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As a real estate agent, your ability to generate and convert leads will play a crucial part in the success of your real estate business. We asked real estate agents across the country for some advice on how to generate leads. Here are just some of the lead generation tips they shared.

No. 1: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Some real estate leads may not seem very promising at first glance, but be careful not to let them fall through the cracks. A good rule of thumb for any entrepreneur or small business owner is to follow up with every single lead.

“Take any lead, no matter how small. You never know where it can lead in the long run.” – Carol H.

No. 2: Jump on expired listings.
Reaching out to homeowners with expired listings can be a good way to find potential customers. However, it’s essential to act quickly and jump on the opportunity before the competition gets there first.

“When I’m prospecting for expired listings, I make sure I’m on the phone calling people right at 8 a.m. It’s important to be the first person who reaches them. If you’re the second, third or fourth, your chances of having a good conversation with them greatly diminish. The early bird gets the worm.” – Jeremy A.

No: 3: Help out renters.
When you’re first starting out, one way to gain experience and insight into your local real estate market is to help renters who are seeking new apartments. This is also a good lead generation tactic because when the renters eventually become homebuyers, they will be more likely to reach out to you for help.

“The majority of renters want to be homeowners. However, I have found other agents do not target this area as much. But if you work with the renters and guide them, they may hire you in the future!” – Rachel R.

“Turn renters into homeowners by preparing them early, introducing them to credit repair agents and coaching them through the pre-approval stage. Send emails, [make] phone calls [and] text periodically just to check in on them. When they get the pre-approval and or approval, the residential purchase process begins. You will have a client that trusts you and will refer you to other people.” – Evaughn P.

No. 4: Take advantage of your side gig.
Many agents work a second job to supplement their income while they’re getting their real estate career off the ground. If you have a side gig outside of real estate sales, try to think of it as a chance to network and promote your real estate business.

“I use my Uber driving to vet and land customers! I live in a year-round destination vacation spot. I’d strike up conversations with passengers and we’d talk about real estate. They’d get my card, then call me a few weeks later to look for property!” – Adrian G.

“I manage six Airbnbs (vacation home stays) as a side project, in addition to working at my company, and use my interactions with my guests as a way to promote the company I work for and myself. Often people staying short-term are looking for permanent housing and are between housing, or while their home is being built or while they are waiting for the purchase of their new home to close. When I learn about this, I let them know that I am a leasing agent and that I can help them find a rental, if they are looking. I also let them know about rent-estate opportunities for any homes that they own. I often have returned guests who I have become close acquaintances. For example, one guest stays in town for business and she is in real estate. We are a resource for each other and share our networks in the industry. Airbnb management has been a great platform for me to expand my clientele and business!” – Jessica E.

No. 5: Utilize social media.
If you want to connect with today’s real estate buyers (especially millennial homebuyers), you should be utilizing social media. Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are excellent tools for lead generation, as they offer myriad opportunities to engage and connect with potential real estate customers.

“By posting my listings on Instagram using local hashtags, I have been able to generate some great leads! We have lots of vacationers posting their pics on Instagram who use and follow these hashtags. Not a lot of REALTORS® in my area capitalize on Insta, so it really makes me stand out in my listing presentations!” – Anna C.

“I promote and advertise on Facebook rent-to-own programs and place many ads. I literally get 30-plus leads per day—quite a big money-maker. I currently teach and train my agents both experienced and new to do the same. One of my newest licensed agents put an ad on last week already has an approved buyer.” – John S.

With time and experience, you may get to a point where you have a steady stream of referrals and you no longer have to put as much time and effort into bringing in new business.

Real Estate Express is one of the nation’s premier online real estate schools, providing pre- and post-licensing courses, continuing education courses and professional development to hundreds of thousands of real estate agents across the country. Real Estate Express, along with its sister schools McKissock Learning, Superior School of Real Estate, Allied Schools, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing and Hondros Education Group, helps real estate professionals achieve sustainable success throughout each stage of their real estate career. Learn more at