It’s important for realtors to maintain a healthy pipeline of leads. When interest rates are low and temperatures are beautiful, you might be flooded with clients. But there’s always a winter lull or market fluctuation around the bend to stop your momentum and your commission checks.
Prepare for the unpredictable nature of real estate with an arsenal of fresh lead-gathering tactics. Here are a few strategies for thinking outside the mass mailer and ahead of the curve.
How to Get Leads in Real Estate
* Build partnerships
Network with your city’s best attorneys, personal bankers, and commercial lenders. Strong partnerships, like a co-hosted happy hour with a local financial planner, benefit both parties.
You’ll share qualified leads, provide valuable resources to your clients, and easily monitor trends in connected industries.
* Throw a housewarming party
Did a well-connected client just move into their new home? Offer to cater their housewarming party -- and make sure to stop by to mingle. It’s the perfect place to meet prospects in similar life stages who are awestruck by the home you’ve helped their friends buy.
Did they invite the new neighbors? Now’s the time to ask if they’ve considered selling. Neighborhood sales usually generate fresh homeowner interest, and a housewarming party can turn cold leads to hot.
* Become a restaurant regular
Meeting clients at a restaurant or local coffee shop to discuss terms? Always schedule these meetings at the same restaurant.
You’ll build clout with the wait staff, gain access to the best tables, and appear popular and plugged into your community. You might even get to know the other regulars -- making you the perfect person for them to contact when they’re ready to buy.
* Send a handwritten note
Pick up a pen, paper, and an actual stamp, and send a note to past or present clients. Thank them for choosing you as their realtor, and remind them you’re available to answer questions, suggest a reliable moving company, or send important documents for tax season.
A handwritten note goes a long way to express your appreciation. And it keeps you from becoming yet another unread subject line in your clients’ inbox. Feeling confident? Pick up the phone a few days later and ask for a referral.
Invest in paid advertising. Websites like Zillow or Trulia ofer advertising options for realtors -- a smart move since 44% of buyers look for houses online before reaching out to a realtor.
Facebook also allows you to create, target, and track the success of paid ads. And advertising in your local subreddits can be both affordable and effective.
* Build your own website
Your brokerage will likely give you a page on their website, but it’s important to create your own web presence. This allows you to build a personal brand, showcase your specialties, and share reviews from satisfied clients. It also ensures you have a cohesive presence in the local market -- even if you switch brokerages.
Don’t forget to optimize your site. Write blog posts tackling common questions or challenges clients confront during the buying process. Create and share helpful how-to videos. And capture email addresses by having a newsletter signup.
* Develop a niche
Specialize in a certain neighborhood, historic homes, or helping clients find their perfect apartment? Lean into it! Find your niche and become an expert. This allows you to focus your marketing efforts on a specific group and develop a reputation as the go-to realtor for these buyers and sellers.
* Use “Coming Soon” signs
“Coming Soon” and “Sold” signs are a tried-and-true way to generate interest in your properties and expertise. “Coming Soon” signs build anticipation before a home even hits the market.
And “Sold” signs are effective at gathering leads from buyers who missed out in this property -- and want you to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
* Head to an open house
Not hitting up open houses to harvest new leads? You’re missing out. Many buyers, or soon-to-be buyers, drop in without having an agent. It’s the perfect time to introduce yourself and offer to help them navigate the market.
* Generate leads on LinkedIn
Join LinkedIn groups you know your target audience frequents. Maybe it’s a group for local real estate investors or one for first-time homebuyers. Find the groups your buyers are spending time in and contribute to the conversation before making a professional pitch.
If you’re posting in a real-estate investment group, consider sharing a blog article about up-and-coming neighborhoods in your city. If someone in your first-time homebuyers group asks a question about interest rates, provide a knowledgeable answer in the comments.
Once you’ve built rapport, follow up with interested prospects, and offer to discuss their questions further on a call.
* Organize educational events
Host educational events in your community. By teaching local consumers about buying their first home, what the market’s like now, or what to look for in a rental property, you’ll build your personal brand and drum up new business at the same time.
Not sure how to get started? Partner with local businesses to host home buying seminars over lunch. Or co-host an event with a mortgage lender to broaden your audience base and increase lead potential.
* Become a Redfin partner agent
Take advantage of eight million monthly Redfin users by becoming a partner agent. Redfin will send you motivated buyers in exchange for 30% of the commission.
* Don’t neglect leads
Did you show a prospect three properties before she realized she wasn’t ready to buy? Don’t throw her number away. Send her postcards sharing developments in the market, keep her on your email list, and leave the occasional voicemail reminder you’d love to help her find that perfect home when she’s ready.
* Target “For Sale by Owner” listings
Only 3% of FSBO listings sell within the desired time, and a mere 18% reported receiving the right price. Find these listings on Craigslist or other real estate sites, and offer to help them get the most from their property listing.
Share a blog post, or a few bulleted stats, about why working with an agent is beneficial to the seller, and ask if they’d be interested in learning more.
* Reach out to expired listings
Pull lists of expired listings from the MLS. Be sensitive to the fact these sellers are likely frustrated with their current realtor, discouraged they haven’t sold their home, and under a lot of stress.
Open the conversation by explaining you understand their frustrations, and share a few ways you’d do things differently to sell their home fast.
Leads are the lifeblood of the real-estate industry. Give these tactics a try and see how they benefit your business.