I stumbled again upon cookie-cutter content about real estate leads for new agents this time.
You can read long lists of unstrategic tips, mentioning various marketing channels and lead generation methods.
Still, few are relevant or viable to new real estate agents.
I hope to change this situation with today’s article, which will cover…
- Six game-changing differences between established and new agents
- How to get leads as a new agent with a strategic approach playing to your strengths
- 5 likely viable marketing channels for new agents
- Follow-up and nurturing: also essential for new agents
- Measuring real estate lead generation performance with KPIs relevant to new agents
- Whether a new agent should buy leads
7 Game-Changing Differences Between Established and New Agents
It’s funny how you find the same cookie-cutter tips to generate leads for new real estate agents as for established agents. As if there were no distinction between the two at all…
But this enormous difference informs the whole real estate lead generation strategy.
To increase your success rate, you need to know where you stand before you touch any of the typical suggested lead generation methods.
So what are these differences? I bet the obvious ones you know already…
1) More Experience
This is an obvious one. An established agent has more experience in the real estate industry, has sold more properties, and has thus a track record that can be used in real estate sales copy (my article) to convert new real estate leads.
2) A Larger Network & Reputation
Related to experience and track record, established agents in the business for several years usually have a more extensive network of (past) clients, industry connections, and partners.
Provided the established agents did a good job, this more extensive network of past clients, for instance, will often lead to a better reputation in the industry. This boosts opportunities to get referral leads (my article) and generate new leads in general.
4) (More) Income
While new agents often don’t make anything in the first six to twelve months, established agents earn a higher income because of a larger client base, improved lead generation methods, and better sales and negotiation skills.
Well, there is a reason they are established.
5) More Resources
More resources come as a consequence of earning more income.
Since established agents have already succeeded in having regular monthly sales, so they often have more resources, such as better marketing tools or access to exclusive listings due to the more extensive network.
This is because they could reinvest some of their income into their business to grow it further.
All the above points result in more confidence, which feeds back into being more persuasive in sales and negotiation situations.
It’s a refeeding cycle or snowball effect.
You can read how vital confidence is for persuasion in this article by the University of Pennsylvania.
Sure, you could fake confidence, but it will be easier when you can tap into an authentic source of confidence: being an established real estate agent.
7) A Shallow Learning Curve
In contrast to a new real estate agent, an established one has a shallow learning curve.
What does this mean?
Learning is easier for them and requires less time and effort to master new things related to their field.
However, this doesn’t mean they like learning new things compared to new agents, as you will later learn.
Tasks come more intuitive, are easier to understand, and don’t require a lot of practice or repetition to achieve proficiency.
It doesn’t mean they don’t need to learn new things. Especially regarding lead generation, this is impossible because of the ever-changing nature of this field.
However, the lead time until they get consistent results with a new real estate marketing channel may be significantly shorter.
This is accelerated if they have a higher monthly budget for the initial testing.
As you could learn from the above, giving a new agent a list of mixed-up lead generation tips does not make much sense without strategically considering their unique situation to increase the chances of success.
So how do we do that?
How to Get Leads As a New Agent With a Strategic Approach That Plays to Your Strengths
Looking at all the advantages established agents often have over new agents, the situation may seem hopeless at first glance.
However, there are always two sides to every coin; even new agents can have the edge over established ones.
They are often full of energy and enthusiasm.
This can help them make a good impression on clients and colleagues.
Especially enthusiasm can also improve outcomes in sales situations (source).
Tech savvy: new agents are more comfortable with technology and social media. Therefore, they may learn different online marketing channels faster to generate real estate leads.
As a new agent, you are often more willing to work harder to generate new business and build a client base.
The willingness to work harder often comes in a package with lower expectations for income and success, which can further help their focus and determination to succeed.
It can be easier for new agents to stand out because they often bring a new perspective on real estate to position themselves uniquely.
Related to the prior point (new perspective on real estate), they are often more eager to learn and implement new ideas.
New agents may also have the edge over established ones regarding client responsiveness since they can be more flexible regarding their schedule and availability.
Before we get into marketing strategies for lead generation of new agents, let me give you an overview of what we have to work with.
It will include limitations, advantages, and other complementary aspects you need to consider as a new agent before you start anything regarding lead generation.
The Starting Situation of a New Real Estate Agent – An Overview
This section will help narrow the viable marketing channels for a new real estate agent; generally, it’s all about survival.
Why? Because according to several sources, 87% of new realtors fail within the first five years.
However, during my research, I found many websites parroting these statistics. Still, I could never reach the source: The National Association of Realtors.
Nevertheless, this statistic may be somewhat correct because when we look at statistics where there is more than just one source about startups (in a sense, a new real estate agent can be considered one), numbers are similar.
Here 50% of startups fail within the first five years (source).
So one of your principal limitations as a new agent will be cash flow and, thus, a limited marketing budget for lead generation.
Now let’s consider the advantages over established agents.
Because of a new perspective on real estate new agents likely bring to the table, you can craft a unique value proposition that can be used in your marketing messaging to stand out from established competitors and improve your conversions.
The higher eagerness to learn new things and the likely higher tech savviness can help you master marketing channels for lead generation that established agents may not use as much.
Sounds good at first, but you want to watch your target audience demographic use the platform (e.g., BeReal).
What can you do if they don’t use it?
Instead of using your tech savviness on new platforms, you may go deeper on the “new-ish” or better-established ones (Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok) where your target audience can more easily be found.
The willingness to work harder for new agents can be applied to lead generation methods that require more time and effort than money (I will mention them later).
If you have a tiny monthly budget or none, these will likely be the marketing channel you are left with.
And since new agents are likely more responsive regarding client communication, you could gain an edge over established ones by responding faster to leads you generate.
The next advantage can rather be used in sales situations once you generate some leads.
The energy and enthusiasm you can apply in communicating with your generated leads make you more persuasive.
By the way, there is also a psychological aspect to consider when getting your first real estate client I already covered in this article.
In this article, I mentioned some marketing channels for new agents only in passing.
So let’s now continue with them in the next section.
5 Likely Viable Marketing Channels for New Agents
We can now select viable marketing channels based on the above limitations and advantages.
I used a script-powered Google sheet template I created called “The Ultimate Real Estate Lead Gen Strategy & Performance Suite.“.
It can do the heavy lifting for you and select likely viable marketing channels based on your income goals, limitations, daily time available, monthly budget, and much more.
For the scenario of a new real estate agent, I assumed a pretty low monthly budget of $150 for lead generation but a higher “budget” of daily available time (remember, one of the advantages over established agents was the willingness to work harder). Due to no clients or very few ones, time likely abounds.
So I assumed 8 hours available a new agent can use for time-consuming lead generation methods that cost almost no money.
Regarding the time to reach the annual net commission goal of $86,480 (the average realtor income in Florida in 2022, according to this source, I assumed 36 months.
And after running the script of my tool comparing different factors (e.g., monthly budget, lead costs, target audience, lead time per marketing channel, and more), it resulted in the following likely viable marketing channels for the above scenario of a new real estate agent:
- Article/ blog content marketing (my article) with and without factoring in time costs
- Video content marketing on YouTube with and without factoring in time costs
- Door hangers (you do the distribution)
- Targeted and untargeted cold calling (includes FSBOs, Expireds, etc.)
- Targeted and untargeted door knocking
“Targeted” in the above list means that depending on the target audience and niche you focus on before you make the calls, you gather a list of contacts (e.g., only FSBO owners in a particular neighborhood) you call.
“Untargeted” is as it sounds untargeted; you just could call all over the place without having any specific target audience in mind.
The same is true regarding targeted vs. untargeted door-knocking.
Follow-Up and Nurturing: Also Essential to New Agents
Like a jammed gun, some leads you generate are on the lower customer awareness level (my article) and thus need some warming up to bring them up on their awareness level.
This is where lead follow-up and nurturing come in.
As I already discussed in this article about following up with potential home buyers (a lot of this also applies to sellers), based on various marketing performance statistics, you want to utilize multiple communication channels, also known as Omni channels, and plan for 6 to 8 touchpoints.
Start with a phone call, preferably a video call, and then transition to text messaging.
Ensure that you send more than three text messages to maintain contact.
Additionally, consider incorporating email touchpoints into your follow-up strategy.
As discussed in my article “How to Write a Killer Follow-Up Email“, you want to remember that three or more follow-ups can increase email response rates by 90% than doing it just once.
Use the recipient’s name in the subject line, keep the email between 50 and 125 words, and include 1-3 questions to engage the recipient.
Measuring Real Estate Lead Generation Performance With KPIs Relevant to New Agents
Whether you are a new agent, an established one, or any other real estate professional, you want to measure the performance when it comes to lead generation.
Because “you can’t improve what you don’t measure.”.
This saying is attributed to the famous management consultant Peter Drucker, and it is as simple as true.
By analyzing your lead generation performance, you can identify areas that require improvement and make necessary adjustments.
In the case of cold calling, this can be as simple as taking note of how many potential sellers or buyers you call in total and how many are willing to make an appointment with you. This is the lead-to-appointment conversion rate.
Other key marketing performance indicators you may want to track depending on the marketing channel you use can be…
1) Traffic Volume of Your Real Estate Website
This is essential if you do content marketing, and the number of views would be relevant to track when you do video marketing.
2) Click-Through Rates
This indicator is also essential when you do content marketing and want to check how article titles perform in Google search results.
You can check this with Google’s Search Console.
Click-through rates are also essential to track when you do PPC advertising.
However, for a new real estate agent with a lower budget, it’s not relevant (just yet).
3) Conversion Rates (CVR)
This indicator will help you determine how persuasive your writing or your communication skills on the phone are.
I already gave an example above for cold calling, when you take note of the prospects willing to work with you out of the total prospects you call.
Regarding real estate content marketing, this could be the traffic-to-lead conversion rate and, for instance, how well a lead magnet (my article) performs to convert traffic into leads.
4) Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
This is a synonym for cost per lead.
As a new agent, you may have zero cost per lead at first glance since you likely don’t spend (much) money on marketing channels (see the viable ones above).
However, you always have costs, even if you don’t pay any money.
Just to have a metric of control, you may want to note the amount of time you spend cold calling, apply an hourly rate on your time, and then divide the time multiplied by the hourly rate by the number of leads you generate.
It could go like this:
- Time spend cold calling: 3 hours
- Hourly rate: $20
- Total cost: $60 (3 hours x $20)
- Leads generated: 5
- Cost per lead: $12 ($60 divided by 5)
If you do the performance tracking consistently, you will gather insights into what works and doesn’t work well and, more importantly, which areas need improvement.
This should never stop (unless you want to stagnate) so you steadily increase your effectiveness and efficiency.
Should a New Agent Buy Leads?
As you can read in the starting situation section above, you may already suspect that the answer to whether a new agent should buy leads is rather a “no.”
At first, glance, buying leads can provide a quick way to generate a list of potential clients and jumpstart the business. But this is only at first glance.
The issue and risk are the likely low or no monthly budget of new real estate agents, which will make them buy pretty low-cost and, for that reason, non-exclusive “leads.”
I put “leads” in quotation marks because they are usually just contacts, at least in how I define leads. This means they have yet to show interest in your real estate services.
But let’s say you find a provider that sells you 500 decent real estate leads (not just contact information) for $150 (the assumed monthly marketing budget from above).
In the short run, it may lead to the agent closing earlier on a real estate transaction than the agent that doesn’t buy leads.
However, the second agent starts experimenting with different viable marketing channels and finds a way to generate independent real estate leads.
Yes, it may take longer until they get results, but they will be more independent from lead providers when it happens.
On the other hand, the first agent becomes dependent on one single lead source that isn’t even in their control, and they still don’t know how to do lead generation independently.
This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.