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Ray Wade, CRS, Real Estate Pro in Houston, TX

What low cost marketing or lead generation strategies have you found to be highly effective?

Asked by Ray Wade, CRS, Houston, TX Tue Jun 22, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


It is my belief that it depends on the type of person you are. If you are a real thick skinned, impervious to the word no, then any street, door bell, market or restaurant represents an 'low cost' lead generation strategy. I would argue that walking down the street and handing every adult you see a $5 bill for 2 minutes of their time will get you as well qualified a buyer or seller as most lead generation systems to which one would subscribe. The key is getting the door open for conversation.

Now for the less aggressive among us, consider:
Ask yourself, "What questions are folks in Cypress Texas asking to which I have the answer?" Wrap your marketing around solutions, results, benefits, or outcomes you can provide related to the question. If you can tie this into the three big-spender categories, well that's even better! Now that you've got some real 'stuff' with which to engage the community, you now must get in front of them. Some choose to do this one at a time, I suggest entertaining the idea of group environments.

Oh, yes, don't forget about all that internet stuff. However, before you hand over your money be sure you understand how your message will be found and by whom. Too much of what is being sold to real estate folks is an effort to catch smoke with a net. Ask the vendor to accept payment based on your results, that will usually give you a clue.

The effectiveness of any strategy you choose will be dependent on you. If you only execute the program 80% you will only get 5% of what is anticipated. It the last 5% of effort that pays the big dividends. Pick a program, ANY PROGRAM, refine your appeal, develop a message and execute the plan fully.

Not knowing whether you are brand new to real estate, occupy an established niche market or have a database of 16,000 citizens, it's hard to be more specific in lead generation strategies. If you need some examples, just drop me a note and I'll give you some things to look at.

Annette Lawrence
ReMax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
Web Reference:
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Taking good care of the listing clients you have. The neighbors ARE watching!

Blogging - make sure you are giving great advice about your specific market and people will respond.

Answering Qs on It takes one to ask the question, but many will review your answers.

Business cards - find ways to give them out every day. There is no end of ways to meet people. Exchange cards, and then immediately pop those emails into and expand your network. is a GREAT tool - if you actually use it.

Best of luck to you!

3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 30, 2010
I love these answers, and I would only add keeping in constant contact with my existing sphere to make sure I'm the first one they think of!
Flag Tue Dec 10, 2013
My personal favorite tip is to specialize in a niche, that may or may not have anything directly to do with real estate; and create ten, twenty, thirty and fifty minute talks on those topics that you can present to groups. Examples might be staging a home for the market (or holiday parties), seasonal home maintenance that can save money, how to use an iphone, setting up a community babysitting coop, whatever you enjoy and are knowledgeable about. It really doesn't matter, as long as it's generally relevant to a large variety of listeners and you can make it interesting. If it periferally ties to real estate, all the better. The most important thing is that you give value during the talk. A sales pitch about your services isn't a good topic, just sayin!

Once you're prepared, simply offer your services as a volunteer speaker via social media and to any groups you belong to. Key point: always be prepared with your own technology, if needed. Most important: practice! Humor and personality are key. If you are nervous about public speaking, you can go through a Toast Masters or Laugh Masters program, or join a local speakers bureau (they offer classes and opportunities to practice, too.)

Every introduction by your host should include your career information and areas you serve, so that you never sound like you are pitching yourself. This should be agreed up front ,and it's usually wise to write up a two sentence introduction for the host, who may be nervous or forgetful. Do have lots of business cards on hand, easily accessible but not sitting out.

This soft sell approach, let them know who I am and approach me, has worked extremely well. I have generated a lot of direct clients and third party leads (a friend told me about you) from speaking, sometimes a year or more later. I've gained confidence as a speaker and enjoy sharing knowledge. It's fun!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 8, 2010
Walking neighborhoods with flyers on Saturday afternoons or between about 4:30pm and 6:30pm when you will see people.
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
Hi Ray,

TRULIA!! How about posting ads on craigslist? Try to keep at least 125-200 ads on there at any given time.


Scott Miller
Realty Associates
Boca Raton, FL
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
You have gotten some great answers here but how about old fashioned walking a neighborhood you want to farm? I do a newsletter for my neighborhood as well as a facebook group page for just the neightborhood (not a business fan page, that should be separate from the group page as well as your personal page - I get really tired of the agents who post real estate on their personal page not their business page). Also I am trying to blog but it is tough, I am having more success with my facebook page I do on my city - you will see lots of them around i.e. 365 Things To Do In . . . - it is a lot of work but fun too. Hope you do well.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 8, 2010

The challenge I have with marketing and lead generation is that the low cost items must be traded for my TIME. If you don't want to spend the money you have to be prepared to spend your time getting clients. As a new agent nothing replaced doing Saturday and Sunday open houses. I would do one from 10:30-12:30 and then 1-3 both days. It was very fruitful, but a serious sacrifice of time. All the best.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 8, 2010
Networking is always a great way to generate business. Get highly involved with a charity. Don't go into it looking for business, that will come by itself. If you give back to the community, the community will give back to you as people learn to trust you. Put yourself in front of as many people as you can and be consistent.
Also, join a networking group like BNI. You will not only get business, but you will build a strong network of professionals to refer your clients too.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 8, 2010
Blogging has been really effective for me. After my yearly fee to my web host which is under $150 and the $10 per domain name a year it costs me nothing except my time.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
I only use referral/lead generation sites that are FREE! Check out they offer free listing leads that they refer to agents who create a profile. It's a newer site but it's FREE and if it works out that you only receive one listing lead at least you paid NOTHING! Good luck
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 10, 2013
Just wanted to say 'Thank you' to everyone who took the time to share here... I appreciate it, and have benefited already from the suggestions.

Best wishes to all of you!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 8, 2010
Hi Ray,

I have not found any low cost marketing/lead generation strategies. Either I have to pay someone else and there is a high front cost or I have to do it myself and use my own time which can be even more costly at the end. Lead generation is a cost of doing business for most agents in our industry.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
Definitley networking with other professionals, as well as an online presence in sites like this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 23, 2010
I would also suggest building relationships with Insurance Agents, CPA's and Sylists in your local area. Word of mouth is free and the best form of marketing. Another great source, my personal favorite, is getting involved in the community - find a nonprofit and volunteer!

For print marketing I use Vista Print, they always have some free offer going and the quality is great on the brochures and fliers.

Hope this helps! Good Luck!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
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