15 Best Prospecting Ideas for New Real Estate Agents 
Prospecting and Lead Generation Ideas for New Real Estate Agents
Buyer and Seller Leads for Beginner Real Estate Agents
Meet New Nancy, she is an awesome new real estate agent and on the hunt for prospecting ideas and lead generation!
She is excited to build up her business but she isn’t sure where to start. She has heard that she needs to be prospecting and lead generating every day to create sales opportunities for herself, but what should she do when it comes to prospecting for real estate clients.
When I was a beginner in real estate, I was the same a New Nancy: eager to produce but short on ideas on how to prospect, meet new people, and generate leads. I distinctly remember getting into the office in the morning with my suit and tie ready to work. I would head over to a desk open my computer and stare at it blankly. After roaming around Facebook for a while, I would probably read some real estate articles, then grab a coffee, and head back over only to hit the “refresh” button on my computer. Needless to say, my first few years in real estate where not packed with clients. After a few years of learning this business, and making many mistakes, prospecting and lead generation started to make sense and I began looking forward to my prospecting efforts. Once I dedicated myself to daily work to actively get more clients, I noticed a huge swing in my business.
First, it’s important that you have started working through your Business Plan. Your Golden Hours (lead gen time) has a goal tied to it when you have a business plan, and you can reverse engineer exactly what you need to focus on that day.
Before we jump into the list, know that you don’t need to do everything. In fact, you should select only a handful of activities, but make sure you are consistent with them. Real estate comes down to consistency, mindset, and skills.
If you miss the consistency piece, you will fall short of your potential. Even if you are a top producer, if you lack consistency, you are leaving money on the table.
There is a freebie to help guide you through the planning process for your prospecting efforts. Grab the Prospecting Worksheet Here
Active vs. Passive Prospecting in Real Estate
When developing your prospecting and lead generation plan, keep in mind the difference between active and passive activities.
Active Prospecting: You are doing activities that require your ongoing time and effort in the moment. Examples: attending events, calling your database, door knocking, sending video emails.
Passive Prospecting: The activity may take time to set up, but then it runs on autopilot. Examples: Facebook advertising, postcards to your database, email newsletters.
It’s important to know that one of these is not “better” than the other. They both need to be put into your prospecting and marketing campaigns in our modern world.
Mindset For Prospecting
It’s no surprise that prospecting isn’t all sunshine and rainbows all the time. If it was, everyone would be a top producer. The trust is prospecting can be hard and rejection heavy (Highly Recommended Read: Rejection Proof).
There are a couple important things to keep in mind while you are prospecting for new clients.
Relationships Over Transactions: The live time value of a real estate client can actually break 6-figures and in a short period of time if that client is referring you business. Focus on the relationship and helping the person over selling them a house (ALWAYS)
How Can I Help over How Can You Help: Everyone wants to know what is in it for them. Always come from a place of how can you help and provide value, and you will be a top producer before you know it. The best read for this one is The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea
It is all about the effort: We can’t control if a prospect will pick up the phone or if our client is going to send us a referral that month. We also can’t control the market or what others are doing, but we can control our effort. Learn always put effort ahead of results in business. It is the one variable you can change.
It’s important to keep in mind people’s attention span in our current society and how bombarded our leads are with advertising and media. People see countless ads every day and if they are looking for a house, they notice competitors signs, ads, and may even register on their websites.
One of the hardest feelings in real estate is when you see another agent list a person’s home who is in your database! It happens to everyone eventually and this is not the end of the world, but it’s important to explore the reasons why this happened.
A common reason, especially when you are new to real estate, is they didn’t remember you were in the business. Even if you told them, mailed them a card, and you are using target social media ads, people will still forget.
Given our modern-day attention span, remember that prospecting is a daily practice, repetitive in nature, but producing amazing results.
Given our modern-day attention span, remember that prospecting is a daily practice, repetitive in nature, but producing amazing results.
The Ultimate List of Prospecting and Lead Generation Ideas for this Year
Tip: For many strategies that involve email, consider grabbing a good email marketing tool. There are a number of products out there. Don’t worry too much about which program you choose, as long as it has mass email functionality. I like ConvertKit for the ease of use and the high level of deliverability. MailChimp is a free option up to 2,000 subscribers, but I found many of the messages end up in the Gmail “Promotions” Tab and can get filtered to spam. I decided it was worth a few bucks to get the emails to my subscriber's inbox, but there is no right or wrong here, just whatever works for you.
Note: These prospecting ideas are focused on keeping costs low, so each idea has a general price associated with it. It also has a “Challenge Number”, this is on a scale of 1-3 on how challenging it is for most agents (1 is easy, 3 is hard). Selecting some challenging tasks can benefit you well as these are likely prospecting ideas that your competitors are not leveraging.
Weekly Live Social Media Show (Free/Challenge Number 3)
You had to know live video was going to be on the list. Most agents cringe at this one, however, it currently has a massive reach on social media. You can also repurpose this and boost the videos in the future. If you plan on a weekly live show, make sure it is consistent and you let your followers know when to tune in every week. Ideas include a weekly market summary with a community showcase or a real estate tip of the week.
Annual Real Estate Evaluation (Free/Challenge Number 1)
This one task will provide you with endless business in your career, and if you do nothing else, do this! This is simply an annual CMA for your clients. Wait, wait, wait, I’m new and I don’t have many clients yet, no worries, you should still do this on anyone in your database: friends, family, contacts, local barista, everyone! But what do I say? We have your back, here is a quick script for email or in person.
I hope you are doing great! I may have mentioned that I am now in real estate (and loving it)! As a quick service to my clients, friend, and family, I provide a quick annual price evaluation of their home. Most people have loved knowing their current value!
If you would like, I can pop you on this list for this. Let me know if this would be of value and shoot me your address. I'll send you an email on the week you are scheduled for.
No pressure either way. :)
Take a Local Course of Interest (Low Cost/Challenge Number 1)
One of the most beautiful things about real estate sales is there are clients absolutely everywhere! Any interaction you have with a person is a possible real estate resource or client for you. We say that if you want to increase your production quickly then simply increase the number of interactions you have. Taking a local course is an awesome way to meet new people with similar interests as you plus learn a new skill. Of course, you aren’t there handing your business card out to everyone, but you are making a conscious effort having conversations with people. One tip is to choose a course that has more than one or two meetings. A weekly course over a few months is best as you get to know those people on a more personal level.
The Free Coffee Idea (Potentially Higher Cost/Challenge Number 2)
This is a top-notch idea that puts a smile on peoples’ faces and will lead to conversations almost instantly. You go to a local coffee shop and buy X (5-25) number of $5 gift cards. Then you ask the person at the till to give one to each person that comes in next. Grab a coffee for yourself and sit down at your computer in the coffee shop (remember to have business cards with you and a short market report). Chances are people will come up and thank you for the coffee and some conversations might lead to you being in real estate. If they do, you can pass them a market report and your business card. If they don’t drop by, no worries, you just made the world a better place!
Events, Events, and More Events (Low Cost/Challenge Number 1)
As with local courses, local events are a perfect spot to prospect and meet potential leads. The one thing to keep in mind is to go with the intention of meeting new people and having fun. If you go with the intention of handing out cards and getting your next real estate deal, you will not have as much success (and others may be put off). This comes back to growing and nurturing your database versus looking at everyone as a potential target. Hack: Try a few event types and stick to 2-4 groups. This increases the chances you will meet people on a personal level instead of just having a one-off conversation. Great resources include MeetUp, Eventbrite, and Facebook Events.
Start a Local Podcast (Potential Low Cost/Challenge Number 3):
There are a number of stats out there that sing the praises of podcasts. I am a huge believer in podcasts for a few reasons. They are not hard to create, you form a relationship with the listener, it’s scalable. As real estate agents, we should be viewed as community leaders, therefore, your podcast should, likely, be focused on your own community. I have a local podcast that has generated a ton of leads, plus it’s a fun side project (Ideas and Stuff). This is such a powerful way to establish yourself in the community. No clue where to start? I check out Podcasters’ Paradise. There is an investment but you will get your money back over and over again with this program. Plus you will be able to launch your podcast with confidence and on budget (you can start one for almost nothing). Alternatively, there are some awesome resources for starting your podcast here.
The Business of The Week (Free/Challenge Number 2)
As with podcasting about your community, I recommend having a featured local business of the week on your website to increase your ties in the community. For this prospecting idea, all you need to do is reach out to some of your favourite local businesses and ask if you can drop by for a quick interview. You could record the conversation and turn it into a podcast, take some photos and write a blog, or shoot a quick video interview. For most businesses, this is a no-brainer as it increases their reach. You benefit by building relationships in your community and the business will likely link to you in their marketing (huge benefit). One of the best examples of this is Kyle Whissel with East County Eats.
Rev Real Estate Door Knocking (Low Cost/Challenge Number 2)
Our door knocking strategy is not what you think. This is a modern door knocking strategy that, again, focuses on building relationships with the homeowner. Plus it’s super simple! Let’s be honest, asking every person on the street if they are looking to buy or sell is a little pushy in this day and age. I always ask myself would I buy from someone selling door to door. The answer is not right away, but I would with time and a relationship. For this strategy, you simply choose 250-500 homes in an area that you will door knock every month for the next year. You print off a monthly market report with your info on it. Then you go door to door and simply hand it out. You knock on the door and say “Hi there, here is your monthly real estate market report, have a great day!” turn around and leave. They will be floored that you didn’t try and sell them something. After 3-6 months, conversations will naturally start occurring.
Create Content...Any Content (Free or Low Cost/Challenge Number 2)
Listen, I know creating content takes time and effort, but it is a gift that keeps on giving. Plus it establishes you as an expert in your community. We have already discussed podcasting and live video, both of which are great content activities but there are way more options if these aren’t for you. Or you can mix in some of these additional tips to build a full content strategy. Weekly: Video, Podcast, Blogging, Checklist, Tips, How-To Guide, Pinterest Post, FAQ. Newsletter. Daily: Instagram Stories, Instagram Post, Facebook Post. Anything where you are creating counts. As real estate agents, we need to constantly be in front of those people in our database!
Speak (Free/Challenge Number 3)
Speaking is one of the best ways to quickly connect with prospects. However, it’s not an easy task. It is a Challenge Number 3 which means it will take work, there will be less competition because it requires some additional effort. You might be saying, “but I don’t have anything to speak about - I’m brand new”. That couldn’t be further from the truth. You have experiences, knowledge, and advice that others don’t and if you don’t think you have this yet, spend a few more months in the industry and you will get there quickly. I would recommend joining a local Toastmasters. This will dramatically improve your confidence and skills (in life and presentations). From there, start reaching out to organizations or groups that may be looking for real estate advice. Examples are schools, universities, chamber of commerce, business networking groups, banks, community meetings, and political gatherings. Many organizers are always looking for speakers. Create a short intro and get to work sending it out!
Add a Live Chat or ChatBot to your Website (Free or Low Cost/Challenge Number 1)
A live chat feature on your website can be one of the best lead generators on your page. Ranking on the first page of Google is a challenge when you first start out, so I wouldn’t discount SEO (very important), but focus on driving people to your website through social media platforms. These people may already know you (or they are loose acquaintances) and they can spend longer on your website (increase dwell time) and explore your site further (decrease bounce rate). Your live chat is a great way to engage in a quick conversation with someone browsing your site. If you would like, to add a Chat Bot instead, go for it! These sound super techy but they are basically short surveys that help you get to know your visitor. Pro Tip: Be creative with your messages. We need to stand out so you some introductory text that sparks their interest. Boring: Hi, is there anything I can help you with? Fun: Hey there, thanks for dropping by! Interested in seeing the monthly stats for your community?
Buyer and Seller Seminars with a Twist (Mid Price/Challenge Number 2)
We have heard of the buyer, seller, and investment seminars, and we have also heard the stories of nobody showing up or only having one person that was there for the free lunch. Don’t fret, these seminars can be fantastic and profitable, but there are modern ways we can do the same thing. These ways usually cost us less (no food, drinks, space rentals), are easier to host (online), and are wildly scalable (you can set it on autopilot). If you follow our material, you will know that scalability is important. Getting face to face is always preferable but leveraging digital tools to do the same things are very important. We recommend hosting your seminars as webinars! My favourite tool for the price and functionality is by far Webinar Ninja. They have created a cost-effective and simple to use webinar software that works perfectly for real estate agents. You can also host automated webinars, where you are not actually presenting, instead it is a recording. Run a few Facebook and Google Ads and drive them to one of Webinar Ninja’s landing pages and you’re off!
Retargeting Ads and Lookalike (Mid Price/Challenge Number 2)
Retargeting ads are a super powerful marketing tool. In real estate, these ads can work like a charm. Retargeting (Facebook Pixel) ads are directed to a list of people or those that have visited your website. Installing the code on your website is quite simple (or your webmaster can do it) and you can start re-marketing to these people with ads tailored to those that have been to your website. Powerful stuff! If you already have a list of people in your database, you can actually upload your list to Facebook and they will only target people in that list. Lookalike ads are pulling on a group of people that have similar behaviours to those that are on your list. If you have a smaller list and don’t just want to market over and over to these people, create a lookalike audience in Facebook and market to those that have similar behaviours to your group. This is dialed in marketing. Here is a great read on Facebook Strategies. Hack: Really focus on your ad copy this year. Focus on how you can increase your click-through-rate with cool images and ad copy. We also have had a lot of success with emojis in Facebook ads 🙌😊
Up Your Data Game (Free/Challenge 2)
In real estate, we are lucky to have such amazing sales data at our fingertips. Sadly, most real estate agents drop the ball when it comes to interpreting the data. We commonly repeat facts we read in the newspaper (which isn’t a bad thing) but we don’t take a deep dive into the statistics and what they mean on a community level. The luxury market usually behaves differently to the entry home market, so it’s beneficial to decode the data. Start by going through your data and research parts that do not make sense. You might be thinking, “but what does this have to do with prospecting?” During your prospecting time, you will be talking about real estate, how much more of an expert will you be in the eyes of the lead if you can explain months of inventory and what this means for their community moving forward. Actually, what is “months of inventory”
Free Social Media Wave (Free/Challenge Number 1)
I think we know the importance of social media and how we can connect with so many people on a large scale. We see constant ads on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, but what if we can’t or don’t want to spend the money on social media ads? No problem! Make a daily habit of the Free Social Media Wave. This is going to sound super simple (and it is) but it can also have a huge impact. While you are on social media, focus on “commenting over liking”. This will be a big game changer if you do it on a consistent basis. People remember those that comment. It causes them to stop and think about you. It may even get them to click on your profile and remind them that you are in real estate. If they post something that is somewhat larger like a big trip, a new car, or some renovation (especially this), you can even send them a quick DM (direct message). This will definitely lead to a conversation and the recipient will likely ask “how are you?” - now jump into real estate talk!
Quick Pro Tips:
If you are looking for just a few quick pro tips to help your production, consider the following quick pro tips.
Just say yes more - someone invites you to do something, say yes. The more you get out of the house, the better.
Talk to a minimum of 10 people every day. This isn’t just a “Hi, how are you?”, “Good, you?”, “Good”. It goes one step further into a conversation. It doesn’t need to be long and can be with anyone.
If you need to increase production, increase the number of people you are talking to every day.
Shoot for a minimum of 2 prospecting hours (Golden Hours) per day.
Always reward effort! The results will come. You can control your effort, therefore, reward the effort and don’t just focus on the end result
Follow Up Reading:
What are you favourite prospecting ideas? Have you tried an new techniques? Let me know in the comments below!