Coach and real estate expert Bernice Ross shares her best advice on how to turn yourself into a lead magnet this summer.

June is Investment Properties and Second Homes Month here at Inman. We’ll explore everything including top investor insights, the latest at Airbnb and Vrbo, and the surprising locales emerging as investor hot spots across the country.

In today’s constrained market, lead generation is more important than ever. As the old real estate adage goes, “Nothing happens until someone generates a lead.”

According to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent press release, existing home sales retreated 1.9 percent in April 2024, the median price of a home was $407,600 (up from $385,000 a year ago), and probably the most disturbing number, the annual rate of single-family home and condo/co-op sales dropped to 3.74 million from 4.04 million in 2023 and a more typical 5 million in 2022.

Given the fact that these numbers came during the peak spring selling season, what can you do to be among the agents who will attract buyers and sellers who are willing to transact now?

Here’s how to engage and capture leads all summer long — and respond to them in a timely manner.

Immediate response to incoming leads is crucial

No matter where the lead originates, you must be prepared to get back to them immediately with the goal of setting a face-to-face appointment. Veteran trainer and broker Jerry Kidd described this mindset like this: 

“If you get a lead, you must contact them right away. If a lead comes in at 5:00 at night and you’re just sitting down to dinner, by 5:05 you should be on the phone, texting them or responding to them in some way. You just can’t push them off anymore because there are so many people out there who will respond to them. If you don’t get there first, your chances of actually converting that lead later become really marginalized.”

Kidd’s point is well taken. According to the 2023 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 80 percent of the sellers only interview one agent in person, and that’s who they hire. This is why you must make following up with all leads and scheduling face-to-face meetings your top priority this summer.    

There’s a second reason that’s equally important: The same NAR profile also showed that 58 percent of buyers are living in a property they own and may need to sell to transact. In other words, for every five buyer leads you don’t respond to, you may have missed up to three opportunities to take a listing with a homeowner who is ready to both sell and buy. 

Increase the time you spend engaging in face-to-face prospecting activities

Whether it’s holding an open house, door knocking, meeting a past client for coffee, or dropping by with an updated “Equity Checkup” before property tax time to let them know the current value of their home, these are all proven ways to be face-to-face with those who are most likely to transact now. 

Consequently, make face-to-face lead generation activities your preferred method of lead generation this summer. In fact, one of the best strategies is to hold twilight open houses during the week when many people are engaging in summertime activities after work. 

Print and digital marketing campaigns that generate more leads this summer

There are four key groups that you should focus your prospecting on this summer: Past clients, first-time buyers, seniors, and investors and second-home buyers. 

Past clients and your sphere

There’s one fact about the real estate business that has been consistent for decades: Past clients and your sphere are the best sources of referrals for your business. This is especially important since the 2023 NAR Profile found that 90 percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others. In addition:  

  • Sixty-five percent of sellers found their agent through a referral from a friend, neighbor or relative or used an agent with whom they had worked in the past.
  • A total of 56 percent of the buyers either used an agent who was referred to them by a friend, neighbor or relative (43 percent) or one with whom they had worked in the past to buy or sell a home (13 percent).

Marketing strategy

Instead of farming or shotgun marketing techniques to strangers, use your print and digital marketing budget to stay in regular contact with your sphere and past client list. 

Conduct regular client appreciation events. Food trucks and ice cream socials are always popular during the summer and relatively inexpensive as well. 

Hold a first-time buyer seminar and ask your sphere and/or past clients to invite a friend or family member who may be ready to buy their first home. Hold a seller seminar for those who want to know more about listing their home in today’s market. 

You could also ask those attending to bring a friend, especially if that person is experiencing financial difficulties and may be in danger of defaulting or going into foreclosure. Your goal is to help them understand how selling now can protect both their equity and their credit rather than facing foreclosure and ruining their credit.  

First-time buyers

According to NAR’s press release, in April 2024 first-time buyers were responsible for 33 percent of sales. Most first-time buyers are either renting or living at home. Here is a simple marketing campaign that you can use either in print (postcards) or on social media. Target residents of higher-end rentals adjacent to the areas where you specialize in listing houses.

Editor’s Note: Before embarking on any advertising campaign with consumers make sure that the campaign meets all disclosure guidelines set forth by your broker, state and national governing entities. 

Marketing strategy: First-time buyer postcard, social media ad marketing campaign 

 No. 1: What’s the best hedge against inflation?

Real estate: The shelter you can live in!

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn more.

No. 2: Imagine your own home sweet home.

Now imagine $17,000 in down payment assistance to

Make it a reality!

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn more.

No. 3: Tired of paying your landlord’s mortgage?

Become a homeowner now and start paying your own!

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn how.

No. 4: Ready to say goodbye to renting?

You could be in your own home with as little as 1 percent down.
Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to get started.

No. 5: Another rent increase?

Become a homeowner now and lock in

Your mortgage payments for the next 30 years!

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn more.

No. 6: Ready to start building your wealth and financial freedom?

Start by buying your first home.

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn more.

No. 7: Dreaming of a backyard BBQ?  

Don’t let another summer pass you by —

Make your move to your own home now!

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn how.


The 2023 NAR Profile also found that the typical repeat buyer was 59. This coincides with the fact those age 55+ own approximately two-thirds of the current listing inventory.

The Profile also reports that senior-related housing increased from 7 percent in 2022 to 19 percent in 2023, with 17 percent of buyers purchasing condos and 12 percent purchasing a townhouse or row house.

Fourteen percent of homebuyers purchased a multigenerational home in order to care for aging parents, for cost savings, or because of children or relatives over the age of 18 were moving back home.  

Marketing strategy: Print marketing campaign

Although quite a few seniors are on social media to keep up with their kids and grandkids, many are not. Most do read their mail, however, as well as local community newsletters and other publications. 

Editor’s Note: Some areas have strict laws about required disclosure on print advertising, and you may not drop advertising in mailboxes without stamps. Again please review your advertising plans with your supervising broker. 

No. 1: Are the steps in your house a pain? 

If so, it’s time to step into a one-story home. 

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to take your next step now! 

No. 2: Time for less house and more fun?

“Right size” to a more manageable home and

Have more relaxation and fun time for you.

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to get started.

No. 3: High home costs got you down?

“Right size” to a smaller home, 

Reduce expenses and enjoy life more!

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn more.

No. 4: Want more time for you?

Right size your home and upsize your life!

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn how.

No. 5: Longing to be closer to your loved ones? 

If so, we can help you make the move 

That will bring you closer. 

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn more.

Investors and second-home buyers

This group was responsible for 16 percent of the home sales in April 2024 and also composed a significant proportion of the 28 percent of all cash sales as well. 

Marketing strategy: Investor campaign

No. 1: Why pay rent when you can earn it?

Become a “house hacker” and let your tenants pay the bills.

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn how.

No. 2: Are you ready to have someone else pay your mortgage? 

Then “house hacking” may be right for you!

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn more.

No. 3: House hacking made easy

Discover how to live in one unit and rent the rest.

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn more.

No. 4: Ready to flip your first house?

We can help you find the perfect fixer-upper.

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to get started.

No. 5: Looking to flip into your next remodel? 

“BRRRR” your way to financial freedom

Buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat!

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn how.

No. 6: Do you flip for profit? 

Let’s find your next project.

Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to get started.

Marketing strategy: Second home postcard and social media campaign

No. 1: Why not invest where you love to vacation?

A second home could be your best decision yet.
Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn more.

No. 2: Need a place to escape and earn income?

Invest in a second home today.
Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to get the details.

No. 3: Imagine your own retreat and a solid investment.

A second home can be both.
Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn more

No. 4: Dreaming of a vacation home?

Invest in your perfect getaway.
Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to learn more.

No. 5: Ready to diversify your investments?

A second home can be a smart move.
Contact Sally Agent at 800-555-1234 to find out how.

Make this summer count

In a market where every lead counts, succeeding this summer requires you to respond to all leads immediately and then schedule a face-to-face appointment.

The second step is to tailor your marketing campaigns to fit the specific needs of past clients, first-time buyers, seniors and investors to keep your pipeline full.

By acting swiftly and strategically, you can turn today’s tough market into a great summer packed with plenty of deals for you. 

Bernice Ross, president and CEO of BrokerageUP and, and the founder of is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,500 published articles.

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