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How to Get Leads in Real Estate: 6 Data-Driven Strategies

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The housing market is in a bit of a volatile state right now. (Isn’t it always? 😅) Buyers and sellers alike are looking for guidance, opportunities, and direction. So if you’re wondering how to get leads in real estate in this climate—now’s the time to show your value and help people make smart decisions.

If you take the time to understand buyers’ and sellers’ pain points and concerns, you can guide them and help them achieve their goals. But, first, you need to actually reach them and form a connection—and that’s where lead generation strategies are helpful. 

To get you on your way, we’ve compiled six effective strategies to help you with real estate lead generation. And they’re all backed by real data—not just anecdotal opinions or smarmy tactics that never actually work as well as you want them to.

How do most real estate agents get leads?

Before we get to the specifics of how to get leads in real estate, let’s take a look at some statistics that reveal how agents reach buyers:

  • In the real estate business, word of mouth is huge. Some 47% of buyers pick an agent that is personally recommended to them by a family member, friend, or neighbor. 
  • When it comes to digital channels, organic search has the highest average conversion rate, at 3.2%.
  • 90% of realtors use Facebook to generate leads—and Instagram and LinkedIn are the second and third most popular platforms for this purpose, respectively. 
  • Almost 62% of home buyers that search online convert over a phone call.

So, real estate agents are using multiple channels to acquire leads. And while traditional methods, such as referrals and recommendations, remain relevant, digital channels are clearly pulling their weight, too.

6 ideas to supercharge your real estate lead generation

Keen to get buyers in your books? Let’s look at some ways you can start generating leads for your business. 

1. Get yourself a digital presence

Home buyers are searching online, and even if they’re converting over phone calls, online search is influencing their decision. So it’s worth meeting them where they’re at.

We said “digital presence” instead of “have a website” because people choose to leave their digital footprint in different ways. You might decide to set up camp on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, and grow your audience natively on these channels. In fact, over 50% of surveyed realtors cited social media as the most effective channel for generating high-quality leads. 

How to Get Leads in Real Estate - 2021 technology survey

But while growing on social media is effective, there are a couple of things you’ll want to watch out for:

  • Social media is owned territory—it’s not your real estate. (See what we did there? 😉) So, while social media platforms are great for growing your reach, make sure you have your own platform to reach your audience, too—like a website or an email list.
  • Real estate leads are using different channels—organic search offers the most conversion rates, and phone calls can help you close more deals. So don’t restrict yourself to one channel—work on expanding your digital footprint. 

2. Use content to nurture your leads

How to Get Leads in Real Estate - use content tonurture your leads

We’ve established that having a digital presence can help you reach your audience and increase conversions. But what will you use to reach them and build your presence? The answer: content.

Whether you’re looking to grow your email list, increase your reach on social media, or capture leads from organic search, you’ll need to invest in good content. And the content you produce should be tailored to your audience’s pain points and interests. 

What problems do buyers or renters have when they search for a property? Do they have any legal or technical questions? Are they unsure about how to secure a loan, for example, or do they feel unsure about their rights and responsibilities? 

Understanding your audience’s pain points is the first step—the second is to address and solve them. And content is a great way to accomplish this.

3. Use a real estate lead generation tool

If you want more direct control over generating your leads in real estate, using a lead generation tool is a smart move. These tools are designed specifically to help you identify, qualify, and reach out to leads. 

For example, Zillow launched the Premier Agent app for realtors to help you discover qualified leads. The tool generates leads from Zillow and Trulia by registering a buyer’s interest, and then putting them in touch with a real estate agent (which, in this case, is you). You can then reach out to the buyer directly over a phone call. 

(Looking for more real estate apps? We’ve got you covered.)

Since 73% of real estate buyers go with the first agent they meet, securing that initial interaction is really important. And that’s why using a lead generation tool can be very effective.

profile of home buyers and sellers

4. Proactively pursue referrals

Referrals play a big role in getting leads in real estate. In fact, 59% of foreign real estate leads come from referrals. Given how valuable referrals can be, you can benefit by taking steps to proactively increase your referrals. Don’t leave getting recommendations from your customers up to chance.

How to Get Leads in Real Estate - the importance of the referrals

Look for ways to maintain your relationships with previous customers and to stay at the top of their minds. You could do this by:

  • Offering them extra help at the time of closing the deal. Let them know that you can lend a hand with any accounting or legal matters, and that you have a recommendation for a moving company.

  • Keeping them in your social media network. If you’re implementing the first two strategies, we discussed—i.e., getting a digital presence and nurturing leads with content—keeping your previous customers in your network can ensure you stay top of mind.

The goal is to be the first person they think of when it’s time for them to recommend a real estate agent to someone. 

5. Network with other professionals and businesses

Partnering with businesses that share your target market, but aren’t your competitors, is a great way for all parties to benefit. You and your partner businesses get more leads, and your customers get more value from trusted recommendations. 

And remember, if you’re a real estate agent, you can recommend businesses that will benefit buyers or sellers. So there are opportunities for both sides of the transaction.

Here are some local businesses that you might benefit from partnering with:

  • Commercial lenders: Many buyers need loans to make their purchases, but they might not have a go-to lender in mind. 
  • Landscapers: Getting professional landscaping done can help sellers attract more buyers.
  • Professional cleaners: Because who wants to move into a home that isn’t spotless?

You can get pretty creative with the businesses you partner with, but the goal is the same: to reach more leads and deliver real value. 

6. Don’t neglect the traditional strategies

Given how much opportunity there is to generate real estate leads online, you might be tempted to skip out on more traditional ways of generating leads. Our advice? Don’t! 

Buyers, and prospective buyers, have different behaviors and preferences. While some might prefer to look online, others still frequent open houses. So don’t neglect strategies that can help you generate leads in person—like going to open houses, attending events where you can network, and even going door to door. 

And heck, potential buyers are everywhere, so you don’t even need to limit yourself to real estate events or conferences. Your next buyer might be at a food festival or a concert, so network whenever and wherever you can!

Ready to kickstart your real estate lead generation? 

Times have changed, and there are now lots of new ways to generate real estate leads. And while traditional methods, like getting referrals or heading on over to open houses, are still very effective, there are lots of opportunities to generate leads online, too. 

You can grow an audience on social media, invest in search engine optimization, and even use dedicated real estate apps. And while there are more options than ever, your core strategy should always be driven by value.

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How to Get Leads in Real Estate: 6 Data-Driven Strategies

The housing market is in a bit of a volatile state right now. (Isn’t it always? 😅) Buyers and sellers alike are looking for guidance, opportunities, and direction. So if you’re wondering how to get leads in real estate in this climate—now’s the time to show your value and help people make smart decisions.

If you take the time to understand buyers’ and sellers’ pain points and concerns, you can guide them and help them achieve their goals. But, first, you need to actually reach them and form a connection—and that’s where lead generation strategies are helpful. 

To get you on your way, we’ve compiled six effective strategies to help you with real estate lead generation. And they’re all backed by real data—not just anecdotal opinions or smarmy tactics that never actually work as well as you want them to.

How do most real estate agents get leads?

Before we get to the specifics of how to get leads in real estate, let’s take a look at some statistics that reveal how agents reach buyers:

  • In the real estate business, word of mouth is huge. Some 47% of buyers pick an agent that is personally recommended to them by a family member, friend, or neighbor. 
  • When it comes to digital channels, organic search has the highest average conversion rate, at 3.2%.
  • 90% of realtors use Facebook to generate leads—and Instagram and LinkedIn are the second and third most popular platforms for this purpose, respectively. 
  • Almost 62% of home buyers that search online convert over a phone call.

So, real estate agents are using multiple channels to acquire leads. And while traditional methods, such as referrals and recommendations, remain relevant, digital channels are clearly pulling their weight, too.

6 ideas to supercharge your real estate lead generation

Keen to get buyers in your books? Let’s look at some ways you can start generating leads for your business. 

1. Get yourself a digital presence

Home buyers are searching online, and even if they’re converting over phone calls, online search is influencing their decision. So it’s worth meeting them where they’re at.

We said “digital presence” instead of “have a website” because people choose to leave their digital footprint in different ways. You might decide to set up camp on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, and grow your audience natively on these channels. In fact, over 50% of surveyed realtors cited social media as the most effective channel for generating high-quality leads. 

How to Get Leads in Real Estate - 2021 technology survey

But while growing on social media is effective, there are a couple of things you’ll want to watch out for:

  • Social media is owned territory—it’s not your real estate. (See what we did there? 😉) So, while social media platforms are great for growing your reach, make sure you have your own platform to reach your audience, too—like a website or an email list.
  • Real estate leads are using different channels—organic search offers the most conversion rates, and phone calls can help you close more deals. So don’t restrict yourself to one channel—work on expanding your digital footprint. 

2. Use content to nurture your leads

How to Get Leads in Real Estate - use content tonurture your leads

We’ve established that having a digital presence can help you reach your audience and increase conversions. But what will you use to reach them and build your presence? The answer: content.

Whether you’re looking to grow your email list, increase your reach on social media, or capture leads from organic search, you’ll need to invest in good content. And the content you produce should be tailored to your audience’s pain points and interests. 

What problems do buyers or renters have when they search for a property? Do they have any legal or technical questions? Are they unsure about how to secure a loan, for example, or do they feel unsure about their rights and responsibilities? 

Understanding your audience’s pain points is the first step—the second is to address and solve them. And content is a great way to accomplish this.

3. Use a real estate lead generation tool

If you want more direct control over generating your leads in real estate, using a lead generation tool is a smart move. These tools are designed specifically to help you identify, qualify, and reach out to leads. 

For example, Zillow launched the Premier Agent app for realtors to help you discover qualified leads. The tool generates leads from Zillow and Trulia by registering a buyer’s interest, and then putting them in touch with a real estate agent (which, in this case, is you). You can then reach out to the buyer directly over a phone call. 

(Looking for more real estate apps? We’ve got you covered.)

Since 73% of real estate buyers go with the first agent they meet, securing that initial interaction is really important. And that’s why using a lead generation tool can be very effective.

profile of home buyers and sellers

4. Proactively pursue referrals

Referrals play a big role in getting leads in real estate. In fact, 59% of foreign real estate leads come from referrals. Given how valuable referrals can be, you can benefit by taking steps to proactively increase your referrals. Don’t leave getting recommendations from your customers up to chance.

How to Get Leads in Real Estate - the importance of the referrals

Look for ways to maintain your relationships with previous customers and to stay at the top of their minds. You could do this by:

  • Offering them extra help at the time of closing the deal. Let them know that you can lend a hand with any accounting or legal matters, and that you have a recommendation for a moving company.

  • Keeping them in your social media network. If you’re implementing the first two strategies, we discussed—i.e., getting a digital presence and nurturing leads with content—keeping your previous customers in your network can ensure you stay top of mind.

The goal is to be the first person they think of when it’s time for them to recommend a real estate agent to someone. 

5. Network with other professionals and businesses

Partnering with businesses that share your target market, but aren’t your competitors, is a great way for all parties to benefit. You and your partner businesses get more leads, and your customers get more value from trusted recommendations. 

And remember, if you’re a real estate agent, you can recommend businesses that will benefit buyers or sellers. So there are opportunities for both sides of the transaction.

Here are some local businesses that you might benefit from partnering with:

  • Commercial lenders: Many buyers need loans to make their purchases, but they might not have a go-to lender in mind. 
  • Landscapers: Getting professional landscaping done can help sellers attract more buyers.
  • Professional cleaners: Because who wants to move into a home that isn’t spotless?

You can get pretty creative with the businesses you partner with, but the goal is the same: to reach more leads and deliver real value. 

6. Don’t neglect the traditional strategies

Given how much opportunity there is to generate real estate leads online, you might be tempted to skip out on more traditional ways of generating leads. Our advice? Don’t! 

Buyers, and prospective buyers, have different behaviors and preferences. While some might prefer to look online, others still frequent open houses. So don’t neglect strategies that can help you generate leads in person—like going to open houses, attending events where you can network, and even going door to door. 

And heck, potential buyers are everywhere, so you don’t even need to limit yourself to real estate events or conferences. Your next buyer might be at a food festival or a concert, so network whenever and wherever you can!

Ready to kickstart your real estate lead generation? 

Times have changed, and there are now lots of new ways to generate real estate leads. And while traditional methods, like getting referrals or heading on over to open houses, are still very effective, there are lots of opportunities to generate leads online, too. 

You can grow an audience on social media, invest in search engine optimization, and even use dedicated real estate apps. And while there are more options than ever, your core strategy should always be driven by value.

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