When it comes to real estate, there is one unavoidable truth: leads are life. Whether you’re the type to hoard thousands of lukewarm leads or foster a few scalding hot ones, they’re what drive your business – and your success.
Of course, if leads were easy to come by and, more importantly, close, you wouldn’t be reading this post. That’s why we’ll be going over buyer and seller leads today, giving you the information you need to…lead. See what we did there? =)
1. Purchasing Leads
This is a tricky one because, while purchasing leads seems easy and effective, you need to focus on the right kind of leads to purchase. Oftentimes, services will offer to sell you leads in bulk, sometimes thousands at once. The problem with this method is that the service will sometimes sell the same leads to many other agents in your area, causing a competition you don’t realize you’re a part of.
Services such as Zillow offer what’s called “Lead Impression,” which places an agent’s contact information next to one of their listings. The more you pay, the more times your information appears next to listings. There will be other agents alongside you on these listings, but it’s slightly different than the services above: this is designed to give the customer a choice, meaning that the person who ultimately chooses you, did so over others. This is more likely to be a successful lead.
2. Social Media Leads
Sites like Facebook and Twitter can be excellent lead sources if utilized correctly. There are many ways to use Facebook for leads, the two most effective being, listings posted on your page and Facebook advertising. Posting a listing is simple (and free): You simply can link to your MLS listing, add a photo with a catchy description, and post it to your wall for others to see. The other method is to pay for advertising, which is its own blog post. Here’s link to Facebook’s advertising page for more information.
Twitter is another good resource, albeit a little bit less effective. Twitter allows you to link to listings, reach out to past and potential customers, and make real-life connections that often translate to sales.
3. Website Leads
Many agents have their own web presence, but aren’t making the most of it. One of the easiest ways to capitalize on website or listing leads is to put lead capture forms throughout your site, asking potential buyers/sellers to leave their contact information. Websites not only let people know who you are, but also what you specialize in and the area you focus on.
In addition to creating your web presence, there are ways to market your site even further. One way of doing this is a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign, in which you pay for services/partners to drive traffic to your site/lead capture form.
Not tech-savvy? That’s OK! There are website services focused on real estate, with agent success in mind. Companies, like our friend Morgan Carey’s Real Estate Webmasters, design and host websites for real estate agents. They even offer marketing tools and SEO optimization, taking the guesswork out of the entire process.
4. Geo-Farming & Door-Knocking for Leads
Sometimes effective marketing requires a boots-on-the-ground approach. =)
Farming a certain area and door-knocking, while often considered ‘old school methods’, are still very effective. These methods allow you to gather a bunch of real-life prospects from a certain area, and reach out to potential customers personally. While agents often door knock for seller leads, they neglect buyer leads. The old adage of “you don’t know if you don’t ask” applies here. Get out there and ask around!
5. Lead from Referrals
Our final tip is one of the most important – actually, it’s the most important. Referrals are the single best lead source an agent can have: people you’ve worked with in the past, recommending you because they had a great experience. With referrals, it’s best to strike while the iron is hot and reach out to a customer early for best results. Here are a few suggestions:
Send a small closing gift, thanking them for their business (a warehouse club membership, movie tickets etc.)
Send out business cards to customers, asking them to hand them out to people they know.
Reach out to your customers shortly after the sale, and be sure to thank them and offer your services for the future