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by DP Taylor | Updated Aug. 5, 2022 – First published on May 18, 2022
Image source: Getty Images
Even professionals with the best sales techniques often falter when it comes to selling real estate. It takes a highly personal touch to make it in this business at every stage of the sales cycle.
Finding real estate leads presents its own set of challenges, and all the sales tips in the world can’t help you close deals if you don’t have good real estate lead sources. However, if you know which marketing channels to use, you can create a constant pipeline of fresh prospects.
To do that, you’ve got to implement a few tried-and-true strategies on how to generate leads in real estate.
Finding the best real estate lead generation ideas is a challenging prospect, even for veteran real estate professionals, and before we jump into the seven strategies that can make you more effective at it, you need to keep a couple of things in mind about the business.
Generating leads for real estate is a lot different than it is for other industries. You have to be a lot more focused on relationships, personal contact, and face-to-face meetings — unlike some businesses that can spend all their time online.
It’s so easy to waste time on unproductive activities as a real estate agent. You need to balance online activities, phone calls, and physically visiting homes. It’s vital that you look for ways to improve your efficiency in terms of how you generate leads, because your time is precious.
There are a lot of ideas regarding the best way to get real estate leads, but these seven strategies are key to creating a comprehensive plan for getting leads for realtors.
There’s simply no getting around it: If you’re in real estate, you have to network like crazy. Talk to neighbors, check in with the chamber of commerce to find out what events are going on, volunteer with local charities, send networking emails, or just pick up the phone and dial prospects.
And don’t forget to talk to the people you already know. You have built many years of trust with family and friends, so it’s OK to ask them first if anyone’s in the market for a home. They’ll want to deal with someone they already know and trust, which makes you perfect for the job.
Networking is all about establishing that personal connection with a potential client. Here’s a couple ways to make sure you form relationships rather than simply meet people.
Referrals are gold in real estate. Unlike when you’re cold calling and people don’t know who you are and may even be annoyed at being contacted, a referral gives you an immediate “in” with a prospect, which saves you a lot of time contacting cold leads and working them through the sales funnel. Be aggressive — but polite and respectful — when asking for referrals. Make it a habit to ask each client for one or two.
And when you do get a referral, do not forget to send a handwritten thank-you note to the person who referred you. This will build a positive relationship with an individual who may have more referrals to provide in the future.
Referrals can be a bit tricky, but there’s a couple of things you can do right now to increase the rate at which you get them.
Every salesperson should create and continually tweak a sales process to improve their efficiency. You should have a plan that lays out a strategy for when you should make cold calls, what your referral process is, and how you go out and find new leads.
To do that, it helps to first crunch the data you already have to create a customer profile. Where do you find them (social media, referrals, etc.)? What are their demographics? Are they more likely to subscribe to your newsletter? Answering these questions will help you determine how to create an efficient process.
Using this information, create a process that you can follow week-in and week-out, over and over again, and then evaluate it every couple weeks or so to determine if it needs to be tweaked to incorporate new strategies or eliminate activities that aren’t bringing in value.
A sales process may be the key to getting your business to the next level, so it’s wise to set aside a few hours to set one up.
Yes, everyone says to use social media in marketing. But you can be forgiven for being frustrated by this medium. After all, not everyone has thousands of followers.
The power of social media for you as a real estate salesperson is your ability to share eye-popping features in homes on the market that people who like browsing for their dream home will share.
Social media is also a good way to find people to interact with in your market area. You could reply to people’s posts with helpful information or point them to a home that could be of interest — just don’t be too sales-y about it.
Social media can be a powerful tool, or it can be a waste of time, depending on how you use it. Here are a couple of ways to make sure you get something out of it.
If you’re like most real estate salespeople, you don’t bother with video — but you should. Offering to create a video of a home is a great way to convince sellers to list with you. And videos do a great job of showcasing a home in a way that photographs can’t.
But beyond showing off homes, you can create quick two-minute videos of:
Videos can be a powerful new sales tool, but it is admittedly a little intimidating for those who aren’t tech-savvy. Here are a few tips to make it a part of your sales process.
Buyers use the internet to find the home they ultimately purchase a whopping 50% of the time, according to the National Association of Realtors. One of the first things people do when searching for a new home is to hit up a search engine. Wouldn’t it be great if your website was one of the first ones listed?
You can launch your own content marketing campaign to raise your profile in search engines and get more free traffic. You do this by producing quality, keyword-rich content that breaks down subjects of importance to your clients, such as a how-to on applying for a Federal Housing Administration loan or quick-and-dirty tips on listing a house.
Content marketing can bring in a lot of organic traffic, and it could end up being a vital new pipeline of leads if you use it right.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software can take your business to the next level. This software will help manage your leads in one place, allowing you to see where they stand in the sales cycle so you can send them the right message at the right time, which will improve the overall efficiency of your operation.
However, not all CRM software is created equal, so you need to look for real estate CRM software. You’re in a different kind of business when it comes to sales because you are selling a huge, life-changing expenditure and not a can of soda. As a result, you need to look for software that offers three features in particular:
CRM software is good for streamlining your processes and making you a more efficient real estate selling machine.
So which CRM should you pick? There are dozens of options to choose from, but remember that not all of them will be optimized for real estate professionals. Here are three options that we feel are best suited to those working in real estate.
Unlike a lot of CRM platforms, Agile CRM actually has a real estate version that is designed for documenting appraisals and property listings, as well as automating administrative tasks.
Agile CRM provides a good top-down look at your current sales pipeline. Image source: Author
Salesforce CRM also has functions designed to help real estate salespeople from start to finish. It allows you to easily upload leads and contacts, manage email campaigns, and work from anywhere using the mobile app.
You can see detailed client information with Salesforce’s contacts feature. Image source: Author
You can create “pipelines” for individual properties with Pipedrive, allowing you to monitor the client journey from open house to closing. You can also keep track of any messages you have with clients, and you can take audio notes with your phone as you move between properties.
You can visualize where you stand with your clients with Pipedrive’s dashboard. Image source: Author
When it comes to real estate leads for realtors, it’s all about having the right process. You may already have a process, but perhaps you find yourself scrambling around everywhere with barely a moment to think.
If so, it’s time to find set aside a few hours and ask yourself some questions. Am I approaching this the right way? Does my process need a complete overhaul? Do I have the necessary data to install the right process?
When you’ve answered these questions, you can begin to put in place a new system that incorporates these seven strategies and will have you on the way to a new pipeline of leads that will take you to the next level.
DP Taylor is a business software expert writing for The Ascent and The Motley Fool.
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