Generating real estate buyer leads is a cost-effective way to close more deals and increase your business’ profits. Plus, learning how to get buyer leads doesn’t have to be expensive or complex. From working with renters to maximizing your Zillow account, hosting open houses, and amplifying your social media strategy, let’s dive into the best strategies for generating homebuyer leads effectively and consistently.
1. Work the Rent Versus Buy Angle
One effective way to generate buyer real estate leads is by nurturing renters into potential buyers. Renters who don’t currently own a home may be waiting for the right opportunity to buy, especially since rent prices have been steadily increasing every month for the last three years, even faster than the consumer price index (CPI).
To effectively show renters how buying a home could be a smart financial decision, consider using a rent versus buy calculator. You can send this in an email campaign to targeted leads and past rental clients, or post it on your social media to 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: The typical down payment is 6% to 7% of the home price, although it can be up to 20%. 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 are based on a 7% 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.
2. Create Direct Mail Campaigns
Direct mail has been used as a real estate lead generation tool for decades, and it continues to be an effective way to reach both listing leads and buyer leads, build brand recognition, and ultimately get responses from potential clients. In fact, many recent studies show that direct mail generates an average response rate of 4.4%, which is higher than digital marketing channels like email marketing, which average only 0.12%.
The most common and effective types of direct mail include:
Plus, creating strong direct mail campaigns can be quick, easy, and effective with the right real estate direct mail service. For example, PostcardMania allows you to choose from thousands of postcard templates and easily customize them with your branding and contact information. It also provides mailing lists for purchase, Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), and even landing pages and online ads integrated with your postcards. It’s one of the top solutions to generate leads for real estate agents.
3. Assemble Buyer-targeted Ads
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 farm area and attract quality leads who are ready to buy or sell in that particular area. This is also ideal if you are targeting buyers in a real estate niche, like divorces, investors, or luxury buyers.
To optimize your ads for real estate buyer leads, use keywords or phrases that homebuyers are most likely searching for, like “how to buy a home” or “first-time buyer tips.” Then, create ads answering the questions they’re searching for.
Two of the most common and most effective types of real estate advertisements include:
Real Estate Facebook & Instagram Ads
Facebook Ads include in-feed ads, Messenger ads, and Instagram ads (which are connected to Facebook). 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.
Real Estate Google 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 and make sure to specifically target buyers as your audience. Learn how to publish your ad campaign by following our step-by-step guide on creating Google ads for real estate leads.
Although Facebook and Google are the most widely used advertising platforms for real estate agent leads, there are many other types of online and offline ads that can be effective. For example, you can use real estate signs in your area or engage actively on Nextdoor and local Facebook groups. Craigslist even provides advertising capabilities for realtors. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to find real estate buyers using Craigslist.
4. Become a Zillow Premier Agent
Becoming a Zillow Premier Agent (ZPA) enables you to promote yourself on the number one real estate listing platform used by interested and active homebuyers across the U.S. In fact, Zillow generated 233 million page visits in July 2023 alone—giving your Zillow Agent profile the highest chances of generating real estate leads for new agents and experienced agents.
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 buyer 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. Read our complete guide to advertising on Zillow and download our free checklist.
5. Invest in Lead Generation Software
Being successful in real estate requires you to leverage technology. Although there are many ways to generate real estate buyer leads for free, using real estate software can help you work with a large volume of leads and scale your business faster and more efficiently. In fact, the best way to scale your business is to use organic strategies while learning how to buy real estate leads and use paid software programs.
When you start buying real estate leads, make sure you choose one of the top real estate lead generation tools to set yourself up for success. The best real estate leads to buy usually come from software that is 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 customer relationship manager (CRM) platform for a comprehensive real estate marketing solution.
Here are a few of our most recommended places to buy real estate leads:
Agents, teams, and brokers wanting exclusive leads with automated marketing tools
Agents and teams looking to generate and convert leads in a location-based niche
Professionals wanting to generate leads by location as well as niche leads
Professionals wanting an all-in-one lead generation and real estate marketing platform
Starting Price (per Month)
6. 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. People who trust your real estate expertise or personal character are more likely to send you real estate referrals, even if they haven’t actually worked with you personally. For this reason, referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations are arguably the best way to generate real estate leads for new agents. Plus, 38% of all buyers in 2022 used an agent who was referred to them by a trusted friend or family member.
In addition, research from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that 89% of buyers would use their agent again or recommend them to others. This proves that your SOI and previous clients are willing to recommend you, but you have to remind them and make it easy for them to connect you with others.
Keep in touch with them regularly by using a real estate CRM software like LionDesk. It organizes and automates communication through email and text message marketing. You can also build multichannel campaigns to expand your referral outreach. Plus, you can try LionDesk free for 14 days.
7. Create an IDX Website
An internet data exchange (IDX) website allows you to display current real estate listings on your own website, which is especially appealing for real estate buyer leads. It allows potential buyer leads to search for properties within a selected area on your website, so they don’t need to use a larger platform, like Zillow or Realtor.com, where other agents can potentially connect with them.
Include information on your website about you and your services, testimonials from past clients, useful downloadable guides for buyers, and lead capture forms for clients to get in touch with you. Plus, there are a variety of real estate website builders that allow you to create an IDX website easily, without having to deal with code or have any website design experience.
For example, Placester is a real estate lead generation company with a variety of tools, resources, and experts to help you easily create a custom website. Unlike many other website builders, it includes built-in search engine optimization (SEO) tools, and its Placester Marketplace provides a wide range of professional services to help with your website creation and many other marketing tasks. Hire a Placester-approved expert to customize your entire website, create landing pages, or write blog posts. Or, you can also do everything yourself with their easy drag-and-drop builder.
8. Capture Buyer Leads With a Landing Page
In addition to your IDX website, creating real estate landing pages will empower you to generate the best real estate leads by providing specific information and capturing the contact information of homebuyers. Landing pages can be used in conjunction with ads or for attracting 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 want to create an individual landing page or a full website, iNCOM is an ideal solution. It provides services for custom landing page designs and advertising on Facebook, Google, or through SEO. It is one of the few real estate website providers to be an approved Google partner and offer a satisfaction guarantee with unlimited revisions. Simply fill out a form about what you want on your landing page, and a team of professional marketers will create it for you.
If you’re ready to create your landing page and want to see unique examples, read our article on 14 real estate landing page examples and how they convert leads.
9. Farm a Specific Neighborhood
When learning how to get buyer leads, one of the best strategies is to become the go-to expert in a specific location, such as a city, county, or even a neighborhood. This practice is called real estate farming, meaning all your lead generation, prospecting, and marketing efforts are focused on one specific region. Farming 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 your target area. Look at the demographics, properties in the area, and historical sales data. With Market Leader, you can make this process even easier by getting exclusive leads within a specific ZIP code or geographic location. It’s one of the few lead sources that provides a guaranteed number of leads, along with lead insights and automated lead nurturing so you can own your local market with less effort.
10. Organize a Real Estate Event
Hosting events, whether in-person or online, is a great way to meet potential leads, add to your network, and build a reputation in your community as a real estate expert. Experiences like these give potential buyers a chance to meet you in person without obligation while showcasing your expertise in the field. Consider using your creativity to think about types of events that would appeal to buyers and help your unique real estate brand stand out.
Here are just a few real estate event ideas that can help you target buyer leads:
11. Host an Open House
Real estate open houses are a classic marketing strategy that continues to help agents complete transactions. However, many agents don’t realize how their listings can be leveraged to generate buyer leads. Open houses attract a variety of active and potential buyers who may not already have an agent. 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.
Here are a few tips to make your open house successful:
- Use an open house checklist to plan and prepare for the event
- Schedule the event on the best day and time
- Prepare the property before the event begins
- Promote the event online and with open house flyers
- Have a printed or digital open house sign-in sheet ready to capture leads
- Prepare a script to greet visitors
Another way to leverage open houses to get buyer leads is by hosting a broker open house. This is an open house event targeted specifically for other real estate professionals to help them determine whether a listing would be a good fit for any of their clients. It can also be a great opportunity to network with other real estate professionals and get referrals.
12. Implement a Social Media Strategy
Social media is undeniably one of the most powerful ways to reach homebuyers in your community, and it can be done without spending money on advertising or direct mail campaigns. In fact, 46% of realtors say that social media is the top technology tool for generating real estate leads. By implementing a strong real estate social media strategy, you can attract leads without wasting your time guessing how to reach your audience.
Along with a strong strategy, the right tool can help you make more progress on social media without spending hours and hours creating content. For instance, Constant Contact provides marketing solutions designed specifically for small businesses like real estate agents, teams, and brokerages. It includes tools to create optimized content, schedule it at the right times, and even monitor audience conversations. Constant Contact can help you spend less time online and maximize your reach and engagement.
13. Publish Website Content to Build Trust
Studies show that companies that publish blogs produce 67% more leads than those that don’t. Out of all of the ways to get buyer leads, publishing content on your website helps build your authority in many different ways. It displays your expertise and personality to website visitors, it helps generate backlinks to your site (which significantly improves your SEO and organic traffic), and content can be repurposed on emails and social media over and over to continually build your brand.
When buyers see consistent activity and value in your content, they’re much more likely to trust and reach out to you. For example, real estate team The Fisher Group generates 30% to 40% of their luxury real estate leads from their website content alone. They have a variety of pages that provide details on individual neighborhoods, developments, and things to do in the area, and it generates thousands of website views every single day.
Not sure what to write about on a real estate blog? Check out some of the best blogs in our article 31 Top Real Estate Blogs for Agents & Investors.
14. Get Press Recognition
Another powerful, yet uncommon, strategy to generate real estate buyer leads is through publicity. Publicity promotes your business to a broader audience and being featured in well-known publications makes you much more credible to potential leads. Getting press can be one of the fastest ways to increase your lead generation and income.
Consider contacting an editor at your local newspaper or a well-known real estate professional in your area and offer to write an article for their website directed toward homebuyers. You can also pitch story ideas to editors to get featured in local and national publications. This is what Joel Efosa did for his real estate business. After it was featured in a local article, the business grew by 25% in just one quarter.
15. Send Gifts to Past Clients
Just like your sphere of influence (SOI), your previous clients are powerful sources of real estate referrals. One of the best ways to stay top of mind is by establishing a gift-giving system 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.
Make sure to always send an appreciation gift when clients 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.
To make gift-giving stress-free, 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.
Generating real estate buyer leads can significantly increase your profitability and help you establish a successful real estate career. A few great strategies to help you learn how to get buyer leads include social media marketing, keeping in touch with your SOI, direct mail, and publishing website content. Keep in mind that the best success usually comes from combining 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.