Nowadays, if you don’t have any leads or prospective buyers and sellers, you won’t be able to help people buy or sell a home. Luckily, there are ways to create lists of real estate leads with no upfront cost, at least in terms of money. You will, however, still need to strategically connect and communicate with your network and market yourself.
1. Maximize Your Sphere of Influence (SOI) for Referrals
Your SOI consists of the people in your professional and personal networks, like colleagues, friends, and family. By reaching out to people who know and respect you, you will be creating an audience of supporters who will happily and enthusiastically share your name and expertise with their networks. You can connect with your SOI through email, social media, phone calls, and meetings to ask for referrals.
2. Launch Giveaways on Social Media
Everyone loves to win something, and you can use the thrill of winning to your advantage to get free real estate leads through social media. Set up a contest or launch a giveaway each week for a gift card, and ask prospective buyers or sellers to enter by commenting or answering a specific question on your real estate Facebook or Instagram page. Not only does this help with real estate lead generation, but receiving online engagement can boost your reputation.
3. Offer Real Estate Expertise to Online Groups
Social media is full of online groups with shared interests. Look for groups or hashtags for local business groups, local members, and organizations like the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Regularly participate in these groups by posing and responding to questions.
You can show your expertise and trustworthiness within these communities without constantly promoting yourself, which turns people away.
4. Attend FSBO Open Houses
Getting a homeowner to trust you with their listing can be difficult—especially if you have to talk them into meeting with you. Instead of trying to meet with the owner to talk about their listing, drop by at the end of their open house. Most buyers will have gone home already and you can ask for a tour from the owner at a time when they are feeling the pain of listing their own home.
5. Email Previous Clients
Your pool of past clients can be one of the most valuable referral sources. These clients already know your work, and the sale or purchase of their home automatically proves your expertise. Make sure that you stay in touch with your previous clients for two reasons:
Retain a connection and trust for the next time the client needs your services
Ask and receive new clients from referrals
6. Host a Happy Hour
Generating free real estate leads is all about building relationships and getting your name and expertise in the right places. One way to do that is by hosting happy hours or get-togethers for various groups of people. For example, businesses in the same office park rarely get out to meet their closest neighbors. Hosting a happy hour for your suitemates can turn your physical neighbors into valuable members of your sphere of influence. You can even host an online happy hour to make the most of companies or groups of entrepreneurs that operate remotely.
7. Set Up Professional Partnerships
Professional partnerships can be a great way to get free real estate leads. For instance, lawyers, bankers, and mortgage brokers are often working with clients who are buying or selling a home. Think about how you can help each other and develop a system to share leads.
8. Lead a Community Effort
Consider volunteering to chair a fundraiser for a cause you are passionate about. This helps you make connections with many people in the community and shows, through your actions, that you truly care about the community at large and that you are an accomplished professional who makes charity work part of their mission.
9. Participate in Networking Groups
Participate in local networking groups—like the Chamber of Commerce—to meet business owners and possible buyer and seller leads. Whether chatting over lunch or at an after-hours event, meeting face to face at a networking group is a perfect way to build valuable relationships in your community
10. Offer a Niche Class
Offering a class for a specific and common problem can be a great way to magnetize certain kinds of leads. You will establish yourself as an expert in front of people who are actively looking for help. In addition, you’ll be able to collect their contact information during registration or sign-in to continually follow up.