10 REAL ESTATE LEAD GENERATION METHODS THAT'LL MAKE YOUR PHONE RING
Lead generation might be the lifeblood of most successful real estate careers, but many agents wince at the process.
Most agents look forward to the day when their careers are built up enough that they can stop the unglamorous and often thankless task of generating leads. Those who reach this stage, however, are among a slim minority.
In real estate, prospecting for potential clients is an art that deserves careful attention. If you go about it willy-nilly with no game plan or research you’re bound to look back upon hours of fruitless frustration that you’ll never get back.
In this post, we’ve distilled 10 specific real estate lead generation techniques that are perfect for this post-Covid era. If you find one or two that you like
1) Door Knocking Reborn: Prospecting Comes Full Circle
Knock, knock. Who’s there?
In 2022, there are two great reasons to start door-knocking again.
One: now that the threat of the virus has been dramatically diluted it is once again socially acceptable to go knocking on people’s doors. After so much isolation, many people are starved for human contact.
Two: over the two years that the coronavirus pandemic kept people housebound and isolated, house prices soared. This happened pretty much everywhere.
These factors suggest that the time is ripe for a specific door-knocking technique called ‘circle prospecting.’
|Circle Prospecting is a door-knocking technique that targets the homes near a house that recently sold. There’s a lot to suggest that the post-pandemic real estate climate is perfect for this lead generation technique.|
If you're unfamiliar with circle prospecting. Here are the steps in a nutshell.
- Find a neighborhood with a recently sold home (preferably a home you sold).
- Use this home as a data point to start your doorstep discussion with those you doorknock. There is no doubt that there will have been a significant price increase since the days when the coronavirus pandemic arrived. This is certain to interest some of the people you speak to.
- Present the person at the door with a nice-looking, single-page, full-colour printout consisting of an aerial image of the home that has just sold as well as the nearby homes in the area you are circle prospecting. This sheet should indicate the previous sale prices of the home as well as the most recent sale price (chances are the jump will be significant). Do not forget to include your phone number, real estate website, and other contact information on this sheet.
- When your prospect shows some interest in your pitch, offer to do a complete CMA (comparative market analysis) on their home. Include this offer on the printout you leave them with, in case the prospect does not express immediate interest in what you are telling them.
- Take a few hours from late afternoon to early evening to circle prospect a street or two around a listing you have just sold.
Don’t be surprised if you have a few fresh leads under your belt by the time you return home for dinner.
2) ‘Cool Call’(Not 'Cold Call') The Contacts In Your Phone
If there’s anything agents dislike more than door-knocking, it’s probably cold calling. But it’s not exactly cold calling if you call the people who are already ‘cool’ with you having their number.
This is an effective way to generate leads and not necessarily directly with the contacts in your phone.
It never hurts to call one or two of your contacts every week and see if they know anyone looking to buy or sell or have any hot tips impacting the world of real estate in your farm area.
If you only talk to three of your contacts a week. You can avoid harassing any of them, and you just never know what might come of it.
Billions upon billions of dollars of real estate are sold every month because of something that came up in a verbal conversation. Calling a few of your contacts every week for tips or leads is a healthy habit to get into.
3) Host A Seminar For The Sort Of Leads Your Are Seeking
When you are putting together a seminar, give careful thought to the exact sort of leads you are hoping to attract.
'How To Start A Bidding War' or 'How To Sell Your Property For Over Asking' are names that would catch the attention of anyone thinking of selling their home.
A seminar aimed at this cohort could discuss how virtual property marketing elements like 360° Virtual Tours and Virtual Staging were instrumental factors behind both bidding wars and properties that sold for more than the asking price.
|Virtually Staged properties statistically sell faster and for over the asking price. A marketing seminar that discussed the advantages of this and other aspects of virtual property marketing would generate interest - and most likely valuable leads.|
If you are looking to become known as a sellers agent for big developments, you might host a seminar called "Selling Off Plan in the Metaverse" and show developers, builders (and likely interested agents) the latest in CGI render technology and the great things it can do to promote any development at its earliest stages.
One solid, well-attended seminar can bring you enough leads to keep you busy for years. If your seminar becomes popular enough to become a series, you probably won't need to look anywhere else to generate new leads.
4) Host A First-time Buyer’s Town Hall
Offering something of value is the key to all methods of lead generation. First-time buyers are one of the most sought-after types of leads in the industry because the agent who looks after them well can end up with a lifetime client.
This demographic also happen to be the one in search of the most information about the property buying process.
A town hall involving first-time buyers, parents of first-time buyers, and local real estate experts (yourself among them, of course) is an event that would benefit all parties involved.
This sort of town hall can run annually. Every year there is a fresh crop of first-time buyers and their parents and both want to know as much about the process as possible.
- Are there first-time buyer grants that are available in your farm area?
- How much of a down payment would be required for a lower-end home?
- What are the advantages and drawbacks of strata living?
- Is it a good idea for Mom and Dad to help out with the down payment?
A town hall that addressed all these questions, as well as questions from the participants, would be an event of great value to all involved: Parents and children would learn more about the process. You, as the host agent, would get a lot of free publicity and likely go to sleep that night with a host of fresh leads.
5) Make Yourself Content - You'll Be Happy You Did
|Amy Bennett has mastered the art of making herself content. Her pink thinking and fresh uses of virtual property marketing will be the focus of an upcoming feature on our blog. Journalists LOVE when real estate agents approach them with interesting stories, or with offers to provide regular opinions on stories involving their field of expertise.|
If leads are the lifeblood of real estate, content is the lifeblood of our media. Content is anything you pay attention to on your media. This post is content. So is whatever you watch on your television, read in your newspaper (if you still know where to find a newspaper) what you say (or text) on the phone, what you post, scroll past or read on social media.
Because it is easy and free for anyone to post content in this digital age, many agents see content as something self-generated, like a podcast or a social media page. Both can be extremely effective. But can take some time to gain momentum.
The established, mainstream media is the road less taken for agents looking to spread their presence far and wide. But you might be surprised at how easy it can be to work your way into this Shangri La of self-promotion.
Journalists need you. One of the most difficult things about being a journalist is being able to track down the right kind of source when a story demands it.
Journalists LOVE when real estate agents approach them with interesting stories, or with offers to provide regular opinions on stories involving their field of expertise.
Even here at BoxBrownie.com, we love to tell your stories. We are currently working on a hot piece featuring pink-haired real estate wiz Amy Bennett of McGrath Australia.
Amy is making herself known as a sprightly presence along Australia's Sunshine Coast. Among other unique marketing moves, Amy places printouts of our Virtual Staging inside the empty rooms of her listings - a little touch of magic that has a big impact.
But Amy has done more than just find a way to use our virtual property marketing toolkit. In discovering this, she has also made herself content on our blog.
6) Attend City Or Town Council Meetings
A great place to meet journalists is at Town Council meetings. But not just journalists. These events are hubs for everyone involved in the business of real estate and are a great place for agents to find fresh and lucrative leads.
Every development, every zoning application, and every change of material use permit application must pass through city hall. Attending local council meetings will enable you to know exactly what’s happening in your farm area, and will put you in networking reach will all of the major players involved.
Even the most switched-on real estate agents who follow their local news pipelines to know what’s going on in their communities will still be 24 hours behind you if you attend the meetings in person. Plus you’ll get to know the developers, employers, councilors journalists, and other professionals who have a vested interest in the things going on in their town.
7) Use Seasonal “Leave Behinds”
Do you remember George Costanza from Seinfeld? Poor George invented the ‘leave behind’ as a means of guaranteeing a second 'date' with a girl who didn’t want to see him again.
He would leave behind a personal item at her apartment, thus giving himself a perfectly valid excuse to meet with her one more time. Pathetic? Perhaps.
But there is always a little bit of method to George Costanza’s madness. We're not suggesting you be quite so desperate or mischievous. However, in real estate, you can take part of his strategy and stitch it to the traditions and mores of wherever you happen to live.
This is not a new idea. In the USA real estate agents are already borrowing from Costanza, to generate leads.
“Far and away, our two best unique leave-behinds are when we had placed an American flag on each lawn just prior to the Fourth of July and when we place a pumpkin on each doorstep around Halloween," is what Nick Slocum, a partner/realtor with The Nick Slocum Team told TheClose.com.
“The response is incredible and the connection to the community is even better. In fact, over the years, the neighbors have come to expect it and often refer to us as ‘The Pumpkin Guys’ or ‘The Flag Guys.’”
In this case, placing a flag or a pumpkin or a Christmas figurine in the front yards of a neighborhood gives you a good reason to knock on doors, meet people in a given area, and get a whole street talking about the positive vibes you are spreading.
Then, when the special day is over you have another valid excuse to return and collect your 'leave behind.' Thank the homeowner, leave your card and be on your way. This simple feel-good enterprise can be an extremely fertile way to generate leads.
8) Leverage Strategic Sponsorship Arrangements
In a RECENT POST, we talked about the notion of strategic sponsorship. Any money you spend on advertising should have more than one purpose.
Advertising money, when it is strategically applied, is a great way to purchase leads. Give careful thought to the organizations and events that you sponsor. Before agreeing to sponsorship, seek to become the "official real estate agent" for their organization.
Agents or brokerages who spend heavy sponsorship dollars on professional sports teams tend to become the agent of referral for that organization - this is an invaluable win-win situation for both parties.
But that is an extreme example. Don't expect to just walk up and become the agent of referral for the Los Angeles Lakers if you take an ad out in their program. But lowering your sights somewhat can pay dividends.
Many other organizations do not have such arrangements in place. It's up to you to locate them and negotiate the arrangement. It could be with the HR department of a hospital or a university - both institutions have high turnover rates, and both are constantly looking for new and creative ways to fundraise.
9) The Rental Market is a sleeping giant
According to Chris Linsell of TheClose.com, there is a secret source of real estate buyer leads: The rental market.
“It is insane to me that most realtors don’t have a strategic and direct approach to working with renters and targeting them as buyer leads.”
Linsell cites data saying that 70% of renters aspire to become buyers.
The current rental rate in the US is the highest it has been since 1965.
In many markets, the current monthly rent for a rental is equal to or even exceeds the rates for a mortgage.
“Every month you’re paying someone’s mortgage. It’s really up to you whether you want to pay your landlord's mortgage or your own mortgage.”
10) Find a New Niche And Work It Relentlessly
If you are looking for your own niche, there is a very simple way to discover what it is. Ask yourself: "What most interests me about real estate?"
When you find the answer to this question, you will have found your niche.
This is by far the best thing about this method of lead generation. Every day you will be focusing on something you love.
Ines Hegedus-Garcia of miamism.com (another agent who is an expert at making herself content) has built a wildly prosperous real estate career because took her love for historic properties and architecture and made that her niche on the Miami scene.
The reality is, that it requires time and energy to relentlessly work any niche. If it's not something you are passionate about, your efforts are unlikely to bear fruit.
And what's worse, you'll cease to enjoy your work. It's far, far better to love what you do!
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