Free Real Estate Leads (Maximize Your Profits)

I have bad news for you… There’s no such thing as free real estate leads. It always requires money or time and effort.

I closed 48 transactions in my first year and didn’t spend a dime on real estate leads. In this post, I’ll cover:

All of the lead sources below cost no to very little money. They are the closest thing to what I consider free real estate leads.

Core Advocates

Core advocates are the most profitable way for real estate agents to generate high-quality leads. So… What is a core advocate?

A core advocate is someone that generates leads for you. Whether it be vendors, past clients, or family members, they love you.

They give you 6/5 stars and tell everyone how amazing you are. These people are the best marketing for your real estate business. Why are they the best?

  1. Someone has already vouched for you

  2. It’s likely that someone has a personal connection with the referring leads

  3. As long as you continue to execute, you will generate more and more core advocates

This and plain referrals were how I closed roughly 25% of the 550+ transactions in my real estate career. Why is it the most profitable?

With a core advocate, it doesn’t cost any money to generate leads. They do it because they LOVE you and want you to succeed. Although, you should thank them generously for their contribution to your success.

The ideal core advocate is someone well-connected and trusted within a high-income community.

Your goal with every client is to transform them into a core advocate that generates leads and sends you business for years to come.

This is unrealistic but imagine if every client you had, sent you 2 more clients… You’d have an endlessly growing business.

Doubling money

Facebook Marketplace and Groups

A good friend of mine, Christina Leavenworth, out of Pensacola Florida shared with me how she struggled to transition from TV anchor to real estate agent. She had a massive following on social media, but her agreement with the station wouldn’t let her promote herself on her own social media.

So she had to get creative…

She generated a TON of leads on Facebook Marketplace and in Facebook groups… Keep in mind her team, The Leavenworth Team, closes around 200 sides per year.

The gist of how her team generates leads with Facebook is:

  1. Join a bunch of groups 20-30 that you resonate with

  2. Post videos in your groups to help the people in there and include a CTA for your agent services

  3. When you get a listing, post it in the marketplace without the price and address. That way people will DM you. From there, call them if they’re interested. BOOM! Free real estate leads.

Or, hear it on Christina’s episode of The Agent Goldmine!

Christina Leavenworth’s interview

Networking and Community events

Imagine a bunch of real estate professionals getting together for beers once per month. When they gather at that event, the host collects all of their contact info.

Real estate lead gen galore.

I started Pints n’ Properties back in 2018 in little ol’ Fayetteville NC. Now it’s in over 20 locations nationwide. If you want to start one, you can contact me at the best real estate meetup website.

That was my tertiary source of leads. In summary, Pints & Properties is a real estate meetup where a professional in the industry speaks for 30 minutes on a particular topic, the audience asks questions, then the rest of the time is networking.

Another thing you can do is go to normal community events. Neighborhood gatherings and whatnot… Building relationships and trust is lead generation.

Everywhere you go, get people to like you and bring up real estate without being disgusting.

Open houses

I know what you’re thinking… “An open house?! EWWWWW.”

Stop complaining. They work. You can’t be cheap, AND lazy.

Contrary to popular belief, hosting open houses does not mean bringing cookies and beer, plopping a sign in the front yard, and hoping people show up.

I am not an open house expert, but I know one!

Taylor Doolittle, a Realtor in Minneapolis and open house expert, taught a class on open houses during a weekly Five Pillars Nation sync. He attributes the majority of success to open houses.

Year 1: 25 closings
Year 2: 45 closings
Year 3: 75 closings
Year 4: 100-ish closings

Taylor says the entire objective of an open house is to get the contact info of the people who come to the open house and build trust with those individuals.

While hosting an open house, here is a list of common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Do not use a sign-in sheet
  2. Do not attack them as they enter the front door
  3. Do not follow them around the house like a vulture
  4. Do NOT try to sell them the house you are in

It helps to print fliers and knock on the doors of all the neighbors to deliver them. You can also post it on Zillow and place signs in heavy-traffic areas. There are a ton of tweaks to open houses. This isn’t a guide to open houses… But I’ll be interviewing Taylor on the Real Estate Rockstars Podcast in a couple of weeks!

Generate referrals from satisfied clients

We already touched on this in the core advocates section, but I think of this a little differently. It takes a special kind of person to send you business. This isn’t the 6/5 star client but the 5/5 star client.

They’re delighted with the service that you provided, but they’re not quite screamin’ your name from the rooftops.

Again, the most profitable form of real estate lead generation is word of mouth.

Those of you who know a thing or two about sales also know that clients and prospects want to feel like they’re in control. They want to help…

If you remind your previous clients that your business thrives on referrals, and you ask for their help, chances are they will help you.

Since they’re referral leads, they’re much more likely to close.

No lead generation service is going to compete with the profitability or beat the quality leads that come from referrals.

Door Knocking

If you’re reading this, chances are you never thought generating leads was going to be an issue. You also probably didn’t imagine knocking on people’s doors to make money. But…

I see a common theme among agents who generate a steady stream of business: They are willing to put in the dirty work. There are many agents who closed their first deals by door-knocking, and one of the most impressive was Jason Coleman out of Greensboro, NC.

He had a gucci corporate job and was let go. Fortunately for him, he already had something cooking. To hear how he built his business, you can watch his episode on The Agent Goldmine below.

Truth is, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about this… Just like cold calling.

Cold Calling

When I initially got my real estate license, I tried cold calling for like 20 minutes … I immediately knew it was NOT for me.

Calling someone you don’t know and engaging in conversation is taboo to me. But, after interviewing a few people who were INSANELY good at generating FREE leads by door-knocking and cold calling, I’ve changed my mind.

The biggest difference is when you make initial contact. I always thought someone answered the door and you made some weird intro like:

?? HI!!! want to sell your house??


Instead, copy a professional cold caller like Greg McDaniel. In the below interview you’ll find out exactly how he makes $3,472 per hour by cold calling.

For Rent By Owners, For Sale By Owners, and Expired Listings

These people usually HATE real estate agents. It’s likely because they are getting attacked by agents every day… and maybe at some point in time, they got screwed by a Realtor and labeled all of us bad.

I have seen some successful real estate agents build their entire business around cold calling and door-knocking these leads…

It takes someone with a lot of grit and a perfected script to tackle these seller leads.

All 3 of these lead sources are raising their hands saying that either the house is vacant or they are trying to sell it.

Social Media

Do you need social media to be successful in real estate?


Does it help? Yes.


Social media is no longer just for friends… It’s actually just media. You have the ability to get in front of thousands and potentially millions of people.

The cool thing is that over time, your audience compounds. The bigger your audience, the more leads/deals you’ll get from it.

Ali Garced, my co-host for The Agent Goldmine podcast and Five Pillars Nation member, is an expert at generating leads with social media.

92% of her leads and well over $100k/year come from organic content on different social media platforms. If you want to grow your audience and generate leads through social media, watch the interview below!

Ali Garced on Social Media

In summary: Be entertaining and make sure people know what you do. Add value, and the ‘free leads’ will pour in after you work your butt off building that audience.


A great friend of mine, Sam Caudle, started a Youtube channel called Living in Tampa. In year 1 he crossed $100k in income and worked 60+ hours per week… Now that he has over a hundred videos out, he makes close to $300k/year off of his channel.

The best part?

He works less than 20 hours per week and refers out most of his clients.

Organic Youtube real estate leads are some of the best a real estate agent can get. They have already watched you on video for a few minutes and like you. According to Sam, they sometimes act like you’re a celebrity.

Although this is ‘free’, it’s very time-consuming and a difficult skill to learn.

Not only do you have to be a great storyteller and videographer, but you have to learn how to edit videos as well.

If you’re a real estate agent, don’t plan on posting a couple of videos and closing deals… It could take as many as 100 videos before you even get a lead… But when you do, it will be the best quality leads possible!

Are There Free Real Estate Leads for Realtors?

No, there is no such thing as free real estate leads. If you got your real estate license and didn’t tell anyone you got it, do you think your real estate business would be successful?

If no one knew you were a licensed realtor, there is no way you would get business… Deals might fall into your lap but in order to close those deals, you’ll need to speak up.

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