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Being able to generate real estate leads online is arguably the most important part of being a successful real estate agent and boosting your real estate agent income. Whether you’re just starting out as a new agent or have been in the business for years, dedicating time each and every day to prospecting and gaining new clients is a must.

However, as real estate technology continues to evolve, there is more and more emphasis put on how to generate real estate leads online. This focus is not unwarranted. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 44 percent of recent buyers started their home search by looking online at properties. Are you capturing these potential clients?

An excellent way to ensure you’re reaching this demographic is to use the major search portals such as Zillow,® and others. Here’s how a new agent can generate leads via these online platforms.

  1. Maximize your profile to generate real estate leads online.
    Nothing will stop a potential buyer from calling you quicker than an empty profile. To ensure your profile is inviting, optimize as many fields as possible. Most public search portals allow you to edit your name, contact information, “About” section, and more, so take advantage of this.

All of your profiles online should be up-to-date, as they are most often the first thing potential clients will view. Check them regularly. Search yourself on Google. What shows up? It’s good practice to do this and update your profiles often.

  1. Add reviews and testimonials.
    Zillow and other sites allow real estate professionals to add reviews and testimonials from past clients, which let potential prospects learn more about you and your services. Don’t miss this opportunity to convey more about what clients can expect if they work with you.

This is also important because when potential buyers and sellers are searching for an agent on Zillow, the profiles show up with green stars under the name indicating their rating, as well as the total number of reviews they’ve received. Be sure to post your review on social media sites.

  1. Audit past sales and new listings.
    If you’re just starting a real estate career, you may not have many past sales to add to Zillow, but it’s good practice always to double check your profile to ensure that past sales and new listings are showing up correctly.

In most cases, your past and current listings will automatically feed to Zillow via your MLS; however, they don’t always show up exactly as you envisioned. You’re able to edit some of these fields via your Zillow profile, so keep tabs on how things are publishing.

Zillow also offers agents the option to promote their listings to a higher spot in search results. Although there is a fee associated with this promotion, new agents (who may not have a lot of listings to promote) can often benefit from this added exposure.

  1. Share Zillow’s content to generate real estate leads online.
    Social media and content marketing are two of the biggest ways that new agents can reach a wider pool of potential buyers,. but when you’re just starting out, finding the time to create your own original content can be hard to do. Zillow has a blog called Porchlight where they regularly post content covering everything from celebrity homes to DIY and real estate advice. You can use this content by sharing it on social media or by emailing it to your database. You’ll look like the real estate expert you are becoming, and you’ll be engaging with your sphere. It’s a win-win.
  1. Answer questions.
    Zillow has an “Advice” section of its website where buyers and sellers can ask questions and real estate agents can answer them. This is an excellent way to stay active on Zillow and to help potential buyers and sellers who could become clients—thanks to your advice.

A note of caution: Always speak to your broker before giving public advice on an online forum. Your brokerage and/or state association could have specific guidelines you need to follow.

What next steps will you take?
Generating online leads, whether through Zillow or your own website, takes time and dedication. Remember, follow-up is the key to converting these new leads, so have a strategy in place on how you’re going to keep the conversation going.

Yazir Phelps is the chief marketing officer at Real Estate Express, a national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. Phelps has over 18 years of experience in marketing, fueling growth at Fortune 500 organizations, and over five years of experience working directly with real estate professionals. Her extensive background in generating demand for products and services encompasses crucial strategies for a successful career in the field. To learn more, please visit