Generating Leads for Real Estate Buyers and Sellers - dummies

By Terri M. Cooper, Dirk Zeller

Without stock you have nothing to sell. Without leads to convert into buyers and sellers, you may as well shut up shop! Generating leads is the purpose of every single real estate prospecting activity. The day you stop prospecting is the day you go out of business.

At the same time, many agents may shudder at the word prospecting as procrastination is then just a blink away.

But, real estate is the ‘people’ business. It’s about connecting someone who wants to buy a property with someone who wants to sell a property and meeting the needs of hundreds — even thousands — of potential buyers and sellers.

Think about prospecting differently. See it as merely a way of forming relationships that could lead to an immediate result or alternatively lead to a result for the future. There are so many ways to generate leads that it’s a wonder why agents often find it so hard. What is needed is usually a change in mindset. Once this happens, the rest is simple — not necessarily easy, but definitely simple.

So, what are the best ways to generate leads? The answer to this depends a great deal on personal preference but the top two should work well for agents in any market:

  1. Meet prospects at your open house showings.

    People are busy and stressed; the job of finding a house for sale or an agent to list a property can seem fraught with difficulty. A real estate sales agent’s job is to take the stress away through the way each and every client is approached.

    Meeting them in person in the non-threatening environment of an open home viewing takes the pressure off. Creating loyalty and ensuring future business with this strategy involves some key things that must be done consistently and well:

    1. Present yourself nicely. Personal presentation must be impeccable (as if you’re turning up at a job interview, which in fact you are).

    2. Smile and welcome each visitor. Be friendly and don’t be pushy. Ensure your brochures are of the best quality.

    3. Follow up! Call each person after the open house (perhaps the next day), build on the rapport from your first meeting, and reassure them that whatever the need (to buy this or perhaps another property, or to have an appraisal with a view to listing for sale) you are more than happy to help.

  2. Follow up from agency databases.

    This especially applies to past buyer inspections and appraisals. These potential clients may not have been ready to list or buy at that time, and most likely, no-one has ever kept in touch. This can be your job.

    Sometimes you’ll find that they have no further need for agent service, but the odds are that you could resurrect and move forward with each of them again — the timing could be right and you’re there to help. Add them to your own database and ensure you generate an activity plan to keep in touch until the day comes when you’re their preferred agent.