How To Get Leads in Real Estate for Free

Oleksandr Rohovnin
Content Marketer
14 minute read
Oleksandr Rohovnin
Content Marketer
14 minute read

This article is part of our comprehensive guide on real estate lead generation. Check it out for profound insights into how real estate agents, brokers, and companies can acquire paid and free real estate leads.


The ever-growing real estate market in the United States is fertile ground for lead generation, but what if you’re on a budget, unwilling to buy leads for real estate or splurge on paid ads? Are there any safe ways to get real estate leads for free?

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to generate real estate leads at no cost, especially if you aren’t under time pressure. Growing organic traffic channels may take a while, but once you’re there, you’ll have an inexhaustible source of free real estate leads.

Source: GIPHY

Read on to learn how to generate real estate leads for free.

Free Real Estate Lead Generation Explained

As you might already have learned from my solar lead generation guide, there are only three principal ways to acquire leads: generate them using organic traffic channels – your website, blog, social media, referral program, etc. – paid advertising, or buy from lead generators.

And it’s even simpler with free real estate leads for agents, as you can only use earned media in this case. Truth be told, though, these clients will only be free nominally because you will have to spend resources on building your online presence all the same.

Free Real Estate Lead Generation Paid Real Estate Lead Generation
Undefined lead quality Predefined lead quality
Unclear scalability Unlimited scalability
Long-term strategy Immediate results
Limited control over lead generation Full control over lead generation

Free real estate leads aren’t perfect all around: their quality varies, you need plenty of time to come online, and you can’t ensure your efforts will pay off. However, even one successful blog or viral social media post can multiply your revenues by any factor, driving free real estate lead weeks in bulk months and years forward.

Source: GIPHY

Six Strategies To Get Free Real Estate Leads for Realtors

In free real estate lead generation, anything can be your starting point. For example, if you’re knowledgeable about the local real estate market, you can try engaging on local forums, business networks, and community groups. If you’re a real estate investment expert, you can try generating real estate investor leads on LinkedIn, real estate investment platforms, and so on.

Here are some significant groups of free real estate leads:

Commercial real estate leads Commercial real estate leads are looking for office spaces, warehouses, retail stores, and other commercial property for sale or rent that will offer a good ROI, whether through reselling or providing a comfortable location for business.
Residential real estate leads Residential real estate leads encompass individuals of various needs who buy, sell, or rent residential properties. A random example of this group is divorce real estate leads who sell or divide their property.
Google real estate leads Google leads for real estate are clients generated through your SEO efforts. This group requires further segmentation, with the initial data being the keywords that generated a particular lead.

It goes without saying that there are way more types of free leads for real estate agents than in the table. Likewise, you can create a custom target group by segmenting your free real estate leads by location, demographics, or previous interactions.

But one question might still be weighing on your mind: how do I get to know my customers?

 

I’d recommend using lead management software for its speed and accuracy. AI-powered software can identify complex interaction patterns and issue marketable insights into your campaigns.

Here’s how lead management software can unlock free real estate leads for you:

And here’s a similar piece of software for but for inbound phone calls:

Before Everything Else, Create a Unique Selling Proposition

With over 1.5 million real estate agents fighting for customers in the United States, you need something special to set yourself apart: a unique selling proposition (USP) that translates your main competitive advantages and spurs clients to action.

Here’s an example of how to get free real estate leads with a USP:

First-Time Homebuyers “Empowering first-time homebuyers in Los Angeles since 1975. Over 250,000 successful deals, with an average 7% below the asking price.”
Eco-Conscious Homebuyers “Leading the Green Revolution in Vermont, with over $500 million sold in eco-friendly properties that cut energy costs by 35% on average.”
Residential Renters “Find your next pre-vetted apartment in the heart of New York. Join the success of 50,000 happy renters who’ve gotten their rent 15% below the market average.”

Now that you have a solid ground to market your services, it’s time to move your failproof free real estate lead sources:

  • SEO & blogging
  • Social media
  • Referral marketing
  • Real estate directories
  • Email marketing
  • Offline marketing

Let’s review all these free client powerhouses in detail, starting from SEO & blogging.

How To Get Free Real Estate Leads with SEO and Blogging

Every marketer knows compelling content only matters if it ranks well in Google, with the only tried-and-true approach to creating such content being SEO optimization. Long story short, SEO is all about choosing the optimal keywords and placing them strategically across your media.

Here’s how to get leads in real estate for free using SEO step-by-step:

Step 1 – Do General Semantic Research An overarching perspective of what you do every step of the way—a long-term content plan—will give you confidence and help you survive difficult times. The general idea is to reflect the most cost-effective user requests in your pieces, always talking about what makes them itch.
Step 2 – Choose the Focus Keyword For every topic, choose one or several keywords to build your narrative around. This will help Google understand the semantics and categorize your content correctly. At the same time, don’t overuse the keyword—just make sure your writing reflects the user’s search intent.
Step 3 – Reinforce It with LSI Keywords LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords – ones correlating with the topic – will help you wrap the content in the right semantics to generate more free real estate leads and improve Google’s understanding.

And now to examples.

Here’s an insanely competitive keyword for generating free real estate leads online:

The sad part is that ranking high for “real estate” is out of the question for small real estate companies – it’s just too tough a nut to crack. For this keyword, even hitting the top 100 will be a success, albeit with a very low chance of drawing any leads. Not too often do you scroll to the 10th page in SERPs, huh?

Here’s a more realistic yet still difficult keyword:

This one gives you more focus – “cheap real estate” – while cutting the competition by over 50 times. Important: Ahrefs uses a logarithmic scale for the keyword difficulty, which makes “98” almost a hundred times tougher than “40,” not just two times like the linear logic would suggest.

And here’s a realistic one:

How to get free real estate leads with SEO

“Cheap real estate New York” isn’t a walk in the park either, but it’s good enough to try if you’re a small or medium-sized real estate contractor. Real estate is ultra-competitive, so you might not even find low-difficulty keywords with high volume, especially commercial ones.

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How To Get Free Leads for Real Estate Using Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms are extremely powerful for free real estate leads, but building a strong social media presence takes time and effort. It works similarly to blogging: you target your ideal buyer with compelling content, trying to engage them first and then drive them to conversion.

Here’s more about lead generation for real estate agents on social media:

LinkedIn B2B-focused LinkedIn is home to thousands of real estate investor leads, working professionals, and networking opportunities. Free real estate leads on LinkedIn are high-income clients who value data-driven content like case studies and research papers.
Facebook Facebook is best for targeting a wide audience, including first-time homeowners and renters. You can showcase your products using features like Facebook groups and Facebook Marketplace.
Instagram Lifestyle-driven Instagram leads appreciate high-quality, engaging visual content: property tours, behind-the-scenes shooting, and client testimonials. Gen Z and millennials appreciate emotionally charged content and quick interactions.
TikTok TikTok is the place to generate real estate leads for new agents who can create viral content for clients in their twenties and thirties. That said, TikTok is a bit of a gamble: most of your content remains unnoticed, but one viral video might change it all.

Overall, you should choose a social media platform based on where your ideal free real estate lead dwells, your content creation abilities, and how well your social media strategy fits the bigger picture. For example, YouTube can become your major content hub, Twitter can communicate updates and reflect on industry news, and Pinterest can showcase smaller real estate projects and give DIY advice.

Here’s an example of how to get free real estate leads on Instagram:

 
 
 
 
 
Посмотреть эту публикацию в Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Публикация от todd bachenheimer (@gimmeshelter.la)

The more visually attractive the property, the more you can get from exposing it on Instagram. At the same time, Instagram might not work well with less visually appealing low-budget real estate and the secondary real estate market.

Here’s an example of how to get free real estate leads on TikTok:

@erikconover Part 2 | $54,600,000 Billionaires Row NYC Penthouse full tour, who’s moving in? #newyork #nyc #luxuryrealestate #newyorkcity #realestate #billionaire #architecture ♬ original sound – Erik Van Conover


From small to the biggest offers, every piece of real estate is now on TikTok, so you shouldn’t waste your chance to generate some free real estate leads there. Now, I do understand you’re highly unlikely to sell $50-million-worth apartments, but imagine advertising a beauty like this:

@sara_underwood Reply to @brynnemarieeee Let’s go inside! Cabin by @jacobwitzling and me #cabin #realestate #architecture #tinyhouse #diy ♬ original sound – Sara Underwood

How To Generate Real Estate Leads for Free with Referral Marketing

Once you gain footing in the game, you might want to start a referral campaign. Good thing you already know who your customers are and how to encourage them to attract new leads.

Here’s how to get free leads in real estate through a referral program:

Tiered Structure Tiered rewards – the more clients you’ve referred, the more you get – will motivate referrers to invite more referrals. For example, you can increase a reward by 10% for every new successful referral until a reasonable maximum.
Two-Way Incentives Provide new real estate leads with a discount or some extra so they have a reason to join. The referral’s reward shouldn’t be the same as the referrer’s—just make sure it’s enough as a motivational factor, a nudge they might need.
Flexible Rewards Finding real estate leads might not be easy for a referrer, but they will surely be more motivated if they can choose their reward, especially if you don’t provide cash rewards.

Here’s an example of a referral program to get real estate leads:

Real Estate Referral Program
Earn up to $500 for every successful referral, with no reward limits. Climb up the referral tiers to earn more.
How It Works

Every successful real estate referral – a purchase worth $5,000 or more – earns you:

  • Bronze Tier (up to 5 referrals) – $100 in cash + $100 in gifts
  • Silver Tier (up to 10 referrals) – $250 in cash + $150 in gifts
  • Gold tier (11 or more referrals) – $500 in cash + 250 in gifts

Every referral is eligible for a $100 discount and a consultation with a real estate expert.

Referral marketing is a great way to acquire motivated real estate leads, with some initial trust inspired by their referrer. Likewise, referral marketing is extremely cost-effective for generating free real estate leads without continuous efforts.

How To Get Leads in Real Estate for Free Using Real Estate Directories

There are quite a few platforms where you can expose your brand to get real estate leads for free. Moreover, researching the audience of every such platform might help you cover every target group of leads you’re interested in.

Here are some popular directories to generate leads for real estate at no cost:

Realtor.com Realtor is a real estate giant that features properties listed through MLS services and allows creating a detailed business profile, showcasing reviews, and sharing listings on social media.
Zillow Zillow is a real estate and rental marketplace where you can create a brand profile, showcase properties, and increase your visibility on the platform (for a small fee).
Trulia Trulia is a popular real estate website where you can feature your brand, collect reviews, post listings, and use some other features to generate free real estate leads.

Most real estate directories, aggregators, and listings work the same way, so you don’t have to do the same work twice. Once you’ve created a brand portfolio for the first time, you can duplicate it on similar platforms with small adjustments.

How To Get Leads in Real Estate for Free With Email Marketing

With emails being the most trusted communication method for over 90% of customers across all age groups, email marketing is extremely efficient in generating real estate leads for free, especially when you’ve already built a list of buyers. Batch-and-blast emails are no longer a thing – likely to harm you in the long run – so make sure to avoid them at all costs.

Here’s how to generate real estate leads with email campaigns:

Segment your email list Personalization is king when it comes to email outreach. For example, divorce real estate leads will crave different information than first-time homeowners. The better you segment your audience, the higher the chances your email will resonate with a particular group.
Develop email sequences To kick things off, you need well-thought-out email sequences for every target group of leads, from welcome emails to follow-ups to re-engagement emails.

 

Likewise, you need email automation to send emails based on specific triggers: a welcome email after the registration, a follow-up in three days, a re-engagement email if the user is inactive for a month, and so on.

Ensure omnichannel transitions Every email must contain smooth transitions—links—to your website, blog, social media platforms, educational materials, and anything else that nurtures, converts, and fits this particular email.

Email marketing is extremely competitive – 333 billion emails are sent and received daily worldwide – so winning subscribers’ attention might not be easy. The three toughest challenges with commercial emails are personalization, automation, and performance analysis.

These email marketing priorities might give you a hint on what to focus on:

Leading email marketing priorities worldwide

Source: Statista

How To Get Leads in Real Estate for Free With Offline Marketing

Real estate isn’t abstract – it’s not software or services – so offline marketing is necessary to establish yourself as a serious brand. But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel; the same good old marketing methods apply, from direct mail to local partnerships to local TV ads.

Get More Free Real Estate Leads With Phonexa

Closing free real estate leads is a big deal, but it’s equally important to analyze them thoroughly as they move down your sales funnel and after they’ve converted or bounced.

Phonexa does both, helping you convert more real estate leads and learn them better as they interact with you across touchpoints. Be they internal clients or clients transferred to an external advertiser, Phonexa’s eight-in-one marketing software suite will help you maximize your performance with every paid and free real estate lead.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

Here are the lead acquisition tools you will get at one price (online price calculator):

LMS Sync Lead tracking & distribution
Call Logic Call tracking & distribution
E-Delivery Email & SMS marketing
Cloud PBX Cloud phone system
Lynx Click tracking
Opt-Intel Suppression list management
HitMetrix Use behavior recording & analytics
Books360 Automated accounting

Build your plan now, or book a demo to see the platform in more depth.

Overview_of_the_solutions_Book_a_Demo (2)

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get free real estate leads?

The best way to get real estate leads for free is to use your most popular earned media channels while gradually developing the less popular ones. For example, if you need B2B free real estate leads, you might want to focus on SEO-optimized blogging and LinkedIn content.

How much do free real estate leads pay at closing?

It’s hard to estimate the check, but you can proceed from the fact that the average sale price of a new home in the United States is around $500,000 and is constantly growing. The only outliers are the years succeeding a dramatic increase in real estate prices.

Is buying real estate leads worth it?

Buying leads for real estate has numerous advantages: it’s instant, you can choose what leads you want to buy, and you don’t need to conduct marketing campaigns. At the end of the day, though, it’s about whether you pay for real estate leads less than they bring you so you can make profits.

How can I get exclusive real estate leads for free?

You cannot get exclusive real estate leads for free because there’s no way to know whether free real estate leads – clients coming from your blog, search engines, referral program, etc. – are exclusive or not. However, you can buy exclusive real estate leads from lead agencies, networks, and marketplaces that have the tools to evaluate the exclusivity of the leads they sell.

Got Questions?

Get in touch! We are available 24/7.

Oleksandr Rohovnin avatar
Oleksandr Rohovnin
Content Marketer

Oleksandr Rohovnin is a Content Marketer at Phonexa. His passion is digital marketing, innovative technologies, and – above all – distilling vast amounts of complex information into engrossing narratives anyone can relate to. At Phonexa, Oleksandr stokes passion for marketing automation and lead generation in every story he curates.


Education: Zaporizhzhya National Technical University

Expertise: Digital marketing, affiliate marketing, call tracking, lead tracking, insurance

Highlights:

  • 8+ years of writing and editing experience in B2B and B2C

  • Unconventional synergy of writing talent and technical knack

  • Avid proponent of sports, gaming, and reading

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