Active vs. Passive Prospecting

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Real Estate Prospecting Types

Prospecting is a frequent topic of conversation in the real estate business. After all, having a viable prospecting real estate strategy is the only way to ensure an agent’s lead pipeline is full. However, less talked about than specific means are the different broad strategies and ways to find prospects. 

The mindset of most real estate agents is to start their work day by picking up the phone or knocking on doors. After all, sales aren’t going to close themselves. While this is true in a general sense, the market has adapted to the digital age, and prospect generation has followed suit. 

Today, we’ll cover the different types of real estate prospecting and how realtors can benefit from each.

The Types of Real Estate Prospecting

When discussing different real estate prospecting strategies, they will typically fall within two categories: active and passive.

Active Prospecting

Active prospecting refers to some of the traditional tools we think of, including cold calls, referrals, networking events, and targeted mailings. Think of it as activities you can control and track.

Active prospecting is always time intensive and everyone starts their career with this: calling every contact in your email and holiday card list for referrals is a traditional starting point for rookie agents. Those agents who want to grow their business and not just ‘make a living’ will keep their focus heavily on actively looking for leads. Techniques may include calling expired listings, for sale by owners (FSBO) and real estate farming, the latter of which refers to making yourself THE real estate expert in a particular community or neighborhood.

Passive Marketing

Passive marketing or passive prospecting is about creating engagement points with potential clients without a real estate agent needing to be in direct communication. However, this method of prospecting is hard to duplicate, and the results are difficult to measure, as you must wait for the people to respond or business to come to you. Taking agent floor duty is passive, as is social media. While you can measure the number of hits or clicks on your blog or other platforms, you lack control over how they respond past that point.

The knock on passive marketing is that you leave the decision entirely up to others. While you can target direct mail or email to a tailored list, mail programs still rely on the recipient for a response. Having said that, the best passive prospecting anticipates the needs and wants of potential clients. High-quality content on websites and frequent relevant social media posts – including your current listings with top-notch photos – will inevitably lend you credibility and reinforce your active prospecting. As crucial as active lead generation is, social media has become an indispensable weapon in every agent’s arsenal.

While some agents argue passive prospecting is a waste, most experts say the most successful agents use a combination of the techniques.

Agents with established careers can default to a more passive style of marketing as referrals roll in but let’s be clear: the only agents who stop active prospecting entirely are agents who don’t want to close deals.

Which type of real estate prospecting What you choose depends on the stage of your career, your company, your personal strengths, and how well you are known in your community.  Whatever mix of prospecting you use, remember that a consistent approach is the best way to keep your pipeline full of potential customers

Doug Spak joined Espresso Agent as a Content Marketing Specialist in 2016. Doug brings nearly four decades of experience as a copywriter, blogger, and screenwriter to his role with Espresso. Since joining our team, Doug has actively updated website content, published more than 300 blogs, and created countless social media posts.

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