Agent2Agent in 94123>Question Details

Sofia Palumbo, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA

I am a new realtor in San Francisco, a big career change. Do you have advice on how to get leads? I am starting from scratch! Thanks

Asked by Sofia Palumbo, San Francisco, CA Sat Dec 22, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


How did your FIRST open house go?

As you can see, the options available to 'Start from Scratch' is only limited by your imagination.

As you will observe, not every approach will work for every agent. What will work for you depends on how often you think...."I know" which closes the door to learning anything new. Add to that the 'IDWDT' syndrome and you have with a short lived career.

"I Don't Wanna Do That" syndrome wears many suits.
Friday, a new agent, working full time in the 'other' office and piddling in real estate responded with, :"My gut will tell me when to quit my day job!"

Well, I ask, "If your marketing to the 1,000 target homes results in 5 listings a month, will you quit your day job?" "My gut will tell if its time to quit." This person has carried a truck load of IDWDT and a deeply embedded culture of counter-intentions which will result in sabotaging what could have been a liberating business choice..

Success will be completely dependent on the willingness to open one's understanding and willingness to accept the fact, "You don't know."

You are with a great organization. They have the track record that supports they have a system that works. Trust the guidance of those who have prepared the way before you, and simply believe and do as instructed.

Five years from now you too will be saying, "It's not rocket science."
But, you don't know what you don't know.
Buckle up! You are welcomed aboard for a spectacular ride!

Best of success to you.
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 23, 2012
Welcome to the business! You will never be bored; that is one of the many things I love about Real Estate.

Wow I could write a book here answering your question. Better yet, you are welcome to call me and I can share some fabulous ideas/wisdom with you on the phone or over a cup of coffee.

"Serve Others and Watch it Come Back"
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 7, 2013
Eight days have passed since you posted your question. 18 of your peers provided you the best advise they could think of. But you have remained silent. What's up?
As others have indicated, your sphere of influence (family, friends and neighbors) can be crucial to ones success IF your business is focused on referrals. (A referral based business is typically the trademark of agents who have been in the business more than five years. There is a reason for that.)
I would caution you to take great care or risk torching those bridges if you abuse those relationships. Every multi-level marketing scheme on the planet relies on one's willingness to throw their friends under the bus. I know you don't want to do this.
So, would it not make sense to ACTUALLY have something of value to share (communicate) with those whose relationship and friendship you value? Knowing how to present the value you bring and creating the environment of 'help' will be the secret to leveraging your SOI. Approach your friends, family and neighbors with a well thought out message that is reflective of the respect in which you embrace the relationship. Then you will not only be excited to share your message but delighted with the results.
I would suggest a mailed announcement followed by a telephone call or personal visit to deliver a heart felt well crafted message. That message (you will need more than one depending on their status) will be clear regarding the problem for which you have a solution, (your value) how this applies to your friend (crafted to their status) and EXACTLY what you want your friend to do and when they should do what you ask of them.
Your friends, family and neighbors are deserving of such preparation. Your honoring of that relationship will be rewarded and recognized.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence,
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 30, 2012
Echoing what many have said.

If you have a SOI (sphere of influence) start there by telling everyone what you do now, and keep on telling them.

Volunteer to do open houses for your co-agents -- great way to meet potential buyers as well as sellers who may be trying to see how agents behave. If people are willing to give you their names and mailing address -- acknowledge them immediately by sending a note, and offering your services. I've had people look me up a year after I met them at an open house, to tell me when they were ready to make a move.

Walk your neighborhood -- get to know your neighbors so that they know who you are and that you're there to help if they have a real estate question, need, etc.

And when you meet some prospects, always stay in touch. Personal notes, phone calls, any way you can be top of mind.

Read certain books such as the Millionaire Real Estate Agent, 21 Things I Wish My Broker Told Me. Tons of tips there.

Go to --- good place to network, good forum for a blog. Participate in Trulia Q & A.

And never stop learning! Attend as many classes as you can.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 29, 2012
Congratulations on your new career! While there are many challenges as a new agent, it is a very exciting and a "never-a-dull moment" profession =)

1) RECONNECT with people who already know you. They don't have to be a buyer/ seller, but they might know someone who is.
2) EXPOSE YOURSELF. Host open houses, go on Sunday tours and talk to strangers.
3) FARMING in a neighborhood. This takes time and $- it's basically door knocking, mailing real estate material... Consistency is the key, think of farming in the spring and harvesting in the fall.

Feel free to message me if you have any questions =D

Pauline W. Ha, Realtor
Top Producer
Better Homes and Gardens- Mason McDuffie
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 29, 2012
Mom, Dad, Brothers, Sisters, Cousins, Uncles, Aunts, Former boyfriends, former husbands. Oops! Maybe not former husbands, friends, neighbors, hair stylist, fellow employees, employer, former employers, fellow students,

Also start blogging creatively on Trulia, Active Rain and other real estate platforms open to the public. One thing you can do is create your own niche. This will depend on your comfort zone and sphere of influence.

As a general and manufactured home contractor and manufactured home dealer, developer, property manager and investor I have chosen to focus on the Factory Built Housing market as a real estate broker. It's obviously a natural for me.

If you live in a condo complex start hanging out at the pool and in the rec center, posting your cards on the bullitin boards and in the laundry rooms if it's allowed and start getting to know all your neighbors. You can't be shy or inhibited as a RE professional. If you don't throw yourself into the mire no one else will.

Good Luck and have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous future in REAL ESTATE.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 29, 2012
Hi Sofia. I would definitely start by letting everybody in your sphere know that you are a new Realtor. Ask them to keep you in mind if they or anybody they know is in the market to buy or sell. From there I would take it to social media and grow your relationships there. Good luck in your career change!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 26, 2012
Hi Sofia,

First step make sure all your friends and family know you are an agent. It sounds like its a no brainer but
I am amazed how often this overlooked.

already noted you can market your broker's listing (if permissible in CA).

I would suggest using craigslist and a lot of door knocking go get your name out there.

good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 24, 2012
Hi Sofia.

Hmmmm, let me think for a moment..... You live in SF! Very cool. In FL, agents are permitted to advertise all of their Broker's listings, maybe this is okay in CA, too. In any case, you are in same city that Craiglist's corporate HQ sit in.....there's your #1 lead generation tool! If you can advertise your broker's listings, that's a GREAT place to start.


Scott Miller
Realty Associates
Boca Raton, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 23, 2012
I loved your message to Sofia. Very true. Thanks for the post.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 23, 2012
Put together a good phone script and call "Expireds" - its fun to ask the sellers what they think their agent will do differently this time. I agree to do everything everyone else said too.
Key to Sucess: Follow Up - it takes "touching" a lead 8 times to get business - thats the average. Your in sales!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 23, 2012
When I started I did mailings and ended up with several good listings. I still think that's a viable way to drum up business but nowadays I would definitely suggest getting online. Blogging is a great way to get yourself in front of buyers and if you write with authority nobody will realize that you're new at this. Check out ActiveRain - it's the best site to see what you can do with real estate blogging and you'll learn a ton about all things real estate and about best online practices.

As others have mentioned open houses are key - it puts you face to face with buyers. Try to do as many as you can - though it can be tough if listings are in short supply. Floor time may or may not be productive but it's definitely worth a shot. A brand new agent in my former office just sold a $1.5M and a $500K property from floor time. You can't beat that! Just showing up every day in the office is important - you'll overhear experienced agents at work, you'll get clued in to what's happening in your market, and you'll pick up opportunities if you're there.

Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2012
Get call them and see if they will give you an option to be a part of their lead generating program..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2012
thank you Gabriel, that's really helpful.
So far, i think I'm going to be like you (living and breathing real estate).. I find it so exciting and interesting. Holding my first open house tomorrow.

Thanks so much!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2012

Congratulations on the career change. I hope that real estate is everything you hoped it would be and more!

First, you've chosen a great firm with Vanguard and that is certainly a positive start. Besides using the strong brand association and marketing your firm has to offer already, find the agents in your office you strive to be like and do what they do. Don't be afraid to ask what has contributed to their success.

As many agents have stated here, open houses and learning how to master them is probably one of the best ways to get leads. Keep in mind that having leads means nothing unless you know your neighborhood or building of interest. Spend time learning EVERYTHING about the places you'll be covering so you have something to offer those potential leads. Read, read, and read more about your field and submerse yourself in it. I don't know about other agents but I live and breath real estate and read about it everyday.

Best of luck to you and have a great holiday season!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2012
Hello Sofia,
1. Send an announcement to everyone you know telling them that you are now in the real estate business and ask for the help by referring you to anyone they know who might be interested in selling or buying.

2. Host a public open house for another agent in your office. It puts you out in front of potential buyers but be prepared to do so. Know the features and benefits of the home and neighborhood, know which schools are assigned to the address, and be able to talk about comparable sold properties in the neighborhood.

This should give you a good start.

Good luck to you!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2012
Hello Sofia, Welcome to the world of Real Estate marketing. It is hard from the beginning so you should have another job to pay your bills to break into this field or a working spouse, etc.
You may want to start with family and friends first to see if anyone of them is interested in buying or selling. You may also want to do some door knocking for listings and then open houses for leads. You can also mail about 20-50 3x5 cards with your information on them and letting the neighbors know you have just listed a home in their neighborhood and if they are interested as well.

You may want to get a fellow agent friend or associate to teach or assist you in training or following their footsteps of how they are handling their business. There are many offices that actually have weekly training and etc to give you ideas of either cold calling or door knocking. You may want to join all the social media that you can such as Trulia, Zillow, LinkedIn, Facebook and many more. Carry business cards where ever you go and hand out cards all the time for any reason of conversation. You will be surprised at how you can get business that way. I have closed many transactions from those types of small talk conversation with whomever by handing them a business card. I even got a call one year later from someone that held onto my card till he needed my services. I am refinancing my Verizon telephone guy right now just by small talk conversation.

Make up some half page flyers to hand out or put on cars, etc. although you want to check with city regulations as they can be strict and you can be fined for posting signs, putting flyers on car windshields, etc. Once you close an escrow, invest some money towards advertising some low budget ad, real estate book, newspaper, etc. I have advertised HUD repos to get my phone ringing.

Do your share of floor time at the office as that is a way to get leads as well. Always ask for their name and phone number so you can call them and let them know what is available in the market. Study, study, study so you know as much as you can about the business. Well this is just some of the ways I got leads thru the years so I hope some of this information helps. Don't throw away any leads that a local Lender says they can't do as I can do them in most cases. I specialize in Under 640 Fico Score Loans and offer credit repair at no cost to raise fico scores to qualify. I offer CHF Access half percent down payment program with a minimum 580 fico score which also contributes towards closing costs as well. I also offer Stated Income loans with only 30% down for Foreign Nationals with no credit scores. I assist Agents, Brokers clients with various loan programs or credit repair throughout CA. and am here to assist you with any loan programs I offer. Good luck to you.
Sheryl Arndt, Real Estate Broker – Sr. Loan Officer CA only
REO & Short Sale Specialist
Credit Repair At No Cost
20+ Years Experience
DRE# 01140252
NMLS# 297251
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2012
I started my business by asking agents in my office if I can do an Open House for them. Ask around for a good title rep to align yourself with and they can give open house sign in books. Make everyone sign in and and follow up with them regarding their real estate needs.
You also need to align yourself with a good local lender and escrow officer. Your team reflects you and should be chosen wisely.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2012
Make sure to let everyone from your past career know what you are doing now! Those who valued your work ethic first hand should be happy to pass on referrals of friends or family who need help with real estate even if they are not personally in need. A good way to reconnect if it has been a while is Linked In. It may take a while, but persistence pays off in this industry as far as I can tell. I am a recent career changer myself. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2012
If you are already working with a firm, ask your fellow agents or broker. If not and you are looking to find the right firm to work with, we are always looking to add quality people (even when they are new) . Contact info is below

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2012
Working open houses is a good way to meet buyers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2012
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer