Real estate lead generation is constantly evolving, which means none of us can rest on our old techniques.
Even if those techniques are working, the uncertain nature of real estate in general means we should diversify our lead generation techniques in the same way we’d diversify our investments.
As the real estate industry is disrupted alongside every other business, it becomes even more important to stay ahead of the competition than usual.
Not only are you trying to top the competition, but you’re also trying to stay ahead of an extremely unstable situation. You need to be employing the right strategies that will help you stand out and grow your business.
We can help. Check out these 5 ideas to generate leads in real estate that you may not have considered before.
1. Use every type of Facebook ad for real estate lead generation
Generating leads typically involves quite a few steps for the customer, which can wind up turning a lead into a lost one.
Facebook Messenger ads can be a surprising source of real estate lead generation. The beauty of these Facebook Messenger ads is that a lead can click on your ad and start a live conversation with you, which is so much easier than the traditional conversion process. No need to fill out contact or subscription forms.
The other great benefit for the lead is that they don’t need to provide their contact information in order to start a dialogue with you. This spells out a big positive for the lead and a higher response rate for you, along with a lower cost per lead.
Just make sure that your responses to the customers you reach are timely. Facebook Messenger has rules about commercial chat that could disqualify you from using Facebook Messenger ads if you’re not on top of your communication.
Any chatbots you have paired with your Facebook Messenger must respond in 30 seconds, while your page without chatbots has 24 hours to respond to customer inquiries or lose their Messenger ads.
You should have regular Facebook ads running, too. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on these ads, but having at least one running can create a consistent trickle of leads.
Don’t feel like you have to create your ad from scratch or hire expensive graphic designers. Instead, check out a few basic Facebook ad templates that can get you started right away with very minor tweaks.
2. Check out Zillow’s agent finder
Trying to snag a buyer is one of the toughest parts of being a buyer’s agent. With Zillow’s agent finder, you are being put in front of people who are looking for a real estate agent. Think of it like a dating site, where you create a relationship between two people looking for the exact same thing.
When you sign up as an Agent, you have to pay, at which point you become a Premier Agent. With this status, you get to buy into visibility in a chosen ZIP code.
For example, if you want to have a 50% share of the market in your area’s ZIP code, you will appear as a buyer’s agent 50% of the time for people searching for listings in that ZIP code. Of course, a person can choose who they want as an agent, but your chances of getting hired are much higher with a great profile, believable reviews, and more sales.
You will also show up as a Featured Agent in the directory of agents.
3. Go for divorce leads
Everyone is going after the usual leads. In order to get ahead, you need to think outside the box.
While divorce rates are slowly dropping every year, the unfortunate fact is that there will always be two people who own a house and decide to split up. And they need help selling that house — that’s where you can come in.
Divorce is legally complicated enough, and a good real estate agent can help smooth over an already difficult process. So don’t stress over feeling like a divorce “ambulance chaser.” You are literally making a tricky situation easier.
Often, the two parties involved in a divorce are given a court order to sell their home.
If you are really serious about seeking out these types of leads, you should consider getting your RCS-D designation. RCS-D stands for “real estate collaborative specialist-divorce,” which shows clients that you’ve received training and are well-versed in the legal details that can make these real estate deals complex. In essence, it’ll show your client that you know your stuff within this niche.
You may also want to consider reaching out to local divorce attorneys in your area. It’s easy to develop a mutually beneficial relationship, after all. The divorce attorney gets a resource they can direct their clients to, and you get a new source of real estate leads.
4. Get better at cold calling
Instead of waiting for leads to come in, be proactive and pick up the phone. Yes, you may get hung up on, but real estate is a tough business, and you need to be able to handle the rejection and get back up if you want to be successful.
Best-selling author and sales expert Jeb Blount spoke on the fact that cold calling is just interrupting, and, like any interruption, you need to get it over with as quickly as possible:
“The most respectful way to interact with someone who doesn’t want to be interrupted is to be quick and to the point. One of the CEOs I work with calls it the 3 Bs: be bright, be brief and be gone.” — Jeb Blount.
As usual, brevity is your friend here.
Here are some things you want to have in place to make this lead generating strategy work for you:
- Come up with a strong FSBO (for sale by owner) script. With FSBO leads, the number one thing to focus on is bringing value to the table:
- Why do they need you to help sell their house?
- What problem might the lead have that only you can fix?
- How can you fix it?
- Get to these points as fast as humanly possible.
- Try out a premade cold-calling script, and customize it to your liking.
- Be proactive but not annoying. You can’t convert a lead without tenacity, but tenacity without discretion is aggression:
- Be helpful.
- Follow up regularly.
- Reach out after 4pm but not before 7pm.
- Don’t keep asking the same question; bring a new solution or idea with each follow-up.
Now that you have a great script, you need leads. Here are some places you can find leads:
- Online residential real estate sites: Check out sites like ForSaleByOwner.com, Craigslist, Zillow’s For Sale By Owner, and Zillow’s Make Me Move. You will find lots of FSBO listings.
- Get a list of delinquent taxpayers from the county: You can go through your county or a data provider. Once you have the list, think of how to further nurture these leads with a marketing campaign.
- Facebook groups: Join Facebook groups that are specifically for FSBOs, in addition to those that would be relevant to FSBOs, such as garage and estate sales and DIY home improvement. If you don’t have a blog going yet, you should start. Also make sure to engage as much as you can while providing value to the group. Do you have useful bits of advice, entertaining anecdotes, funny real estate memes, relevant articles? Post them in the group. Before you know it, you will be seen as the expert of the group.
Cold calling is not for the faint of heart. There is a lot of rejection, and you need to learn how to roll with the punches.
Look at each rejection as a stepping stone instead of an impediment — a hurdle, not a wall. And the more hurdles you leap over, the stronger you get, and the easier leaping becomes.
Having a growth mindset will help you remember that success isn’t getting what you want — it’s getting better at what you do.
5. Reach out to local real estate investors
If you are in an area that sees a good amount of investor activity, reaching out to those individuals could definitely spell more leads for you.
What kind of investors should you be looking for?
- Landlords: Obviously, landlords are going to need real estate agents, and if they are the kinds of landlords with many properties, there’s a good chance they know the lay of the land very well.
- House flippers: Flippers are deeply entrenched in the local real estate market and can be a gold mine for lead generation.
- Groups and trusts: Make friends with someone in a real estate investment trust (REIT) or real estate investment group (REIG). Properties are constantly changing hands around these groups, and getting an ear on the inside can give you a new avenue for real estate lead generation.
If you manage to develop a strong relationship with an investor who is busy, that will mean you get a piece of that pie, too. You have to really know your stuff if you are going to take this route. Most investors will want to work with someone who is an investor or has experience working with other investors.
You need to be seasoned in negotiation and really know the market.
Final thoughts on real estate lead generation
Generating real estate leads is at the top of the list for any agent. In order to stay ahead of the competition, you need to think outside the box and work harder and smarter.
The tips and strategies above will help boost your lead generation numbers if you are willing to put in the work.