52 Ways to Generate Leads

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Even though you work for a company, you are your own business. The most important system to establish in any business is lead generation. Without customers, there is no business.

There is no shortage of ways to generate leads. I suggest that you pick only two or three of them to begin with. But what’s even more important is to make the commitment to work each system for at least six months. That’s enough time to track and make sure it’s working.

If it’s not working, don’t be afraid to abandon that marketing method and try something new.

After you have read these lead generation ideas, what would you add to this list?

1. Accountants and CPA Firms: They have clients who are buying or selling a home or need a cash-out refinance.

2. Advertising: Never stop. Use simple ads with a unique headline; for example, “Don’t sell your home until you get pre-approved for another one.”

3. Apartment Complexes: Buy mailing lists (www.ApartmentToolKit.com) and send postcards on a regular basis. Co-market with real estate agents. Advertise your seminars. Advise them about interest rates and your local real estate market.

4. Attorneys: Attorneys know when people need money, often to pay their fees. Not just probate but divorce, family law and real estate attorneys.

5. Auctions: Talk with auctioneers and find out what is involved when a home is sold using this method. Most of the time, the buyer will need a mortgage and a quick closing.

6. Apparel with Logos: Hats, T-shirts, golf shirts and handbags—I’ve talked with a ton of LOs who got leads while standing in line at the grocery store.

7. Appraisers: A great source of local information, especially when it comes to the real estate agents who are selling the most homes.

8. Bird Dogs: Put the work out that you are looking for leads and ask them to refer you.

9. Blogs: Check out www.ActiveRain.com where top real estate agents blog. Connect with them using the “localism” feature that they offer.

10. Business Cards: Use different ones with different messages on the back: one for sellers, one for buyers, one for professionals (banker, attorney, CPA).

11. Builders Models: Stop by and leave your financing flyers.

12. Carpet Cleaners: Many of their customers are getting ready to sell their home.

13. Classified Ads: Place in the FSBO section. Place in Homes for Sale section with a headline “Don’t buy a home until you read this free white paper.”

14. Credit Repair Agencies and Counselors: Ask them to refer clients to you who have gotten their credit scores in order and are ready to buy a home.

15. Direct Mail: Target a couple of subdivisions and regularly send out mortgage information using the good old U.S. Post Office.

16. Door Hangers: Hire college kids to hang them in target subdivisions. Print on both sides—one side with your info, the other side with your experience and credentials.

17. Estate Sales: Attend with your real estate agent and see if they need the property listed or have a relative who wants to buy the home.

18. Expired Listings: Offer to call expired listings for the real estate agent.

19. Family Members: Explain what you do and ask for referrals. Put them on your mailing or email list and keep them updated on what’s happening in the real estate market and with interest rates.

20. Farm an Area: Become the local neighborhood expert.

21. Flyers: Cut your cost in half, print two to a page and distribute at shopping centers, Wal-Mart, Home Depot and malls. Put on car windshields or pay someone to do it for you.

22. Friends: They know who will be buying or selling a home this year.

23. FSBO Sellers: Offer to pre-approve them before they sell their home. It’s also a good way to refer listings to your real estate agents if the FSBO seller gets tired of trying to sell it himself.

24. Garage Sales: Is there a for sale sign in the front yard?  Do they need a mortgage?

25. Hair Salons: Lots of talking going on. You can ask your hair dresser to refer you and give him/her a stack of business cards to distribute.

26. Homebuilders: Find out what they are looking for in a lender and see if they will refer business to you.

27. HUD Foreclosures: Link to HUD’s website (http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/homes_for_sale) and regularly email the list to your client and Realtor database. You’ll also find government listing for other properties, too.

28. Internet: Check Craigslist and FSBO websites and offer to pre-approve seller for a mortgage.

29. Insurance Agents: You can also refer your clients to them who need to buy homeowner’s insurance.

30. Large Employers: This is where setting up a corporate benefits program (www.corporatebenefitskit.com) can help you get your foot in the door by offering exclusive savings to their employees.

31. Lenders: Bank and credit union loan officers may not be able to offer the same mortgage programs as you do. They are also a great resource for loans that you cannot do.

32. Lists: You can buy lists for pretty much anything: neighborhoods, properties with no mortgage, mortgages older than five years, etc.

33. Magnetic Car Signs and Wraps: While this might cost you thousands of dollars, it’s a great way to advertise. I know a loan officer who gets calls on her cell phone from people waiting in traffic behind her. Check with your auto policy carrier as to whether or not this will affect your coverage. A rider may be required.

34. Market Bulletin Boards: Grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, gas stations.

35. Military Transfers: Check out military bases for those needing to sell and buy off-base housing

36. Neighborhood Newsletters: Create them using three or four client articles that we have already written for you. Be sure to include something personal so they get to know you on a personal level, too.

37. Networking: This would include BNI groups, clubs you belong to, the church you attend, PTA, etc.

38. Pens: Buy cheap ones and leave them everywhere.

39. Public Speaking: Offer to speak at Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs, Realtor meetings and builder associations. Prepare a bio and a short description of your topic and what people will learn from your presentation.

40. Radio Ads or Host a Show: It’s not as expensive as you think to host your own radio show. Invite real estate agents, appraisers, home inspectors, insurance agents and interview them. Post the audio recording of your show on your website.

41. Real Estate Agents: So much opportunity—too much to cover.

42. Real Estate Investors: Know the underwriting rules for non-owner-occupied home purchases. Join RE investor clubs. Let real estate agents know that you specialize in this niche.

43. Referrals: Don’t “ask for referrals” but say this instead—“If you know of anyone buying a home or who mentions the word 'mortgage,’ would you mention my name and phone number?”

44. Relocations: Get in touch with relocation companies or local companies who move their employees around a lot.

45. Rent with an Option to Own Deals: Educate real estate agents on the underwriting rules regarding “rent with option to own” and tell them you’ll prequal them so when ready to buy, they will be qualified.

46. Property Managers: They usually manage rental homes for investors. They know who is moving and can often refer the investor to refinance their homes.

47. Seminars: One size does not fit all. Think about holding “niche” seminars: first-time buyers, women only, buying investment property, refinancing your home, new construction, FSBO seminars.

48. Social Media: Choose one social media site and “work it.”

49. Testimonials: Ask for them on a regular basis. At closing is a good time to ask them to write a little testimonial for you. Post them on your social media pages and website.

50. Title Companies: Not all transactions close like they are supposed to. Let the title companies know you can help if the deal does not close.

51. TV: Cable companies may offer community service spots for free.

52. Websites: The National Association of Realtors states that over 85% of people search the Internet for information about you before they decide to do business with you. Get your bio out there and state how you can help them get a mortgage.

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