Generate Leads For Real Estate
If you’re an agent who wants to generate leads for real estate, then you know you must reinvest your earned commissions into marketing. But without a plan, it’s likely that your success will be minimal.
Whether you’re a seasoned real estate agent or just a beginner, you know that the competition for clients is fierce. But did you know that there are over 400,000 real estate agents in the U.S. alone? That’s a lot of competition!
Now granted some of those are part time agents, but what if you’re also working part time?
This guide is meant to help any agent generate leads for real estate online – no matter what your experience is in marketing.
So no matter how tough it seems to succeed as a real estate agent online, don’t give up! Stick with us and in no time at all you’ll have everything you need to dominate your target zip code.
Real Estate Digital Marketing Challenges
When it comes to digital marketing, the real estate industry has many unique challenges of its own. Compared to other industries, it’s even more competitive, time locked, and super localized.
In fact, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll be competing with the same agents in the same communities. And you better believe that they’ll also be trying to take advantage of the new wave of digital marketing.
Your digital strategy must grab prospective clients’ attention, and that’s what this article is all about.
How To Generate Leads For Real Estate Online
So how do you grab attention?
- Get a professional website.
- Know the best ways to reach potential home buyers/sellers in your area.
- Drive them to your website and then capture them as leads.
- Nurture these leads and continue to follow up with them.
If you know how to do those things, then you will succeed as a realtor marketing online.
Of course, we’re going to go over each of the above points, step by step.
Why Generate Leads For Real Estate Online?
You might not be entirely sold yet about the benefits of marketing online. “Is it really worth the effort to learn all this new information and put my own money on the line?“
The answer is definitely, yes!
These are the three main benefits of marketing your services online:
Build Your Personal Brand
Your personal brand is something that can be carried with you no matter what industry you walk into, for better or for worse. But if you can make your personal brand shine in real estate, then imagine the possibilities elsewhere.
Acquire New Customers
You might be asking “don’t real estate agents traditionally market themselves offline through mailers, workshops, and networking events?”
Well yes, that’s how it’s traditionally done. But did you know that there’s a better way to generate leads for real estate?
Contacting prospective clients online first is actually more effective. In fact, According to the 2016 Content Preferences Survey, 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before talking to a sales representative.
Does this mean that prospective clients don’t want to talk to a real estate agent? Not exactly. It just means that most prospective clients don’t want to talk to you until they’ve done more research on their own first.
It’s nothing personal, and it’s not your fault – it’s just the way things are. This is, after all, the age of easily accessible information and a need for instant gratification.
Engage With Existing Clients
Did you forget to follow up with that home buyer you sold that property to all those months ago?
This is a bad idea. Keeping in touch with your current and previous clients is just as important as looking for new clients.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 64% of an agent’s business comes from people who they already know.
This is why networking on social media is especially useful for real estate agents. The social media platforms allow you to easily stay in touch with clients. And these clients will likely recommend you to their friends and family whenever they’re ready to buy or sell their home.
Digital The Future Of Real Estate Marketing
If you still aren’t convinced that marketing yourself online is worth your time, and would like to ignore it altogether, then consider this: none of us can ignore the world that’s changing around us. Technology is revolutionizing the world, and this includes real estate marketing.
In fact, a survey showed that 92% of home buyers use the internet at some point in their search process.
Have I Got What It Takes To Succeed In Online Marketing?
Hopefully you’ve decided to push on in this endeavor. Only three things are required to succeed:
- A strategy – investing in the right tools
- Basic marketing knowledge
With the above, you’ll certainly be able to generate leads for real estate, and at a very low cost!
Number 3 is up to you – but we can always help if you can’t do everything on your own.
As for strategy and marketing knowledge, keep reading and you’ll have everything you need to start on the path towards success.
Real Estate Digital Marketing Channels
Content is king and new home buyers will want to learn as much as they can.
Anyone buying a home is constantly looking for information on…
- how to do it (example target keyword: how to buy a home in Miami)
- where to buy one (where to buy a home in Miami Florida)
- who’s the best agent/lender/agency, etc.
Also, most buyers and sellers are looking for big real estate websites to find properties. If you want to stand out more than them, then you need outstanding content.
In short, become the definitive real estate provider in your area. How can you do this? Simple – build your own personal brand as an expert in your area.
Start by creating content that’s jam packed with valuable information. But what is high value information?
The answer depends on who is viewing the information. You have to know your audience and what they value.
For example, if you attract visitors who searched for the keyword “how to buy a home in Miami, Florida,” and you thoroughly answer that question, then they’ll perceive your content as valuable because it’s relevant and provides specific answers to their question. Bonus points if you also exceed their expectations.
To wrap up on content, here are a few different ways that you can reach out across the internet with your valuable content.
- Create neighborhood pages and guides targeting specific keywords in your city.
- Create blogs, webinars, podcasts, and infographics.
- All the above are discoverable on search engines by people searching for housing information.
Social Media Marketing
Having a presence on social media is a free way to grow brand awareness. And this happens mainly through something called “social selling.”
Social selling is what happens when you, the realtor, interact with prospective clients on social media. This is a form of selling, and it’s extremely effective. According to a 2015 report by Feedback Systems, 61% of organizations that did social selling saw an increase in revenue growth.
Besides interacting with prospective clients, real estate agents can also employ new and effective social media tactics. This includes things such as 360-degree images, panoramic images, and even an online video series.
The online show “permanent roommates” from commonfloor.com is a good example of an online show. This type of content will help you reach out to larger audiences of prospective clients.
Consider our real estate social media marketing services to help you get started in the right direction.
SEO helps your website get found by people on search engines. It’s a huge topic and you should start by reading our article about local SEO. But the main thing we want realtors to understand is that search traffic volume isn’t the most important SEO factor; getting relevant, local traffic is.
Relevant, local traffic will help solidify your own personal branding as the neighborhood expert in your area. Local traffic that you generate are also more likely to be prospective clients.
What other SEO factors are important when trying to generate leads for real estate?
- CTR: a high click-through rate indicates that your content is engaging and relevant. You can check your CTR in Google Analytics. It’s also the main way to get information on who visits your website.
- Engagement: more engagement with clients/potential clients will drive more referral business your way.
- Social Proof: in the form of comments, shares, likes, testimonials, all of these will help build your site’s online authority and help rank it higher in the search engines. Social proof is also necessary for swaying potential clients, because your listings and branding alone usually won’t be enough.
And speaking of search engines, what do most people think of when they hear the word search engine?
Google. Of course.
But there are other search engines. And, likewise, SEO doesn’t just apply to Google. There’s also Yahoo, Bing and many others. Google makes up about 64% of online searches, but don’t forget about making your website searchable to the other big search engines like Bing and Yahoo.
Is your website visible to not only search engines but also your potential clients? If your answer to this question is “no” or “I don’t know” or even “maybe” then consider implementing our real estate SEO services to help you generate more leads.
Your website design will play a key role in turning those visitors into leads.
For realtors who want to generate leads for real estate online, it’s crucial that their website’s design is beautiful and professional. After all, when someone is thinking about buying a home, they want to imagine a beautiful and happy place. Make your website reflect those feelings.
Your website design must also be optimized for mobile. This is not optional, this is a requirement. 72% of homebuyers use a mobile device to search for a home, according to NAR’s 2016 home buyers and sellers report.
The other key part of website design for realtors is IDX. Oh great, another 3 letter acronym I hear you say? Yep. IDX stands for internet data exchange. It’s really an umbrella term, covering many different terms, but the main term IDX usually refers to is IDX software. This software pertains to the listing of information on websites.
So, you’ll want an IDX provider for your website. Showcase IDX, for example, will setup a property search bar on your website.
One way IDX can help you capture leads is through “delayed forced registration.” This feature will force users to enter their information when searching for property listings on your website.
And speaking of website features, there are plenty more available that will help you generate leads for real estate, which we’ll cover briefly below…
When you install some marketing automation tools on your website/blog, you’ll probably see an increase in engagement.
When you look at other businesses, 64% reported positive results within six months of implementing them.
One example of useful marketing automation is message bots.
A few things that they can do are:
- Engage with visitors as soon as they land on your site.
- Send targeted messages to the different segments of your target market.
- Send targeted messages based on the visitor’s browsing history.
Paid search advertising is probably not the cheapest option, but it definitely gives real estate agents the opportunity to generate leads for real estate – quality ones too! It can also let you support your existing listings, which is important because exposure is extremely important in real estate marketing.
Real estate portal websites don’t always make getting exposure easy with membership gatekeeping, though. This is when a portal site wants visitors to enter their phone number or signup first before letting them view your listing.
One alternative to dealing with these inconveniences is to put up your own advertisements instead that you pay for. There are two main types of paid advertisements: social media ads and paid search ads.
With paid advertisements, knowing your target audience is the key. With social media ads, you also need to know what stage of the buying/selling process they’re in.
For example, most people on LinkedIn are young professionals who are looking to buy their first home soon. And on Instagram, most are also young, but are likely just browsing homes for fun and maybe are in the early stages of buying a home.
As for paid search, it’s less costly than print advertising – but you shouldn’t rely on it exclusively. The average conversion rate in AdWords across all industries is about 2.7%. The display network is around 0.89%, but these are still results and generally generate a 2:1 return on the dollar.
If you want to generate leads for real estate using paid ads, first make sure that you have a larger digital marketing strategy in place and aren’t just relying solely on paid advertisements. Relying only on paid ads to bring in new clients will drain a hole in your wallet pretty quickly.
Ready to Generate More Leads?
Your first priority should be to create your own content to drive organic traffic and leads.
There are a wide range of strategies and digital marketing methods agents can use to reach qualified prospects online.
When trying to generate leads for real estate, it’s good to use multiple methods to improve your odds of being discovered. Be flexible and zero in on what resonates with your clients.
If you’re a realtor who’s brand new to online marketing, then you’ll probably need some extra guidance. Feel free to check out our specialized real estate marketing services and then get in touch with us. We’ll be glad to help you out!
Comment below if you know of more creative ways to digitally generate leads for real estate agents.