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Although there are numerous articles and videos about generating real estate leads online, most realtors still use inefficient lead generation methods such as door knocking.
And since real estate is a field where you might have to deal with feast and famine periods, you really have no choice but to be able to fill up your pipeline if you want to be successful.
This article will show you some of the best real estate lead generation ideas for 2022.
How to generate real estate leads
Table Of Contents
- How to generate real estate leads
- 1. Use Facebook lead generation ads + captivating creatives
- 2. Create video testimonials for social proof
- 3. Ask for referrals from past clients
- 4. Launch a referral campaign
- 5. Start a blog and attract SEO traffic
- 6. Start a real estate podcast
- 7. Create beautiful contact forms
- 8. Invest in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool.
- 9. Speak at conferences, meetups and events.
- 10. Send out personalized ‘thank you’ postcards
- 11. Do circle prospecting plus automated follow-ups
- 12. Guest blog on authoritative websites
- 13. Work expired listings
- 14. Become a source of local real estate investing advice
- 1. Use Facebook lead generation ads + captivating creatives
- Best way to generate real estate leads – no upfront cost
1. Use Facebook lead generation ads + captivating creatives
Facebook lead generation ads are just like regular ads that show up in your target’s timeline. But instead of directing people to a landing page, Facebook lead ads incorporate an easy-to-fill form that users can fill out without leaving the platform. Based on various studies, the less steps people have to complete to enjoy your offer, the better.
Here’s how to generate real estate leads with lead gen ads on Facebook:
Use captivating content
Whether you use a video or image, your content should be able to stop people in their tracks. Check out this example from the Corcoran group. It makes use of short, persuasive copy and a direct CTA.
Stick to five form fields or less
Here in this article, one of the case studies detail how Realestatebees, a real estate Martech agency, was able to increase lead form conversion rate from 3% to 11% by replacing a longer website form with a shorter one.
What happens when people click on any CTA in a lead gen ad is that Facebook autofills the form with the requested information. This is an easy and efficient way to gain new leads for your real estate business.
2. Create video testimonials for social proof
95% of people say that reviews – whether positive or negative – influence their purchasing decisions.
Video testimonials will increase your credibility. It’s the best way to leverage social proof to win more business. That’s because when a random customer talks about your business, you get more points with a prospect than by promoting it yourself. In fact, 2 out of 3 people say they’d be more likely to make a purchase after watching a testimonial video demonstrating how a business, product or service had helped someone else.
Yet, you need to be more strategic with how you use video testimonials. You can add these testimonials to your website homepage to give it personality and make people more interested in your brand. But, if you really want to get new leads, you need to be sharing your video testimonials on social media.
Here’s a step by step process to do that:
1. Have a system for getting testimonials from past customers. Don’t wait a month to ask, since a new client who’s happily moving into a new home is far more willing to give you a testimonial than one of your long-time clients.
2. You could offer to give a nice closing gift to clients who create a video testimonial about your brand to incentivize them. You can also just have your team interview clients about their home buying or selling experience.
The way video testimonials work is that they improve people’s perception of your brand. This makes it easy to convert people who have been on the fence about you into new leads and prospects.
Here’s a good example shared on Youtube by Greg Guinto of Sotheby’s International Realty:
3. Ask for referrals from past clients
Some of your best clients will come from referrals. Referred customers are less expensive to acquire and have a greater chance of retention. In fact, a referred customer has a 16% higher lifetime value than a non-referred customer. The problem is that your past clients aren’t likely to give you referrals unless you ask. Only 29% of satisfied customers refer others without asking.
One of the problems with asking for referrals is that it seems like you may offend customers by asking for a referral, especially high-end customers. But the truth is that most of your customers will be happy to give you one. 83% of customers say they are willing to share a referral.
Referrals are, in fact, how many real estate agents get new business. According to stats from Buffini & Company, 21% of realtors get over 50% of their business this way.
So how do you get referrals from past clients?
Just ask. Here’s a simple email script for getting referrals from past clients (by Revrealestate). As mentioned before, you want to ask for referrals ideally when your client is in a happy mood, for example, they just moved into their dream home, made considerable profit on their home sale, etc. Here’s a script you can modify to fit your situation.
Congrats again on the home sale! Between the packing and organizing, I hope you still get a chance to celebrate.
I really did enjoy working with you and would love to work with more people like you! If you know of anyone who may be looking for real estate advice, we are always on the hunt for more great clients like you. We work almost exclusively by referral, so if anyone comes to mind, we are always happy to help. (If not, no worries, of course)
Regardless, it has been such a pleasure working with you and I’m looking forward to working closely with you on the final stretch as we approach possession.
4. Launch a referral campaign
Through referral campaigns, you can offer incentives to past clients for referring their friends and colleagues to you. Referral marketing is used by big brands in many industries, such as AirBnB, PayPal, and Masterclass. It wouldn’t hurt to take a page from their playbook.
To attract leads through referral marketing, you’ll need to:
- Offer an attractive gift to any of your former customers who give you a referral, e.g., gift cards, a welcome home gift, etc.
- Promote your referral program via your email signature, email newsletter, social media post, word of mouth. If people don’t know a referral program exists, they won’t participate.
- Remind customers about your referral program in your happy birthday emails, anniversary emails, and other emails to past clients.
- Opt for a referral marketing solution if you want to bring more organization to your referral campaigns. Here is a big list of referral marketing software to select from.
5. Start a blog and attract SEO traffic
One of the best ways to drive traffic to your site is by showing up in the search engines (organic traffic). A well-written, optimized blog will rank high on Google and drive visitors to your website. According to many sources, blogging is responsible for 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links. Blogs on company sites result in 55% more visitors.
While there are many ways to gain high quality leads through blogging, it’s not as simple as ABC. The first hurdle is creating blogs that actually drive traffic. The second hurdle is capturing leads through your blog posts, but more on that in a second.
A blog that is designed to bring traffic requires an understanding of SEO, or the involvement of someone who is knowledgeable about SEO.
According to Bill Gassett, ReMax realtor;
One of the staples of generating business has been my blog and it continues to be. Providing consumer friendly knowledge on a regular basis has provided the opportunity to be out in front. When you consistently provide useful information and market it, you become the local expert.
One of the most significant aspects of blogging is promotion and visibility. You can write the best content there is, but if nobody sees it, you will be dead in the water. Real estate agents who would like to blog as a means of generating leads must be proficient in SEO and digital marketing. These things go hand in hand with the content writing. Most agents don’t put in the time to understand search engine optimization and end up giving up because of it.
The second hurdle is that traffic doesn’t automatically translate into sales. So, how can you generate leads through blogging?
Try this simple strategy:
1. Create remarkable content. It’s best to speak to your customers and tailor your content to their needs.
2. Include CTAs in your best posts. If people read your blog posts and then leave, you’re probably going to lose them for good. You’re leaving a lot of money on the table. Use lead magnets (gated, ultra-specific info) and pop-ups offering relevant value to generate real estate leads through your blog. When you use pop-ups, make sure you’re not disrupting the user-experience. Your offer should align with what users want and your pop-up should be well-designed and easy to navigate away from. This is an example of real estate pop ups done right from Whiffin and Wilson realtors.
6. Start a real estate podcast
Podcasting is poised to continue growing beyond 2022. During the last annual survey in 2021, it was found that 57 percent of American consumers listened to audio podcasts, compared with 55 percent in the previous year.
Podcasts work because, unlike many other content formats, they are easy to consume. People can listen to them while relaxing, commuting, doing chores or working out. 59 percent of podcast listeners listen to podcasts while doing housework, 52 percent while driving, and 50 percent while cooking or baking.
They are also easy to create. You can create podcasts with your smartphone and upload your podcasts to free podcast hosting platforms like Soundcloud, Buzzsprout or Podbean. You can also use an app like Anchor to create, host and distribute your podcast for free. However, to make sure people find your podcasts, you’ll need a promotion strategy.
Here are a couple steps to generate real estate leads through podcasts:
1. Choose topics people care about. Your content should revolve around trending real estate topics in your neighborhood or in your state. They’re usually easy to find if you’re plugged into the news. Other possible topics include real estate market trends and specific tips for buying and selling homes.
Katie Lance, real estate social media strategist and host of the Katie Lance Podcast, gives this advice in a realtor.com article:
When you are first starting, one thing to consider is the name and the theme of your podcast. The name can be as simple as your name or your business or community. Think about what type of content you want to share and this will help create and form your title.
Your topics should be things you are passionate about. It could be community or neighborhood happenings, real estate or housing tips, what’s going on with your local market, etc. Looking for some inspiration? Go to Stitcher or Soundcloud and start searching real estate topics or topics of interest to you to get a flavor of what is out there and different formats available.
2. Include a CTA at the beginning, middle, and end of your podcast episodes. This should be a simple call to action such as telling your listeners to subscribe to your email list. Ensure that your CTA demonstrates what’s-in-it-for-me value to your listener.
3. Promote your podcast. You probably would be inviting people to speak on your podcast. These people have thousands of followers on Twitter and other social media. Ask them to share your podcast and tag them. Other ways to promote a podcast include partnering with fellow podcasters, using podcast aggregators and more.
7. Create beautiful contact forms
If you run a real estate website (and you should, if you really want to scale lead generation), odds are that you get some traffic. The problem is, the people entering your website may not be qualified. On the other hand, they may be qualified but just not ready to work with you at that point. That’s where contact forms come into play. They are tools that are often under-utilized by real estate marketers. (And while we’re on the subject of tools, check out the list of best real estate marketing tools here)
A good contact form serves the purpose of helping you qualify visitors. You want to have beautiful and snackable contact forms on your property pages.
Qualified visitors should find it easy to fill out their contact details if they’re interested in a particular property. You should also have a contact form on your home page or a real estate landing page that allows visitors to tell you what they’re looking for in a home, so that when you get listings that fit those criteria, you can follow up with the qualified leads. With the Contact form 7 plugin, you can create beautiful forms on WordPress websites that integrate with Getresponse, allowing you to follow up with leads easily.
8. Invest in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool.
Over time, the bulk of your new business will likely come from referrals and previous clients. How do you manage the relationships you’ve built or intend to build? Definitely not just with your memory. You need a CRM to manage the process of winning new business and providing support to existing customers.
CRMs also allow you to keep track of leads that are likely to purchase from you. These leads can be sent personalized follow-ups, to ensure deals aren’t lost. To learn more about the best tools available on the market, check out this list of top Real Estate CRMs.
You might also like: Real Estate Email Marketing & Lead Nurturing
9. Speak at conferences, meetups and events.
As your real estate business grows, you may start getting requests to speak at events. Even though speaking at conferences and meetups is a bit of a different kettle of fish in this post-pandemic period, it’s a great way to improve your personal brand and image.
This doesn’t mean you need to accept each and every opportunity to speak at a conference or event. You want to focus on events and conferences where your ideal audience will be present. This means you’ll be able to actually deliver value to the audience and at the same time, win new leads.
In the “new normal”, most events take place online. It’s an opportunity for you to organize an online event or webinar. The way you collect leads here is through the registration process. You could partner with an expert in your market or in the real estate industry, and then create some buzz around your event by having people, including your invited guest, share the event. This way, you’ll expand your reach.
10. Send out personalized ‘thank you’ postcards
With automation being the buzzword these days, sending a handwritten thank you card can make a good impression on people. You can send out these types of thank you cards to new clients, clients who have just closed on a deal. You can even send cards to warm leads.
Services like thanks.io allow you to send out thank you postcards starting from just $0.49/card.
11. Do circle prospecting plus automated follow-ups
Traditionally, cold calling involves calling everyone in your neighborhood regardless of whether they are interested in buying or selling real estate. Of course, with this unrefined strategy, you’ll get a slew of rejections. What circle prospecting does is that instead of calling random people, you reach out to people who are geographically qualified. That is, these people live in the area where your listing is. Instead of the mindset of reaching a cold prospect, you’re breaking news to someone who might not be aware of a new sales listing in their area. You can also do circle prospecting with open houses, new home sales or even rental listings.
“Did you know that your neighbors at 110 Smith road just listed their home for sale…” is a much more personalized line than “We have clients that are looking for homes in your area…” or “this is John from ABC real estate”.
Circle prospecting is a smart way to get both buyer and seller leads. But how do you do it?
1. Automate with tools like RedX Geo Leads and power dialer or Slydial broadcast for voicemail. You could run Facebook or Google ads to capture emails in a particular zip code and then run a drip email sequence with Getresponse.
2. Have a follow up strategy in place. Typically, you’ll need to follow up more than 3 times to make an impression with prospects. In your follow ups, you could offer value by sending a newsletter on how to pay less in closing costs etc.
3. If you have the budget for it, use a multi-channel marketing strategy. The most successful circle prospecting strategy uses direct mail, email and cold calls. You can also use retargeted ads on Facebook to increase your touch points and convert more leads.
12. Guest blog on authoritative websites
In addition to generating backlinks to your website, guest blogging is also a good way to improve your online presence and reach. It’s also a smart way to generate real estate leads for new agents. The idea is this: find an authoritative website, offer them an article or news piece for free, and you get an author bio that tells a little about you. The author bio is one of the most underrated tools for getting new leads.
Local publications are always looking for expert contributors. You can write for them, or answer questions from journalists. You are rewarded with a link back to your website, which improves your site’s ranking as well as brings more exposure to your brand.
It’s important, however, that the blog you are guest blogging on reaches your target market and that it is an authoritative blog. You should also ensure that your guest post offers enough value to attract high quality traffic to your website. Can you give a current assessment of your local real estate market? Then offer that as a guest post on an established local news website.
13. Work expired listings
Old, expired listings are the bread and butter of real estate prospecting. Almost every agent you know cold calls owners of expired listings. So how do you stand out?
1. Make your pitch all about value. A listing expired because of one or more reasons, you want to figure out what these are, and present how you’d do better if you were hired.
2. Sound natural by learning and practicing scripts that work. Also know the objections to prepare for and how to handle them. There are many lame cold calling scripts online, but there are some that stand out. You should role-play and practice those until they sound natural. Here’s a helpful resource for lead generation scripts.
3. Use a multi-channel marketing strategy. This means that you create follow-up campaigns across two or more platforms where your potential customers are.
14. Become a source of local real estate investing advice
Real estate investors are sometimes looking for real estate agents to partner with or seek advice from. You can position yourself as a go-to source of helpful advice both online and offline. You can interact with local investors on websites like Reddit, Biggerpockets forum and Quora. Offline, you can attend local real estate investing events and seminars to meet investors in your neighborhood. Similarly, you can advertise deals to past clients who might be interested in building wealth through real estate investing.
A good way to attract professionals – investors, builders, mortgage professionals, and real estate seller leads, is by positioning yourself as a source of factual local market information.
For example, being an authoritative source of local Tallahassee market information has helped Manausa real estate, owned by real estate broker, Joe Manausa, create a strong market presence.
Best way to generate real estate leads – no upfront cost
While these real estate lead generation ideas will certainly help you build brand awareness and attract new leads, the best leads come through creating a great experience for your clients. It usually costs nothing. A real estate agent who is responsive, has high integrity, and is able to connect their clients with the right assistance, will almost certainly not have to spend excessively on real estate lead generation.