Creative Ways To Get Leads As A Real Estate Agent

Agent Advice

Written by

Andrei Geist

Published date:

Updated: Feb 26, 2024 by

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When you work in real estate, there are times when you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. With a good marketing strategy and some clever advertising you can get work by just sitting back and waiting for it to come to you, but this isn’t always going to pay the bills. In instances like these, you’ve got to go out and round up some leads in instances like these. Learning how to get real estate leads is only half the battle. Once you get them, you need to win them over.


The idea of finding leads the old fashioned way can be very intimidating. Blurring the line between your personal and professional lives in this way can be a slippery slope, and you definitely don’t want to become known as the person who is constantly networking. But don’t worry; there are ways to gather leads without falling prey to this stereotype!


Generally speaking, networking doesn’t have to be a negative thing. There’s a way to do it without annoying or irritating those you come into contact with and gaining a reputation as a relentless professional. In this article, we’re going to be giving you some great places to start gathering leads in a nonthreatening, low-key way. However, before we learn how to get real estate leads, let’s focus on the leads themselves!


What are Leads in Real Estate?

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We are all in constant contact with different types of industries on a daily basis. There’s the real estate industry, aviation, toys, petrochemicals, tourism, and fast food. All these are industries on their own, but none of them would exist if it weren’t for leads and lead generation. Lead generation stays as the footing of every industry as, without creative ways to get real estate leads, we don’t have real estate customers. Without customers, we have no demand. Without demand, we have no business. Real estate lead generation ideas are as important as in any other industry.


There are different types of leads in real estate as there are many creative ways to get real estate leads. You need to learn how to get real estate leads for new agents. We’ll go into further details on where real estate agents get their leads later on. First, let’s make sure we understand the most important types of leads out there and which you should focus on more.


If you work in a real estate office, you probably saw lists of potential leads being handed out to agents. Most of these are a waste of time because they are unqualified leads. That is the first type we will focus on.


Unqualified Real Estate Leads

Potential leads usually contain names of people who are not yet prepared to buy or sell a home. In other words, they have a certain potential to become leads at some point in the future, but they aren’t there just yet. That's why they are called unqualified because their current potential is too low to be able to guarantee a sale in the foreseeable future. There are different ways to determine whether a lead is unqualified or not.


  • Affordability - do they have the financial stability to purchase a house? A negative answer guarantees their status as an unqualified lead. All the mortgage support you as a real estate agent can offer can not actually increase their budget. All you can do is provide them with the tools to verify their options and guide them towards making the best and most informed decision for their life at that time.
  • Reluctancy - are they prepared to take that step in their life? Purchasing a house is an important milestone in someone’s life, especially if it is their first time. However, even if they are empty-nesters looking into downgrading their home, it is still a big life moment. Being emotionally prepared for that step may not be as easy to some as it is to others, and the amount of support and guidance you can provide can only go so far. This decision has to come from the client.
  • Uncertainty - do they even know what they want? In simple terms, the answer is no because they simply have yet to really consider entering a real estate venture. This is not a priority for them, and they aren’t actively seeking their dream home. At times, uncertainty may allow their curiosity to be sparked, but their importance to the real estate search is minimal.
  • Convertibility - can you turn an unqualified lead into a qualified lead? In time, yes. The amount of time you spend on an unqualified lead can eventually pay off. Still, it takes patience and just enough investment from real estate agents that it keeps the lead intrigued but not overwhelmed with offers. Keep them in your email newsletters but focus on content than you would on listings. Giving them something real estate related to browsew through can be the light push you need to nurture an unqualified lead into a qualified one.


Did you know that most unqualified leads become qualified leads at one point or another? Real estate agents approach many people at the wrong time in their lives, but that doesn’t mean that the moment won’t come for them. Sooner or later, they will buy or sell a property, and maintaining a relationship with them places you in the right spot for when that moment comes. That is why we wanted to cover unqualified leads first. 


Showing neglect to unqualified leads is not a real estate lead generation technique. Contrarily, it ensures that you will lose them. However, if you nurture these connections without becoming an agent who can not stop networking, you might very well be the agent they turn to when they need your services. Whether you keep them in your newsletters or connect with them through social media, your services are available to them as long as you're there. Numbers show that only 2% of the sales close on the first contact while 80% close after the gift to the twelfth contact, according to Power Up Leads. So keep them close but not too close. We’ll go over some creative ways to get real estate leads and how you can transform them into qualified ones shortly. First, we’ll see what qualifies a lead.


Qualified Real Estate Leads

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An unqualified lead becomes a qualified lead when the individual is actively interested in selling or buying a property. Being able to differentiate between qualified and unqualified leads will help organize your time more efficiently. When you know that the client you are talking to is searching for a property, can afford it, and knows what they want from the property, you invest more time in them. Allocating your time accordingly based on the kind of lead you are dealing with will help grow your business. For this, it is essential to determine whether you have a qualified lead or not. The following characteristics are representative of qualified leads.


  • They’re on the market - are they actively seeking real estate representation? Looking for a real estate agent, broker, or searching listings and contacting seller’s agents is an obvious sign that the person is a qualified lead. They might know a few agencies and agents, and they can also be referrals or people looking to buy or sell a property. They took the first step towards becoming a homebuyer and finding you will get them that much closer to their goal. 
  • Connection - are they looking forward to getting that call from their agent? Whether this is you or someone else, if they are anxious about being contacted by a real estate agent, it means that the home buying or selling process is something that they are interested in. The relationship between agent and client should be good at that time, and communication frequently occurs between the two. The agent keeps the client informed and vice-versa.
  • Confidence - do they know what they want? If the answer to questions like “what are you looking for?” are concrete, exact and straightforward, like “two-bedroom, one and a half bathrooms, with an open-plan kitchen and an outside area, balcony or terrace is fine”, those clients are qualified leads.
  • Boundaries - do they know what they can afford? Clients who can tell you from the top of their head what their budget is and how much credit they can afford are secured qualified leads. Give them all the time they need and make sure you highlight the best offers for them.
  • Openness - would they sell or buy now? As in right now? These clients either have a property ready to be moved into and vacate their home at a moment’s notice or are they all packed and ready to move into the new property. If they can sign on the dotted line when you first meet them, they are as qualified as they come.


How to Get Real Estate Leads?

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Real estate agents will see variations in how their business is going throughout their professional life. To some extent, these variations can result from the agent’s actions, but sometimes it can be entirely out of their control. However, seeing as, in some cases, these differences in revenue are cyclical or even seasonal, it is healthy to maintain a steady number of leads under your sleeve. Low-interest rates and beautiful summer temperatures come and go. Soon enough, winter will lull just around the corner, and fluctuations in the market can come up at any given time, as 2021 demonstrated. 


Maintaining a healthy supply of leads in the pipeline allows you to prepare for the unexpected. We can face the unpredictable nature of the real estate market with an arsenal of real estate lead generation techniques. Up next, we’ll go over a few creative ways to get real estate leads for those who like to think outside the box and choose to stay ahead of the curve. With that said, let’s look at how to get leads as a real estate agent!


A pinch of finesse

Before we get down to brass tacks, we’ve got to make one thing clear: none of these ideas will be of use to you if you don't know how to work with people. Networking is about creating and nurturing personal connections, and working to the shared benefit of all parties involved. In this game, “always be closing” does not apply.


With networking, it’s all about finding a balance between confidently pursuing your goals and being conscientious of the personal space, boundaries and comfort of the people you’re networking with. If your approach is too bold, people will feel like you’re trying to sell them something; if it’s too subtle, you won’t get any useful information.


It takes time and practice to get this balance right, but with time just about anyone can master these skills. It’s all in the way you approach your goal. If you think in terms of sales and profit margins, you’re going to come across as jaded and insincere. If you look at networking as a way to help people, you’re much more likely to achieve success.


Enlist friends and family

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The best place to start with networking is your inner circle of friends and family. If you’re trying to discover creative ways to generate leads as a new agent, this is a great place to start. You aren’t necessarily trying to sell real estate when working with family and friends; instead, you’re going to be establishing yourself as the best option for anyone who wants to buy or sell real estate. But what does this look like in practice?


In simple terms, this will mostly take the form of subtle hints that you’re ready and raring to go, there to offer your real estate agent skills to anyone who needs them. Listen to conversations, perhaps gently steering them towards real estate, and listen for any indications that the person or people you’re talking to is interested in buying real estate, or knows someone who is.


Once the conversation has reached this point, you can sincerely and genuinely offer your services. “Oh, you’re thinking of buying a new home? I can help with that!” If you want a good reputation, consider making special concessions for the person you’re working with. People often joke about “the friends and family discount”; why not use it to your advantage?


While working at a reduced commission or increased workload may seem difficult to justify in the short term, it will help you build a reputation as an honest, fair and helpful real estate professional. When someone gets a good deal, they’re going to want to tell all their friends; think of this as free marketing and exposure! Go the extra mile, be helpful, and people will inevitably take note. 

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Explore other social settings

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Once your circle of friends and family know that you work in real estate and can help with any real estate needs they might have, it’s time to broaden your horizons. Real estate leads for new agents can be found just outside their comfort zone, so start exploring. Look for opportunities to help your community while also filling your Rolodex with people who might be interested in contracting your services. So, where do real estate agents get their leads?


There are numerous options you can explore to achieve this goal. For starters, you could volunteer at a community outreach center or other similar community hub. You’ll help your community in a meaningful way, you’ll create a good reputation for yourself, and you’ll gain new contacts who will take your generosity into account when considering you to help them with their real estate needs. It’s a win-win-win!


There are other social settings in which you can expand your circle of influence too. If you have a dog, take it for a walk in the park and don’t hesitate to strike up a friendly conversation with your fellow pet owners. Keep it casual, and end the interaction by telling them that you are a real estate agent and you’d be happy to help them out if they ever need someone with your skill set. Just be sure to bring your business cards!


Once you get comfortable with this strategy, any social setting can become an opportunity to gain potential clients. Do you workout? Approach a person or two at the gym. Are you in any post-graduate classes or courses? Talk to your classmates. In addition to helping you grow your real estate career, you’ll also make new friends and gain social skills. There’s really no downside to it!


Networking in the real estate world

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This one is going to seem a bit obvious to any experienced real estate agents, but it’s no less of an effective tool to gather leads than any of the other entries on this list. What are we talking about, you ask? The answer is networking while you’re on the clock! There are plenty of opportunities to gain leads while you’re working; you just need to approach situations with this goal in mind. You can even build a real estate team to help out! 


Take real estate conventions for example. These are an excellent place to strike up conversations with people who are either in the same field as you or looking to start working in the same field as you. Regardless which of these is the case, you’ll have an easier time talking to people about real estate in this setting.


Another great place to network is at open houses, both those you’re hosting and open houses of other real estate agents. People who are checking out an open house may not be dead set on buying that specific home, but are likely interested in real estate; use this to your advantage and get their contact information!


There are other work-related contexts in which you can ply your trade, far more than we can list here. It’s up to you to approach every situation with one goal in mind: finding leads. This will allow you to provide your services to a quickly growing client base, and help you gain invaluable word-of-mouth referrals.


Build collaborations

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Real estate agents come in direct contact with many people in the local business scene. Many of these contacts can become mutually beneficial collaborations or partnerships. You could look into organizing events to include them and their business, form local alliances, and promote each other to prospective clients. This is an excellent strategy because you can help your clients with contacts that they could use before or after they sign on the dotted line. The following fields are examples of potential productive partnerships for real estate agents.


Financial advice is something most prospective clients will need. While real estate agents may not have the most updated information on hand regarding lenders, mortgages, and other financial support that their clients might need, they might know the people who do. Building relationships with mortgage brokers, financial planners, advisers, commercial lenders, or personal bankers will come in handy. Having them on speed dial will not only make it possible for you to help out with some information, but you can also give them referrals in the field. Vice-versa, lenders can provide you referrals of potential clients as great buyer leads for real estate agents. Those people are already interested in mortgage options, so they are slowly becoming qualified leads.


Home renovations might be necessary every now and then when selling or buying a home. Furthermore, clients might also need to look into renovations. As a real estate agent, you may have dealt with contractors, inspectors, home renovation teams, and insurance brokers. All these professionals can help your clients through their pre-sale renovation to increase their return on investment or help them out through any changes they are planning to make to their newly purchased home. Through trial and error, you might have come across some great or not so great contractors, and knowing which ones to suggest to your clients will give you a leg over your competitors. Also, having the right insurance is essential depending on what your buyers are planning to do with their new property. Get your trusting insurance agents to help them select the best coverage for their project.


Goods and services can be split into two categories; those that your clients can contract for a long time and those that will help your clients when they need it. Landscapers might have fit better in the category mentioned above, but if your clients want a continuous landscaping service, then they’d contract the service long-term. Also, cleaning services can be a God-sent before any house presentation you organize, but why shouldn’t your clients hire those services as well - maybe at a discount. Baked goods are also excellent for open houses, so partner with a local family-owned business, and you’ll create an appealing atmosphere for everyone that stops by.


Work on your conversation skills

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Have you ever been in a situation where a newly made acquaintance just would not stop talking? While they drone on about everything and nothing, you do your best to drop gentle hints that your patience is wearing thin, but they’re too focused on what they’re saying to notice. At last, when you can’t take it any longer, you tersely make an excuse to exit, and walk away thinking about ways to never speak to that person again.


If you want to network successfully, don’t be that person. Once you gain the confidence to approach strangers, you might think that you’ve achieved optimal networking effectiveness; if your conversation skills aren’t up to snuff, you haven’t. In simple terms, if you aren’t an interesting, engaging conversation partner, people aren’t going to want to have conversations with you.


In order to avoid this being the case with you, workshop your conversation skills. It might seem a bit over the top, but having a few ready conversation starters that are fun, light and intriguing can make all the difference in terms of a first impression. The goal here is to leave a positive impression that will encourage second interactions.


Lastly, don’t talk about real estate any more than you have to. You aren’t trying to sell anything, you’re just trying to make friends. If you approach the conversation as a business opportunity, people will pick up on this and use any excuse to exit as soon as possible. A simple word or two at the conversation’s close is more than enough to get your message across, so don’t overdo it. 


Maintain your relationships

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When networking as a real estate agent, it’s important to remember that meeting new people is only half the battle. Once you get comfortable approaching strangers, it’ll become second nature to organically work your occupation into casual conversations, but without follow-up these contacts will soon lose touch and be lost to time.


In order to avoid this, try to keep in touch with the people you meet. Don’t do it as a business-person trying to hedge their bets; do it as a friend maintaining a friendship. It’s ok to offhandedly mention your work when the conversation touches on the topic, but don’t dominate every interaction with talk of real estate. Conversations between friends rarely dwell on work for too long, so undue work talk can make you seem cold and insincere.


Try to stay up to date with your contacts by communicating regularly and spending time with them when possible. A simple invitation to lunch or a coffee will take up little more than an hour or two of your time, but it conveys a clear and unmistakable message: I care about you, and I value you as a person. It’s a small investment, but it will do wonders for your reputation.


Another thing that will help you convey sincerity in both your personal and professional lives is attentiveness. When we care about people, we remember small details about them. Listen intently during conversations, and mentally take note when they mention things that are meaningful to them. If your memory isn’t sharp enough to keep these details straight, jot down a quick note on your phone or notepad. It will do wonders for your friendship! 


How to Generate Real Estate Leads Online?

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The real estate industry has long been at the mercy of traditional marketing strategies. However, relying on word of mouth, pamphlets, calls, and benches with your face on them is paling in front of the immense opportunities provided by the internet. Learning how to generate real estate leads online isn’t as difficult as you might think, and as long as you know how to use the internet and social media, you’re ready to go.


Use the internet for advertising

Countless online platforms provide advertisement opportunities for a fee. Take a look at Zillow for a second. Considering the fact that in 2020, the percentage of home buyers who used the world wide web skyrocketed to 97% based on the National Association of Realtors survey, realtors need to get on the platform. But that is only one example.


Whether it’s millennials or baby boomers, these two generations start their home hunt online most of the time. Platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media platforms allow for ads to be run and targeted at the demographic you are interested in. Why shouldn’t you use the same media to get your business more revenue?


If your question is “where do real estate agents get their leads?” One of the answers is on the internet. Answer real estate questions posted on Quora or Reddit, find local or national real estate websites to provide content for, or join The Official Real Estate Agent Directory® for a more complete experience for both real estate agents and clients. Pick the one that works best for your needs and sign up. Sometimes, collaborating with platforms can be both time and money-effective, just as long as you know what you’re getting yourself.


Build your own website

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Whether you’re working for a brokerage company, or are diving headfirst into the real estate industry on your own, stop wondering how to get more real estate leads and get a website. It can be a profile on your brokerage company’s website or your own website. Having your own online presence as a real estate agent will allow you to build your own brand and make you stand out from the crowd. 


You can use a personal website for essential real estate content like presenting your niche, showcasing your specialty properties, and sharing testimonials from satisfied customers. However, if you go that extra mile and provide educational and informative content, you can be smart about it. Look into SEO as a real estate lead generation technique. It is proven to optimize your website content by providing clients with the information they actively search for online works. Take frequently asked questions, for instance. If your website’s keyword density for “home for sale in …” is high, you have a bigger chance of becoming the first Google result in their online search.


Lead generation through social media

Now that you have real estate-related content on your website or page, it’s time to promote it. Just having it online isn’t enough, as SEO can take time to work its way into search engine algorithms. However, seeing as we like in 2022, social media is an abundant resource for sharing educational and informational content. 


Still, if you don’t have your own content to share, share someone else’s content that is related to the real estate market. Is there something happening in your area of activity that can affect prices? Share that. Are there any new real estate trends that might interest your potential clients? Share that. Did you find or make a funny real estate meme or come across a funny real estate-related skit? Share that. If it’s funny, informational, helpful, or interesting to real estate clients, make sure you include it in your social media posts.


Something else that can be shared, literally everywhere online, are events. All social media platforms that we use include event features. Either as a post, an event, or a story, promoting an event online could not be any easier. Nowadays, you can even create events and make them visible only to some people. Like that, your close acquaintances and family members won’t be spammed by all your online activity, and you’ll get the real estate leads you want.


Where do Real Estate Agents get their Leads?

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Knowing how to get real estate leads is one thing, but knowing where to get them from is another. Now that you’re up and ready to use creative ways to get real estate agent leads, let’s see where do real estate agents get their leads? Understanding where and when to use your real estate lead generation techniques takes know-how. You don’t want to be the one who can not stop talking about real estate, as people tend to keep a safe distance from those people. Nobody likes someone who only thinks about selling, and maintaining those relationships takes a great deal of tact.


Still, you may be wondering, where do real estate agents get their leads from? It’s simple. The truth is that they can get it from anywhere. Being a social individual, an active listener, and someone who knows how to help without being pushy are detrimental to your success as a real estate agent.


You can apply real estate lead generation techniques to any situation, so don’t shy away from interacting with new people or going to new places. The truth of the matter is that as long as you find reasons to start talking to people, you will get the opportunity to mention that you’re a real estate agent. Add to that a vast portfolio of houses and/or clients that can be useful to any potential seller or buyer, and if they need your services, slip them your card. Get ready to mingle! It’s all about knowing how to strike the iron while it’s hot and not wasting your strength when the iron is cold.



For less experienced real estate agents, networking can seem like a towering, insurmountable obstacle. If you aren’t naturally extroverted, the idea of approaching strangers and plying your trade can be more intimidating than just about anything else. Nevertheless, if you stick with it and keep your nerve, you’ll improve your social skills and present yourself as an option for anyone trying to find a real estate agent. You’ll improve as a person and a professional!


Did you enjoy this article? Want to ask a question, or provide us with some feedback? We’d love to hear from you! Simply leave us a comment in the comments section below, and a member of the team will reply as soon as possible. As a reader, you are our top priority; we look forward to hearing from you!

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