21 Ways Estate Agents can Generate Property Leads

Posted under Lead generation Estate Agents Property

Imagine. You’re all set up with a great Estate Agency business. Everything is in place. Your shop is smart and welcoming … and it’s in the perfect location. You’ve recruited a superb team – energetic, enthusiastic, and with all the drive it takes to push through sale after sale. Your website and the technology to support it? Those are looking good to go. Yes – you have every vital ingredient in place for an archetypal Estate Agency success story.

There’s just one thing missing. A single element without which your business has zero chance of leaving your expensively assembled launch pad. Leads, customers, prospects. Call them what you like. Without them, you’ll be going nowhere.

In this article, we’re going to highlight for you 21 ways to overcome this challenge – 21 lead generation ideas that range from old-school to hi-tech, but they all have two things in common - not only are they statistically proven to work, but they cost almost nothing upfront to put into action. If you are a letting agent or are focusing on targeting landlords, you may also be interested in our 40 ways to find landlords in the UK.

21 proven methods for an Estate Agent to generate property leads

1. Reach out to family and friends

Never underestimate the value of your strongest network of all – friends and family. These are people who, for years, have known you and are aware of your skills qualities. Of course, when you bump into them at social events, you’ll want to keep them up-to-date with how business is going. But you can do much more. Try being proactive. Let’s say you have a client looking for a property near to where one of your friends or family members lives. Why not pick up the phone and ask if they know of anyone in the locality who might be looking to sell? You never know – you could strike lucky. It’s surely worth a phone call.

2. Attend networking events

Business networking can be one of the most fruitful and enjoyable forms of low-cost lead generation. There are now more ways to network effectively than ever before:

  • Face-to-face events - Choose the day of the week and time of the day that suits you best – breakfast, lunch or evening. These events are ideal for making genuine connections – people who will support many aspects of your business – not just lead generation.
  • Online networking - Since the pandemic, these have grown massively and are, again, a great way to get to know other members of your business community and, being online, there’s no travelling involved.
  • Conferences, workshops and seminars – These not only provide the opportunity to learn new skills or business practices, but they also provide an excellent opportunity to chat with other business people, find out about their challenges and get yourself known.
  • Trade shows and exhibitions – Either attend as an exhibitor or a visitor. Also, keep an eye out for the increasing number of online exhibitions.
  • Community networking – Consider volunteering. Get to know members of your local community by contributing to their work.

A few networking tips:

  • Be consistent. Networking can be a slow game. But, be consistent in turning up, get yourself known as an authority in the property sector and, as you build trust, the leads will soon come your way.
  • Don’t ‘sell’ to the room. Remember, it’s not the people in the room who matter, as much as the people who they know. When pitching or chatting to your fellow networkers, tell them about the kind of lead you’re looking for and how they can help you.
  • Again – don’t ‘sell’. Show an interest in others. Find out about them, their successes and their challenges. Think about how you can go out of your way to help them. Before long, your reputation as a ‘giver’ will grow … as will the leads that come your way.

To find your local networking groups, simply do a Google search. To give you an idea of annual UK property events and exhibitions, here’s a sample list:

London networking

National networking

3. Open Houses

estate agent showing a family around a house

As you’d expect, during the coronavirus pandemic, the Open House concept took a hit. But don’t believe that these events are a thing of the past. On the contrary, they’re very much on the way back. Although some people are understandably hesitant, a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors showed that 65% of people who attended an open house within the last year would do so again.

Here are ways to make sure that your Open House events are as successful as they can be:

  • Include a tour of the area with the house tour
  • Show consideration for your visitors’ health by limiting the number of visitors at one time
  • Make sure to stock up on sanitisers and wipes
  • Know the health protocols, follow them, and don’t be afraid to enforce them
  • Engage with each visitor. Show a genuine interest in them.

4. Virtual House Viewings

As Open House viewings declined with the advent of the pandemic, so Virtual Viewings surged in popularity. Although they might not be a complete substitute for a live tour of a property, virtual viewings can still be valuable. No longer as expensive and time-consuming as they once were, this form of lead generation is now a fast and cost-effective way for you to gain a competitive advantage.

The benefits of virtual tours:

  • Customers can view them online whenever it suits them
  • They are fast and easy to create
  • You can add them to your website within minutes
  • You don’t need any technical knowledge to upload them.
  • They are easy to render compatible with independent property search websites, such as On The Market & Zoopla.

5. Ask clients to refer you

A recent survey confirms one of the longest-held truisms in business - a referred customer costs much less to acquire and has a higher potential for retention and loyalty. Just as impressive - these referred customers cost almost little to nothing to acquire — a win-win.

But some of us are naturally apprehensive about approaching current clients to ask them for help. How do you go about asking them to approach their network on your behalf without coming across as awkward or pushy?

  1. Begin with an email - make it friendly and personal. Open by asking after the recipient. How are they keeping? How’s business? Even ask after their family or how they’re getting on with a particular hobby or interest? Be direct and to the point with the purpose of your email. Be specific too in outlining how you’d like them to help you. Mention how much you enjoyed working with them before and touch upon the past ways in which you’ve helped them.
  2. Follow up a few days later with a phone call – either to thank them for their prompt and helpful response or to check they’ve received your email and to see if they have any questions about referring you. Use the phone call to find out if there are any ways in which you can help them.
  3. Offer your contact an appropriate incentive for getting you referrals. Make them personal. Show that you’ve taken care. It’s no good offering a bottle of wine to a tea-totaller!
  4. Stay connected. Don’t hassle your contact every few weeks. Just keep in touch with them every now and then. Even if they haven’t initially been successful for you if you can see that they’ve been making an effort on your behalf, why not send them a gift anyway?

6. Door-to-Door knocking

Many Estate Agents are scornful of the idea of generating leads by Door-to-Door knocking. For them, in the age of IT and social media, this technique went out with the dinosaurs. However, they’re wrong … and there are stats to prove it.

  • Working steadily, you can expect to knock on 20 doors per hour.
  • On average, you could be looking at one lead for every 50 doors you knock on.
  • 25% of people who answer the door will be prepared to listen to your opening pitch.
  • Leave a door-hanger with those who are out, and you can expect one call back for every 200 hangers left.

Key Door-to-Door tips

  1. The best time to knock on doors? There isn’t one. Be prepared to make your first pass in the evening, your second in the morning, and your third in the afternoon. Then you should catch 90% of householders.
  2. Prepare your pitch. Practice it so that you come across as friendly and relaxed. Begin by giving your first name and the name of your Estate Agency. Then ask politely – ‘I wonder if you can help me. I’m looking for …’. Rather than directly asking them if they want to sell their property, ask them if they know someone locally who’s looking to sell. Explain to them how favourable the market is for properties in their area right now. However they respond, always remain courteous.

7. Get involved in Community Websites and Forums

snippet of reddit page realtors

Social media community sites and forums can be excellent for networking, learning and generating leads. You need to work both sides of the platforms. In other words, get active in both providing answers to forum questions and asking questions yourself.

There are numerous platforms and communities for you to involve yourself in:

Reddit

  • Housing Advice and Discussion – 19.8K members
  • UK Property – 4.7K members

Quora

  • Real Estate - 783.K topics
  • Properties - 48.9K topics

Facebook

  • Lighter Side of Real Estate - 63.9K members
  • The Real Estate Agent Group - 53.9K members
  • Lab Coat Agents - 149.1K members

Twitter

  • Estate Agent Networking - @EAUKNetworking - 39.8K followers
  • NAEA Propertymark - @naea_uk - 23.3K followers
  • UK Property News - @ukprop – 7.3K followers
  • Property Wire - @PropertyWire – 64.3K followers
  • Telegraph Property - @TeleProperty – 72.3K followers

8. Get your Estate Agency on Social Media

agent extras facebook page

No development in the world of Estate Agency has had a greater impact on the sector than the advent of Social Media. The major platforms are not so much there to help you ‘sell’ but to enable you to ‘connect’ with potential customers. They are all about building trust. When a customer feels connected with your brand, 68% will recommend you to a friend, and 76% will buy from you over a competitor.

The success you achieve through your social media activity will not be instant. Like networking, it’s a ‘slow burn’. But with pro-active, consistent involvement and diligence, success will come your way.

In fact, 78% of salespeople engaged in social media are outselling those who aren’t.

Here are the key platforms:

LinkedIn

Much more than a recruitment tool, Linkedin has been voted the most trusted network for five consecutive years. It’s also 277% better at generating leads than both Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook

This platform, with its massive social, non-commercial reach, has the largest audience of all - 51.34 million users in 2021. 32% of Facebook users engage with brands regularly.

Twitter

93% of people plan to purchase a product or service from a business they follow on Twitter.

Instagram

Instagram enjoys a massive advertising reach of 1.393 billion users, with 70% of marketers looking to video.

9. Social Media PPC Ads

With careful planning, social media paid-for or sponsored posts can be hugely beneficial for lead generation. Their great advantage over many other forms of advertising is that they enable you to be highly focused with your targeting – allowing you to focus on specific demographics – age, career profiles, location, interests etc. They also make it easy to track your ROI. Social Media PPC ads are quick and easy to prepare, enabling you to get your message out quickly.

To make the most of the opportunity, you need to keep two factors at the forefront of your mind:

  1. Be clear about the objectives of your campaign – who is your target audience? What are you hoping to achieve?
  2. Have a clear budget in your mind before you start each campaign.

10. Facebook Carousel Ads with Professional Photographs and Videos

People really want to see the property you are advertising in that Facebook ad of yours.

Consider investing in professional photography to end up with high-quality images that fit right inside your carousel to make your advertised property look like a buyer’s dream come true!

Make it happen with high-quality visuals in the form of carousels and maybe even a video tour. 86% of video marketers say video has been effective in generating leads.

Do you want your video ads to stand out ahead of all the rest? Hire a drone and shoot some professional videos. Push them as a Facebook video ad and watch prospects come flocking over.

11. Paid Search Ads

google ads headlines and description

Now long-established as a successful way to generate leads online, there are many reasons to consider Paid Ads. As with social media PPC, you can set a clear objective and a budget. It’s also easy to track your ROI. They are also a proven way to increase your brand awareness. There’s plenty of statistical evidence to support claims of PPC success:

  • PPC generates twice the number of visitors compared to SEO.
  • Paid advertisements enjoy an impressive 200% ROI.
  • Ads can increase brand awareness by as much as 80%.
  • Over 50% of ad clicks happen on mobile devices.
  • Conversion rates can be boosted beyond 40% by combining similar audiences with display remarketing campaigns.
  • Featuring over 2 million websites, the Google Display Network is the leading PPC player.
  • Customers are 155% more likely to search for brand-specific terms when exposed to display ads.

12. Purchasing Property Leads

There are plenty of sources for your Estate Agency to buy property leads. To find the best option, you need to be clear about:

  • the kind of leads you’re looking for
  • your budget
  • how much time you are able to commit to nurturing your leads

It’s important to research your lead generation sources carefully and check out the track record of each one to make sure that your ROI is satisfactory.

13. Cold Calling – the old ways still pull their weight!

So you think cold calling is dead? You couldn’t be more wrong.

Organisations that don’t bother with cold calling experience 42% less growth than businesses that do.

You need to be brave. You need to be disciplined. And, to coin a phrase you may have heard before, you need to ‘just do it’!

Pick up the phone and call your leads.

Cold calling has always been, and will continue to be, a staple for the property sector.

What kind of prospects should you be calling?

  • Expired listings – Home sellers with expired listings usually need a new estate agent … quickly. Give them a call before they start looking.
  • Geographic farming - call all your potential leads in a single neighbourhood.
  • Landlords struggling to fill their vacant properties.
  • Homes under pressure to sell - helping someone who’s undergoing a distress sale will always be welcomed.
  • Specific buyer personas that are a match for your offerings – for example, C-level executives buying a second home resort, businessmen looking to invest, property investors etc.

Items you are likely to need before you make that first cold call:

  1. CRM software to maintain a database of all leads and the progress of your conversations with them.
  2. Automated dialler software to dial out those numbers – one that will also automatically check numbers against the Do Not Call Registry before dialling out.
  3. A great cold calling script that focuses on the value you can add to the prospect’s life. Ensure that it is a living document and is constantly updated.

14. Email Campaigns

screen shot of mailchimp website home page

As a marketing channel, email has been around for well over two decades. With the explosion in social media, webinars and video, it would be easy to assume that the days of email marketing are numbered.

However, all the evidence shows that email’s reputation as an effective lead-generation tool is as strong as ever - 78% of marketers in 2020 said email is vital to their company's success. Furthermore, email shows on average a staggering ROI of 4,200%, with segmented campaigns producing as much as a 760% increase in revenue.

Key points to remember when developing your email campaign:

  1. Keep it personal – use the recipient’s name in the subject line, as well as your salutation in the body of the email. At the end of your email, make your signature personal too. \never sign off with ‘The Sales Team’.
  2. Keep it brief – restrict your email to a maximum of two or three topics per email. If you want to expand on any of these, you can include a link to the relevant blog on your website.
  3. Always end with a PS – This is a great way to repeat/highlight a promotion or offer.
  4. Write in a friendly, conversational way - Don’t be stiff and formal.
  5. Stand out - Make your subject line catchy and appealing to give your email the best possible chance of being opened. Never settle for ‘Your monthly email’.
  6. Be consistent – whether it’s weekly, fortnightly, or monthly, be consistent. Send each email out at the same time on the same day.

Be sure to check out the number of email marketing tools out there, such as Mailchimp. It helps you automate the process and keep all your campaigns and client relations organised.

15. Warm Calling

The idea may seem ‘old school’, but there’s no substitute for the old-fashioned, personal approach. Set aside an hour a week to call previous customers. Use the opportunity to find out about how they’re getting on in their home. Even if they moved in two or three years ago, they might be more than happy to talk about changes they’ve made to the property, extensions they’ve added and plans they have for the future. These people will be impressed that you’ve been in touch. There’s no better way to make sure you stay at the top of their minds when they’re talking to their own contact about house moving.

16. Print Advertising

It’s a common misconception to assume that the days of print advertising for Estate Agents have passed. All the evidence points toward the fact that combining print ads with digital ads will make online campaigns 400 % more effective. Here are more stats in support of the use of print ads.

  1. 63% of consumers are likely to respond to newspapers and magazine ads. For online ad., the figure is just 25%.
  2. 61% of readers trust newspapers ads as opposed to 42% who give credibility to online ones
  3. In general, 80% of traditional mail is opened while 80% of emails are disregarded (just 20% are read)
  4. 95 per cent of people under 25 read magazines
  5. Consumers who receive print mail promoting online sites spend 13% more than those who just receive digital info
  6. 46% per cent of readers uses print and digital formats
  7. People are 70% more likely to remember businesses seen in print compared to online

17. Launch an up-to-date website

Of course, you will understand the value of producing a website for your Estate Agency. However, with competition in the sector so intense, it’s worth the extra investment to make your website stand out head and shoulders above the others.

Your website needs to attract the right customers and present itself in a way that makes your Estate Agent irresistible. It needs to

  • be professionally designed
  • look striking, original and attractive
  • be consistent with your brand image
  • contain plenty of sharp, professional images
  • use copy that’s clear, concise and compelling
  • be easy and intuitive to navigate, enabling your visitors to find what they’re looking for with as few clicks as possible.

18. Apply an SEO strategy

google search results for term estate agent london

Your website may be beautifully designed and functional. But – if no one can find it, then it will hardly be fit for purpose.

Remember:

  • Approximately 46% of all searches include location.
  • Roughly 97% of people who use online search look for local businesses.
  • Approximately 86% of people search for a location of a business on Google Maps.
  • Reviews account for 15% of the local SEO pack rank.
  • Some 76% of consumers use voice search to look for local businesses at least once weekly.
  • 28% of local searches result in a purchase.
  • Approximately 78% of mobile local searches prompt an offline purchase.

In your earliest discussions with your web designer, you need to make it clear that you require your site to be optimised for SEO. Here are four fundamental SEO techniques:

  • Including your geographical location in the search terms, you optimise your site for.
  • Including your key search terms in your headings and image descriptions.
  • Making your website intuitive and easy to explore
  • Using your search terms in your page ‘titles’

If you need inspiration, check out some of the best Estate Agent and property websites.

19. Regular Blogging

There are three great reasons to use a carefully researched blogging strategy to generate new leads:

  1. Well-written, topical blogs help you to develop your reputation as an authority – someone who knows what they’re talking about.
  2. You don’t just leave your blogs sitting on your website to gather dust. They can be evergreen – recycled as newsletters or LinkedIn articles. You can also break them into segments and post them on social media sites.
  3. Google loves blogs. Make sure you carry out keyword research first. Then make strategic use of your keywords and use carefully constructed links from your blogs to your other pages to your pages.

20. Get listed on Web Directories

Maintaining your presence on online directories is a simple yet fundamental tactic to d=support your lead generation efforts and is key to SEO success. In fact, the top online business directories attract 17.5 million searches monthly.

The Top 10 directories for Estate Agents are:

  1. UK Small Business Directory (also known as UK SBD)
  2. Intently.co
  3. Britain Business Directory
  4. UK Business Forums
  5. ABC Business Directory
  6. Yell UK
  7. Google My Business – this enables key details of your Estate Agency to appear at the right-hand side of the Google results page. You can include images and reviews. Keeping your listing up-to-date will have a significant impact on your SEO positioning.
  8. Business Directory UK
  9. Scoot UK
  10. Yelp UK

21. Be kind, caring, reliable, and trustworthy

Stating the obvious? Maybe – but of all the tips we’ve listed, none of them will have as effective ROI as how you are with people.

After all, an average of 61% of small businesses declare that more than half their revenue comes from repeat business. The most effective way to get that repeat business is to make yourself and your Estate Agency service memorable … for all the right reasons.

The late author, actress, and activist Maya Angelou famously stated -

“People may forget what you said.

They may forget what you did.

But they will never forget how you made them feel.”

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