Proven Realtor Lead & Referral Programs – 33 Touch, 8 x 8, 12 x 12

The best selling Millionaire Real estate Agent book by Gary Keller of Keller Williams, details 4 distinct programs and a proven set of principals that nurtures leads that convert to sales and referrals.

Note: you don’t need to be a Keller Williams agent to use these programs.

  • 8 X 8 Program for those that you have just met.
  • 33 Touch Program for those added to your database that you already know and they know you.
  • 12 Direct Program – people you have not met – typically geographic farming.
  • Allied Resources – a special category that you expect to either do business with or receive referrals from every year.

We will provide clear details for a 33 Touch program below, this is the campaign that will achieve the best results.

These campaigns will soon replace the need to purchase leads from 3rd party aggregators such as Zillow or

Focusing on the numbers you must hit to reach your $$$ goals is super important. This is where you start before doing anything else.

This spreadsheet is interactive so go ahead and edit the numbers are in bold/red. More experienced agents with some hindsight will find this easier. If you are newer agent, please get together with your manager or mentor for assistance.

Net Income Calculator:

It’s very clear that you will need to concentrate on Appointments, as well as honing your skills to convert those appointments into Listings and then Sales. Kind of focuses the mind, right?

Once you have the Number Sold – in the example case 20 you can work back to find the number of contacts you will need in order to achieve these goals (details further down the page). Then it’s down to lead generation as the fuel to fire the furnace.

The 3 key areas of Lead Generation

1. Prospecting and Marketing

These two go together hand in hand. Your aim is to generate leads and build stronger relationships for future business. The general public can be split into 2 camps – those that you have met and those that you have not and should be treated differently.

2. Setting up and feeding your Database

Those potential prospects that you have only just met will be added to your 8 x 8 Program to create a relationship before being added to 33 Touch.

Those that you have already met or spoken to on the phone can be targeted in a much tighter, more direct marketing campaign, in the hopes of generating business from this group.

Millionaire Real estate Agent - Gary Kellers 33 Touch for Realtors, 8 x 8 and 12 x 12 programs.

This is the group that you would like to do business with. This group will be assigned to the 33 Touch Program. Details of how to configure a 33 touch set up sequence are below.

The next group are people you do not know and have not met and who don’t know you. They will typically be located in a small geographic neighborhood and initially consist of between 250 and 500 homes. These will be targeted using a 12 x 12 Postcard Mailing Program.

3. Systematic Marketing to the Database

The end game here is the battle for share of mind. You want to be the Real Estate Agent that any contact in your database first thinks about first when asked “Who Do You Know”. Database marketing can be automated to create a scalable venture, only limited by your budget and the human resources available to act on the results of your efforts.

Allied Resources are in a special category.

These are a very select group of individuals that are a sub group of your Met Group. Members of this group will be those that you expect to either do business with or receive referrals from every year. This group will be in your 33 Touch Program, but you will be meeting with them one-to-one for a meal or drinks, a visit, or a party several times a year. The most influential you might see as often as once a month.

This group has a basic formula for success: Educate, Ask for Help and Reward.

Educate: Reinforce that you are in the real estate business, know what you are doing, have knowledge to share and prefer doing business on a referral basis.

Ask for Help: Ask them to contact you if they know of anyone thinking about buying or selling a home.

Reward: Immediately reward a resource “Treat the referral source even better than the referral.” In other words reward the right behavior – show your appreciation at every point of contract – when you receive the referral, when you meet with the referral, when you do business with the referral and when the transaction is complete.


Ask For Help


Your Target Groups

These 4 groups: The General Public, your Target Group, your Met Group and your Allied Resources represent the population that you will be trying to generate potential clients from. The goal is to market yourself to gain share of mind. You will want to be the first person they think of related to real estate.

Who will be in your Target Groups?

This list will be especially helpful to brand new real estate agents who don’t think they know enough people:

General PublicTypically homeowners located in a small geographic neighborhood.
Target GroupResults of your lead generation activities:
Facebook ads
Zillow/ type leads
Open Houses
Met GroupContacts on your phone
Your friends (including your old high school pals)
Your extended family
Your partner’s coworkers
Your partner’s friends
Your kids’ friends or their parents
Facebook and LinkedIn contacts
Anyone you interact with regularly – doctor, dentist, hair stylist, accountant etc.
Past coworkers (even if your last job was an intern)
Your kids’ teachers and other school workers
Members of social groups such as Parent Teachers, Rotary, Specialist Clubs etc.
Allied ResourcesPartners and vendors
Peers (Realtors – in city and out)
Close friends
Social Influencers
Contacts who have referred clients more that once

How Many Contact Do I Need?

Research by Gary Keller has shown that for every 12 contacts in your 33 Touch for Realtors Program you can expect to generate 2 sales. One of those sales will likely be from repeat business and the other a referral from your database. More recent statistics show that if you maintain a 36 Touch program you should achieve a 10 contact to 1 sale, every single year. Play with the numbers to see how many contacts you will need to generate to reach the number of sales in your goals.

Too many is better than not enough.

Your lead generation plan must always be more ambitious than your income goals. Shifts in the market, conversion rate slippage and other variables mean that you should be on the offensive, continually generating new lead plans that will drive more prospects than you think you might need.

Creating your list of contacts.

Create a list of MET Contacts. Typically you would create your list in a spreadsheet, as this is a universal format to load into a CRM’s database. Ideally the minimum information you are going to need is Name. Address, Phone #, Email, Lead Source, Birthday, Partners name, plus some Tags to segment and enable filtering of your contacts.

Suggested Tags:

RatingPlatinumHave received multiple referrals from
GoldHave received a referral from
SilverHave done business with
BronzeHope to do business with
Online lead
Tag suggestions

Note. Make sure you add the Tag title (in this instance Rating and Source) to OspreyCRM, before you attempt to upload your contacts.

OspreyCRM will accept spreadsheet files – simply match up the fields in your spreadsheet with those in our database and hit the upload button to start processing your file. You’ll also be able to assign and start the 33 Touch for Realtors Campaign immediately rather that trying to configure a 33 Touch set up yourself.

Don’t overthink it – just start marketing.

Each group will be marketed to in a different program designed to maximize your efforts for the time and resources that you expend.

8 X 8 Program

Typically the 8 x 8 program is designed for the results of your marketing efforts and to touch your prospect 8 times in 8 weeks to create a relationship. On completion the potential customer is moved on to the 33 touch program.

The ideal program is a combination of Direct Mail, Phone Calls, Text Messages. OspreyCRM is already set up for you ready to go – just add contacts!

Week 1Drop off a letter of introduction, personal brochure
or a market report with your business card.
No home address? Send to business address instead.
Week 2Mail a recipe card, community calendar or market report.
Week 3 Personal voice call or ringless voicemail, did you get the item?
Week 4Mail a recipe card, community calendar or market report.
Week 5Personal voice call or ringless voicemail, did you get the item?
Week 6Send a text with your contact info.
Week 7Mail an item of value. Notepad, fridge magnet,
or other item printed with your contact info.
Week 8Personal voice call, ask if they received the item?
Ask if they have questions and ask for referral.

Note we have altered the original Keller plan to accommodate new technology

OspreyCRM can automatically receive prospects from your Facebook marketing and other activities and start the 8 x 8 program using “Smart Automations“.

33 Touch for Realtors Program

This program is for people that you know, have met or spoken too. This program will keep you top of mind and will comprise of a combination of touch points including texts, voice mails, emails, video emails, snail mail thank you cards and postcards over the course of a year.

Why not a 29, 34 or 40 Touch Program?

That’s a very good question! Actually some real estate agents have started working around a 36 Touch system, better suited to their idea of the sequence.

Will 30 Touches or some other number work? Maybe, but you will want your contacts to never forget you.

Here is a suggested program for a 36 touch set up:

12 TouchesA monthly newsletter snail mailed to your contact
14 TouchesA combination of emails, text messaging, mailings, letters, cards, holiday cards, service directories, promotional items etc …
1 TouchesI small printed gift
6 touchesCalls or voicemails
1 touchBirthday card
1 touchHolidays card
1 touchClient Party – BBQ, Movie night. Special event – Ice cream van or food truck at the park, or?

Note we have altered the original Keller plan to accommodate new technology

Now trying to do all this manually with a spreadsheet is just not scalable. You might manage to cover 25, or maybe even 50 contacts if you are very diligent, but that will not produce sufficient sales or referrals for your efforts, unless your goal is specifically to remain small.

You will also be in this for the log haul, year after year for repeatable results – so we urge you to set this up right in the first place!

That’s where a database supported by a CRM and a marketing comes in. However. developing a plan may seem like an easy task, but it is actually a huge task. It takes time to create a perfect plan. It also takes time to execute the plan and make sure that it is accomplished effectively.

OspreyCRM is already programmed with an editable 36 Touch “Smart Automations” program that’s ready to be loaded with your list of contacts as well as an 8 x 8 ready to accept new prospects!

Overkill, over time.

Overkill over time is a key component to this program, overkill ensures year round contact with your “Met’s” database.

Overkill will achieve this critical goal:

No other agent will get their mindshare.

36 Touch Program from Gary Keller - the battle for mindshare

33/36 Touch Set Up Program Reviews and examples:

Real estate agent Matt Larson from Westlake Village CA swears by the principals of the Millionaire Real Estate Agent – especially using the 33 Touch campaign (recorded in 2020):

Team leader Tina Beliveau adapted the program using 36 Touches, mainly focusing on video and that’s OK too (recorded in 2018):

Jackie McKelvin of Littleton CO, does a really good job of explaining the why. Why you should start your database and the sort of results you can realistically expect to achieve. Recorded December 2020.

Brian Icenhower from The Real estate Trainer interviews 3 top real estate agents to learn how they create, plan, systematize, contact and grow their client databases each year (recorded in 2014):

Conclusion: The Benefits of Implementing these Programs in Your Marketing Strategy:

The 33 Touch set up, 8 x8 and 12 x 12 are marketing tactics that involve a series of touch points or interactions with potential clients outlined in Gary Keller’s best selling book “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent”.

The benefits of implementing these programs are that it will help you to create a successful relationship with your customers, which will lead to them coming back to buy from you again and will provide a stream of referrals.

These programs will also help establish credibility as they allows for more interactions, which leads to higher conversion rates.

Gary Keller's best selling book "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent"
Scroll to Top