14 Best Strategies for Free, Quality Real Estate Leads

14 Best Strategies for Free, Quality Real Estate Leads Featured Image
Founder of InboundREM an inbound marketing lead generation company focused on SEO. Blogger. Real Estate SEO expert. Real Estate Lead Generation expert. Real estate online marketing fanatic. Podcaster. Occasional public speaker and frequent vlogger.

Table of Contents

Generating leads for real estate agents without spending money requires creativity and consistency. Here are the 14 best strategies for getting free real estate leads.

Google Business Profiles

Google Business Profiles are the best lead generation strategy in 2024, hands down.

The fact that you can use GBP to generate free real estate leads is just one of the many reasons why you should optimize your profile today. 

One of my clients, Bret, used a combination of my secret GBP hacks for realtors and our hyperlocal GBP campaign to earn $101,700 worth of GBP leads in 10 weeks.

We’re on a mission to educate the world on how to copy his success, which is why we’ve written all of these powerhouse articles:

I’m actually going to suggest you quit reading this article right now and switch to learning about hyperlocal SEO with the above articles. It’s just that promising of a strategy to get free real estate leads.

Why Hyperlocal is the Best Strategy

But if you want to keep reading, I’ve jam-packed this article with great resources and tips.

Social Media Engagement

Regularly post valuable content on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Then double down by engaging with your audience by answering questions and participating in relevant groups. That’s the fun part anyway.

Free real estate leads from social media require some creativity in your posting. That’s why I created 150 Powerful Social Media Content Ideas for Real Estate Agents.

Keys to Real Estate Social Media

It removes all of the brainstorming grunt work from this lead gen strategy. Beyond that, here are some general tips for real estate social media marketing.

  1. Choose the Right Platforms: Identify the social media platforms where your target audience is most active. For real estate, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter are popular choices. Luxury agents should use visual platforms like Instagram.
  2. Optimize Your Profiles: Ensure your social media profiles are complete, professional, and reflect your brand identity. Use high-quality images, compelling descriptions, and relevant keywords to attract your target audience.
  3. Create Engaging Content: Produce and share valuable content that resonates with your audience. This could include property listings, market updates, homebuying tips, neighborhood spotlights, virtual tours, client testimonials, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into your real estate business.
  4. Utilize Visual Content: Real estate is highly visual, so leverage photos, videos, and virtual tours to showcase properties and capture attention. Invest in professional photography and videography to make your listings stand out.
  5. Engage with Your Audience: Actively engage with your audience by responding to comments, answering questions, and participating in conversations. Show authenticity and personality to build rapport and trust with potential leads.
  6. Use Hashtags Strategically: Research and use relevant hashtags to increase the visibility of your posts and attract users searching for real estate-related content. Check out 121 Real Estate Hashtags and How To Use Them Best for the best ideas.

How to Use Hashtags for Real Estate

  1. Run Contests or Giveaways: Organize contests or giveaways on social media to encourage user participation and increase your following. Offer prizes related to real estate, such as a free home staging consultation or a gift card to a local home improvement store.
  2. Network and Collaborate: Build relationships with other local businesses, influencers, and industry professionals on social media. Collaborate on joint promotions, share each other’s content, and leverage each other’s audiences to expand your reach.
  3. Monitor Analytics and Adjust Strategy: Regularly analyze your social media metrics to gauge the performance of your posts and campaigns. Adjust your strategy based on insights to optimize engagement and lead generation.

Over time, this can be a fantastic strategy for free inbound real estate leads.

Email Marketing

Check out 50 Best Real Estate Newsletter Ideas, Hacks, and Examples for a guide to optimize your email marketing and convert the most free leads.

Email marketing is a powerful tool for real estate agents to nurture leads, stay top-of-mind with clients, and generate new business without incurring significant costs. 

Providing slice-of-life content, like local event listings, is an especially great way to get free buyer leads in real estate.

Here are detailed tips, resources, and strategies for effectively using email marketing to acquire free real estate leads.

  1. Build a Quality Email List: Start by building a permission-based email list of contacts who have opted in to receive communications from you. Collect email addresses through your website, open houses, networking events, and social media platforms.
  2. Segment Your Audience: Segment your email list based on demographics, preferences, and stage in the buying or selling process. Tailor your email content and messaging to each segment to increase relevance and engagement.
  3. Create Compelling Content: Develop valuable and engaging email content that resonates with your audience. This could include market updates, property listings, neighborhood spotlights, homebuyer tips, success stories, and relevant industry news.
  4. Utilize Eye-Catching Design: Use visually appealing design elements, such as professional photography, branded templates, and clear calls-to-action, to enhance the visual appeal of your emails and encourage interaction.
  5. Personalize Your Emails: Personalize your emails by addressing recipients by name and segmenting your email list based on their interests and preferences. Customize your content to speak directly to the needs and concerns of each recipient.
  6. Provide Valuable Resources: Offer valuable resources and exclusive content, such as ebooks, guides, or market reports, to incentivize recipients to open and engage with your emails. Position yourself as a trusted advisor and expert in the real estate industry.
  7. Automate Email Campaigns: Implement email automation tools to streamline your email marketing efforts and send targeted messages at the right time. Set up automated drip campaigns to nurture leads over time and move them through the sales funnel.
  8. Optimize for Mobile Devices: Ensure your emails are mobile-friendly and responsive to provide a seamless experience for recipients who access them on smartphones and tablets.
  9. Monitor Performance and Adjust Strategy: Track key email metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, to evaluate the effectiveness of your email campaigns. Use this data to refine your strategy, test different approaches, and optimize performance over time.
300-ideas-mockup-min
Get it now

FREE eBook

300 Ideas to Sell Your Home Faster

Use this extensive checklist of the smartest home improvements, listing process hacks, and more to help clients and delight prospects.

To purchase a branded version of this eBook with your name and logo, reach out to aubrey@inboundrem.com.

Pro Tip: Download our eBook below and use it as a free lead magnet giveaway on your website to build your email list. It’s great for attracting email signups and free seller leads.

Local SEO

InboundREM builds SEO-focused real estate websites, and we offer hyperlocal SEO campaigns that leverage Google Business Profiles.

Below you can check out one of our success stories that prove it’s possible to overtake huge names like Realtor.com and Zillow without spending thousands every month on SEO campaigns.

For the search term “Okoboji real estate”, you can see that this is a difficult phrase to rank well. But on a positive note, 350 people search this query every month.

In the image blow, see the top search results for “Okoboji real estate.” You’ll see our client has the #1 spot in green above Realtor.com and Zillow in yellow.

Additionally, you can see in the orange column a metric called DR, or Domain Rating. This measures on a scale of 100 how much authority Google attributes to a site. The higher the authority, the better the rankings.

Our client has a DR of 13, which is great for a new website. But the impressive part is how it beats other sites with DRs of 91! Especially in the last year, updates to the Google algorithm have made this scenario more possible than ever.

At least, that’s true if you know what you’re doing. While local SEO is undoubtedly one of the best ways to get free leads (apart from hosting costs), it’s a full time job to learn and leverage real estate SEO properly.

Get in touch if you’re interested in how we can replicate Okojobi Realty’s success for you. Or check out the articles below if you’re a DIY type.

Let's have a talk

Schedule a Meeting

Let’s chat about how an SEO-focused website that YOU OWN, Google Business Profile Campaigns, or Custom Email Campaigns can generate high-quality leads and exceptional long-term ROI. If my services aren’t the best move for you, I’ll gladly point you in the right direction

Networking Events

Attend local events, community gatherings, and networking mixers to meet potential clients and build relationships. Or in other words, become a “Neighborhood Mayor”.

This is a central tactic in our 175 Real Estate Prospecting Tips, Strategies, and Tools for Agents.

Here are several detailed tips, resources, and strategies specifically for leveraging networking events:

  1. Research and Choose Relevant Events: Prioritize events that attract your target demographic, such as homebuyer seminars, industry conferences, or local business mixers. Utilize platforms like Meetup, Eventbrite, or Chamber of Commerce listings to find upcoming events in your area.
  2. Prepare Your Elevator Pitch: Craft a concise and compelling elevator pitch that highlights your expertise, unique selling points, and the value you offer to potential clients. Practice delivering it confidently and naturally..
  3. Bring Business Cards and Marketing Materials: You might want to check out a digital business card to impress prospects and streamline contact sharing. (Note: That’s an affiliate link).
  4. Initiate Meaningful Conversations: Approach attendees with genuine interest and curiosity. Ask open-ended questions to learn about their real estate needs, challenges, and aspirations. Listen attentively and offer valuable insights or advice when appropriate.
  5. Establish Yourself as a Resource: Position yourself as a trusted resource and industry expert by sharing valuable information, market insights, and helpful resources. Offer to connect attendees with other professionals or provide referrals when relevant.
  6. Follow Up Promptly: After the event, follow up with individuals you connected with via email, LinkedIn, or phone. Personalize your messages to reference your conversation and express your interest in further assisting them with their real estate goals.
  7. Attend Regularly and Build Relationships: Consistently attend networking events to build rapport and establish long-term relationships with fellow professionals and potential clients. Nurture these connections over time by staying in touch, offering assistance, and providing value.
  8. Offer Value Through Presentations or Workshops: Consider hosting your own workshops or presentations at networking events to demonstrate your expertise and provide valuable insights to attendees.

Don’t sleep on this strategy to get free buyer and seller real estate leads. It’s a rewarding way to combine doing good for you and your community.

Referrals

Referrals are the OG of free real estate leads, whether buyer or seller. Of course, easier said than done. Here are some general tips for doing it better.

  1. Deliver Exceptional Service: Duh. The foundation of generating referral leads is providing outstanding service that exceeds clients’ expectations. Focus on delivering a seamless and memorable experience throughout the entire buying or selling process.
  2. Request Referrals: Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied clients for referrals. Timing is crucial, so aim to ask when they’ve expressed satisfaction with your service or have successfully completed a transaction. Politely request referrals and emphasize the value of their recommendations in helping you grow your business.
  3. Offer Incentives: Consider offering incentives or rewards to clients who refer new business to you. This could be a discount on future services, a gift card, or a small token of appreciation. Ensure that the incentive aligns with your budget and complies with any regulatory requirements.
  4. Provide Referral Tools: Make it easy for satisfied clients to refer others by providing them with referral tools such as referral cards, email templates, or social media graphics. These tools can streamline the referral process and increase the likelihood of clients taking action.
  5. Stay Connected: Maintain regular communication with past clients even after the transaction is complete. Send personalized follow-up emails, effective postcards, or newsletters to stay top-of-mind and foster a lasting relationship.
  6. Showcase Testimonials and Reviews: Display testimonials and reviews from satisfied clients prominently on your website, social media profiles, and marketing materials. Positive feedback serves as social proof and reinforces your credibility to potential clients.
  7. Express Gratitude: Always express gratitude to clients who provide referrals, whether or not those referrals result in new business. A simple thank-you note and an amazing gift go a long way in strengthening the client-agent relationship.
  8. Track and Reward Referrals: Implement a system to track referral leads and ensure that you acknowledge and reward clients for their referrals promptly.

YouTube Content Marketing

Start a YouTube channel offering tips, advice, and insights about buying or selling homes in your area.

A lot of agents who are scaling fast and hard with no upper limit are real estate YouTubers. As a YouTuber myself who gets plenty of free leads from this strategy, I have created a special series.

Check out the articles below that break down the techniques of real-life powerhouse real estate agent YouTubers. Start with Bern and Courtney!

You can also download all of these articles plus more, which are combined into a free eBook. Follow the link below.

Free eBooks for Agents

Free eBooks for Real Estate Agents

Download any or all of our real estate marketing eBooks. These books contain cutting edge information, deep-diving case studies, actionable hacks to skyrocket your business.

Open Houses

This is a great strategy, especially for inexperienced agents, to generate free buyer real estate leads.

11 Real Estate Open House Food and Snack Ideas (+ Recipes)

Here are detailed tips, resources, and strategies for maximizing the effectiveness of open houses in acquiring real estate leads:

  1. Prepare the Property: Ensure the property is clean, decluttered, and staged to perfection. Make necessary repairs and enhancements to improve its appeal to potential buyers.
  2. Promote the Open House: Utilize various channels to promote the open house, including online listings, social media platforms, email newsletters, local newspapers, and signage in the neighborhood.
  3. Create Inviting Atmosphere: Welcome visitors with a warm and inviting atmosphere. Play soft music, offer refreshments, and provide informative brochures or flyers about the property.
  4. Engage Attendees: Greet every visitor warmly and engage them in conversation. Ask questions to understand their needs, preferences, and timeline for buying or selling a home. Provide valuable insights and information about the property and the local market.
  5. Capture Contact Information: Have a sign-in sheet or digital registration form for attendees to provide their contact information. Follow up with them after the open house to nurture leads and build relationships.
  6. Offer Virtual Tours: Utilize technology to offer virtual tours of the property for attendees who are unable to attend in person. Share the virtual tour link on social media and in your promotional materials to attract a broader audience.
  7. Network with Neighbors: Engage with neighbors who visit the open house and inquire about their interest in selling or referring potential buyers. They may have friends or family members looking to move into the neighborhood.
  8. Provide Market Insights: Offer insights into the local real estate market, recent sales data, and upcoming developments in the area. Position yourself as a trusted advisor and resource for attendees seeking expert guidance.
  9. Follow Up Promptly: After the open house, follow up with attendees to thank them for visiting and provide additional information about the property or other listings that may interest them. Personalize your follow-up messages to strengthen connections and nurture leads effectively.
300-ideas-mockup-min
Get it now

FREE eBook

300 Ideas to Sell Your Home Faster

Use this extensive checklist of the smartest home improvements, listing process hacks, and more to help clients and delight prospects.

To purchase a branded version of this eBook with your name and logo, reach out to aubrey@inboundrem.com.

Pro Tip: Use our eBook “300 Ideas to Sell Your Home Faster“ as a comprehensive checklist to ensure every open house is picture perfect.

FSBO Listings

FSBO (For Sale By Owner) listings present a valuable opportunity for real estate agents to connect with homeowners who are attempting to sell their properties independently.

Monitor “For Sale By Owner” listings in your area and reach out to homeowners to offer your services. This is, of course, a method for seller real estate leads.

Here are detailed tips, resources, and strategies for effectively using FSBO listings to acquire free real estate leads:

  1. Monitor FSBO Listings: Regularly monitor online platforms, classified ads, and local publications for FSBO listings in your target market. Websites like Craigslist, Zillow FSBO, and FSBO.com can be valuable resources for finding FSBO listings.
  2. Reach Out with Value: Approach FSBO sellers with a helpful and non-intrusive mindset. Offer valuable insights, market data, and expertise to demonstrate the benefits of working with a professional real estate agent. Position yourself as a trusted advisor who can simplify the selling process and maximize their property’s exposure.
  3. Provide a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): Offer to provide FSBO sellers with a complimentary Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to help them understand the true value of their property in relation to comparable homes in the area. Use this opportunity to showcase your expertise and build rapport with the seller.
  4. Highlight the Benefits of Representation: Educate FSBO sellers about the benefits of working with a real estate agent, such as access to a wider pool of potential buyers, marketing expertise, negotiation skills, and assistance with paperwork and legalities. Emphasize how your services can save them time, reduce stress, and potentially lead to a higher sale price.
  5. Offer Limited Service Options: Some FSBO sellers may be open to working with a real estate agent on a limited-service basis, where they retain control over certain aspects of the selling process while still benefiting from professional guidance and support. Offer flexible service options tailored to the seller’s needs and preferences.
  6. Build Relationships: Focus on building relationships with FSBO sellers, even if they initially decide not to work with you. Stay in touch, provide value, and remain top-of-mind so that when they encounter challenges or reconsider their approach, they think of you as their trusted real estate advisor.
  7. Respect Their Decision: Respect the decision of FSBO sellers who choose to continue selling their property independently. Leave a positive impression and offer to assist them in the future should they decide to work with a real estate agent.

Free Seminars or Workshops

Hosting free seminars or workshops is an excellent way for real estate agents to showcase their expertise, provide value to potential clients, and generate free leads.

Here are detailed tips, resources, and strategies for leveraging free seminars or workshops to acquire real estate leads:

  1. Choose Relevant Topics: Select seminar topics that are relevant and valuable to your target audience. Consider topics such as first-time homebuying, investment properties, home staging tips, or navigating the real estate market in your local area.
  2. Promote Your Event: Utilize various marketing channels to promote your seminar or workshop, including email newsletters, social media platforms, your website, local community calendars, and industry forums. Create visually appealing promotional materials and leverage compelling messaging to attract attendees.
  3. Provide Valuable Content: Deliver high-quality, informative, and engaging content during your seminar or workshop. Offer practical advice, actionable tips, and insights that attendees can apply to their real estate endeavors. Position yourself as a knowledgeable expert in the field.
  4. Offer Interactive Sessions: Incorporate interactive elements into your seminar or workshop to keep attendees engaged and encourage participation. Include Q&A sessions, group discussions, and hands-on activities to foster interaction and address attendees’ specific questions and concerns.
  5. Collect Contact Information: Have a sign-in sheet or digital registration form for attendees to provide their contact information. This allows you to follow up with attendees after the event and nurture leads through personalized communications.
  6. Provide Follow-Up Resources: Send follow-up emails to attendees after the seminar or workshop, thanking them for their participation and providing additional resources or materials related to the topics discussed. Use this opportunity to continue building relationships and offering assistance with their real estate needs.
  7. Encourage Referrals: Encourage attendees to refer friends, family, or colleagues who may benefit from your services. Offer incentives or rewards for referrals to incentivize attendees to spread the word about your expertise.
  8. Evaluate and Improve: Gather feedback from attendees to evaluate the effectiveness of your seminar or workshop. Use this feedback to refine your content, format, and presentation style for future events, ensuring ongoing success in generating leads.

Partnerships

Partnering with local businesses can be a mutually beneficial strategy for real estate agents to expand their network, reach new audiences, and generate free leads.

Plus, it can be super fun to try out new restaurants or things to do in order to write a blog post. Sharing it with the owner is not only a great business move, it’s a nice way to form real connections.

Here are detailed tips, resources, and strategies for leveraging partnerships with local businesses.

  1. Identify Potential Partners: Identify complementary businesses in your local area that cater to your target demographic. These could include mortgage brokers, home inspectors, interior designers, moving companies, home improvement stores, and local businesses with high foot traffic.
  2. Establish Relationships: Reach out to potential partners and initiate conversations about collaboration opportunities. Attend networking events, join business associations, and engage with local business owners to build rapport and establish mutually beneficial relationships.
  3. Offer Referral Incentives: Offer referral incentives to your partners for recommending your real estate services to their clients or customers. This could include monetary incentives, gift cards, or reciprocal referrals for their business.
  4. Cross-Promote Each Other: Collaborate with your partners on joint marketing initiatives to cross-promote each other’s businesses. This could include co-branded marketing materials, social media shoutouts, blog post collaborations, or featuring each other in email newsletters.
  5. Host Joint Events or Workshops: Partner with local businesses to host joint events, workshops, or seminars on topics of mutual interest. For example, you could co-host a homebuying seminar with a mortgage broker or a home staging workshop with an interior designer.
  6. Share Resources and Expertise: Share resources, insights, and expertise with your partners to add value to their business and strengthen your relationship. Provide them with market updates, real estate tips, and educational materials they can share with their clients.
  7. Leverage Their Customer Base: Tap into your partners’ customer base by offering to provide value-added services or resources related to real estate. For example, you could offer to conduct free home valuations or provide exclusive access to property listings for their customers.
  8. Monitor and Nurture Relationships: Maintain regular communication with your partners and monitor the success of your partnership efforts. Nurture relationships over time by staying in touch, offering assistance, and seeking opportunities for collaboration and growth.
Real estate infographic about free lead real estate leads ideas

Expired Listings

Reach out to homeowners whose listings have expired and offer your expertise to help them relist and sell their property.

  1. Identify Expired Listings: Regularly monitor MLS databases, real estate websites, and local publications to identify properties that have recently expired or been withdrawn from the market. These listings represent potential opportunities to reach out to motivated sellers.
  2. Research Reasons for Failure: Investigate the reasons why the listing expired or was withdrawn. Common reasons include overpricing, ineffective marketing, or unfavorable market conditions. Understanding the underlying issues can help you tailor your approach when reaching out to the homeowner.
  3. Offer a Fresh Perspective: Reach out to the homeowner with a fresh perspective and a proactive approach. Position yourself as a knowledgeable real estate professional who can provide a fresh marketing strategy and valuable insights to help them achieve their selling goals.
  4. Provide a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): Offer to conduct a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to help the homeowner understand the current market value of their property. Use recent sales data and market trends to support your pricing recommendations and demonstrate your expertise.
  5. Highlight Your Marketing Plan: Showcase your comprehensive marketing plan and strategies for effectively promoting the property to potential buyers. Highlight your use of digital marketing, professional photography, virtual tours, and targeted advertising to maximize exposure and attract qualified buyers.
  6. Build Trust Through Communication: Establish trust and credibility with the homeowner through open and transparent communication. Listen to their concerns, address their questions, and offer solutions tailored to their specific needs and circumstances.
  7. Stay Persistent and Follow Up: Stay persistent in your follow-up efforts, even if the homeowner is initially hesitant or unresponsive. Follow up regularly with personalized messages, updates on market conditions, and insights into potential selling opportunities.
  8. Offer Flexible Listing Terms: Be flexible with your listing terms and offer options that align with the homeowner’s needs and preferences. Consider alternative pricing strategies, such as price reductions or staging incentives, to attract buyers and facilitate a successful sale.

Using expired listings is another great way to get free seller leads as a real estate agent.

Referral Networks

Building a referral network consisting of attorneys, financial advisors, insurance agents, and other professionals can be a highly effective strategy for real estate agents to generate free leads and expand their client base.

Here are detailed tips, resources, and strategies for leveraging a referral network:

  1. Identify Potential Partners: Identify professionals in related fields who have clients that may require real estate services. These could include estate planning attorneys, mortgage brokers, insurance agents, accountants, and financial planners.
  2. Establish Relationships: Reach out to potential partners and initiate conversations about collaboration opportunities. Attend industry events, networking mixers, and professional associations to meet and connect with professionals in your area.
  3. Educate Your Network: Educate your referral partners about your services, target market, and ideal client profile. Provide them with resources, such as marketing materials, brochures, and case studies, to help them understand how you can add value to their clients.
  4. Offer Mutual Benefits: Offer reciprocal referrals and incentives to your referral partners for referring clients to you. This could include monetary incentives, gift cards, or discounts on future services.
  5. Provide Value to Their Clients: Demonstrate your expertise and provide value to your referral partners’ clients by offering educational resources, market insights, and personalized advice related to real estate. Position yourself as a trusted advisor who can help their clients achieve their goals.
  6. Stay in Regular Communication: Maintain regular communication with your referral partners to nurture relationships and stay top-of-mind. Provide updates on market conditions, recent successes, and upcoming opportunities for collaboration.
  7. Track and Reward Referrals: Implement a system to track referrals from your network and ensure that you acknowledge and reward your referral partners promptly for their referrals.
  8. Offer Continuing Education: Host educational events or workshops for your referral partners to share insights, industry trends, and best practices related to real estate. This can help strengthen your relationships and position you as a thought leader in the field.