According to Jimmy Burgess, lead gen is not about reinventing the wheel. Act consistently on these tried-and-true strategies and your lead-generation efforts will keep you moving forward.

There’s so much noise out there on how to navigate a challenging market. This April, let Inman help you cut through the clutter to make smart business decisions in real time. All month long, we’re taking it Back to Basics and finding out how real estate pros are evolving their systems and investing personally and professionally to drive growth.

This article was last updated Apr. 21, 2023.

Success in real estate is never guaranteed, but there are certain strategies that always work. If you’re struggling to regain your business’s momentum in an uncertain market, these are the nine strategies that can help you get your groove back.

Open houses

The fastest way to regain momentum is to meet as many potential buyers and sellers in person as possible. Open houses are the best way to make this happen. They provide you with the opportunity to be face-to-face with dozens of prospective clients in a short period of time. The key is to understand the three-step process to having a successful open house.

Step 1: Pre-open house

The ability to draw a crowd can be accomplished by a variety of marketing methods. Whether you utilize direct mail, door knocking, social media, or phone calls, the awareness of the open house is critical. Your preparation should involve a marketing plan that lets as many people as possible know about the upcoming open house.

Step 2: Day of the open house

The day of the open house is a time to make sure you maximize the opportunity it presents. This involves as much signage as possible, reaching out with reminders to neighbors, promoting via social media, and making sure you have sign-in sheets for any attendees to check in.

Step 3: Follow-up after the open house

A successful open house should not simply be measured by the number of people that attend; it should be measured by the number of people you are able to begin a professional relationship with after the event. The key to this is follow-up. Do you have a follow-up plan for your open houses?

My initial follow-up plans included:

  • Follow-up selfie video text right after the open house thanking them for coming
  • Follow-up phone call immediately after the open house for hot prospects and within 24 hours to all attendees
  • Placing all of the attendees in my database and setting them up with automated property detail emails for homes that come on the market like the home from the open house or homes that they indicated they would have an interest in

Open houses are the best way to meet buyers and sellers in person and that fact alone solidifies it is a strategy that always works.

Optimizing Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business pages) for Realtors

Google is the number one search engine in the world. It is utilized by buyers and sellers searching for agents or checking out agents that they may be considering working with. Your Google Business Profile is a free page that will show up on Google with details on your business for people that search for you specifically or for other real estate agents in your area.

The more complete and optimized your page, the more opportunities you will have to generate leads. Complete and accurate pages get seven times more clicks than those with missing information. Make sure you answer every question Google has when setting up your account. If you already have your page set up, go back and complete every question on Google.

Photos are also a critical part of optimizing your page. Statistics show that pages that use photos are 35 percent more likely to get click-throughs to their website. The target number we’ve found is 100 or more photos on your page. These can be homes, parks, amenities in your community, schools, photos of reviews you’ve received on other sites, or any other photos that relate to your community. The key is to understand that the more photos you have, the more you are viewed as being engaged in your business.

Finally, focus on getting as many online reviews as possible. Statistics show that 84 percent of people now trust online reviews just as much as the word of a friend. The more reviews you have on your page, the more you position yourself for calls from prospects viewing your profile.

If you are overwhelmed by the process there are companies like Curaytor or similar that can optimize your page for you, but optimizing your page is a lead generation strategy that always works.

Geographical farming

Geographical farming is a foundational real estate strategy for success if you’re focused on listings. Farming involves choosing a neighborhood or area that you will provide consistent value to in a way that leads to your recognition as the realtor of choice for that area.

It involves direct mail, open houses, just listed/just sold campaigns, community events, and adding value in any way possible to the homeowners in your targeted neighborhood. It works and if you aren’t farming at least one specific neighborhood or area, you’re not fully engaging your business as a professional real estate agent.

If you’re looking for the step-by-step system to build your farm, check out this article:

How to build a real estate farm step-by-step

Consistent real estate database campaigns

You’ve done the hard work of building a database, but a database alone will not generate business. It is the consistent value that you add to the people in the database that will lead to opportunities. Consistency is the key. Whether that is a weekly or monthly newsletter, updates on properties coming on the market like the one they own or might have an interest in buying in the future, or a general market update

If it has been a while, re-engage your database, and if you currently communicate with your database, increase the frequency. Value added to people that already know, like, and trust you always works.

Buying online leads

Online lead providers like Zillow,, or any of the other real estate lead generation sites provide an opportunity for agents to grow their business. The key is not in the lead flow though, it is in the follow-up systems that lead to conversions.

Make sure you have a follow-up system in place before ever buying leads. This increases the likelihood that the leads you buy will have a positive ROI (return-on-investment).

Once consistency of follow-up is in place, conversion with online leads will follow.

Expired listing campaigns

Expired listing strategies can help you build a pipeline of consistent listing opportunities. This was a strategy that may have been less effective in the low-inventory environment we experienced over the last few years, but that is quickly changing as inventories continue to rise. Now is the time to develop a follow-up strategy for expired listings that adds value to the homeowners and provides you with the opportunity to stand out from other agents.

If you’re not sure what your plan should look like, do a simple Google or YouTube search for expired listing campaigns. Study what others are doing and develop your personalized plans from these models. Add value to expired listing owners, and you will generate listings.

Circle prospecting

Circle prospecting involves calling homeowners around a home that recently had sales activity (new listing or recent sale). Start from a place of providing information about the activity on the home and the conversations will lead to how these sales affect their home’s value.

This is a great strategy for building a database of homeowners and to uncover immediate opportunities. Circle prospecting is the best way I know to generate conversations with potential sellers immediately. The ability to start at any time and the potential for immediate business makes circle prospecting a strategy that never goes out of style.

Just listed and just sold campaigns

The reason so many real estate agents send just listed and just sold postcards is because they work. The presentation should continuously evolve to increase engagement, but this is yet another strategy where consistency is key.

Focus on this fundamental strategy, and your business will grow.

For Sale by Owner campaigns

For sale by owners are basically homeowners raising their hand that they want to sell, they just haven’t realized they need a professional real estate agent yet. The frantic seller’s market of the past few years made it easier for homeowners to go FSBO and achieve their goal of selling their home without the assistance of an agent.

The rise in inventory and decrease in buyer demand has reversed that in the last few months making this a time when FSBO listings need the assistance of real estate agents more than ever.

The homes that will eventually be listed will go to the agents that are the most persistent and that assist the homeowners as much as possible. Develop your plan of action that involves phone calls, marketing assistance, and potentially sharing resources like handyman services or staging companies.

Even if you help them sell the home FSBO, you will have a chance to help them buy their next home or refer them to an agent wherever they are moving to.

Effective for sale by owner campaigns are a strategy that always works.

C. S. Lewis said, “Most people don’t need to be taught, they need to be reminded.” Most of these strategies may not be new to you, but how effective are you at executing the strategies you know will help your business grow? Act on one or more of these, and you will get results.

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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