With the breakneck pace at which technology is progressing in the field of real estate (as in many others), it’s no surprise that agents and brokers may feel overwhelmed with deciding what to incorporate into their marketing strategy.
Lead generation in particular can pose a challenge in the competitive real estate environment. For this reason, it’s important to take a step back from time to time to remember the bigger picture-- the core tactics which hold your game plan together.
Today, we will be going over the 10 best lead gen strategies for a rapidly evolving real estate industry to give you the tools to keep the buyers coming in.
What is lead generation for real estate?
Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting prospective buyers into leads with a vested interest in your company’s product or service. In real estate, generating leads comes with its own set of challenges, including finding the best software and sites to use and employing various customer experience strategies.
To put it simply, the same rules of marketing that apply to a variety of industries are relevant to the field of real estate, and lead generation is a crucial element of a real estate marketing strategy.
Best Real Estate Lead Generation Sites and Software
Thankfully, there is a range of online resources available for the realtor looking to draw in more leads. Three outstanding site services for real estate lead generation are RealGeeks, Zurple, and BoomTown!, which you can learn more about in this article.
Lead capturing tools, CRM, data collecting software, and IDX site builders are a great place to start. Zillow Premier Agent, Placester, Showcase IDX, and Area Pulse are examples of these; they can even extend past lead generation and be used to connect stages of the marketing process.
Now without further ado, let’s examine 10 of the top lead generation strategies for realtors!
10 Best Lead Generation Strategies for Real Estate
1. Customer Feedback
Letting your results speak for themselves is a great way of establishing your reputation, and customer reviews and testimonials accomplish just that. Explore both “internal” and “external” options by establishing a review page on your website, sharing testimonials on major real estate platforms (Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com), and creating videos with customer feedback.
A referral program can also be set up for existing clients to become representatives in your network of prospects, spreading the word about their experiences and essentially serving a major PR role.
2. Go Social
As modern marketing has increasingly gone digital, social media image is now an all but indispensable component of any marketer’s strategy. Sites like LinkedIn may seem an obvious choice, but other platforms are also worth investing in-- Instagram and Twitter, for instance, can grab leads’ attention with beautiful visuals and keep you top-of-mind with short, simple posts.
Facebook Ads are another cost effective lead generation method, allowing you to target existing leads in your database with the Custom Audiences feature. With regards to Facebook, creating a local group around your company can allow clients to share their experiences (see #1) and give new leads an idea of what may be in store for them as homebuyers.
While most of the people who receive your newsletters and other promotional emails are already existing leads in your system, organizing them by various criteria will provide insight into your database as well as help with lead generation. This is where lead segmentation comes in.
Criteria by which you can segment your leads can include how “hot” or “cold” they are (how much they interact with your content, site, social media, etc.), demographics, specific behavior-- from signing up for your mailing list to downloading a particular e-guide-- and more.
Armed with this knowledge, you can tailor all elements of your outreach for your segments: emails, educational materials, and the nature and frequency of contact with your clients. While hot leads may need a more personalized nudge to get them on their way, cold leads may be better left on an email drip. By investing your marketing resources wisely on those most likely to purchase through segmenting, you’ll reap greater benefits while saving energy or time.
4. Lights, Camera, Action
Did you know that 73% of homeowners say they are more likely to list with a real estate agent who offers to create a video for them? At the same time, only 4% of agents put their listings on YouTube. And, according to MarketingSherpa, video attracts two to three times as many visitors to an agent’s site, and doubles the amount of time they spend there.
There are plenty of ways to incorporate video into a marketing strategy: client interviews, Q&A live streams, how-to and general information videos, agent profiles, yearly reviews, and even videos of local community events (which we will be discussing at length soon). Perhaps the most important kinds of videos for real estate, however, are listing videos, which show off the best sides of your listings inside and out. Below is a great example of a listing video from Remax Agent Kurt Iuli-Kensey in San Diego.
Remember that you don’t always need professional equipment; a cell phone camera and some fairly basic editing software, combined with still photography and quality voice-over narration, will be more than sufficient to create an immersive and informative experience which will capture prospects’ interest beautifully.
READY TO INCREASE YOUR FLOW OF QUALITY LEADS? DOWNLOAD THIS FREE GUIDE WITH A BONUS CHECKLIST TO START YOUR SUCCESSFUL LEAD GENERATION STRATEGY.
5. Community Service
As mentioned, staying on top of community events is a great way of attracting attention to a realtor’s site and social media pages. Taking it further, involvement in your community is a great way to establish yourself as a local presence while creating a positive reputation around your name. In addition, an agent can benefit considerably from getting to know the neighborhoods in which they work and sell.
Considering sponsoring local events, such as park fairs or school concerts; volunteer or help organize charity events; give presentations on topics of expertise at a community college. Budget allowing, it is also plausible to aim for local media coverage by pitching ideas to local reporters and buying ad segments on radio or TV, or even hosting a podcast. And you can maximize the ROI of these events by implementing a lead nurturing strategy.
6. Read All About It
A newsletter is likely the first thing that comes to mind when you think of real estate reading material. This can be an excellent way of getting information out regularly to subscribed leads, offering insight on interest and mortgage rates alongside your best listings. But it’s important to remember that newsletters are certainly not the only option.
For example, you can create a community magazine, with information on upcoming events alongside helpful real estate information and industry statistics. Another solid digital resource is a blog, which can be integrated as a page of your website easily. No matter the medium, the goal is to provide information that provides prospects with valuable insight on buying or selling a home in your market with a personal touch.
7. Customer Service
One of the most powerful marketing tools for a real estate agent is a focus on providing the best customer service possible, and while crucial to nurturing, it begins at the very first step of the buyer’s journey. Offering a free consultation or quote is a great way to build your potential client list, and it’s your job to make the process of reaching out as easy as possible for prospects.
Whether digitally, over the phone, or in person, showing them your level of investment in providing them with a personalized experience is a great way to generate further interest and encourage them to take the next step towards making a decision. In the long term, this will help you build up your reputation as satisfied clients will contribute positive reviews and references.
8. Top-Notch Content
Updating your website or blog with valuable content not only elevates your position as an authority in your field, but enhances your visibility in search results (check out this article on search engine optimization practices for more). Researching most-asked questions or hot topics is the key to a smart content strategy; you can do this both through the web and by asking existing clients first-hand about their experiences, questions, and concerns.
9. Make Your Website Pop
For realtors, there’s no better way to show off listings from the MLS than with an IDX (Internet Data Exchange) enabled website. IDX technology syndicates fresh MLS listings directly to the site, allowing leads to see all of the available property listings in your area from it.
Additionally, tools like Slideshare allow you to visually present the latest stats and information in real estate and offer features like lead capture forms. This means that while browsing your slides, a potential lead will be presented with the chance to enter their email in exchange for valuable content. Pop-up ads can be another valuable design element, though they need to be intuitive and non-intrusive so as not to annoy prospects.
As we discussed, other features including a blog page, client testimonials, social media links, content upgrade offers, and even community news can all contribute to bringing your site together as the cornerstone of your online lead generation strategy.
10. Go a Little Old School
It can seem like marketing is moving entirely into the digital realm-- and indeed, the majority of an in-touch lead generation strategy should focus on the technological and the inbound. However, there is some value in maintaining an old-fashioned touch to your high-tech approach! Consider putting print to paper-- “just listed” and “just sold” postcards, business cards, even the occasional flyer can serve as attention-grabbers, particularly for older homeowners.
Interested in learning even more about how to create a stellar online lead generation strategy? Check out our Introduction to Lead Generation guide.
Tags: lead generation