with the content that they post. Comment, like, share in your own story, reply to comments, and be part of the larger conversation.
This also means demonstrating your knowledge. If you’re the local real estate expert, share interesting facts, give a brief lesson on a timely topic, or answer questions online. I have a top-producing Realtor friend who is incredibly active on a Facebook group focused on local history. He’s a go-to source for local legends, and new buyer clients are constantly finding him right there on social media.
Find what you enjoy, and then join and participate in discussions. Is there a cooking group that posts interesting recipes? Share some of your own! Love dogs? Find the local pup hashtags and hangouts! It might be time consuming, but it’s a surefire way to boost your return on social media investment.
Too busy to spend your time on social media engagement? Consider Agent Crate, one of our favorite social media template providers for the real estate world. Our own industry marketing expert, Emile L’Eplattenier, called it out as the platform that offers the best value for money in terms of the competition.
7. Become a Zillow Premier Agent
Do you… Zillow? Well, your buyers do.
Just to put it in numbers, Zillow gets more than 93 million unique visitors per month, and the majority of them are buyers who are browsing real estate listings. So maybe it’s time to let Zillow work for you. The Zillow Premier Agent program not only puts you in the spotlight, it also offers other great perks, like featured placement in the Zillow Agent Finder and access to Zillow’s Live Connections program. If you want to learn more about Zillow and its Premier Agent program, check out our comprehensive guide.
P.S.: Zillow has a program, Zillow Flex, in select markets. Rather than paying for their services upfront, you pay a percentage of your commission. Check out our review of Zillow Flex to help you weigh the pros and cons of a pay-at-closing lead gen model.
8. Try Demographic Farming
Instead of focusing on a certain neighborhood, as geographic farming does, focus on a specific demographic, such as seniors, first-time homebuyers, or members of the military. Of course, if you want to attract a certain type of real estate buyer, you’ve got to do more than just know their demographics. You need to know who these clients are as people.
Chevy Chase was onto something in “Caddyshack” when he said, “Be the ball.” Think like your target demographic. What questions or hesitations will these buyers have? What are their interests? What keeps them up at night? What problems do they have that you can solve?
The better you know your potential buyers, the better agent you will be for them.
Ready for some razor-sharp targeting in your farming efforts? SmartZip is an all-in-one listing and lead farming tool with a proprietary algorithm that aggregates data from more than 30 top data providers nationwide. This data includes property data, behavioral data, consumer data, and demographic data. Combined and fed into the SmartZip algorithm, it paints a picture of the candidates most likely to move in the coming months.
9. Serve Your Community & Become the Local Go-to Real Estate Agent
You became a real estate agent for many reasons, but I bet one of them is that you like helping people and your community. Giving back to an organization you care about helps you contribute and network.
Working with local schools, for example, is a great way to get yourself in front of prime-time homebuyers: families with children. Schools need sponsors and fundraising, and students need volunteers and mentors. This is a great way to both serve your community and get in front of people who are in that peak housebuying demographic. But don’t limit yourself. Consider communities of faith, sports leagues, nonprofits, and of course, animal rescue organizations.
There’s a hugely successful brokerage in my town that sponsors rec sports, which means every season there’s a bunch of adorable five-year-olds running around, playing soccer in jerseys with their brokerage’s branding. Some agents even volunteer to coach. Parents take note, and that’s their first call when they’re ready to buy a house with a backyard big enough for a soccer goal.
10. Use Old-fashioned Mail to Reach Entire Communities
Direct mail marketing is still an incredibly effective and efficient strategy for generating real estate buyer leads. But you need to be thoughtful about your design in order to stand out. Send out a calendar for the year, populated with holidays and local events, and I bet that postcard ends up on the refrigerator, keeping you top of mind for months to come.
If you’re looking for a direct mail option that is easy to use, has tons of design options, and won’t break the bank, check out ProspectsPLUS!. Choose from one of their 250 real estate-specific templates, input your personal information, and make sure the copy reflects your community. Now you’ve got yourself a real estate lead generating machine.
11. Make a Short Video
It’s no secret that video dominates internet content. Considering that the average attention span on the internet is measured in seconds, not that many people will read your 1,000-word blog post about why you’re the best buyer’s agent in your city. But many, many more of those people will watch you say the same thing on Instagram or TikTok.
And while it may feel overwhelming to break into video content marketing, know this: Google prominently features YouTube in search results, which gives real estate agents with good video content a chance to outrank behemoths like Zillow.
I have a good friend (and Realtor) who hosts helpful question-and-answer sessions every week. He shoots his videos when he’s in the car or on a walk so they’re casual and not high-tech. He is authoritative, provides thoughtful answers and insights, and has built a social media following in the tens of thousands. When buyers are ready to start looking for a home, this guy, who has been advising them through Instagram for months, is their first call.
Just remember that no matter what form your videos take, make sure they are authentically you and that they capture (and keep) your audience’s attention.
12. Get Real Estate Buyer Leads From Your Listings
Whether you’re looking to double-dip a transaction or want to shore up some goodwill with your sellers, finding potential buyers for properties you’ve put on the market makes your job as a listing agent much easier. And as the market shifts in 2023, this is only going to become more important.
Your first strategy should be to ensure the home’s visual marketing assets are top-notch. Get professional photos taken, make sure you’ve got great video content, and consider investing in virtual tour technology too.
Next, verify that your listing appears just how you want it to on popular third-party sites like Zillow and realtor.com. Though these sites pull their data straight from your MLS, you always want to double-check how they look. Finally, get proactive by placing ads on social media targeted to likely buyers in your community.
When your listing sells, you might even be perfectly positioned to help any buyers out there who didn’t get their offer accepted on your listing.
Over to You
Anyone can generate a few buyer leads, but if you want to be successful, you’re going to need a steady stream of leads every week. Keep in mind that your buyer clients will eventually turn into sellers too, so investing in your buyer lead funnel now creates opportunities for multiple transactions down the road.
Have any tried-and-true tips for generating buyer leads? Questions on how to best utilize these ideas? Leave us a comment below!