As a real estate agent, you’re operating your own business, which means you have to be in charge of generating your own leads. Here are a few tried-and-true strategies.

This article series is largely taken from the The Real Deal: Billion Dollar Real Estate Broker with permission from the author.

When is the last time your broker pulled out the roster and said you’re next on the list? Today, your brokerage is simply an address where you conduct business, keep your files and attend the odd (and now virtual) office meeting.

You are operating your own business. It’s time to take control of your own lead generation. Here are a few effective ways to generate leads today.

1. Cultivate your database

When the calls just aren’t coming in, it’s important to engage with your past, present and future clients — especially now. Don’t spam them. Just have two or three contacts you keep in touch with every year. 

Offer something of value. Send a greeting, or just say hello. This nonintrusive contact method is the most effective way to stay in touch. It also makes you someone in their sphere.

2. Up your social media game

Possibly the largest marketing disruptor to print media is social media. This has revolutionized how we do business, advertise our listings and engage with our friends, families and clients.

This is your “agent on duty,” your “walk-in” and your “lead generator.” Do it right, and you will never have to knock on another door or make another cold call again. Post content daily, respond to comments, and engage with your audience.

3. Leverage brand marketing

You are part of a macro-brand under your brokerage. Now, leverage that brand by branding yourself. Use the power of that brand through association and become synonymous with what you do — which is real estate.

Passive marketing like billboards, buses, benches and flyers are like that elevator music in the background. They’re loud enough to be heard but aren’t annoying. Eventually, a buyer or seller’s attention will turn to that recognized brand when he or she needs real estate services.

4. Sign up with one lead generation company only

If you are branding and using social media consistently and engaging with your audience, chances are people will reach out to you. They will Google your name, and the Google gods will shine their bright light on you and rank you in a favorable position.

When you enlist many lead generation companies, your name will be associated to those websites. The risk is that their name shows up before yours does. If they offer a “click here to find out what your home is worth” service, you’ll end up paying a referral fee even though that buyer or seller was searching for you.

Limit your exposure to lead generation companies, and make sure that your website is prominent, has great content (including high-quality videos) and is updated regularly. Do not sign up with every lead generation company that shows up in your inbox.

5. Think about community integration

Become a member of your neighborhood, your sub area and your city. Sponsor events, assist in fundraising, become a volunteer, and offer services beyond real estate. When you become a contributing member of society, the community will support you. Even if they don’t, you’ll still be doing good and making a difference — which is always worth it. 

The real estate industry is forever evolving and being disrupted. Embrace the evolution and change. Apply it to your business, and ensure that you remain relevant. 

Faisal Susiwala is a broker at RE/MAX Twin City Faisal Susiwala Realty in Ontario, Canada. Connect with him on Instagram or Facebook

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