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As December brings winter weather, and social distancing forces separation, it is more important than ever to find ways to cultivate leads through personal relationships. Lead generation is a constant process that requires both discipline and fresh inspiration. The seeds that your agents plant now are the ones that can sprout into new business in the future.

With this in mind, I wanted to highlight some tips shared in a recent CRD podcast on “Lead Generation Through Relationships.”

1. Build a routine. Find time every day to produce 20-plus “touches.” For example, write at least five handwritten notes, write five comments on social media posts and send five text messages. Quality is more important than quantity; make your communication meaningful. This simple habit will ensure that you’re always planting relationship seeds before your day is filled with pressing matters.

2. Ask for appointments. Get in the habit of making appointments with others (virtual or in-person, dependent on the comfort level of you and your prospective clients), starting with your personal relationships. Then, extend that habit into business appointments. “Can we meet to discuss your situation?” If you adopt a helpful, consultative approach, it will be much easier to make the request.

3. Always look around. There are many subtle signals that someone could be moving soon (garage sales, graduation yard signs, etc.). Always be on the lookout for any small “news” items in your community. Even if they do not lead to new business, local happenings provide interesting topics for conversation and social media posts that showcase your local expertise.

4. Say their name. People love hearing it. “Hey, Rob. How are things going?” is an easy way to build affinity. If you encounter someone wearing a name tag, take advantage of this opportunity to mention their name in a remark. Carry business cards for in-person conversations, and be sure to follow up with an email so it is easy for prospective clients to remember your name.

5. Be an eager learner. Have a voracious appetite for knowledge, regardless of the topic. It keeps your brain sharp, sparks creativity and provides fodder for conversations. And with tools like audiobooks and podcasts, it is easy to multitask while you are engaged in other routine activities.

As a firm believer in the value of education, the advice to be an eager learner may be my favorite tip. Additionally, the podcast includes dozens of ways to build relationships and generate leads.

The CRD podcast is a complimentary resource from NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development. To listen and subscribe, visit

Marc D. Gould is senior vice president of Member Development for NAR, overseeing a wide range of professional development programs for REALTORS®, including the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC). REBAC is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 27,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who have completed the specialized education and documented experience in working with consumers purchasing a home. To learn more, visit