5 Unconventional Ways to Get New Real Estate Clients

There are a lot of reasons people decide to become real estate agents. At the top of the list is a feeling of freedom and independence, as most agents are not required to “punch a clock” or work a typical 9 to 5 day. Each agent determines their own hours, and are also able to decide which days they want to work. The other top reason is the ability to earn an income based on effort - the more work they put into their job, the more they can potentially earn. Unlike most jobs, their earning power is limitless. 

But before they hang up their shingle and affiliate with a real estate company, they have to put in a lot of hard work to earn their license. Most importantly, they have to have clients. Because no matter how many listings they may have access to, without clients they can’t make any money. Unfortunately, there’s no “secret formula” for finding clients, or any way to make the process of finding clients easier. 

There are some tried and true methods of getting new clients, starting with reaching out to their friends and family. Advertising and marketing strategies also are an important part of getting new clients, but you have to remember that every other new real estate agent is busy marketing him- or herself. Having a large social network is helpful, as is sitting on boards of all types of organizations. The more they are able to network, the better chance they’ll have of finding someone who is in need of a realtor. 

But there are also some unconventional ways of getting new real estate clients that I’m happy to share with you, with the hope that by sharing these tactics you’ll be able to get new clients faster than you would using the conventional methods. 

#1: Go Digital 

9 out of 10 potential homebuyers hit Zillow at one point or another in their search for a home. That’s 90% of buyers who go online to view homes, prices and other important information about homes, neighborhoods and availability BEFORE contacting an agent. So it would make sense to go where the clients go - and that means Zillow.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 195 million folks visit Zillow each month. That’s a captive audience, and you should be a part of it. First, you’ll need to be a Zillow member. And if you’re after more leads, you’ll want to be a Zillow “Premier Agent.” Once you are, you can use Zillow’s ad platform that will let you promote local Zillow ads and Trulia listings. It’s not expensive, but it will put you in the digital forefront where buyers are looking for homes. And that’s exactly where you want to be!

One thing to be aware of when running ads, is that you should always verify who you’re communicating with. Just because someone responded to your Zillow ad, or any other ad for that matter, doesn’t mean it’s not a competitor or other party who is trying to find out what you’re doing. To accomplish this, use Nuwber, an online tool that will verify the true identity of a person using their phone number or other key information. Once you have confirmed the identity of the caller, you’ll have complete peace-of-mind knowing who you’re really communicating with. 

 #2: Use Text Messaging

Many real estate agents use cold emails, meaning they buy lists or acquire email addresses in other ways and send out “cold” emails, because the recipient doesn’t know who you are. But if you shift over to text messaging, you have a better chance of connecting with a potential client - either a buyer or a seller.

Mass texting, or as it’s often called “text bombing,” is a much quicker way to pick up new leads versus emailing or calling people. As it’s unexpected, many recipients appreciate the quick, easy read of a text instead of having to deal with an unsolicited phone call or email. Hopefully you’ve been capturing potential leads from open houses, referrals from friends and family members and lists from organizations and clubs you belong to. Use those phone numbers to your advantage.

#3: Become an Authority Figure

Most people like to work with those who are knowledgeable and well-known in their chosen field - which in your case is real estate. The best way to attract potential clients is to present yourself as an authority figure, and there are several ways you can do this effectively and without costing a lot of money. 

Create a website that showcases your background, education and experience. Post blogs on a continuous basis that are relevant to homebuyers. Topics might include finding the right home, how much income is required to purchase a home, choosing the right school district, prioritizing home improvement projects - the list goes on and on. Once you have a list of topics, start writing your articles. And be sure to let people know about your blog, through texts, emails and ads.

Speaking of ads, consider using social media for advertising. It’s cost-effective, it reaches the appropriate audience and it helps you build a following - which is essential when it comes to having a steady stream of potential clients who are looking to buy or sell a home. If you’re not a good writer, hire someone, You can always pick up a freelancer at Upwork.com or Guru.com to write your newsletters. Their respective websites allow you to post your job requirements, and you’ll receive bids from freelancers along with samples of their work.

Another tactic is creating a podcast. If you’re not familiar with how it’s done, just Google it - it’s not complicated! Having a stream of podcasts, along the same topic lines as the blog posts, will help present you as the “authority” on residential real estate. It helps you quickly build your reputation with your target audience.

Hosting webinars is another tactic that will help draw in potential clients. Promote it on social media and on your website, and have webinars on getting financing, recent sales and prices in your particular area, how to choose a lender - there’s really no limit on the amount and scope of topics you can discuss. Capture everyone’s email address and phone number when they register for the webinar, and then use that data to follow up by sending out emails, texts and other materials. You’ll be amazed how many people like the concept of webinars because they don’t have to leave the comfort of their homes in order to get the information they’re looking for.

#4: Develop a Creative Business Card

Most business cards are plain - and plain old boring. Here’s an inexpensive way to stand apart from your competitors at very little additional cost. Just sign up for a business card that shows you’re not “ordinary” - that will help you stand out from the crowd and be your introducer, if you will. You can emboss it, have a dimensional card, have a die-cut to show a home under construction, use unusual colors and type - the possibilities are endless. The only caveat is to stay away from plain - and boring! People will remember your card and it will help you build your brand over time. If you need a graphic designer, use Guru.com or Upwork.com to find one.

#5: Use People Search Engines

Another tactic available to you is to use people search engines, with tools such as Nuwber to research any potential leads you may get from your webinars, blogs or podcasts. You can also use tools like ContactOut to find out the correct email address of a person. It will help you verify that the potential lead you’re communicating with is really who they say they are, and if not, you break off communication so that won’t be wasting your time. Nuwber is an online tool that will give you complete details of the person you’re searching, including name, address, etc. 

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