As real estate technology progresses at breakneck speed now more than ever, it is not really surprising that brokers and realtors alike are often overwhelmed as to what real estate marketing strategy suits them best.
Lead generation is a particularly common challenge in today’s cutthroat real estate industry. Instead of trying to deal with it head-on without any plans in place, it is better to take a step back first and look at the bigger picture. You have to arm yourself with the best strategies for real estate marketing that will glue together your entire game plan.
Continue reading below and learn more about the things you can do to get those leads coming in no time.
Lead Generation in Real Estate
Lead generation is basically the process where you attract and convert potential buyers into leads with a keen interest in the services or products of a company.
The lead generation process in real estate has its own unique aspects, such as using different customer experience tactics and the best platforms and software programs to use. Simply put, the same marketing rules applicable to other industries are also relevant to the real estate field, and lead generation is a critical element of a good real estate marketing strategy.
Lead generation is the lifeline of any real estate business that brings growth and success. You can generate leads organically through your friends, family, and networking, as well as through paid methods including marketing and advertising.
It is recommended that you use the combination of several lead generation strategies at the same time so you can capture more leads. It will help ensure a steady and constant stream of potential new clients for their real estate business.
Now that you have an idea of how lead generation works in real estate, let’s get started in discussing the best strategies for real estate marketing that you can incorporate into your business to take it to the next level.
1. Get Your Ads Running on Social Media and Search Engines
Paid and free are the two main types of leads that you can integrate into your real estate marketing strategy. But you can expect the highest level of success if your lead generation campaign strikes the perfect balance between these two types. You can use social media and search engines to generate both paid and organic leads. You can also use paid ads to get more results in a short span of time. You can also combine your strategies to ensure long-term results.
To take advantage of your online advertising efforts to the fullest, you have to look at it as something similar to virtual farming where your final goal is establishing your name recognition instead of just selling all leads right away. Having said that, provided that you offer potential customers engaging content, these channels can serve as a great source for lead generation in real estate.
As modern marketing goes digital, your social media image and reputation have already become an indispensable element of any real estate marketing strategy. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are just some of the top platforms worth your investment.
LinkedIn is an obvious option as it is more specifically geared to professional networking, while Twitter and Instagram attract the most awareness and traffic. Some Instagram strategies combined with simple and short posts and stunning visuals will keep you accessible and relevant in the daily life of potential clients.
Another cost-effective method for lead generation is Facebook Ads which let you target your database’s existing leads through the Custom Audiences feature. You can also create a local group on Facebook around your company that will allow your clients to share their experiences and offer new leads a glimpse of what they can expect as homebuyers.
Here are other great lead generation opportunities through online ads:
Instagram and Facebook advertising
You can create ads that will target specific people with special interests, people you want to work with, and geographic areas. Social media can drive more website traffic and your ads can also help you promote upcoming special events. Advertising with Facebook lets you reach people on the News Feed, Messenger, and Instagram stories.
Google My Business
Your details, including your name, link to your website, and phone number will be visible on the right sidebar of the screen of a user’s device if you create your business listing with Google My Business that you can use for free.
Local community pages
You can link these dedicated landing pages with IDX or internet exchange data feeds and present for sale properties in a particular target market. It makes these pages a great tool that you can incorporate into your real estate marketing strategy.
NextDoor is a social platform that offers message boards where neighbors can chat about their concerns, discuss local issues, or even look for lost pets. The Neighborhood Sponsorship tool also gives you an opportunity of promoting yourself in pop-up ads while users browse through content for anywhere around $100 to $1,000 monthly.
Search engine advertising
Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads are two of the most popular services that allow keyword targeting and featuring listings at the bottom and top of the SERPs or search engine results pages. It is designed in a way that appears like other search results.
2. Turn to Your Sphere of Influence
Sphere of influence, or simply SOI, is the term referring to everyone you know. Your friends, family, colleagues, and even your teachers, baristas, hairdressers, and everyone else that you have ever met and encountered in your life are part of your SOI bucket.
As a realtor, your SOI is one of the most incredible resources of real estate leads, not only from your own actual connections but also from their own set of referrals and contacts.
To exploit the power of your SOI for real estate marketing strategy, the most important thing you can reach out to them regularly. It can be done through a short personal email, a text message, an Instagram DM, or through Facebook Messenger.
Your friends might also be aware that you are in the real estate field. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will remember to contact you when the time comes that they will sell their property. They might also assume that you only focus on rentals instead of sales.
They might even think that you are just covering a particular neighborhood when the truth is, you are covering the entire city. You also need to remind your own family about what you do now and then.
Avoid being too shy or too overbearing when asking for leads. Make sure people know that you are always happy and ready to help answer their questions without any obligation or responsibility on their end.
They should feel comfortable approaching you without feeling as if they should hire you there and then when they do. Start by connecting with people and consider it a blessing if it leads to business. But if your initial effort doesn’t lead to anything, don’t be bothered too much.
There might be no immediate payoff here but never give up just yet because your SOI will continue to play a role in generating some of your most rewarding leads in real estate. Nothing is more flattering than someone reaching out to you because someone they know talked about how great you were as their realtor.
3. Use SEO to Attract Leads
There are many people in your area at any given time that turns to search engines to look for answers to their questions related to real estate. With a solid SEO or search engine optimization strategy in place, you can add your site to search results, address common questions that will showcase your trustworthiness and expertise, and capture more new leads.
Even though SEO is not among the easiest strategies for real estate marketing, this long-term strategy constantly brings you new and highly targeted leads with no need for you to exert a lot of effort and time. It makes SEO an extremely effective lead generation strategy for realtors.
4. Show Generosity in Agent-to-Agent Referrals
Agent referrals happen every time you connect with other agents in different markets using any of your connections. Once you send over a referral to a fellow agent and their deal is closed, you will be paid a certain percentage of the sales commission which is typically anywhere around 25% to 45%.
The same rule is also applicable if you were the one who received a referral, and this time, you will pay the referring agent a percentage as commission. You can use a referral service for this, or you can also make your own connections.
These agent-to-agent referrals serve as a great source of relatively passive income. When you send other agents more referrals, it also increases the chances of you getting referral checks every time people close deals.
5. Establish a Social Media Presence
While building a social media presence calls for an extensive amount of planning and consistency, this can also provide an excellent return on your time investment.
With a strategic plan for social media marketing in place, you will be able to boost your reach and develop a profile that will showcase your expertise to prospective leads the moment you click on your name.
Not a lot of methods for lead generation in real estate that can effectively build a life, trust, and know factors like what social media can do.
To use social media as a part of your lead generation strategy, you need to decide and identify the specific platforms you should focus on.
It is a long-term strategy to build a social media audience and generate organic leads. However, it is also important to consider advertising to significantly improve your progress right from the start.
6. Host an Open House
Every time a realtor makes a property open for the public to see for a specific period, potential buyers get the chance to tour the open house even without setting an appointment. Everyone walking through the open door is considered a potential lead.
But it is important to intentionally capture these open house leads by doing more than just leaving a pen and a sign-in sheet by the door.
The first thing you can do is engage with visitors the moment they walk in. See to it that they feel welcome even though they are not current homebuyers and are just curious neighbors. Always be ready with some options to get the phone numbers or email addresses of your visitors.
You also need to bring printouts of business cards that contain your contact details and market information. You can also consider using a QR code generator so you can entice visitors to save your contact details on their phones.
An open house is like a face-to-face audition right in front of prospective new clients. It is one of those few opportunities where you can meet people face to face. It also gives you a chance to become their exclusive realtor.
Even though you might not have your own listings yet, you can still volunteer to host other agents’ open houses in your brokerage. But if you do so, don’t forget that your main job here is to sell your hosted open house.
You can only shift conversations to other similar listings if the visitors clearly stated that the open house doesn’t interest them. Confirm first with the listing agent in advance to ensure that you can keep every lead walking in the door.
7. Embrace Networking
One fun way of real estate lead generation is through networking, and it is especially effective since it also goes hand in hand together with establishing your SOI. The only difference here is that the focus of networking is connections to establish your business. Having said that, the most effective strategies for real estate networking include rubbing elbows with real estate professionals and people who are not connected to the industry at all.
Attend art shows, concerts, virtual events, and social events, and visit other places known to attract crowds of people frequently. Participate in a community at your kids’ school, stay in touch with your alumni associations, attend fundraisers, and volunteer with a local charity. It is a good tip for networking to attend as many events as you can so try to make it your goal to go out at least once weekly.
Don’t forget to review market trends and data before you attend an event because all real estate conversations will almost always include questions about the market. You can then use these questions as a chance to showcase your expertise.
Never expect that you know how to get leads right on the spot every time you attend networking events. Just like everything else, networking is a process, with leads growing from how you follow up and establish rapport following the event. Make sure you also send a quick email every time you meet someone and say that you were glad to meet them and add your contact details.
8. Farm Your Neighborhood
When it comes to real estate leads, farming means you have focused your efforts on a certain neighborhood or area to boost your name recognition in that particular place. This can be done through community involvement and mailers. Once your name is out there, it increases the chance that someone is going to get in touch with you when the time comes that they need the help of a realtor.
New realtors might find farming challenging since there may already be an established realtor in your target areas. Never let it stop you. Some people prefer working with hungrier and newer realtors instead of more established ones.
You can send postcards that introduce yourself with market and sales data. Your brokerage will probably give you a specific number of these cards free of charge. You can also buy magnetic mailers that will give your leads more reason to display your contact details in their home. Farming lets you gain recognition that can help facilitate lead generation for real estate for sellers and buyers alike.
9. Follow Up on Expired Listings
These expired listings are those properties that failed to sell when they first appeared on the market. The expiration date can often be seen in a property’s listing details on your MLS or multiple listing service. Looking for these expired listings is a great way for you to prove your skill in selling challenging houses.
However, it is important to note that once the listing expires, the seller is often bombarded with calls from realtors who want their business. It means you should expect competition. This is because the chances of converting frustrated sellers are higher compared to using a cold call to find new business.
10. Leverage Positive Feedback from Clients
Letting the results speak for themselves is the best way to establish your reputation. Testimonials and reviews from clients can achieve exactly just that.
Try exploring both external and internal options. You can do this by adding a review page to your website, creating videos with client feedback, and sharing testimonials on different major real estate platforms. Good examples of the best external sites where you can do so include Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow.
In addition, you can also set up a referral program for existing clients to serve as representations in your network of potentials. You can harness the power of your clients’ positive experiences to essentially serve a major role in public relations by spreading the word about their personal experiences.
11. Offer a Unique Experience
You can also establish your position as an expert and put yourself right in front of prospective clients by hosting an event and offering an experience. You can try to host a tour of the community where you sell or even an educational event at any of your listings. Hosting a neighbors-only open house is also a good idea, and you can do it as soon as you have a new property listed.
Experiential marketing gives prospective clients a chance to meet you personally and learn more about you in an environment free from pressure. You can increase the chances of getting recommended or hired if you give them a chance to know you personally. Follow up right away to express your gratitude to them for coming.
Some good examples of experiential marketing are the following:
- Invitation-only open houses with cocktails
- Sponsored happy hours
- Tours of your market area
- Panel discussions with real estate professionals
12. Pick Up That Phone and Call
While it may seem like people now prefer emails and texts over phone calls, a one-on-one discussion with someone remains to be very effective.
long as it is done correctly, cold calling leads that already fell through the cracks or even old acquaintances can help recreate a relationship that can potentially generate new referral sources and new leads.
The secret to a successful strategy for cold calling is through a natural and thorough real estate cold script. If cold calling instills anxiety in you, even if you are using a script, you might want to hire a virtual real estate assistant who can make the calls on your behalf.
13. Send Targeted Mailers and Messages
The main focus of targeted mailing are people who meet specific criteria such as high-income households or good credit score.
Similar to newsletters or postcards, bulk electronic marketing or mailers are just like text or email messages letting you reach out to more prospective clients compared to what you can by just using networking alone.
Although you can come up with your own targeted list, it is also possible for you to buy a list of addresses from third parties to help hasten the process.
Business cards, flyers, and postcards pinned to the bulletin boards at coffee shops are good examples of a tip for prospecting known as cold canvassing. The process of cold canvassing establishes name recognition that can come in handy for newer realtors who wish to break into a bigger market.
But it is more likely for you to get a lead if your content is tailored according to where it is being sent. For instance, you can try cold canvassing some rental buildings in your community with titles and information that will make the wonder why they should rent if they can buy instead.
Postcards might not offer the highest return on investment. However, most brokerages, as mentioned earlier, provide their realtors a specific number of postcards for every deal as an incentive for being part of the firm so it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.
You can use these postcards for announcing that you have become a part of a new brokerage. Postcards may also contain market information or new listing promotion. Don’t forget to proofread your postcards and include a headshot as well. Your mailers will only end up in the circular file once your clients see spelling and grammatical mistakes.
Another way to make your mailers count is to purchase a targeted mailing list so that you will send them to a particular audience.
14. Consider a Real Estate Lead Generation Service Subscription
Although it is preferable to use organic and free strategies for lead generation, you can also find companies specializing in real estate lead generation that can help you save time. They can quickly provide you with contact details and names of highly motivated potential sellers and buyers.
Leads will be sent to you via text or email, depending on the specific service you use. These leads may also come one at a time or in batches.
15. Segment Leads to Gain Database Insight
While many of the people who get your newsletters and the rest of your promotional emails are leads that already exist in your system, you can organize them according to different criteria to provide you more insight into your database and help with lead generation at the same time.
It is where lead generation can come in handy. Some of the criteria that you can use for segmenting your leads may include the following:
- Demographics by buyer personas
- How cold or hot they are, such as how much they interact with your social media, website, content, and more
- Specific behaviors range from downloading a specific electronic guide or signing up for your mailing list
Once you are equipped with this knowledge, you will be able to tailor the different elements of your outreach for your different segments, including your educational materials, the frequency of contact and nature of your clients, and emails.
Even if hot leads might require a more personalized prod to make them do what you want them to do, cold leads might be better left on email drip. You will reap more benefits and save time or energy if you invest your marketing resources astutely in people who are most likely to buy through segmenting.
16. Use Targeted Landing Pages
You will be able to market something more unique and specific if you create a landing page that is separate from that of your brokerage. Once you have finished developing your landing page, you can drive more traffic to it by advertising or posting it on social media, search engines, and networking groups. Capturing leads can be as simple as creating your own destination page with a call to action and contact form.
17. Keep an Eye on Aging FSBO Listings
Many property owners who don’t hire a realtor when listing their property often go down this route for a reason, and it is often a chance for them to save some cash. This is the reason why FSBO or for sale by owner leads are more difficult to covert. In time, however, a lot of FSBO sellers end up realizing the amount of work involved in selling a home.
Even though it might not be easy to know when these owners will be ready to give up, it still wouldn’t hurt to let them know that you would be more than happy to give added exposure to their current listing.
An important tip to remember here is that it is not a good idea to explicitly solicit business from an owner who is currently working with another realtor. You can avoid conflict and save time if you ask them first upfront if they already signed a representation agreement with a different realtor. Never make your pitch without doing this first.
18. Create a Visually Stunning Website and Update It to Boost Visibility
For realtors, there is no better way to present listings from the MLS than with an Internet Data Exchange or IDX-enabled website. The IDX technology can organize fresh MLS listings straight to the site. It allows leads to view all of your area’s available property listings from it.
In addition, some tools also let you visually showcase the latest information and statistics in real estate and provide features such as lead capture forms. It means that as you browse your slides, the prospective lead will be allowed to receive valuable content in exchange for their email.
Pop-up ads are also valuable elements for website design. However, these should be non-intrusive and intuitive enough to avoid annoying potentials. Other features such as client testimonials, blog pages, content upgrade offer, social media links, and community news can help bring your website together as the cornerstone of your real estate marketing strategy.
Aside from creating a visually stunning website, it is also important to update to increase visibility. Remember that old blogs tend to get pushed further down on the search engine result page or SERP by Google for many different reasons.
Make sure you stay updated with any content covering time-based events or trends. Updating your site or blog with some valuable content will not only boost your position as an authority or expert in your field. However, it will ultimately boost your visibility in the search results.
Add these elements to your real estate marketing strategy to bring more leads soon!
I became a realtor when I was 25, Right now I’m a digital marketing expert helping realtors, brokers and real estate agents generate more leads online.