Real Estate Marketing

The 5 Main Lead Generation Sources I Use to Keep Deals Coming In

Expertise: Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Personal Development
43 Articles Written

If you want to create a client attraction chain reaction, you need to focus on multiple streams of income and multiple lead sources.

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With over 27 years of experience in the field, including 18 years as a builder, real estate agent, and broker owner, I've always been an active investor and always pay attention to lead generation because without it—well, we have no business.

Here are my top five leading sources for finding home sellers as an active investor.

The 5 Main Lead Generation Sources I Use to Keep Deals Coming In

1. Virtual Assistants

There are many virtual assistant companies and individuals available to help you with your seller and buyer calls. I struggled through three of them and was ready to throw in the towel. Then I found an amazing company that trains well and is very well scripted and constantly improves. I hired them and have been with them almost six years with the same person.

Related: How to Find the Correct Virtual Assistant for Your Real Estate Marketing Needs

Virtual assistants will become an integral part of your team when utilized properly. They all charge differently. I personally spend between $125-$135 per week for six to eight hours of calling. This produces approximately 12-18 leads weekly for me, so two to three per hour including the sourcing time they have to do. They send me fully filled out property information sheets on a daily basis. This assures you that you’re only speaking with quality leads that want to speak with you.


2. For Sale by Owners

These are always a good lead source. You can source them yourself online and call them yourself, or you can hire virtual assistants. I prefer both. If you're just starting and have a limited budget, you can start by sourcing them yourself and calling them yourself. I started that way at a few hours a day three to four days a week. It will only take one deal to then have some funds to use for hiring your first virtual assistant. You can also get them via "for sale by owner" signs. I suggest you drive a different way to work or to wherever you're going each time you're out and go through different, new neighborhoods. Eventually, you'll run into signs.

3. Expired Listings

These are listings that real estate agents had on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that didn't sell. I personally love these because sellers tend to already be frustrated, having not sold with an agent. This will many times translate into immediate appointments, as opposed to the "for sale by owner" sellers, who typically need some time. Where do you get expired listings? It used to be that you had to work with someone who was licensed to get them. Now there are services that offer them, so it is super easy to get a constant feed of them.


Related: How to Create Your Own Handwritten Font For Free (For Direct Mail Marketing)

4. Direct Mail

Like each of the above, direct mail could serve as your standalone marketing source to feed your business enough leads. You can generate these letters and target all kinds of lists, so you can get very specific and never ever run out of potential campaigns. I use for my lists, but there are many companies that can and will sell you lists. I then use a done-for-you service. They create, print, stamp, and send the letters to us to drop in the mail. It cannot get any easier than that. The letters we use are in handwritten font and made to look like we wrote them out on a yellow pad of paper. They’re mailed in invitation-type envelopes so they get opened and not tossed in the waste basket.

5. Print and Online Ads

You or your staff should always be running free online “I Buy Houses” ads. Why not? You can search on Google for free classified sites in the areas where you work and find plenty of them in addition to Craigslist. I haven’t gotten slammed with calls from these, but it’s another lead source.

Investors: What’s your favorite lead source? Anything you’d add to this list?

Comment below!

Chris Prefontaine is the best-selling author of Real Estate On Your Terms. A real estate investor with over 27 years experience in the field, Chris is the founder of
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    Curt Smith Rental Property Investor from Clarkston, GA
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    – Pay per click, PPC? A tip I heard is that the dating sites have the cheapest PPC rates anywhere and dating sites may have houses to sell,,, least if you target age groups that might divorce or older down sizers since they have the age data.. – Any lead gen websits? I’m a member of vacant houses. Sellers are still not that motivated but works if you mail enough. – Hot tactic is to skip trace in bulk, IE , then en mass voice mail or SMS. Anyone doing this? There’s a few all-singing-all-dancing lead / CRM / outbound marketing sites. Any usage / tips? I’ve seen a pitch/demo of there’s a few folks with discounted signup links. I’ve seen Seems many of these services also pull mortgage / lien data when you look up an address which may save your system cost since you may not need a public records service like ?? I’m stuck in manual skip tracing ( / / ) and manual mailing post cards. I’m needing to systematize the whole leads –> marketing –> seller calls back –> screened for motivation –> then and only then it gets to me… LOL a lot to put together.
    Alex Shin from Los Angeles, CA
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Curt, I am right there with you. I’m setting up my systems to get my first wholesale deal as well. I’m going to sign up with rebogateway to get a bigger list to skiptrace through and cold call. I’ve exhausted all of my free options up to this point for lead generation but it’s time to invest in my marketing. I’d love to connect and bounce idead! Alex
    Marcel Galega from Houston, TX
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Hey Alex, I hear you too… I checked out the rebogateway software and it seems to be pretty interesting. Do you know on average how much the monthly subscription cost?
    Diana Duncan Real Estate Investor from Miami / Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Hi Chris, Thanks for the post. You mentioned an amazing VA company that you are using, care to share?
    Manuel Prado from Midland, MI
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks for the useful tips in the post. I am going through my 3rd VA and still working together to reinforce and refine areas of improvement. Would it be too much much to share the VA companies you use?
    Jim Garcia Involved In Real Estate from Castle Rock, CO
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    After 10 years of not using direct mail, I started using it again this year with amazing results. I send a “Just Listed”, “Just Sold” postcards and occasional market update newsletters. People actually read them 🙂 My listing presentations have doubled. Thanks for writing this article. Great information.
    Ashley Wilson Rental Property Investor from Radnor, PA
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Chris- great tips! The one I haven’t heard of before is expired listings. We already had an auto list for expired, delisted but just expired is a great tip too. To your point on this same lead, I also look at properties for rent as a lot of them were previously listed for sale. Thank you again for the post!
    Account Closed Specialist from Middletown, RI
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks Ashley!
    Luke Brassinga Real Estate Agent from Walnut Creek, CA
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Great tips Chris! Appreciate if you could share the Virtual Assistant company you like. All the best!
    Cynthia Humphries
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Awesome tips Chris!!! Greatly appreciated!!!
    Account Closed Specialist from Middletown, RI
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Very welcome Cynthia – glad you enjoyed.