So you’re looking for ideas to generate new leaders for your real estate business? Well, you’re in luck because I have several.
This past way, a mutual friend of mine (let’s call him Steve) told me that he had decided to become a real estate agent and he wanted to know the best way to get started with growing his business.
Now, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of books dedicated just to this topic. However, I’m going to save you some of the reading, because at the end of the day, leadgen isn’t the hard part; the difficult part is you.
But, what does that mean? It means that even if I told you how to get ten qualified leads on your desk every day, if you don’t follow-up, if you don’t call them right away, if you don’t provide excellent service or a reason to want to work with you, you may as well give those leads to a friend.
So before I tell you the best way to generate real estate leads, I want you to promise yourself, you’ll do the following:
- Treat every lead, regardless of potential transaction size, as if they are a multimillion dollar client
- Call every lead you get immediately. Time is of the essence and it takes time to build loyalty.
- Invest your time into establishing a relationship with the client, not solely the deal or the hopes of one.
- Invest time and money into creating processes for tracking and following up with leads.
If you follow these four steps, you’ll be much more successful at not only leadgen, but also at growing your business.
OK, not onto the leadgen ideas. Keep in mind that this is a not a definitive list, but a list based on what we’ve used and what has worked well for us.
Non-Real Estate Networking Events
Shortly after Catherine and I moved to Los Angeles, we were invited to attend an InterNations networking event. This is an event that is largely for foreign nationals to get together and network in L.A. Of course, we were a little skeptical about whether or not we’d fit in since we’re not exactly foreign; however, what we found was an immense amount of respect amongst the attendees for showing up and supporting everyone else. We were able to talk about real estate and we picked up a few leads that we were able to help several months down the road.
The big takeway here is that sometimes the best way to approach networking for leads is by attending events that aren’t real estate related.
Talk About Real Estate Everywhere
When I’m at the pump, putting gas in my vehicle, I’ll often glance over at my pump companions and try to strike up a conversation. Even if it is just complimenting their car, it paves the way to talk about what is going on in our lives. I’m not saying you should force feed real estate down peoples’ throats, but it’s OK to mention that you help folks accomplish their real estate goals.
I always love asking this question as a real estate ice breaker: do you do any real estate investing? Here in Los Angeles, there are a lot of high-net-worth individuals and talking about investment strategies can definitely peak their interest.
DON’T BE PRESUMPTIOUS! I can’t tell you how many times we didn’t speak to one because we assumed they couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to buy, only to be dead wrong. That goes for your gardener, housekeeper, coffee barista, and much more.
Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
If you aren’t employing social networks to help you with your marketing, then you are BEHIND. You must have a social strategy because this is where everyone hangs out online. If you don’t want to do it or don’t know how, hire someone – but DO IT!!
On LinkedIn, I want you to get out of the habit of only connecting with people you know. It is becoming more commonplace to connect with people tangentially related to your industry. If it asks you “How do you know this person?”, just put “Friend”. When people accept your connection, you have an opportunity to now message them, thank them for the accept and then proposition them for a lunch date so that you can network.
Remember, the goal is to build relationships.
On Twitter, the goal is really to promote your content and engage with the community. Do a few searches in Twitter for “looking for agent” or “moving to Los Angeles [or your city]” and then tweet out to those users with some kind of useful information. Avoid pitching yourself directly as you may be perceived as spam.
On Facebook, you should setup a page for yourself / business and invite all of your connections to Like it and leave you reviews. You need to be continually posting content that a. shows you are active and knowledgeable about the local market and b. inspires readers to engage with you.
When you really dive into Facebook, you should think about boosting your posts for additional views and/or creating an ad.
Direct Mail Marketing
With the influx of advertisers moving from traditional direct mail marketing to the web, this has created an opportunity for those in the real estate profession to use direct mail to your advantage.
I won’t go into detail about all of the strategies for direct mail here, but the key points to a successful direct mail strategy are as follows:
- Identify a motivated and targeted “list” of homes you want to market to. (vacant homes, high equity, inherited homes, absentee homeowners, etc)
- The mail piece should have a great offer and call to action. Avoid generic, “I’m a Realtor – Sell with me!” mailers.
- Mail 4-7 times to the same list. Don’t stop after just one or two as it takes time to build momentum.
When Catherine and I just started out, we went door-knocking in the Hollywood Hills. It was tough and nerve-racking, but we did. And you know what? It works.
Now, Catherine door-knocks over 400 homes a month! The neighborhood is starting to know who she is and spin our referrals for business.
Don’t let FEAR stop you from achieving your dreams. Get out there, talk to people, provide something of value to them when your at the door (a market update report, a new listing, a great financing deal, etc).
Get Involved with the Community
The best way to generate leads is by not trying. We’ve found that by putting ourselves into situations where we will inevitably be interacting with the local community is sometimes the best way to get new leads and grow the business.
Whether it is by joining a local neighborhood association, volunteering at the local school, or holding your own neighborhood food drives, getting involved with the community is an excellent way to network and drum up business. On top of the business opportunity, you are showing the community that you aren’t in this business just to make a quick buck. You should want to invest your time and energy into helping your city be the best it can be.
So there you have it. Those are just a handful of the ways you can start generating real estate leads. Does it take time? Sure. Will you have business overnight? Possibly, but not likely.
Real estate sales is a long-term game and the winners are the ones who stick it out long enough to reach success. Go get ’em!