No matter how good you are as a real estate agent, you’ll go broke without leads. This is why you need to maintain a healthy pipeline of leads and know how to qualify them. When thinking about real estate lead generation, there are countless strategies and tools to choose from – which can leave agents confused. Despite the fact that there are plenty of ideas out there, only a few stand out as the best ways to get real estate leads.
If you want to maximize your lead generation efforts and get more clients in 2019, you just need to follow tried and true methods that successful agents are using. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 ways that have proven to be effective in keeping real estate buyer (and seller) leads coming in. These are real estate lead sources that every agent should follow in 2019.
1- Build a Referral System Early on
Referrals are very important for real estate agents as they represent a huge opportunity for new business. According to an annual survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 41% of buyers and 63% of sellers in the US worked with an agent who was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative. Top real estate agents in 2019 still consider referrals as the most reliable source of free leads. Referrals from past clients cost you nothing – all you have to do is stay connected with the people you know and make sure that you’re top of mind when they or someone they know decide to enter a real estate transaction.
While this real estate lead generation strategy works best for agents who already have a solid list of past clients, beginners can also take advantage of it. The key is to start building a referral system early in your real estate agent career. For example, other agents can be great sources of referrals, so don’t be shy to ask. Right after you hand over the keys, show your clients that you appreciate them and ask them to refer you to anyone who may be in need of an agent. And remember to follow up after closing the deal to help solicit referrals. Finally, treat everyone around you as either real estate leads or a source of referrals.
2- Include Social Media in Your Marketing
As modern real estate marketing has increasingly gone digital, social media is now a crucial component of any real estate agent’s lead generation strategy. In fact, 77% of agents are using social media to get more leads according to NAR. Hence, if you’re not incorporating social media in your marketing strategy in 2019, you’re definitely missing out. Some worthwhile platforms to invest in include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
However, an important point to remember about social media as a real estate leads source is that it’s not just about posting listings from time to time. It’s about social selling. Social selling is when real estate agents engage with prospects and stay in touch with past clients instead of constantly posting promotional material.
For example, while using Facebook Ads is a cost-efficient method for real estate lead generation, they’re too generic. Instead of investing in ads alone, join a Facebook group. Say you wrote a blog post about things to keep in mind when buying a house for first-time buyers – post it! If someone in the group asks a question about the housing market, interest rates, or anything related to real estate, answer in the comments. You can then follow up with interested prospects and offer to discuss their questions further on a call. With social sharing, you build your brand while establishing relationships with potential leads through social media!
3- Develop a Video Marketing Strategy
Did you know that 73% of homeowners say that they are more likely to list with a real estate agent who uses video, but only 9% of agents create listing videos? Since not a lot of agents use this strategy to get real estate leads online, doing so will give you a competitive advantage.
Statistics show that those who use videos in their marketing generate 1200% more social shares, increase real estate lead conversion by 80%, and grow revenue 49% faster than those who don’t! So even though they take more time and money to make, they’re definitely worth the investment if you can afford it. To woo your real estate clients, you can use video marketing in plenty of ways, including:
- Client interviews
- Q&A live streams
- How-to and general information videos
- Agent profiles
- Yearly reviews
- Videos of local community events
To help you get started with video marketing, here is a comprehensive guide on how to use videos to boost your SEO from our friends at Rocketium Academy.
4- Leverage Feedback and Reviews
Promoting your business is important to get more leads and grow your client base. This, however, takes more than having a website and social media profiles to attract people. One effective strategy to promote your real estate agent business is using reviews. Truth is, prospects trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Your reviews are the first thing that prospects will check before deciding to contact you. In fact, NAR reported that over 60% of buyers pick an agent based on online reviews. Thus, leveraging reviews can be an excellent strategy to generate leads for real estate agents in 2019.
An easy way to implement this real estate lead generation strategy is by establishing a review page on your website and simply asking your clients for a review. You can send them an email asking them to share feedback and their experience after they have done business with you. You can also share these testimonials on major third-party real estate platforms to build up your brand and reputation. By doing so, you’re allowing your results to speak for themselves! And the best thing about using reviews to get real estate leads online is that they don’t cost you anything.
5- Create and Share Valuable Content
If you enjoy researching and writing about news related to your real estate market, creating a blog on your website where you provide content can become a great strategy to get real estate leads online. This goes back to leads who aren’t ready yet to buy or sell a property. They won’t see value in your listings – instead, they want to learn more about the process or the market in general. When providing valuable content, you not only prove to them that you’re a knowledgeable real estate agent that can solve their issues, but you also push them into the next stage in your pipeline.
To make this real estate lead generation strategy work, start by identifying what topics your audience is actually looking for and wants to read. Then, take the time to research and provide blog content that is helpful, high-quality, and at least 1,000 words in length. You should also post content at least once a week. If you’re not a writer and you have the budget, consider hiring a freelance writer. Real estate agents also need to learn a little about SEO and how to optimize content so leads can find them easily.
6- Optimize Your Real Estate Agent Website
If you have your own website but it’s not generating leads in 2019, it might be because you’re committing major SEO mistakes that are affecting your lead conversion. As mentioned, agents need to have some knowledge regarding Search Engine Optimization to increase their ranking on Google and other search engines. So if your website is not your first real estate lead generation source, take the time to review your CTAs, landing pages, and research what you can do to drive more online leads. Some of the best tips to optimize your website are:
- Having a user-friendly web design that allows leads to navigate smoothly
- Blogging and creating valuable content that allows you to gain credibility
- Creating a community section on your site to engage and connect with leads
- Ranking high for important keyword searches to appear in search results
- Using analytics tools to track where leads are coming from and where they are falling off to make sure they’re being nurtured effectively
7- Use Lead Generation Websites
Don’t have your own website? That’s OK – there are many real estate agent websites that’ll provide you with leads. There are two ways for agents to get new clients in real estate from lead generation websites. First, you can create an amazing agent profile and add info about your specific areas of expertise in addition to contact information. These websites have high traffic consisting of people searching for houses for sale. So when you advertise there, you have a high chance of being found online organically by real estate seller or buyer leads and gaining more lead conversions.
Interested in a free agent profile? Click here to claim yours at Mashvisor.
The second use of real estate lead generation websites is that you can buy leads from them. Some agents cross buying real estate leads off their list – why pay for something when there are ways to get it for free? While this is a sound argument, lead generation programs allow you to scale your business by always having qualified leads that you can depend on to close deals. Nonetheless, you need to make sure to pick the right website as some may just send you a spreadsheet of contact information and you’ll have to figure out who is qualified on your own.
To help you out, here’s The Ultimate Guide to Qualifying Real Estate Leads.
8- Automate Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing has been (and continues to be) one of the best real estate lead generation strategies for agents. However, the way real estate agents implement it in 2019 has changed thanks to automation tools. Marketing automation helps you become more efficient with your time and money in generating leads and closing deals.
When you have a huge database of prospects that you wish to engage, an automated email campaign makes it feasible to divide them into segments based on where they are in the sales funnel, and then automatically send them targeted emails that fit their needs. Eventually, things will move from automation to actual conversations with real estate leads.
Looking for a way to easily connect with clients using marketing automation? Try Mashboard! Book a demo to learn all about it.
9- Network and Build Partnerships
While online real estate lead generation is popular, agents should not forget that real estate is a people business. To get more leads in 2019, you need to go offline and into the real world to build trust and personal relationships with other professionals in the business.
For example, we mentioned that other agents are great sources of referrals. But you can’t expect them to actually refer you if they don’t have a connection with you. So, if you want to generate new leads for free, you should incorporate networking into your lead generation in 2019.
From industry events, conferences, seminars, and membership group meetings, there are plenty of ways for you to meet a number of new sources of real estate leads in one place. A few professionals and connections that real estate agents should consider adding to their network are:
- Mortgage brokers
- Insurance companies
- Real estate attorneys
- Local businesses
- Real estate investors
- Title companies
10- Establish a Real Estate Geo-Farm
Geographic farming is one of the best ways to get new clients in real estate and to grow a sustainable real estate business. Successful real estate agents do it all the time! If you don’t know what geo-farming is, the concept is simple. Basically, you focus your real estate marketing efforts on one specific or a small number of geographic areas. A geo-farm can be an entire town, a ZIP code, or a subdivision. The way this strategy of lead generation for real estate agents works is by staying connected with people in the farm – specifically about what is happening in the market.
Make sure people hear from you, see you, and receive information from you on a regular basis through cold calling, letters, social media, etc. Keep them updated about property values in the area, how many houses for sale are currently on the market, new trends that can affect their home values, etc. Simply give them an inside scoop about their community and show that you can be the answer to any issue they’re facing. This way, you establish yourself as the local expert and the go-to agent in the housing market. So, whenever someone is thinking of buying or selling, you’ll be the first person to contact!
11- Choose a Niche and Master It
While you can’t be the best real estate agent in all possible locations in your state or for all property types, you can select a specific niche and focus on it. Just like geographic farming, mastering a niche allows you to focus your marketing efforts on a specific group and develop a reputation as an expert in this field. Real estate seller leads and buyer leads will then start coming to you on their own. This is one of the best tried and true methods for real estate lead generation in 2019.
Of course, you don’t need to be an expert immediately. Start by deciding which niche interests you and immerse yourself in it. For example, if you want to develop a niche in helping first-time homebuyers find their perfect home, you need to learn what their needs are, the homebuying requirements of first-time homebuyers, features they’re looking for in their home, ideal neighborhoods for them, etc. Besides first-time homebuyers, here are a few common real estate niches to consider:
- Senior homes
- Vacation homes
- Luxury homes
- Historic homes
- Mid-century modern homes
- Student rentals
- School district
- Condominiums or apartments
- Commercial real estate
- Industrial real estate
12- Sponsor/Attend Community Events
This method works hand-in-hand with any strategy that involves becoming the best real estate agent in your area. You can’t expect leads to come to you if you haven’t established your name in the community first. In order to really generate leads from your geo-farm or niche, you need to establish a local presence while creating a positive reputation around your name. The best way to do that is by attending events – and we’re not talking about real estate networking events that other experts like you go to. Instead, think outside the box and join non-real estate-related events to increase your odds of meeting quality leads.
For example, you can get new clients in real estate by attending local events like park fairs, volunteering at charity events, and even community yoga workshops and book reading clubs. Moreover, you can also consider hosting an educational event in your community to teach people about what the market’s like or how to buy their first home. This can be a great way to generate leads while earning their trust, increase your exposure while building a personal brand, and distinguish yourself from competitors in the market.
13- Pitch to Real Estate Investors
If you’re working in an area with a lot of investor activity, then seeking out investor leads may help you close more deals in 2019. For an investor, a good agent is the most important member of his/her team. If you’re working with just one busy investor, you may never have to worry about real estate lead generation again! Sure, you may not be working with glamorous properties, but becoming a real estate agent for investors is one of the best real estate lead generation ideas because these are professionals who:
- Buy and sell multiple properties at a faster rate than homeowners
- Work with the same agent to do so
- Are less emotional as they’re not looking for a house to live in
- Have a better idea of how real estate transactions work
- Are great sources of referrals
What’s best is that there are a lot of them! To increase your visibility to homebuyer and real estate investor leads, click here to claim your free agent profile.
14- Follow Up with Expired Listings
If you’re targeting real estate seller leads, one source where you can get them is by contacting expired/withdrawn listings. Want to know why these listings are among the best real estate lead generation ideas? It’s simply because, at some point, these people wanted to sell but failed for one reason or another. So why not reach out to them to see if they’re still looking to sell, figure out what went wrong, and offer to assist them. For example, it’s typical for a listing to expire because it was overpriced or not marketed well. If you can prove to them that you can find a solution to the issue, these leads will quickly convert into clients.
As a real estate agent, you can rely on your MLS to pull lists of expired listings. However, you need to do some research to make sure sellers of expired listings are no longer working with other agents. Be sensitive to the fact that these sellers are most likely frustrated with their current situation and under a lot of stress. So, open the conversation by explaining that you understand their frustrations and share your game plan on how you’ll do things differently to sell their home fast. If the plan is good and meets their expectations, you may well find yourself representing a motivated seller ready to move forward.
15- Look for Distressed/Abandoned Homes
When a borrower starts to miss payments on a mortgage, the bank or lending institution will often order a ‘Broker Price Opinion’ on the property in case they end up having to foreclose, do a loan modification, or short sale. In some cases, they do this before reporting the late payment to a credit agency and even before filing a notice of default. Successful real estate agents see this as an early indicator of a distressed homeowner who may need to sell the property sooner rather than later. Hence, this could be a potential real estate seller lead. You can find distressed or pre-foreclosure listings on the MLS or in public records when you search for Notice of Default and Notice of Sale.
In addition to distressed properties, another real estate lead generation idea is to drive around searching for homes that look abandoned. This is called the “Driving for Dollars” strategy and it’s been proven to be an efficient way of generating leads as it costs nothing but gas and time. Every time you hop in your car, take it as an opportunity to get familiar with the properties in your market and write down the addresses of those that look abandoned. Then, track down the property owners and use mailing services to contact them and encourage them to reach out if they want to sell. Real estate leads who are interested will give you a call.
16- Go After For Sale By Owner Listings
Some real estate agents shake their heads when they see a “For Sale by Owner” sign and walk away from them. Others take the opportunity to convert them into real estate leads! Only a small percentage of sellers actually succeed in completing the transaction on their own. According to NAR, 17% of FSBO sellers got the right price and only 5% of them sold within the planned length of time. Plus, trying to sell a house is extremely stressful – this presents an opportunity for agents to come in and save the day! The key is to start the conversation by listening and offering some value.
So, look up FSBO listings online and reach out to them. Start the conversation by asking why they’re selling, build a personal connection, and offer free advice or insight on the market whenever relevant. Then, ask them if they need any help finding a buyer and share why working with an agent is beneficial to the seller. They might turn you down the first time, which is OK. Continue building the relationship and follow up with them in a few weeks. It may take some time before they come around to the idea of working with you. Even though it takes time and some effort, this is yet another free real estate lead generation strategy to get more clients in 2019.
17- Nurture Your Real Estate Leads
While it may not sound like a real estate leads source, it really can be! Sometimes, leads land in your real estate sales funnel when they aren’t ready to buy or sell property yet and that’s OK. Though some agents label these as “dead-end” leads, they forget that these leads will be ready to transact at some point. A dead-end lead, on the other hand, is one that leaves no way for contact (no name, phone number, email address, etc.) If you have just one piece of this information, then not nurturing or following up with leads is a big mistake. This is because when they are ready to buy or sell, you won’t be the agent they turn to.
Instead of tossing leads away and looking for new ones, nurture them and earn their trust to bring them to you when they’re ready to move forward in your pipeline. You can do this by showing them how great you are at your real estate agent job and providing value through email campaigns, newsletters, content from your blog, etc. It might take time, but when leads you’ve found months ago are calling you saying they’re ready, you’ll realize that lead nurturing goes hand in hand with real estate lead generation.
18- Show Up at Open Houses
Not hitting up open houses? Then you’re missing out on a gold mine of real estate buyers and seller leads! While most agents have been programmed to think that this is a waste of time, it’s one of the easiest and least expensive ways to get people in front of you.
Many buyers (or soon-to-be buyers) drop in without having an agent. This presents the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself and offer to help them.
Also, if you’re hosting your own open house for a seller, make sure you talk to every person that walks through the door. You can get their contact information, add them to your CRM, and become their future real estate agent once they’re in the market to buy a property. Clearly, open houses are one of many free real estate lead generation strategies that really work when you’re out to get more clients.
19- Offer Free Real Estate Advice
As a real estate agent, you need to build trust with your prospects if you want to turn them into qualified real estate leads. These days, almost every home buyer and seller turns to the internet and online forums for advice. Answering their questions on these forums is an easy tactic to gain their trust.
You can also consider sharing blog posts or infographics about local events, tips when buying or selling, or any information that would interest them without pushing your services. When you offer advice that helps them solve their issues without looking to get paid, they’ll see you as an honest expert and might just inquire about your services. Worst case scenario? You sharpen your problem-solving skills and expand your sphere of influence.
20- Try Paid Advertising (Pay-Per-Click)
While it’s not the cheapest option, PPC is a highly effective channel for real estate agents looking to get qualified leads online. There are two main types of paid advertisements: social media ads and paid search ads. However, PPC in real estate has its unique challenges. Conquer them, and you’ll generate a steady flow of leads that you can convert into clients. A few tips for agent to keep in mind before employing pay-per-click advertising include:
- Target industry-related keywords
- Write eye-catching headlines
- Design high-converting landing pages
- Use appropriate calls to action
- Incorporate ad extensions
One of the main challenges, of course, is preventing irrelevant clicks and attracting only qualified leads. If you need help qualifying real estate leads, schedule a demo and learn how you can start qualifying real estate leads without asking questions using Mashboard.
These are the top real estate lead generation ideas that ensure your hard-earned marketing dollars get you the best return on investment. Which ones are you willing to try in 2019?