This article is part of a larger series on Real Estate Lead Generation and Marketing.
Homebuying clients are key to professional success and earning more commissions for a majority of real estate agents. Generating real estate buyer leads consistently is the single most effective way to increase your business’ profits, sets you apart from other agents, and doesn’t have to be costly. There are a variety of methods for doing so like attracting real estate leads organically, advertising on and offline, hosting events, or using paid lead generation services.
Here are more than a dozen of the most effective methods successful real estate agents use to generate leads among active homebuyers.
1. Work the Rent vs Buy Angle
An effective way to target potential buyers is by targeting renters―people who don’t currently own a home and may be waiting for the right opportunity to buy. Also, if you work in or near large cities, rentals are usually very commonplace.
It’s easy to attract renters interested in buying a home by targeting residents of apartment complexes or condos with direct mail campaigns. Your campaign should address common pain points of renters, such as the lack of privacy, lack of outdoor space, parking and storage issues, or inability to customize or renovate their dwelling.
You can also use a rent vs buy calculator to show renters the financial benefits of owning vs renting. It can be sent in an email campaign to targeted leads, past rental clients, or posted on your social media. Try this rent vs buy calculator from Realtor.com.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a rent vs buy calculator, use this simple equation to help your clients determine whether they should rent or buy:
Value of home multiplied by 5% then divide that answer by 12 = breakeven point
Example: $300,000 ✖ 0.05% = $15,000 ➗ 12 = $1,250 is your breakeven point
If your client’s monthly rent is less than the breakeven point, it makes sense for them to continue renting. If their monthly rent is more than the breakeven point, it makes sense to buy. However, this is only an estimate and doesn’t take into account all aspects of the buying process (such as down payment and closing costs), which might make renting a better option in some markets. It does, however, provide clients with a quick conversation starter.
Use PostcardMania to gain access to professional real estate direct mail campaign templates that are proven to generate buyer leads. You can customize your postcards with your contact information, picture, and even personalize it by adding the recipient’s name automatically using the list uploaded from your spreadsheet or database.
2. Targeted Ads
Using targeted online real estate ads, you can multiply your reach while also zoning in on your specific target audience. Your ad’s keywords should be phrases homebuyers are likely to be searching for like “how to buy a home” or “first-time buyer tips” and show ads answering the questions they’re searching for.
You can also choose to target geographically, also known as geotargeting, so you can focus on your area of specialty and attract an audience that wants to buy or sell in that particular area. For instance, Google ads will allow you to target a specific country, multiple locations, or a specific radius for your campaigns to reach your optimal audience.
Two of the most common channels for online real estate advertising today are:
- Real estate Facebook ads: Includes in-feed ads, Messenger ads, and Instagram ads
- Google ads for real estate: Your ads are displayed alongside organic search results for specific, highly targeted keywords, and/or displayed on a multitude of sites through retargeting
Although Facebook and Google are the most widely used methods for online real estate advertising, you can also generate leads among highly qualified buyers in other ways―both on and offline. For instance, you can advertise your services on billboards and other signs in your area, engage actively on Nextdoor and local Facebook groups, or post ads on Craigslist to generate real estate buyer leads.
3. Become a Zillow Premier Agent
Becoming a Zillow Premier Agent (ZPA) enables you to advertise on the largest real estate listing platform and the one most highly viewed by interested and active homebuyers. As a ZPA, you’re the sole agent displayed on your listings and buyers will contact you directly for more information. Your profile will also be displayed on non-Premier Agent listings in your area, providing additional visibility to prospective buyers.
Check out our full guide to being a ZPA or visit its website for more information.
4. Stay Top of Mind In Your Sphere of Influence
When it comes to generating real estate buyer leads, nothing will be as effective as referrals from your sphere of influence (SOI). Your SOI is made up of all the people who already know you, including friends, loved ones, and both personal and professional acquaintances. People who already know you and trust your expertise in the local housing market are highly likely to send you real estate referrals, even if you’ve never helped them personally with a real estate transaction.
Make sure you stay top of mind by consistently reaching out to members within your sphere. Don’t make a direct sales pitch every time you reach out. Instead, keep relationships genuine, make referrals yourself, and occasionally remind people in your SOI that you would love to be of service should they have any referrals.
Pro tip: Create your own incentive program for people who send you real estate referrals. After receiving a referral, send them a handwritten note and gift card, bottle of wine, or some other small token of appreciation to encourage them to continue sending clients your way.
Using real estate customer relationship management (CRM) software can be the key factor for staying on top of follow-ups, connecting with your sphere of influence, and keeping notes about your conversations. Pipedrive is an ideal real estate CRM for agents, teams, or brokers who want an affordable solution with a wide range of features.
5. Create an IDX Website
An internet data exchange (IDX) website allows users to search for properties on your website instead of using a larger platform where there’s a high likelihood that they’ll be contacted by another agent. Having an IDX website is a great way to attract real estate buyer leads, and it can be simple to create with the right real estate website builder.
Alternatively, you can use an all-in-one tool like Real Geeks to build an IDX website, generate real estate leads, track contacts, and send drip email marketing campaigns. Real Geeks also enables you to build landing pages, create Facebook ads, and write blogs to drive organic traffic to your website.
6. Capture Leads With a Landing Page
You can create a landing page to generate real estate buyer leads even if you don’t have a website or add landing pages to your existing website. Landing pages can be used in conjunction with ads or for attracting real estate leads through organic search, email newsletters, or social media marketing. You can even create multiple landing pages to target different types of buyers, like renters, leads who are new to the area, home sellers, or first-time homebuyers.
Whether you start with a landing page or want to create a full website, iNCOM is a great choice. Simply fill out a form answering questions about what you want on your landing page and their team of professional marketers will create it for you. This way, you can customize your real estate landing page and maximize conversions without spending extra time, effort, or money.
7. Farm a Specific Neighborhood
Many new agents try to find real estate buyer leads anywhere and everywhere. However, one of the best ways to be successful in real estate is by choosing a specific area, such as a city, county, or even a neighborhood, and becoming the go-to expert there.
This is the practice of real estate farming and it means that all of your lead generation and prospecting efforts are focused on one specific region. Farming helps you make the most of your valuable time and money. It also keeps you laser-focused on building trust and authority in one region, enabling you to offer an unrivaled level of expertise to buyers in your farm area.
If you’re ready to focus on a farm area, try MarketLeader. It’s one of the few lead sources that provides a guaranteed number of exclusive leads, which increases your chances of gaining new clients automatically. MarketLeader can help you become the real estate authority in your chosen ZIP code.
8. Throw an Event
Are you not sure how or where to connect with potential and buyers in your area? Create opportunities by throwing an event to generate real estate buyer leads. There are many creative events that would attract members of your target audience, such as:
- First-time homebuyer and seller seminars
- Neighborhood meet-and-greet or block parties
- Themed events with homebuying resources, such as Snacks & Facts or Building Bouquets for Your New Home
You can even host creative and fun events online using Zoom, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or through pop-up Facebook groups. When planning an event to attract homebuyers, make sure it reflects your unique brand accurately, gives you a chance to showcase your expertise, and that it’s an event worth attending.
Experiences like these give potential buyers a chance to meet you in person without pressure or obligation and show them your expertise in the field. Giving buyers and sellers a chance to get to know you in person is an ideal way to get real estate clients.
9. Host an Open House
Open houses have been an effective way to generate real estate buyer leads for decades. When you host an open house, you usually meet a stream of potential buyers. Even if you don’t have a listing of your own to host, offer to host open houses for other agents’ listings or to assist.
Did you know? Potential sellers may attend open houses to get a feel for the market and home selling process, so keep your eyes open for seller leads as well.
Make sure to gather each attendee’s contact information and have a script ready that creates a natural conversation but helps you stay on topic. Read many more open house ideas to make the most of your event.
10. Become Active on Social Media
Social media enables you to build one-on-one connections with prospects and establish yourself as the local real estate expert. Using social media to generate real estate buyer leads isn’t rocket science, but you still need to know and employ effective real estate social media marketing tactics to be successful.
Although some agents are overwhelmed by the thought of using social media, it provides an undeniable opportunity to reach active homebuyers without spending money on advertising or direct mail campaigns. This is likely why 47% of real estate agents said that leads they obtained using social media were more qualified than leads from other sources.
If you don’t want to invest the time needed to learn how to use social media but see its marketing value, you can hire a social media marketing company or work with a freelancer. For instance, Fiverr.com gives you access to thousands of experienced social media freelancers. Their services are typically more affordable than those of traditional marketing agencies, and you can interview as many as you need to find the right fit.
11. Invest in Lead Generation Software
Although there are several ways to generate buyer leads consistently, you may want to scale your business and work with a larger volume of clients. One way to do this is to buy leads through real estate lead generation software. Lead buying services do the heavy lifting for you. Using large pools of data and automation, they deliver contact lists made up of buyers who are actively searching for properties or an agent in your area.
Real estate lead generation companies all work differently to provide you with different types of leads and unique tools to convert them. Our top recommended source for paid leads is BoldLeads, which offers exclusive buyer leads starting at $299 per month. BoldLeads uses targeted Facebook advertising to bring you qualified leads, and exclusivity means you won’t be competing with other agents.
To learn more about BoldLeads and other services that might benefit you, see our article on where to buy real estate leads.
12. Send Gifts to Past Clients to Get Referrals
Don’t forget to maintain your relationships with previous clients. One of the most effective ways to do this is by establishing a gift-giving system with gifts for holidays, closing date anniversaries, or occasional real estate client pop-by gifts. The goal is to remind them of your services in case they’re planning to buy or sell again in the future, show that you appreciated their business, and encourage new referrals.
To simplify the time and effort gift-giving requires, try using a client gift service like EvaBot. Evabot uses artificial intelligence (AI) to tailor gifts to your client’s tastes. You can even go a step further with personalization since EvaBot can include a handwritten note inside a gift box branded with your logo.
Pro tip: Regardless of whether you end up working with a referral, always send past clients a small gift when they send you a referral to increase the likelihood that they’ll keep sending new referrals your way.
13. Write a Blog
To be viewed as a real estate expert, you need to find ways to show what you know. You can do that fairly easily by creating a WordPress blog―or adding a blog to your website―and updating it constantly with new articles. You can write about events, create videos, discuss real estate experiences you’ve had, share client testimonials, and provide expert advice and tips for homebuyers.
Pro tip: Contact the real estate news editor at your local newspaper or city’s magazine and offer to write an article directed toward homebuyers to get in front of a larger audience.
After publishing articles, you can then share them on social media and in email newsletters. Make sure you use keywords―words, phrases, and questions your target audience is likely to be searching for online―so that your articles can be found through search engines. When buyers and sellers see consistent activity and legitimate value in your expertise, they’re much more likely to trust you and reach out to you.
Generating real estate buyer leads can significantly increase your profitability and doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, or difficult. Also, note that you’re most likely to achieve success generating leads when using a combination of these tactics. Find the most effective ways to get in front of people who are considering buying or who are ready to buy and stay top of mind and build trust to increase your buyer clientele.