What are the best lead sources for Realtors?
Lead Generation Is Not an Option—It’s a Must For Your Successful Business
If you're looking to be one of those top-producing agents who consistently hits their sales goals year after year, generating leads is critical. You may already know this if you've read any other articles about getting more clients or growing your business online with marketing strategies. But there's something else that many people don't realize when it comes to generating leads...it can actually be harder than selling homes! And we'll tell why below.
You can use this free video editor.In order to generate leads effectively, you have to think beyond just what you want out of each prospect (i.e., price range) and instead focus on finding prospects that fit into certain criteria like location, type of home they'd most likely buy, etc.—so that you can qualify them quickly and efficiently. It also means understanding how to use different types of lead generation tools so that you never waste time chasing bad deals. This article will help show you exactly where to look to make sure you're always working with qualified buyers.
But first things first: What are the best ways to generate leads in real estate in 2022? Let's take a closer look at some of the major ones.
Online Lead Generation Tools
Since many potential sellers are now using social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to promote themselves, these are usually great places to start off by creating ads promoting your services. Another option would be to create videos and post them on YouTube and Vimeo, which has become another popular place for homeowners to connect with professionals. This method works especially well for agents who work remotely since it allows them to showcase their talents without ever having to meet up face-to-face.
Another big advantage to using online lead generators is that once someone clicks through from an ad or video, you can followup directly via email or phone call rather than wasting valuable time trying to track down lost leads. If you need further guidance, here are some tips to ensure you maximize your results while minimizing costs.
Email Marketing System
The key to success with email marketing systems is choosing the right platform. There are several proven email marketing software providers that offer customizable solutions specifically designed to attract new customers and increase client loyalty. With an effective system, you not only gain access to detailed reporting but also the ability to segment lists and target specific groups of users based on age, gender, interest, etc.
You can then craft highly personalized emails that draw attention to special offers, promotions, events, etc. Since the messages are often triggered automatically, you won't even have to spend much effort writing them yourself. Most importantly, however, is making sure that your content is relevant, informative, and engaging.
Once again, the goal is to keep your subscribers interested enough in your brand that they feel compelled to click "Submit" next to whatever form you include in your message. The easier it is for the user to submit information, the better chance you have of capturing useful data.
With CRMs, you typically get all the bells and whistles including live chat support, mobile app integrations, integration with third party websites/apps, contact management, event tracking, etc. However, the downside is that they tend to cost quite a bit of money depending on whether you choose a cloud solution or hosted version.
Also, because they require lots of manual input, they aren't particularly ideal for high volume lead generation campaigns or automated processes. That said, if you currently use Excel spreadsheets to manage your contacts, consider switching over to Google Sheets or Microsoft Access before investing hundreds or thousands of dollars on dedicated software. These free versions allow you to track multiple properties simultaneously, automate repetitive tasks, and run reports easily.
Websites & Landing Pages
Website development isn't cheap, nor should it be. A good website goes far beyond simple aesthetics and includes functionality and usability issues that can greatly impact conversion rates. In short, there's no point in spending tons of money on fancy graphics if you end up losing countless visitors due to slow load times, confusing navigation menus, broken links, etc.
For beginners, it might seem tempting to hire a web designer to build you a custom site. While this approach does provide maximum flexibility and control, it can also set you back tens of thousands of dollars. Instead, opt for pre-made themes found on WordPress, Wix, Shopify, BigCommerce, GoDaddy, etc. Also, avoid hosting fees by going with managed WordPress hosts such as WP Engine or Cloudways. They handle all server maintenance behind the scenes, giving you peace of mind knowing that everything is running smoothly 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
After reading our recommendation above, you may decide that building your own landing page is worth the extra effort. To simplify matters, you could simply incorporate elements of your existing website design and customize colors, fonts, images, banners, etc. Don't forget, though, that converting traffic into leads requires proper optimization techniques. Otherwise, all of your hard work may go unnoticed.
Video Advertising Platforms
Videos are becoming increasingly important across all forms of advertising. According to Hubspot research, 80% of consumers prefer watching branded videos vs. static advertisements. So, it makes sense to leverage the power of video marketing to drive traffic towards your property listings.
However, unlike traditional commercials, viewers generally expect professional representation. Although amateur home videos are fine if you're pitching a listing that appeals to everyone regardless of skill level, they're less effective overall. As such, we recommend hiring a videographer to shoot professionally filmed footage of your listings in action. Then, upload them onto platforms like YouTube and Vimeo so that prospective buyers can view them whenever they please.
As mentioned earlier, you can also utilize channels like Facebook Live and Twitter Video Ads to broadcast your latest listings straight from your smartphone screen. By doing so, you give viewers an opportunity to see houses in person without ever leaving their living rooms.
According to BrightLocal, 84 percent of millennials say they trust recommendations from friends and family members more than anything else. Because of this, it's essential to establish relationships with influencers in your local area.
By reaching out to celebrities, experts, bloggers, journalists, neighbors, etc., you can share your expertise and demonstrate your knowledgeability without coming across as too aggressive. After all, you wouldn't send a cold pitch to Bill Gates asking him to sign up for your mailing list, would you?
That being said, you shouldn't rely solely on word-of-mouth referrals. Online referral programs are a quick and easy way to introduce your service to millions of potential buyers. Here are two of the biggest players.
Zillow Referral Rewards Program
Offered exclusively to Zillow Real Estate Agents, the program rewards loyal customers with discounts on select products and services within the company's portfolio. All you have to do is refer three active licensed REALTORS® to join the ZRRP. Once enrolled, they'll receive $25 in Amazon gift cards every month for referring a total of 12 unique individuals.
Referring partners must verify their license status prior to receiving monthly benefits. To enroll, visit zillowreferralsignin.com/agents/.
HomeAdvisor Elite Referral Partner Benefits
Similar to Zillow, HomeAdvisor also offers exclusive perks to its elite partner network. Like the ZRRP, eligible vendors earn $25 in Amazon gift cards every month for successfully recruiting 3+ referral partners during specified periods throughout the year. Unlike Zillow, vendors must apply annually to participate in this program.
To learn more about eligibility requirements, enrollment process, and available promotional cycles, visit www.homeadvisorreferralpartnerprogram.com.
Now that you understand the importance of attracting targeted leads, let's talk about the best sources for lead generation in real estate.
Realtor.org Website Builder
Reached by virtually anyone searching online for a real estate agent, realtor.org is considered the largest US-based industry trade association. Its mission is to advance professionalism among Realtor® associates and enhance consumer confidence in residential housing transactions nationwide.
Although Realtor.org doesn't offer direct lead generation capabilities, it provides a variety of resources to facilitate lead acquisition. Among them are educational materials, training courses, news stories, job postings, etc. When used together, these various components serve as virtual pipelines allowing you to tap into a steady stream of fresh leads.
When selecting your niche market(s), pay close attention to geographic regions, income levels, household size, single-family detached homes, condos, co-ops, vacant land, etc. The following sections contain additional details regarding typical buyer profiles, average transaction prices, etc.:
Buying Vs. Selling Homes
There are four main ways to sell a house: Open House, MLS Listing, Owner Financing, and Short Sales. Of these options, open house appointments account for nearly 75% of closed sales.
Typically held between 10am - 4pm Monday - Friday, open houses function as an informal introduction of the seller to potential buyers. At the conclusion of each session, attendees leave comments and ratings on the property, helping the owner identify possible improvements needed.
If there's one thing that every agent wants in their career, it’s more clients. But how can agents attract those elusive buyers or sellers? The answer lies with finding great leads — people who have expressed an interest in working with your services but haven't yet found someone they want to work with directly.
The process of generating leads is what separates the average salesperson from the top performers. In this article we'll take a look at some of the most popular ways Realtor generate leads so you know which ones will be right for your team. Let's get started!
What is the best source of new leads for good salespeople?
When talking about the best source of new leads for Realtors, two words come to mind immediately: referrals and networking. These are both tried-and-true methods that have worked well over time. Referrals typically happen when former customers ask other current customers if they would recommend anyone in particular (i.e., "Have you seen my friend Jim?"). Networking happens when a sales professional connects with another person through something like social media, industry associations, or local events. Both types of connections are important because even though these strategies may seem passive by nature, they're still essential to building long-term relationships. After all, how else could you find potential clients without going out into the world and meeting them yourself?
Another strategy worth mentioning here is cold calling. While many think this method is dead, it actually has been proven to produce results for certain industries. For example, Cold Calling works especially well in healthcare providers where patients often don't know exactly whom to contact first. If you've ever had a doctor's appointment where you were asked to call back after speaking with a receptionist, then you've done cold calling! However, while effective, cold calling isn't recommended as a primary form of marketing since it tends to be impersonal. Plus, it requires a lot of upfront investment which limits its use among smaller teams.
So now let's move onto more specific categories of lead sources. What are some of the best lead sources for Realtors?
1. Direct mail/postcards
Direct mail campaigns are a common tactic used by Realtors to generate leads. They send letters, post cards, flyers, brochures, catalogues, etc. via snail mail to targeted neighborhoods in hopes of reaching homeowners and renters interested in selling or buying property. A typical direct mailing costs less than $500 per month, making it a cost-effective option for small businesses looking to reach a wide audience.
2. Email list rentals
Email list rental programs offer up lists of qualified prospects to Realtors at huge discounts. As part of a monthly subscription service, email list owners provide Realtors access to consumer data files containing information such as name, address, phone number, and previous purchases made online, offline, and across town. This makes it easy for Realtors to stay connected with their target market no matter where they go. Because emails contain personal information, however, consumers need to opt-in before receiving any newsletters or promotional messages sent from Real Estate professionals. Email list rentals are also known as "list brokers" due to how they work. Unlike traditional list brokerages, list owner services charge full commission rates rather than percentages. When comparing prices between vendors, make sure to consider whether they charge flat fees or percentage commissions. It's always better to pay higher commissions than lower ones, but sometimes paying too much means losing money on each sale.
3. Facebook ads
Facebook advertising allows realtors to display advertisements on users' news feeds and timelines. Since Facebook users tend to trust content posted by friends and family, placing ads on this platform helps increase brand awareness. By using Facebook advertising, Realtors can effectively promote products and services to homebuyers and sellers looking for homes nearby. To set up an ad campaign, follow these steps:
Select the location(s) you'd like to advertise within. You should select multiple locations if possible.
Choose the type of advertisement you'd like to run. There are several options available including carousel posts, video posts, photo posts, slideshow posts, text links, checklists, event invites, and app install offers.
Once you choose a campaign type, add relevant details such as price range, photos, website URL, and special promotions.
Click Create Campaign and wait until the campaign launches.
4. Google Ads
Google AdWords is probably the most widely recognized digital advertising platform today. With millions of dollars being spent daily on advertising on Google Search alone, it's clear why this company dominates search engine optimization. Like Facebook, Google Ads allow realtors to create customized ads and place them strategically throughout major websites and platforms. Here are just a few things to keep in mind when creating an ad campaign:
Set the date range during which your ad will appear.
Type in keywords related to your product or service.
Write compelling headlines and descriptions.
Review your analytics regularly. Some key metrics include clickthrough rate (CTR), conversion rate (CR), cost per acquisition (CPA), and return on investment (ROI).
5. Online classified ads
Are you frustrated with Craigslist? Are you tired of posting fliers around your area only to receive minimal responses? Then try running free classified ads online instead. Classified sites such as Backpage, Kijiji, OfferUp, and Gumtree help connect sellers with buyers nationwide. Although classified advertising is not technically considered a lead source, it provides opportunities to build lasting partnerships with prospective customers. Many Realtors rely heavily on classified ads to acquire new listings, while others prefer to focus on listing properties exclusively. Either way, running classified ads gives Realtors access to thousands of eyeballs, allowing them to showcase their skills and expertise. Also, unlike paid ads, classified ads require little initial capital. Depending on the size of your city, you might end up getting hundreds of hits a day!
6. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing refers to activities designed to drive traffic to websites, blogs, or apps through various forms of communication channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, and Tumblr. Popular tactics include sharing content pertaining to your target market, commenting on blog articles written by influencers, replying to tweets, uploading videos to platforms like TikTok, Vimeo, and Instagram Stories, and responding to comments. Using social media marketing, Realtors can easily share valuable information with potential customers, strengthening existing relationships. One caveat, however, is that it takes time to see returns from your efforts. So remember to track your progress and adjust accordingly.
Events refer to public gatherings organized specifically for networking purposes. Whether it's a local Chamber of Commerce function, neighborhood block party, trade show booth, charity dinner, or conference, attending these kinds of gatherings increases visibility and strengthens alliances. Not only does this boost your profile, but it also creates opportunities to meet influential individuals and gain exposure to future clients. Take advantage of this opportunity to network with fellow Realtors, learn tips and tricks from seasoned pros, and expand your circle of influence. Make sure to bring plenty of business cards along with you so you can start conversations with attendees. Don't forget to hand them out to everyone you talk to as well. And, if you live near a big metropolitan area, consider taking an extra step and applying to attend bigger events hosted by prominent organizations. Most likely, you'll stand out from the crowd and draw attention to your business.
Next, we'll discuss the differences between sourcing leads versus prospecting leads. How do you know if a lead is sourced or prospected?
As mentioned earlier, the terms “lead” and “prospect” aren't interchangeable. Prospecting involves actively searching for potential clients whereas leading involves guiding them towards a solution. Think of it as providing directions to your house vs having the keys to open your front door. Sourcing is similar to prospecting, except it doesn't necessarily involve chasing down leads. Instead, it involves giving Realtors an edge by supplying them with quality leads.
Sourcing differs from prospecting primarily because sourcing leads doesn't require as much effort from the seller side. Prospecting usually includes sending letters, e-mails, calls, texts, or invitations to participate in meetings or webinars. On the contrary, sourcing relies solely on the professionalism of the Realtor involved. Therefore, it's easier to implement for beginners but challenging for experienced professionals. Sometimes, sourcing entails simple tasks such as updating records within databases, submitting paperwork, returning phone calls, making appointments, scheduling showings, doing interviews, conducting background checks, and following up with past clients. Other times, it requires a bit more creativity, like offering discounted gift certificates, complimentary consultations, or free trials. Whatever approach you decide to take, make sure to consistently maintain high standards and never compromise ethics and integrity. Once you establish credibility, people will seek you out rather than vice versa.
Now that we understand lead sources, we'll explore the difference between warm leads and hot leads next.
Realtors have plenty of options when looking at ways they can improve their sales numbers. From SEO tactics to social media marketing strategies, there's no shortage of ideas out there to help them increase revenue. But what about generating quality leads? If you want to be successful as a broker, this has got to be one of your top priorities. Here are some of the best lead sources available today.
We spoke with several agents who specialize in different areas of real estate to find which services were most effective for helping them build their businesses. Below we've listed our favorite lead providers by category so that you can choose whichever fits well into your strategy. Keep reading below to learn how these tools work.
How do Realtors get more leads?
The first thing many people think about when deciding where to buy or sell property is whether or not someone else within their network knows an agent willing to handle the transaction. This makes sense -- if you're trying to avoid calling dozens of competing brokers just because you don't know anyone who uses them, wouldn't you prefer calling one person instead? That's why online brokerage platforms like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and StreetEasy all offer lead generators specifically designed to connect buyers and sellers directly to local Realtor competitors. These sites also allow users to filter results by price range, commute distance, number of bedrooms/baths, etc., making it easier than ever to find an agent nearby who specializes in exactly what you need.
Another popular source of leads is referral-based programs offered by professional groups such as REALTOR®s Without Borders (RWB), National Association of Realtors (NAR), American Real Estate Investors Network (AREION) and others. Many of these organizations run events across the country where attendees can sign up to receive free information packets outlining various aspects of home ownership. The goal here isn't necessarily to recruit new members but rather to educate potential clients about the benefits of working with licensed professionals. By signing up, you'll gain access to valuable resources like printable flyers, brochures, and other materials often used in presentations made during these events. In addition to being able to distribute these promotional items to friends and family, Realtors using these types of campaigns can use the event data itself to create personalized emails aimed at encouraging interested prospects to contact them. For example, NAR runs monthly webinars featuring experts from its member networks, while RWB publishes quarterly newsletters highlighting current trends affecting Realtors nationwide. Even better, since these groups are typically hosted locally, prospective customers are already familiar with the organization and will feel comfortable approaching representatives at future events.
Finally, some Realtors rely heavily on traditional networking opportunities. While attending industry conferences, trade shows, mortgage lender meetings, and similar events may require travel expenses, they often provide huge payoffs in terms of qualified leads. Not only does meeting face-to-face with fellow brokers strengthen existing relationships, but it's also a great place to make contacts with decision makers and influencers involved in those industries. For instance, in 2016, I met with both reps from the largest residential lenders in my area to discuss loan products offered through Fannie Mae HomePath. Although neither company was currently actively recruiting agents to join their teams, each said something along the lines of "if you send us a note describing your experience and credentials, we might consider giving you an opportunity" after hearing everything I had to say. Similarly, a few years ago I attended a major national association conference in Las Vegas where I connected with multiple Mortgage Bankers eager to explore partnerships with Realtors. Afterward, over the course of two followup calls, nearly every banker gave me advice on maximizing referrals and improving client acquisition rates. Of course, any time spent building personal connections with bankers, appraisers, title officers, attorneys, inspectors, contractors, designers, manufacturers, plumbers, electricians, HOA directors, insurance carriers, and countless other professionals in related fields should prove beneficial down the line.
Where do Realtors get most of their leads?
As mentioned above, the main reason Realtors seek out referrals from colleagues is to stay abreast of developments occurring within specific geographic regions. With that in mind, it doesn't take long to realize that the easiest method of accomplishing this would involve setting up shop somewhere near other Realtors. However, simply having office space close to another franchise isn't enough. Achieving optimal efficiency requires taking several factors into consideration including market demographics, competition levels, and overall traffic flow. It's important to remember that not everyone searching for a realtor in the same city goes online. Plenty of folks still enjoy visiting open houses, driving around neighborhoods, knocking on doors, and speaking with neighbors before committing to anything. And even though digital advertising is becoming increasingly common, many non-tech savvy individuals aren't comfortable parting with money for things they haven't tried themselves. As a result, even in cities where demand outpaces supply, Realtors without offices located within reasonable walking distances of other franchises are often forced to spend considerable sums on gas each month traveling back and forth between properties.
To combat this problem, Realtors can partner with outside firms offering telematics solutions. Telematics refer to technologies used to track vehicle movements via GPS technology. Since 2014, Google Maps began incorporating turn-by-turn directions and live traffic updates provided by navigation app Waze. More recently, Apple introduced CarPlay, allowing drivers to stream music, view maps, and select destination points via Siri. Using telematics software, Realtors can set up virtual storefronts on websites like Amazon Local, Yelp, Hotfrog, Superpages, Yellow Pages, OpenTable, Localeo, Venmo, Paypal, eBay Business Center, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist Classifieds, Kijiji Canada, and Gumtree Australia. Once consumers visit these pages, they can search listings and compare prices right then and there -- bypassing the headache of sitting down in front of a computer to enter addresses, phone numbers, credit card details, and other pertinent info manually.
In short, telematics allows Realtors to leverage their efforts elsewhere while remaining accessible 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Most systems come equipped with easy setup procedures and intuitive interfaces designed to appeal to novice users. They're also highly customizable, meaning partners can adjust menus, add additional categories, and otherwise fine tune content according to preferences. On top of that, most providers now include built-in analytics tracking capabilities, enabling Realtors to see which keywords drive the most website visitors and which locations produce the highest conversion rates. Finally, unlike conventional brick and mortar establishments, telematic storefronts tend to attract fewer complaints from patrons due to lack of noise, distractions, and clutter. When done correctly, they can actually enhance consumer experiences, leading to higher average check values and increased visibility.
One final benefit of employing telematics is the ability to expand operations beyond physical borders. Instead of strictly catering to residents within 100 square miles of your location, a skilled provider can reach millions of people worldwide thanks to the power of internet connectivity. To illustrate, Backpage.com offers classified ads from hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers spanning 30 countries. Likewise, Rentalscope.ca facilitates rentals throughout North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, Oceania, and Antarctica -- providing Realtors with unparalleled reach and exposure.
But perhaps the biggest draw of telematics is the fact they can dramatically cut costs associated with renting furniture, equipment, mailing lists, signage, and other supplies. According to research conducted last year by JLL Consulting Services, the global commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), telematics accounted for roughly $5 billion worth of annual savings. At present, approximately 50% percent of Fortune 500 Companies utilize telematics tools to boost efficiencies and profitability. Despite recent economic downturns, the sector continues to thrive despite low adoption among smaller players. Looking ahead, expect to see more large corporations embrace telematics as a means of saving money and increasing productivity.
How do you generate more leads in real estate?
If you're hoping to become a masterful networker, it helps to possess certain personality traits. You must approach strangers with confidence, patience, and warmth. Above all, you have to remain positive even when faced with obstacles. Remember, your job isn't to convince people to hire you immediately, but rather to establish trust and rapport so they eventually decide to call you. Because of this, it's essential to keep tabs on your surroundings whenever possible. Make sure to always look sharp and maintain clean grooming habits in order to project professionalism. Also, try to relax and smile frequently whenever dealing with potential clients. People respond favorably to friendly demeanor and likability, regardless of profession. Lastly, never forget to ask questions. Try to uncover a prospect's needs in terms of desired services and asking smart inquiries regarding their goals or lifestyle won't hurt either. Just don't go overboard!