Generate High-Quality Listing Leads by Segmenting your Contacts

It is no secret that Gary Keller’s The Millionaire Real Estate Agent (MREA) book is considered the blueprint for automating success in real estate. The key message in the book is:

Success in real estate boils down to leads, listings, and leveraging resources. Once you’ve set up your business using these principles, you can step back and change your focus, growing your business while nurturing your agents to earn even more money for you.

Plan the finances of your real estate future from the start. When getting started in real estate, begin by determining how much money you want to earn. Then use the economic model to understand exactly how many deals, listings, and leads you’ll need to reach your goal. By following this strategy you’ll be able to set tangible goals right off the bat!

In business, it doesn’t make sense for a manager to focus on everything. Rather, you need to focus on what’s important. It’s also key to keep the Pareto principle in mind: 80 percent of your success comes from the top 20 percent of your resources.

So when you’re getting started in the real estate business, you’ll probably have to work with every listing you can get just to keep yourself afloat. But once your business starts to thrive, you can start being pickier about which leads you to pursue. However, to be focused on high-quality leads, first, you must organize all your contacts into proper segments.

Today we’re talking about one of the keys to effective lead generation: segmenting your contacts into categories so that you can target your marketing most effectively.


Categorizing your contacts brings you three main benefits: 

  • Identify the qualified leads in your database.
  • Impress customers with your follow-up and commitment.
  • Convert leads into closings with targeted messaging.


But what is the most useful way to categorize your contacts?

Top-producing agents think of their contacts as a series of concentric spheres, getting progressively more focused on the contacts most likely to be profitable. 

First, there’s the general public—that’s everyone out there you haven’t met. Split your time between prospecting—reaching out to potential leads—and marketing—building content that attracts them to you.  Most people research agents online, so a strong internet presence is a must.

Within the General Public is your Target Group: people you haven’t met but with whom you want to do business. Pick these people carefully by asking yourself what kinds of relationships will grow your business? Then invest time planning how you will reach out to them. Create a year-long action plan and Maintain top-of-mind contact with newsletters. 

The Met Group consists of people you want to do business with who you have met in person. Focus on building relationships and demonstrating your expertise. Share new listings and market reports with this group. Your goal is to generate more business per person from this group than from the Met Group.

Then are your Allied Resources. These are people you expect to do business with or receive business from every year, both the professionals you work within related fields and former clients likely to refer you to others. Include these people in your top-of-mind campaigns, but take the time for personal one-on-one contact as well. Reach out to them for new leads or assistance in closing a deal and reward them.

So the hierarchy of contacts looks like the following: 

  • General Public Everybody out there! Even though leveraging the leads you have is the best way to build your business, you shouldn’t ignore the general public.
  • Target Group people you haven’t met but with whom you’d like to do business/people you think are likely to lead.
  • Met Group people you’ve met in person who are ready for more targeted, personalized marketing, like your newsletter
    • Allied resources a subset of your Met Group; people you do regular business with or receive regular leads from. Ex: insurance agents, lawyers, landscapers, etc. that you regularly work with. You’ll want to do more than just send these people newsletters, maybe meet them for lunch once in a while, or sending personal notes 
      • Past Clients people you’ve already done business with. These people are very important for your network because their positive experiences with you will generate most of your referrals. Separate them into their own group, so it’s easy to contact them for client appreciation programs, like New Year’s or small home anniversary gifts.
    • Prospective Leads this is a very specific group: people you know are getting ready to buy or sell. They’re likely a subset of your met group, people with whom you’ve already built your brand and trustworthiness. 
      • Buyer prospects 
      • Listing prospects

At the center of the circles are your Active Deals. Categorize these separately because you need to be able to find information about these deals at a moment’s notice. Even when you’re working on a deal, you’re still marketing yourself. Build client trust by responding quickly to questions and providing extra information about the process.

Here’s what all this might look like inside a CRM:

Sort your contacts into types to track their relationship to your business. 

Tag them according to their sphere. Tag is an easy way to remember information – e.g. if you met them at a charity event or someone introduced them or met at an open house.

The goal is to prospect and market yourself to these groups in such a way that as many as possible will, over time, place you in their number one or number two real estate agent ‘mind share’ positions.

This will also help you reward referrals, past clients, and your allied resources so that you stay top of mind with them and they know how much you appreciate them.

Find them easily with search and filter features. Top agents categorize their contacts to identify and convert qualified leads. You can do the same. 

You can never have too many leads, so keep marketing yourself to them no matter what; it’s almost impossible to overdo lead gen!


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3 Secrets from Gary Keller's The Millionaire Real Estate Agent (MREA)


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