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Lead GenerationConsidering all the things real estate professionals must do—and do well—effective lead generation strategies are among the most essential. That’s why REBAC recently launched a new one-day course, Generating Buyer and Seller Leads: Capture, Qualify, Convert, designed to help agents optimize their business development efforts.

Whether you think of lead generation as prospecting, farming, or simply networking for referrals, several vital steps need to be considered.

Make lead generation a priority. Your efforts won’t bear fruit unless you consistently devote adequate time and attention to lead generation activities. What’s adequate? Most experts say at least 20 percent of your time, but ideally much more. You’ll be more successful if you schedule these tasks into your day. It also helps to set specific goals, such as a certain number of face-to-face meetings, phone calls, email messages, etc.

Identify your target audience. Instead of trying to be all things to all people, establish priorities. What types of properties do you prefer handling? What locations do you concentrate on? What types of clients will benefit most from your services? The answers to these questions will help target your networking, referral and marketing activities.

Enter leads into a database. The most important tool in capturing and converting leads is a database. Regardless of what type of system you use, your database helps categorize leads and plan follow-up strategies.

Develop your systems. Lead incubation requires multiple “touches,” some of which can be automated (like email drip campaigns) while others can take a more personal approach (such as alerting someone to an upcoming event of personal interest; i.e., “Saw this and thought of you…”).

Ask open-ended questions. Try to capture as much information as possible on each lead. Open-ended questions are an ideal way to express interest, invite people to talk about themselves, and learn more about where they are in the buying or selling process.

Track data. Keeping track of your efforts is the best way to know which tactics are most successful and which can be dropped. Among the most important data to track are the sources of your leads, your conversion rates, the most effective communication methods, and the price per lead.

Online lead generation. In today’s digital age, leads can come from any number of online sources. Like any other lead, they still need to be nurtured and qualified. What has changed, however, is the need to pay attention to all the potential sources of online leads and improve your ability to capture the cream of the crop through tactics like timely responses, impressive online profiles, top-notch agent reviews, etc.

You know lead generation is important, so take the necessary steps to maximize results.

Our new course, Generating Buyer and Seller Leads: Capture, Qualify, Convert provides a comprehensive, in-depth examination of this all-important topic, featuring specific tips and tools used by successful agents. It also counts as an elective toward the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®)   designation. To find classroom offerings, visit

Additionally, REBAC members should watch for the February issue of the Today’s Buyer’s Rep newsletter, which includes many more tips on converting leads, including helpful scripts for working with buyers.

Marc Gould is vice president, Business Specialties, for NAR and executive director of REBAC.

For more information, visit