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Zillow says your house is worth “say what”?

4 minute READ  Inman News Article

Brandi J. Newland – RE/MAX on Stringtown Road | 2051 Stringtown Road Grove City, Ohio 43123 |614.778.4520 | SpecialAgentBrandi@hotmail.com

You’re in the listing presentation, showing your potential clients the comparable listings in their neighborhood and making a recommendation about price, and it comes — the statement you’ve been dreading: “But Zillow‘s Zestimate puts our house at $X higher than that price.”

Clearly these sellers didn’t read the company’s own fine print on its value calculation mechanism — so you can point them to that, or respond as Anne M. Rubin suggested in a session at Century 21’s One21 conference this year:

“Are you familiar with how Zestimates work?

“Zestimates take the deed recordings in a geographic area to determine the number. They don’t include the condition of the home or any upgrades. They can often be too high or too low.

“I will supply you with accurate information from the MLS, which includes interior photos, of the properties that are most likely to be seen by buyers when they are also looking at your house. In addition, I can show you the recent sales in the area that appraisers will look at when they’re determining the value of your house from the buyer’s mortgage company.

“Don’t you want the best information available when you decide how to price your house and when to place it on the market?”

And here are a few more options for how to tackle that objection, sourced from a discussion on Inman’s Coast to Coast Facebook Group.

What’s included — and what’s not

The data sets used to create the Zestimate are cleaned up before numbers are crunched, explained Zillow senior managing economist Skylar Olsen — for example, any properties transferring ownership to and from people with the same last name (indicating a family deed transfer) or involving an unusually high or low sales price will get flagged.

Foreclosures, auctions and quit claims are also removed, and the Zestimate algorithm uses the remaining property data and relevant prices to come up with the magic number — which, Olsen notes, is an estimate.

“The estimate is going to have an associated band of error,” she said. “If there are more transactions in their area, good data in their area, if the homes are more similar to each other, if all homes are in a similar place and similar quality, then the Zestimate is usually pretty close.”

However, “quality is very hard to capture,” Olsen added, “which is why we’re pursuing major machine-learning techniques to elicit new signals.”

‘Have you claimed your house on Zillow? Because if not …’

Olsen notes that the Zestimate data comes from primary sources like the assessor’s office. “We use a lot of public records to power and estimate the statistical models,” she said, “and then what we use to score your Zestimate is not just those public record details but also user-inputted data.

“Incomplete information is really where we see the largest error,” she added. “When we have to infer how many bedrooms or bathrooms there are because the county didn’t put in that data.”

And sometimes, Olsen says, the records are coming from two different sources that record different features of the property.

So if the client has simply pulled up her address on Zillow without claiming the home, she may have no idea what Zillow “knows” about the property — and whether that’s accurate information.

‘Has Zillow been inside your house?’

Most reasonable humans will understand that in order to accurately value a property, it should be visited and examined — inside and out.

“Zillow has never been in your home,” suggested Gaithersburg, Maryland-based agent Scott Leidner as a potential response.

“Has anyone from Zillow ever actually been inside your house, or did they do a property tour?” added Lakeland, Florida’s Bill Kilpatrick.

Ashley Dortch, an agent in Locust Valley, New York, took her suggestion a step further: “Has Zillow been inside of your house and all of the homes it’s using for comps? Well, I have.”

Fullerton, California, agent Erica Boisvert suggested asking sellers whether they’d updated their home’s information on Zillow and reminding them that it’s a mathematical guess in addition to throwing in the statement, “Zillow has never walked your home, the comps or the neighborhood.

“Have you updated Zillow as a homeowner?” she added. “No? Then it’s just a mathematical guess.

“This is what I’ve seen in your neighborhood …” (A beautiful segue to demonstrate your value to potential clients, if we do say so.)

And Philadelphia agent Dennis McGuinn threw in a mention of the inexact nature of house pricing, which can never hurt when it comes to a discussion about Zestimates and other automated valuation models (AVMs).

“There’s no perfect science to pricing a house. But at least I’ve been to your house to see what it offers a buyer. Has Zillow been here?” he recommends asking. And closing with: “And what happens to Zillow if the Zestimate is wrong?”

“Ultimately we’ve never been inside the house,” noted Olsen, “and there’s so much nuance to what’s valuable to a home and cues people to think ‘Gosh, I really like this — I want to bid more.’”

‘Is Zillow going to put in an offer?’

Twin Cities broker Teresa Boardman put it pretty bluntly: “Zillow isn’t going to buy your house, now, are they?”

“Sell it to Zillow!” chimed in Scott Geller of Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

Homing In CEO Todd Miller had an even more tongue-in-cheek way to phrase it:

“You should accept Zillow’s cash offer for your house immediately!”

‘Doesn’t matter what Zillow (or I) think — it’s what buyers think’

Michael Tessaro in San Jose, California, gets straight to the heart of the matter with his objection handler.

“Doesn’t matter what I think or what Zillow thinks,” he suggests telling sellers. “All that matters is the offer you receive from a buyer. You sign it and we close the sale — that’s what your house is worth.”

Not the only AVM in town

Flagstaff, Arizona, agent Emmy Simpson offers a simple, “Let me show you how AVMs work …”

This can be effective because many different brokerage and other real estate companies now offer AVMs — and often they are backed by a big brand that the consumer will recognize.

Explaining how and why each valuation is different can help build trust with your sellers (and show that you really do understand the nuances of pricing).

Point out the numbers game

Marblehead, Massachusetts-based agent Jack Attridge uses math to illustrate how difficult it is to land on the right price at the right time.

“I have a hard enough time pricing homes one at a time,” he tells sellers. “And it is impossible for the local assessor to accurately price the 9,000 homes in my market.

“That is why they tell you that when you get serious, you should reach out to a local agent like myself.”

Get under the hood

Chicago-based team lead Leslie Ebersole points out that this conversation is an opportunity to “validate the work the client is doing on their own behalf and then to demonstrate agent expertise.”

It’s a bad idea to argue with the Zestimate or bash the company behind it, she adds. “Millions and millions of consumers trust Zillow more than they do real estate agents.”

She suggests using this script: “Millions of consumers visit Zillow every month. Most understand that the Zestimate is exactly that — an estimate of the value of the home. Let me show you how the Zestimate is calculated and the Zestimate Data Accuracy table.”

This gives the agent a chance to explain why a Zestimate is “a good starting point as well as a historical reference, but should not be used for pricing a home,” Ebersole noted.

Anne Marie Vespo in Chicago points out to sellers that the Zestimate is based on numbers — namely, the property’s physical attributes, tax assessments and prior and current transactions.

“So if you have a neighborhood of older, smaller homes with a few teardown, new-construction homes, it may bring the value of one up and the other down — but it doesn’t mean it’s accurate as they’re not taking into account what is inside the home,” she pointed out.

Zestimates might be more accurate “in planned-unit developments with cookie-cutter homes, or townhouse and condo communities,” she added, but the Zestimate still doesn’t encompass updates or improvements.

‘Great place to start!’

Your seller has gone to the trouble to educate himself or herself about the potential price of the property in question — so applaud their impulse and use that as a jumping-off point to showcase what tools you have that could help.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii-based Lance Owens usually begins with, “Great place to start, Seller! I love clients who do their homework and actually put effort into selling the home.”

Then, he says, he pulls up Realtors Property Resource (RPR) and offers to go over the comparative sales in the area, showing sellers with their own eyes what’s happening in their market.

Figure out why the Zestimate doesn’t align with your price

For Jim Weix in Palm City, Florida, the Zestimate is an opportunity to show your clients how much you know (and how much a computer can’t) about their property and area.

“If the Zestimate is off, it will normally be easy to see why,” Weix said. “Zillow doesn’t know the difference between a deep-water ocean-access canal and a glorified ocean-access drainage ditch, since both show up as ‘ocean access canal’ properties.

“Rather than attack or simply reject a Zestimate, it is quite simple to show the errors in it,” he noted.

And showing instead of telling always wins fans, no?

Dig up the past

When Spencer Rascoff sold his Seattle home for significantly less than the Zestimate price, he “may have … given real estate agents a gift they won’t soon forget,” wrote Teke Wiggin at the time.

A few agents revealed that they haven’t yet forgotten the gift and are still using the sale to showcase the potential pitfalls of relying solely on a Zestimate to their clients.

Bottom line: Never take an overpriced listing

“Are there any reasons besides the Zestimate why you think your house is worth that amount?” offered Juan Gabriel Molina of Oxnard, California.

“Tackle the objections, present the data and market facts.”

One thing you should never do, though, is agree to take on an overpriced listing, he added.

“If they’re unrealistic and not motivated, simply tell them you cannot assist them at this time,” he advised.

 

Inman News Article

Brandi J. Newland – RE/MAX on Stringtown Road | 2051 Stringtown Road Grove City, Ohio 43123 |614.778.4520 | SpecialAgentBrandi@hotmail.com

 

How to find a HUD HOME

Its really quite simple these days because the Government has taken over the job and responsibility of listing them all in one place.  So every HUD Home in the Continental United States and also these countries – Northern Mariana Islands, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Alaska and American Samoa is located at www.HudHomeStore.com.

by Brandi J. Newland, Broker @ RE/MAX Right Now

Visit me on my website – www.BrandiNewland.com

Visit me on Facebook – Brandi J. Newland, RE/MAX Broker & Agent

Visit me on my favorite site – Pinterest! So many great ideas for your home buying or selling experience!

 

8 ways to survive the Winter Blues

1. Stay active

It’s easy to bury yourself on the couch during the winter, eating too much and watching TV. If you’re going to stay healthy, you need to make that effort to get outside and do something. Running, skiing, snowshoeing and biking are all options, but even something as easy as going for a walk every day will get your endorphins going.

2. Fight off the blues

Looking out my window, the gray gloom feels like it is late afternoon. It’s 10:30 in the morning. Winter can have that effect on you. Even if you don’t have seasonal affective disorder, the gloaming can be wearing. Try to focus on things you can enjoy about the winter: sitting by fires, reading books, snow sports, cocoa, etc. TURN lights on, ALL of them!

3. Heat wisely

It’s tempting to match every degree drop outside by raising the thermostat one degree inside, but that’ll end up costing you a fortune. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you can drop your thermostat gradually to get used to colder temps and save heating money.

4. Static Electricity     Image result for static electricity in human body

Invest in a couple of good humidifiers to slow down the static electricity. Winter’s dry air can be rough on you without getting zapped, too. We’ve also been dealing with dry eyes and skin, so eye lubricants and moisturizers have come into play.  You will feel so much better!

5. Snowmageddon

Winter isn’t complete without some kind of event that gets the weather forecasters fired up. It’s just a storm – but make sure you take the necessary precautions. Prepare emergency kits for your home and car, including lights, batteries, water, nonperishable high-energy foods such as granola bars and a first-aid kit.

 

6. Stay healthy

Getting socked in by weather is one thing – being stuck at home and sick is something far worse. Make sure you get enough sleep, wash your hands often with antibacterial soap and stay active. Try to keep your stress levels down and drink lots of water.

7. Heat the inside, not the outside

The doors and windows might be closed, but heat can still escape your home in the wintertime. Make sure plumbing entrances, ducts, fireplaces and ceilings are insulated – you can even use bubble wrap if you can’t afford anything else. Also, run fans clockwise to keep rising heat down closer to the floor.

8. Heat you, not the house       Image result for lady all bundled up on couch

If you live by yourself, it’s more efficient to heat you than the house or apartment around you. Embrace wearing a fleece jacket indoors – it’s both warming and cozy. It’s also not the best time to be going barefoot – splurge on some thick fuzzy socks.

FHA Cuts their Rates!!

FHA opens door to homeownership for more borrowers

Federal agency says the cut will save borrowers $500 a year on average.

Low- to moderate-income homebuyers will get a boost in 2017, with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) set to cut mortgage insurance premiums later this month.

The move “will mean a whole lot more responsible borrowers are suddenly eligible to purchase a home through FHA,” said National Association of Realtors President William E. Brown in a statement.

Annual premiums going down

The FHA will reduce the annual mortgage insurance premium most FHA borrowers pay by a quarter of a percentage point starting January 27. Annual premiums will drop to 0.6 percent from 0.85 percent, according to NAR.

“Every time we cut the cost of mortgage insurance it means more borrowers meet the debt-to-income ratio required to purchase a home,” said Brown, explaining why the move should lead more aspiring homebuyers to pull the trigger.

The rate cut means new borrowers who take out mortgages insured by the FHA will save an average of $500 this year, according to HUD.

The action “comes at the right time for consumers who are facing higher credit costs as mortgage interest rates are increasing,” according to Julián Castro, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary, which oversees the FHA.

Why this is good news

The FHA makes it possible for banks to lend to borrowers who might not qualify for conventional mortgages, serving as a wellspring of credit for those buyers.

FHA borrowers pay both an insurance premium to the FHA and higher interest rates in return for a mortgage that requires as little as a 3.5 percent down payment.

“FHA mortgage products exist to serve an important mission: providing homeownership opportunities to creditworthy borrowers who are overlooked by conventional lenders,” said NAR President William E. Brown in a statement.

“The high cost of mortgage insurance has unfortunately put those opportunities out of reach for many young, first-time- and lower-income borrowers. Now, we have a real opportunity to get back on track.”

“After four straight years of growth and with sufficient reserves on hand to meet future claims, it’s time for FHA to pass along some modest savings to working families,” Castro said in a statement.

“This is a fiscally responsible measure to price our mortgage insurance in a way that protects our insurance fund while preserving the dream of homeownership for credit-qualified borrowers.”

According to Guy Cecala, CEO and publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, FHA’s share of the home purchase market in first three quarters of 2016 was 16.6 percent.

“That was way down from the 33.8 percent market share seen as recently as 2010, but up from the 13.5 percent share seen right before FHA first lowered its annual MIP in early 2015,” Cecala told Inman via email.

 

Can FHA afford to do it?

The health of the FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MKIF) has improved for four straight years, gaining $44 billion in value since 2012, according to HUD. The fund pays FHA lenders when borrowers default on FHA-insured mortgages.

An independent analysis found that the fund’s capital ratio now stands at 2.32 percent of all insurance in force — the second consecutive year since 2008 that the FHA’s reserve ratio exceeded the mandatory 2.0 percent threshold, HUD said.

The FHA started insuring a much larger share of purchase mortgages to help fill a credit void after the mortgage meltdown.

Losses largely stemming from loans the FHA made from 2007 to 2009 forced the agency to take a bailout of $1.7 billion in 2013 to ensure it had enough reserves to cover anticipated losses on the loans it insured.

“We’ve carefully weighed the risks associated with lower premiums with our historic mission to provide safe and sustainable mortgage financing to responsible homebuyers,” said Ed Golding, principal deputy assistant secretary for HUD’s office of housing, in a statement.

Article by Inman and Teke Wiggin

Toxic Substances when Remodeling Can be Scary

Understanding VOCs and Indoor Air Quality

Freshly painted walls, gleaming wood floorboards, and tightly insulated attics are on many buyers’ wish lists. But some materials, processes, and finishes can make for toxic spaces. Help your buyers and sellers keep their homes healthy.
Living room renovation

When the TV news show “60 Minutes” reported that Lumber Liquidators’ laminate flooring, a synthetic product produced in China, failed to meet certain health and safety standards, many home owners panicked. Were their floors also releasing into the air (off-gassing) formaldehyde, a chemical commonly used in many building products?

Afterward, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission tested levels released from some of the laminate flooring that had been sold in Lumber Liquidators’ U.S. stores. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry determined exposure to the formaldehyde tested could cause irritation and breathing problems. But formaldehyde can potentially cause greater damage; it’s listed in a President’s Cancer Panel report as a known carcinogen.

Formaldehyde is just one in a huge family of chemical compounds that are lumped under the volatile organic compound umbrella. These substances raise concerns because the gasses they release can be toxic. Furthermore, VOCs are common in paints, stains, adhesives, and glues, which means that many otherwise safe building materials may make indoor air toxic because they’re paired with them.

That’s why more home owners are beginning to ask retailers, manufacturers, and contractors what VOCs may be in the materials, products, and furnishings they bring into their homes. But they also need to understand where these products originated and how they were made, installed, and finished, since unhealthy VOCs may be incorporated at various stages.

Joe Reina of No Limits Paint in Elmhurst, Ill., is among contractors already hearing these concerns and taking action. Clients ask him more frequently whether he exclusively uses paints with no or low VOCs (he does). “It started about one-and-a-half years ago and has picked up, especially with customers who have young children and are concerned about their overall health, not just if they have asthma or allergies,” says Reina.

Though the U.S. government is taking steps to outlaw many harmful chemicals in housing products, other countries like China have not moved in this direction. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t yet set a benchmark for what’s safe. That lack of guidance means that labels that claim products are green may be misleading, says Joel Hirschberg, president and co-owner of Iowa-based Green Building Supply store, among the first in the country to focus on selling safe, environmentally friendly products to home owners and home builders.

These are just a few of the reasons why you, as a real estate professional, need to understand the issue. Advise clients to ask questions when they buy a house and when they purchase products, materials, and systems to remodel a home they already own or are thinking about selling.

Consider Common Sources of VOCs

Make sure you’re educated on this important subject. One detailed resource you might consider is Green Building Advisor, published online by The Taunton Press with information about designing, building, and remodeling sustainable, healthy homes. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is another good source of information.

Key categories of potential off-gassing include:

  • Insulation. In the past, some options contained asbestos or fiberglass batting with formaldehyde, though neither is permitted in new construction. Smarter choices include insulation from cotton (often blue-jean scraps), paper, soybeans, and milo (a grain). Caroline Blazovsky, author, national healthy-home expert, and founder of My Healthy Home, warns that some types like cellulose may be touted as safe but then are treated with unhealthy chemicals. In other cases, the problem stems from the installer not following a manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Paints and stains. Many manufacturers, including well-known larger companies, are debuting low- or zero-VOC lines, such as Benjamin Moore with its Aura and Natura brands. A small but growing number of manufacturers are making paints that contain no VOCs, such as Ecos and SafeCoat. Steve Skodak, executive director of the Painting and Decorating Contractors Association, says that as more consumers pay attention to and favor these low- or no-VOC options, the market will see an uptick in these types of products manufactured and sold.
  • Flooring. The key in this category is to pay attention not just to the product, which may pass muster, but also to the adhesives and varnishes that adhere layers of solid pre-engineered boards together. One easy choice is to go with reclaimed boards that lack these attached layers. But if a finish is used to protect them, make sure it too is a healthy one, such as a natural oil, says Craig Margolies, product manager at The Hudson Co., based in Pine Plains, N.Y. The same guidelines also apply to certain cabinetry, walls, and beams, he says.
  • HVAC systems appropriately vented to the outdoors will help remove unhealthy off-gassed air from a home, says Green Building Advisor senior editor Martin Holladay, who is also a former remodeler and builder. As homes have been sealed and tightened to be more energy-efficient, ventilation has become more important. Air purifiers are an additional aid, Hirschberg says. Furnaces, hot water heaters, and appliances should be serviced annually, too. “If they don’t work correctly, they put VOCs and unhealthy gases such as carbon monoxide into the air,” Blazovsky says.
  • Furnishings may contain flame-retardant foam in cushions and pillows that off-gas. Stain repellants can also pose a risk. Again, suggest home owners check labels.
  • Pesticides and household cleaning products can be another source of unhealthy chemicals, so go with nontoxic choices. Even plug-in air fresheners can release VOCs, says Holladay.

How to Minimize the Effect of VOCs

The positive news is that VOCs generally decrease over time as they evaporate into the air, and fresh air, good ventilation, and higher temperatures can speed evaporation. Some may “hang around” for varying periods depending on the level of VOC composition, air, and temperature, which is why home owners’ “behavior can make a difference,” says Blazovsky.

How home owners can be healthful occupants 

Not all indoor air quality problems can be blamed on building products and a home’s tight envelope. Home owners often are the main polluters of their own environment, says Martin Holladay, editor of Green Building Advisor, which publishes methods for making a home green and healthy. He says the two biggest changes your clients can undertake to reduce unhealthy air are to avoid smoking indoors and to cook safely. A gas range can produce formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide, so switching to an electric or induction range may be prudent, he says. However, no matter what kind of appliances they use, they should employ an adequately sized exhaust fan to vent unsafe air outdoors. And unless it’s someone’s birthday, Holladay suggests avoiding lighting candles indoors. “They also release small particulates into the air.”

Besides making informed product choices, Hirschberg suggests you and your clients pay attention to how a room smells. “Go with your nose,” he says. “If something smells too strong, almost like a new car, it may be unhealthy. Find out what it is.”

Weigh Healthy Alternatives on the Market

It takes work to research a product’s chemical make-up by reading labels and asking experts, but your clients will appreciate your ready knowledge and sources you can recommend. The International Future Living Institute’s “Red List” cites chemicals to watch out for. Two other useful guides include the nonprofit Environmental Working Group and Tree Hugger.

Soybean-based spray foam insulation, which doesn’t rely on synthetic chemicals and which has a high R-value, can be found through a resource such as Biobased from Rhino Linings. Then there are retailers such as Hirschberg’s aforementioned Green Building Supply and Green Depot, a brick-and-mortar and online retailer based in Brooklyn, N.Y., with hundreds of products and a knowledgeable staff. Architecture and design firms such as Lake Flato in Austin, Texas, can help steer clients toward healthy choices such as formaldehyde-free cabinetry and millwork along with local products such as limestone, where there’s reduced concern about the chemical processes in the item’s country of origin.

But it’s also important to realize that just because a product is greener doesn’t mean that your clients won’t be chemically sensitive to it. “People react differently, so home owners need to find what works for them regardless of whether it’s green,” says Blazovsky.

Consider Hiring an Expert

It’s common for home buyers and sellers to bring in an inspector or structural engineer to check a listing’s stability and safety. But they can also have a home health inspector or environmental investigator assess indoor air quality. Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator and founder of RTK Environmental Group in Stamford, Conn., is often hired when a client detects a continuing bad odor or someone in the family develops respiratory problems or headaches. He typically charges by a home’s square footage, with an average fee between $495 and $600. Blazovsky, a certified Healthy Home Specialist and member of the Indoor Air Quality Association, performs similar inspections. Her price ranges from $400 to $800. Both will take air samples and send them to a laboratory for analysis. Blazovsky also conducts water safety and mold tests.

Weitz cautions buyers against assuming sellers will disclose indoor air quality problems. “They can make smart choices if they’re choosing, but need to know that the seller may not have all the information if they didn’t make the changes,” he says. Blazovsky agrees. “When in doubt, test!” she says. “It may be an expense up front, but it can help home owners avoid a bigger financial mistake in buying a home that could bring health problems.”

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99 real estate lead sources: The ultimate list

Key Takeaways

  • Lead generation is the single most important part of the duties of a real estate agent. Without leads, the rest of the job description doesn’t matter.
  • But how do I get those leads? Where do they come from? What can I do to get better leads? What are some great free ways to get more leads?
BY CAREYBOT.com

The leads in this list are broken down into 16 different categories. I’ve gone into detail about a lot of lead sources, and you can find a full list of the 99 leads at the bottom of the post.

Real estate agents and property managers

The best way to look at other real estate agents is not as your competition but as your co-workers. And as your co-workers, they can be the best source for leads.

Nearly every transaction requires at least two different agents, one on each side. Plus, no one agent could handle every single transaction. There are plenty of chances to work together.

Treat other real estate agents as if you are doing them a favor versus trying to steal business from them. In the end, you both end up getting more leads.

Former or retired agents (referral method)

Every year, nearly one-third of current real estate agents leave the industry. Create incentive programs for those retired or former real estate agents with referral fees.

Let’s say a stay-at-home dad decides he no longer wants to work as a part-time real estate agent, but he decides to keep his license active just in case. He didn’t make a lot of sales, but he does have a decent network of connections.

What happens to these connections when that agent decides to move on? Where are the people in that network going to get their real estate advice?

Take time to create a relationship with other real estate agents. That way when the time comes for them to leave or retire, you’ll be able to step in.

Tell the retiring agent that you will take care of their existing and future leads. All the retiring agent has to do is give his or her blessing to their community to let you handle their real estate needs.

Then, when the time comes, all you have to do is send a referral fee to the retiring agent.

Former or retired agents (lump sum method)

Let’s say this stay-at-home dad real estate agent decides he wants to move on from real estate, and not keep his license any longer.

While you still have a good relationship with this agent, you can’t give him a referral fee anymore.

Instead, tell him you are going to buy his “book of business.”

Have the retiring agent give you a full and complete list of all the people in his network. Have that retiring agent tell his network that you are now their go-to source for real estate.

In return, you can pay that retiring agent a one-time lump sum payment for his book of business.

Broker’s agents

Sometimes you have a lead that you just can’t work with. Or, sometimes there’s another agent in your office who has a lead that he just can’t work with.

Get to know every agent in your office. Find out what their strengths and weaknesses are. Find out which type of leads they want to work with the most.

Then, if there’s ever a time when you can’t work with a lead, but you know another agent in your office could, send a referral her way.

In-network agents

In-network agents are real estate agents who work in the same neighborhoods as you do.

The best way to work with in-network agents: through your listing presentation.

When you are giving a listing presentation to a potential seller, give your recommendation to at least two other real estate agents in your area who could also list this seller’s home.

You may be wondering why you would do this. I’ll give you three reasons:

  • It shows that you have done your research. Not only do you know the seller’s house and the homes in the neighborhood, but you also know who the players in the industry are, too.
  • It shows that you have confidence in your skills. If you are willing to have the sellers compare you and your listing presentation to other agents’ presentations, you must strongly believe in your strategies.
  • It gives you an opportunity to earn some commission on a listing, even if you didn’t get that listing. If you inform those in-network agents that you gave their contact information to a potential seller, you can earn a referral fee should they get that listing.

Out-of-network agents

A real estate agent who does not work within your work radius is considered an out-of-network real estate agent.

Do you live in Sarasota, Florida, and find a lot of your leads are moving from Pittsburgh? Start making connections with the agents in Pittsburgh. Create brochures, blog posts and videos exclusively for those Pittsburgh agents about the benefits of Sarasota (and working with you).

Are you well connected with a technology company in Salt Lake City and you know that it will be moving employees to Chicago? Make some connections with the agents in Chicago and tell them you have leads coming their way.

Your current leads could really move anywhere in the country. The more agents you know in different cities, the better resource you can be to all your leads.

Property managers

Property managers work with both landlords and tenants on a daily basis, helping tenants rent new properties and deal with maintenance issues while helping the landlord maintain a constant cash flow for her investment property.

Property managers are dealing with people who are very much interested in real estate.

While landlords are currently content to lease their property and while tenants are content to rent, this may not always be the case. Tenants become buyers and landlords become sellers.

As a full-time real estate sales associate, this is where you come in to save the day.

Working with a property manager should be considered a two-way street. While the property manager can certainly help you obtain buyer and seller clients, so should you be concerned with helping the property manager obtain landlord and tenant clients.

Commercial real estate agents

Every real estate agent has a specialty. Some real estate agents choose to work on the commercial side instead of the residential side.

Inevitably, someone will ask a commercial agent for help buying or selling a home. And on the flip side, someone will most likely ask you for advice on buying or selling a building.

Although you both could theoretically handle each other’s job, it’s best to leave these things to the experts.

Create a referral partnership with commercial real estate agents in your network to best serve you and your new leads.

Broker-generated leads

Does your broker provide you with leads?

Here’s an important tip to keep in mind when working these leads: If you don’t use them, you’ll lose them.

If your broker has sent you five potential leads in the last six weeks, and you failed to make a connection with any of them, your broker might start questioning your ability to work with the leads she gives you.

Instead, give it your best effort when working the leads that come from your broker if you want those lead sources to continue coming in the future.

Relocation firms

Imagine a company giving you all of the details and contact info of an already pre-qualified lead. All you have to do is seal the deal for these leads.

That’s the idea behind relocation firms. They take people who already have to move — most likely via a job transfer — and get them in touch with a real estate agent to handle the move.

While sometimes they can charge steep fees, they are well worth the price for helping you sort and pre-qualify your leads.

Real estate industry professionals

Mortgage lenders

Mortgage professionals, especially those working for independent mortgage brokers, have the same incentive on a transaction as real estate agents do.

They don’t get paid unless the real estate agent gets paid.

Teaming with a mortgage broker (or two) can be a great way to get consistent, steady leads. Better yet, the mortgage broker often is sending you pre-qualified leads, making the lead even more serious.

The mortgage professional is doing his job by getting the lead pre-qualified for you. You can do your job by closing on a home. It’s a win-win for both parties.

Plus, in most markets, mortgage brokers can pay up to 50 percent of your advertising fees if you include them on your campaigns.

Title agents

Like mortgage professionals, title agents don’t get paid unless a deal closes.

It’s a good idea to have great relationships with title companies so you can have an excellent team around your transaction.

Plus, title agents can connect you to potential leads as well. Just be sure to follow all of the rules and regulations regarding kickbacks and referral fees.

Home inspectors and home warranty representatives

Building relationships with anyone involved in the home sale process can be lucrative in the long run.

Realtor organizations: National, state and local

If you are a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), you should also be a member at your state and local level.

Each association has countless ways to get involved and make a difference in the battle to protect the rights of real estate professionals and property rights of homeowners.

But beyond that, you have a perfect opportunity to make a name for yourself and make connections with other serious real estate professionals.

Apartment complexes

For most people, renting a unit in an apartment complex is not their long-term living solution. Many, if not most, tenants are using the apartment complex as a stopping point along the way to purchasing real property.

This means you have a large quantity of leads in a relatively small place.

Introduce yourself to the application coordinators of the apartment complex. Bring them breakfast or pizza, and get to know them better.

Then, see if you can set up events inside the apartment complex to promote yourself and the complex.

This provides an added benefit to the current tenants (assuming you’re bring some drinks and food to the event).

It also benefits the apartment complex if you’re spreading the word about your events to those interested in real estate.

Construction professionals

Custom homebuilders

You can probably name a lot of the larger, national homebuilders, but can you name some smaller, local ones?

Get to know these contractors. Introduce yourself and learn about their companies. See what types of homes they can build.

Oftentimes, builders can give you referral or finder’s fees for sending clients their way.

Tract homebuilders

These homebuilding companies are typically your larger, regional and national homebuilders that can build upwards of 10,000 homes or more per year.

Almost always, these builders have incentive programs for real estate agents for bringing them a qualified buyer. These programs can be a commission bonus or even double-sided commission for one agent.

As a listing agent, you can still work with builders, too.

If a potential buyer approaches a builder first, but can only buy a new construction home after they sell their own home, the builder is out of luck.

So the builder will refer those potential homebuyers to an agent who can list and sell their home before they buy the new construction.

Remodelers

Sometimes before homeowners decide to sell, they realize they need to make some upgrades and improvements. They will reach out to remodeling contractors to get the job done.

If you are well-connected with some of the best remodelers in town, not only is that a good resource for you to give to your existing clients, but it can also be a way for you to generate new leads.

Vendors and suppliers

Did you know that there are specialty stores just for paint? Or that there are companies that manufacture and sell only doors and windows?

Make some connections with these specialty hardware stores.

Like connecting with the remodelers, vendors and suppliers can feed you leads. If a seller is making some upgrades to her house, she will probably mention something to the store clerks or service representatives to get some insights or good deals.

Then, make the connection a two-way street. Host events at your local hardware store and refer your existing clients to these places.

It shows that you care about your local economy — and that you know some things about home remodeling, too.

Interior designers

Architects

When someone wants to build a brand new or custom home, the first thing he’ll need to do is design the home.

A lot of times, buyers will know what they want their home to look like, but they won’t always know where to build their home.

That’s where you come in. Make connections with architects and be their guide on the local real estate market.

If you can team with the architect while the lead is still designing the home, you can share insights on some specific home sites that will make the design even better.

Community involvement

Little League teams

Most kids between the ages of 5 and 14 have played some sort of organization tee-ball, baseball or softball.

And what do all of these teams need? Uniforms!

That’s where you come in: Sponsor a Little League team.

For a few hundred dollars, put your company’s name on the back of their jerseys. Then, get a framed picture of the whole team with your sponsorship info on it to give to all of the players’ families.

Every single family is going to take one of those framed pictures home with them. What are they going to see every time they see their son or daughter in their Little League uniform? Your company name and logo!

Dance troupes

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts

Church groups

Looking for a faithful, dedicated crowd to spread your message of truth? (Truth about the real estate market, that is.)

Look no further than church groups.

Virtually every church or synagogue or temple or mosque will have specific groups within them for their disciples. Everything from Bible studies to addiction recovery programs to child care services can be part of a church’s mission.

If you are already going to these places, make your worshiping part of your business planning, too.

School volunteers

Whether this is the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), a moms’ club or a dads’ club, every school has some sort of connection point for the parents.

If your child is already going to school, make it a point to stand out in the parents group.

One of the top three reasons people move is because of family life. What better way to connect with growing families than at schools?

Nonprofits and charities

At my brokerage, we heavily involve nonprofits and charities into our business plan for getting leads specifically through our Learn. Work. Give. program and through our referral tithe.

Our Learn. Work. Give. program allows our teammates to visit a local nonprofit or charity at least once a quarter. Then, after learning about that group, we spend some time working and volunteering for that group. Finally, we give of our treasures and resources to these organizations, too.

The Learn. Work. Give. program builds bonds with these nonprofits and shows our dedication to our local communities.

Referral tithe

The other thing we do to get leads through our nonprofit work is give 10 percent of our income to our referring partner’s nonprofit of choice.

Since we cannot give monetary referrals to unlicensed individuals who refer someone to us, Hohman Homes instead will give 10 percent of the income generated from the referral to the nonprofit of their choosing.

And the best part is, we make the donation in the name of the person who gave us the referral so they can get all of the credit!

Databases

Lost leads

In some instances, leads will just not work out right away.

Leads are typically considered “lost” once you have established contact with them, but then they no longer communicate with you. Or when leads indicate they are not willing to buy or sell just yet.

Instead of forgetting about them forever, put these lost leads into a drip campaign to lightly stay in touch with them. Then, when the time comes for them to go into real estate, you’ll be at the top of their mind.

Just be sure you don’t spend too much time on lost leads. Too much work for not enough return is what causes several real estate agents to become frustrated with their job and leave the industry altogether.

Farming

Farming is an all-encompassing advertising campaign to a specific neighborhood.

It is sometimes referred to as geographic farming as a real estate agent picks a specific geographic area — typically a neighborhood, but it can be as broad as an entire ZIP code.

Farming consists of an agent sending multiple letters, flyers, emails, gifts and so on to homeowners in a neighborhood in the hopes of getting their business.

This method can certainly produce several leads, but there are a few key points to note before you begin your own farming routine.

First, it will take at least four to six months of consistent advertising before your farming campaign starts to have an effect. This means that you will have to be willing to spend money and wait patiently for leads to come in.

Next, you need to pick the right neighborhood. Specifically, the neighborhood needs to have a high turnover rate. That is, the ratio of homeowners who move every year to the amount of homes in the neighborhood needs to be high for your efforts to be efficient.

Expired listings

It can be difficult to determine if a lead is truly interested in conducting their next real estate transaction without asking them directly.

With expired listings, we have the exact opposite problem.

Instead of waiting for a property to expire and going directly after the homeowner — like tens and perhaps hundreds of other agents will do — take a different approach.

Target current listing agents for expired listings.

If you know most listing agreements are for six months, find currently active properties that have been on the market for almost six months.

Then, reach out directly to the listing agent and find out if the seller wants to re-list with the current agent. If so, thank the agent and move on.

If the seller doesn’t want to re-list with the current listing agent, say that you will list the property and provide a referral fee for the introduction.

This scenario is a win for all parties because you get a new listing; the old listing agent gets a referral fee and looks like a hero for suggesting a better plan to their clients; and the sellers don’t have to endure countless phone calls from harassing agents looking for a new listing.

For Sale by Owner

Local newspapers

In your local edition of the Business Journal weekly newspapers, they publish a list called “People on the Move.” This list encompasses everyone who just got a new job, a promotion, was placed on a board of directors, or received some sort of industry recognition.

One of the top three reasons people move is because of a new job. With this “People on the Move” database, you have a treasure trove of data on the very people you are trying to work with.

Send a letter or an email congratulating these new employees on their new jobs, and let them know you’d be happy to help them with any of their real estate needs.

Government agencies

Auction forums

You have all seen those shows on HGTV where people bid on foreclosure auctions on the steps of the county courthouse.

While that looks great for TV, in real life the process is much simpler.

For example, in Hillsborough County (home to Tampa, Florida), the foreclosure auction process has moved entirely online, and all of the data is public knowledge.

To best use this data, look through the listings of foreclosure auctions from three, four, five and six months ago. Look at the winners of the closed auctions.

If the winner of those auctions wasn’t the original owner of the property or the bank, the new winner is more than likely an investor.

These investors have just two thoughts on their mind: either to fix up the property and sell it as quickly as possible or to rent the property.

As a real estate agent looking for more lead sources, reach out to these investors and tell them that you know how the fix-and-flip model works. Show them you can be their exclusive listing agent for their new investments.

Business professionals

Professional recruiters

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 19 percent of people that relocate more than 50 miles from their current house each year do so because of a new job. That translates to roughly six million people looking for a new house every year because of a new job.

Recruiters and headhunters are the ones responsible for filling those new jobs.

Recruiters can be employed by organizations who are looking for qualified individuals, or they can be retained by individuals who are looking to find a new job.

But recruiters aren’t responsible just for finding a new job for someone. They are responsible for selling the whole package that comes with a new career.

Recruiters who can line up the right job opening for their client along with the right city, the right company vibe, the right lifestyle and so on demonstrate significant value.

And because recruiters’ main focus is on the job openings, they will be happy to outsource the lifestyle part of the career switch to real estate agents.

Make connections with as many headhunters and recruiters as you can, and you’ll find the leads coming in hand over fist.

Divorce attorney

When a couple gets divorced, there can be a lot that goes into the separation, especially if the couple has been together for a long time and shares many assets together. One of those assets is usually the family home.

It is the divorce attorney’s job to split the assets between the two divorcing parties.

Sometimes, if there is a dispute or if there are debts to be paid, the attorney will recommend selling the house and giving the proceeds to each divorcee. In this scenario, the divorce attorney will look to the services of a real estate agent to get this job done.

Estate attorney

Estate attorneys have a similar responsibility to that of a divorce attorney. Instead of a couple divorcing, someone has passed away and the assets either need to be sold or distributed to other parties.

If real estate is one of those assets that need to be sold or distributed, the estate attorney will look to the services of a real estate agent to get the job done.

Financial advisers

Individuals who work in the financial services sector can be excellent sources of leads for real estate professionals. Why? Simply put, real estate purchases can require a significant amount of capital. And financial advisers know who has access to that amount of capital.

The financial adviser’s role is to guide his or her clients toward making the most fundamentally sound decisions with their money. Oftentimes, that decision is to invest in real estate.

Financial advisers who refer their clients to an excellent real estate agent are doing a great service. Make connections with these professionals; they can be a lucrative lead source.

Investors

New businesses

According to the Small Business Administration, there are approximately 28 million small businesses across the country, and nearly one million new business are started every year.

With new development and growth in their companies, these businesses will certainly be in need of real estate services.

Look through your local county’s business tax roll to find a list of all of the new businesses that have started up and let them know how you can help their business (through your commercial real estate agent referral sources) and how you can help their employees find new homes.

Wedding planners

According to the Census Bureau, 2.1 million people get married every year. And of those couples, nearly half of them will begin to live together after getting married.

That’s nearly a million people every year looking for a new housing situation. Granted, not all of them will be buying a home, but certainly some of them will be.

But how do you know when someone is going to get married in the first place? Easy. Get connected with wedding planners.

Wedding planners can give you a great introduction to a newly wedded couple in need of a new home to start their marriage together.

Economic development corporations

It is the job of a local economic development corporation (EDC) to attract new businesses to their city. These organizations showcase all the benefits that a city has to offer large corporations.

A part of those benefits includes living conditions for not only the executives of the company, but also every employee.

Partnering with local EDCs gets you on the ground floor with large companies, sharing your knowledge about the local real estate market.

Plus, if a company does relocate its headquarters to your town, you’ll have a vast source of leads to pull from.

Sports/celebrity agents

You don’t have to live in Hollywood or New York City to be a successful sports or celebrity agent representing actors or athletes. You’ll find most of them in those two cities, but these professionals live and work all over the country.

Agents represent actors and athletes, musicians and artists from the A-listers to the D-listers. And the thing all these stars have in common is that they have lots of money and move quite a bit.

Consider a professional athlete, who can get traded five or more times in their professional career. They may have one family home in the town they grew up in, but more than likely they also have a pied-à-terre wherever they are currently working.

Get connected with these agents and you’ll be able to help these big names find big homes.

Members of the armed forces

Those Americans that serve us and fight for our freedoms deserve all the respect and credit they can get for their efforts, not least of which is their constant re-assignment to other bases around the country and around the world.

Get connected with local military bases to find out when and where service members are moving to and from.

(And as an added perk, NAR offers specific certificates for working with members of the military. Consider getting training in this area to better serve your leads.)

Human resource managers

Like recruiters and headhunters, human resource managers are going to know who is going to be hired and when they are going to be moving.

On the flip side, they will also know when people are going to be let go, downsized or laid off. Just as people may need new housing when they get new jobs, they might also consider new housing when they lose their jobs.

Connect with human resource managers and let them know you can help their employees, whether they are coming or going.

Mailing campaigns

Just listed, just sold and just bought

These three lead sources — just listed, just sold, and just bought — are three specific mailing campaigns, each with a different purpose.

The just listed campaign should occur within a week of one your new listings becoming active. This mailer — either a letter or postcard — is mailed to those within the same neighborhood, street, or community of the property that you just listed letting them know about the new home for sale (and how you could help them sell their home).

The campaign should contain the property you are listing, its address, its price, a few key stats about the home, plenty of pictures and your contact information.

The other two campaigns are very similar; the only difference is the branding between selling and buying a property.

You can do this mailing campaign in conjunction with or in addition to your farming lead generation activities.

Personal connections

Repeat clients

Of all the various sources of leads, the number one best source of leads is that of your repeat client base.

Your repeat clients are those that have successfully completed a transaction with you, and (hopefully) are very happy with you and your services.

These clients should be so happy that they not only want to use your services again, but they also want to refer you to people in their circle of influence.

The best part about leaning on your repeat clients for new leads is that the acquisition cost for these clients is almost none. You already spent your time and money on them during their first transaction with you. Any additional transaction you can get from a repeat client is virtually free marketing.

Referrals (moving buddies)

In most states, a licensed real estate professional cannot pay an unlicensed person a referral fee for sending them a new lead. However, some states do allow you to send a small  gift instead.

Anytime an unlicensed person sends you a lead, be sure to thank them. Send them a thank you card for trusting you to handle their referral. And send them a little token of appreciation — something like a $20 gift card to Amazon.

We call these unlicensed people who send us referrals our “moving buddies.” We aim to thank them any way that we can.

Sphere/center of influence

When you begin your career as a real estate agent, your sphere of influence is the first place you should start to begin sourcing for leads.

Your sphere of influence is the group of people that you know and that knows you back. This could be your friends, your family members, your former co-workers, former or current classmates, softball teammates and so on.

Anyone that you have updated contact information for is now someone in your sphere of influence.

As you start out in the real estate industry, it is more difficult to get a stranger to know, like and trust you enough to want to work with you.

But the people in your sphere of influence already know, like and trust you. You just have to tell them you are here to help them with their real estate needs.

Lead-generating websites

The internet is the most wonderful creation for the modern professional business.

Period.

Every industry can benefit from using the internet. The real estate industry is no exception.

There are thousands of websites that help buyers, renters and sellers of real estate gather information and resources on their upcoming transaction.

And whenever you have a large collection of the population looking for information on housing, you can bet it is a good place for real estate agents to source some leads.

Zillow

The best way think of Zillow is like a 21st-century newspaper. It gathers and showcases data about your local housing market, including information about current homes for sale, local school districts — and the best real estate agents, too.

The only difference between Zillow and an old-school newspaper is that it does all this for every neighborhood, all in one place online.

You can best utilize Zillow for leads if you think of it has a newspaper. Or, just another place where you can spend your advertising dollars.

Realtor.com

Similar to Zillow, realtor.com can also be thought of an online newspaper for real estate. What separates realtor.com from Zillow and the other online portals is that NAR has some control over the content delivered on that site.

This means that, in theory, realtor.com should be much more in favor of the real estate agent than the consumer visiting the website.

GoldenKey (formerly known as SoloPro)

GoldenKey is a company that looks to connect potential homebuyers and sellers with real estate agents on an as-needed basis only.

Are you a potential homebuyer who has already seen the inside of a home but isn’t sure how to write up a contract? Or, are you a potential seller who knows how to work the closing process but doesn’t know how to price the home?

GoldenKey can help by pairing consumers with real estate professionals looking to charter their individual services.

If you need some practice with a particular skill set within your tool bag of real estate tricks or if you are looking to make some quick cash for your services, look to the leads that GoldenKey can provide.

Craigslist

One of the first and most ubiquitous online marketplaces, Craigslist still garners millions of eyeballs every month. Most importantly, it breaks down its marketplace into local neighborhoods, which helps you specifically target potential leads.

Use Craigslist to grow your database of leads. Although you may not get lots of clients directly attributable to Craigslist, you will most certainly be able to add leads to your marketing campaigns.

The more people that know about your services, the more likely people will want to use you.

Online

Email marketing

Email marketing is the single best type of mass advertising for one simple reason: it is completely free.

What other way can you directly target as many people as you want for absolutely nothing? How much would it cost you to reach 5,000 people if you had to send them a postcard?

This is not to say that email marketing should be your only source of lead generation. Email marketing is free for you — and it is also free for everyone else in the world.

Just look at your own inbox. How many emails are you getting on a daily basis? How much of that email do we simply throw away or call junk? Probably a lot of it. (I receive nearly 11 times as many emails as I send out.)

Your goal with your email marketing campaign is to target it to a specific group of people (the people who already know, like and trust you and want to get the information you send them) and send them useful and pertinent information on a fairly regular basis.

Website

In the early days of the internet, each real estate brokerage and real estate agent clamored to get their website up and running with the latest and greatest search features, IDX exchanges and virtual listing portals.

Nowadays, consumers don’t flock to brokers’ websites to look for homes. They have Zillow and realtor.com for those tasks.

Today, your website has a different purpose.

Instead of aiming to advertise every home on the market like an MLS, your website should be a place to showcase you, your brokerage and how you can best help your leads.

Future clients are not going to your website to find homes for sale. Potential leads are not using your site to research the neighborhood or the school districts. The lead-generating websites mentioned previously will do all of this for them.

Your website should be your online business card. No more, no less. Business cards with too much detail, colors, pictures and information can overwhelm a potential lead. Keep it smart, simple and useful.

Blog

Blogging is an excellent way to attract lead sources both through online and offline connections.

Blogging can help with your online relevance. The more often you provide high-quality, original content, the higher your site will appear in search results online.

Think about the websites you visit most often. Why do you go there? Do they have the same pages every single day, or are they adding more and more new and original content?

Think of your blog as a way of providing great content for your potential leads.

Then, after you have some experience writing, submit your articles to news sources. The more your articles and blog posts appear in credible sources (like Inman!) the more authority you develop for yourself and your brand.

Potential leads will see that you have written for trustworthy providers, and they will rightly assume that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to real estate.

Google Adwords

Want to get on the first page of Google? If you aren’t constantly providing high-quality content, the best way to get there is to pay to be there.

The best part about using Google Adwords is that you can specifically tailor your ad message, your advertising budget and on which pages your ads will appear.

This customization allows you to track exactly where you leads come from and how effectively you’re spending your advertising dollars.

Social media

There are several hundred different social media websites and apps available for you to use. Each has several different ways for you to interact with other people.

You probably already know about each social media platform, so I will tell you one specific way to use each one that you probably aren’t using to your fullest potential.

But first, I want to mention one general theme about all social media networks.

Think of social media like a real life party.

No one wants to hang out with the person in the middle of the room screaming about government and religion. And no one wants to hang out with the loner in the corner who is just playing with the cat.

The best party guest is the one who brings a bottle of wine, thanks the host, tells a few jokes and gets along with the other party guests.

Treat social media like that party and you’ll start to see a difference in the potential leads you can draw from social media platforms.

Facebook

A great feature within Facebook is Messenger. Messenger is the app and service that allows you to privately and directly chat with other people.

You can use Messenger for your business to attract leads by creating a chat bot.

A chat bot is free and easy to set up. Just give it some parameters to answer questions as well as some standard answers to common questions, and now your business can respond to potential leads whenever they are online.

Twitter

If you are on any social media platform, you know what a hashtag is. But did you know that you can use the hashtag for lead generation and not just as #SomethingCoolAtTheEndofATweet?

In the search bar on Twitter, search for specific hashtags relevant to your business.

Do you like to list waterfront property in Seattle? Search #house, #seattle, #waterfront, and any combination of these hashtags to see who is talking online about these topics. Then, introduce yourself to these people and make a connection.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is my personal favorite social media networking site. It allows professionals to connect with other professionals.

The key word here is “professional.”

LinkedIn is not a place to upload pictures of your cats, share fake news stories or post videos of your cousin’s wedding.

Use LinkedIn as another place to share your professional thoughts on the real estate industry. Specifically, use the long-form post options.

Write a professional blog post, and then share it on LinkedIn. Every single one of your connections will automatically get a notification that you published a post. Then, share that post into some relevant groups too.

Instagram

Pinterest

YouTube and Vimeo

Videos, videos, videos. That’s what leads want to see these days.

Videos attract more eyeballs than pictures and blog posts. Plus, videos are shared more often than pictures and blog posts.

The great thing about YouTube is that you can simply record yourself using your cell phone and upload it to the website or app for free. Talk about your local neighborhood, a new small business, or give an amusing virtual tour.

If you are looking for higher quality and more professional (and sometimes more expensive) video services, look to Vimeo. It is similar to YouTube, except only certain, credible people can upload videos. And these videos are professionally put together.

However you incorporate video into your marketing efforts, do it often!

Li.st

Li.st is a fantastic app that allows its users to create unique lists about any topic they want.

Do you want to share your top 11 books you read this year? Or how about the eight best gifts to give your client at the closing table? Or how about the 27 coolest features in a new home?

Use the Li.st app to create beautiful lists, using text, gifs and videos to showcase the lighter side of you and your business.

Print advertising

Magazines/journals

When sourcing for leads in magazines and journals, you have two different routes that can help you advertise.

The first is the traditional advertising model, where you simply place an ad in the magazine and hope readers and subscribers will contact you directly from the ad.

The other is to produce branded content for the magazine.

Branded content is similar to an actual article written in the magazine, only this time it is sponsored and produced by the advertiser.

Newspapers

Church bulletins

Want to spread your message of truth and salvation in the real estate market? Look no further than the back pages of the weekly church bulletins.

Advertising your services in this publication serves two great functions.

  • It can attract leads with similar beliefs as you.
  • It allows you to support the financial mission of your church.

Neighborhood profiles

Programs and playbills

Most cities have a performing arts center. Whether they feature local productions or nationally recognized Broadway shows, the theater is a great place to source for leads.

Most people going to see performing arts typically have the capability to afford a home. And you have a captive audience there in the theater.

Advertise your services in the performing arts program or a specific playbill. While the audience is waiting to see the show, you can put on a show in your ad.

Press releases

Most news agencies get hundreds, if not thousands, of press releases a day. And most of these press releases feature fluffy news coverage about positive things going on with a company or institution.

The goal with creating a press release to get attention for your real estate business is to have an excellent story.

Share a press release about how you have helped 10 disabled military veteran families find homes in a specific neighborhood. Share a press release on how every time you sell a home you deliver a pizza and beer to your clients on moving day.

News agencies will write an article based on your press release if it features unique and interesting stories. Do that, and you can garner lots of leads from your press features.

Mass media

Radio

In the Tampa Bay market, where my brokerage is headquartered, there are several local real estate agents who have their own radio show broadcasted over the local radio waves.

Some of these shows are daily, others are weekly. Some are on AM dials, others are on FM dials. Some shows talk exclusively about real estate, others highlight local businesses and events happening throughout town.

Whatever the show’s format, these agents are getting their names and their message across the airwaves to as many leads as they can.

Podcasting

Do you have a microphone and an internet connection? Congratulations! You have everything you need to set up a podcast.

What’s a podcast? A podcast is an online, streaming auditory — and sometimes visual — program about virtually any topic.

Anyone can create and distribute a podcast. Some podcasts have hundreds of thousands, even millions, of downloads per episode.

Most likely you won’t have hundreds of thousands of downloads per episode with your first podcast, but consider it another medium to attract leads to your real estate services.

The best part is that your podcast doesn’t even have to be about real estate.

Are you a semi-professional poker player? Have a podcast about poker and use your real estate business as a sponsor of your show.

TV

Billboards

Gas station pumps

Pumping gas can be one of the most boring tasks. It is made even more boring because you can’t even look at your phone while you’re pumping gas.

(Yes, your cell phone can cause the gas pump to explode. No, I’m not speaking from experience.)

Fortunately, some gas stations have figured out a solution to our woes by installing TV screens into the gas pumps.

Typically, these TVs run 30-second to 2-minute clips about sports, pop culture, and news. And in between these clips, they have advertising opportunities.

While it may only be for a few minutes to get the attention of someone at the gas pump, getting in front of local leads is a fantastic touch.

For an added bonus, find a gas station with gas station TV in your farming area to create an all-encompassing ad campaign.

Guerrilla marketing

A guerrilla marketing campaign can be described as a one-off, unique and oftentimes clever advertising effort.

Think of a group of a hundred people walking through the middle of Times Square and simultaneously breaking into a song and dance routine and then walking away once the routine is done like nothing happened.

Or, imagine if you planted a thousand plastic, pink flamingoes in the front yard of your client’s house and each flamingo had your company logo on it.

These are all examples of out-of-the-box guerrilla marketing campaigns.

Taxi cabs and moving vans

Sports team sponsorships

Sponsoring a sports team is a great way to create awareness of you and your real estate brand.

Plus, the sponsorship level may cost less than you think, and you can get some pretty exclusive leads from the sponsorship.

In my home market of Tampa, a real estate agent has sponsored the Tampa Bay Lightning and another agent has sponsored the Tampa Bay Rays. Both sponsorships branded that agent (the individual agent, not brokerage) as the official real estate partner of that particular sports team.

Continuing education

Classes and seminars

There are countless first-time homebuyers and sellers out there. And all of them don’t know what they don’t know about real estate. That’s where you come in!

Partner with some other real estate professionals — like mortgage reps, insurance agents, home inspections and more — to put on a class or seminar for first-time homebuyers and sellers.

An event like this, with as little “selling” and as much education as possible will go a long way for you when it comes time for these leads to look for their first real estate agent.

Trade shows and conferences

Trade shows and conferences are the ultimate networking destinations. Their purpose is to educate the attendees and connect them with other attendees.

One of the best ways to utilize a trade show is to set up a booth in the expo hall. This allows everyone at the trade show or conference to see you several times, in print, online — and in person, too.

The best part about being a real estate agent is that there really isn’t a trade show or conference where you wouldn’t be able to find leads. Everyone needs a place to live.

Active selling

Absentee owners

An absentee owner is an owner who is not currently living in the property, nor do they have active tenants living in the property. For any number of reasons, these absentee owners are not maximizing the highest and best use of their property.

As a real estate agent searching for leads, reach out to these absentee owners. Let them know that this is a great time and a great market for them to make some money if they sold their homes with you.

Or, if they aren’t interested in selling, partner with a property manager and have them get a tenant in their properties so they can at least make some income.

Then, when the absentee owner does want to sell the home, the property manager will put you and the owner back in touch.

Unattended leads

A large portion of real estate agents leave the industry after two years. But the average homeowner stays in their home for three to seven years.

That means by the time a family is getting ready to move into their next house, the real estate agent that had been serving them is probably no longer in business.

(Even more telling, for the homeowner who is looking to sell their property, only 60 percent of them will use the same real estate agent from their previous transaction if the agent is still in business.)

I call these homeowners “unattended” leads.

It means that they no longer have any connection to a real estate agent who could help them buy or sell a home. This is where you come in.

Search through your local MLS to find homes that sold three, four, five, six and seven years ago. Then find out if the agents who bought and sold that property are still in business.

If they aren’t practicing real estate any more, you have just discovered an unattended lead.

Cold calling

Appreciation events

Everyone likes to go to parties. They especially like to go to parties that are in their honor.

That’s exactly what your appreciation events should feel like.

You should be hosting a party at least once a year, and you should be inviting all of your best clients, most promising leads and your best vendors and suppliers, too. Invite them to the party to show them how much you appreciate their business and their services.

A little appreciation goes a long way.

Renters

Over the past five years, the homeownership rate has gone down and the number of renters has risen. While some people in the real estate industry may see this as a threat, you should be looking at this as an opportunity.

As a real estate agent, you have the ability to work with buyers and sellers of real estate as much as we do renters and landlords. Yet, you might not think of working with renters as a worthwhile lead source.

I am here to tell you that not only are you missing out a growing portion of Americans, but you are also leaving a significant amount of money on the table.

What other lead sourcing method can directly pay you for your efforts?

I like to work with renters for two particular reasons.

The first one is simple: Renters take less time to close the sales cycle, there are fewer hurdles to jump through and your productivity rate is significantly better when dealing with renters than with buyers.

The other reason I like to work with renters is because working with a renter can be an excellent “try-out” period for you and your potential client.

Let’s say you are showing a renter some properties. You are prompt in your follow up with your potential client, you set up some showings, you help the tenant with the application process, and you provide some good feedback throughout the move-in process.

When it comes time for that renter to purchase a home — hopefully within the next one to two years — who do you think they are going to choose as a real estate agent? You have given them every reason to choose you in their upcoming real estate search because you have already shown them how well you can work.

So the next time you are asked to place a tenant, and you think that you aren’t going to get paid a lot of money, think again. Think in terms of current productivity and future pipeline value.

Networking events

The networking event is the single most effective way to leverage yourself and your marketing skills as a real estate agent.

You have the opportunity to share your story directly with those that may or may not know you. Who is a better representative of your real estate brand than you?

The key to making any networking event a success is to make a real connection with other people. Find some sort of common ground with other people, and learn what their needs and wants are first before you share your own story.

The best networking events are like an exercise routine. It’s the ones that you go to, prepare for and get involved with that give you the best results.

Networking groups

From now on, think that every event that you go is a networking event. Whether it is a co-ed kickball game, a high school reunion, a business after hours or an industry trade conference, everything that you do from now on is a networking event.

As a real estate agent sourcing for leads, you should always have your business cards handy. It is very easy for people to have conversations about real estate. Everybody thinks they know everything about real estate, and everybody has a real estate story.

When someone tells their story, just hand them your business card and start a connection.

Some great examples of networking groups include chambers of commerce, Business Networking International (BNI) and many more.

Social organizations

Examples of these groups include kickball leagues, running clubs, book clubs, dog parks, community centers and many more.

Alumni associations

Professional organizations

Examples of these organizations include the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Urban Land Institute (ULI), Real Estate Investment Council (REIC), the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) and many more.

Passive selling

Passive selling is the opposite of active selling. With active selling, you are leading the charge to find new leads. Using passive selling methods means that you are hoping the leads will come to you.

Floor Duty 2.0

The traditional “floor duty” lead generation activity required a real estate professional to be physically present at their broker’s office. The idea is that a lead will see a real estate office, walk inside and ask a real estate agent for help.

This type of lead generation was more important prior to the internet age, and there aren’t many ways to utilize this method of lead sourcing unless your physical office location is in a heavily trafficked area.

In the internet age, real estate agents don’t need an office space, and consumers don’t need to go to real estate offices to get information about the real estate market.

By utilizing “floor duty 2.0,” you are taking your office to where the people are.

Think of a Panera Bread, or a Starbucks or any other local coffee shop or cafe that has wi-fi access. Open up your laptop and put a table-top sign on the table that says “Ask Me About Real Estate” or “Realtor on Duty.”

If potential leads aren’t coming to your office, make your office come to them.

Farmer’s markets

One of the best ways to get in front of a bunch of people in a walkable environment is a farmer’s market.

People who go to farmer’s markets are passionate about their local neighborhood and are looking to support local businesses and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Partner with a vendor at a farmer’s market or get a booth yourself. Then, share information about your local neighborhood. Tell shoppers about neighborhoods that have community gardens or that have HOAs that allow them to grow a garden in their own backyard.

Name badges

Wearing a name badge in public outside of a networking event or group might seem a little cheesy, but it can certainly provide you some leads.

Wear your name badge the next time you go to the grocery store and see how many leads come up to you and ask about real estate.

Open houses

For sale signs

Bandit signs

Bandit signs are those plastic or cardboard signs you see on the side of the road by stop signs and traffic signals.

The best way to utilize bandit signs is by placing them near new construction communities.

Have a few bandit signs along the road right before the entrance to the new construction community saying “Building a home? Get a Realtor!” Have either your phone number or website on the signs, too.

More often than not, potential buyers of new construction homes are going to the builders without representation from an agent. Having your name and contact information right there for buyers to see can be an excellent source for leads.

I got 99 lead sources and a bus bench ain’t one

1. Former or retired agents (referral method)

2. Former or retired agents (lump sum method)

3. Broker’s agent

4. In-network agents

5. Out-of-network agents

6. Property managers

7. Commercial real estate agents

8. Broker-generated leads

9. Relocation firms

10. Mortgage professionals

11. Title agents

12. Home inspectors

13. Home warranty representatives

14. Realtor association – national

15. Realtor association – state

16. Realtor association – local

17. Apartment complexes

18. Custom homebuilders

19. Tract homebuilders

20. Remodelers

21. Suppliers and vendors

22. Architects

23. Interior designers

24. Little League teams

25. Dance troupes

26. Boy Scouts

27. Girl Scouts

28. Church groups

29. School volunteers

30. Nonprofits and charities

31. Referral tithe

32. Lost leads

33. Farming

34. Expired listings

35. For sale by owner properties

36. Local newspapers

37. Government agencies

38. Auction forums

39. Recruiters and headhunters

40. Divorce attorneys

41. Estate attorneys

42. Financial advisors

43. New businesses

44. Wedding planners

45. Economic development corporations

46. Sports/celebrity agents

47. Members of the armed forces

48. Just listed mailing campaign

49. Just sold mailing campaign

50. Just bought mailing campaign

51. Repeat clients

52. Referrals (moving buddies)

53. Sphere of influence

54. Zillow

55. Realtor.com

56. GoldenKey (formerly Solo Pro)

57. Craigslist

58. Email marketing

59. Website

60. Blog

61. Google Adwords

62. Facebook

63. Twitter

64. LinkedIn

65. Instagram

66. Pinterest

67. YouTube & Vimeo

68. Li.st

69. Magazines/journals

70. Newspaper ads

71. Church bulletins

72. Neighborhood profiles

73. Programs

74. Press releases

75. Radio

76. Podcasting

77. Billboards

78. TV

79. Gas station pumps

80. Guerrilla marketing

81. Taxi cabs and moving vans

82. Professional sports teams

83. Classes/seminars

84. Trade shows and conferences

85. Absentee owners

86. Cold calling

87. Unattended leads

88. Renters

89. Appreciation events

90. Networking events

91. Networking groups

92. Alumni associations

93. Professional organizations

94. Floor duty 2.0

95. Farmer’s market

96. Name badges

97. Open houses

98. For sale signs

99. Bandit signs

Remember: Prospecting for leads is the single most important function of a real estate agent. Your leads can come from anywhere, but make sure your prospecting efforts are smart and responsible.

8 Unique Ways to Use Pegboards In Your Home by House Beautiful

Organizing, decorating, and so much more: Here are 8 ways to renovate your home with pegboards.

 

Homeowners have been using pegboards to organize their tools since the dawn of the pegboard, but Kim Victoria Wearne and Stuart Beer upgraded the standard setup with this elegant, minimalist organizational system, as seen at The Design Files.

 

 

 

 

 

The laundry room can be an organizational minefield — but it doesn't have to be. We love how A Beautiful Mess blogger Elsie updated her laundry room with this colorful, easy-access pegboard. It's an ideal way to keep all of your miscellaneous supplies close-at-hand.
MORE DIY: Lena Dunham Shares An Easy DIY For Your Bedroom

2. SORT YOUR LAUNDRY

The Laundry Room can be an organizational minefield – but it doesn’t have to be.  Its all out of the way but you can see it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want the look of a gallery wall without the permanence? Here's a brilliant idea from The Design Files: Use a pegboard to create a totally-customizable, easily-rearranged gallery wall.

3. MAKE A GALLERY WALL

 

4. SUPPORT YOUR KITCHEN SUPPLIES OR MAKE A BACKSPLASH

Instantly add space in your kitchen!

Adding pegboards to your kitchen instantly adds so much space — no longer will your pepper grinder and mortar and pestle take up endless counter space, and your drawers will thank you for moving the measuring cups. See the full pegboard at Inspired By Charm.
MORE DIY: 10 Easy DIYs That Will Make Spring Come Quicker
                Looking for a budget backsplash? Not only does pegboard look stunning, but it provides so many opportunities for sneaky storage — keep your coffee cups and cooking tools off the counter! Find the full instructions at the DIY Network.
MORE DIY: Blogger Sneak Peek: Fabric-Covered Trays

Time to go full Julia Child: The absolute best use for pegboards? Hanging heavy pots and pans, like this DIY from Rice Design Blog.Your pans will be easily accessible, and you won't have to struggle to pull them from your below-countertop shelving every time you want to cook. That's a win in our book!

 

 

Sarah Park Events created this clever geometric table runner for a wedding, but there's no reason you can't apply the same design ideas to your own table setting. What a great idea for a party!

5. MAKE A TABLE RUNNER

6. DISPLAY A COLLECTION

Lay Baby Lay uses a black pegboard to display her rock and geode collection, but you could use it for any small item you've got a lot of. It's simple, classy way to show off what you love.

Blogger Petit & Small created this pastel-toned study space for her friend's daughter using a pegboard with tons of small details — check out the hanging calendar and caged lightbulb!
MORE DIY: Brit Morin Talks DIY, Tech, and Following Your Passions

7. CREATE A CUTE OFFICE AREA

It's not uncommon to see pegboards used in the making of upholstered headboards (here's one tutorial) — but why not just use the pegboard as is? Swedish blogger Sköna Hem proves this look can look totally chic.

 

 

 

 

8. MAKE A HEADBOARD

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandi J. Newland, Broker for RE/MAX in Grove City, Ohio.

Also visit me on Facebook and Zillow.com

BrandiNewland@remax.net – 614-778-4520 text me  #REMAX #REMAXRightNow

 

 

 

 

 

Franklin County Conservatory is open for the Holidays!! Its Beautiful & Fun!

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Merry & Bright – Franklin Park Conservatory

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1. Festive Live Entertainment – on December 21st & 31st.

*****

2. Gingerbread Competition – on display now thru January 1st, 2017.

*****

3. Family Fun Activities – Crafts and live performances for your whole family.

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**click on the link below**

http://fpconservatory.org/The-Experience/Exhibitions/Current/Merry-Bright

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Grove City Special!!

Check out the Pictures and the Videos! Its amazing and a great deal! #ExperienceMatters

 

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