Strategies for Real Estate Circle Prospecting

Espresso Agent > Blog > Real Estate Farming | Geographic Farming > Strategies for Real Estate Circle Prospecting
Aerial view of suburban town

In today’s post, we will take a deeper dive into the power of neighborhood farming, but focus on the language most commonly used in our industry: circle prospecting. 

But what is circle prospecting in real estate, and is it worth investing time and effort?


Let’s start with a basic definition of circle prospecting:

The definition of Circle Prospecting is real estate cold calling targeted property owners of niche property around market activity in the attempt to create a lifelong relationship (not necessarily create an immediate transaction.)

Typically, real estate agents will use circle prospecting software to search and connect with local residents of a targeted region and inquire whether they are planning a move or know of anyone who is in the near future.

Agent circle prospecting relies on contacting neighbors of a house that has recently been sold or added to listings. The foundation of generating circle prospecting leads is that residents are curious to learn about the sale of a home in their neighborhood. After all, people in the neighborhood have a vested interest in the amount and price of home sales in their community.

Unlike working with FSBOs or Expireds, where there is likely to be more immediate urgency and motivation, circle prospecting, as the definition suggests, is about building your database of future opportunities. Or, to look at it another way, it is more of a “top-of-the-funnel” business development strategy. But one that can pay some huge dividends over time.

So, even though there is a high chance of rejection, there is a good likelihood the homeowner will stay on the phone with you. Therefore, it’s all about how you approach the call. Clearly, you are not trying to “sell” them at this point. It’s about making an initial contact, and putting your name out there for future opportunities.


There are two basic types of circle prospecting strategies:

  • Just-Listed Prospecting: Serves two objectives. First, you are alerting nearby homeowners that you’re selling in their area and asking if they have any friends or family members who might be interested in moving to the area. Secondly, you can use the call to assess the homeowner’s short or long-term goals so that you can add them to your contact list. Let’s look at how the conversation might go:
    • “I just listed a home for sale at 123 Main Street. I wanted to check to see if you might have a friend or family member interested in moving to the neighborhood.
    • If NO, you can probe: “I appreciate that. By chance, do you have any plans to move in the near future?”
    • If NO, shift the conversation with a few open-ended questions: “How long have you lived in your home?” “What attracted you to this neighborhood?” “Where did you move from?”
    • If the answer to the initial questions is YES or POSSIBLY, then you try to move the conversation forward by getting an idea of their timing and plans (“When might you be interested in selling?” “Where are you planning to move to once we sell your home?”). If the answer is six months or less, you now want to pursue an initial meeting.
  • Pending or Just Sold Prospecting: Here, you are actively seeking interested sellers by touting your experience with selling homes in their neighborhood.
    • Your opening: “I just sold a property at 123 Main Street. In the process of selling, I had a number of interested buyers who really like this neighborhood. So, I’m reaching out to see if anyone in the area is interested in selling in the near future.
    • If they seem interested: “Great. I’d love to have a chance to take a quick look at your home so I can give you an initial value. Absolutely no cost or no obligation on your part. When would be a good time for me to come over?”
    • If they aren’t interested, you can end the conversation, or possibly gather some information using a few of the probing questions above.”

Again, circle prospecting is a long-term business development strategy (although, it would be great to find someone interested in selling today!). The key to successful circle prospecting is asking solid, open-ended questions to get as much background as possible. If the homeowner is absolutely not interested in selling, you know you can move on. But if there is some level of interest, you know that person is someone worth nurturing for future opportunities.


To effectively find inventory and build your database through circle prospecting, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare your tools: Ensure you have all the equipment and resources ready before you begin. This includes having a reliable phone, access to a comprehensive database or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, and relevant market reports.
  2. Start with a strong introduction: When reaching out to potential leads, introduce yourself and express your interest in helping them. Be confident and articulate in your approach, as this sets the tone and establishes rapport.
  3. Inquire about their interest in selling: Be direct and ask whether the homeowner is considering selling their property. This upfront approach helps you identify potential inventory opportunities right from the start.
  4. Offer value through a monthly market report: Highlight the importance of staying informed about the real estate market. Explain that you can provide them with a monthly market report, offering insights and updates on local trends and property values. Emphasize that this information is valuable to both sellers and potential buyers.
  5. Confirm and update contact information: While speaking with the homeowner, ensure that their contact information is accurate and up-to-date. This step is crucial for maintaining proper communication and building a reliable database. If any details need to be corrected or added, verify the changes immediately.
  6. Utilize a CRM system: Add the homeowner’s information to your CRM system or database. This allows you to organize and manage your contacts effectively. Regularly update and maintain this database, ensuring that you consistently follow up with potential leads.
  7. Persistence is key: Stay proactive and dedicated to consistent follow-ups with everyone in your database. Regular communication helps establish trust and ensures that you remain top-of-mind when they are ready to take the next step in selling their property.

By following these steps, you can effectively find inventory opportunities and build a strong and reliable database by leveraging the power of circle prospecting.


To ensure compliance with state and federal telecom laws, it is crucial for agents to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Stay updated: Regularly inform yourself about the latest state and federal telecom laws and regulations. Monitor any updates, amendments, or new requirements that may be introduced to ensure that your practices remain in accordance with the law.
  • Research state-specific regulations: Understand that telecom laws can vary from state to state. Familiarize yourself with the specific laws and regulations applicable in your state of operation. Taking the time to study and understand these regulations will help you stay compliant in your daily activities.
  • Obtain the necessary licenses and permits: Ensure that you have obtained all the required licenses and permits to operate legally within your state and within the telecommunications industry. Compliance with licensing requirements is essential to avoid legal penalties and maintain the trust of your clients.
  • Maintain accurate records: Keep thorough and accurate records of all communication activities. This includes client interactions, contracts, agreements, and any other relevant documentation. Maintaining comprehensive records will not only assist you in demonstrating compliance but also aid in resolving any potential disputes or legal issues that may arise.
  • Train your team: If you have a team of agents working under you, you must provide them with proper training on state and federal telecom laws. Ensure that they understand the requirements and restrictions imposed by the law, and regularly educate them on any updates or changes that may occur.
  • Seek legal counsel if needed: If you have any doubts or concerns regarding your compliance with state and federal telecom laws, it is advisable to seek legal counsel. An attorney specializing in telecommunications law can provide you with expert advice tailored to your specific circumstances, ensuring you consistently adhere to the law’s requirements.

By following these guidelines, you can proactively comply with state and federal telecom laws as an agent. Compliance not only protects you from legal consequences but also upholds the integrity of the telecommunications industry as a whole.


As you build your database and aim to boost your listings, it’s essential to consider the power of text messaging. Did you know that 7 out of 10 people prefer texting over talking? This statistic alone showcases the potential of using text messages to communicate with potential leads. Moreover, studies show that 50% of sales are made after the fifth follow-up, highlighting the significance of consistent and persistent follow-up efforts.

However, it is crucial to always get permission before sending a text message to someone. Failure to do so could lead to legal trouble and potential consequences under the TCPA. Don’t worry, though; getting permission is easier than you might think! When collecting and verifying a new contact’s information over the phone, you can incorporate one of these scripts into your conversation to ask for their permission to text.

By obtaining permission to text, you can significantly improve your contact rates, have more meaningful conversations, and increase your chances of securing more listings through frequent follow-up. So, remember, always prioritize getting permission before sending that first text message, and watch our communication and business thrive.


Espresso Agent is a comprehensive lead data and prospecting platform designed to assist agents in connecting with potential buyers and sellers. It offers a range of valuable features and tools that aid in this process. By utilizing Espresso Agent’s industry-leading software, agents gain access to superior seller leads and an intuitive, user-friendly CRM with the maximum productivity of our best-in-class dialer. Together, these features simplify initial contact and subsequent follow-up with prospects, enabling real estate professionals to identify and connect with qualified buyers and sellers effectively.

Here is a LINK to another post on Neighborhood Farming, which will provide you with details on the new Espresso Agent Real Estate Farming Software.

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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