The real estate business is all about getting that next client. Whether it be as a seller’s or a buyer’s agent, without the initial lead you will find yourself in a clientless career. Many agents still prefer using a more traditional approach to capturing leads, while others prefer a more modern tactic. Today, agents need to utilize a combination of the two styles of lead generation due to the varied preferences of clients buying and selling homes.
Traditional Lead Generation
Door to Door
As a real estate agent, you need to be proactive finding your next lead while leaving an impactful impression. Door knocking might seem like something from the past; however, it is still used today by many agents because it does generate leads. Many agents wouldn’t even consider door knocking as an option because it is basically another form of cold calling and as an agent, the clients come to you. However, with door knocking, the roles are reversed and now the agent faces the fear of rejection.
To have a successful door knocking experience, prepare a script that you will present to homeowners that includes a clear understanding of the neighborhood prices, market trends, and any other information you can use to sell your service and potentially influence them to work with you. This is exceptionally useful for agents with a geographic farming strategy, because preparing a well-versed script will showcase your knowledge and understanding of the neighborhood and surrounding properties.
You want to dress professionally, but for the market you are serving. Always leave something tangible behind, whether it is a business card, a flyer, or a brochure.
According to Tom Ferry, direct mail is on the rise because of the industry’s dependence on technology. People are more likely to notice a well-tailored direct mail piece than a standard email. Ferry suggests creating marketing pieces that interest your client. Good marketing speaks directly to what’s on the mind of the consumer.
For previous clients, you might want to reach out to them thanking them for their business. You could even ask them to please fill out a testimonial online reviewing your services. This is also a great time to remind your client to refer you to friends, family, or acquaintances. For potential leads, an area of interest is the value of their home. Create pieces that push clients to ask you about their home’s value and eventually ask for a face-to-face meeting in which you can provide them with a service presentation.
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A great way to find more leads is to have a wide network of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. We are not talking about the high school friend you have on Facebook who you send birthday wishes once a year. Create relationships with your network by keeping in touch, sending them cards, and interacting with them during events. By maintaining this level of relationship, whenever an opportunity arises for your friend, colleague, or acquaintance to refer an agent, you will be the first person on their mind.
Creating these relationships will lead you to the next FSBO frustrated that they can’t sell their home, the couple getting married looking to buy their first home together or the couple getting divorced that needs to sell their home to divide assets, or the previous client that wants to buy a second home. The opportunities are out there and there are many. So get social and make meaningful relationships.
Traditional advertising methods like billboards, bus benches, newspaper ads, and radio advertising slots are still indispensable to many top agents in the industry. A major issue with these forms of lead generation is the high advertising cost. However, a well placed billboard or radio ad could easily generate thousands of impressions.
When using this form of lead generation, design is a major player. You need to create an ad that will get the attention of those exposed to it. They might not remember it the first time, but by the second or third time the individual will begin to remember what they saw or heard. Make sure to include your name, email, phone number, and website. Create a memorable email address or website URL that individuals can remember after just a couple of impressions.
For Sale Signs
There are many buyers out there that still prefer going for a drive around neighborhoods of interest. They like to see landscapes, how the residents keep up with their own houses, and get a feel for the neighborhood before even considering looking at properties in that area. Those are the potential buyers you will attract with a for sale sign.
Stay away from generic sale signs and use this as another way to get your name out there. Add the basics like your name, email, phone number, brokerage, website, etc. Don’t forget to add a photo of yourself letting potential buyers know who the selling agent is. Include instructions to access the property flyer online equipped with a simple lead capture form. Another great technique is asking leads to send you a text message and setting up 24/7 auto-reply with a quick summary of the property and that you will reach out to them a.s.a.p.
Modern Lead Generation
With so many options in today’s online world to generate leads, a company website is by far one of the best ways to drive leads to your real estate business. As the sole owner of this site, you have exclusive rights to all incoming leads. However, your website needs to have some key components to attract users: a good (mobile and user friendly) design and an implemented SEO strategy to drive traffic to your site.
Websites today need to have a user-friendly interface that is also mobile compatible with a good design scheme to catch the attention of the user. Have you ever been on a site and can’t seem to figure out how to navigate through it? You probably didn’t stay long on that site before moving on to the next one. You don’t want your audience to feel this frustration on your website. So, with a clean and eye-catching design users will navigate through your site seamlessly without the need to go someplace else to find what they are looking for.
Keep in mind that the majority of online visitors are searching for homes on their mobile phones. Your website’s design needs to be able to show a consistent representation of your brand for both mobile and desktop users without interfering with the site’s design and user friendly aesthetics.
Finally, you need to implement a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to drive traffic to your site. Unfortunately, this is not something that can happen overnight and won’t show progress for some time because search engines need time to build trust with websites. On average, if you are effectively implementing an SEO strategy, you will begin seeing your website rise through the ranks of search engines in 3 to 6 months. Between 6 to 9 months, you will begin to see your website among others on page one of search results, hopefully at the number one position. If you are like many others and don’t want to wait, you can use paid ads on search engines like Google AdWords or Bing Ads.
Knowing that SEO isn’t going to happen overnight, you might want to spend your time doing what you love: working with clients. Let Homes.com’s SEO Fuel program handle all the changes and updates for you.
It would seem to many that email marketing is an outdated lead generating stream; however, it still remains one of the top marketing tactics capable of producing a high return on investment. If done correctly, not only will you see a new flow of potential clients reaching out to you, but you will begin to build trust with them as well by showing that you are reputable agent.
An email marketing strategy should build trust with customers and potential leads without overwhelming them with constant emails that will eventually become an annoyance. No one knows your client base better than you, so you would have to figure out the correct number of emails to send on a monthly basis.
When sending emails, don’t address everyone as a whole; personalize emails by adding your client’s name to the email’s header. Also take into consideration what stage of the buying process your clients are in. For instance, a great way to build trust with a potential lead is by sending them a recent sale with a testimonial from the buyer or seller. If it’s a client towards the end of the buying/selling process, they could receive a blog article (hopefully written by you) about what to expect regarding closings and how to get their new home prepped for the move in. At the end of every email you should include a call to action (CTA) directing clients to see your listings on your website or to visit a landing page to fill out lead generating information.
Through the use of social media, agents have a world of leads at their fingertips. Almost everyone you know has a personal account on any number of given networks. This opportunity is yours for the taking and could cost you close to nothing or nothing at all.
When creating your social accounts, create a cohesive look on all your profiles, including your website, to make it easy for followers to recognize your brand. Also, keep in mind that not all social networks are going to benefit you. So before you start creating an account on every social network (and trying to learn how to use it), research your target audience and where they are socializing; see if the platform fills a need another network doesn’t, and consider whether or not you have the time to maintain more accounts.
Just like any other form of marketing, you need to implement a social media strategy to help you determine what content you will be posting. Social accounts also need to stay active with a constant flow of content relevant to your business. Every platform differs on how they allow businesses to advertise on their networks. By using paid advertisements on social media you can reach a much greater number of users that you would not otherwise have reached organically. (For a comprehensive look on creating a Facebook Ad, click here.) Finally, whenever creating ads on a social platform, you want to drive the traffic back to your site to fill out a lead generation form.
Social media not your thing? Homes.com’s Social Fuel handles everything from account setup, content creation, engagement, and even manages your Facebook Ads.
Portals are a great way to generate leads without emptying your bank account. A large percentage of home buyers go directly to online portals, like Homes.com, to search for their next home. According to NAR, over 50% of buyers search for their homes online before ever speaking with a real estate professional. Furthermore, 73% of buyers on Homes.com are not yet working with a real estate professional. Using real estate portals connects you with thousands of online home shoppers that otherwise would’ve continued the buying process without the help of an agent.
Whether you prefer traditional or modern methods, utilizing a variety of the techniques mentioned above will give you the best results. While you focus on creating the best strategy to implement to achieve the level of listings you desire, let Homes.com introduce you to good quality leads with Homes.com’s Local Connect. Secure your zip codes today.