Real estate is one of the world’s most competitive industries, especially during times of high interest rates, low inventory, and economic uncertainty. Seasoned agents know that real estate lead generation is the key to their success – and they have well-honed strategies to help them maintain a healthy pipeline.
Read on to discover fifteen real estate lead generation tactics that will help you consistently find qualified leads, even in a slow economy.
Lead Generation for Real Estate: 15 Proven Tactics
While many people envision a day in the life of a real estate agent to be filled with showings, open houses and deal negotiations, those in the trenches know that it’s difficult to make a living without investing significant time in generating leads. The uncomfortable truth of this career is that lead generation for real estate is one of the most important parts of your job. And it’s tedious.
Following are fifteen tried-and-true real estate lead generation tactics that are extremely popular with the industry’s top-performing agents.
1. Maintain contact with your past clients
Real estate is a relationship-based business. If you aren’t making an effort to maintain the relationships you’ve built, you’re throwing away potential business. While the client/agent relationship is usually short-lived, maintaining relationships after the sale will keep the door open to future deals and improve your chances of getting referrals. This can prove especially fruitful when it comes to first-time homebuyers. Guiding someone through the process of buying their first home is a significant milestone in their life, and the experience you provide during this crucial time can establish a foundation for a lasting professional relationship.
According to the US-based National Association of Realtors (NAR), 73% of sellers say they’d definitely use the same agent for future sales. Social media makes it easier than ever to stay in touch, and LinkedIn could be the perfect platform for keeping the lines of communication open – and for increasing your visibility to potential clients through mutual connections.
2. Share your expertise on LinkedIn
Speaking of LinkedIn, it’s an excellent platform for building your credibility and improving visibility by sharing your expertise and commentary about hot topics and trends in real estate. This is a chance to build your personal brand and establish yourself as a thought leader who people will want on their side the next time they’re buying or selling real estate. Make a regular habit of sharing a few thoughts with a link to an interesting article – or write your own articles. The key to real estate lead generation here is to provide engaging content with relevant hashtags, and let the algorithm do the rest!
3. Ask for referrals
While homes are usually a long-term investment, which makes ongoing repeat business difficult, past clients can be a goldmine of warm leads. Buying real estate can be a jungle, especially for first-time buyers. Who wouldn’t want a trusted partner to guide them through the process? Word of mouth is a powerful tool, so don’t be shy about asking past clients for referrals. This is a low-effort, high-return real estate lead generation tactic that can help you capitalize on your past work. In fact, NAR reports that 36% of sellers say they’ve found their agent through a referral.
4. Be active on Instagram
Real estate is a visual business, and Instagram is an ideal channel for providing the kind of eye candy that increases your visibility and brings in leads while showcasing your listings. Repurpose your best listing photos and post them with niche hashtags – and use the same strategy to create reels of your videos. You can even combine the two mediums to create stories, which is another visibility-boosting format that can help you to reach potential clients. This effective lead generation for real estate tactic isn’t about getting your posts in front of a huge audience, it’s about getting them in front of the right audience. Using niche hashtags will improve the chances that your post will stand out to potential clients. To build your brand, use a personal hashtag that makes it easy for people to keep tabs on your current listings and open houses.
5. Find your niche – and work it
Much like niche hashtags can help you reach a small but engaged audience, carving out a niche in the market can help you reach engaged buyers with less effort. To make the most of this real estate lead generation tactic, identify a few possible niches in your market and become an expert. If you work in a market with a large inventory of Victorian or mid-century modern homes, you could position yourself as an expert in these types of properties. Otherwise, you could choose to focus on particular demographics like first-time buyers or helping seniors downsize to the perfect retirement property. Pick a niche, develop your knowledge, and build the majority of your social media presence around this niche.
6. Post in local Facebook groups
Local Facebook groups are a great opportunity to share your expertise, build your credibility, and connect with people who need your services. To get the most out of your efforts, optimize your profile to make it clear that you’re a local real estate agent specializing in a particular niche and provide clear contact details so it’s easy for people to get in touch.
7. Invest in your own web presence
It’s essential to be active on all social media platforms where you could potentially connect with prospects – and it’s equally important to resist the cost-effective temptation to rely on your brokerage’s website. If you really want to build your personal brand, develop your niche and stand out as an expert in your local market, you must invest in your own web presence. This will enable you to capitalize on SEO to boost your visibility – and use your social media channels to drive traffic to your website. It’s also a chance to share testimonials from past clients, demonstrate your knowledge and expertise via blog posts, publish a newsletter, and generate leads. It will also guarantee a consistent web presence, even if you decide to move to another brokerage.
8. Add a “lead generator” to your website and social media channels
This could be as simple as a PDF of an eBook, neighborhood or school guide, or checklist – or it could be something more advanced like a home-valuation tool. The gist of this real estate lead generation tactic is to offer something of value in exchange for the prospect’s contact information. This information is your first step along the path of converting a lead into a client.
9. Stay active and visible within your community
Whether it’s patronizing the same local businesses or getting involved as a volunteer at well-attended events in your community, the more people you meet and the better they know you, the better your chances of getting their business or a referral. Carry a good supply of business cards, go on a charm offensive, and make sure everyone knows that you’re ready and willing to help them when it’s time to sell their property – or find the place of their dreams!
10. Network to build partnerships with local businesses
That old saying “one hand washes the other” is particularly true when it comes to ongoing lead generation for real estate. Who you know and how you use those connections is critical to succeeding in this relationship-based business. Estate liquidators can be a good source of leads, but think about local businesses with whom you could form a symbiotic relationship – obvious choices include title companies, insurance companies and bankers, which are closely tied to the financial side of the business. However, don’t overlook possibilities that could exist with less-obvious partners like architects, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, and cleaning companies. It also couldn’t hurt to join your chamber of commerce. It’s worth investigating anywhere you see the potential to form a mutually beneficial partnership. Referrals are largely a numbers game, so get creative and cast a wide net!
11. Host an educational evening
This is an opportune time to partner with other businesses while improving exposure for both of you. Once you’ve chosen your niche, think about topics that would interest your target demographic. It could be an educational session targeted to first-time buyers, seniors looking to downsize, or buyers looking to buy an old home. For broader appeal, create an event that covers a general but timely topic, like buying a home in the current economy or non-traditional financing options. If you work in a market with a large inventory of a particular architectural style, you could host an event about the history of those types of homes in your area. Sweeten the deal by offering wine and hors d’oeuvres or coffee and cake from a much-loved local bakery. And don’t forget to look for tie-ins with your partners.
12. Keep cold leads warm
Real estate is an emotional purchase and you probably know as well as anyone that some buyers seem ready to take the plunge, only to end up with cold feet. While it’s frustrating investing time only to have someone change their mind, not all of these prospective buyers are a lost cause. Keeping these leads warm takes very little effort. Sending an occasional email or leaving a voicemail every so often can improve the chances that they’ll get back in touch when they’re ready to buy. Inviting them to an educational evening on a topic that might be of interest to them is another low-effort way to keep them engaged.
13. Get invited to housewarmings
For many upscale clients, housewarming parties are a prime opportunity to show off their new digs far and wide. As a “closing gift,” you could offer to cater all or some of their housewarming party, which is almost guaranteed to secure an invitation and put you in their good graces. It’s also a great opportunity for you to meet and mingle with their cohort and possibly meet a few neighbors who are thinking of selling and moving on. It’s not uncommon for neighborhoods to experience periods of turnover, so getting in front of your client’s new neighbors could generate a lead or two.
14. Stay on top of expired listings
Create a routine of looking into recently expired listings and do a deep dive into possible reasons they haven’t sold, particularly where the other agent might’ve fallen short. Contact the owners, keeping in mind that they’re probably frustrated and stressed about their situation. Express empathy and if they seem receptive, offer some ideas for improving their approach if they decide to relist.
15. Invest in online advertising
If your budget allows, targeted online advertising is a wise investment. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Google, or Zillow, paying to play means you’re no longer at the algorithm’s mercy. Today’s buyers are online and one of the best ways to engage them is through a combination of organic and paid advertising, stunning visuals, and a clever call to action.
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