In 2018, 5.34 million existing homes were sold and the number of licensed Realtors rose to 1.38 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Looking at the data, it’s easy to see that competition is tough for listings and clients. Figuring out how to get real estate leads in a competitive market can be a challenge, as independent agencies don’t often have the same real estate lead generation budget as some national brands. Here are six affordable ways to bring in new business.
Be Involved in Your Community
Play up the community angle of your business by getting involved in local activities and organizations. Join your local Chamber of Commerce chapter, sponsor a community event, or volunteer for a local cause. You can even become a regular at a local restaurant or salon. When people see you on a recurring basis, they’ll know you’re invested in the area and you’ll be top of mind when they’re ready to buy or sell.
Ramp Up Your Social Media
Sixty-nine percent of U.S. adults use at least one social media platform, according to Hootsuite. Build your online presence by sharing your listings on Nextdoor, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Hire someone to take the listing photos, either a professional photographer or perhaps a college student who wants to build their portfolio, for a more affordable option.
Ask your clients to write reviews for you on Google or Yelp, as 86% of people read online local business reviews, according to BrightLocal. Positive reviews can help you secure clients.
Join LinkedIn groups, such as those for local real estate investors, and share your expertise. Launch a blog where you share your tips and expertise as well as community news. If you don’t have enough time to blog consistently, hire a virtual assistant who has some writing experience or a freelancer from a site like Fiverr or Upwork.
Network with local professionals in a related field or partner with other local businesses. For example, reach out to insurance agencies, title companies and bankers to see if they would be interested in referring business back and forth. You can also reach out to landscapers, cleaning services and general contractors who interact with homeowners and may hear about potential listings before the seller has hired an agent. You can also consider contacting HR departments at large companies that regularly transfer people in and out of the region.
Welcome Clients to the Neighborhood
When you sell a home, help your client settle into their new surroundings by introducing them to their neighbors. You could offer to cater a neighborhood coffee event, or simply send introductory postcards. You never know who might be thinking of moving.
Ask for Referrals
If you’re struggling with how to get real estate leads, sometimes the simplest method is letting family, friends and even acquaintances know. Mention that you’re actively seeking leads when you see them or include it in your postcards. Thirty-nine percent of sellers found their agents through a friend or family member referral, according to NAR statistics.
Host Educational Events
A home is the biggest purchase most people make in their lives, and the process can feel overwhelming and confusing. Consider hosting educational events in your community to provide tips and advice on buying a first home, navigating the market, investing in rental properties, or getting a home ready to sell. You can offer these events at your local library or community center, or partner with a complementary business, such as a mortgage lender, and hold them together over lunch.
The Bottom Line
Real estate lead generation takes time and a marketing budget. Be sure to add this line item to your yearly small business budget. If you need help, funding solutions are available to offset the cost. The amount you spend can often be recovered from your first commission. And the more you grow your leads, the more business that’ll come knocking at your front door.