How to Generate Leads on Your Own
As the marketing environment gets increasingly more complex, it can often get confusing for realtors to know exactly where and how to go about generating leads online that will likely benefit them. There has been much skepticism all around in regard to the quality and effectiveness of generating leads online, especially from veterans who have been in the industry for many years and who continue sticking close to old marketing practices.
Unfortunately, their once-good tactics are now outdated in this ever-changing marketplace. Successful real estate agents register more than 80% of their new customers through the internet and it’s safe to say that the cornerstone of success in the digital age is online lead generation. Here are a few pointers to put you back on the path to success.
Generating Leads Online Through Your Web Page
First things first. All real estate agents should have a fully functional inbound website to serve as the welcome mat for leads to generate directly into their world of listings, blogs, and other valuable information. The sole intention of a website is to attract consumers and to capture as many leads as possible.
Most agent websites typically contain inadequate features for generating leads online into contact information that can be used to respond. The inclusion of the following handy features will build a large base of potential customers:
• Side Bar– This commonly used widget appears in the side bar menu in a column on the left or right side of the screen. It is typically static and always present as an opt-in form to allow visitors to subscribe to the site.
• Pop Up – These boxes suddenly appear on the screen in front of the web visitor asking for an email address in exchange for something like free content or advice.
• Slide In – Similar to a pop-up, except it is a plugin enabling a widget to slide across the front of the screen before asking for an email address. Slide-Ins are also great for advertising contests for prizes or a free service you might offer.
• Hello Bar – This is a lead capture bar located at the top of the screen advertising more content. Once clicked upon, it asks for an email address to take the visitor to the promised content.
• Footer – Similar to a Hello Bar, this static widget appears at the bottom of the page or at the end of blog posts asking visitors to subscribe to your blog or website to receive regular content.
• Content Upgrade – Give away premium or additional content in exchange for a website visitor’s email address. This feature is also ideal prior to allowing visitors to start IDX property searches.
• Welcome Gate– Ask for an email address on your website’s home page before granting access to the site. Visitors can click right past the gate, but many enter their addresses instinctively.
Also, be sure to optimize any web page specifically for Google and other search engines to boost traffic and lead capture. Remember to retarget or remarket as well, which means to show ads to your website visitors even after they leave your site.
Engaging visitors with live chat through your website can be another way to generate the likelihood of leads and further engagement. Tawk.to or LiveChat are both great options that can be added to your any site.
Real Estate Leads Through Social Media
Realtors can be some of the best marketers around in offline transactions. The emergence of social media, however, which unsurprisingly has been deemed the best real estate marketing tool of the 21st century when harnessed accordingly, has changed all of that.
There’s Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, as well as other options like Craigslist or Reddit. If you are considering using Facebook to drive traffic to your website, it is important to remember that Facebook real estate leads are all about creating engagement on your wall and boosting your posts. In order to consistently generate the highest quality leads from Facebook, you must use that Facebook page to target and form relationships with the people within a 50-mile radius that will directly benefit from the content you share. Post valuable content tailored specifically for local readership. When running ads, be sure they are highly targeted with explicit calls to action to lead pages on your website.
In terms of Craigslist, which has been touted as another centralized network and fountain for real estate leads, be sure to go about generating leads online by closely following along with their specific formats for publishing ads.
Lastly, make sure to have a strategic social media schedule to adhere to, as this aspect of social media is just as important as the content being churned out. Decide exactly where to spend your valuable time generating leads on social media. There is a need to send the right messages on the right platforms at the right times—all the time—and this is no easy feat when also juggling calls, open houses, and showings.
Offer free advice on Internet forums
Another way to rake in everyday home buyers and sellers is to turn to internet forums like Reddit, City Data, and StreetEasy, where you’ll often find potential customers seeking advice. If you can help solve their problems, you will be seen as an honest and knowledgeable expert that can lend your expertise and services in their home buying needs. Jumping into the internet forum game can also expand any realtor’s sphere of influence and sharpen on problem solving skills.
Online Marketing Automation Platforms
Marketing automation systems such as Zurple, BoomTown, and Market Leader can do all the work for you and make life much easier. These bundle all real estate marketing tools into one complete solution by building a website that includes features such as property maps, mortgage calculators, full property details, demographics, price history, and IDX updates among others, as well as import leads from Zillow—they even place Google Ads on your behalf! Lead management and automated email marketing services are sometimes also included.
Most of the times, the website platforms within these systems are optimized to rank higher organically in search engines, which is an added benefit. There are costs for such systems and services, however—but if you are willing to let go of some money, it is a great option for agents who have superior returns of leads but prefer leads to be nurtured first.
Create Free Branded IOS and Android Apps
While having a responsive website is a must, having your own branded app is even better. Once a user downloads your personal app from iTunes or the Google Play Store, you can send them automated or manual “push notifications” for new listings, price reductions, or anything else. Since the message shows up in their notification area, the chances of them seeing it are much higher than with email marketing. With services like App Institute, you can quickly and easily design and build your own app without knowing any code at all. Best of all, creating your app is free.
Predefined Mailing Lists
When you get tired of all that online marketing, try reverting to the traditional route by opting towards direct-mail frequency, which has always remained critical in generating leads online and establishing a dialogue with home owners and/or renters in the local area.
Try sending a series of post cards or letters on a routine basis to create more impact. The key to growth in real estate is farming for future home sellers, so opening the lines of communication with promising prospects is integral to building long-term relationships.
Reach out to potential customers with open house invitations, pamphlets delineating what they might need to know when buying a home, invitations to the next buyers’ seminar you might be hosting, or simply by leveraging common interests with potential clients and your own personal hobbies.
At the end of the day, the secret to generating leads online is all about finding the right audience and creating a message that truly connects with them. The greatest way to do this is by tapping into your prospect’s’ lifestyle and interests as well as by sprinkling in a bit of your own.
For further help and other solutions for all your real estate needs, contact Century 21 Peak. Since the beginning we have brought together America’s top real estate professionals to deliver comprehensive solutions for homeowners, homebuyers, private investors, brokers, lenders, agents, and corporate clients. By drawing on the power of the Peak Corporate Network and its inclusive range of services, many have saved time and money all while maximizing on the value of their assets.