Generating a high volume of quality leads for listings can be a challenge for many real estate agents. There are tons of tools available, but by focusing on a handful of important strategies, you can significantly increase results.

Improving lead generation

These are some tips to improve lead generation:

1. SMS software

First, invest in SMS software. It engages potential buyers via text message through the sales process.

The process might look something like this: An interested buyer texts a short numeric code to a local phone number listed on a sign rider. She is texted listing information including price, pictures and a description.

Simultaneously, the listing agent is texted and emailed the prospect’s cell phone number. The notifications are sent out immediately. If the listing agent calls the prospective buyer right away, she will still be standing in front of the property.

The prospect’s contact information is also automatically populated in the customer relationship management platform (CRM) for future reference.

Texting is a preferred method of communication for many people. Many homebuyers often prefer a text with information rather than having to talk to an agent

2. Multiple inbound channels

Agents should also be relying on multiple inbound channels. While agents will be spending at least some time and money on outbound marketing strategies, inbound strategies require the least amount of ongoing upkeep.

Some inbound channels will naturally work better than others, but one can capture a wider range of demographics when capitalizing on multiple inbound channels at once. This could include multiple listing platforms, websites and marketing channels.

3. Networking

All agents benefit from ongoing networking. The more people agents know, the more opportunities they will have. There are many organized networking opportunities, but being active in one’s community is a natural way to expand a network.

Also consider volunteering at your child’s school or at church. Social media can be a helpful way to connect with local networking groups and associations.

4. Use social media the right way

Speaking of social media, it can be a powerful tool in the right hands — but it isn’t a guaranteed channel for lead generation. Simply posting links and images for new properties isn’t going to drum up much interest.

Instead, agents need to invest more time into building their profiles the right way and establishing personal brands. Get to know the most important target demographics on social media, and reach out to new people on a regular basis.

Post listings regularly, but don’t let them completely dominate the social media feeds. Make sure there’s a blend of different types of content, so followers remain interested and active.

5. Targeted ads

Using social media or a search engine such as Google, agents can also invest in targeted advertising. Placing the right images with the right copy in front of the right prospect can lead to immediate interest in a listing.

The trick is to know who the “right people” are. With enough research, agents can learn the ideal and most interested buyers in your specific property.

From there, agents can toggle the placement controls in their advertising platform of choice to make sure their listings are reaching the right people.

6. Master the open house

Open houses are a perfect opportunity to generate interest in a home, but agents have to plan for them appropriately. Agents need to plan your open house far in advance, and invest in significant marketing and advertising to generate interest.

It’s also important to capture the information of everyone who attends and focus on making the best possible impression on them when they visit.

7. Host a buyer’s workshop

Consider hosting a buyer’s workshop to educate prospective homebuyers about the homebuying process and what they can expect when buying their first home.

It’s a warm introduction to lots of people who will be interested in buying property in the near future.

Track and analyze your results

Different strategies work better for different agents. The only way to determine which methods are optimal is to experiment, measure and analyze results. Try different lead generation strategies and pay close attention to the ones that yield the best results. Keep the ones that work, and ditch the ones that don’t.

Cycle in fresh approaches to evaluate their effectiveness, and remain open to new options. The more flexible and adaptable you are, the faster you’ll be able to determine the best formula for success.

Larry Alton is the CEO of Alton Enterprises in Olympia, Washington. Follow him on Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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