4 Easy Steps To Getting Real Estate Leads Online
If you are an agent and you have been having a hard time finding enough serious buyers and sellers in your area, especially when there’re property shortages, then you’re going to want to pay attention…I’m sure by now you probably hate spending your time:
- Walking door to door with pamphlets or door hangers
- Cold calling the list of potential sellers from your broker
- Doing free valuations
- Posting signs around your area whenever you have a home for sale
And while those are tried and true ways of finding leads and getting to know your area and community, they just aren’t that great and translating into sales, and are definitely time killers.
Maybe you’ve reached a point where you’ve done the hard work and established a trusting client base whose word-of-mouth recommendations have lead to more business, but now all your getting are first time home buyers that aren’t pre-approved or buyers that cant sell their current home. Or maybe your getting a lot of stubborn sellers that want to list their home above market value.
Well it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m going to give you an easy 4-step path to generating real estate leads online.
The first step is going to be, lose the idea of “FREE LEADS”
I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the awesome “GENERATE FREE LEADS ONLINE” thing everyone has been talking about. You know, where you throw up a website and watch the traffic come flowing in. However, you’ve probably realized this is pretty far from the truth. Because in business, time and money are interchangeable. You can always spend one to save the other. Whatever you don’t spend in money, you’ll have to offset with time and effort. And if you want to get results faster, you’ll have to spend some money. The same holds true with online marketing. The only difference is, online marketing is much less expensive and much easier to track where and how your money is being used.
That’s not to say it’s easy. You still have to put in the work to make things happens. But this is where your opportunity lies, because it’s where most of your competition falls short.
Step 2. Actually take that time and effort to set yourself apart
You need to break through all the noise that is the other realtors in your market…. and there is a lot of them! You don’t just want to be TOP of mind when they decide to list their home, or search for a new one… You need to be the ONLY option on their mind.
To do this you need to break through the mindset of only delivering value once a customer has paid you. In order to set yourself apart in today’s buyer market, 2018, you need to deliver value before you can earn someone’s business.
One of the best ways to do this is to create something of value… Something like cheat sheets, market evaluations, lists of foreclosures, a new home buying guide, or even an ebook, that you can give to someone for free in exchange for their name and email address, your new lead. It can be as easy as searching the top questions new homebuyers ask on Google, compiling a list of the best questions from the top pages that come up, and writing out the answers on a cheat sheet, blog post, or a quick video.
One of the easiest ways for a video to go viral right now is by doing a Facebook live video. People love how raw they are and find it more engaging than other types of video.
If people know and recognize your name and face, and they trust you because you’ve offered so many helpful resources…
Who do you think they’re going to trust when they’re ready to buy or sell?
That brings us to the third step. Be consistent…
The most successful realtors understand the importance of publishing consistent content every day.
The agents who have the courage to put themselves out there on video, in blog posts, and on social media consistently generate more leads than those who don’t. You want to be that “go to guy” and be known as the hub for all things real estate in your neighborhood.
You want to be that agent that everyone sees everyday online giving value and building a following.
It’s why marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuck’s advice to real estate agents is to create a piece of content every day about their local marketplace.
If you’re thinking to yourself “Ok I get it I need to be online and providing consistent content, but I have no clue where to start?” Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds.
There are a ton of different ways you can connect with an audience. Such as a video, or a blog post, a tweet about your day or something funny, a picture of one of you listings or an inspirational quote, a meme, maybe a fun or thought provoking question, a Facebook poll, really anything that is going to keep you top of mind. You can publish a blog showcasing your neighborhoods and sharing the stories that make them so great to live in.
Try something like:
The 10 new restaurants you have to try in [your area]
The 10 things everyone overlooks during home inspections
The 5 most beautiful homes in Seattle
It’s really that easy!
Another great way to connect with your local marketplace, especially the younger more active crowd, is to post photos on channels like Instagram, showing the hidden gems in your area.
Video is one of the most engaging forms of content you can deliver. Most people get scared and run away from video any time it’s brought up. The truth is it doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be valuable.
You don’t need professional cameras, a video team and a studio… you just need yourself and a smart phone to get started. Some of the best videos are only 2- 5 minutes long sharing an interesting thought or tip, sharing a win, answering a question, or even giving an update on the market.
By doing this you are building trust with your audience, and building an image of authority in your industry.
The Final Step in our 4 step path… Social Media Management
The one common theme throughout all of the steps is that Social media holds the power to reach new audiences, connect with your current network, and build a loyal following. We can literally be right in front of potential customers and leads at all times during the day just by being active and consistent on multiple platforms.
One of the biggest mistakes newer agents make is not regularly following up with their leads and connections. Once an agent starts getting more than about 10-15 new leads per month, it becomes really difficult, if not impossible to keep up and manage them.
As you grow your audience and promote your listings, you WILL start generating new leads weekly if not daily. And its no secret that all of this is going to take a lot of time, effort and organization. That’s why it’s become so popular for agents to outsource their social media management and lead generation to the experts.
It is going to be imperative that you find a way to cultivate new leads as a long term investment for your business. Facebook advertising is great for instant lead generation and promoting brand awareness. However, you want to position yourself where you can eventually pull back on the paid advertising, and focus your marketing on the organic following you’ve built.
The transition between paid advertising and free organic marketing can happen as soon as you have built a loyal following that knows, likes and trusts you. For some, this can be 6 months to a year. For others, it could be 10 years or more.
Unless you are closing a new deal everyday and still finding the time to do the things you love, you are probably like the rest of us- still looking for ways to get more leads. If you lose the idea of FREE LEADS that come with simply setting up a website or a facebook page, you are already leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors. Running Facebook ad campaigns is affordable (often under $0.50 a lead) and can boost your business in a matter of weeks. However, if you take the time to set yourself apart by adding value to your customers, are much more likely to work with you as opposed to the realtor down the block.
Now that your clients are being to know, like and trust you, its time to really sell yourself. Be Consistant… find a way to get in front of your audience every day and you will build those long term relationships that keep your business steady. With a big audience comes big responsibility. Remember -one of the biggest mistakes newer agents make is not regularly following up with their leads and connections. Effective Social media management can be the difference between closing 1-2 listing per month, and closing 5+ listings a month.
Start with step one and create your first Facebook ad today! If you would rather spend your time with clients or on the golf course, we will do it for you. Check out our Facebook advertising service here.
If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!
What is the best way you have found to generate new leads?
Let us know in the comments.