Real Estate lead generation is a big business. Companies like Zillow, Realtor.com, and numerous others generate billions of dollars of revenue by selling leads to Realtors. As a Florida real estate broker who provides leads to our agents, we understand that while buying leads from one of these vendors is always an option, it is an expensive one, and at best, should be used temporarily.
This article will explore three critical techniques for generating your seller leads.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Appropriately done, organic Google traffic will produce sellers disguised as buyers. Assuming you rank well and can drive traffic to your site, these visitors then proceed to view currently listed homes on your website. When these leads are captured, they seem like buyers looking at houses, and frequently they are. However, if you think about what a seller who lives in that community will type into Google, it is the same thing compared to a prospective buyer.
The same principle applies to cultivating leads. The nature of Search is such that it allows you to capture prospects very early in their home buying or selling process. It is not unusual for the timeline from lead capture to closing to be as much as two years or more.
- Understanding this, you know that you must put these prospects on a drip campaign so that you stay relevant and remain at the forefront of the prospect’s Search until they are ready to transact. For buyers, the most effective drip campaign is a new listing in the specific area they are searching. Once again, for current homeowners thinking of selling, the most relevant content you can deliver is listing and sales activity in their neighborhood.
So, design your web presence and direct your SEO efforts towards buyers, knowing that the sellers will be mixed in with them.
- Social Media: It’s pretty simple to start advertising on Facebook or Instagram, but doing so effectively is a bit more complicated for real estate. The ad itself is simple, a picture of a home for sale and a way to capture the prospect’s contact details in exchange for the specifics of the property.
Success with social media depends primarily on how well you can target your ads. Unlike Search, where users not only have intent, they tell us exactly what their intent is when performing their Google search, users of social media are simply scrolling through their feed when they see an intriguing picture of a home. Since you are paying for this traffic, you need to make sure you reach only the right people. This is made particularly difficult because real estate is considered a special ad category, and therefore Facebook removes some of the most effective demographic filtering options they have.
The best way to target sellers on Facebook is to use a “Custom Audience.” The concept is simple: build a list of your existing customers, upload it to Facebook, and have Facebook display your ad to these customers when they are on Facebook or Instagram. If you are farming a community, get your hands on a community directory that will contain the residents’ email addresses.
- I should point out that using a list like this to solicit business directly is most likely against the rules and will not only get you trouble with the management of the community; it will likely turn people off and therefore is probably not good for business.
- However, suppose you upload this list to Facebook as a custom audience. In that case, this means that you can now create a message relevant to residents of this community, and you can have Facebook present your ad to these users when they are on their platforms. This is the most targeted and, as a result, the most cost-effective way to use social media advertising to generate real estate leads.
- Direct Mail: This is the only form of print media that works for real estate. Forget the newspapers or magazines, or even the billboards. Postcards mailed directly to your farm area work.
Don’t randomly send your postcards all over the city, and don’t target homes based on price. Target a neighborhood and tailor your postcard design and content to that neighborhood. The front should be a graphic of a landmark in the community. Publish a market update with recent listing and sales activity on the backside. This information is super relevant to homeowners who are thinking about putting their homes on the market.
It will take at least five impressions before a prospect notices you. From there, you need to stay in front of them until they are ready to move, which could be as much as five years from now. With this in mind, it is crucial that you stay the course. The biggest mistake Realtors make with postcard marketing is giving up too soon. So, don’t even re-evaluate your plan for at least a year, and even then, your most likely course of action moving forward is to stay consistent.
In Conclusion, an effective seller lead generation strategy should incorporate all three of the above techniques. When you do, they will reinforce each other. Ideally, by the time a homeowner is ready to reach out to Realtor, they should be accustomed to seeing you in their mailbox, seeing you in their email inbox, seeing you on social media, and then finding themselves on your website when performing a Google search.