June 15th 2022

8 Ways to Turn Listings to Leads Without Paying

listings to leads

To grow your business, you need to turn listings to leads. However, finding quality seller leads can be time-consuming and expensive. Many effective lead-generation tactics require you to spend money through advertising, buying lists, or creating collateral items—but that’s not the only way.

Instead of spending money on tactics that don’t work, or don’t give great results, use these ideas to turn listings to leads and build your business.

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1. Build Your Referral Network

NAR reports that 67 percent of recent home sellers depended on referrals from acquaintances to find an agent. For younger sellers, including Millennials, 81 percent found their agent through a referral. 

Anything you can do to inspire referrals should be a priority. One of the easiest ways to increase referrals is to reach out to buyers and sellers you worked with in the past. Let them know you would welcome any referrals if they happen to know others who need an agent.

As a new agent, in-person networking is another way to build relationships. Some ideas to network in your local community include:

  • Strategically join local business and service organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, Young Professionals, or other relevant groups that interest you.
  • Chat with people whenever you go to the gym, grocery store, or anywhere that people meet and talk. Tell everyone what you do—you never know who might need an agent.
  • Consider high-profile volunteer opportunities like serving on a board for a community event.
  • Find Meetup groups and other interest or hobby-based groups.

2. Share Intentionally on Social Media

Social media is a way to take your in-person networking online. In addition, if you happen to have content creation skills it is a way to build a following. Pew Research, found seven out of ten adults use social media. With so many people using these platforms, you’re missing an opportunity if you don’t have a strong social media presence. 

When choosing one or two platforms to focus on, play to your strengths. For example, if you have an articulate and poised on-camera presence then a video-oriented channel may be perfect for you. 

When choosing your platforms, don’t forget to consider your ideal clients as well. For example, Instagram use may be of particular interest if you want to reach first-time sellers. In 2021, 71 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 21 as well as 49 percent between 30 and 49 reported using Instagram. Since Millennials comprise the largest group of first-time sellers, Instagram may be a great channel to use to reach them.

Finally, take the time to learn the platform as each has its own culture. For example, you may find that many of your local competitors overlook Instagram Reels. Creating fun Reels covering selling tips may catch the attention of prospective sellers, allowing you to attract more listings.

3. Turn Your Website Into a Lead Generation Tool

The first place today’s home buyers look is online, according to NAR. This tracks with overall consumer behavior, making it likely that prospective sellers are starting their search online first as well. 

To turn your website into a lead-generation tool, publish content that answers your ideal clients’ questions, especially the ones they have early in the process. Tailor the content to your local market to increase the odds of reaching the right people as they search for information through Google and other search engines. Check out this guide on SEO for real estate agents if you want to better optimize your site for search engines.

Don’t forget to get those visitors into your funnel, whether as a subscriber or an interested seller. One way to do this is to create an opt-in offer. This is a piece of content that will be valuable enough to your ideal prospect that they’re willing to share their name and email to get it. For example, if you want to attract first-time sellers, a guide to improving the value of the home may be relevant. 

4. Ask For Reviews

Turn listings to leads with reviews, which are more important than ever before. Nearly 77 percent of consumers either always or regularly checked local business reviews, according to a BrightLocal 2022 survey. This is an increase of more than 15 percent since 2020, which means, if you haven’t been taking reviews seriously, now is the time to do it.

Collect reviews in a few of the top places where ideal clients may look for them, including Facebook, Google Reviews or Yelp. While clients may not automatically leave a review, you can ask for one when you’ve finished working together. Don’t hesitate to reach out to other previous clients asking for an honest and authentic review as well. 

Finally, don’t forget to respond. This shows that you’re active and engaged and can give a great first impression when potential clients are looking through your business page. 

5. Stay in Touch With Past Clients

The same NAR study found that around 53 percent of sellers used the same agent to buy and sell their homes. Leverage this opportunity by making a point to stay in touch. Find fun, creative ways to reach out throughout the year to stay top of mind for these previous clients. Some low-cost ideas include:

  • Email newsletters
  • Holiday cards
  • Birthday phone calls 

Not only will they be more likely to work with you when they sell, they may even send other clients your way through referrals. Building a relationship like this can pay dividends over the years. 

6. Become a Local Resource

This is a long-term strategy to turn listings to leads—but it’s worth exploring. Both traditional and online media offer the opportunity to showcase your expertise, which in turn, attracts listings. Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Pitch local newspapers with a unique idea on the local housing market or recent legislation that affects local sellers.
  • Fnd opportunities through HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and SourceBottle. These services send listings from journalists and bloggers who need a source for an article. All you do is respond with your answer to their query and you may be featured. 
  • Volunteer to teach free workshops at the library, Chamber of Commerce, or community college. Choose a topic targeting likely sellers like “how to increase the value of your home” to ensure you attract potential listing clients. 

7. Look for Opportunities With Expired Listings

Expired listings can be ripe with opportunities to connect with highly motivated sellers. These sellers have already tried but, whether they were selling on their own or with another agent, were not able to get the house off the market. They’re likely looking for a solution and you can be that for them. 

Check out our blog post, How to Use Expired Listings Scripts to Generate New Leads, to learn how to leverage this opportunity so you can turn those old listings to leads.

8. Form Local Partnerships

You don’t have to find all your own leads. Form partnerships so other people can bring them to you. For example, divorce lawyers, senior home managers, and other real estate professionals may often come across people looking to sell their homes. You can be the agent they turn to as a trusted friend or connection of the person they already know, your strategic partner.

Building relationships is a long-game approach, but both the referrals and intangible benefits may be well worth it. Ideally, you can form partnerships that allow you to refer clients to the other person as well. When it’s mutually beneficial, everyone is more motivated to support one another.

Turn Listings to Leads—Without Spending Money

You don’t have to buy lists or spend money on ads to generate clients. Choose a few ideas from these eight simple, yet impactful, strategies to turn listings to leads. While not all of these will work for your business, implementing just a few can make all the difference in your ability to bring in new business and connect with new clients. 

Chris Scott

Chris Scott is a real estate digital estate marketer and shows real estate practitioners how to market themselves to get recognized in their local markets for the service they provide. He hosts weekly webcasts to an audience of 4000 real estate professionals every month, manages social media accounts with over 200,000 followers, runs a team that generates over 5000 leads per month, and manages marketing for his real estate firm in Austin, Texas. Chris is co-author of the real estate business book Blueprint: The Agent's Guide to Building a Thriving Real Estate Business.

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