- Leads are potential clients who have expressed an interest in what you offer
- Securing leads is an essential part of having a successful real estate business
- There are five things every agent can do to immediately improve lead generation
With approximately three million active real estate licensees in the United States, there’s a lot of competition among real estate agents working to help people buy and sell homes. Investing in lead generation strategies is an excellent way to draw in customers and boost revenue. Whether you’re a realtor in search of your first sale or a veteran looking to increase your business, the tips in this guide will help you generate more real estate leads.
The basics of real estate leads
According to the National Association of Realtors, 5.64 million existing homes were sold in 2020, and this figure is expected to grow in the coming years as people leave cities and urban areas.
With the housing market hitting new heights, realtors must compete to get potential leads—someone who has expressed genuine interest in the service you’re offering—in their pipeline. The “pipeline” represents the set of stages consumers move through before completing a transaction.
A potential buyer or seller marks the beginning of the pipeline. When the person completes a sale or purchase, he or she is officially a customer and has moved through the pipeline. Getting leads into the pipeline can dramatically impact the success of your new business endeavor.
Why real estate leads are important for agents
Leads represent potential clients. The sooner you can get a lead into your system, the more likely you are to close a deal. In fact, if you follow up with a new lead within five minutes, you are eight times more likely to land their business. A successful lead generation strategy can help move potential clients through your sales pipeline.
Lead generation may be a bit painful when first starting as just a small percentage of qualified leads convert to sales. But if you can figure out how to get real estate leads, you have a better chance of improving sales and growing your small business.
How to get real estate leads: 5 ways to make it happen
Lead generation (lead gen, for short) can seem a bit daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider these five strategies to secure more real estate leads.
1. Network to establish buyer and seller leads
Your success as a realtor very much depends on your ability to connect with clients and build relationships, so you should always have your “elevator pitch” at the ready. An elevator pitch is a 30-second pitch that you can give to potential clients, that outlines:
- Who you are
- What sets your business apart
- What you can do and how you can help the client
Once you have your elevator pitch down, you’ll need to use it at networking events, like an open house.
An open house focuses on selling a home currently on the market, but from a lead generation perspective, it’s much more than that. An open house gives you the ability to build relationships with potential clients. By attending an open house, a potential client is demonstrating at least some interest in buying a new home.
Network with people who come to the event and take time to introduce yourself and give your elevator pitch. You also want to make sure that you get everyone’s contact information, including their name, email, and phone number. If you can, jot down some notes about your conversation. Taking notes about the conversations you have allows for a more personalized follow-up.
For example, let’s say that you meet a couple interested in becoming a homebuyer in 12 months. You can include this information in your notes, then follow up in eight months with a personalized message, such as, “Hello Mr. and Mrs. Doe, I hope everything is well as you prepare to buy your first home. Please contact me with any questions you may have about the process.”
The real estate business is all about connections and meeting people, which is why networking is the biggest source of leads for agents. It doesn’t cost much since it primarily entails establishing and building genuine connections, rather than spending money on expensive advertisements.
2. Rely on referrals
As a new agent, you may not have built up a vast network yet. You may feel that cold-calling (making phone calls to people with no prior connection) is a necessary first step in your real estate marketing plan. However, it takes an average of eight cold calls to secure one new lead. Referrals, on the other hand, are much more effective when breaking into the real estate market.
As in any industry, word-of-mouth referrals are an excellent way to get new leads and build customer trust. Asking your friends, family, acquaintances, and any previous clients for referrals can help you obtain new listings and allow for a much more personal touch than cold calling.
3. Establish your brand
Branding is an essential component of lead generation as it attracts attention to your realty company and lays the groundwork for other strategies to succeed.
When establishing a new brand, it’s imperative to have a memorable company logo and slogan people will associate with your company. If you have a clever slogan, people you meet while networking will be more likely to remember and associate your name and face with this slogan.
Your brand should also be tied to your value proposition, which is what sets you apart from your competitors. Perhaps you can offer more experience than other agents in your area. Whatever your value prop is, your brand should focus on it. Your branding should be consistent across all your marketing materials and online platforms, including your business cards, real estate website, and social media channels like LinkedIn.
Some of your branding might be limited if you’re working for a brokerage firm. You may not be able to have your own logo. In this instance, focus on the professionalism and reputation your brokerage offers or the deep connections you have with local businesses. Whatever the case, find what sets you apart and make that your primary focus.
4. Use Yelp as an online advertising platform
Another lead generation idea for real estate professionals is to claim your Yelp Business Page. This can improve your ranking on local search engine results. On your Yelp Page, you can add a description of your company along with your contact information. You can also display photos of homes you’ve listed and reviews from previous customers, boosting your online advertising for free.
A Yelp Business Page serves as a place for virtual word-of-mouth referrals, as customers can post reviews about their experience. Positive online reviews are a form of lead generation, as 93% of consumers say they read online reviews before making a business decision.
5. Host a webinar
You don’t necessarily need to meet face-to-face with people to obtain new clients. One proven lead generation tactic is hosting an online webinar. For instance, you could host a webinar called “Trends in the Real Estate Industry: Understanding the Local Market” or one called “Home Buying for Beginners.”
Webinars and videos can make a tremendous difference in your lead generation. The Wyzowl State of Video Marketing report shows 87% of video marketers say that video has increased traffic to their website. Furthermore, people are twice as likely to share video content with their friends than any other type of content, and 83% of video marketers say video has helped them generate leads.
Your webinar can be free, but make sure you collect the contact information of those who attend. If someone is attending a webinar about home buying for beginners, there’s a good chance they’re seriously considering buying a home. Much like networking, following up with these new leads can improve your chances of converting these individuals into clients.
Boost your business with these lead generation tips
Real estate lead generation is necessary for any agent. The real estate industry is built on relationships and once you have a client in your pipeline, that person often remains a client for life. The average homeowner stays in each home for 13 years, meaning they could purchase as many as three homes in a lifetime.
Fortunately, the process of learning how to get real estate leads is rather straightforward. You can do the following five things immediately to start improving your lead generation:
- Network to establish buyer and seller leads
- Rely on referrals
- Establish your brand
- Use Yelp as an online advertising platform
- Host a webinar
For more ideas on how to grow and market your company, check out our guides to business growth strategies and marketing your business to attract new customers.