Lead generation is the lifeblood of a successful real estate business, writes Jimmy Burgess. What are you going to do in 2023 to take your business to the next level?

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Lead generation is the lifeblood of a successful real estate business. So, what is it that you are going to do in 2023 to take your business to the next level? The following are 23 ways to generate leads that can help this year be your best year to date.

1. Social media ‘lil help’ posts

Do you have a buyer that you haven’t been able to find the perfect place for? Asking for help through social media can unveil both listing opportunities and create referrals. Here’s an example of this type of post:

Lil’ Help Please! I have a great family looking to buy a minimum 3-bedroom home in the West School District. We’ve seen everything available on the MLS and they may be willing to pay a premium for the right home. If you’ve heard of someone that is getting ready to sell, please let me know. I’d love to find a win-win for these buyers and someone preparing to sell.

This is an effective way to help your buyers and to possibly uncover listing opportunities.

2. Open houses

Open houses are a great way to position yourself to meet several potential buyers, along with neighbors that may be considering selling soon. If you don’t have listings, find listing agents in your office, and offer to host open houses for their listings.

3. Buy lunch, not leads

There is no better source for leads than your past clients and your sphere of influence. Instead of investing in buying leads, why not invest in lunch or coffee meetings with the people that already know, like, and trust you? Focusing attention on deepening your existing relationships is a fruitful way to generate leads in the coming year.

4. Hosting a first-time homebuyer seminar

According to Zillow’s 2022 Consumer Housing report, first-time homebuyers represent 45 percent of all homes bought in 2022, up from 37 percent during the previous year. First-time homebuyer seminars are a great way to provide value to a targeted group of potential buyers that represent nearly half of all buyers this past year.

The cost can be shared or completely covered by including a mortgage broker, credit repair company, insurance provider, and/or a home inspector in the seminar. Targeting mid to higher-priced apartment complexes with invitations is an innovative way to build a solid funnel of current and future buyers.

5. Geographical farming

Geographical farming is the process of consistently adding value to a specific area or neighborhood. This can be done via direct mail, phone calls, door-knocking, email marketing, or several other nontraditional strategies. The key is consistency, which leads to you being recognized as the go-to agent for that neighborhood or area. The result is a consistent flow of listing opportunities.

6. Farming other real estate agents for referrals

Just as geographical farming in a neighborhood involves consistently adding value to a group of homeowners, farming agents involves consistently adding value to a group of real estate agents. This is done by creating a list of agents in other markets.

Sending consistent emails with tips on how to grow their business or a strategy that you’ve been finding success with is a great way to stay top-of-mind for referrals from these agents. Start small and continuously grow the list to build a funnel of incoming referrals.

7. Optimizing your Google Business Profile page

Google Business Profiles (formerly Google My Business) are free and have tremendous lead generation capabilities when fully optimized. Focus on answering every question Google asks, adding a minimum number of 100 photos, and growing the number of reviews you have as quickly as possible.

When optimized, your Google My Business page is an excellent way to generate leads.

8. Unsolicited video CMAs

The number one question homeowners are curious about is the value of their home. Add value to homeowners by recording your screen while going over the current state of the market, showing comparable sales of homes similar to their home, and providing them with an estimate of their home’s value.

By providing this unexpected value in this unique format, you will generate both listing opportunities and referrals.

9. Circle prospecting

Circle-prospecting is the process of sharing information about a home that recently sold or that just came on the market with the 25 to 50 nearest neighbors. By providing the information, conversations can uncover potential listing opportunities and the ability to stay connected with homeowners in the future.

Circle prospecting may be old school, but it works.

10. Use buyers as bait

Do you have a buyer that wants to be in a specific neighborhood, but you haven’t been able to find them the right house yet? Why not call the owners in that neighborhood with a script along these lines:

This is (agent name) with (company name), and I am working with customers that specifically want to buy in your neighborhood. I’m trying to find them the perfect home, and I was wondering if you have heard of any of your neighbors that might consider selling? I would love to see if I could find a win-win for these buyers and one of the current owners in your neighborhood.

You don’t have to ask if they are considering selling. They will tell you if they are. This is a thoughtful way to go the extra mile for your buyers and find listing opportunities as well.

11. Host a housewarming party for your buyers

Your buyers would love to meet their new neighbors or to invite their friends to see their new house. This is a perfect time to host the party for them by sending out invitations and providing refreshments. You can add a lender or other service providers to offset or even cover the costs.

This is a great way to deepen the relationship with your buyers, meet their neighbors, and to meet the people in their sphere of influence.

12. Host a going away party for your sellers

The same process as the housewarming party, and provides a way to meet the seller’s neighbors, friends, and family.

13. Expired listings

As inventory increases and transaction numbers come down, expired listing opportunities will continue to rise. As sellers come to grips with the current market environment, the ones that need, or truly want, to sell will be more open to realistic pricing and professional agent advice once their listing expires.

Now is the time to develop an expired listing campaign and strategy to take full advantage of the expired listing opportunities this year will offer.

14. Post listings on Facebook local buy, sell, or trade groups

Local Facebook Buy, Sell, or Trade groups often have tens of thousands of members. These groups are places where locals share items they wish to sell or that they are looking to buy. Check the rules of the groups, but most groups allow agents to post information about their listings.

When you post the information, watch for other members to tag their friends in the comments. This is a sign that the person tagged is in the market to buy a home. You will also have people that will ask questions, which is another sign they are potential buyer clients.

15. Referral-based lead generation companies with no upfront costs

There are several sites that will provide you with leads with no upfront costs. The cost of the lead is a referral fee that is paid only if the lead is closed. Sites like Opcity, Rocket Homes, and Veterans United Realty offer a great way to generate leads with no upfront costs.

16. Call For Rent by Owners

For Rent By Owners advertise online and provide their contact information. Because these are investors, they rarely are not looking for their next investment or looking to reposition/sell their current holdings. This is a great group to add value to and to find out if they are considering selling any of their investments or looking for another home to add to their portfolio.

17. Call Airbnb hosts or owners

Just as for rent by owners are typically long-term rental investors, Airbnb owners are investors who own a short-term rental property. They too are rarely idle. They are either looking for their next investment property or considering selling one of their properties. That makes this group of investors a strong lead source.

18. Door-knocking

Door-knocking is a low-to-no-cost way to generate leads by walking door-to-door providing the opportunity to have real estate-related conversations. This could involve sharing information about a home that recently came on the market, inviting the homeowner to an open house that is scheduled, or making the owner aware of a recent sale that will affect the value of their home.

Door knocking is a great way to speak to many homeowners in a short period of time.

19. For Sale by Owners (FSBO)

For Sale by Owners represent a group of homeowners that have raised their hand identifying themselves as owners who want to sell their home. Over the past few years, in one of the hottest seller markets ever witnessed, many sellers could sell their home quickly and at a premium on their own. That is not the case in today’s market environment.

Now is the time to develop a For Sale by Owner program and strategy. Those that do will be rewarded with listings in the coming year.

20. Join a leads group

Leads groups like BNI are an advantageous way to come together with a group of other professionals that are focused on growing their businesses. These groups are a practical way to position yourself for referrals.

21. Buy Zillow online leads

The most common complaint from agents regarding buying leads from Zillow is about the expense of the leads, but other agents view the purchase of these leads not as an expense, but rather as an investment that they will receive a return on. If you’re looking to buy online leads, Zillow is the place to start.

22. Buy Realtor.com leads

The second most common company to buy leads from after Zillow is Realtor.com. Just like with any other online lead source, make sure you have a follow-up plan in place prior to buying the leads. The quality of online leads is often directly proportional to the quality of the follow-up.

23. Upload YouTube searchable videos

YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world behind Google (which owns YouTube). People go to YouTube searching for answers. Creating videos about your area and answering the questions people have when they are considering a move to your area is a great way to generate leads. Here are a few examples of video titles you can make:

  • (Your City) Top 5 Neighborhoods
  • Cost of Living in (Your City)
  • 7 Things People That Moved to (Your City) Wish They Would Have Known
  • Don’t Sell Your Home in (Your City) Until You Do These 3 Things

Searchable videos are evergreen and generate leads for years to come.

If you are going to increase your business this year, you must increase the number of leads flowing into your business. Act on one to three of the lead generation strategies in this article, and you will find success.

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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