Top 13 Ways to Generate Real Estate Buyer Leads
This article is part of a larger series on Real Estate Lead Generation and Marketing.
Generating real estate buyer leads is a cost-effective way to close more deals and increase your business’ profits. It also sets you apart from other agents who usually focus on seller leads. The great news is finding buyers for real estate doesn’t have to be costly. From working with renters to maximizing your Zillow account, hosting open houses, and amping up your social media strategy, let’s dive into the best strategies for learning how to get buyer leads effectively and consistently.
Market Leader is one of the few lead generation platforms offering exclusive buyer and seller leads, so you don’t have to compete with other agents for each conversion. It captures leads through your IDX website which gives insight into the properties your leads are viewing. What’s more, Market Leader offers a customer relationship manager (CRM) that integrates with your website for an end-to-end lead management solution.
Here are 13 of the most effective methods on how to get buyer leads in real estate:
1. Work the Rent Versus Buy Angle
Nurturing renters into potential buyers is an effective way to generate homebuyer leads without shelling out a lot of money. Renters who don’t currently own a home may be waiting for the right opportunity to buy. If you work in or near large cities, rentals are usually commonplace. With a 12.2% increase in rent during the first half of 2022, there’s a high chance of converting renters into future homeowners.
How do you do this? Here are two ways to nurture your renter leads into homebuying clients who are ready to convert.
Use a Rent vs Buy Calculator
Another effective strategy is to use a rent versus buy calculator to show renters the financial benefits of owning a home versus renting. You can send this in an email campaign to targeted leads and past rental clients. Posting it on your social media will also attract interested followers contemplating buying a home. Try the calculator below by inputting the following:
- Home price: The listing price of the home clients are interested in buying or provide an example using median home prices for your area
- Down payment: 20% to 25% of the home price is the typical down payment to purchase. Use this figure as an example for interested buyers or calculate based on the amount clients are allocating to their purchase.
- Monthly rent: Input the amount your client is currently paying for rent.
- Monthly renter’s insurance: Input the amount your client is currently paying for renter’s insurance.
*Calculator is for estimation purposes. Numbers based on 3% mortgage rate on a 30-year loan term
You can also use the 5% rule to help your clients determine whether they should rent or buy. The 5% rule takes into consideration the three costs homeowners typically face: property tax (1%), maintenance costs (1%), and cost of capital (3%). With this information, renters can review their break-even point to see if renting becomes financially equivalent to homebuying.
The 5% rule formula is as follows:
Value of home multiplied by 5%, then divide that answer by 12 (months of the year) = Break Even Point
If your client’s monthly rent is less than the break-even point, renting is more affordable for them. If their monthly rent is more than the break-even point, buying a home can save them money. Note that this is only an estimate and doesn’t consider all aspects of the buying process (such as down payment and closing costs). Nevertheless, the 5% rule gives you a quick conversation starter with prospective clients.
Create Direct Mail Campaigns
Target residents of apartment complexes or condos using direct mail campaigns. Your campaign should address common pain points of renters, such as the lack of privacy and outdoor space, parking and storage issues, or the inability to customize or renovate their homes.
To create professional direct mail campaigns, use PostcardMania. You can customize postcards with your branding and add your contact information, picture, and even the recipient’s name using the list uploaded from your spreadsheet or database.
2. Create Buyer-Targeted Ads
Targeted online real estate ads can widen your reach while zoning in on your target audience. You can target geographically, also known as geotargeting, to focus on your area of specialty and attract quality leads who are ready 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 the following.
Facebook Ads include in-feed ads, Messenger ads, and Instagram ads. To create an effective ad that sells, select your campaign objectives first, plan your campaign, set a posting schedule and budget, identify your target homebuyers, and select the ad placement. Check out our step-by-step guide to creating Facebook real estate ads.
Your Google ads are displayed alongside organic search results for specific, highly targeted keywords, and/or displayed on multiple sites through retargeting. For a successful Google Ad, start with a solid understanding of how it works. Learn how to publish your ad campaign by following our step-by-step guide on how to find buyers for real estate using Google Ads.
To optimize your ads, use keywords or phrases that homebuyers are most likely searching for, such as “how to buy a home” or “first-time buyer tips”. Then, create ads answering the questions they’re searching for. If you want to increase organic traffic to your social media posts or blog posts, use the best real estate keywords as part of your search engine optimization strategy.
If you want to optimize your targeted ad campaigns while saving time and energy, use social media management tools like Sprout Social. Sprout Social’s intuitive publishing and scheduling features can create and manage your social media ads and automatically schedule real estate posts. This enables you to concentrate on essential tasks like nurturing and converting clients.
Although Facebook and Google are the most widely used platforms for online real estate advertising, you can also generate leads among highly qualified buyers in other ways―both on and offline. Consider advertising your services on billboards and other signs in your area and engaging actively on local Facebook groups. Another cost-effective method is posting ads on Craigslist to engage with active home buyers in your area. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to find real estate buyers using Craigslist.
3. Become a Zillow Premier Agent
Becoming a Zillow Premier Agent (ZPA) enables you to advertise on the No. 1 real estate listing platform visited by interested and active homebuyers across the US. In fact, Zillow generated 298 million page visits in October 2022 alone—giving your real estate ads the highest possible exposure. As a ZPA, you’re the sole agent displayed on your listings, so buyers can contact you directly. Your profile will also be displayed on non-Premier Agent listings in your area, providing additional visibility to prospective leads.
Signing up for a ZPA account is free. To start advertising on Zillow, create an agent profile and claim your listings. Ensure you provide accurate listing descriptions and information, add high-quality photos and videos, and adjust the asking price to increase Zillow views. Download our free visual checklist to guide you through the process. You can also check out our complete guide to being a ZPA.
4. Invest in Lead Generation Software
Finding buyers in real estate requires you to leverage technology. Thanks to real estate software, you can now work with a large volume of leads and scale your business faster and more efficiently. The best lead generation software tools are designed to help agents manage leads from end-to-end—from attracting, generating, and nurturing homebuyers and sellers. They also offer several software integrations, internet data exchange (IDX) websites, marketing automation, and a CRM platform for a comprehensive real estate marketing solution.
Another effective way to find homebuyer leads is to purchase exclusive real estate leads through lead generation software. Using large pools of data and automation, lead buying services deliver contact lists of sellers and buyers actively searching for properties or an agent in your area.
Here are some of our top recommended lead generation platforms:
Real estate professionals seeking exclusive leads and ad management
Agents and teams looking to generate and convert leads in a location-based niche
Real estate agents wanting to purchase leads and services a la carte
$600 or 10 cents per lead
5. Stay Top of Mind in Your Sphere of Influence (SOI)
Your SOI is made up of all the people who know you, including friends, loved ones, acquaintances, and current and past clients. Referrals and word-of-mouth from your SOI are among the best ways to find buyers for real estate. According to Hubspot’s recent survey, 56% of sales professionals get high-quality leads from existing customer referrals. Another shows that 88% of buyers highly trust a brand recommended by their friends or family members. These statistics mean it’s high time to revisit and maximize your contacts list.
People who trust your real estate expertise are more likely to send you real estate referrals, especially after a successful housing transaction. To stay top of mind, reach out to them regularly. Don’t make a direct sales pitch every time you reach out. Instead, keep relationships genuine and occasionally remind them that you would love to be of service should they have any referrals.
To get client referrals consistently, use real estate CRM software like LionDesk. As a CRM, LionDesk organizes and automates client communication through bulk email and text message drip marketing. You can also build multichannel campaigns to expand your referral outreach and get more real estate leads. At only $39 per month, send thousands of emails, text messages, and video messages monthly. Try it for free for 14 days.
Create your own incentive program for people who send you real estate referrals. This can be a handwritten note with a gift card, a bottle of wine, or some other small token of appreciation to encourage more referrals from them. Sending memorable real estate gifts is an effective way to stay top of mind while showing your sincere gratitude.
6. Create an IDX Website
Having an internet data exchange (IDX) website connects your website to your local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database and allows you to display MLS listings on your own website. This also enables page visitors to search for properties within a selected area on your website, so they don’t need to use a larger platform where other agents can also contact them. Your IDX website provides plenty of opportunities to attract real estate buyer leads. The good news is it’s easier to create code-free IDX lead generation websites with the right tools.
While you can use more advanced website builders like WordPress, an all-in-one platform like Real Geeks can help you set up a professional-looking IDX website, generate real estate leads from your website, and send drip email marketing campaigns. Plus, Real Geeks enables you to build landing pages, create Facebook ads, and write blogs to drive organic traffic to your website. The platform further tracks the activity of a real estate buyer lead, so you know which clients are highly engaging and ready to convert.
7. Capture Leads With a Landing Page
On top of your IDX website, real estate landing pages empower you to generate leads by capturing the contact information of active homebuyers and sellers. 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 leads, like renters, leads who are new to the area, or first-time homebuyers.
Whether you start with a landing page or want to create a complete website, iNCOM can help you with both. iNCOM provides features for lead management and follow-up to save you time. Its marketing suite contains newsletters, postcards, and email drip campaigns. You can also find premade content to distribute throughout the lead nurture cycle, as well as analytical tools to understand your website visitors’ behavior. Simply fill out a form about what you want on your landing page, and a team of professional marketers will create it for you.
Effective landing pages always use a call to action (CTA) to collect lead information and guide buyers to the next step. If you’re ready to create your landing page and want to see unique examples, read our article on 15 real estate landing page examples & how they convert leads.
8. Farm a Specific Neighborhood
One of the best ways to find homebuyer leads is to farm in a specific area, such as a city, county, or even a neighborhood, and become the go-to expert there. This practice is called real estate farming, meaning all your lead generation, prospecting, and marketing efforts are focused on one specific region. Farming also keeps you laser-focused on building trust and authority in a local market, enabling you to offer unrivaled expertise to prospective real estate buyers.
To farm buyer leads for realtors, start by researching demographics, looking at properties in an area, reviewing historical sales data, and considering the potential for future sales. Lead generation websites like Market Leader can make these processes easier for you. Market Leader is one of the few lead sources that provides a guaranteed number of exclusive buyer leads, helping you gain new clients automatically. It also offers lead insights and automated lead nurturing and listing marketing so you can own your local market with less effort.
Sending farming postcards consistently effectively nurtures renter and buyer leads while promoting brand awareness. Your farming postcards must include engaging content like market data and statistics, holiday greetings, and helpful buyer tips. For ideas, check out our article on the top 20 real estate farming postcard examples & templates.
9. Organize a Real Estate Event
Holding a real estate event is a fun way to meet potential homebuyers while expanding your SOI in the local community. Many creative events would attract members of your target audience. You can plan a mix of offline and online activities throughout the year to generate a steady stream of leads. When planning an event to attract homebuyers, ensure the event reflects your unique brand, gives you a chance to showcase your expertise, and is worth attending.
To create a sense of excitement, send them invitation cards. You can create professional real estate invitations via Canva. This photo editing platform has a plethora of printable and customizable design templates that can save you time in creating attractive promotional materials.
Experiences like these give potential buyers a chance to meet you in person without pressure or obligation while showcasing your expertise in the field. Giving buyers a chance to know you in person is an ideal way to get real estate clients. Here are some real estate event ideas for you to target buyer leads:
Build brand awareness in your local neighborhood by organizing themed events, neighborhood meet-and-greets, block parties, fitness programs, fundraising activities, and clean-up drives.
One sure way to find active homebuyer leads is by conducting open houses, virtual home tours, and neighborhood tours.
Maximize your business networks to get referrals by hosting happy hour parties, vendor appreciation events, and real estate investing networking events.
Seminars and webinars are effective for first-time homebuyers actively looking to own a property. You can host these events online using Zoom, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or through pop-up Facebook groups.
To get the most return on investment (ROI) from your real estate event, make sure to plan everything from the budget, guest list, invitations, vendors, and post-event follow-up. Download our free event planning checklist and follow the step-by-step guidelines on hosting real estate events to expand your SOI, attract qualified leads, and build brand awareness in your local community.
10. Host an Open House
Open houses remain effective in generating real estate leads as they allow potential buyers to view available listings without setting an appointment. It’s also a powerful way to sell listings in less time since they attract leads actively looking for new homes. Even if you don’t have a listing of your own, offer to host open houses for other agents’ listings or lend a helping hand to create more networking opportunities with prospects and property investors.
For a successful event, schedule the best day and time, thoroughly prepare the property, create marketing materials, and advertise the open house online and offline for maximum exposure. Make sure to prepare a sign-in sheet to gather attendees’ contact information. Furthermore, have a script ready to create a natural conversation and stay on topic. Download and use our free open house checklist to ensure everything is covered.
To effortlessly capture leads during your open house, use Spacio’s open house lead generation system. Its mobile app allows you to customize sign-in sheets with the questions you want to ask. Moreover, you can create automated emails and texts to follow up with visitors directly through the app or your own CRM. Spacio also integrates with other CRMs like HubSpot.
While only 4% of buyers found their homes through open houses, potential sellers may attend house viewings to get a feel for the market and the home selling process, so keep your eyes open for seller leads, as well. If you want to explore more ways to attract homeowners, read our top 9 ways to generate real estate seller leads.
11. Become Active on Social Media
Build one-on-one connections with prospects and establish yourself as the local real estate expert by amping up your social media game. To attract more leads without wasting time guessing which post would go viral, employ effective real estate social media marketing tactics. These include creating a social media calendar, automating posts, adding high-quality videos and photos, using local-based hashtags, incorporating SEO keywords, and even utilizing paid ads.
Social media is the top tech tool, where 46% of agents found the highest number of quality leads. The three most popular social media platforms for real estate businesses are Facebook (59%), Instagram (59%), and LinkedIn (53%). Undeniably, social media marketing provides multiple opportunities to reach active homebuyers in your local community without spending money on advertising or direct mail campaigns.
Social media marketing can be overwhelming, especially since algorithms are constantly updating. If you don’t have time 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. Interview as many as you need to find the right fit.
12. Send Gifts to Past Clients
Similar to your SOI, staying connected with previous clients gives you more chances of repeat business and referrals. 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 leave a lasting impression and remind them of your services if they’re planning to buy or sell in the future. Gifts also show that you appreciate their business and encourage them to recommend you to their network.
Always send past clients a small gift when they send you a referral, regardless of whether you end up working with the referral. This shows your gratitude and increases the likelihood of them sending new referrals your way, especially during down markets.
For stress-free gift-giving, use a smart gifting service like EvaBot. Evabot uses artificial intelligence (AI) to tailor gifts to your client’s tastes, so you don’t need to guess whether your client would welcome your gift. You can even personalize the gift since EvaBot can include a handwritten note inside a gift box branded with your logo.
13. Write a Blog
According to statistics, companies that blog produce 67% more monthly leads than those that don’t. Updating blog posts can also increase your website traffic by 106%. Simply put, publishing blog posts regularly improves your reputation as a real estate expert, which translates into more successful deals. Add blog posts to your IDX website or create a WordPress blog. You can write about industry events, create videos, discuss real estate experiences you’ve had, share client testimonials, and provide expert advice for homebuyers.
Contact the real estate news editor at your local newspaper or city’s magazine and offer to write an article directed toward homebuyers. This promotes your business to a broader audience. If you’re guest blogging on another real estate website, you can ask for backlinks to increase traffic to your own website.
Share your blog posts on social media and email newsletters for more exposure. Make sure you use keywords―words, phrases, and questions your target audience are likely to be searching for online. This improves your SEO ranking so your articles can be found through search engines. When buyers and sellers see consistent activity and legitimate value in your content, they’re much more likely to trust you and reach out to you.
Generating real estate buyer leads can significantly increase your profitability and help you establish a successful real estate career. Maximizing your website, social media, and SOI are great tactics on how to get buyer leads for the long term. You’re also most likely to succeed in generating leads when you use a combination of online and offline strategies. The key is thoroughly planning your lead generation strategy, consistently reaching out to your prospects, and showing genuine interest in solving their real estate problems.