Learn how to get your business off the ground, grow your sales with confidence, and avoid some of the most common first-year pitfalls.

Presented by CENTURY 21 Signature Real Estate

How To Succeed: In Your First Year / Develop A Lead Generation Plan 

Develop A Lead Generation Plan

Every agent needs leads. Setting yourself up with a lead generation plan is an essential part of being a REALTOR®.

Read the transcript

In this session, we will cover the importance of lead generation in real estate, several of the most important categories of lead generation, and make some recommendations of where to start laying out what you’d do in your first year.

So up until this point you’ve been working really hard to just get licensed. As you may discover quickly, so much of what you learn in pre-licensing classes is great information & knowledge but does not AT ALL really prepare you for being a realtor. In fact, one of the biggest misunderstandings I think people have about being a realtor is that we think our main job is to help people buy & sell homes – well, yes, it is – BUT what business we are really in is the lead generation business because if you don’t have any leads you’ll have no business (i.e. people to help actually buy or sell a home).

One of the first things to know about leads is that they are not all going to close – so you may need to have 100 leads (we refer to leads as just names & numbers for people who have potentially raised their hand to buy or sell a home) to get one to close. So you’ve got to start right away by filling the top of your sales funnel with names & numbers!

The 2nd thing to think through regarding leads is that not all leads are the same. Some take a long time to incubate, some will honestly never close, and some will go through the entire funnel (leads > prospect > appointment > client > pending > close) rather quickly. It really typically depends on the lead source.

Now, not only are all leads not the same – we know that all agents are not the same either. So as you probably have already heard us reference in other videos is a concept we call agent archetypes. So as a quick review to this concept there are agents & activities that fall in the more direct spaces of being a Networker or Prospector in which agents engage in being face-to-face or voice-to-voice with either people they know or strangers. Other agents prefer to create systems to have either people they know or strangers raise their hand & come to them – these agents/activities fall into the Marketer or Converter categories. So once you have a better idea of where you naturally fall or just overall understand there is a difference…you can start to pick out the specific types of lead generation activities you’re going to engage in in your business AND begin laying out a plan for each.

Before we jump in to the components of the actual plans, let’s take some time to dig in a bit more to the “top” lead generation activities of each of the archetypes.

First, let’s talk about a Networker…so again, these are people that are going to be out there directly with their peeps. These agents will join Networking Groups, throw client parties, setup times to have coffees/lunches with their sphere of influence, and/or have a consistent contact plan via calls, notes, and pop-by’s with their past clients & SOI. A Networker will need to work on building & expanding their database – so they can have more & more people to be in front of, they’ll need to have a really great Contact Management System to track all of their people/interactions, and overall – they’ll need a really great PLAN for constantly being top-of-mind with their top people.

Moving to the “indirect” but still with warm leads – the Marketer. As a marketer, you’ll need to have a very clear idea of what you do & who are as an agent so that you can tell your story & build your tribe. So some of the top things these agents will do is have a very strong listing marketing plan, they will use Social Media, Video, & websites to help build their brand & top-of-mind awareness with their people with a good balance of showing you have real estate competence & just more personal/fun tips/tricks. A marketer will also need to work on getting more & more “eyeballs” on their content, they’ll need to have a consistent plan, and they’ll really need to connect & engage with their people.

Now onto the indirect/cold lead space – the Converter. Converters will pay for syndication sites (think Zillow,, do Open Houses, receive/get leads from other agents, and/or pay for other lead gen sites or systems. These are all things that will create a flow of leads (people who are already saying they have some interest in buying or selling) that come in to you. You have to make sure that you have a good way to track & incubate these leads as well as really work on your skills for communicating & converting these leads into clients.

Lastly, let’s chat a bit about the Prospector. I’d honestly say that so much of what is trained out there for new agents is in this particular space. Again, Prospectors are out directly face-to-face or voice-to voice with people they don’t already know. So prospectors will do things like call FSBO’s, call Expireds, go out Door Knocking, or create a Geographic Farm. These activities will require a definite consistent plan, a lot of time to do these things, and you’ll really need to hone your sales skills.

Now as an agent who is brand new to the business – you may find that even though you really “identify” with one space over another of these agent archetypes – you’ll probably have to engage in lead generation activities from each of the archetype spaces to just really work on filling your funnel. But be careful – don’t become that bumble bee agent with shiny object syndrome who keeps floating around from one thing to the next without really giving your plan a time to work. Things like Geographic Farming, for example, really need about 12-24 months to see if it’s working whereas paying for Zillow may get you in front of people more quickly. Always have a plan, be tracking where each lead is coming from so you can see your ROI and then and only then can you make tweaks to your plan.

So now put all of that together – the different archetypes & different lead generation activities (plus know that there are many other options that I haven’t even mentioned) and then we suggest choosing your Top 5. We take this top 5 & suggest having a written plan that we call your “5 Spkes Lead Generation Plan.” Now 5 isn’t really a “magic” number by any means BUT we do know that you can’t just do 1 thing to get leads and when you get to many more than 5 – it may be too much to execute well.

Once you’ve chosen your “5”…now it’s time to really dig in & make your plan for each of those areas. The first part of making this plan is to know you need to set aside 1-2 hours EVERY DAY to work on getting new leads AND to incubate the ones you’ve already gotten. Once you have your time blocked for lead gen – now you’ll need to get detailed…for instance if I’m a Networker & I plan to stay in front of my Sphere of Influence > what does this mean? How many calls per day will I make, how many coffees, lunches, pop-by’s do I plan to do each month? What, if anything, am I going to send out in the mail to my people & how often will I send something? Get specific & the best thing to do is put it on your calendar…because if you’re anything like me, if it’s not on your calendar – it won’t happen.

Coming to terms with the fact that your MOST IMPORTANT job in your real estate business is to generate leads to help you fill the top of your funnel is crucial. Once you do this come up with your plan & stick to it. Make sure you have a system for tracking your leads so you can work on moving them down your funnel and be sure to track your closings so you know how each of these strategies is paying off for you every year.

Meet Our Agent Success Coach


Before real estate, I was a 2nd-grade teacher. I have had my license since 2014 and am now the Agent Development Director with Century 21 Signature Real Estate. I feel blessed to do what I do every day because I truly enjoy helping agents build their real estate businesses. 


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