Sunday, September 6, 2009


Late last month I spoke before several members of the Arvada Chamber of Commerce at a lunchtime function. When I speak before other business owners and sales professionals, I rarely focus on real estate, unless someone has a specific question. When I talk to other salespeople, I prefer to focus on subjects like contact management, referral systems and lead generation, which is the lifeblood of sales.

For many years, I worked in a mentoring capacity with newer agents. One of the philosophies I have always subscribed to is that excellence comes from specialization. While there are probably 15 to 18 proven ways to generate leads in real estate, the trick for most successful agents is to simply get REALLY GOOD at three of four of them, and do them every day.

Proven Systems to Generate Real Estate Leads (in no particular order)

• For Sale By Owner: Offer services, advice, stay in touch with unrepresented sellers who may list with you down the road

• Past Clients / Sphere of Influence: Connect with your friends, family and past clients for business referrals

• Door Knocking: Walk neighborhoods and talk to people

• Open Houses: Hold three to five every weekend, post 12-15 directional signs, follow-up with everyone who comes through

• Floor Time / Ad Calls: Sit around the office and wait for someone to call - the WORST strategy ever, but some people do it

• Sign Calls: Pay referral fees to other agents to “ride” their signs and take buyer calls off of their listings

• Investor Groups: Associate with investor clubs

• "Traditional" Advertising: Bus benches, magazines, PTA newsletters, etc

• Absentee Owners: Build relationships with out of area landlords (good strategy in rental towns, like Fort Collins)

• Just Listed / Just Sold Postcards: Mail to areas around company listings, sales

• Websites: SEO, unbranded stealth sites (, etc)

• Relocation: Affiliate with relocation companies and pay referral fees for leads

• Bank-Owned Listings (REO): Represent banks in the dissolution of their inventory

• Blogging (Active Rain, Zillow, Personal): Engage the consumer online

Networking Groups: Leads groups, BNI, chambers of commerce

• Geographic Farming: Focus on select neighborhoods (sponsor Little League teams, community garage sales, monthly newsletters, etc)

• (800) Call Capture: Advertise listings, services, free reports and capture phone numbers

• Expired Listings: Call on listings others failed to sell

• Short Sales: Ouch!

Again, the trick is not to do them all, or even try. The trick is to figure out three or four that you can do well, build great systems around them, and then strive to be in the top 5% of your field.

Success comes from having a clearly defined plan, working it well, and adjusting as market conditions change. Massive action directed with clarity and focus is a hard combination to beat. I know my "big four" when it comes to lead generation... do you?